Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 August 2019 John 13:15.

John 13:15.    ​For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done unto you.
 

Oh my people, it’s a perfect beginning to what seems like a perfect day! The sun’s shining ever so brightly although it’s just eight o’clock in the morning, merrily reflecting off every possible surface. I was quite surprised at how bright it looked when I went outside a short while ago. And the temperature is nice and comfortable, so let’s hope it will continue like that all day. 

But the most important thing is that we’re alive to enjoy it! Yeahhh! Through God’s LOVING grace, mercy and forgiveness, we’re still around to enjoy another memorable day! Wow! Give Him much thanks and praise my fellow saints in Christ for being so wonderful to us when we don’t deserve any of it. 

But most of all, we have to give Him thanks for His most wonderful Son, Jesus Christ, who sacrificed His sinless blood on the cross at Calvary so that we could be made right with the Father! Glory to God! That’s why the Daily Bread Devotionals could tell us: ‘In a world filled with heartache, we can model the compassion of Jesus.’ And furthermore: ‘We serve Christ when we serve people!’ 

Words of gospel truth my brethren! Jesus is the most worthwhile example of all that we should aspire to be! Yes, we can never be truly like Him, be perfect in every way, because of our inherent sinful nature and His accompanying deity, but we can certainly try to get as close as possible to perfection in our humanity. And serving others while having a heartfelt compassion for mankind are possibly the two most important ways we can model Him. 

Oh, we won’t forget spreading His gospel, but people are more receptive to that good news when we first assuage their physical wants. Meaning, if someone’s hungry, before we begin preaching, we should first feed them. And likewise, if they are naked, clothe them first before trying to shove the gospel down their throats. 

And unfortunately that’s a mistake we often make. We reach out to the impoverished, both in body and spirit, but we put the gospel first. But as Sparrow once said in a calypso, ‘Yuh can’t make LOVE on an empty belly!’ (smile) And that goes for almost every other situation. You’re not receptive to much of anything if you’re cold and hungry. So please, in our own li’l worlds or spheres of influence, let’s try and satisfy the physical needs of others before we begin preaching to them nuh. 

And sadly, there are so many of our brothers and sisters in Christ in these supposedly prosperous times who are suffering severe and serious want, especially with all the natural disasters, like flood and famine and sickness, plus rampant greed and strife that’s occurring all over our world in these last troubled and trying days. 

And I just came upon a most interesting and ever so applicable statement of Bruh Paul’s to the Philippians, when he promised to send Timothy to help them in their faith walk. ‘For all seek their own, not the things which are Christ’s.’ (Phil.2:21)  Yes friends, in this age of me, mine and my own, everyone is more concerned about seeking their own needs and wants than those of Christ. 

But remember He said that if we seek first His kingdom and the things that are important to Him, we would be granted all the other ancillary stuff. (Matt.6:33) Sadly though, very few of us really pay attention to those words and instead run off to do what we think is best for us. But I’m straying from the original topic; servanthood amongst the followers of Jesus. 

Friends, we ought not to be too proud to do whatever job is necessary, even if it’s the most menial of jobs, like sweeping the floors or cleaning the toilets. And again in Jesus, we have the best example possible, when He washed the feet of His disciples. That was possibly one of the most menial jobs in Israel in those days, reserved for slaves, since they wore sandals and their feet were always dusty and dirty. 

But Jesus stripped Himself at the Last Supper, the Feast of the Passover, took a basin of water and washed every disciple’s feet. Why? Listen to His reasoning. ‘Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master (Teacher) and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. 

If I then, your Lord and Master (Teacher), have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done unto you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord (master); neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.’ (John 13:12-17) 

Ah friends, as always, Jesus gives us some dynomite examples to follow! And is that one about doing menial jobs ever so applicable in these days, where we all are so proud and hoighty-toighty and only want to do the jobs that the world thinks are so uplifting and convey what it calls success. 

But please remember that though the C.E.O might make the most money and have the biggest say about how to do things, it’s the lowly factory workers who actually do the jobs, make whatever they sell. Without them, he wouldn’t be in His glorified position. Likewise we should never forget the poor and unfortunate around us and not be too big and proud to help them in whatever way they need it, because that’s what our Lord and Saviour, Our Leader, Jesus Christ was all about. 

And if we want to truly follow His example, then we have to do what He did! And having washed away some of our foolish pride, (smile) let’s go home declaring (right ho!) our Tuesday Mantra, telling the whole wide world, in no uncertain terms, who and whose we are. 

All together now in 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!’ 

And if we believe it, then let’s follow Jesus’ example and go out and share His amazing LOVE and wonderful friendship! Much LOVE!

…no job…should ever be too menial…for a true believer in Christ…

 

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 9 February 2017 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.

Ah friends, it’s time to celebrate one more day of life on God’s great earth! Wow! What a privilege! 

Remember, a lot of others did not open their eyes this morning, so there must be a reason we opened ours to the bright and dazzling light of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Glory to God! 

Let’s therefore give Him appropriate thanks and praise for all the new mercies and blessings He’s specially prepared for us for today. 

And all God’s people loudly, heartily and gratefully declared: ‘Thank You Lord for all You’ve done for us, all You’re doing right now, and all You’ve promised to do in the future. We know You are an ever-faithful Deity, thus we praise and bless Your Holy Name! Amen!’ 

Now here is a gem of a quote, I found on my desk this morning. I don’t who or where I got it from, or if I ever shared it before, but it surely is worth sharing over and over. 

Listen closely. ‘Choose the best; shun mediocrity. Mediocrity has a way of shrivelling up enthusiasm. But commitment to excellence taps an incredible source of energy. Elect the best, no matter what the price tag.’ 

