Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 January 2019 James 4:7.

James 4:7.   ​Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
 

Beautiful…white and beautiful…but oh so dangerous…slippery like and eel…and treacherous and deceptive like the serpent who personifies our enemy Satan! That’s the snow covering our neighbourhood this Friday morning! (smile) And sadly, we in the northern climes are bracing ourselves for even more of the white stuff because we’ve been promised a major snowstorm this weekend. 

Let’s hope the duchess and I just have to stay inside and look at it and admire its beauty, but don’t have to venture forth in it, cause remember we’re not as mobile and steady as we once were, we’re not spring chickens any longer…but contrary to popular opinion we’re NOT old, just advanced in years! (smile) So for all of you in the wintry climes, remember, as the man says, if you don’t HAVE to go out, then DON’T go out! 

Now let’s hear what the workingman has to say for himself this winter’s morn. And I like how he’s ever so enthusiastic, regardless of the circumstances: ‘TGIF! Thank God for Friday yes! The weekend, the weekend is here, which means is time to party! And though they calling for plenty snow, yuh think a li’l thing like snow going to stop me from enjoying mih li’l two days off from the slave master work? 

No way Jose! My time is my time, my time to enjoy whatever catches mih fancy! And if ah want to play in the snow, I’ll play in the snow. But if I just want to cuddle up in front of a roaring fire and sip something strong and warm, then that’s what I’ll do! It’s freedom time, come the weekend! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes in this ungodly capitalist society!’ 

Now there’s a wonderful idea for this snowy weekend; cuddle up in front of a roaring fire with a hot toddy and just commune with whoever you’re with and with God! Let the world go by however it wants to, since there’s nothing you can do about it. Just luxuriate in the warmth of your home and the comforting LOVE of your wonderful God! 

And all of God’s children declared (right ho) a loud and proud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord! Praise Him and give Him much thanks for His undeserving goodness and mercy to us!’ Yeh friends, we must NEVER forget the goodness of God in our lives, for it’s the ONLY thing that keeps us from an even more miserable existence. 

Now let’s respond to the workingman’s exuberance with our more controlled Friday Chant. Chanting in unison: ‘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!’ 

Yes mih people, it’s not as exuberant and fun LOVING as the workingman’s song, but it suits our purposes very well, reminding us of our purpose down here on earth, to work for Jesus, and helping us to stay out of the clutches of the ever-hovering enemy. And as true believers, we like it! Glory be! Anything that keeps us out of Satan’s evil grasp is certainly welcome! 

That’s why friends, we have to pay particular attention to James’ warning: ‘Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.’  Yes my brethren, there are two things we need to do to stay out of the enemy’s clutches. The first is submit ourselves to God; then actively resist Satan’s advances! And we know that in this world he’s always lurking around offering lust and pride and other immoral and ungodly ways of life. 

But as James continues: ‘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 4:8-10) 

And the scholars offer this explanation re the above verses: ‘4:7-10. Therefore: The exhortations that follow logically result from the conditions in verses 1-6 (worldliness 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 friends, please check out those scriptures, for they all show God’s welcoming hand to all who turn to Him. And we’ll close with these inspiring, reassuring and warning words from Peter on the subject. (smile) ‘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. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 

Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world. 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: 6-11) 

Oh my people, we could not ask for more fervent and reassuring scripture this cold, snowy Friday January morning! So please let’s take it to heart and follow it nuh! That’s wisdom of enormous proportions! Much LOVE!

…Christianity 101…submitting to God…resisting Satan… 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 December 2018 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.
 
Aye mih beauties, welcome to spring time in December! It’s raining outside, and they say it might go up to as much as ten degrees Celsius today! Brother! Imagine that scene at the end of December nuh! I feel sorry for the purists who did not get their white Christmas and might not even get to ski as they ring in the New Year. But what yuh going to do eh? Everything’s changing, and changing fast too! I remember the days when you could be assured of snow, and plenty too, for Christmas! 

