Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 October 2020 James 1:2.

James 1:2.     ​My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials);

Ah Lord eh people! Steups! The ole people was right yes: in this life, when is not one thing, is a blooming other yes! Chuh man! The devil get mih early this morning. I was coming downstairs a while ago, early to boot, (smile) to start writing the Bit when I had an unfortunate accident. Steups! So I had to waste valuable time, spend over half an hour cleaning up the spill and myself. Obviously I was annoyed, especially when I had argued in a lost cause for staying longer in bed. I guess the Lord really wanted to wake me up in a big way. (smile) 

And I had such a grand opening planned for today: And then it was Saturday; a day unlike the other days! One that does not follow the rules and regulations like the others. It’s a law unto itself; of the lazy, laidback, do it if and when you want it breed. No stuffy rules and regulations for Saturday. And I should have taken advantage of that lazy, laidback nature and stayed in bed! (smile) 

But we know that the Lord has a purpose for everything He allows to come our way, I just don’t know, or can’t see His purpose for allowing that accident this morning. But like the good believer I am, I’m just going to grin and bear it, and keep on keeping on. Someday I might know the reason…or I might just never. But that’s okay too, for the Lord is a good God and whatever He allows is always for my benefit, in my best interest. Sermon done! 

Now let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspired to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Listen to this first one, which is ever so appropriate for our world today. ‘Complacency is the forerunner of mediocrity. You can never work too hard on attitudes, effort and technique.’ And that’s the awesome truth. You can never work too hard on your life skills. But the most significant sign of a declining person and a society is its level of complacency, the level of its overall standards. When we stop building and just decide to relax on our fat fannies, dwell on our laurels or past achievements, that’s when our standards and everything else begin to fall. 

Life is a constant cycle; it’s always moving, and if you’re not moving along with it, to a reasonable extent, you’ll get left in its dust. And that’s why our society is now in freefall mode; our complacency is dragging us down; our standards are falling lower and lower every day. And that’s not me speaking, that’s history. Just look at all the old, great societies. Once they got fat and prosperous, they laid down and became complacent, and it was only a matter of time before they died. 

That’s why the next quote is important. ‘I don’t worry about maintaining the quality of my life, because every day I work on improving it.’ Yes friends, we need to constantly work on improving the quality of our lives, our standards. Now that doesn’t mean just running after material things and wealth of this world, but more about enjoying everyday life, having it more abundantly like what Jesus promised. (John 10:10) Please note one universal truth: if you run behind the material things of life, without judicial and godly wisdom, without common sense, then you’ll certainly pile them up, but you won’t be able to enjoy them, since you will always be too busy trying to attain more. 

So what’s the point of piling them up if you can’t enjoy them eh? None whatsoever! No wonder Bruh Paul advised us to use moderation in all things. (Phil. 4:5) The scholars’ term it ‘graciousness’ or ‘sweet reasonableness.’ I term it simple common sense! (smile) 

That brings us to this quote: ‘I’m never satisfied with what I do. I always think I can do a lot better.’ Now that can either be a bane or a blessing in our lives. We can either overdo it, by never being satisfied with what we’ve done, or we can be satisfied when we know we’ve done our best. 

Oh, we must always try to be excellent in whatever we do, for that’s what Christ expects of His followers, but at the same time He doesn’t want us to go overboard and be overly fussy. None of us is perfect, and some are just better at certain things because of the divine gifts they’ve been given. So please don’t compare yourself with others, that’s the surest way to bring unnecessary sorrow to your life. Just do your best and be satisfied. The Lord knows and sees your heart. 

Now there’s also the other side to that story, as this quote explains. ‘Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.’ And that’s the living truth. Fear, or the devil’s work is too big a part in too many of our lives. So much so that we can’t get around to working on our dreams. Remember some of Jesus’ favourite words were:‘FEAR NOT!’ 

And that pertains to both the physical fear of danger and the spiritual and emotional fear of not being able to work on the dreams and desires of our hearts that the Lord bestowed on us. Again, that invokes godly wisdom and common sense, which can only be truly found when we put out trust in Jesus, read His Word and believe His promises. Remember, faith is the opposite of fear. And as they say, when fear knocks on your door, the best response is to send faith to answer that knock. 

So finally, we come to this last quote, which sort of encapsulates them all. ‘Pause and remember – Every single event in your life, especially the difficult lessons, have made you smarter, stronger, and wiser than you were yesterday. Be thankful!’ And all of God’s people said a loud and proud: ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ Yes, I’m being a li’l facetious there, because most of us don’t want to experience difficult times. But the truth is they do make us wiser and stronger than before we experienced them. 

For as James so wisely says, when talking about Christian living, faith and humility.‘My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials);Knowing this, that the trying (testing) of your faith, worketh (produces) patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire (complete), wanting (lacking) nothing,’ (James 1:2-4) 

And the scholars offer this interesting explanation. ‘1:2-3.In this epistle on Christian living, James opens with a most crucial topic: the trials of life. These verses describe the various testings – whether from the world and Satan, or from God – into which godly Christians fall (Gr. peripipto). These “negative” experiences are to be accepted with great joy, not for the sake of the trial itself but because of the positive work God can accomplish through the testing…’ 

Yes, I know it sounds somewhat harsh and unreasonable, but the truth of the matter is that we don’t grow unless we go through adversity. It’s only in the rough times that we grow and mature, both spiritually and emotionally, so if we want to grow, we have to learn to face adversity mano a- mano. And the scholars wisely add: ‘1:4.The natural response to adversity is to escape it. But God uses trouble to mature His people.’ 

