Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 February 2021 Job 13:15a.

Job 13:15a.     ​Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him:

And after the snow comes the mild temperatures…then comes the snow again! I guess that’s how life is, how the Lord orchestrated it to happen; feast then famine, sorrow then joy, one good then bad and so on. But throughout it all He expects us to have a good attitude, to trust Him to work all things out together for our good, as His faithful promise proclaims. (Rom. 8:28) 

And yes, that good attitude is not always easy to come by, especially when the evil and trouble of the world comes against us, but if we are sincere in our trust and belief in Christ Jesus, then we will be able to do it; He will empower us to come up higher in His name. But we have to reach that level of faith where we know that we know that we know ALL His promises are faithful and leave it all in His mighty hands. 

Oh friends, we need to reach the level of faithful maturity so that we can say like Job, when his whole world suddenly came tumbling down. ‘Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return thither; the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly (accused Him with wrong).’ (Job 1:21-22) 

Yeh mih people, all of that is much easier said than done, but as believers that’s where we need to get to in this earthly life. How many of us accuse God, even curse Him when things go wrong in our lives even while we’re trying to live right eh? Too many! We need to remember that God is the BOSS, and whatever He says goes, even though it may seem unfair to us. 

And remember too that His mind and ways are higher than ours, thus His plans and purposes we will never fully understand. And if we intend to live a fairly peaceful and productive life here on earth, we need to understand, believe and live His faithful word. ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer. 29:11) 

Oh my brethren, once we can get those promises written down deep in our hearts, minds and souls, then we can live the kind of earthly life Jesus died for us to live; one of peace and abundance, with our eyes focused on the things of heaven, not those of the earth. And if you don’t believe me, then check out how God dealt with Job nuh. After He allowed Satan to inflict wrong on Job so He could prove Job’s faithfulness, He gave Job twice as much as he had in the beginning. ‘And the Lord turned (restored) the captivity (losses) of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.’ (Job 42:10) 

Please notice praying for his friends was also an important aspect of God restoring Job’s fortunes. And please note too that Satan had to go to God to get to Job. The Good Book says: ‘Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan (the Adversary) came also among them.’ (Job 1:6) 

And if we’re wondering how that was possible, hear the scholars. ‘1:6. Sons of God in this passage refers to angelic beings. Satan is considered one of them, though fallen from his original sinless state. His name means “Adversary,” and in this narrative he lives up to its meaning. The passage shows that Satan has access to God’s presence, though this does not seem to be Satan’s abode.’ 

Oh my people, nobody knows how God operates better than Satan, because he was once one of His top operatives before his pride and lofty position made him too big for his britches, and he got kicked out of heaven for trying to overthrow God. Just imagine the ‘boldfacedness’ of the created being nuh! Unfortunately though, we’re doing just like he did, trying to kick God our of our society. But a word of warning to the wise: that will NEVER happen! 

Anyhow, moving on with the story from the Good Book. ‘And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.’ (Job 1:7) The scholars tell us that refers to Satan’s activity, and though he does not admit it there, his many travels are for evil purposes. (1 Pet. 5:8) 

‘The activity of Satan indicates that he has only limited access to God. This account in Job emphasizes that God is sovereign over Satan. It also teaches that Satan is a finite being and therefore not omnipresent (be in several places at once). Nor can he touch God’s servants without God’s permission.’ 

And all God’s children said a loud ‘Amen!’ to that. Then, I like how God boasted on Job to Satan. ‘Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect (blameless) and upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth (shuns) evil?’ (Job 1:8) Oh brother, I don’t know if I want the Lord to boast so on me to the enemy nuh. (smile) 

But as the scholars explain: ‘1:8. The initiative in the conversation lies with God, but He may well have simply expressed what was on Satan’s mind. God’s view of Job is the same as the description given in 1:1.’ And Satan failed miserably in trying to get Job to curse God. 

Instead he worshipped Him. Despite all the inaccurate and hurtful things his supposed friends said against him, and the way that people despised and turned away from him, Job stood strong in the faith of his God. These word of his, say it all. ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways (defend my ways) before him. He shall also be my salvation: for a hypocrite shall not come before him.’ (Job 13:15-16) 

Mama Yo! That’s what yuh call ‘strong faith!’ And the scholars explain: ‘13:15. Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him expresses the unquenchable faith of one who lives by faith, not by sight. Even when it appears that God Himself has turned against Job, he will still trust in God.’ 

Now friends, it’s that kind of unquenchable faith that we need to have, especially in these very rough times that we’re currently experiencing. It’s not easy, and will never be easy, once we live here on planet earth with the prince of darkness it’s ruling force. But we know that Jesus will come again and eventually make everything right. 