The duchess and I might even have wasted money paying for snow removal, since we can’t do it ourselves any longer, and there hasn’t been any to remove so far. But like my friend Scotty, I’m the eternal optimist! (smile) We will get snow, it’s only a matter of time…and then we’ll get so much, that we’ll all hold our heads and bawl! Matter fix! 

Now let’s hear what the workingman is singing this spring-like Friday morning nuh: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! And another long weekend…in cool weather to boot, as New Year’s rolls on in! Wonder what 2019 going to hold for we eh? Most likely the same old slaving for the slave driver…but we going to cross that path when we come to it yes! Right now is celebration time, ringing out the Christmas season and ringing in the New Year! 

And brother, what a Christmas we had; food and drinks and parties galore, though not as much presents under the tree as usual! But everybody was happy and had a good time. So we can say that Christmas 2018 was wonderful, as we thank the Lord for Fridays, weekends and Christmas time!’ 

Ah mih people, I do hope that we all had a good Christmas, and that unlike the workingman, we included Christ in it, because in spite of everything the unbelievers say and do, He is the reason for all this celebration, every year, in the month of December.

Let’s also hope that we didn’t overdo any aspect of the celebrations, kept Granny’s warning in mind: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’ And consequently, did not give the always lurking enemy a chance to get even a toehold in our souls, for we all know that’s his avowed purpose. 

Now let’s sing our weekend song, our Friday Chant. It’s not as colourful as the workingman’s but it serves our purposes admirably. All together 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!’ 

Yeh friends, our song elicits a modicum of circumspection that’s absent from the workingman’s; we tend to keep narrower borders, so that the enemy isn’t given an open invitation to infiltrate our souls. That’s why Peter steadfastly warns us: ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.’ 

And that’s gospel truth friends! Satan is only interested in stealing our peace and joy found in Christ Jesus! When he has us low down and miserable and doubting then he laughs and believes he’s won. But the truth is he can NEVER WIN unless we allow him to, for Jesus has already won the battle for death, hell and the grave, He has the keys to eternity, and the prince of darkness is a defeated foe! He’s only trying to fool us into thinking that he has some sort of authority and power. But he’s actually a toothless tiger! (smile) 

Nonetheless, we still need to follow Peter’s advice: ‘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) Yeh mih people, all of us experience some kind of affliction in this earthly life, because it’s a fallen world. Jesus said it clearly: ‘In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33b) 

Oh friends, I know that’s easier said than done, but Peter also has some advice for how we can best resist the adversary. Listen up: ‘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) Oh faithful believers, truer words were never spoken! Our heavenly Father cares for us more than we can ever imagine! 

And He is the ONLY ONE who can help us to steadfastly resist the enemy! But we do need to acknowledge His supremacy, and humbly come to Him asking for His help. And please note, He will NEVER turn away anyone who comes to him sincerely and humbly asking for assistance. That’s his ever-faithful promise! So let’s not be proud and foolish nuh, thinking we can do it on our own, because we can’t. 

But if we seek the Lord diligently, Peter promises: ‘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 and settle you.’ (1 Pet.5:10) Wow mih brethren, what a wonderful promise! We can’t expect life to be all wine, roses and song, there must be some tough times so that we can grow spiritually, become more Christ-like! 

However, when we’ve valiantly withstood those times, with Christ’s help of course, then our wonderful God will indeed establish and strengthen us in His might and power. That’s why Peter ends thus: ‘To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen!’ (1 Pet.5:11) Oh what a great God we serve and worship my people! Let’s not forget that He is our Alpha and Omega, our First and Last, our Everything! Much LOVE!

…living for Jesus…is the ONLY sensible way…to live this earthly life…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 May 2018 1 Peter 5:6-7.

1 Peter 5:6-7.   Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care (anxiety) upon him; for he careth for you.

Another day of adventurous sailing friends on the ever-eventful seas of Life, with the Pilot of All Pilots, Jesus Christ at the helm! Mama Mia! That means there is no need to fear or worry, for Jesus is simply the BEST of the BEST! 

