Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 July 2018 Mark 12:29.

Mark 12:29.   And Jesus answered him, The first (foremost) of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is One Lord:

                                  HAPPY  BIRTHDAY  CANADA !

Yeh friends, today is officially Canada’s 151st birthday, but we’ll talk about it tomorrow, when the Big Bang really happens. (smile) But just remember to follow Granny’s advice: Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business. Words of absolute wisdom my brethren! 

And my humblest apologies for the Bit being this late, but as the old people would say, what ent meet you, ent pass you. (smile) Now thank the Lord, I don’t usually have headaches, but I had a truly disgusting one this morning. I couldn’t even move my head without it feeling like it wanted to explode. I haven’t had anything like that in years. 

Steups! And I definitely didn’t want to venture writing the Bit under those less than positive circumstances. So I just took a couple of extra strength Tylenol and went to lie down. I didn’t even go to church. But I do have a new empathy for those who suffer with constant headaches, especially migraines. I guess the Lord felt I was having things a li’l too easy nuh. (smile) 

Anyway, enough pity party chatter, let’s get on with our Sunday morning, or rather afternoon proceedings. And as usual we’ll open with a song of praise to soften our stone hard hearts and make them more receptive to God’s word. And today’s ditty is taken from the old musical Godspell (1971), supposedly based on the Gospel of Matthew. 

It’s a song composed by Stephen Schwartz, one we’ve heard a thousand times down through the ages, but really haven’t paid much attention to – at least I haven’t, until I heard it this past week on commercial radio and had to check it out to see if the lyrics I heard were truly true. And by gosh, they were! 

That’s why we can now belt out the song ‘Day by Day’ with much gusto and heartfelt sincerity. As one earthly choir, sounding like a heavenly one though, (smile) let’s sing: ‘(Slow) Day by day, Day by day, oh, dear Lord, three things I pray: To see thee more clearly, LOVE thee more dearly, Follow thee more nearly, day by day 

(Chorus (fast) Day by day, day by day Oh, dear Lord, three things I pray: To see thee more clearly, LOVE thee more dearly, Follow thee more nearly, day by day Day by day, day by day, by day, by day. (Slow) Day by day, Day by day, oh, dear Lord, three things I pray: To see thee more clearly, LOVE thee more dearly, Follow thee more nearly, day by day (Chorus (fast)… Day by day, day by day, by day, by day…. Day by day, day by day, by day, by day…’ 

Yes friends, the words aren’t plentiful, and are somewhat repetitive, (smile) but you can’t find a better prayer than that anywhere! We’re only asking for three things: to see the Lord more clearly, LOVE Him more dearly, and follow Him more nearly… Wow! If we could only get those three things, we’d be in seventh heaven, doing exactly the things the Lord desires of us, the things He created us for! Would there ever be great joy and peace on earth! Hn! 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘And Jesus answered him, The first (foremost) of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is One Lord: And thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first (foremost) commandment.’ (Mark 12:29-30)  

Yes my brethren, that was Jesus’ answer to the question one of the scribes asked Him, one day when He was holding forth on the topic of resurrection, trying to trip Him up, and thus find reason to accuse Him of blasphemy or some other foolish crime. 

But Jesus, as usual was too much for those hypocritical fools. If they had believed Him, they would have realized that He wrote the Good Book and thus knew all the answers. But such is man’s foolish pride, that he figures he knows everything, when in actual fact he knows nothing whatsoever! 

And as the scholars explain: ‘12:29. See Deuteronomy 6:4. These are the opening words of the Shema, the Jewish call to worship. They establish the basis of LOVE for God in the fact of God’s being the Lord our God, the God who has covenanted to redeem us to Himself.’ 

Yes my brethren, those were the words Moses spoke unto Israel when he gave them the Great Commandment, warned them that they were to worship ONE absolute God!  Logically speaking, there couldn’t be more than one, Supreme Being, else there would be no absolute, and thus oodles of confusion. 