And this note from the scholars on the turning around of Job’s life is important. ‘The point to be garnered from the book is not that God intends to deal with every servant as abundantly as He did with Job; rather, that God holds sovereign and LOVING sway over every human life. Therefore He can be trusted implicitly in all things (cf. Rom. 8:28; 1Thess. 5:18).’ And that’s what I’ve been trying to say from the very beginning friends! (smile) 

So for those of us who sincerely believe and implicitly trust, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. As one strong voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the BELOVED of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

Now let’s go and do exactly that nuh! Much LOVE!

…the Christian motto…rejoice evermore…pray without ceasing…in everything give thanks… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 February 2020 Proverbs 27:1.

Proverbs 27:1.    ​Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring.

 

And yuh see how life could turn back and bite yuh! Yes, for all of you in the G.T.A, who were crowing yesterday morning because you didn’t have to go to work, yuh see the dangerous and messy conditions you have to go out in today…the white enemy all over, after a heavy snowfall last night! Serve yuh right for lording it over those who had to go and labour yesterday! (smile) 

Ah friends, it’s just another winter’s day in the northern climes, and as you valiantly forge through it, you must have a good attitude, laugh and chuckle, hope for and think of the sunshine and good weather that soon come, otherwise it’s just going to drive you crazy, as you slip and slide through it. You might not like the snow, but the wise thing to do is to mentally embrace it, with Jesus’ help of course, so you’re not always flustered and bothered when you encounter it. 

Yes, that can be easier said than done, but like everything else in this world, we have been endowed with the parts to live a pleasant and abundant life, we just have to put our best foot forward in Jesus’ name. And all of that brings us to this ever so important principle of scripture and life in general. Hear these immortal, truthful and wise words of Cousin Sol. ‘Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring.’ 

And Jesus described it ever so well in the parable of the rich fool, who had so much wealth and not enough space to store it, that he decided to tear down all and build bigger and better… ‘and there will I bestow (store) all my fruits (crops) and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.’ (Luke 12:18-19) Yes my brethren, that’s how too many of us behave, believers included. We live too much for the world’s wealth and pretty but worthless possessions. 

And Jesus continued His parable with these words of everlasting wisdom. ‘But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?’ Yeh friends, for the lawyers and other professionals involved in the tremendous and foolish litigation that will follow his death! We see that played out everyday in the lives of the rich and famous: somebody is never satisfied with their portion of the estate, or unhappy that they didn’t get any. 

And the warning is also in the Old Testament. In 1 Kings 20, when Ben-hadad, king of Syria, threatened Ahab, king of Israel to destroy Samaria unless he gave up his wealth and power voluntarily, Ahab answered: ‘Tell him, let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth it off.’ (1 Kin. 20:11) Yes my people, we never know what’s going to happen in between time. And Ben-hadad in his righteous anger was defeated by Israel, obviously with God’s help, when he finally came against them. 

But getting back to Jesus’ parable of the rich fool. Here is how He ended it. ‘So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.’ (Luke 12:21) And the scholars explain: ‘12:21. Here Jesus brings out the meaning of verses 16-20. Notice that what Jesus calls for follows quite logically out of His own example (2 Cor.8:9), as well as out of God’s graciousness toward all who seek Him (Rom.10:12). Jesus is thus not speaking of a pay-as-you-go faith, but of participation in a relationship in which God already provides what He wishes His people to give back to Him.’ 

Oh my people, remember all that we have belongs to God, and we’re just stewards of His belongings, so it’s rather boldfaced of us to think that we’re giving Him our things. (smile) Anyway, we have space to highlight those two scriptures the scholars quote above. ‘For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.’ (2 Cor. 8:9) Yes, when coming to sacrificial LOVE, Jesus is the poster child for that, the mightiest example to be ever found! 

And the next verse declares (yeah!): ‘For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.’ (Rom.10:11-12) I put in verse 11 so that the context could be better understood, that our God is rich in mercy, grace, forgiveness, what ever have you, towards all and any that call on Him, in sincerity of heart, be they Jew or Gentile! So it doesn’t make sense for us to become so attached to the things of the world, as so many of us are. 

Now hear James theorize on the subject: ‘Go to (come) now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain (make a profit): Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this or that. But now ye rejoice (boast) in your boastings (arrogance): all such rejoicing is evil. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.’ (James 4:13-17) 

And the scholars offer a couple of explanations. ‘4:15. This, or that: This verse teaches that God does have something for Christians to do and that they should plan accordingly. James condemns only elaborate planning that omits God (cf. Prov. 16:9).’ ‘4:17. To do good here requires including God in one’s plans. Omitting God is not merely bad planning; it is sin.’ Now if all of that doesn’t grab our attention and teach us not leave God out of any of our business, then I don’t know what will. (smile) 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeah!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are! In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

And the end goal is to now go out and share that wonderful friendship and amazing LOVE with those who don’t know Him! Much LOVE!

