Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 February 2019 Colossians 3:13.

Colossians 3:13.   ​Forbearing (bearing with) one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
 

And the snow has stopped falling – at least for the time being! Who knows what’s next eh? But what to do, nothing but grin and bear it as best you can. It’s not like we don’t expect snow to fall in winter, but yet we complain so much when it does! (smile) 

Anyway friends, we not going to talk anymore about the weather, I have to go out the street and do some stuff today, so we’ll just leave it all in the Master’s hands, to carry me and bring me back safely. I do hope though, that the fellow we’ve already paid to clean our driveway will come and do so before I’m ready to go out. End of complaining! (smile) 

Now let’s move on to the topic for the day; a rather important one in the lives of ALL believers, and one which we don’t do as well as we should, we’re talking about ‘Forgiveness.’ And that’s the title of the reading from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. 

It says: ‘Forgiveness. What does it do for us? In an amazing way it creates a fresh beginning. It lifts us out of the tangled seaweed of resentment. A miracle is performed! It may not happen in a moment or a day. We may have to forgive at six o’clock on Monday and start over again at two o’clock on Tuesday. 

There is no magic wand to simplify forgiveness. Forgiveness is a deliberate setting of our will, often with no emotional high whatsoever. But once having genuinely forgiven, our soul is washed clean. We walk in dignity again. We sense a new vitality. We’re no longer concentrating on hurts; we’re concentrating on God. If we would only forgive, our lives would undergo transformations beyond our highest expectations. 

Above all, Jesus Christ would be exalted, for it is His forgiveness that makes the difference. Forgiveness is a beautiful word. It is God’s word passed to us to use freely, joyfully. When we ask for the gift of forgiveness, God always says yes. He gave His Son to make us free, and forgiveness is the key to freedom.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth friends; we can’t be free until we’ve been forgiven…and we have forgiven! That’s just the way the Lord set it up! And the most important thing we need to know, understand and get deep down in our spirits is that forgiveness is not merely for the forgiven, who oftimes don’t even know or care, but forgiveness most of all is for the forgiver! It’s for us above all else. Because it sets us free from resentment and all the other negative emotions that can occur through a spirit of unforgiveness. 

Hear how Bruh Paul puts it to the Colossians nuh, when talking about the Christian virtues. ‘Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies (heartfelt compassion), kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; Forbearing (bearing with) one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.’ (Col.3:12-13) 

And the scholars have an interesting explanation of that last verse. ‘3:13. The fact of believers being urged to assume the virtues of verse 12 signifies that none has yet “arrived” spiritually. As the believer is developing these virtues, he must be forbearing and forgiving toward his fellow church member. For his Christian brother is also in the process of acquiring the virtues of verse 12 and therefore retains some flaws, deficiencies, and weaknesses. Hence the need of forbearance and forgiveness.’ 

That’s simple common sense friends, all of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory, therefore we need to be compassionate and forgiving of each other’s faults and weaknesses, just like Christ forgave us. And so many of us forget that oh so important fact; that Christ forgave us, that’s why our sin debts have been paid and we’re heaven bound. 

But foolishly and selfishly and arrogantly we refuse to forgive others while we go with hypocritical hearts to God crying out for forgiveness for our own deficiencies. That’s so wrong my brethren. And Jesus made that quite clear early on in His ministry. Note in the prayer that He taught, which we call the Lord’s Prayer, the second to last line says: ‘And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’ (Matt.6:12) And it means just that; as we forgive, so we will be forgiven! 

And Jesus made it even clearer a couple of verses later: ‘For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matt.6:14-15) It couldn’t be any clearer than that friends! 

So let’s get some wisdom and common sense going in respect of forgiveness nuh, because we only hurt ourselves when we don’t forgive. No one says it’s always easy, but with God’s help we can ALWAYS accomplish it, no matter how long it takes! 

Now let’s go home declaring (right ho) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know our position in Christ Jesus: With sincerity, in loud voice and strong sense of purpose: ‘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!’ 

And please believe it, that future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…forgiveness frees the forgiver…so that Christ can forgive them… 

P.S. I just went upstairs to reheat my coffee, and looked outside…and wonder of wonders, the snow has begun falling again! So who knows what the day will bring eh? (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 January 2019 Lamentations 3:23.