And please notice the meaning of the word ‘Shema’, the first word in Hebrew: ‘HEAR!’ That’s what Moses was trying to drive home to the people when he gave them that message. And it’s what I am trying to drive home to us today my faithful followers of Christ: ‘Hear! Listen!’ so that we too can obey it, as well as the continuation of Moses’ message. 

‘And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.’ (Deut.6:6-9) 

And NOTHING has changed since then friends and fellow believers: we are still supposed to do all those things…as well as the Second Great Commandment that Jesus added: ‘And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.’ (Mark 12:31) 

And to tell the truth, that wasn’t even Jesus invention at that time, because Moses had already told the Israelites in Leviticus: ‘Thou shalt not avenge (take vengeance), nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.’ (Lev.19:18) 

What more can I say eh friends…nothing really. It’s all spelt out there for us. We must now use wisdom and accept and action it. Much LOVE!

…only two things are really asked of us in this earthly life…LOVE the Lord our God…and our neighbours as ourselves…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 February 2018 Matthew 21:22.

Matthew 21:22.   And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask for in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

Ah friends, my most humble apologies for the lateness of today’s Bit. I have absolutely no idea what happened, except that when I was supposed to get up, I was still somewhere far away in dream land. (smile) 

And it’s not like I did anything exhaustive yesterday, or went to bed later than normal. In fact yesterday was designated a day of rest, as I watched the snow fall, and then listened to the snow ploughs and dump trucks cart it away later in the evening. So my only conclusion is that I was simply tired from excessive rest! (smile) 

But on a serious note, I’m asking us, especially our St. Francis people, to offer up sincere prayers for one of our church members, Abbi, who recently had to trek down to Indianapolis to help look after her very sick mother in the hospital. Some of you might not know her, because she usually comes to the 8.30 a.m service. 

Her father doesn’t seem to be doing too well either, as he appears to be stressed out over his wife’s illness. And to complicate matters even further, Abbi is also 6.5 months pregnant, so she also has to look after herself and her unborn child. That means she has to walk a very narrow and careful path in this tremulous situation. There’s not much we can do for the family except pray. So please do that. They would very much appreciate your prayers. 

Now here is something appropriate that I just found on one of the many pieces of paper that sit next to my computer. It’s a quote from Corville Peters, host of the Christian call in programme, ‘At the Cross.’ He says: ‘Prayer is not about trying to overcome God’s reluctance, but laying hold of His willingness on your behalf.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth! Prayer is not about trying to twist God’s arms to help us, but to activate His waiting and His willingness to help. I guess it’s something like our 911 Emergency Number. When you call it, you don’t have to beg them to come and help you, because that’s exactly what they are there for. 

It’s the same thing with our omnipotent God; He is there to always help us when we call, not hem and haw as to whether He should, or should not. And don’t ever forget friends, that prayer is the most powerful tool or weapon in our human arsenal! Otherwise, Jesus would not have said in our Bit: ‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask for in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’  

And it’s very true. But please note the most important word in that sentence: ‘believing.’ Yeh mih people, we have to believe that we will get what we pray for. You’ll notice, that with Jesus, everything is about believing, about having hope and faith, about seeing it when it’s nowhere in sight. 

Look at how we believe that Jesus died for us and LOVES us and all those good things, although we never met Him in the flesh. That’s what our faith is all about: when you believe, then you’ll see! And what better example is there than when Peter was imprisoned by Herod. 