Yes my people, He will never let anything untoward happen to us while He is guiding our ship, be it amongst storms and rocky coasts, or calm seas, with beautiful sandy beaches in the offing. So give Him some thanks and praise for His concern and faithfulness towards us nuh. 

And the first thing Jesus wants us to consider as we set sail this morning is, ‘Dare to believe!’ Yes my brethren, He is daring us to believe in Him and His awesome powers and everlasting LOVE! And from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, comes this most appropriate prayer. ‘I Dare to Believe!’ 

So let’s make our declaration: “Out of the depths I cry to You, O Lord.” On this day of remorse and turmoil The Psalmist’s cry is my cry. Trembling, crumbling, out of the depths I cry. And yet, in the throes of my anguish, O God I dare to believe. You see my groping and grasping. You hear my sighs and sobs. I dare to believe. 

You can break through the emotional blockades You can rebuild my broken dreams. Though my words seem drenched with presumption To those who march with illusive courage I dare to believe. Your LOVE is unquenchable Your faithfulness is inexhaustible. I dare to believe. 

You delight to draw me to Yourself You long to silence my desperate cry. I dare to believe. I will yet hear Your gentle words “I am your Father. Come home.”  Weeping child It is true That I am your Father. Now dare to believe You are home.’  

Oh friends, do we have the parts, the hope, the faith, the wherewithal to dare to believe, that the Lord God is our Father and we are at home with him, in His awesome presence and His undying LOVE? For all of our sakes, I sincerely hope so, else we’re certainly in bad shape. 

And isn’t it strange that the most important thing that Jesus asks of us – to simply BELIEVE – is the thing we find the hardest to do. I guess that’s because believing entails trusting things and people you don’t know or can’t see. But that’s the whole beauty of walking with Jesus; you don’t need to see it to believe it, for He is our EVERYTHING! We live in Him and through Him and for Him. What can be better than that eh? Nothing really! 

And the Bible Promise for that poem above is also our Bit for today. ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care (anxiety) upon him; for he careth for you.’ 

Oh my people, please believe – there we have that word ‘believe’ again – that despite all our disobedience and sinfulness and trying to root Him out of our lives and our societies, that Almighty God who created us, still LOVES us like the first day He made us! His LOVE is unconditional and undying…but you have to BELIEVE… 

Ah friends, but once we believe, then we need to be humble, to come humbly and with reverence before our heavenly Father, for though He is our Father, He is also our God and deserves obeisance on that front. And as Micah tells us: ‘He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly and to LOVE mercy (LOVING-kindness), and to walk humbly with thy God.’ (Mic.6:9)  

Yes friends, we need to remember that the Lord is the potter, the Creator, and we are the clay, the ones whom He formed, and is constantly reforming in the image of Christ, so we need to have and show some appreciation of His awesome might and power…if we are wise. 

And Isaiah declares of the Lord: ‘For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the heart of the contrite ones.’ (Is.57:15) And Cousin Sol adds: ‘By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honour, and life.’ (Prov.22:4) 

You simply can’t go wrong my brethren by believing, being humble and reverent towards the Lord God Jehovah, our Maker and Controller. It’s indeed wisdom of the highest order! Now for those of us who truly believe and are sincerely trying to put it into practice, let’s go home declaring our position in the Lord, through our Wednesday Wail. 

Altogether 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!’ 

And if we keep on keeping on and believing, the future will indeed be glorious…more glorious than we can ever imagine. Much LOVE!

…believe…only believe…it is the first…and also…the mightiest and most important step…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 May 2017 1 Peter 5:7.

1 Peter 5:7.      Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

And then it was Sunday; that wonderful day of Sabbath and rest! And who says our great God doesn’t know how to organize life eh? Chuh! They obviously don’t know what they’re talking about, for look how He made the world in six days, then rested on the seventh and asks us to follow in His most knowledgeable footsteps. Glory to His great name! 