Lamentations 3:23.   ​They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
 

Looks like it’s another day in the deep freeze…but not to worry, it’s the end of January, so we’ve only got another couple months of winter to go through. (smile) Ah friends, there’s not much we can do about the weather in these parts nuh but grin and bear it. And as believers in Jesus Christ we have even more ammunition than most to handle it in our stride. Glory be! It’s not easy, no, it isn’t, but with Jesus beside and in us, we can do ALL things through Him who strengthens us! 

Give Him some thanks and praise for that awesome promise my people! For without that beautiful scripture strengthening us, many more would have already fallen prey to the enemy and his deceitful wiles and ways. And I’m laughing here because I don’t know how to continue after that wonderful and encouraging opening? I know that I asked Him to ‘Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. (Ps.141:3) But I only wanted Him to hinder my talking, not my writing too. (smile) 

Yeh friends, as strange as it might seem, the ole fella is at a loss for words, but I’m not worried because I know the Lord will pick up the slack and eventually have me writing even more than I anticipated. That’s how much I value His faithfulness! Over the last what…twelve years now that I’ve been writing the Bit, He hasn’t failed me one time, so why would He now eh? Especially since it’s His Word I’m trying to propagate. 

Now that’s a place where many of us either have a hard time or just simply fail! I’m talking about remembering God’s earlier faithfulness in our lives and holding on to His promises of I’ll never leave you nor forsake you in times of trials and tribulations. That’s exactly what killed the Israelites when they came out of Egypt: they forgot the wonderful works that God had worked on their behalf when trials struck them in the wilderness. 

Look at some of those things nuh. He had Moses part the Red Sea so they could cross on dry land, then drowned the Egyptian army behind them. He had Moses strike a tree in Marah when all they could find was bitter water, making it sweet and drinkable, even getting Moses angry and disobeying God, so that he never entered the Promised Land, only saw it from afar. 

Who led them by a cloud during the day and a burst of fire during the night eh? It was the God of their fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! But they forgot His goodness and mercy, even to the point of making a golden image when Moses was up the mountain getting the Ten Commandments. And then they got tired of the manna the Lord was feeding them and even contemplated a return to slavery in Egypt so they could get their old food. 

That’s why they wandered around in the wilderness for forty years, until all the people who came out of Egypt beside Joshua and Caleb died. And they didn’t even notice that in those forty years their clothes didn’t get old or their sandals worn out. Why eh? Because even in their disobedience and lack of faithfulness the Lord their God was still looking after them! Glory be to the Most High God Jehovah! 

Unfortunately though, too many of us in these trying times are forgetting the good and merciful works of God earlier on in our lives and thus suffering more than is necessary. But Jeremiah says it very clearly in his Lamentations when the Lord seemed to have come up against him. 

He opens Chapter 3 by declaring (wrong): ‘I am the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of his wrath…I was a derision (laughingstock) to all my people; and their (taunting) song all the day. He hath filled me with bitterness, he hath made me drunken with wormwood. He hath also broken my teeth with gravel stones, he hath covered me (beat me down) with ashes). 

And thou hast removed my soul far off from peace: I forgat prosperity (good). And I said, My strength and my hope is perished from the Lord: Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall (bitterness). My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled (bowed down) in me.’ (Lam.3: 1,14-20) 

Ah friends, though most of what Jeremiah is lamenting refers to the trials of the disobedient Israelites, he himself suffered much on the Lord’s behalf. But then he continues: ‘This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. 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.3:21-23) 

Yes my people, we desperately need to remember the goodness and faithfulness of our God, especially in times of trial. We can never truly deserve whatever He offers, and it’s only because of His LOVING-kindness that we’re not utterly destroyed. So for those of us who have seen and personally felt that LOVING-kindness, please let’s not forget it at a future date nuh, when it seems that the Lord is dragging His feet or just not answering our pleas. Who knows, He might just be testing our faithfulness. 

