Today’s Scrip-Bit   24 January 2023 Psalm 127:1a.

Psalm 127:1a.       Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it:

And after a somewhat wet and slippery Monday, Tuesday has turned out be of a somewhat indeterminate character; a weak sunshine with cloud cover. My computer terms it haze. (smile) But however it finally turns out, it will be okay once we have Jesus first and foremost in our hearts, minds, souls and bodies. All praise and glory to our wonderful Redeemer! 

Hope we have all been in touch with Him already for the day, asking for His faithful help and guidance through the rough waters of our lives. Please remember my fellow believers that it’s essential, of the utmost importance to begin each and every day with a word of thanks, praise and gratitude to our most worthy Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, if we expect to receive His awesome help on our daily journey. The length of time we spend with Him is not as important as the fact that we do spend time with Him every morning we open our eyes to a new day. 

And as I was just skimming through the Good Library, I came upon this critical verse of scripture re labouring in vain, which I believe is ever so appropriate for these evil and ungodly times on the earth. We all know it, but don’t pay much, or sufficient attention to it. It comes from Psalm 127, A song of degrees for (of) Solomon. And it so rightly says: ‘Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep (guards) the city, the watchman waketh but in vain (stays awake in vain). It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.’ (Ps. 127:1-2) 

And that’s the gospel truth my people! Unless we have God in our plans, they will not work the way we want them to. That’s further borne out by these apt words from Psalm 121: ‘I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved (to slip): he that keepeth thee will not slumber. 

Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is thy keeper (protector): the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve (keep) thee from all evil: he shall preserve (keep) thy soul. The Lord shall preserve (keep safe) thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.’ (Ps. 121: 1-8) 

Yes friends, that’s the kind of overall protection we get when we involve the Lord God Jehovah in our affairs! But turning back to Psalm 127, the psalmist continues to speak of our futility without God in our daily lives. He says: ‘Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.’ (Ps. 127:3) 

Oh, they certainly are! As Jacob said to his estranged brother Esau when they finally ended their estrangement. ‘And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept. And he (Esau) lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children; and said, Who are those with thee? And he (Jacob) said, The children which God hath graciously given thy servant.’ (Gen. 33: 4-5) 

Now, that’s how we ought to appreciate the children we are granted by God, because there are so many people, right now, and also down through the ages who desperately desired children but could not have any. However, we see how the Lord blessed barren women like, Sarah -Isaac’s mother in her old age (90), (Gen. 21) likewise Hannah – Samuel’s mother when she prayed fervently for a child, (1 Sam.1) and Elizabeth – the mother of John the Baptist, who had been barren for many years. (Luke 1:36) As Psalm 113 tells us: ‘He maketh (causes) the barren (childless) woman to keep house (dwell in a home), and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord.’ (Ps. 113:9) 

Oh, isn’t our God wonderful! He certainly is! Then the psalmist goes on to explain God’s reward through children. ‘As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man (a warrior); so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.’ (Ps. 127:4-5) Mama Mia! That’s the blessedness of having children my fellow believers! 

And I like how the scholars explain Psalm 127. They say: ‘The principle of this psalm is that all human efforts are in vain unless they have God’s blessing. This principle is applied to 4 areas: building a house (vs. 1a), guarding a city (vs. 1b), working long hours (vs. 2), and having children (vs 3-5). It is possible to accomplish all of these things without God’s blessing, but it is not possible to accomplish them purposefully and with eternal value without God’s blessing. The psalm includes, incidentally, two practical reasons for having children: they bring you joy, and they protect you (vs. 5).’ 

Ah friends, it’s so foolish to try and live this earthly, unknown, anything can happen at any time life without God’s grace and mercy surrounding us. That’s the wisdom of living life; doing it with God, and according to James that’s entirely possible: ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not (without reproach); and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (not doubting). For he that wavereth (doubts) is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.’ (James 1:5-6) 

Unfortunately though, in this ungodly society, many of us are seeking wisdom in the wrong places, and are also big doubters, jumping from one newfangled idea to another, like a bee flits from one flower to the other. There is absolutely no stability in our society right now, as everything seems to be in a state of flux, that’s constant change and drifting without real purpose. And the only antidote for that kind of life, the only stable foundation in this world is Jehovah God, through His Son Jesus Christ. 

Please let’s remember that my fellow saints, as we go about our daily lives, and please let’s make sure that we build those lives on the rock that’s Christ Jesus, so that we can have true stability regardless of what happens in our lives and the world. Now, for those of us trying to do just that, let’s go home declaring (steups!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. 