The Good Book tells us: ‘Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for Him.’ (Acts 12:5) And what happened after that. An angel came and let Peter out of the prison like he was in a trance. (Acts 12:6-10)  

The Good Book continues: ‘And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety (for certain), that the Lord had sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.’ (Acts 12:11) 

And we all know how when he knocked at the door of Mary’s house, the mother of John Mark, even though they were praying for him, nobody would believe that he was out there, saying nonsense like, ‘It is his angel.’ He had to keep on knocking before they would let him in. (Acts 12:12-17) 

So you see friends, even though we pray sincerely, we still lack that ever-important aspect of belief. As Jesus said so plainly before our Bit: ‘Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain; be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.’ (Matt.21:21) 

It’s all about faith, and trust and belief in Jesus and His awesome power and promises my brethren! Please, let’s not lose or lessen our faith, but rather build it up, so that we can move to higher heights, become more Christ-like, as the Father desires. And in keeping with all that, let’s go home now, proudly and sincerely declaring out Thursday Blessings. 

In strong voice 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 if we truly believe it all, then our next step is to go out and share it with others, as Jesus intends for us to do. Much LOVE!

…prayer…that wonderful…and oh so powerful…method of communication with our great God…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 June 2015 Psalm 37:5‏

 

Psalm 37:5.   Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

‘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 Friends, that’s something I’m calling our Wednesday Wail! (smile) I haven’t decided yet whether it will be a part of our Scrip-Bit Culture, like our Friday Chant and Monday Morning Battle Hymn. It’s just something I was led to pen before going to bed this morning.

And by the way, my humble apologies for this really late Bit. I had a busy day yesterday and didn’t get to bed till real late this morning, and since the ole body is no longer a spring chicken, (smile) it obviously needs more rest than before.

And truthfully, I don’t see much sense in forcing myself to get up if I am not going to be in good shape to write something sensible. Better it’s a little late and I’m truly refreshed in mind, body and spirit.

So my mea culpas. (smile) It was just one of those days, which do happen occasionally, and might just happen more often as the summer weather picks up. Don’t worry though, the Bit will always be there.

Now here’s an interesting and very relevant quote from our Friend Anselm, whose avowed purpose is to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And it says: ‘Commitment means staying loyal to what you said you were going to do, long after the mood you said it in has left you.’

And that is gospel truth my people! It’s what we ought to do, especially as Christians. However in this golden age of dishonour and lack of commitment, that statement doesn’t factor into the thoughts of the majority of the society. It’s truly become a dog-eat-dog world, where we’re only interested in ourselves and what we can do for us.

And we live in such a feel-good society that we make promises and commitments on the spur of the moment, without thinking things through, then later realize that we can’t keep our promises and just ignore them. Whatever happened to the days of honour eh? When a man’s word or handshake was a certain commitment?

Hn! Sorry Friends, those days seem to be long gone. Now we’re simply into selfish mode, where ‘I, me, myself and I’ are the all-encompassing factors of today. But my people, as true followers of Jesus Christ we are expected to be different, different from the world in which we live.

Bruh David wisely informs us in our Bit. ‘Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.’ Ah Friends, if more of us would adopt that bit of wisdom, our world would be such a wonderful place!

But we can’t give up on it, because there’s no giving up in Christ. We have to keep on dreaming the dreams of improvement and working diligently with Jesus to bring them to pass. That’s the only way things will ever get better.

And if we listen to what Bruh David said just before our Bit, we’ll realize the immense wisdom in his theory. ‘Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed (feed on His faithfulness). Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.’ (Ps.37:3-5)

Oh mih people, mih people, why aren’t more of us adopting that most wise and sensible approach to life here on this much traumatized earth eh? My only answer is that we are still allowing the things of the world; the material possessions with their bright and shiny facades, the hankering after power and celebrity status to ‘confuffle’ our minds and souls.

Consequently, though we may not want to, in these tough times, we continue putting the flimsy and non-lasting things of the world before the eternal and oh so important things of God.

Unfortunately, Beelzebub still has too many of us eating out of his lying and deceitful hand. It’s time we stop that my brethren, and instead look to our Creator and faithful Provider, Jehovah God. For when our days on earth are up, we won’t carry any of the things of Beelzebub with us, but if we look to God, we will have rewards stored up in heaven for the hereafter.

