Today​’s Scrip-Bit 30 March 2019 John 1:9.

John 1:9.   That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

 

And then it was Saturday, a day of rest. All the confusion of getting from there to here and settling down in Sweet Tobago has finally gotten to me. (smile) Would you believe I was up around 7, had coffee on the porch, gave some thanks and praise for all my many blessings, then went back to bed? That had the duchess worried about me because that’s not my style. 

And would you believe that I got up again around 9, had coffee again, and I can go back to bed again? But no! I am going to stand up strong and write the Bit before going back to bed, it is already late, can’t allow it to be much later. And with all that jawing, (smile) since it’s Saturday, let’s turn to the quotes we received from our friend Anselm this week, as he sincerely aspires us for a better tomorrow. 

And this first one is very interesting and applicable to our lives as true believers in Jesus Christ: ‘Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.’ Yeh friends, when we achieve success in whatever walk of life, that is not our final pinnacle, we don’t just stop there and rest on that plateau, but we keep on learning and attempt to have more success, for resting on our laurels just gives the enemy a brighter spot in our lives. 

As true believers, we need to keep growing in Christ until the day He takes us home. And we all know that what we term failure is not the end, but just the beginning of getting up and starting again. Remember there are no words in Jesus’ vocabulary like ‘failure’ and ‘giving up!’ And He imbues us, through His Holy Spirit with the courage to carry on. So we are not lacking in any way! 

Then there’s this: ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.’ And that’s the living truth my people! When we as good and righteous men do nothing to rectify a wrong situation, then the evil people win! Oh, we often say that it’s not our business and we’re not going to get involved, but what yuh think happens when we don’t eh? The bad guys win! No decision is a decision! 

That brings us to this interesting quote: ‘Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.’ And isn’t that the awesome truth! Just look at the amount of nonsense that fools are talking over social media nowadays eh! It’s appalling, like we have no life unless we’re totally involved in it. But all power be to them yes, I beg to refrain from it! I talk enough foolishness without spreading it on all the forms of social media that we have nowadays. (smile) Oh, how our society would be greatly improved if some of us would just shut up

And the next quote says: ‘LOVE isn’t something you find. LOVE is something that finds you.’ And I guess there’s some truth to that, because ofttimes when we go searching for LOVE we don’t find it, but it’s at the most unexpected and unsuspecting times that LOVE falls right in out laps! I’m sure many of us have fallen in LOVE when we least expected it, with people we’ve least expected to fall in LOVE with! (smile) But that’s the nature of LOVE; God’s greatest attribute! It can hit you at any time, in any place, with anyone! Glory to God! 

And the last quote says: ‘It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.’ And that my friends is the God-awesome truth! When our world and circumstances are the darkest, that’s when we have to focus most intently and intensely on the light that’s there in our souls, but hidden from us just then. The name of that light that’s always there is Jesus! Yes friends, as John says: ‘That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.’ 

Yes my brethren, even if you profess not to believe in Jesus, His light has been branded, burnished into your soul on the day you came to be. There’s a li’l pocket in each of us which can only be filled by God, and in there is that true light that shines at the end of the tunnel, we just have to seek it with all our hearts, souls, bodies and minds, it doesn’t just show up, and even if it should, we still have to receive it and accept it, that’s a condition of having the light shine in our lives. 

And now listen to these fateful words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on the subject of the Light. ‘Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light…’ (John 12:35-36) 

There you have it friends, Jesus declaring that He was the Light of the world! And we all know that Jesus does not, cannot lie, so that must be gospel truth! And His wise advice to the people of His time, to walk in the light, has also been given to us in these turbulent and very strife filled times. However, just like the people of Jesus’ day refused to accept His advice, in like manner, a whole lot of us nowadays are also refusing to accept that heavenly wisdom. 

Chuh! How foolish that is my people, because Jesus is the ONLY ONE who can shine true light on our dark times. But I guess until we really reach the end of our rope, we don’t consider it important to turn to Jesus for help. But that’s so unwise my brethren, because the Father made us, Jesus saved us, and the Holy Spirit dwells in us to show us the way to the true Light. You can’t get away from those facts my brethren, so please let’s make up our minds to seek the true light which will brighten our world for ever and ever nuh! That’s wisdom at its brightest! Much LOVE!

