Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 May 2020 John 14:1.

John 14:1.    Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
 
Ah mih people, it’s a somewhat rough Thursday morning, possibly because of my extra late late night. (smile) But we hanging in there, we not giving up, we getting it together, with the Lord’s help of course, and the strong, sweet caffeine. So we right on the ball! And to get this ball rolling here is something encouraging and challenging that I received yesterday. 

Please pray with me: ‘O God of peace, so often You say to me” do not let your heart be troubled,” and yet, without fail, I let worry and fear take over. I let my doubts overrule what I know to be true – that You, my God, will never abandon me, that whatever the situation, You already know the solution. Strengthen my faith today O God that I may abandon myself to your peace; that I may stand on your words of comfort and assurance; and that I may cling to You as my only anchor. Draw me closer to You today Father, that I may feel again the warmth of Your presence, covering me with your peace. Today, O God, I will not let my heart be troubled.’ 

Oh friends, what an encouraging prayer, with a whole lot of truth in it! One that all of us most likely need to declare right now in these crucial times enveloping our world. Oh yes, we know the scripture: ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.’ But do we seriously adhere to it? Not really. Like so much other scripture we quote but don’t really adhere to, else we wouldn’t have all the doubts and anxieties and uncertainties we have. And I want to share the scholars’ explanation of that verse because it contains such wonderful assurances and encouragement for us believers. 

‘14:1. Let not your heart be troubled refers to Peter, Jesus having just told him of his imminent denial of his Lord (13:38). But the larger reference is to all the apostles, through whom Jesus is going to lay the foundation of the church. His comfort also includes instruction about His departure, the sending of the Holy Spirit, the promise of spiritual power, of answered prayer, and of peace, but especially of His return.’ 

Yes my brethren, belief in Jesus’ Second Coming is ever so important to the believer. Jesus said it thus: ‘In my father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so; I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there may ye be also.’ (John 14:2-3) That’s a major promise of Jesus friends; going to prepare a place for us, then coming back to get us to be with Him wherever He is! 

Wow! What a marvellous event to look forward to! The point though, is that if we believe Him and look forward to his Second Coming, we can’t be as anxious and doubtful and uncertain as so many of us are. But let’s not be too hard on ourselves, for Thomas didn’t understand when Jesus said: ‘And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.’ (John 14:4) Jesus had to specifically inform him. ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6) 

Philip didn’t understand either, when Jesus said in response to Thomas’ query: ‘If ye had known me, ye should have known my father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.’ (John 14:7) He piped up: ‘Lord show us the Father, and it sufficeth (will satisfy) us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, show us the Father?’ (John 14:8-9) 

Yes friends, though the disciples had been with Jesus for a long time, they still had their doubts and uncertainties, as we do, but we have the benefit of all the gospel and scriptures and experiences of millions of Christians down through the years since then, we ought not to be still as doubtful and hesitant and uncertain as so many of us are, especially now in this time of world wide pandemic. Yes, we must ask questions, and we must be concerned, but deep down we ought to have that saving faith, especially when we read scriptures like this. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) 

Ah mih people, what more can we ask eh? More scripture? Well try this one on for size nuh. (smile) ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

And if neither of those two scriptures reassure you, then try this from Bruh Paul to the church at Philippi. ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing: but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:6-7) 

Oh precious people of God, the best way to quell our anxieties and concerns are to be prayerful about everything, but with thanksgiving and gratitude in our hearts for what the Lord has already done for us and promised to do in the future. Then we’ll be divinely granted that peace which man, the world cannot understand, but which will quieten our fears and worries. Glory be! 

Now let’s go home declaring (ayeahh!!!) our Thursday Blessings, which have been so generously bestowed on us to share with our fellow man. All together now, in strong voice, with sincere hearts. ‘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!’ 

Awright fellow saints in Christ! Let’s put those blessings into action right now nuh, however we can, remembering of course, the unfavourable conditions under which we’re now living. Much LOVE!

…peace…like a silent river…floweth…when Jesus is truly in our hearts…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 May 2020 Philippians 3:14.