The only things Beelzebub has to offer are death, damnation, hell-fire and eternal separation from God. I doubt that we really want to experience any of those things, but it’s what is going to happen if we refuse to seriously and sincerely commit our lives to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, the One who sacrificed His life on the cross of Calvary to pay for our abominable sins and redeem and reconcile us to our heavenly Father.

Oh Friends, so many of us today, especially our young people, are leaving the straight and narrow pathways of God for the wide and destructive highways of Lucifer that it’s heartbreaking. Lucifer will not keep the promises he makes, because he is a liar and deceiver, but our omnipotent, magnanimous and ever-faithful God will, because that’s just the kind of Deity that He is.

Oh my people, the Bit’s already pretty late, so I won’t prolong it, I’ll just end with these faithful and wise words of Jesus, which we all know, but find it difficult to put into action. ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33)

Yes Friends, if we continue seeking the will of God, then all the worldly things we need will be granted to us. And the beauty of getting the worldly things we need from God and not Lucifer, is that when we get them from God, they last and we prosper, unlike those things gained from the evil one.

So please people, let’s wake up and smell whatever it is we need to smell and/or see, and quickly get ourselves back into the wonderful fold of Jesus Christ nuh, for that is everlasting wisdom. Much LOVE!

…when we walk with Lucifer…we stand to lose everything…including our eternal soul…but when we walk with Christ…oh such a beautiful eternity stretches out before us… 

P.S. Sorry for not changing the date on the second heading of the Bit yesterday, but that’s what comes from laziness, just copying and pasting. Not that too many of you noticed. (smile) Much LOVE! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 May 2015 Psalm 16:11

Psalm 16:11. Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Aye Friends, my most humble apologies for the Bit being this late. But it was just one of those mornings: I couldn’t roll out of bed as early as I wanted, and when I did roll out, all the aches and pains seemed to gang up on me, so I was moving around like a real old man for a while. Hn, Hn!

Don’t know if that’s the harbinger of rain or what, as some people seem to think, though we could certainly use some and it’s a tad cloudy outside. But that’s just the way it goes sometimes in the later days of one’s life, especially when you’re beset by the wonderful disease called arthritis.
 
And my lovely allergies have also decided to act up this morning. Chuh Steups! But realistically you’ve just got to grin and bear the adversity and trials, because you can’t do anything much about them.
 
However Friends, the important thing in all of that is that I know that my Redeemer lives! Glory to God! He died, was buried, then rose again from the grave, in the process defeating hell, Lucifer, death and the grave. Glory Hallelujah!
 
So though the body is aching and getting on in years, the spirit is well, it’s beautiful, and remains ever- young, and I can comfortably abide in all the great promises of Jehovah God, for I know from personal experience that He will faithfully keep them and never leave nor forsake me.
 
Wow mih breddren! As I keep saying, what a wonderful God we serve and worship! There’s none other like Him in the universe. And how could there ever be eh? No two beings could have such awesome power and exist together. As the old people would say, ‘two man-rat can’t live in the same hole!’
 
Hn, hn! Haven’t heard that one in some time, but it’s the absolute truth! And just to show what I’m talking about, check out this scene for May, from the One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin.
 
It’s titled ‘The Promise of Abundant Life.’ And it says: ‘Lord, you always bring ultimate good to those who LOVE you. May I never surrender to the false conclusion that you have no more for me than what I already have.’
 
Oh Friends, it’s ever so important that we keep our hopes up, be prisoners of hope always and forever, and never give up on the awesome potential and LOVING-kindness of our great and most merciful God!
 
For as the promise on which that poem is based, which is also our Bit, taken from a contemplation of Bruh David, where he wisely proclaims: ‘Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.’
 
Mama Mia! Now why would I want to walk away from such a Deity eh? One who shows me the way to live righteously, in whose presence I find everlasting joy, and who has innumerable pleasures for me to enjoy from now until eternity?
 