Altogether: ‘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 my immediate neighbours, as well as with the whole wide world! Glory be!’ 

That means we must now go out and share the amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with those we meet, so that they can come to truly know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…in Christ…the solid rock we stand…all other ground…is simply sinking sand… 

 Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZ  

Today’s Scrip-Bit   24 January 2023   Psalm 127:1a.

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   11 February 2022 Proverbs 8:17.

Proverbs 8:17.     I LOVE them that LOVE me; and those that seek me early (diligently) shall find me.

Then it was Friday, that long awaited day. And everybody shouted ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! And the weekend is here! Time to party!’ Yes, it’s surprising at how eagerly and addictively we look forward to the end of the work week, as though work is such an enigma, such a problem, that we just want to be rid of it. But friends, the only way we progress, get ahead, succeed, is through work. And we do need a break from it every so often, but the disgust and hate that our current society shows towards work is very disheartening. 

So many of us tend to think that work is below us, we shouldn’t have to work, and we are entitled to just pay, play and party. But unfortunately, that’s a fool’s wisdom. A society only grows by the amount of work its members put into it. No work equals no growth. Little work equals little growth. Plenty work equals plenty growth. That’s just the facts of life. And that’s why our society is slowly going down the drain. Not enough of us are working to keep the standards high. And when the standards of a society fall, so does the society itself. 

And how do we turn around that situation eh? I believe it’s through an injection of wisdom into our society, that’s godly wisdom, not the wisdom of the world. And I just rediscovered a li’l gem from Proverbs 8, where Cousin Sol is talking about wisdom is everlasting. Now that gem says: ‘I LOVE them that LOVE me; and those that seek me early (diligently) shall find me.’ (Prov. 8:17) And that’s the gospel truth my brethren. Those of us who seek godly wisdom diligently will indeed find it. 

And James, Jesus’ brother, said it thus. ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not (without reproach), and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (not doubting). For he that wavereth (doubts) is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.’ (James 1:5-8) 

Now it couldn’t be put any clearer than that! So friends, strong, unwavering faith is also necessary to acquiring godly wisdom. We can’t be wishy washy about it; one day up, the next day down, but need to walk a steadfast path. And if yuh think is joke we joking here, (smile) just listen to the things that godly wisdom does for its benefactors nuh. 

‘Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable (enduring) riches and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver. I lead (walk) in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgement (justice): That I may cause those that LOVE me to inherit substance (wealth); and I will fill up their treasures.’ (Prov. 8:18-21) 

Oh my people, you see how godly wisdom gives you everything; riches and honour as well as righteousness and justice! And most important of all, those things are enduring. They don’t blow up unexpectedly in your face when some unfortunate situation occurs, like the stuff that comes from the world’s wisdom, because they come from God and are everlasting! Like Jesus said, ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) 

Ah my fellow saints, we only have two options, two ways of living this earthly life: either under the rule of Jehovah God, our Creator and Controller, or under the ham-fisted rule of Satan, the foolish usurper. And the truth is, that whatever Satan can give you, Jehovah God can give you the same, and more too. And what He gives you will be enduring and long lasting, not fragile and fanciful like Satan’s offering, without any real truth, substance, peace and joy to it. That’s because Satan’s storefront is only a pretty façade. When you go behind its fanciful front, all you’ll find is chaos, confusion, hellfire and eternal damnation. 

And we do have to be ever so careful about where we will end up come the ending of this mortal life. That’s why it’s ever so important for us to choose to live by godly standards and wisdom rather than by that of the world. And yuh better believe that right now we desperately need God’s wisdom with all the problems that are engulfing our world and turning it into bloody battlefield, both literally and figuratively. So please, let’s go to Him in prayer, through our Friday Chant, not wavering, but with steadfast faith, asking for His omnipotent help and wisdom to handle the massive storm that’s currently overwhelming us. 

As one strong, but faithful and humble voice: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and our many other problems are causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means we desperately need your help. 

Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, and avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

And we need to remember that to get a positive answer, we must keep the vows we’ve just made, be obedient and keep the Lord’s commandments. That’s wisdom to the nth degree! Much LOVE!

…true obedience to anything…only shows…when we keep the rules…  

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8       

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 May 2021 James 1:8.

James 1:8.     A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.