Philippians 3:14.    I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
 
So it’s a fine looking Wednesday…what are we up to today eh friends and fellow saints in Christ? I do hope we said something sensible and worthwhile to the Almighty when we arose this morning, so we could set a good tone for our day and get His perspective on it all. And sadly this morning, I must admit that I find myself in the writer’s worst position; having a lot to say, but yet having nothing worthwhile saying. (smile) But then, as I was just sifting the numerous pieces of paper on my desk with oodles of things to say, I came across this saying attributed to John Maxwell, the famous American author, speaker and pastor. 

He reputedly said that ‘The way you deal with the worst determines whether you get the best.’ Now that might sound a bit confusing and sort of backwards, but when you look at it carefully, it does make some sense. All it’s really saying is the way we deal with the worst things in our lives, the adversity and trials and tribulations through which we all will and must go through, will basically determine the outcome. And that’s quite true; the way we handle our failures and disappointments, the rough times, like now in this current pandemic. 

There’s a mighty difference in results between bowing down and giving up, or learning from our problems and coming back strong through our faith and the faithful promises of our great God. It’s all about our attitude towards our problems my people. And when we have this marvellous promise and guidance of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we ought not to give up, but have our backbones and bellies strengthened and ready for another run at life. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Mama Mia! What a wonderful scripture of encouragement. Yes, I know it’s easier said than done, but the good things about those encouraging scriptures is that the more often we practice them and put them into action, the easier the next difficulty becomes. It’s like they say; practice makes perfect! And I think we have a perfect example of this in the life of Bruh Paul. He was amongst the best educated and wealthy and powerful young men in Israel, with an astonishing zeal to persecute Christians. 

But after his life-changing encounter with Christ on the road to Damascus, (Acts 9) he became rather obedient to Christ, counting all those other worldly supposedly important things ‘dung, that I may win Christ.’ (Phil. 3:8) And in the verse before that He states: ‘But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.’ (Phil. 3:7) So you see in one of Bruh Paul’s worst times in his early days, being knocked off his horse or mule or donkey, (smile) made blind and simply told by Jesus, to go to Damascus and he’d be told what to do, (Acts 9:6) he could have kicked up a fuss, and not obeyed, and his life would never have amounted to what it finally amounted to. 

Remember, this was the man who instigated and encouraged a lot of Christian persecution and abuse, including the stoning of Stephen (Acts 8:54-60), and furthermore, he was on his way to Damascus to persecute believers, when the Lord accosted him, who then became the great apostle spreading the gospel of Christ to us, the Gentile world. And look at all the ‘suffereration’ and persecution he went through on Christ’s behalf, to preach the gospel. He did not let them bother him, but rather took them in stride, being assured that the Lord would look after him. 

From one who had not faith at all, to one who had probably more faith than most, is certainly a mighty leap, but it did not come easy, and it was only made possible by the tough times he went through, and how he handled them. His stated goal was : “That I may know him (Christ), and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made comfortable unto his death.’ (Phil. 3:10) And he sincerely pursued that goal all his apostolic life. And I think that all believers should set before them, these words written to the church at Philippi, as our basic goal. 

‘Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: (knowing Christ and His resurrection): but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 3:13-14) Yes friends, as believers we are all need to move forward in the faith, and we cannot allow the baggage of the past to keep us back. We all have a high calling in Christ, and need to keep pressing forward towards our mark. 

And the scholars offer these explanations. ‘3:14. The mark is the objective of verses 10 and 11 (i.e., knowing Christ). The prize is the personal satisfaction of having attained it, as well as the divine commendation and reward to be granted in heaven for having reached this goal on earth. The high calling of God is the divine summons extended to the believer for salvation.’ Ah mih people, a lot of what happens to us in this life is determined by how we respond to life. And as true believers, we’re required to respond to it with a faithful and positive attitude. 

Just look at all the tough times people like Bruh Joseph, Bruh David, Moses, Job and Abraham went through, a lot of it unfair and unjust, but they all stood strong in the Lord and kept a good attitude, knowing that the Lord would eventually see them through. That’s the strong faith and trust in Almighty God that we need to show in these tremulous end times if we want to be real ambassadors for Christ! Now let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know of our sincere faith and trust in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

As one strong voice: ‘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 will it ever be glorious when the Lord welcomes us home with these marvellous words; ‘Welcome home thou good and faithful servant!’ Much LOVE!