Steups! I would be real foolish my brethren to walk away from such a wonderful God, especially when I know that He always keeps His promises.
 
But sadly, a lot of mankind are doing just that; walking away from Jehovah God right into the waiting arms of an evil and dangerous Lucifer. That’s a fool’s wisdom, my people. For what can Lucifer do for us that the Most High God can’t do eh? NOTHING! ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!
 
Nothing but fool us with some material things that don’t last and a few earthly and fleshly pleasures that will only have us end up in hell, and thus endure everlasting separation from Almighty God. Steups! And that’s the WORST thing that can ever happen to a human soul.
 
So why do we still insist on fooling around with the things of the world, of the prince of darkness eh my people? I really don’t know nuh. I guess it’s partly because of our innate sinful nature and our child-like desire for bright lights and flashy baubles and bangles, none of which really have any substance, but are simply false fronts, facades to hide the evil and non- substantive stuff that lies behind the bright golden curtain.
 
Remember Friends, all that glitters is not truly gold!
 
Now let’s check out some scriptures that reinforce the wisdom of our Bit. And we don’t have to go far, just a couple Psalms over to 18, where Bruh David is giving thanks for deliverance from his enemies. Listen to these wonderful words of faith and encouragement my brethren!
 
‘I will LOVE thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength. In whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (stronghold). I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.’ (Ps.18:1-3) 
 
Oh Friends, that’s the only wise way to live this earthly life! And if you don’t believe Bruh David, then listen to Jesus, as He delivers His teachings in the Sermon on the Mount.
 
‘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. Because strait (how narrow) is the gate, and narrow (difficult or confined) is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’ (Matt.7:13-14)
 
Oh my people, what more can I say eh? Not much, except to give us some thoughts on the subject 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).’  
 
Oh Friends, that’s heavenly wisdom in a nutshell! Please, pretty please, let’s go out and practice it nuh, let’s put it into action in this ungodly world, so that we can glorify our heavenly Father, and ensure that we won’t be separated from Him eternally. Much LOVE!
 
…sincerely living for Christ in these trying times…is the only wise and sensible way to go…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 May 2014 Philippians 4:13

Philippians 4:13.     I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

 
Oh Friends, I certainly wasn’t able to sit on my deck yesterday afternoon and enjoy the warm, healing rays of the sun, for it was a tad chilly, just like the weather people had said. And it looks like today will be just the same. Oh the annoying vagaries of the weather eh!
 
However, with bated breath, hungry hope and expectant faith, we are patiently waiting for those ‘lazy, crazy days of summer’ to arrive. (smile) For we know that they will eventually appear, because the Lord has decreed it, just not exactly when.
 
And so, as we wait with eager patience for all that God has in store for us, let’s make, or rather reaffirm this pledge, this declaration of intent, since we have invoked it before.
 
‘I can do all things through Christ. God has new opportunities for me. I am not settling for where I am now. I’m stretching myself, and pursuing what He (God) has put in my heart. God’s plan for my life is greater than I could imagine, and I am determined to be who He wants me to be. This is my declaration of what I can do through Christ.’
 
And all of God’s people proclaimed a loud and lusty: ‘Praise the Lord! Amen!’
 
Yes Friends, please remember that when we partner with Christ, when we have Him and His Holy Spirit buried deep in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, when He’s our true guide and leader, anything at all is possible through His omnipotence!
 
And that’s something we Christians don’t take as seriously and believe as strongly as we ought to, for if we did, a lot of us wouldn’t be in some of the unfortunate and/or untenable situations that we’re currently in.
 
Unfortunately, too many of us simply pay lip service to our Bit. ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’
 
Oh Friends, that’s a basic tenet of our faith! If we don’t truly believe that, and even more importantly put it into practice, then our faith is useless, since we can’t successfully fight the evil powers of this world in our own strength.
 