…God is light…in him is no darkness at all… (1 John 1:5)

P.S. Yes, it is late and long, and probably a tad ditzy too, (smile) but I know that with the wisdom of Jesus indwelling you, you can pick sense from nonsense! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 28 March 2019 Galatians 5:16.

Galatians 5:16.   ​This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
 
Ah friends, in the wonderful words of Bruh Paul: ‘Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ. Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world (age), according to the will of God and our Father; To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.’ (Gal.1:3-4) 

Yes my faithful brethren, greetings in the name of our most amazing and magnanimous God and His awesome Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, on this dry but somewhat chilly Thursday morning! And please don’t marvel at how early the Bit is because it’s just an anomaly. I simply have to go out of town early this morning and so decided to write it before I go, rather than when I reach my destination, which could be fairly late. 

So please don’t go getting any weird ideas about receiving it at this hour every morning. (smile) Tomorrow, God willing, we’ll be back at the usual time. And today, on a most practical level we’ll talk about this quote from a Daily Bread Devotional: ‘Our lives speak louder than our words!’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my people! Those around us pay more attention to how we live than what we say. They quickly forget what we say, but quite easily remember the things we do. That’s why we can’t talk one thing and then do something else in our daily walk with the Lord. 

And that’s what a lot of us supposed believers do, no wonder so much of the world consider us to be such hypocrites, whitewashed tombs, like Jesus called the hypocritical and overbearing Pharisees of His day. Yes, there are still a lot of Pharisees in our midst today, and please don’t go passing too much judgement, like they did, because you never know, you might just be numbered amongst that sorry lot. (smile) 

So how do we get our lives to speak louder than our words eh? As Bruh Paul says, to do that, we need to walk and live in the Spirit; the Holy Spirit of God! ‘This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.’ (Gal.5:16-17) 

And the scholars offer these interesting and useful explanations. ‘5:16. Walk in the Spirit (i.e., “live by the Spirit”). Christians are to live with the Spirit’s help. How does one “live by the Spirit”? (1) The Christian must believe that the Spirit is with him, having been sent by God into his heart (4.6). (2) In every spiritual confrontation the believer must yield to the Spirit, that is, submit his own desires to those of the Spirit. 

(3) One must depend on the Spirit for help, enabling him to live a God-pleasing life (v.5). (4) The believer should anticipate the effects of the Spirit’s help in his daily life. The believer who “lives by the Spirit” will not fulfill (accomplish, carry out) the lust (strong desires) of the flesh (sinful nature).’ 

Yes mih people, it’s all about our living this earthly life in strong association with the Holy Spirit of God, who was sent by the Father to live within us when we believed on His Son, to help us live a holy and sanctified life. But if we don’t acquiesce to the Spirit’s desires, then we make a mockery of the whole thing. 

For as the scholars explain: ‘5:17. One’s sinful human nature (flesh) and the Holy Spirit lusteth against one another, that is, they have desires and yearnings that are contrary to one another. The Christian, then, is a battlefield, having desires to do good and evil. The outcome is that ye cannot do the things that ye would: the flesh seeks to thwart the Spirit, who, in turn, attempts to frustrate the flesh’s evil desires.’ 

Yes friends, it’s a constant tug of war between our flesh and our Spirit. And it’s only with a constant effort and the help of the Spirit, that we can overcome the evil desires our flesh. The Spirit will guide us, but we have to accept it’s guidance, otherwise it will be all for nought. And we won’t bother to list the sinful desires of the flesh because we all know them, (smile) and it’s the fruit of the Spirit that we really want to show in our lives, so that we can practice what we preach. 

So here is what Bruh Paul says constitutes the fruit of the Spirit. ‘But the fruit of the spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.’ (Gal.5:22-23) And that’s how we make our lives speak louder than our words my fellow believers; by letting the fruit of the Spirit proceed from us, rather than the evil desires of the flesh! 

Now let’s go home declaring (right ho) our Thursday Blessings, those most generous and magnanimous blessings that our great God has poured down on us as sincere believers. In strong voice and heartfelt sense of purpose: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And please don’t forget that those blessings were not given so we can hoard them, but to share them just as generously with others less fortunate than us. So let’s go out and do just that nuh! Much LOVE!

…Jesus said of His followers…by their fruit ye shall know them…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 March 2019 Psalm 36:5.