And that’s the honest truth! So if you really want to grow in godliness, you just have to bite the bullet and find joy in your trials. Remember though, that the Lord has promised never to leave nor forsake us, and that He’ll work everything out for our good. That means He will ALWAYS be beside us in whatever trial we’re going through, holding our hands to bring us out safely and stronger on the other side. But in those trying times, like now, we have to remember the immortal words of Jesus; ‘FEAR NOT!’ Just relax in His awesome presence and allow Him to lead the way! That’s true wisdom! Much LOVE!

…fear can only be overcome…through trust and faith in Jesus… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 August 2018 Matthew 7:13.

Matthew 7:13.   Enter ye in at the strait (narrow) gate for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.

It’s beautiful, exquisite…exquisite and beautiful! Yes friends, that’s the quality of the morning in my area! The sun’s shining, everything seems peaceful and calm, no hint of anything negative whatsoever! And all I can say is ‘Thank You Lord for bringing me safely through the dark and demonic night, into the bright sunshine of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Thank You again Lord, for a good life!’ 

Ah mih people, plenty thanks are in order for just being able to see another glorious day on God’s great earth, although there is so much negative stuff going on in it. And that’s one thing the ordinary workingman knows, as he always prefaces his song with: 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! One more weekend to enjoy! And we going to enjoy this one down at the Ex! Check out all the fun and games, the rides and the food… And yuh know there’s always some way out food down at the Ex, some strange combinations! Brother! As the old people would say, if they don’t kill you, they’ll certainly make you strong! But we’re up to it. For nothing ventured…nothing gained! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, when you hear that the Ex, the Canadian National Exhibition is on, you know that the end of summer is near and back to school is in the offing. But as big boys and girl in Jesus’ society, we can handle ANYTHING that the world has to offer. 

So this beautiful Friday morning let’s chant our Friday Chant, to show the world where we’re coming from. Let them know our’s is a fun life too, just not to the extremes of the workingman, and we’d probably see them down at the Ex too…just not me. (smile) 

So, chanting as one now: ‘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!’ 

Ah mih loverlies in Christ, it’s not always an easy row we hoe, we always have to be on the lookout for the enemy, but it’s always interesting and rewarding. And once we seek to stay on the tried and true narrow path, our God will ALWAYS be with us, holding our hands, leading the way to safety and security, comfort and care, salvation and an eternal home in heaven with Him. 

And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord for His grace and LOVING-kindness to the undeserving children of men!’ And yuh better believe we need to be very thankful and exceedingly grateful for God’s mercy and grace, otherwise we’d be on our sure way to spending time in Hades with the arch criminal Lucifer. And believe me, that’s not a nice place to go, even for a look-see! (smile) 

That’s why Jesus warned in our Bit: ‘Enter ye in at the strait (narrow) gate for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.’ 

Ah friends, isn’t that that gospel truth? The way to Beelzebub’s den is wide and so easy to navigate that lots of people foolishly choose it. But as Jesus continues after our Bit: ‘Because strait (so narrow) is the gate, and narrow (difficult or confined) is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’ (Matt.7:14) 

Yes my brethren, unless you’re really looking for the way to life, it’s very difficult to find, and extremely narrow to pass through, if you do find it. But hear these explanations from the scholars. ‘7:13-14. The closing section of the Sermon on the Mount presents two choices to the listener. These are presented in a series of contrasts: two ways (vs.13-14); two trees (vs.15-20); two professions (vs.21-23); and two foundations (vs.24-29). This was a common method of teaching in both Jewish and Greco-Roman thought. 

Enter ye in at the strait gate (narrow) means that one must come through the narrow gate in order to reach the path that leads to eternal life. Though many are on the broad…way, that leadeth to destruction (eternal separation from God), the gate that leads to life is so narrow that few there be that find it. Christ Himself is both the gate and the way (cf. John 14:6), and God enables men to find that gate (John 6:44).’ 

And just in case you don’t know or refuse to look up those two verses quoted above, here they are. Two of Jesus’ greatest pronouncements: He said unto doubting Thomas when he asked how they could know the way? ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.’ (John 14:6) 

And earlier on when He told some unbelieving Jews, ‘I am the bread which came down from heaven,’ (John 6:41), they began to murmur amongst themselves re His earthly parents and His comment. But Jesus solemnly informed them: ‘No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him; and I will raise him up at the last day.’ (John 6:44) 

Yeh friends, finding Jesus is difficult, nigh impossible, unless the Father tugs at our heartstrings and leads us in His direction. So those of us who have been led to Him and have found Him, let’s be everlastingly grateful for God’s mercy and go out and tell others about Him so that they too will be called to Him. Much LOVE!