Now just before our Bit, Bruh Paul made two other famous statements to the Philippians. Speaking in appreciation of a gift they’d sent him (most likely money), he declares: ‘But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me (concern) hath flourished again (revived); wherein ye were also careful (though you surely did care), but ye lacked opportunity.
 
Not that I speak in respect of want (regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I both know how to be abased (live humbly), and I know how to abound (live in prosperity): every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.’ (Phil.4:10-12)
 
Oh my fellow believers, what mighty words, and also lessons that each and every Christian ought to learn and apply!
 
Now here is some worthwhile info from the scholars on those verses and our Bit. ‘4:10. Wherein ye were also careful, or, “regarding your care for me, you really were concerned”: Paul acknowledges that they were concerned about his needs all along, but they lacked opportunity to minister to him.
 
4:11. Not that I speak in respect (because) of want: Paul’s ability to be content despite the circumstances assures the readers that his joy of verse 10 is not solely over his “need” being met at their expense. He implies that he could have done without their financial aid. For justifies this implication.
 
I have learned…to be content: The Greek here suggests that contentment is a lesson learned neither in a classroom nor overnight, but through many practical experiences in life.
 
4:12. By listing some specific examples, this verse elaborates upon the very general and broad “in whatsoever state I am” of verse 11. Be abased means literally to discipline oneself, that is, to tighten the belt in lean times. To abound means to live in prosperity.
 
Every where and in all things I am instructed (or, “in all circumstances I have learned the secret of how”) to be full, that is, “well-fed” To abound means to have plenty. To suffer need means to go without.
 
Paul has acquired the skill for successfully living with little and with much, the latter probably being harder: “For one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity.” (Thomas Carlyle).
 
4:13. The apostle’s ability of knowing how to live skillfully on little or in prosperity does not mean that he is a spiritual superman.
 
The reason he can live in such extremes is not owing to his own ability. Rather he can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth him, thus enabling him to adapt to his various, ever-changing circumstances.
 
God orders Paul’s various situations, and God gives him the strength to be content in them all, trying and perplexing though they may be.’
 
Oh yes my brethren, it’s God’s provision that enables us to be strong and content in any and every situation. But it’s not an easy thing to accomplish and can only be learned though life’s hard lessons.
 
That’s why it’s so awfully important to have the Holy Spirit of Jesus firmly entrenched in our being, so that we can have the necessary help to face all our situations, be they good or bad.
 
Steups! And it’s interesting that I had one of those situations a little while ago. In the middle of copying verse 10, above, the power suddenly went, and I lost a little of what I had written. But I didn’t pull out my hair and scream to high heaven, as I would have done previously. 
 
Now I was unhappy and annoyed, but over the years I’ve learned to save stuff as I write, so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been, or has been in the past, when I had to start over from scratch.
 
So I had to reboot and all of that, and with my already waking up late, it just makes the Bit even later. I don’t like it when the Bit is late, but life happens, and I just have to grin and bear it. (smile)
 
Oh, one more thing, for those of you who happen to check out my Blog site, please accept my humble apologies for the different fonts and sizes that have been appearing on it lately. That’s not my fault. I post it properly, but somehow or the other when wordpress, my blogging site, converts it, these days it comes up that way.
 
I’m not thrilled with it all, and I’m trying to have it fixed. But until then please bear with me. Chuh!
 
Anyway, we have lots to meditate and ponder on today, to learn to live contentedly in whatever situation we find ourselves, so let’s get to it nuh. (smile) And I know it’s long, but that makes up for yesterday’s short one. (smile)  
 
And I hope that the Bit helps us all to keep our focus on Almighty God, as it’s designed to do. For that’s wisdom at its zenith! Much LOVE!
 
…to know, know, know Him (Jesus)…is to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE HIM…for He makes everything worthwhile…

 

 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 May 2014 Romans 8:15

Romans 8:15.       For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

Oh Friends, it’s Friday! Let’s dance, let’s sing, let’s party, let’s shout: ‘Praise the Lord! TGIF! Thank God is Friday and the workweek finish! Just imagine nuh, for two whole big days, no more early morning rising and facing the ever-worsening traffic twice a day! Wow! Glory Hallelujah! Thank God is Friday in true yes!’
 