…receiving heaven’s crown of righteousness…should be the believer’s earthly goal…

P.S. It’s a good thing I kept a good attitude when I didn’t know what to write. (smile) Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 March 2020 Matthew 28:18.

Matthew 28:18.    And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
 

It was a very good day, but an extremely rough night! Chuh! We accompanied the newly wedded couple into the country yesterday afternoon, the backwoods of Hanover Parish, up in the mountains…and we talking real mountain here. Hn! After driving up the rough, hill incline for a couple miles, we finally had to park and walk almost a quarter mile further up the hill to get to our cousins’ property right at the top. 

And it was only a rough, uneven, stony path, always climbing upward. When you got to a bend, you’d think ‘Well this is it.’ But there was always another stretch around that bend. But the duchess/first lady and the ole fella handled it quite nicely. Just took our time and did our thing. Along the way there were all sorts of flora on either side with some big palms trees gracing the hillside, as well as a few houses. 

At one time I told them that I was smelling mannish-water, the Jamaican soup made from goat entrails. What I was smelling though was what they used to make the mannish water; a live ram goat close by in the bushes. I had to laugh because it smelled so authentic. And when we were coming back down I also smelled it. (smile) 

And was the sight at the top ever so lovely; mountains and sea all around, as well as all kinds of fruit trees on the property itself; mango, soursop, sugar apple, caimete, cocoa, pimento, gungo peas etc. Yes, I know that technically speaking those last three aren’t fruits, but the name suits our purposes here. (smile) 

The amusing part is that while going up the rain kept drizzling, and when we got to the top a decent shower came down and we had to shelter in a li’l lean to, as the house on the property had been burned down some years ago. Coming back down was harder than going up, because of the slant of the hill and the uneven, stony ground, but we made it…Praise the Lord! 

And on the way back to Mo Bay, we stopped at the restaurant along the seacoast, Paiche’s, that we’d stopped at last week. And while they had their fish stuff, I had some curry shrimps with fry plantain, fry breadfruit and festival. All in all it was a very interesting day, didn’t get back home until around nine p.m. 

But brother…the night was a different story! Went to be around eleven, got up around two to go to the bathroom, and thereafter it was just horrors! My right hip just kept aching, couldn’t find a comfortable position no which way I tried, but I refused to get up out of the bed. Like a petulant child I just lay there and turned and tossed from side to side. I must have dozed off sometime, because I remember having at least one dream. (smile) 

Oh, somewhere in there I got up and took some Tylenol, but that did not help matters any. And around six thirty, I decided I couldn’t take it anymore and finally got up. Steups! I guess though, as Job said, we have to take the bad with the good, that earthly life won’t be a heavenly trip, though I don’t see why not, since we’d all like it to be. (smile) 

And though the Boss has a different take on the proceedings, He does encourage us with His awesome words and promises. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) Wow! What reassuring words my brethren! 

That means that though my hip is lending me beans, I can keep my peace through my faith in Him, since I know that He has already overcome hell, death and the grave and has all authority on earth and in heaven, meaning NOTHING can keep me from my destiny with Him! 

Please note Jesus words when He appeared to His people and gave them the Great Commission: ‘All power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.’ (Matt.28:18-19) You can’t make such a monumental statement without sure authority and power! 

And I like how the scholars put it: ‘The triumphant, living Lord sends forth His ambassadors to proclaim His gospel throughout all the world. The Great Commission is not just an order but a pronouncement of victory (mundus regium Christi) by the risen Saviour through His disciples. All power or authority (Gr. exousia) is now in the hands of Christ, in heaven and on the earth. On the basis of that authority and power the Christian disciple is to carry out the Great Commission of the church.’ 

Yes friends, we have been commanded to go and teach, and also given the power to do so! So what are waiting for eh? And just to show that the Good Book is not just a wishy-washy, hurriedly put together manuscript, but a purposeful and well thought out tome, listen to this foretelling of Jesus’ power and authority way back in Daniel, as he recounts his vision of the four beasts. 