Psalm 36:5.    Thy mercy (LOVING-kindness), O Lord, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.

Stop it friends, stop it! Stop being miserable and tired on a Monday morning when you have to get up to go to work. You’ve known that from Friday evening when you stopped working, and if you had done what you’re supposed to do, get some rest and relaxation and fellowship with other believers on Sunday and refuelled your spirit, then you would be all ready and gung-ho to go out and labour diligently for Jesus this morning. 

Yes, every so often we need a tongue lashing because we complain when we ought not to. (smile) But I guess that’s human nature. And to be truthful, regardless of how you prepare for Monday morning, when it does roll around, we still experience a letdown, a drop in that spiritual fervour we had ramped up for it. 

But not to worry my faithful believers, our God is good and oh so faithful, and if we ask Him nicely (smile) to fix it, then He will. That’s His ever-faithful promise! So let’s do that right now nuh. Let’s ask Him in all sincerity and humility but confidently, to improve our spiritual fervour so we can diligently do His will. So as one strong voice, let’s pray that mighty prayer, our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ And I can just see our eyes light up and our movements get brisk as we now move with a sense of purpose as the Holy Spirit renews our energy and commitment in answer to our prayer! 

 But that’s only for those of going to work. To those of us lying somewhere on a sandy beach in a warm climate enjoying the March Break, it just makes us chuckle as we raise an early morning cocktail to our lips, or get up and run into the brilliant blue waters and immerse ourselves in it! (smile) And I have to tell myself to shut up, because I’m just raising my own longing for some sea, salt, rum and sand! 

In due time though…in due time the Lord will come through for me! I know He’s faithful! He’s done it before, so why won’t He do it again eh? No good reason my brethren. So let’s talk a li’l bit about God’s faithfulness this morning nuh. I experience it every day when I come to write the Bit, because it’s His faithfulness that drives my engine. But let’s see what some of the other more important saints had to say about it. 

In Psalm 36 – The Steadfast LOVE of God – Bruh David describes it thus: ‘Thy mercy (LOVING-kindness), O Lord, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.’ (Ps.36:5) Yes friends, God’s faithfulness is as vast as the space between the earth and the clouds. And Bruh David should know about that, because he experienced it to the max; even when he did not deserve it! 

Meanwhile the author of Psalm 119 declares (right ho): ‘For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled (stands firm) in heaven. Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth (stands). (Ps.119:89-90) Please note my people, that the Lord’s faithfulness is not only there for some, but for ‘ALL generations.’  

It was there for Adam and Eve, it’s there for us, and it will be there for the last humans on planet earth, whenever the Lord decides to call it a day. So there’s no need to worry about having faith in Him. He’s the same yesterday, today and forever, and His promises are always kept. He has safer and better hands than All State. (smile) 

Now hear how Ethan the Ezrahite puts it in his great Psalm – Psalm 89 – God’s sure promises to David. ‘I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations. For I have said, Mercy (LOVING-kindness) shall be built up for ever: thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens.’ (Ps.89:1-2)  

More acknowledgements of our God’s forthrightness and trust! And this March Break Monday morning we going to keep it short and sweet, so we’ll end with this most popular scripture that all of us LOVE to quote, but don’t truly believe when it really matters. Here these immortal words of Jeremiah: ‘It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.’ (Lam.3:22-23) And that’s the gospel truth! 

But friends, yuh know what? We don’t need the old timers to really tell us how faithful our God is nuh, because most of us have experienced it in some form or fashion! And if we have experienced it, then why do we still doubt it and have problems accepting it as gospel truth eh? So please, let’s stop believing what the deceitful and evil world says nuh, and start believing what our God says! That’s wisdom of the highest order! Much LOVE!

…if you can’t have faith and trust…in the One who created you…then whom will you have them in eh…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 March 2019 Matthew 6:33.

Matthew 6:33.   ​But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
 

And then it was Friday; the day so many of us look forward to because it signals the end of our hardy workweek in these rather trying times of humanity, where prosperity abounds in general, but poverty, sickness, strife and homelessness are more the order of the day. 

And to help us combat the greed and evil and selfishness that’s currently so prevalent in our world, listen to these winsome and wonderful words from a poem by one of Canada’s first female writers and composers; Eva Rose York (nee Fitch), composer, organist, editor, teacher (born 22 December 1858 in Norwich, Ontario; died 6 February in Toronto, Ontario.) 

