Today’s Scrip-Bit   11 May 2022 Psalm 125:2.

Psalm 125:2.      As the mountains are round about (surround) Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people from henceforth even for ever. 

Well, lovely days seem to be here again friends! Glory Hallelujah! But unfortunately, the dandelions, who don’t miss a trick, (smile) are also pushing their weedy yellow heads up through the new green spring grass, causing much dissatisfaction to lawn owners. But although they are considered weeds, I like them, like the bright yellow colour they provide to the fresh spring atmosphere. 

But best of all, with these warmer days arriving, I will now be able to sit on my porch in the afternoons and watch the world go by, as well as sit there in the quiet of the early morning hours and commune with my wonderful Maker. And it’s an interesting communication, because we don’t talk much, we just let the silence wash over us, and the beauty of nature fill our souls with a peaceful joy. 

That’s one thing I miss a lot during the many cold and dreary winter months. And why shouldn’t we just sit in quiet and peaceful companionship eh, when as the song says, ‘All my hope is in Jesus. Thank God my yesterday’s gone, All my sins are forgiven, And I’ve been washed by the blood.’ 

Mama Mia! Life couldn’t get any better than that my people! And that’s what we all get when we accept Christ as Lord and Saviour; forgiven sins and a soul washed and cleansed in His Holy blood. We also receive His awesome peace and joy, and the promise of salvation and eternal life with Him in heaven or wherever He chooses to reside (smile). 

So why do so many of us refuse to accept His invitation to come to Him and lay all our burdens and heavy loads at His feet and receive the rest for both our bodies and souls that He alone can provide? The overwhelming refusal of His Great Invitation just boggles my imagination, for the enemy has nothing to compare with what Jesus’ offers. ‘For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ Satan’s yoke and burden are exactly the opposite of Jesus’ – hard and heavy. So why are so many of us still fighting ourselves and each other to live under Satan’s hard yoke and heavy burden eh? I wish I knew, then I might be able to convince us of the folly of that decision. 

Remember, whatever Satan enables us to have down here, like earthly wealth and power, we cannot take when we depart this life, and we’ll just end up in the fiery halls of hell with him. But the things that we get from Jesus, like peace, joy, LOVE and salvation, we carry them into eternal life with us, to dwell with Him right down through eternity. There’s nothing to compare with that friends! But I guess that our sinful nature is so strong within us that we like to dabble in it, enjoy its fleshly lusts, it’s pride and greed, it’s strife and resentment, as the evil one feeds our minds with his iniquitous thoughts and schemes. 

And yes, we all know that it’s not easy to live a righteous life in this sinful world, constantly bombarded by the enemy’s devious and evil machinations, but if we sincerely turn to Jesus, He will surely help us with those problems. That’s His faithful promise. Bruh Paul wrote it thus to the church at Corinth. ‘There hath no temptation taken (overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able, but with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear (endure) it.’ (1 Cor. 10:13) 

Yes my fellow believers, in simple terms, we all fall under the burden of temptation, but our caring and compassionate God will not allow us to bear more temptation than we can handle. He will either find a way for us to escape it, or give us the necessary tools to endure it. In any case, no temptation will overwhelm us if we put our faith and trust in Jesus. He will give us the wherewithal to handle them all. And these words of encouragement from Psalm 125 – God surrounds his people – just add to our faith and strength in Christ Jesus. 

Please read with me. ‘’They that trust in the Lord shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed (moved), but abideth for ever. As the mountains are round about (surround) Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people from henceforth even for ever. For the rod of the wicked (the sceptre of wickedness) shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous (the land allotted to the righteous); lest the righteous put forth (reach out) their hands unto iniquity.’ (Ps. 125:1-3) 

That’s gospel truth my people! And please remember what Cousin Sol says about iniquity workers. ‘He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity (trouble): and the rod (sceptre) of his wrath (anger) shall fail.’ (Prov. 22:8) It’s for certain sure that the iniquity workers will eventually be destroyed when the Lord thinks it’s time. So mih bredin, how much more do we need before we believe eh, before we surrender completely to Jesus, our Maker, our God, Creator, Provider, Saviour and Friend? He even went so far as to come to earth as a man and selflessly sacrificed His sinless life so that we could be forgiven, made righteous, be reconciled to the Father and have the option of salvation. 

And we’ll let this awesome truth He spoke linger in our hearts as we wind down today. ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ (John 15:13) And He called us friends before He went to His death on the cross on our behalf.  I don’t know what else to say to convince us that Jesus is real and His promises are ever-faithful. As Jesus also said: ‘He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.’ (Matt. 11:15) Words of eternal wisdom from our Saviour. 

Now for those of us who believe and are sincerely trying to live for Jesus, let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. As one strong and confident voice: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Now don’t forget that if we endure with Jesus to the end, then that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine. So please, please, let’s endure nuh mih people! Much LOVE!

…God has faithfully promised…never to leave nor forsake us…and He keeps all of His promises… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   12 March 2022 John 15:13.