Yes my people, it’s indeed a wonderful feeling that Friday brings to most of us, but let’s do it as Jeeves, our major domo would advise  – with a modicum of circumspection please.

That’s right Friends, the weekend is upon us, and it is indeed a time for some joy and celebration from our labours, but we have to use it wisely, so that it doesn’t cause us problems later on.

So with all of that in mind, let’s chant our Friday Chant with a sense of circumspection and responsibility nuh. 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.’

Hopefully my brethren, that will give us some insight into the importance of the weekend besides just for partying, and we can wisely do our do, so that come Monday morning we’ll be bright and fresh, like eager beavers, just panting at the bit to go out and do Jesus’ work amongst the heathen and ungodly world.

Okay, okay mih breddren, I hear you. (smile) So you’re not thrilled that it’s barely Friday and I’m already talking about Monday, the nemesis of so many of us. Please accept my humble apologies, but the only way I know to fight fear or exasperation is by confronting it head on.

So if Monday’s bring you woe, then face it full in the face and say: ‘Mondays, I will defeat you! With God’s help, I WILL bring you to your knees! No longer WILL I allow you to steal my joy and bring me woe. This I pray on the shed blood of Jesus, who died for me at Calvary to give me freedom, salvation and eternal life! Amen!’

Yeh mih people, only by confronting stuff that’s keeping us back from enjoying all the stuff that Jesus has in store for us, can we be set free from their unpalatable yokes of bondage. For as our Bit so wisely and encouragingly declares: ‘For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.’

That’s for sure my brethren! Otherwise, Christ’s horrific and sacrificial death would be all in vain! And we definitely can’t have that now, can we?

And the scholars’ say this about our Bit. ‘8:15. ‘The Spirit of adoption: The Holy Spirit places the believer as a son in God’s family. Abba (Aramaic for “father”). This is the intimate name used only by members of the family. It’s use here denotes the intimacy of the believer’s relation to God.’

Oh Friends, I can’t help saying it nuh: What a wonderful God we serve and worship! Mama Mia!

Now hear this powerful passage of scripture, where Bruh Paul exhorts Timothy to endure: ‘Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on (laying) of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.

Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions (share with me the sufferings) of the gospel according to the power of God;

Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began (time),

But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:’ (2 Tim.1:6-10)

Oh my fellow believers, what encouraging words! Please, let them stir up our courage and distill our fear! For in Christ Jesus there is no real fear for the true believer!

Yes, there is concern and some anxiety, but NO FEAR, especially when we truly receive Jesus’ great invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest in your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30)

Oh my people, my people, there could be no more encouraging words than those of our Lord and Saviour! Wow!

And what better way is there to greet the upcoming weekend than with those uplifting promises buried deep in our hearts, minds and souls eh? None really my Friends!

For remember that’s why Jesus gave up His easy, sinless life in heaven to come to earth and die as a sacrificial lamb on our behalf – so that we could be free from the bondage of sin and be reconciled to God – so that we could once again be part of His family, such an intimate part, that we now have the overwhelming and everlasting privilege of calling Him, Abba – Father!

It’s all so wonderful my fellow believers, that we should just be jumping and shouting and thanking Jesus every moment of everyday for putting His life on the line for us because of the Father’s great LOVE for His most wonderful creation!

So please, let’s show our Christian joy and gratefulness on the outside today and everyday nuh, so that others will see it, and recognize it’s great and awesome value, and eagerly come to want what we have – plenty, plenty joy in Jesus Christ!  Much LOVE!
 
…without the Father’s great and unconditional LOVE…there would be no Jesus sacrificed on the cross…thus no reconciliation…no salvation…no eternal life…no adoption…and no calling out to Abba, our Father…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 August 2013 Luke 18:14.