In the third verse of her epic poem ‘I shall not pass this way again,’ she summarily declares (right ho) in a beautiful, humane, and very timely message to all humanity: ‘I shall not pass this way again; Then let me now relieve some pain, Remove some barrier from the road, Or brighten someone’s heavy load. A helping hand to this one lend, Then turn some other to befriend.’ 

Yes friends, it’s our duty to help each other, both as members of the human race and the Christian organization; the church of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!  He set the glorious example for all mankind to follow when He selflessly sacrificed His life on that old rugged cross at Calvary for sinful man. 

It behooves us therefore to carry on His work in our time by helping the less fortunate, of which there are so many in our current society, although this is one of the most prosperous and advanced periods in man’s history! And if we’d only put out a li’l effort to do that, then Christ’s church, and our world, would take on a much different hue, a much more enlightened and godly complexion. End of sermon! (smile) 

Yes my brethren, that’s what the Lord put in my to heart share with you this cold, winter’s Friday, the first day of March 2019. However, I know that since this Friday, many of you are more interested in hearing the workingman’s Friday song, as it tends more to our sinful and lustful nature. (smile) Well, I won’t disappoint you. Here’s what he’s singing this morning: 

 ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! But like this blooming cold weather not planning to go away anytime soon nuh! Brother! But wasn’t that a stellar snowfall earlier this week eh? I couldn’t even walk properly in the so many inches of snow…fell down in it numerous times…but just had to laugh and roll over and remember how we would play in it as young children growing up in the poor areas of Toronto! 

Yes, them was good days! We didn’t have a care in the world! Had food and everything ready for me by mother and father! Didn’t know where it came from, or how hard it was to earn it. Hn! But now I am mother and father and have to get out there everyday, come rain, snow or shine, and earn a pittance to support my brood…

And I’m doing it…without too much complaints too… But believe me, nothing, or nobody is going to take away my party time come Fridays and the weekends. I give all I have during the week, but the weekend is mine! And who doh like it, yuh know what they could do with it yes! Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

Yes, the workingman was in full voice, but he certainly surprised us this morning nuh. (smile) It wasn’t all about partying, but more sensible stuff which all of us need to take very seriously in today’s crazy and misguided world. And to add to the seriousness of the workingman’s song, let’s chant our Friday Chant that’s somewhat more restrictive, but does not stop us from having fun and enjoying good times with friends and family. 

All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Yeh friends, instead of concentrating on the partying aspect of our lives, as believers we focus on the furthering of God’s kingdom! Glory to our great God! As Jesus so straightforwardly put it in the Sermon on the Mount: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow (do not worry about tomorrow): for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt.6:33-34) 

There it is right in a nutshell friends and fellow believers! God must be our NUMBER ONE PRIORITY! And if we do that, then things will be fine with us, we won’t lack anything, the Lord will take of all our earthly needs. Now listen to some explanations from the scholars: 

‘The disciples who have pledged their allegiance to the King must continue seeking the kingdom and it’s righteousness…The contrast between the spiritual and material is again emphasized. The believer is to seek first the righteousness that is characteristic of God’s kingdom and then all these things (material things) shall be added to him. When our priority is spiritual, God will take care of the material, for where God guides, He provides. (Now that’s gospel truth!) 

We need not even worry about tomorrow, for sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. This means that each day has its own troubles and challenges to be responsibly handled, without worrying about the hypothetical problems that could arise tomorrow.’ 

So friends, having now heard this message for the umpteenth time (smile) let’s go out and see if we can’t put it into better action than we’ve done so far nuh? For Jesus’ sake nuh? And with God’s help we can certainly do it! Much LOVE!

…just think about what Jesus did for us…how then can we not want to do for others eh…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 February 2019 Ephesians 5:18.

Ephesians 5:18.    And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation); but be filled with the Spirit.

 

It’s Monday friends, that means it’s time to get up and do the new workweek dance: Yeah! Throw off the covers, sit up straight on the bed, give the Lord thanks for bringing you safely through another night, then put one foot on the floor, then the other, then stand up, put your left hand on your hip and your right hand in the air above your head, then twirl and sing ‘Thank You Lord, thank You,’ while simultaneously doing a two step jig! (smile) 

Oh I know that sounds foolish to many of you, especially the ones who get up irritable and miserable, but you’d be surprised how something like that could lighten your mood and set you up for a more relaxed and peace filled day. You know the best way to begin the day is by being in fine fettle. 