‘I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people (peoples), nations and languages should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.’ (Dan.7:13-14) 

Yuh see friends, the Lord had a plan from long ago, which He implemented when the time was right, and there’s still more to be implemented. Listen as the scholars explain those verses. ‘7:13. The Son of man who came to the Ancient of days is the Son of God approaching God the Father. Evidently Jesus took the title ‘Son of Man,’ which was His favourite way of referring to Himself in the Gospels from this passage.’ 

‘7:14. The commencement of Christ’s everlasting dominion will take place at His second coming (cf. Matt. 24:30; 25:31; Rev. 11:15).’ So it’s all set in place my fellow believers! Our wise and wonderful God didn’t leave anything to chance, so there’s no need for us to fear. So with all of that in mind, let’s go home declaring (yeah!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting all and sundry know who and whose we are. 

In strong and sincere voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

Mama Mia! What a wonderful Saviour we have my people! Let’s go out and tell the world about Him nuh! Let’s not be selfish and keep Him all to ourselves! Much LOVE!

…are you using Jesus’ power to do His work…or just aimlessly wasting it…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 February 2020 Romans 8:28

Romans 8:28.    ​And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
 
Jamaica! Jamaica! Sweet, sweet Jamaica! Everything’s good in Jamaica! Yeahhhh! Well hello there mih lovelies! The ole fella is hailing out to you all on this bright, hot, sunny, tropical afternoon from the paradise island of sweet Jamaica! Yes! We’ve left the cold and the snow and the bleak dreary days behind! 

The Good Lord has seen it fit, in all His wisdom, goodness, LOVE, kindness, mercy, grace and forgiveness to give the duchess and the ole fella a trip to my third homeland of Jamaica, where I turned man some half century ago! Glory be! 

The foundation of the story though is that we’re here to celebrate the wedding of a cousin and close friend on the upcoming weekend…what better excuse to get away from the cold eh? (smile) So please note, that as usual, when the ole fella is vacationing with the duchess the Bit can arrive at any time – early morning or late night depending on how the duchess and the Lord apportion my time. (smile) But you will get it as long as there is breath in the ole bod! 

Well right now I’m here admiring the palm trees swaying in the cool sea breeze blowing outside my balcony door, with a beautiful view of the ocean reflecting three colours of blue as it gets deeper; from a light blue in the shallows to a deep blue in the depths. Oh, and another plane just flew by to land at Montego Bay Airport. They jut keep coming and going. 

But yesterday was a rather eventful day; getting up at minutes to three so I could write the bit before leaving. Then hustling to the airport in the early morning traffic and going through all the nonsense that travelling entails these days, and getting on the big bird, the Boeing 737 Dreamliner, they changed it from a stodgy Rouge plane, don’t know why. But who knows why airlines do what they do eh? The flight was good; left around 10 am, and got here around 1.30 pm. 

That was when the real fun began; having to negotiate Immigration and Customs with it seemed thousands of people arriving at same time. But eventually we got out front and proceeded to wait on a cousin to pick us up. Yuh should see the ole fella, taking off his long-sleeved shirt, leaving on just a T-shirt and outside in the sun catching some much needed rays! Wow! Was that ever cathartic! (smile) 

The cousin finally came and took us to a hotel not far from the airport. We should have known that there would be problems from the less than warm welcome at the reception desk. And knowing who I was dealing with, I insisted on seeing the room allocated to us before we moved anything. And just as well, because they took us to a building far away from the main section, with two sets of stairs to climb, no elevator, and then down to the very end of the corridor. And to make matters worse, the room view opened up on to a patch of overgrown bush and a construction site. 

Naturally that raised the duchess’ ire up, and she refused it. When we got back to the reception desk, they seemed less than energetic to try and find something more suitable. But in the meanwhile they advised us to go over the street to the food hut and eat some jerk pork and chicken, which we did. And don’t get me wrong, the property is nice, but as always, it’s the people who spoil stuff. 