Friends, please, please, let’s not fall into the category where Jesus rebuked the disciples for their unbelief when they couldn’t heal a mentally disturbed man. ‘O faithless (unbelieving) and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer (bear with) you? bring him hither to me.’ (Matt.17:17) 

Neither let us have to be rebuked like Jesus did to Thomas for his doubting. ‘Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless (unbelieving), but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.’ (John 20:27-29) 

Yes friends, Jesus was there talking about people like us, who never saw Him in person, yet have believed in Him. Please, I implore us not to stop believing even though circumstances might be driving us to do so. Remember, His compassions, His mercies are new every morning, and His faithfulness is everlastingly great! Now let us go home declaring (right ho) our Wednesday Wail, restoring our unstoppable faith, by letting the world know our remarkable position in Christ Jesus! 

All together now: ‘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!’ 

And it will indeed be a most glorious future in Christ’s heavenly realm! Much LOVE!

…Job’s motto of faithfulness…though he slay me…yet will I trust in him… (Job 13:15a)  

P.S. Yuh see friends, I wasn’t lying about the Lord’s faithfulness. He certainly led me to write more than I intended! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 December 2018 Psalm 150:1.

Psalm 150:1.   ​Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah). Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power (mighty firmament or expanse). 
 

Top o’ the morn my wonderful friends and Scrip-Bit family! It’s indeed a new day and are we ever grateful for having been allowed to see it. But fortunately or not, this IS NOT going to be the Big Day! Steups! Ah Lord eh, as the old people would say, ‘the best laid plans of mice and men usually go astray,’ as well as, ‘while man plans, God laughs!’ 

Hn, hn, hn! I can only laugh yes! But the long and short of the story is that yesterday afternoon around two o’clock, while waiting for a call from the hospital to let me know what time to come in today, I got a call from them saying that they had been forced to postpone the surgery until next Wednesday because of some unspecified emergency. So I have another week to wait. 

I’m laughing here wondering whether I’m really to do this surgery, because it’s the second time it’s been postponed right at the last minute. I don’t know how many of you remember that way back in March, I went in there to have it done, and after some tests they claimed that my heart was much better and I didn’t need the device, so they sent me home the next day without it. Then 8 months later, they called and said I needed it. Now this! 

But not to worry friends, the ole fella is doing okay, I know that I just need to grin and bear it, for the Lord is still in control, so if He wants it done, it will be done…but just in His time! However, I am very grateful for all your prayers and words of encouragement that I’ve received, and please don’t stop praying, because I need the encouragement to stand strong and steadfast in the face of this adversity. (smile) 

And I know that the Lord is glad  -Chuh! like glad is my new misspelled word – because many people prayed, who might not have ordinarily done so, and we know that heaven is always overjoyed when people pray, so let’s keep it up nuh. And where do we go from here? I really don’t know nuh. But give me a minute or two, let me see where the Good book will guide us. Soon come! 

And would you believe I opened that most memorable and worthy tome to the last page of the psalms, where I read from the last one: ‘​Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah). Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power (mighty firmament or expanse).’ 

And is that ever the best thing we can do, especially when in doubt friends! The Lord our God LOVES to hear His praise being sung by His people, because that’s one of the reasons why He created us in the first place! When praise rises up to heaven, especially to just praise Him from the joyfulness of our hearts, there is great celebration in that majestic place! Glory to God! 

Hear the psalmist continue nuh: ‘Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet (cornet): praise him with the psaltery (lute or lyre) and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high-sounding cymbals. Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah!)’ (Ps.150:2-6) 

 Ah mih people, praise to our great God is not only becoming, but it’s expected! Hear what the scholars say: ‘As the final song of praise, it appropriately answers four key questions about praise. (1) Where should God be praised? Everywhere, from His sanctuary on earth to His heavenly creation (v.1). (2) Why should God be praised? For His powerful deeds on behalf of men and for His inherent greatness (v 2). 

(3) How should God be praised? With every suitable instrument man can offer with His God-given creativity and artistry (vs.3-5). (4) Who should praise God? Everything that breathes (v.6). Though every verse of the psalm is cast in the form of a call to praise, the hymn is certainly prophetic of a day when every creature will in fact bow in praise to the Almighty God. (Phil.2:11; Rev.5:8-14).’  