And on that seventh day, we also need to come together in fellowship, to sing and praise Him and receive His LOVING-kindness and confidence to handle the upcoming six days. Wow! What a wise God we serve my brethren! That’s why He says His ways and thoughts are greater than ours. (Is.55:8-9) And that’s the living truth, for if they weren’t, He wouldn’t be God, and we would have no need for Him! 

Now enough of all the rambling, (smile) let’s get to the heart of the matter, some praise and worship to glorify His holy name. And this morning our song is appropriately titled, ‘God will take of you;’ a sweet song of comfort and heavenly assurance. So with truthful and passionate hearts and loud, harmonious voices, let’s offer up our sacrifice of praise without further ado.  

‘Be not dismayed whate’er betide, God will take care of you; Beneath His wings of love abide, God will take care of you. (Refrain: God will take care of you, Through every day, o’er all the way; He will take care of you, God will take care of you.) Through days of toil when heart doth fail, God will take care of you; When dangers fierce your path assail, God will take care of you. (Refrain:) 

All you may need He will provide, God will take care of you; Nothing you ask will be denied, God will take care of you. (Refrain:) No matter what may be the test, God will take care of you; Lean, weary one, upon His breast, God will take care of you. (Refrain:) God will take care of you, Through every day, o’er all the way; He will take care of you, God will take care of you.’ 

And He certainly will my faithful friends and neighbours! Of that we can be sure. Once we are operating in accordance with His will, He will look after all our needs. How did Jesus say it so long ago? ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33)  And we know one thing for sure, that Jesus doesn’t lie, so if He says it’s so, then it is so!  

And the hymn, written by Civilla D Martin, was apparently based on our Bit. ‘Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.’ It couldn’t be anymore reassuring than that my people! Peter is making a statement of definite fact, of gospel truth, not alternative facts. (smile) 

But before we can cast our care upon our ever-merciful God, Peter tells us we first need to: ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. ‘ (1 Pet.5:6) Yeh friends, we definitely can’t go to God with a proud and haughty spirit, for that’s one of the things He especially despises, since it means you have no need for Him. 

That’s why James, in talking about worldliness and pride says: ‘God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble.’ (James 4:6) And Cousin Sol also tells us: ‘Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly (humble). (Prov.3:34) And if you still don’t believe it, then listen to Cousin Sol again. ‘These six things doth the Lord hate; yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look (haughty eyes…)’ (Prov.6:16-17) 

Ah mih breddren, the first thing Cousin Sol lists is pride, arrogance, haughtiness. Our God rejects those who deal in those things. And once we appreciate the Lord’s awesome position, have a reverential fear for him, then the author of Hebrews strongly advises: ‘Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb.4:16) Now that’s wisdom of an everlasting nature! 

And the scholars tell us: ‘4:16. Only Christianity provides such boldness for sinful men before a holy God, and that boldness is possible only because of our High Priest (Jesus Christ). The figure of a throne suggests a place of authority and provision. It is the place to obtain God’s grace when it is especially needed.’ 

And I have to declare it again friends: ‘Oh what a wonderful God we serve and worship through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!’ ONLY Christianity offers such confidence to approach a holy God! That just goes to prove what we are talking about; God does care for us. If not, we wouldn’t have the provision to call upon Him for mercy, succour, comfort and all the other wonderful things He offers. And above all, He would not have sent His sinless Son, Jesus to die for our abominable sins. 

That ought to seal the deal. So I simply can’t understand why more people aren’t rushing to take hold of Christianity, to embrace Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. I can only guess that it’s partly because the things of the world has such a strong hold on our society, as well as we supposed believers don’t give the unbelievers enough of a good picture, for them to want what we claim to have. 

So with Jesus’ help, let’s try and turn it all around nuh mih people! We can, if we sincerely and diligently try. Much LOVE!