When we got back to the desk they arrogantly informed us that they had nowhere else to put us, so the duchess kindly informed them that under those conditions we would not be staying. I guess those were the magic words, because they then told us to wait and they would see what they could do. A short time later they took us to this room in the main section, on the sixth floor, with an elevator, and a beautiful view of the ocean. 

Well that obviously appeased the duchess. And was I ever glad, because all I wanted to do was to go and get a soak in the salt before the beach closed at six. And ohhhh…was it ever wonderful to walk on warm sand and immerse the ole bod in some salt water; the most therapeutic remedy on God’s great earth! When I got back to the room, the duchess informed me that there was a surprise party with a 70’s theme, to go to for the bride at 7.30. 

So I got dressed and went downstairs to the outside dining area, sat there and listened to a trio of Mento singers regale us with some Jamaican folk songs and other more popular stuff in that idiom. Some forty minutes later, the duchess finally came down and went to the front desk to check on what was happening. A few minutes later she came back and told me that the party was actually a bridal shower for females only. 

Hn! Now I wasn’t too annoyed, because I was tired and there was lots of food and drink available and my bed close by. So I did just that: found me a seat with a couple of other guests, ate some island food, while listening to some good music from the live band and was sipping an exotic blue cocktail when the duchess showed up and dragged me off to the party, which turned out be an all genders party after all. 

That party was good too, up on a Mo Bay hill side in a palatial mansion, with a million dollar view of the other side of the harbour, light’s strung out like a necklace of shining diamonds. It reminded us of Cape Town Harbour in South Africa. And then there were people really dressed like 70’s folks and danced routines to songs from that era too. So all in all a good time was had by all. I never got back to the hotel until after eleven. 

And I guess you’re wondering what all of that has to do with the Bit and Scripture. Well let me give you a few verses. First off, Jesus’ memorable words: ‘I am come that they might have life abundantly.’ (John 10:10) We’re just having life abundantly as He promised. And then, though the Lord inflicts us with adversity, listen to these most reassuring words of Jesus. ‘In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) Just doing what out Leader says, being of good cheer despite all the problems in the world. 

And here is this one: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ Now how can we ever discount that eh, when despite all the harassment we went through yesterday, everything turned out well and all the people LOVE us now! Well that might be taking it a bit far, (smile) but more importantly is that they have been treating us well. 

And hear these immortal words of Bruh David: ‘I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.’ (Ps. 27:13) Yeh friends, what’s the purpose of all those other scriptures if we don’t expect to see God’s goodness down here eh? And the final scripture, and my favourite these days – more immortal words of Bruh David: ‘O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.’ (Ps.34:8) 

Wow mih breddren! Yuh know since I recently discovered the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir on YouTube singing Psalm 34 – Taste and See- it’s resonated with me very powerfully and I find myself singing it often. Going to check it out when I’m finished here. Now let’s go home, declaring (yeah!) our Thursday Blessings in strong voice and sincere hearts. 

‘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 every day! Amen!’ 

We must now go out and share those blessings, for as James says, faith without works is dead. (James 2:17) So let’s show them our faith by our works nuh. Much LOVE!

…a slice of heaven is possible…right down here on earth…only trust and believe… 

P.S. Yes, it’s long, because the ole fella’s excited and just wants to share His blessedness with you, so that you can go through whatever you’re going through without losing your hope and faith, knowing that whatever the Lord’s done for me, He will do for you too, if you’re obedient to His will. Hope it’s not boring. (smile) Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 January 2020 Philippians 3:14.

Philippians 3:14.    ​I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
 
And on a rainy, somewhat gloomy looking Saturday morning, the urge to sleep in was irresistible, especially when the beddy-bye time was the wee hours of the morn. (smile) I was up late watching the epic movie ‘Gone with the Wind.’ And it has to be one of the best movies ever made, simply because of it’s scope, grandeur and length; 4 hours. It must have taken a long time to make since they didn’t have all the computer stuff and special effects back in 1939 when it was first released, that we have now. 