Yes my faithful brethren, EVERYTHING that moves in this God created universe, ought to praise God and give Him the glory He so deservedly desires! And it will happen one glorious day, as Bruh Paul tells the Philippians: ‘And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil.2:11) 

And John the Revelator describes how ‘the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb…And they sung a new song, …Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. 

And EVERY creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and ALL that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.’ (Rev.5:8; 12-13). 

Yes friends, if the Lord says it’s going to happen, then believe…it will happen…in His glorious and perfect time! Now let’s go home declaring our position in Christ to all and sundry by broadcasting our Wednesday Wail in strong voice, with sincere hearts (smile). Altogether now: ‘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!’ 

Yeh mih people, let’s just keep fixating on that glorious future we’ll spend with Jesus till eternity! Glory Hallelujah indeed! 

Much LOVE!…only by association with Jesus…can we enjoy…all the wonderful gifts and joys of heaven…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 September 2018 Psalm 8:1.

Psalm 8:1.    O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.
 

‘Monday, Monday! Oh how I LOVE thee! Let me count the ways!’ Ah friends, the ole fella’s not crazy, just somewhat eccentric. (smile) There’s just something I like about Mondays – it hints at new beginnings, new possibilities. Like you’ve wrapped up one section over the weekend, and another is about to start on Monday’s. 

Hn! The problem with some of us is that we don’t like new beginnings or possibilities, because they upset the status quo, and the human animal dislikes change, doesn’t want his or her life to be uprooted or turned topsy-turvy too often. 

On the other hand, Monday reminds some of us of the same old, same old; the same old work drudgery, endless traffic jams, crowded sidewalks and elevators, and slaving for never enough money to make ends meet, with little or no job security, and sometimes at more than one job too.

That obviously will not make you a happy camper, but you don’t have much choice, so you’ll just have to grin and bear it and hope that with time, and God’s help, it will improve…and substantially too.  

And that brings us to our mother, or father’s li’l helper (smile) our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. Ah friends, it’s only simple prayer; but remember that prayer is the most powerful force in the universe, and it’s also our main method of communicating with the Creator of that universe. So if we pray the right way, for the right things, under the right circumstances, we’re guaranteed that our prayers will be answered. 

And our Monday Morning Battle Hymn meets all of those conditions, that’s why it works…every time! So let’s get down to brass tacks here now nuh, and declare it in unison, with heartfelt sincerity. ‘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 see by the brightening of your countenance and the new spring in your step that our antidote for all Monday ills worked! Glory to our great God! That’s why Bruh David could shout out our Bit from Psalm 8: ‘O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who has set thy glory above the heavens.’ 

Ah friends, the Creator of our universe is indeed a mighty Deity, but also one overflowing with  tender LOVE! Listen to Bruh David later on in Psalm 8: ‘When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest (pay attention to, or care for) him?

For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet.’ (Ps.8:3-6) 

And right in those few words my brethren, we have the basic essence of our universe: the great spiritual Being we call God created it for His pleasure, spoke it into being through the power of His words. Then He created us from the dust of the ground and His breath of life so that we could have sincere communion with Him. 

Note how important we are to Him, that He made us just a little lower than His heavenly host, but way above and in charge of all His other creations. And all He has done, is doing, and will do on our behalf stems from His great and wonderful, unconditional and never-ending LOVE for us! 

Consequently, the psalmist could declare that all creation ought to praise the Lord. ‘Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons (sea creatures), and all deeps: Fire, and hail; snow, and vapour; stormy wind fulfilling his word. Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars: Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl: Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth:

Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children: Let them praise the name of the Lord: for his name alone is excellent (exalted); his glory is above the earth and heaven. He also exalteth the horn (strength or dominion) of his people, the praise of all his saints; even the children of Israel, a people near unto him. Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah!)’ (Ps.148:7-14) 

Yes friends, the entire universe ought to praise and exalt our gracious, merciful, mighty and LOVING God! Unfortunately my brethren, that’s not the way it is in our depraved world, so let’s go out and do our best to make it so nuh, because if we don’t, who else will eh? Much LOVE!

…O Lord our Lord…how excellent is thy name…in all the earth… (Ps.8:9)

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 September 2018 Hebrews 12:2.