Anyway, if you disagree with that tactic (smile) then let’s see if this one fits you better. Please join us in declaring (right ho) our Monday Morning Battle Hymn which relieves all the tension and frustration and fear and anguish from our souls on a Monday morning. As we like to call it, the antidote for whatever ails on Monday mornings! 

So altogether now, in loud voice, with sincere hearts: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 
We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 
Oh me, oh my! What a wonderful high! Yeh friends, there’s no high like that the Holy Spirit of God offers! You can run on that for ages without having to refresh it. But thankfully we only have to run on it for today, because tomorrow the Lord will renew it free and gratis; no money, just sincere belief and heartfelt prayer. 
So now that we’ve gotten our fix of the Holy Spirit, it’s time to get out into the world and join the fray, fighting wisely and valiantly in Jesus’ name! No wonder Bruh Paul wisely advised the Ephesians thus: ‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation); but be filled with the Spirit.’ 
Yes friends, being drunk with wine dulls the senses and leads to moral intemperance. However when one is filled with the Holy Spirit it enables one to live in a godly manner, showing off His virtues and character.
Now we need to note here that once you become a believer, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in you, but then you have to cultivate it, pay attention to it, help it to enhance your faith by reading the Word and meditating on it, as well as through prayer and fellowship with other believers. 
So on one side it’s a one and done thing; the Holy Spirit coming to dwell in you, but on the other it’s a continual renewing, as the enemy constantly attempts to break down your barriers and you keep refuelling with the Holy Spirit to help you keep those barriers erect.  
And the scholars give this interesting explanation. ‘5:18. The words ‘be filled’ here mean ‘be continually filled,’ emphasizing that the fullness of the Spirit is a repeated experience for believers. When a person is drunk with an alcoholic beverage, his walk, talk, and sight are controlled by alcohol. 
God desires that the minds of Christians be controlled by the Holy Spirit so that they will walk in the Spirit, speak on behalf of God, and understand the things of God. Because people are indwelt by the Holy Spirit at salvation, they do not need to get more of the Holy Spirit, but the filling of the Spirit occurs when the Holy Spirit gets more of the believer.’ 
I like that: It’s not so much we getting the Spirit, but the Spirit getting us. That means friends, to be godly we desperately need the power of the Holy Spirit leading and guiding us, but He can only do that if we allow Him to do so. He just won’t jump into your life and seize control.
The Holy Spirit is a gentleman and waits to be invited to do His thing. The same way you can invite an alcoholic drink to enter you and take over, is the same way you can invite the Holy Spirit to take control! (smile) 
But here’s the difference, in the words of Cousin Sol, the man about town: ‘Wine is a mocker, strong drink (intoxicating drink) is raging (arouses brawling); and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.’ (Prov.20:1) And that’s the gospel truth! And the scholars add: ‘20:1. Wine is personified as a mocker because it deceives those who partake of it. It is contrary to wise living.’ You can’t argue with that friends. 
And we’ll end with these further wise words from Cousin Sol. ‘Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour (sparkles) in the cup, when it moveth itself aright (goes smoothly). At the last it biteth like a serpent and stingeth like an adder (serpent). Thine eyes shall behold strange women (strange things) and thine heart shall utter perverse things.’ (Prov.23:31-33) 
And the sad fact of the matter is that many of us have experienced that very feeling, but yet we refuse to leave it alone and turn to the Holy Spirit instead. Ah friends, that certainly is not wisdom! So let’s ‘wisen’ up nuh and let the Holy Spirit rule our lives, so that we can have the abundant and joyful life that Jesus died for us to have! Much LOVE!

 

…if you want to be lead aright in this life…then the Holy Spirit is the best…no…the ONLY option…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 February 2019 Romans 4:20.

Romans 4:20.   ​He staggered not (did not waver) at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong (strengthened) in faith, giving glory to God.
 

Ah Lord eh! No rest for the righteous! (smile) A body can’t even get a chance to sleep in on a Saturday morning! That’s because I’ve got to attend an Ironmen’s Breakfast at 9.30 this morning. 