And it just shows the utter wastefulness of war; the civil war in the U.S, where the old South is fighting to keep a style of life that has outlived its usefulness, with slavery and the grand families, plantations and mansions of the time as its centre piece. However, by the time I got to the intermission, it was already 4 a.m. so I shut it down until another time. 

Anyway, it’s Saturday, so let’s see what mental goodies our friend Anselm sent us this week nuh, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And I’m in a quandary here, not knowing where to begin and end, as each of the quotes seem to have real truth, substance and body to them. (smile) Ah, the best place to begin is always the beginning! And the first quote tells us: ‘Keep a good attitude and do the right thing even when it’s hard. When you do that you are passing the test. And God promises you your marked moments are on their way.’

 Now that’s ever so true my faithful brethren! It’s exactly what our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ expects from ALL His followers! It’s not easy to do, but with His help we can do it. That’s why He told us to not to indulge in an eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth situation, to go the extra mile, to turn the other cheek, to give away our coat too, and to LOVE our enemies, bless them and pray for them.’ (Matt.5:38) That’s also why Bruh Paul told us not to recompense evil with evil, but to overcome evil with good.’ (Rom. 12:17, 21) 

And that runs right into the next dandy of a quote: ‘There is nothing better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance next time.’ Ah friends, none of us like adversity, but unfortunately that’s the only way we grow in our faith walk and learn from our mistakes. It’s only when we go through rough times that we actually have to use our faith to help us get through them. Otherwise our faith just sits dormant and thus cannot grow. 

Look at all the great people of faith, they all went through tough times, especially Jesus! Yuh think He really wanted to go though all the rejection and ‘sufferation’ He endured? Not really, but it was all a learning curve, so that He could be strong enough to endure the cross! And please remember His most reassuring and encouraging words: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) Precious people of Christ, those are words we should have written deep in our souls so that we can use them when adversity comes a calling, as it invariably will during our earthly sojourn. 

Then there are also these awesome words of wisdom: ‘Don’t be in a hurry to condemn because he doesn’t do what you do or think as you think or as fast. There was a time when you didn’t know what you know today.’ Yes friends, none of us began our lives as wise as we now are. That’s because true wisdom comes with age and experience. So we don’t need to knock the young as much or as hard as we sometimes do, for hopefully they too will get wise with age and experience. 

Remember Jesus words: ‘Judge (condemn) not, that ye be not judged (condemned). For with what judgement (condemnation) ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete (use), it shall be measured to you again’ (Matt.7:1-2) Oh my people, if our current, oh so quick to judge and judgemental world would only adopt that teaching eh! Unfortunately it doesn’t like that’s going to happen at any time soon, because we’re all so engrossed on judging each other; just look at the foolishness that’s going unhindered on the social media platforms nuh. Some of us with the biggest planks in our eyes are daring to judge those with mere specks in theirs!  (Matt.7:3-5) 

Now here’s the piece de resistance (smile): ‘Let go of yesterday. Let today be a new beginning and be the best that you can, and you’ll get to where God wants you to be.’ And we all know that as gospel truth because we serve a God of new beginnings, new chances and starting over as often as is necessary. That’s why Bruh Paul admitted to the church at Philippi: ‘Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended (reached where I want to be, the ultimate pinnacle): but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 3:13-14) 

Yes friends, Bruh Paul didn’t think he was a hot shot, although he could boast about many things, his religious credentials and past Christian achievements. As the scholars say: ‘In ever pursuing his goal to know Christ (v.10), he refuses to let past guilt pull him down, or to rest on past laurels. Either could spell spiritual disaster. Those things which are before refers to his goal of knowing Christ, with all that implies: experiencing His power and participating in His suffering, becoming more like Him in death (v.10), and experiencing the resurrected life (v.11).’ 

And so should we be evermore focused on what’s coming up and not what’s gone before. Hear the scholars: ‘3:14. The mark is the objective of verses 10 and 11 (i.e. knowing Christ). The prize is the joyful personal satisfaction of having attained it, as well as the divine commendation and reward to be granted in heaven for having reached this goal on earth. The high calling of God is the divine summons extended to the believer for salvation.’ 