Well friends, the holiday done now, is time to get back to work…yes, for those of us who have jobs. And just for your info, we didn’t see any of the rain promised by the weather forecasters, so it was a mostly bright and sunshiny long weekend. And although they removed some restrictions for the lockdown, like outside sports, we still had people protesting about the mask wearing and what have you. I think some of us just like to protest yes. We not happy unless we up in arms about something, whether it’s a worthy cause or not. 

But after wearing masks for over a year now, we should be comfortable with them and realize that they were the main prevention in our small arsenal of weapons against the virus. And the virus has not been licked as yet, so we still need to keep up our initial prevention mechanisms. Not to mention that there are also plenty powerful reactions and resentment against the vaccines that seem to hold our best hope of quieting the virus. 

I see stuff all the time ranting and raving against the vaccine and how it’s going to change our DNA, how it’s going to allow the world leaders to control us and have us doing all sorts of ungodly stuff. One rant recently even purported to have it turning us away from God and becoming pagans. So who knows what’s the answer eh?

Sensible followers of Jesus do. We know, without a doubt, that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is the answer to all the problems of our confuffled and mislead world. But are we standing up strong and proclaiming His mighty and holy name? Are we being real salt of the earth and lights of the world as He so greatly desires us to be? Definitely not to the level we ought to! And how are we going to positively influence the world on Jesus’ behalf, if we don’t live the kind of life that will draw others to Him and thus glorify our heavenly Father eh? 

As true believers, especially in this time of pandemic, we doing too much compromising with the enemy, too much sitting on the fence, foolishly straddling it waiting to see if everything going to work their way out without any sacrifice from us. But friends, that’s a foolish and non-Christian option or notion. 

Remember what James, Christ’s brother says in his epistle. ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not (without reproach); and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (not doubting). For he that wavereth (doubts) is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.’ (James 1:5-8) 

And that my friends is gospel truth! A wavering person is unreliable, and a wavering believer is even more so! And sadly, too many of us believers are currently sitting on the fence, wavering, waiting to see what will happen, instead of taking a firm stand in whatever we can and making good and positive things happen in Christ’s name! That’s our job as representatives of Christ here on earth! 

And before we go further, let me put forward this interesting explanation of verse 5, offered by the scholars. ‘1:5. This verse is not a blanket promise of wisdom for any situation. In the context of life’s trials, it probably speaks of the believer being granted (1) wisdom as to the reason for his trials and (2) wisdom to endure them.’ 

Ah mih bredrin, with the number of trials and tribulations we currently going through, believers should be knocking down God’s door begging for wisdom, as to why we having so many problems, and the wisdom to endure them! Unfortunately though, too many of us are looking to the world and the rulers of the world for answers to our problems. But who and what yuh think got us in these problematic times in the first place eh? The bloody evil rulers of this world! 

It’s obvious that we have forgotten the very serious and wise warning of the psalmist: ‘It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.’ (Ps. 118:8-9) And until we learn that crucial and most critical lesson, and act wisely upon it, we will always be plagued by the deceit and wrongdoing of mankind. 

That brings us to these sane and sober words of James, as he later on talks about the problems involved in worldliness and pride. ‘Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded. Be afflicted (lament), and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness (gloom). Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.’ (James 4:7-10) And that’s basically what we need to do in these very sinful, evil, strife-filled and problematic times: come to God humbly, with sincere repentance and cleansing. 

Now here are some wise explanations from the scholars regarding those verses. ‘4:7-10. Therefore: The exhortations that follow logically result from the conditions in verses 1-6 – (our lustful desires and pride). Resist the devil: do not submit to fear, or flee from Satan, but stand against him (1 Pet. 5:8-10). Satan cannot lead into sin against one’s will. Draw nigh: God will not be unmoved; His welcoming response is always near (cf. Deut. 4:7; Lam.3:57; Luke 15:20). Hands and hearts: The cleansing of one’s life must involve both outward deeds and inner thoughts (cf. Ps. 24:3-4).’ 

Oh my people, there’s not a whole lot more I can say, except to advise us to take a moment and read those scriptures. I just did, and they are wonderful, they opened up my understanding, and will do the same for you. Now let’s go home declaring (yessss!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting all and sundry know who and whose we are. 

As one strong and sincere 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!’  

So then, let’s go and do just that; share the amazing LOVE and wonderful friendship of Christ with all we meet! That’s our bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…if believers won’t sincerely trust God…then what’s the point in believing in Him eh…                                                   

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8             

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 May 2014 Luke 21:19

Luke 21:19.     In your patience possess ye your souls.