…which path will you travel…the wide one…or the narrow one…wisdom dictates you follow the latter…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 May 2016 Proverbs 17:10

 Proverbs 17:10.  A reproof entereth more into (is more effective) to a wise man than a hundred stripes (blows) into a fool.

And then it was Wednesday – that good, old, solid and steady day in the middle of our workweek, where we catch our second wind and continue joyously moseying along with Jesus beside us. 

But friends, have you ever really considered how close our Lord and Saviour is to us? First of all, He dwells within us as the Holy Spirit, but then He also watches our back to ensure that the enemy doesn’t come upon us unknowingly. 

Then as we said earlier, He walks beside us, holding our hands so that we don’t trip and fall along the way. And finally He walks in front of us, leading and guiding us on the right paths on the way to a victorious life here on earth, then in the mansions of heaven with Him forever. Glory Hallelujah! 

Oh bless His holy name my people! Bless the wonderful name of Jesus Christ, to whom all knees shall bow, and all tongues declare Him Lord and King. Yes friends, our Saviour is indeed worthy and deserving of all the praise, honour, glory and thanksgiving that we can bestow on Him! 

Oh my people, Jesus is indeed a safe harbour for our souls! Praise him my brethren, praise him for there is NO ONE as great and wonderful as Him! 

And to show and solidify our strong and special attachment to Him let’s declare our Wednesday Wail with much enthusiasm, conviction and truth. 

Wailing 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!’ 

Oh precious people, true believers in Christ, it sure is wonderful to be alive and kicking this Wednesday morning! There’s no better feeling than awaking to a brand new day, filled with sunshine and the light that’s Jesus. 

But to fully enjoy the blessings and benefits of our covenant relationship with Him, we need to be strong, steadfast and looking straight ahead to the glorious future that He promises. We can’t afford to have too many lapses in faith and unfounded doubts about His everlasting kindness and LOVE for us, otherwise we will miss the most wondrous time of our lives. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit which highlights the wisdom of Cousin Sol from Proverbs. ‘A reproof entereth more into (is more effective) to a wise man than a hundred stripes (blows) into a fool.’ 

And that is an awesome truth my brethren! When the wise person is corrected, they acknowledge the truth of the situation and do whatever is necessary to right it. They can see the error of their ways and use wise judgement to rectify it. 

However, to the unwise, to the fool, correction is a waste of time. According to Cousin Sol you can give him a hundred lashes and he still will not learn the error of his ways. 

Now how many of us are like that today eh my people? I can’t say for sure how many, but I do know that there are too many fools walking around God’s great world today and not enough wise ones. If there were a greater amount of wise men and women than foolish ones, our world would not be in such a mess. 

We would not be trying to overthrow, to get rid of Almighty God, our Creator and Provider, from our society and lives as desperately as we are doing. That just goes to show that unchristian fools rule the world. 

And as Cousin Sol so wisely says earlier on in Proverbs: ‘He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth (goes astray).’ (Prov.10:17) 

And that’s no lie my fellow believers! When we don’t listen to wise advice we go astray. As the old people use to say; when you don’t hear, you going to feel. But some of us are so foolish and stubborn that despite all signs to the contrary, we persist in going about life in our own small-minded, misguided way. 

And we’ll end today with some wise words from the Lamentations of Jeremiah, words that direct us to true and wholesome behaviour. Even in his sorrow, Jeremiah is able to wisely discern: ’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. 

The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.’ (Lam.3:21-26) 

Oh friends, those are indeed words of great wisdom! And I’ll paraphrase some explanations from the scholars on those verses. 

‘3:22-23. These verses embody the central thesis of the book. When God dealt with His sinful people He exhibited His compassions. The word translated mercies conveys God’s LOVE for His covenant people. The word faithfulness comes from a root meaning “be permanent, secure, reliable.” 

From this comes the associated idea of genuine faith; hence the verb can be translated “believe” (Gen.15:6) The word here is often translated “faith” but literally means “firmness” or “faithfulness.” Thus, it is used of the faithfulness of God Himself (Ps.36:5; 40:10; Lam 3:23), and of the need for the believer likewise to be faithful in his life and in his service to God (2 Chr.19:9; Ps.119:30; Prov.12:22). 

The word root stresses that real faith is more than inner belief, even more than whole-souled committal. It is a condition of the soul marked by such a stable character and an attitude of total trust that the believer’s whole life is imbued with consistent, responsible service to God. (cf. 1 Sam.26:23; Ps.37:3-6). From the biblical standpoint, true faith results in faithfulness in one’s life.’ 

More words of awesome truth my people! And please check out the scripture passages that the scholars referenced, I just did, and they are truly interesting and uplifting. 

Now let’s go out and put all that we have learned today into action, so that we can glorify and be faithful to our wonderful God, for that is wisdom of the most immense proportions! Much LOVE!

…lying lips are an abomination to the Lord…but they that deal truly (truthfully)…are his delight… (Prov.12:22) 

P.S.  Please excuse the Bit’s lateness, but some unexpected stuff intervened last evening, and by the time I got to bed, the birds had already begun singing their morning praises. (smile) But as always, better late than never. Much LOVE!