Luke 18:14.   I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
 
Oh Friends, can you believe that we’re already closer to the end of August than to the beginning! Where does the time fly eh? Just the other day we were all excited about the upcoming Caribana celebrations, but now we’re thinking about schools opening in early September and all that that entails. Brother!
 
And please accept my most humble apologies for forgetting to remind us (smile) about our monthly check up on the state of our great New Year’s Resolution; that of following Jesus more closely, of becoming more like Him, of maturing in His school of hard-knocks, of humility, of good works, of faithfulness, and of LOVE for God and all His creation.
 
If you haven’t done that for this month on your own, then please do it now, since it’s always easier to do it in small bits than in big chunks.
 
And we’ll continue with our Bit of the last two days, because it is extremely important for us to understand the principle it details. ‘I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.’
 
I also have some scripture with which to try and impress the importance of that principle, humility, on us, meek and humble followers of Jesus. (smile)
 
Ah Friends, that smile is more one of heartache than happiness, because too many of Jesus’ supposed people are still too caught up in the petty, selfish, me and I stuff, the foolish self-aggrandisement that our ungodly world admires and does its best to encourage.
 
But true believers simply cannot afford to get caught up in that selfish system, where I, the first person, am always first. Instead we need to get into Jesus’ teaching, where I, always comes last.
 
Now I heard this story recently about a lady who went to church and saw the chairs in the sanctuary placed in a confirmation she didn’t like. Apparently they had been set that way for a few weeks. She then asked one of the ushers when the chairs would be replaced in their earlier configuration.
 
The usher replied that she didn’t know. And would you believe that fine, upstanding Christian lady walked out of the church and didn’t stay for the service!
 
Ah Lord eh! And then we wonder why unbelievers look at us with a scowl on their faces and a sour taste in their mouths. But it’s because of those stupid, selfish, very unchristian things that we do in front of them. Now was the position of the chairs so important to the conduct of the worshipping of God? Obviously she felt so.
 
Anyway Friends, enough of me. I’ll just let the scriptures speak directly to our hearts now. And we’ll begin with James talking about worldliness and pride. ‘Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy (yearns jealously)?
 
But he giveth more grace, wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh 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 4:5-10)
 
Ah mih people, there’s nothing I can add to that, except clear up some uncertainty by giving us the scholars explanations. 
 
Re verses 5 and 6: ‘Although many believe that verse 5 refers to the positive ministry of the indwelling Holy Spirit, yearning jealously over the believer, the tenor of verse 4 and 5 is negative, speaking of man’s envy. The good work of God begins at verse 6 in contrast to 4 and 5 as the conjunction indicates.
 
But he giveth more grace is literally “greater grace” (Gr.meizona). God gives grace that is greater than the world’s attraction of verse 4 and the inner lust of verse 5 (cf. Rom. 5:20), and so can withstand both.’
 
Re verses 7-10: ‘Therefore: The exhortations that follow logically result from the conditions in verses 1-6. 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).
 
And as always Friends, I encourage us to read the scriptures that the scholars recommend. They’re placed there for our benefit, because they do help us in understanding the Word. 
 
And I guess that’s it for today mih breddren, because we already have a lot of stuff to ponder on, and what I still have to say will definitely make the Bit too long. Please note my conscious interest in our busy schedules and short attention spans. (smile)
 
We’ll just have to continue this topic tomorrow, God in favour. Till then faithful followers of Jesus, please, please let’s look to Him for divine guidance and counsel rather than to man.
 
And may He grant us the wisdom, strength and courage to tread the difficult pilgrim’s path He’s laid out for us, plus the peace that transcends all man’s understanding, and the wonderful LOVE that flows from the everlasting wellspring of His most generous and LOVING heart. Much LOVE!
 
…when a man truly knows Jesus…oh…he can’t help but LOVE Him…with all his heart, mind, body and soul…
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   

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