Hebrews 12:2.​     …who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame…

I don’t understand it nuh people. I went to bed around one this morning feeling fairly decent, but got up at seven with pains raging through the ole bod. Steups! I thought sleep and rest were the panacea for such ills, not the ‘bringer on’ of them. (smile) But what can you do eh, but grin and bear it? I guess it’s all a part of our earthly faith walk. The Lord doesn’t want us to get too relaxed and contented, so He tests us as soon as we get up. 

And yuh know what mih breddren? We going to pass that test; pass it with flying colours to boot! And with the Lord’s help too! Because that’s the wonderful kind of God He is: He not only gives us the tests, but also gives us the wherewithal to pass them! Glory to our Most High God! There’s none other like Him! And it looks like the wicked windstorm that rampaged through Southern Ontario yesterday has now quietened down. 

Oh friends, all day yesterday, into the late hours of the night, the wind just raced through the place, causing damage and power outages in several areas. Up around the capital city of Ottawa, they even had a tornado. Hn! I sat down on my bed and watched the wind just tear through the poor trees all day long. Had them dancing a merry, tiresome jig. But the trees were strong. Many times I thought they would fall, but they stood up strong, and this morning they seem none the worse for wear. 

Now that’s the way we Christians ought to be my brethren; stand up strong and steadfast to all the adversity that comes against us, especially when we have the Creator’s faithful promise to stand with us through thick and thin! 

And since it’s Saturday, it means we have to look at the quotes sent to us this week by our friend Anselm, who sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. I don’t know what’s happening with him, but this week, we only got one quote from him again. However, it is an interesting quote, which says: ‘Shame hates to have words wrapped around it. If we talk about it, it loses its grip on us.’ And that’s generally true. 

But friends, shame is possibly the second biggest problem we believers face, except for fear. The enemy uses fear and shame to quench our brightly burning lights that are supposed to shine in God’s favour. And way too many Christians fall prey to the falsehood of shame. 

And here is a perfect example of it. I know a Christian family that is going through some relational problems. One member of the family is acting up, his addiction causing him to behave very wild and irrational. I went to visit them earlier this week, but unfortunately what I took away from the talk and the visit is that shame over the family member’s behaviour is overwhelming. 

And though they talk about praying and all the other believer’s tools, they are still in too much of a feeling sorry for themselves mood, thinking too much about what will happen to them. Their faith hasn’t risen to the top like it should. Oh I know you must consider those things, but your faith is supposed to help you come up over them. And yes, your family member is making a fool of himself, and you deeply regret it, and are concerned, but you didn’t do anything to be ashamed of. 

What others think seems to be of paramount importance. But who really cares what others think eh? They have the same problems and sometimes worse! I have always been somewhat irked at that behaviour. If I didn’t do something, why should I clothe myself in shame eh? It’s just the devil’s work! But hear the worst part of the story, in my opinion. 

Now I know they are short on money, and they know that I know that, but yet when I offered some to help tide them over, the mother refused it. And when I asked why, she claimed that it made her ashamed. And that with a disabled child to look after and only one family member working. Chuh! It hurt my heart. And though I argued some about it, with words like you can’t eat shame or pay your bills with it, I quickly realized that it was a matter best left alone. 

Oh my people, how can you turn down a few dollars from a close friend when you are in dire straits because of that foolish and senseless word called shame eh? I know what it is to be hungry and in need, and sometimes it’s an affront to refuse a friend’s help in those situations. But you can’t legislate the behaviour of other folks. 

And to end we’ll just highlight two instances where shame played a great role in the Good Book. The first is the first instance of it in the world, with Adam and Eve after they ate the forbidden fruit. ‘And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked, and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons (girding coverings).’ (Gen.3:7) Then when the Lord came looking for them later on, they were afraid and hid. Why? ‘…because I was naked…’ (Gen.3:10) 

Yuh see friends, before their eyes were opened, there was no shame, no reason to hide from God, but once the enemy intervened, they became ashamed of their nakedness. And then there is this magnificent verse from Hebrews containing our Bit: ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith: who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb.12:2) 

Yes friends, there couldn’t be anything more shameful to a Jewish man than being crucified butt naked in front of the whole world! If he had seriously considered the shame involved in His crucifixion, He wouldn’t have done it. But for our sake, and the wonderful rewards that awaited Him, Jesus threw out the thing called shame and went to the cross like it was nothing. 