The ‘Ironmen’ is a men’s group at our church. But I have to laugh when I consider that very few, if any of the group is under three score, and several are even three score and ten and over. (smile) But nonetheless, we are the Ironmen of St. Francis, committed to good works in the church and in the community we serve! Praise the Lord!  

And since it’s Saturday, let’s check out some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week in his noble attempt to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one says: ‘The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.’ 

And that’s fairly true! Most of us would much rather like to be heaped with undeserved praise rather than shrouded in deserved criticism. But remember friends, nobody has reached anywhere without some deserved criticism, and it shows how big a person you are when you can acknowledge your faults and foibles. 

Then there’s this: ‘Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution. If you don’t have any problems, you don’t get any seeds.’ I guess there’s also some truth to that statement, because in many of our problems lie the basic solution to them. If something isn’t working our right, then I guess the best way to find out why is by going back to the beginning and checking all the steps along the way. We’ll usually find the fly somewhere there in the ointment. (smile) 

Now hear this: ‘Four things for success: work and pray, think and believe.’ That’s indisputable! Success does call for at least those four things…and sometimes even more! And then we come to: ‘Stand up to your obstacles and do something about them. You will find that they haven’t half the strength you think they have… every DAY!!!!’ And that’s no lie my brethren! 

When we stand up strong to our problems and not be wishy washy and double-minded, we’ll discover that they are not half as problematic as they first seemed. Problems have this habit of pretending that they are bigger than they really are, and when take them at face value, they tend to intimidate us and make us wary and somewhat unsure of our ability to conquer them. 

But when we come up over them, with the help of God, we discover that they are much more manageable then we originally thought. So perhaps when problems overwhelm us, it might be best to take them each with a grain of salt (smile) before tackling them. 

And the last quote says: ‘Where there is no struggle, there is no strength.’ And that’s gospel truth my brethren, for it’s only when we face difficulties, that we get strong! And that applies to all walks of life. If you want to build physical strength, then you have to lift weights or do something that will cause your muscles to work hard and eventually expand. The same goes for spiritual strength. 

If you want to develop a greater faith in God, then you have to work hard at it, because it doesn’t just come by wishing. You have to go through trials and tribulations because we only grow when we overcome hard times. That’s just a fact of life. I’m sure you’ve noticed than when everything is nice and easy, no growth, be it physical, spiritual or emotional will really take place. 

It’s only when your heart’s been broken that you can appreciate the beneficial value of things like LOVE and romance. You obviously won’t like the broken heart, but because of it, the next time around you’ll certainly be wiser and more appreciative. (smile) 

And I don’t think we can find a better example of growing in faith than Abraham. Look at how at seventy-five the Lord told him to pack up and leave his family and just go, with no idea of where he was going. And every time the Lord told him to do something he did it, oftimes without a clue as to what was happening. And check out his approach to God’s promise of a child in his old age. 

The Good Book says: ‘And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about a hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb.’ (Rom.4;19) Friends, for decades Abraham had been trying to have a child with no success. Can you imagine the disappointment in a society that took children as a reward of God? 

Then the Lord promised him one when he was around a hundred and Sarah about ninety. Abraham must have shaken his head in amazement. But the Good Book continues: ‘He staggered not (did not waver) at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong (strengthened) in faith, giving glory to God. And being fully persuaded (convinced) that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.’ (Rom.4:20-21) 

Yeh friends, it’s only because Abraham had gone through a lot of struggle, wandering all over the place and having one problem after another, but also having God bring him through them that his faith became so strong. Although he lapsed when he took his wife’s Sarah advice to go into her maid Hagar to produce the heir that didn’t seem to be coming from their own loins. (smile) And you know that caused untold problems. 

But look at how he was going to sacrifice the heir Isaac, when the Lord told him to. I’m sure he didn’t know what was happening. How could the Lord ask him to sacrifice the only child whom He had promised would give him more children that the sand of the shore? But in his heart he knew that the Lord would come through in some manner because He had kept ALL of the promises He’d made him over the many years of his nomadic existence. 

Friends, I assure us that the Lord will do the same for us, but I can also guarantee you that it won’t be all wine and roses, because we simply don’t grow unless we face some kind of difficulty in our lives. Remember that and keep the faith like Abraham did. It won’t be easy, but we’ll be well rewarded in the Lord’s time! Much LOVE!