Words of everlasting wisdom my people! And they are particularly pertinent to believers, because Jesus expects us to be persons of excellence, and you can only be excellent when you reach out for the best. 

That brings us to our Bit, but let’s start with the seminal verse before it. ‘Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved bowels of mercies (tender mercies), 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) 

Even greater words of wisdom my believing breddren, since it’s based on God’s basic law, of you reap what you sow. And the scholars have this to say about those verses. 

‘3:12. Put on literally means to “dress oneself” (with clothes); here, used metaphorically, it means to take on or assume certain virtues and qualities. Bowels of mercies means heartfelt compassion.’  

‘3:13. The fact that believers are 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.’  

Ah friends, one more reminder that as believers we must always reach for excellence in all our doings. None of us have become spiritually perfect as yet, therefore we all need to forbear and forgive if there is to be unity in Christ’s church. 

And right there you have one of the reasons why Christ’s church is so divided and cantankerous; we refuse to forgive others and instead hold on to the negative emotions of anger, hate and resentment. 

Oh my people, please remember these immortal words of Jesus. ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.’ (Matt.12:25) 

How do we expect Christ’s church to stand if we are so divided and refuse to forbear and forgive eh? It’s just impossible. 

And hear these even more immortal words of Jesus, (smile) which occur in the ‘Lord’s Prayer,’ the sample prayer He gave us, and which most of us pray every day. ‘And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’ (Matt.6:12) 

Oh friends, have we gotten so complacent in praying that prayer that we no longer consider the words we speak and what they truly mean? We ask to be forgiven as we forgive. So what does that tell us eh? Only as we forgive, will the Lord forgive us. 

So why are we allowing the nonsense of the world to interfere with our Christian behaviour and beliefs, with our joy, our peace and contentment eh? Let’s wake up and become the people of excellence that the Lord expects of us nuh. That’s the only way we’ll ever defeat the forces of darkness. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings. Who else has such wonderful favour eh? Nobody but us! So let’s use it nuh friends, while remembering that a blessing is not a blessing until it’s been spoken over someone. 

In all sincerity and belief now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! 

I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And the corollary to all that, is let’s remember to bless others like we blessed ourselves. Much LOVE!

…to forgive is heavenly…and to be forgiven is even more heavenly…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 December 2016 1 Peter 5:8.

1 Peter 5:8.    Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

Well friends and fellow believers, Christmas Day is over, but not the Christmas season. Let’s see if we can’t drag it out for as long as possible nuh – until next year this same time. (smile) 

Yeh, I know that’s only wishful thinking because come the second, if not the first week of January 2017, we’ll be back to our ungodly, uncaring ways, treating each other with discourtesy and contempt, having forgotten the kind words, the generous giving and heartfelt compassion we had shared just a couple weeks before. But I guess that’s just the nature of the human animal, unable to stay on the straight and narrow path for any length of time, especially when the frivolities of the world call. 

And although many of us are off today, many still have to go out and labour since our society has become a 24/7 machine that never stops.  So let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with those unfortunate ones who have to go out and face the music today. Let’s lend them a helping voice so that they can be inspired and enthused to go out and work diligently on Jesus’ behalf. 

All together now: ‘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!’ 

Hn, hn! I have to laugh yes mih people, because it happens all the time. On the Mondays when only some of us are going to work, the raucous sound of those who are off are always louder and more enthusiastic, but also more out of key and harmony.  Our Choirmaster, Jesus, could only chuckle and shake His head, because He was well aware of the earthly goings on. And He does appreciate us putting our hearts into it, though our voices weren’t that sweet.  

And before we get to our Bit, it’s necessary to remind us of Granny’s warning: ‘Sonny Boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’ Because if we don’t, Beelzebub will certainly mind it for us as He is out seriously prowling for any unfortunates he can find this Christmas season.  I guess that’s why I’ve been led to this Bit for today. ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.’ 

Ah mih people that’s ever so true! Lucifer is always on the watch for when we step out of line. And he’d be especially pleased to get his tenterhooks into us in this Christmas time when we’re celebrating the birth of our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To catch us offside while we carrying on about Jesus…Wow! That would be a real feather in his cap.  So that’s why we have to pay particular attention to Granny’s advice when we are celebrating, or for that matter doing anything at all. 

And Peter continues after our Bit. ‘Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world.’ (1 Pet.5:9) 

Oh friends, that ought to give us some encouragement, knowing that others in the faith are also suffering some rough times, with the evil one right on their heels, just waiting for them to falter, to stumble and fall. Sometimes it will, and sometimes it won’t. For as we say, ’Nobody knows the trouble I see. Nobody but Jesus.’ 

We all feel that our afflictions and problems are different and more serious than those of other believers. But the truth is my brethren, we all suffer at different levels and different degrees, but ‘sufferation’ is ‘sufferation’ in any form or level that it comes. 

That’s why Peter advised us before our Bit to: ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.’ (1 Pet.5:6-7)  

Yeh precious believers, our wonderful God cares a whole lot for us, but He can’t help us unless we surrender our all to Him. We just can’t keep some things for ourselves and give the rest to Him. He wants it all. That’s the only way He can properly control our circumstances. And believe me, He won’t ever leave us in the lurch, for He’s promised never to leave nor forsake us. And we all know that He’s ever-faithful about His promises. 

And here are some encouraging words from Peter for us to go home with today. ‘But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.’ (1 Pet.5:10-11) 

Yes friends, in due course, the Lord will bring us out of our troubles, much stronger than when we first encountered them. So let’s apply ourselves to wisdom nuh, if we want to be honoured, exalted and looked after by our heavenly Father. Much LOVE!

…all things work together for good…to them that LOVE God…to them who are the called…according to his purpose… (Rom.8:28)