Oh my people, my people, this Saturday morning I sincerely implore us to be wise and diligently seek that mark, that objective of knowing Christ and the power of His resurrection, so that we can all eventually receive the wonderful heavenly prize given to those who have received and accepted the divine summons of salvation! Now that’s surely a Bruh Paulian sentence! (smile) And we can then declare like Bruh Paul: ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith.’ (2 Tim.4:7)  Much LOVE!

…Christians should always be looking forward to the ultimate prize…that of being with Christ in heaven…for eternity…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 January 2020 1 Peter 3:11.

1 Peter 3:11.    ​Let him eschew (turn away from) evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue (pursue) it.
 
And as the day opens, a whole lot of people around the world emit sighs of relief because it’s that magical day called Friday, when their outside labour will end for a couple of days and they won’t have to face snarled, slow-moving traffic twice a day, and engage in mindless chit-chat with selfish, ignorant co-workers whom they thoroughly dislike! (smile) 

Ah friends, what an evil and deceitful world we live in! And the sad part is that it’s getting worse daily. All the negative stuff that’s currently happening in our world is just creating more tension, anxiety and strife between hitherto comfortable people. But all that us true believers in Christ can basically do is pray for world peace and then do our best to pursue it in our families, friends and neighbourhoods! 

And since it’s Friday, we ought to hear what the ordinary workingman has to say for himself. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! And am I ever grateful for the two days off! I forgot how hard work could really be. Yeh, now that the new year has truly gotten rolling, the work is pouring in and the slave driving task master we have is flashing the whip often because the more work we do means more money for him. And yes, we do get a little more too, but nothing like what he gets, and certainly not in proper proportion to the amount of work we do to create the extra money… 

But I guess them’s the breaks! It’s how the greedy massa and them build the society – the people who do all the back breaking work, get the smallest amount of the harvest. And to tell the truth, in all the different systems we have in the world, one thing stands out…the handful of people who run the show, always get the best part of the pie! Regardless of how much revolution yuh have, it always end up like that. And right now, I too old to fight it anymore, so I’ll just put mih gear in cruise, and just bide mih time till I retire, and until then keep saying, ‘Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

Now that’s the unfortunate reaction of a great number of people in our down-pressed world today, and sometimes you can’t give them wrong because they do seem to be fighting a losing battle. However, as true believers in Christ Jesus we don’t have to accept that defeatist philosophy, because in Christ there’s NO giving up. In fact, He has already won the victory and all we now have to do is walk it through in diligent faith and preordained works. That’s why our Friday Chant is so different from the workingman’s song. 

So let’s chant it now nuh, in strong voice and sincere hearts, so that we can be encouraged this Friday morning. ‘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!’ 

You see my faithful brethren, whatever it looks like, and however life turns out, we believers need to keep on keeping on, fixated on the promises and sacrificial work of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, always looking forward to His wonderful  coming in glory, sometime soon, any day now! In the meantime though, one thing we should all be seeking is that very real, but very elusive thing called peace, because it is a very important part of Christ’s kingdom. 

Now let’s look at some of the many scriptures in the Good Book that call for the making of peace. The first one is the prophecy of John the Baptist’s father, Zechariah re John’s work. ‘To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.’ (Luke 1:79) And if a big part of John’s work was to guide us in the way of peace, and John was the forerunner of Christ, then it means that peace was also a big part of Christ’s ministry. 

And He made that clear often enough. One of the Beatitudes, those 8 states of mind and heart  that Christ said was absolutely necessary for Christian discipleship in the Sermon on the Mount is: ‘Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.’ (Matt.5:9) Yes friends, blessed are those who seek peace and make peace and are at peace with God and man. And Peter makes it quite clear that if we want to have a good, long life: ‘Let him eschew (turn away from) evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue (pursue) it.’ Yuh see people, we have to make a definite decision and action; pursue peace. It doesn’t just come by desiring it, we have to make it happen! 

And I’m chuckling and a tad confused because I have so many scriptures on peace I don’t know which to share because of our time and space constraints. (smile) But since we can’t ever go wrong with Jesus, listen to Him again. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) Yuh see that, Jesus’ peace is an entirely different kind of peace to what we find in the world. His is the kind that surpasses man’s understanding! (Phil. 4:7) And if we’re smart, we’ll diligently seek for His kind and not the world’s. 