…belief in Jesus…breeds confidence in the promises of Almighty God…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 April 2017 Jeremiah 13:15.

Jeremiah 13:15.   Hear ye, and give ear, be not proud: for the Lord hath spoken.  

Ah mih people, I do hope we had a good Palm Sunday, and did not overdo it with too much rejoicing, (smile) for today is Monday and also the beginning of Holy Week. That means we need to get up and go out strong to work as well as be ready to go prayerfully into Holy Week and all the wonderful aspects of our faith that happen at the end of it. 

And the Lord knows that although our flesh is weak, our hearts are in the right place. So let’s get a move on by singing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn which hopefully will get our engines started and our adrenaline richly flowing. 

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!’ 

Now that wasn’t a bad rendition at all my people, but certainly not good enough to make all heaven stand up and rejoice. So now that we have the adrenaline flowing, let’s go out into the evil world and do our ambassadorial duties much better than our singing nuh. (smile). 

That brings us to our Bit. ‘Hear ye, and give ear, be not proud: for the Lord hath spoken.’ Yeh friends, it’s ever so important for us to hear and pay serious attention when the Lord speaks. 

And what did He say: ‘Give glory to the Lord your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.’ (Jer.13:16) 

Oh my brethren, are we giving God the glory He so richly and rightfully deserves? I don’t think so nuh, because our world has become so evil and ungodly that a whole generation doesn’t even know Him. Such was the state of Judah in Jeremiah’s time.  And the Lord used parable- like lessons through Jeremiah to teach them of their backsliding and the possible consequences if it continued. 

Listen to what comes next: ‘But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the Lord’s flock is carried away captive. Say unto the king and to the queen (mother), Humble yourselves, sit down: for your principalities shall come down (collapse), even the crown of your glory.’ (Jer.13:17-18)  

Yes precious people, we need to step back and take a serious look at our society, what is currently happening and what can possibly happen because of our ungodliness and prideful walk. 

Hear the scholars. ’13:15-17. A third illustration (parable-like lesson) concerns a weary traveller in danger of being overtaken by the falling darkness of night. Such was Judah. It must renounce all pride and give God His rightful glory before the final darkness of national catastrophe engulfs it.’ 

Oh friends, I couldn’t put it any better nuh. The darkness of night has overtaken our world so horribly, that darkness is all some of us know. Light, the bright burning flame of Jesus many of us have never encountered. Fortunately though, we believers, like Jeremiah, have been given the task of bringing Jesus’ light to this darkened world. 

We are the ambassadors, the modern- day equivalent of the disciples that Jesus instructed: ‘Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt.28:19-20)  

Now that is our task for today my fellow believers. So let’s get out there with diligence, hard work and excellence, perseverance and LOVING-kindness and do what we’ve been commanded to do nuh, like faithful and obedient ambassadors. Otherwise, our ungodly and wicked world is very liable to collapse around us in God’s wrath. And we wouldn’t want that now would we? Much LOVE!

…in a world full of darkness…only God’s people can bring light to it…

 

 

 

 

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)

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 August 2016 Matthew 11:28.

Matthew 11:28.    Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 

Well mih people, Sunday, the first day of the week has rolled around again! And what a beautiful day it ought to be, one filled with praise and worship and fellowship celebrating the Sabbath of our great and awesome God! 

So it’s only right that we begin the proceedings today with some worship in the form of the old and greatly beloved hymn, ‘Rock of Ages,’ written in 1763 by the Rev. Augustus Montague Toplady. Let’s belt it out with plenty verve, enthusiasm and sincerity nuh. 

‘Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee; let the water and the blood, from thy wounded side which flowed, be of sin the double cure; save from wrath and make me pure. Not the labors of my hands can fulfill thy law’s demands; could my zeal no respite know, could my tears forever flow, all for sin could not atone; thou must save, and thou alone. 

Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to the cross I cling; naked, come to thee for dress; helpless, look to thee for grace; foul, I to the fountain fly; wash me, Savior, or I die. While I draw this fleeting breath, when mine eyes shall close in death, when I soar to worlds unknown, see thee on thy judgment throne, Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee.’ 