 …you can’t appreciate the sunshine…until you have experienced the darkness…you can’t appreciate prosperity…until you have experienced serious lack…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 February 2019 John 16:33.

John 16:33.   ​These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
 

Aye friends, I thought Saturday was a day for sleeping in? Then how come I’m not still in bed eh? I woke up around six and thought, no, this is way too early to get up. But the Lord or the enemy seem to have different ideas, so I rolled around in the bed until six thirty, finally realizing that I’d lost the fight to go back to sleep. But them’s the breaks! Just means that you will get the Bit a li’l earlier. (smile) 

And since today is Saturday, let’s get to some of our friend Anselm’s quotes of the week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Here is the first one: ‘A calm mind brings inner strength and self-confidence, so that’s very important for good health.’ You can’t dispute that friends! Calmness of mind is ever so important for making wise decisions as well as boosting health; physical, emotional and mental! 

But then to get that on a regular basis you need to be a follower of Jesus, who is the ONLY person able to give you true peace and stability on a sustained basis. Hear His awesome promise: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) You can’t beat that my faithful brethren! 

And then we have: ‘With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.’ More awesome truth my brethren! But again, the rightness of the strength and thoughts depends on our relationship with Jesus, for as the Good Book notes; Because of His great faithfulness, His mercies, His LOVING-kindness, His compassions are new every morning!  (Lam.3:22-23) So if we’re not in a strong relationship with Jesus, those early morning, every day new strength and thoughts might not be so good. 

Then there is this interesting quote: ‘I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.’ And technically speaking, I suppose that’s usually true, but let me tell you people, if the Lord is in that wind, and wants you to go to a particular place, you can adjust your sails as much as you want, but the only place you’ll end up is where the Lord wants you to. 

That I can tell you from personal experience, and I’m sure many of you have experienced the same thing! In the long run, it’s all about where the Lord wants us. 

And our friend Anselm threw in the Serenity Prayer for good measure this week: ‘God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.’ And friends, in this turbulent and unsettled world, do we ever need to prayer that pray every day…sometimes several times a day… if we wish to retain our sanity and make good, godly decisions. 

And the last quote says: ‘Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.’ And that’s the gospel truth!

Winning doesn’t provide strength, it only makes one lazier than normal, and content to sit on one’s rear end without any get up and go. You get like Rome and all those other big, splendiferous countries that fell to ruin because they became too fat and flaccid from always winning. 

The truth is that constant winning eventually ruins you instead of making you stronger. However, when you struggle, when you fight hardships mano a mano, then you develop strength! It’s just like lifting weights; you can’t develop muscles without constant weightlifting. 

Likewise, you can’t develop real inner strength without going through hardship and struggles. 

And we all know that this evil, ungodly world ruled by the evil enemy certainly is filled with much hardship and struggle, so you will have trials and tribulation cropping up from time to time. 

However friends, when you walk with Jesus, which is also not an easy thing to do in this world, He will help and guide you through those suffocating and troublesome times. He’ll be like your weight trainer; always beside you, offering encouragement and wise advice, even helping you lift the heavy weights that you find difficult lifting on your own! 

Wow! What a wonderful friend and helpmate is our Jesus! There’s NO other like Him in ALL the universe! Give Him much deserved thanks and praise my people! 

And Jesus said it in no uncertain terms: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ 

Ah friends, I know that will be difficult for us to do, but if we believe in Jesus and His promises, then we can do it. Jesus didn’t take an easy step on this earth, and He never promised that it would be all sunshine and roses for us either. But He did say that if we stuck with Him, He will bring us out safely. 

Now listen to these tough but encouraging words from Bruh Paul to the church at Corinth. ‘We are troubled (hard pressed) on every side, yet not distressed (crushed); we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken, cast (struck) down, but not destroyed: Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.’ (2 Cor.4:8-10) 

Yes my people, even though we suffer much tribulation, we WILL NOT give up, because we have the ultimate promise of Jesus, that if we live and die with Him, we will indeed be resurrected to eternal life, like He was! And you can’t beat that promise in this universe! Much LOVE!

…when troubles come…the wise thing to do…ask Jesus to help you handle them…He’ll NEVER refuse your sincere plea…

 

 

 

 

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