John 15:13.      Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Now it seems like the ole fella is taking advantage of the lazy quality of a Saturday morning by getting later and lazier. (smile) But that’s to be expected of a gentleman getting on in age, isn’t it? Or is that just an excuse to be lazy and rise late, especially when you’re not abed until the wee hours of the morning? (smile) Personally, I think it’s a combination of both, but then they say that a leopard can’t change its spots, so I guess I can’t change my peculiar and eccentric ways…not that I want to. 

Anyway, having made my apologies, (smile) let’s turn to our Saturday ritual, looking with a scriptural eye, at the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one tells us that ‘No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow.’ Now that’s obviously true, because by definition, a friend is one who has your best interest at heart, and if those in your acquaintance don’t want you to speak up or grow, then they certainly are not your friends. 

And the Good Book tells us quite a lot about friends and friendships. Cousin Sol spoke about it several times in Proverbs. ‘A friend LOVETH at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.’ (Prov. 17:17) Then in chapter 18, he asserts: ‘A man that hath many friends must show himself friendly (will come to ruin): and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.’ (Prov. 18:24) And per the scholars’ explanation: ‘A man of many friends comes to ruin. In other words, a man must not spread himself too thin among many superficial friendships. Far better is it to have (a few) genuine friends who become like family and LOVE at all times. (17:17).’ 

Yes my people, by the very definition, the deep and responsible relationship expected from a friend, in a friendship, one cannot truly have a lot of them. And this last wise word from Cousin Sol is a magnificent one on friends and friendships, where he says: ‘Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.’ (Prov. 27:17) Of which the scholars say ‘As the proper tool shapes and sharpens iron for its desired use, so a man sharpens his friend morally and intellectually by their personal friendship.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth! If your supposed friend isn’t improving your mind and morals then he is no true friend. For as the next quote tells us: ‘A true friend never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down.’ More gospel truth mih bredrin! A true friend will only block you if he sees you are falling, and then steps in to help you back up. 

And the definitive statement on true friendship comes from none other than Jesus, where He tells the disciples: ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth, I call you not servants… but I have called you friends…’ (John 15:13 15) And then He went out and laid down His sinless life for His friends! Oh what a friend we have in Jesus! 

But when we talk about great friendships between two humans there’s none like that between Bruh David and Jonathan, King Saul’s son, found in 1 Samuel 20. By lineage, Jonathan was supposed to be the king of Israel after his father Saul. And though he knew that the prophet Samuel had anointed Bruh David for that job, yet he entered into a covenant of friendship with David. 

Instead of being jealous and miserable like his father, he encouraged Bruh David, even letting him know of his father’s cruel, evil and unfair intentions towards him. And then later on when both Saul and Jonathan were dead and Bruh David was king, he sought out and looked after Jonathan’s crippled son, Mephibosheth. (2 Sam. 9) That’s how true friendship operates! 

Oh brother, I didn’t mean to spend so much time on the friendship situation nuh, but it just seemed to warrant the time since real friends and true friendships are so few and far between in our current selfish and greedy society. Anyway, the next quote is also an interesting one. ‘The thing worse than rebellion is the thing that causes rebellion.’ 

And I’m chuckling here because our friend Anselm provides the answer to that in the very next quote: ‘Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.’ 

Now that’s exactly why we have rebellions; because the conditions of life breed nothing but rebellious attitudes. When people are so dissatisfied and feel that their problems are not being seriously considered, then the last option in their portfolio is simply to rebel. It’s like when you corner a wild animal and it sees no way of escape, it comes right after you, mano a mano. 

It’s been the history of rebellions right down through the ages; the weak have been taken advantage of by the strong, and when they can’t take it no more, they rise up in rebellion. But the strong never learn, they keep on revelling in their power, no wonder it’s been a continuous cycle. And that’s why this last quote might just be true: ‘It is not light that we need, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.’ 

Who knows friends, we might just need the apocalyptic message very badly right now; the real revelation of things to come, and very possibly real soon Why? Because mankind being the arrogant and egotistic animal he is, who feels his free will, encased in his supposed power and wisdom makes him godlike, meaning he can do whatever he wants, badly needs a wake up call. And only the roiling, churning and upturning power of the universe, a glimpse of God’s awesome omnipotence can possibly achieve that much desired and oh so necessary objective! Much LOVE!

…it was the water the first time…but the next time…it will be the unquenchable fire… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   13 November 2021 John 15:13.

John 15:13.     Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

So, finally it’s Saturday, and no more work for two, whole, big days! Glory be! But we can’t laze on the couch too much either because there’s housework to be done; stuff that we did not get done during the workweek. So, as they say, there’s just no rest for the wicked! But that’s okay, we can handle anything we have to with the amazing help of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who enables us to do all things. And it’s that enablement I’m counting on right now, (smile) as I try to make some sense of the quotes we got this past week from our friend Anselm, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Now, the first quote says; ‘To bring anything into your life, imagine that it’s already there.’ And we know that’s one of the tenets of our Christian faith: you have to believe or imagine it before you see it. That’s what the Good Book tells us in that famous verse on faith, in Hebrews. ‘Now faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Heb. 11:1) Yes friends, faith has us waiting with eager expectations for stuff that we’ve imagined or prayed for. The only problem here is that it ought to be in God’s will, or His plan for our lives. And if it is, then we know we will receive it, in His timing, that’s why we can wait eagerly for it. 