Likewise friends, we ought to get rid of, overcome the twin deaths of fear and shame and take up our crosses as positively as Jesus did, and march on to victory in His awesome and holy name! That’s what being a true believer in, and follower of Christ means! Much LOVE!

…shame is just fear in disguise…

 

    

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 September 2018 1 Timothy 6:12.

1 Timothy 6:12. ​   Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast pro​fessed (confessed) a good profession (confession) before many witnesses.

 

One more time unto the breach, dear friends, one more time! Yeh, I’ve got another medical appointment this morning, that’s why the Bit is so early again. The good thing though is that I don’t have to go into Toronto, it’s just some diagnostic testing not too far down the street from me. 

But I do have to fast for it, and fasting, or rather forced fasting and I are not the best of friends. The ole stomach is here growling away on me, calling for food, but I still have a few hours to go until I can grant it its request. (smile) But as they say, it’s all for my benefit. So just suck it up, grin and bear it! 

That brings us to this bit of good advice attributed to James J Corbett (1866-1933), the American Heavyweight fighter, better known as ‘Gentleman Jim.’ He advises: ‘Fight one more round. When your feet are so tired you have to shuffle back to the centre of the ring, fight one more round.’ And that from someone who knows what He’s talking about through personal experience! 

Yes my brethren, that’s what we Christians are called to do; fight one more round, even though we feel at the point of exertion, be it physical, mental or emotional. Oh, I know many of us are tired, what with all our personal problems, including health, wealth and friendship matters, but as believers, we’re not supposed to give up. Giving up doesn’t exist in Jesus’ vocabulary. 

And further still, they say that the darkest hour is the one just before the dawn, so if you’re seeing what you consider a very dark hour, please believe that relief is right around the corner. Remember the mind is the most powerful tool in the world, and what we believe we can achieve. We have to use what resources we possess to our best advantage and keep on keeping on. 

As Bruh Paul cautioned Timothy in his first missive: ‘But thou, O man of God, flee these things (LOVE of money, hurtful lusts, material wealth.); and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, LOVE, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast pro​fessed (confessed) a good profession (confession) before many witnesses.’ 

And as the scholars say of our Bit: ‘6:12. The good fight concerns the daily struggle with sin in the Christian life, and the hardships and adversities in the ministry. A genuine believer demonstrates the reality of his faith by being engaged in this warfare. Lay hold on eternal life does not negate the fact that a believer now possess spiritual life (John 3:36); rather, it speaks of fully realizing or appropriating salvation as the believer matures.’ 

Ah mih breddren being a true believer in Jesus Christ is not easy, but since we have declared ourselves to be true believers, we have to just keep on keeping on. And it’s not like we don’t have ample resources and encouragement, assurance and help to fight our earthly battle. We do! Namely all the resources granted to us as believers in Jesus Christ; the biggest and most important ones being salvation and eternal life. 

As the Good Book declares: ‘He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth (remains) on him.’ (John 3:36) Oh friends, that provision alone ought to be enough to encourage us to stand strong and live and defend our faith. Which other faith has that sure promise eh…with the sacrifice, and resurrection of Christ to back it up eh? NONE! 

And then we have so many other promises of God, who has a good plan for every life, with a hope and good future. He’s also promised never to leave nor forsake us; to hear our prayers and pleas when we diligently and sincerely seek Him; to bring us out of the fire unscorched; to take us safely through the flood, and most of all grant us a Deliverer, a Messiah, one to sacrifice and atone for our sins, which He did through His only Son Jesus Christ becoming flesh and offering His sinless life upon the cross at Calvary so that our sins could be washed white as snow. 

Glory to God my people! For He has done all that He’s promised, and if we do what we’re supposed to do, then He will do the rest. The Lord will not do it all for us. He requires us to put in an effort on His behalf, since we’re partners in this New Covenant. So though life might be dark, dreary and difficult, we do have all the tools necessary to fight the good fight. 