…a man’s heart deviseth (plans) his way…but the Lord directeth his steps… (Prov.16:9)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 September 2018 2 John 7.

2 John 7.   For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

It’s glorious out there friends! Both the sun and the Son are shining forth in all their brilliant glory! That’s why we can joyfully acclaim: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it! Most definitely my brethren! We’d be foolish not to rejoice in the good things our generous God has so richly provided, for they do outweigh whatever adversity comes against us. 

And I know that a lot of people are facing serious adversity all over the world, like those in North Carolina facing the ravages of hurricane Florence. But what yuh going to do eh? Just sit and bemoan your misfortune? That’s not going to help any, just make you feel worse. We need to get up and do what we can to ease the situation ourselves, plus have a good attitude, while turning prayerfully to God, our Creator and Provider. 

Remember friends, it’s God who created us and allows whatever comes against us to do so, so it just makes good sense to turn to Him in times of need. Remember too that He has promised never to leave nor forsake us, so He won’t leave us in the lurch all on our lonesome. If he decides that we should battle through the adversity, then He will be in there battling with us. That’s for sure! 

And the workingman gives us a good example of facing adversity in his song. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Glory be! It’s the weekend and no more labour, no more labour, no more labour for that  wicked man called massa! He can’t touch me now, so I’ll just do my own thing; eat and drink and party hearty! And when I go back Monday, if I go back, I’ll deal with that then! But right now it’s the weekend which spells, party time! Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

Yes, he is pushing a bit to the extreme, but he’s not allowing his unfortunate work predicament to spoil his overall attitude. And so should we, my fellow believers. That’s why we have our Friday Chant; to keep us level headed and aware of what’s happening. As followers of Jesus, we can’t behave like the workingman, we need some more circumspection in our faith walk, but that doesn’t preclude us from having fun, fun within certain boundaries. 

So let’s chant up a storm today nuh! In unison and with sincere sincerity: (smile) ‘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 mih breddren, it’s time to relax from our weekly labour, but not get so relaxed that we forget about Lucifer and his ever constant attacks against our immortal souls. For as John the Revelator tells us in our Bit: ‘For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.’ 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ‘7. The deceivers seem to have been Gnostics, pseudo-Christian individuals who denied that the Son of God had really taken on human flesh (see 1 John 2:18-27, 4:1-6). John realizes that to attack the doctrine of the Incarnation (Christ’s taking on human flesh) is to strike at the very root of Christianity.’ 

And it is! For how else would we get a sinless body to atone for our sins eh? Anybody born of man and woman will always have a sinful nature and won’t qualify as propitiation, atonement or worthwhile sacrifice for the myriad of sins we commit against a most holy God. Thus John warns: ‘Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought (worked for), but that we receive a full reward.’ (2 John 8) 

Now hear the scholars on that verse: ‘8. The first and third we should probably be “you” (plural) according to many ancient manuscripts. It is dangerous for any person, including a believer, to follow teachings contrary to Scripture.’ 

And so it is! ‘Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.’ (2 John 9) And per that verse, the scholars advise: ‘9. John makes Christology the central doctrine of the faith.’ But what else could it be eh? If the basic doctrine of Christ is not the central theme in the study and advocacy of Christ, then the whole thing is false. 

So John continues his warning. ‘If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him (give him a greeting) Godspeed. For he that biddeth him (greets him) Godspeed is partaker of (shares in) his evil deeds.’ (2 John 10-11) 

And if you’re wondering why that is, listen to the scholars’ explanation. ‘10-11. In the early decades of Christianity, local churches were planted and sustained by itinerant preachers and teachers. For those workers to survive, it was necessary for believers to show hospitality. However, one had to be sure that he was not aiding and abetting false teachers, that is, those with unorthodox views of the person and work of Christ. 

To take such people in, John says, is to endorse their teaching. John’s command forbids true Christians to actively support the ministry of false teachers. It is not a prohibition against having non-Christians (e.g. unsaved family members or neighbours) into one’s home – unless, of course, they are spreading anti-Christian doctrine, and seeking to use one’s home as a base of operations.’ 

And you know what friends? All of that still holds true today, because there are even more false teachers and preachers out there than in John’s time. So please, let’s be careful as to whom and what we open ourselves to nuh in these trying and oh so deceitful end times. Much LOVE!

…if you don’t believe exactly what Jesus says about Jesus…then you’re not believing the truth…