The timing scene can ofttimes be a problem though, because waiting is not in our current playbook, we want everything now for now, and the Lord seems to wait until the very last moment. But He’s never late, although we might feel so. That’s the good things about it. That’s why we need to take these two verses from Psalm 27 to heart, where Bruh David adamantly declares: ‘I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait (in faith) on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.’ (Ps. 27:13-14) 

Oh my people, if we can plant those two verses in our hearts, then we have won most of the battle! Believe that God will be good to us down here on earth, since Christ said that He came so we could have life and have it more abundantly. (John 10:10) And since you believe that, then you simply wait expectantly for the goodness of the Lord to show. It’s like when you’ve ordered something online that you greatly desire, and you know it’s going to come, but you’re just not sure when, but you still eagerly wait for it. The same way we must eagerly wait for God’s goodness, because it will come eventually. 

Wow! Like I got carried away there. But getting carried away with the Lord’s business is quite okay! (smile) That brings us to the next quote, which is almost the same as the first. ‘Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.’ Yes, we do need to follow our dreams as much as possible, that is if they coincide with God’s plan for us, for if they don’t our dreams will certainly get sidetracked. 

And I can give personal testimony to that since I never in my wildest dreams thought about writing scriptural stuff. Writing was one of my dreams yes, but not on the Lord’s Word. But He obviously had other ideas. So, here I am living my dream of writing, but not what I had intended to write, (smile) because it did not fall completely in line with God’s plans for my writing life. But nevertheless, I’m happy and contented, and still do some of the other writing on the side, so I can’t complain. 

And the next quote tells us: ‘A friend is one who overlooks your broken fence and admires the flowers in your garden.’ And is that ever the gospel truth! True friends are few and far between, and if you ever are blessed enough to get even one true one, then shout ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ and hold on to them for dear life! There are so many scriptures on the subject of real, good and true friends, that we need to consider some of them. And most of them obviously come from the wisest man ever, that’s Cousin Sol. 

Oh, before we go further, one other thing we need to admit and realize here that the flip side of most of these scriptures are also true; that is, we should not only be looking for a true friend, but also be working on being a true friend ourselves. Now listen to Cousin Sol from Proverbs. He writes: ‘A friend LOVETH at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.’ (Prov. 17:17) That means ‘a true friend has unquenchable LOVE that is not diminished by adversity.’ And hear this one: ‘A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.’ (Prov. 18:24) 

Now what does that all mean? The scholars tell us: ‘18:24. A man that hath friends must show himself friendly may also be translated, “A man of many friends comes to ruin.” In other words, a man must not spread himself too thin among many superficial relationships. Far better is it to have genuine friends who become like family and LOVE at all times (17:17).’ Truer words were never spoken. 

Then there’s this most timely warning: ‘Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: Lest thou learn his ways and get a snare to thy soul.’ (Prov. 22:24-25) Ah mih people, that simply means, ‘Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.’ And that’s the living truth, since the traits of those we associate with can easily be transferred to us. 

And this one proves what we just said. ‘He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.’ (Prov. 13:20) And the scholars explain that thus. ‘Wisdom as well as folly can be transferred by association.’ And if you haven’t found out that bit of wisdom already, please don’t try to prove it, unless it’s to walk with the wise. (smile) Oh friends, there’s good reason why Cousin Sol is described as the wisest man ever, although he didn’t live it out in his own life. But that’s the same with all of us; we give good advice but never take the same advice for ourselves. 

Now hear this magnificent word on friendship. ‘Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.’ (Prov. 27:17) And the scholars explain. ‘27:17. As the proper tool shapes and sharpens iron for its desired use, so a man sharpens his friend morally and intellectually by their personal relationship.’ 

And listen to this last one from Cousin Sol, written as the Preacher in Ecclesiastes. ‘Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow (companion): but woe to him that is alone when he falleth, for he hath not another to help him up.’ (Eccl. 4:9-10) More awesome truth friends! If you don’t have anyone beside you and you fall, then crapaud smoke yuh pipe. No wonder, the Lord, after He made Adam, said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him (a helper comparable to him).’ (Gen. 2:18) And that’s how Eve came about. 

But the greatest word ever on true friendship obviously comes from the greatest One who ever lived; our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Hear him declare to the disciples, and consequently to us: ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ (John 15:13) Then He called them friends, and laid down His life for them, for all of those who would believe in Him. That’s what true friendship is all about my fellow saints! 

And the last quote simply says: ‘Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.’ And we do that by befriending someone in some form or fashion, lifting them up, being a light in their darkness, the way the Lord put a rainbow in the sky to assure Noah that He would not destroy the world by water again, (Gen. 9:8-17) and the way Jesus died to bring light to our darkened souls. Much LOVE!

…friendship…God’s eternal design between man and man…and between man and God…                                                                                                                          

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