And hopefully, at the end of our days, we’ll all be able to proudly say like Bruh Paul did to Timothy: ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim.4:7-8) 

Yes mih breddren, what a joyful day that will be! But until then, let’s keep fighting the good fight nuh, and as a promise of our faithful intentions, go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our current position in Christ. All together now, let’s wail: ‘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!’ 

And the future will be even more glorious than our puny minds can imagine. So think on that nuh! Much LOVE!

…when life gets difficult…consider our rewards in heaven…and the glorious future promised us there…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 July 2018 Lamentations 3:22-23.

Lamentations 3:22-23.   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.

Ah friends, I thought when one went to bed, one was supposed to wake up feeling fresh and strong and revitalized? So why is it when I get up these days I’m tired and full of more pain than when I went to bed eh? Does that only happen to me? Chuh! It just defeats the purpose of going to bed. (smile) 

And I really don’t want to have to continually be taking painkillers, because they cause their own set of problems. So we’ll just have to grin and bear it and move along as best we can with the Lord’s help and daily compassion. Oh yes, it’s still compassion time! That’s the Lord’s decree, not mine! 

And Jeremiah said it best: ‘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.’ 

Ah mih breddren, I don’t know about you all nuh, but right now I’m waiting for some of that new compassion and mercy to kick in in my life, especially my ole bod, that will enable me to go about doing the Lord’s work with definitely more strength and enthusiasm than I now feel. But enough about me, let’s turn to the scriptures.  

And hear this first scripture for today on compassion. It deals with Jesus healing two blind men. As Jesus passed by, they cried out to Him; ‘Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou son of David. And the multitude rebuked them (told them to keep quiet), because they should hold their peace; but they cried out the more, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou son of David. 

And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said, What will ye that I shall do unto you? They say unto him, Lord, that our eyes may be opened. So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.’ (Matt.20:30-34) 

Oh what a wonderful person is our Jesus! And friends, yuh see there another essential trait of Jesus: He was never too busy to stop and help others. It’s something that we modern day believers ought to acquire too. We claim we’re so busy nowadays, but half the time we’re busy doing nothing, or busy doing inconsequential stuff when more important stuff is there to be done. 

Now listen to Jude, Jesus’ half brother on the subject. ‘But ye beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying by the Holy Ghost. Keep yourselves in the LOVE of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference (distinction) And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted (defiled) by the flesh.’ (Jude 20-23) 

And the scholars offer these explanations on those verses. ’20. The antidote for error is not simply to pull back from wrong but also to be built up in what is right, especially through clinging to God in prayer.’ 

’21. Here Jude stresses our role in being kept. In verse 1 he has already used a form of the same word ‘preserved’, most likely to denote God’s own role and ability in “keeping” His children in His grasp. Jude expects a literal return of Jesus.’ 

’22-23. An important factor in keeping one’s own faith active and vibrant is exercising it serving others. Even where there is danger or extreme immorality involved, God call on believers to mediate His LOVE for the fallen and share the gospel with the lost.’ 

Hope those explanations are helpful in understanding Jude’s words. And isn’t it interesting how Jesus’ two brothers, James and Jude did not believe Him while He was here on earth, but became faithful believers after He left. I guess that’s a most pertinent example of God’s saying through Zechariah: ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord.’ (Zech.4:6b) 

And this last scripture on compassion comes from Peter, as he talks about the behaviour of wives and husbands. ‘Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, LOVE as brethren, be pitiful (tenderhearted), be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing (reviling) for railing (reviling): but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.’ (1 Pet.3:8-9) 

Yeh friends, it’s all about living in understanding, compassion and brotherly LOVE; not returning evil for evil, but rather consuming evil with good as God desires of us, knowing that in so doing, we will be well rewarded in due course of time. 

And yuh know what, the Lord hasn’t even waited till heaven comes to reward us, He’s had great compassion on us right down here on earth through the wonderful blessings that He’s already bestowed on us in our Thursday Blessings. Let’s declare them now in strong voice and sincere hearts. 

‘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!’ 

Yes mih people, ALL those blessings are ours, we just have to receive them, then go out and share them with others. That’s why they were given to us. Much LOVE!

…unless we show true compassion…we cannot be considered true believers…



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