Yes friends, that’s the wisest and most sensible move a human being can ever make; turning to the Rock of all ages, Jesus Christ for comfort and succour! For He is the ONLY Being who can provide ALL that we need! Other beings can provide some of this and some of that, but Jesus Christ is the repository of everything that’s needed to live life successfully, both on earth and in heaven. 

NEVER forget that my brethren! Whatever we need, Jesus has it – and in abundance too, and He is also very willing to share whatever it is with those who come to Him in humility, sincerity and truth! 

Otherwise, why would He extend to all mankind what we refer to today as the Great Invitation eh, which is our Bit for today? ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ 

Oh my fellow believers, how wonderful is that invitation eh? No other living being in the history of mankind could ever truthfully offer such an invitation! None but our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! And that’s not even all of His wonderful invitation. 

Listen to the remainder. ‘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 unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:29-30)  

Tell me friends, have you ever received a better invitation than that? Certainly not! Because no one else can match it! That’s why men of God, men of strong faith like Bruh David and Peter advise us to: ‘Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer (permit) the righteous to be moved (shaken). (Ps.55:22) ‘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) 

Now why would two such godly men tell us to cast all our care on Almighty God if it wasn’t true eh? But as usual, we the finite, know it all humans, refuse to do as advised. Yeh, we think that we know more and can do more than the One who created us and still provides for us. Hn! 

Instead, we listen to that fool Lucifer, who has nothing that’s good or lasting to offer us. All he has going for him are lies and deceit, plus fancy, flimsy, gold-plated worldly goods set up in a false front, a facade. But yuh know what friends, behind all that gloss and glamour there’s nothing but sin, death and hell! 

Oh, we all know that working for Jesus is not glamorous, but it certainly is glorious and adventurous! And besides, the same worldly goods you get from Lucifer, you can get from working for Jesus, and these last much longer than Lucifer’s flimsy, marginal stuff. 

It makes me wonder though, why sensible people follow an unwise dissident like Lucifer, who had it all going for him as the Lord’s right hand man, but foolishly tried to overthrow Him, was kicked out of heaven, and now walks the earth to and fro seeking to do evil to all that he can. 

Remember friends, the evil one has no real power over us, unless we allow him to. Christ has already defeated him, trod him underfoot and captured the keys to hell, death and the grave. So there’s nothing to really fear from him, unless we let the glamorous but unsustainable things of the world that he offers, trip up our minds and hearts. 

Anyway, enough about Lucifer, we didn’t come here to talk about him, but about God. (smile) And by the way, let me offer my sincere apologies to my second homeland, Jamaica on the 54th anniversary of their Independence which was celebrated yesterday! Chuh! I knew of it, but yet I forgot it. I can imagine the celebrations that took place. 

And though I may live all over the world, Jamaica will always have a special place in my heart. I experienced some of the roughest days of my life there, but also some of the most heart-warming and adventurous. As the old people would say, it’s there that I turned man. (smile) Happy 54th Xaymaca – the Land of Wood and water! 

Now let’s end with this Benediction from Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) adapted from his writing ‘Enter His Gates.’ ‘Yesterday’s troubles, today’s problems, and tomorrow’s circumstances are all part of the pilgrimage you’re on with God, through the good times and the bad. Someday you’ll reach the finish line, and your exhaustion and perplexity will be over. 

And when that day comes, you’ll be in the Lord’s presence forever. But right here, right now, your life has meaning and purpose. Don’t ever give up. Always remember that the Lord Jesus Christ is there for you, with you even now. He alone is the source of our strength, our endurance to continue, and our reward when the journey is done.’ 

Gospel truth all of that my fellow believers! So please let’s take it all to heart and put it into action – right now, if not before, for it is indeed the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!

…Christ is our end all and be all…the first and the last…the Alpha and Omega…

 

 

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