And Hebrews so wisely tells us: ‘Follow (pursue) peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.’ (Heb.12:14) Then James proudly proclaims: ‘And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.’ (James 3:18) Yeh friends, peace is one of the fruits of the Spirit, and you can’t get it unless you sow it. And what better way to end than with one of Jesus’ better known sayings on peace. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Oh friends with those encouraging words ringing in our hearts and minds, let’s go out today and in our own li’l way pursue peace nuh, because that’s the only way our world will ever improve! Much LOVE!

…as much as possible…follow peace with all men…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 January 2020 John 16:33.

John 16:33.    ​These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
 
Now this weather scene is getting to be a bit much yes! Can you believe that after a wet, rainy and icy Sunday morning that by ten a.m. the sun had come out and it became clear and dry, though somewhat chilly, and stayed so for the remainder of the day? Wonder what kind of weather we will experience today eh? But I’m not bothering mihself over it nuh, because with it’s contrariness, if you take it on, it will just drive yuh crazy! You just have to be prepared for whatever comes and say, the Lord be praised! (smile) 

And can you also believe that we’re already into half of January? Time sure isn’t wasting time… like some of us! (smile) Wonder how many sure-fire resolutions have been broken already? No doubt many. But it’s Monday, and that tired, sickly, lazy and unenergized feeling is afflicting some of us, like it will always do, so let’s take our problems to the Lord in prayer as we ought to. Let’s humbly, but confidently declare our Monday Morning Battle Hymn and receive His awesome help to cure our ailments. 

Altogether 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!’ 

And as always, the positive heavenly reply is not long in coming. We soon feel our spirits lifting, our energy pumping up, and our desires for Jesus, His Word and His work burning like a righteous fire in our being! (smile) Like poor Jeremiah who was tired of declaring the Lord’s word because he was being mocked continually, and thus decided to give up speaking it. However he found that he could not. Why? ‘But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing (of holding back) and I could not stay (endure it). (Jer. 20:9) 

Ah friends, many of us sometimes feel like Jeremiah; getting a lot of negative reactions when we try to speak God’s word, but we cannot give up, we have to endure, whatever it takes. It’s that spirit of NEVER GIVING UP, regardless of our circumstances, or who comes against us, that divides Christians from the rest of the human race. Once you become a believer in Jesus Christ, His Holy Spirit fills you with His awesome strength and courage so that you can keep keeping on with Christ as your Guide and Leader. 

He didn’t have it easy on this earth, and neither will we. But as He faithfully promised: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ And He certainly has friends, by dying on the cross to save our sinful souls, and then coming to life once again, thus defeating, hell, death and the grave for all time! And we’ll just quote a few scriptures to highlight the truth of what Jesus said in our Bit. 

As pertaining to His peace, hear Bruh Paul to the church at Ephesus regarding the unity of ALL believers. ‘For He (Christ himself) is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition (division) between us. Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances: for to make (create) in himself of twain (the two) one new man, so making peace.’ (Eph. 2:14-15) 

Yes precious people, Christ broke down the barrier between Jews and Gentiles, namely the Mosaic Law which was made to protect the Jews from pagan influences, but which they improperly used to make themselves feel superior to the Gentiles. But Jesus got rid of all of that by making us, Christian Jews and Christian Gentiles, One new man, a unified Church. 

And as per having tribulation in this evil world, hear Bruh Paul to Timothy, re the coming days of apostasy (backsliding). ‘Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers (imposters) shall wax (grow) worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.’ (2 Tim. 3:12-13) And we certainly are seeing it all in these strife-filled end times. 

And per overcoming the world, listen to these encouraging words of Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. ‘Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom. 8:37-39) 

So friends, we have it all in Jesus, God Himself, all that we need to successfully navigate this fallen and sinful world. So there is absolutely no need to worry when things seem rough. Just call on Him and He will faithfully see you through. Much LOVE!

…in times of trouble…Jesus is only a prayer away…

 

 

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