Oh Friends, it’s Thursday, the day before the big day, Friday, when we’ll be finally blessed with a couple days off from our labour! So let’s enjoy and celebrate this wonderful day with a shout of thanks and praise to our heavenly Father.
 
And all God’s people rose up with joy and delightedly proclaimed: ‘This is the day the Lord our great God has made. We SHALL rejoice and be glad in it! Amen!’ And so let it be my people.
 
Ah mih breddren, our God is something else yes. And this small testimony I’m about to offer here, just proves that His Word doesn’t lie.
 
James tells us: ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not (without reproach); and it shall be given to him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (not doubting). For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.’ (James 1:5-6)
 
Well Friends, I got up this morning and there are currently a few negative things happening in my life that I can’t understand why they are happening, for in the natural, everything should be hunky dory.
 
Well since I got up I’ve been talking to the Lord about them, asking for some wisdom and understanding. And lo and behold, just now, when I read yesterday’s Bit, as I usually do before writing today’s, I got the answer in a news flash.
 
Ah Friends, I couldn’t help but laugh as the answer just hit me from the words of the Bit. And I’m still laughing as I write this. And they say the Lord isn’t real, isn’t alive and kicking and moving in mysterious ways? Chuh!
 
Well I’m here to testify that they are oh so wrong. Because our God is indeed alive and kicking, and kicking real hard too, and He does answer prayer in all forms and fashions, as He sees fit!
 
And as I keep saying living for Jesus is not easy, but it certainly is interesting and exciting. I finally discovered that what’s happening is a test of my spiritual maturity. Yuh see, I have to be careful of what I write and/or say, because the Lord oftimes turns right back and tests me on those things.
 
So a word of warning Friends; be very careful in what you say, or ask for, or testify to, for it will no doubt boomerang right back on you. Ah Lord eh! I’m still laughing…
 
But let’s move on to our Bit, the challenging and encouraging words of Christ our Saviour: ‘In your patience possess ye your souls.’
 
Oh Friends, I know I said that yesterday was the last day for this Bit, but unfortunately, or rather fortunately (smile) there was so much stuff to say that I couldn’t get in all the scripture I wanted to. And remember, I don’t want to overburden us with too much stuff to ponder on at once. (smile)
 
And these are also important passages of scripture, so I just didn’t want to waste them, not bring them to your attention. So without further ado, let’s delve deeply and meditatively into them.
 
The first one comes from James, talking about patience in affliction. ‘Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman (farmer) waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
 
Be ye also patient; stablish (establish) your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh (has come near). Grudge (grumble) not one against the other, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door. Take thy brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.
 
Behold, we count them happy (blessed) which endure. Ye have heard of the patience (perseverance) of Job, and have seen the end of (intended by) the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful (compassionate), and of tender mercy.’ (James 5:7-11)
 
Yes my people, our God is indeed compassionate and full of tender mercy to those who wait patiently and endure whatever comes against them in His name!
 
Now here’s a word from the scholars: 5:7-8. The coming of the Lord: Few doctrines concerning Jesus Christ are taught in James. His vicarious (deputed, substitutionary) death and resurrection are omitted, yet Christ’s return is cited to encourage patient endurance. Early and latter rain: Farmers in Palestine absolutely depended on two rainy seasons, late fall and mid-spring, for their crops.’
 
And we’ll end with another awesome passage of scripture on patience, this time from Peter, as he talks about the example of Christ’s suffering. Listen up carefully and closely now my fellow believers.
 
‘For this is thankworthy (commendable), if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongly. For what glory is it, if when ye be buffeted (beaten) for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? But if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with (commendable before) God.
 
For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile (deceit) found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again (in return); when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.
 
Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes (wounds) ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop (Overseer) of souls.’ (1 Pet.2:18-25)
 
Ah my fellow believers, if that doesn’t put a dart of sorrow, repentance and wanting to do better in our hearts, then I don’t know what will. Jesus suffered so much for us, that we ought to be willing to suffer a little to bring His Words, His story to the heathen, ungodly world in which we currently live.
 
Please, as true followers of the risen Christ, let’s attempt today to improve our walk of faith, of LOVE, enduring any suffering, affliction, trials and tribulations that might come our way, with the same stoic, God-granted assurance and confidence that He displayed. For that is the wisdom of the ages! Much LOVE!
 
…of all the necessary attributes for living a truly Christian life…patience might just be the most important and all encompassing…