Today’s Scrip-Bit   7 May 2022 Colossians 3:14.

Colossians 3:14.      And above all these things put on charity (LOVE), which is the bond of perfectness.

Welcome aboard Saturday! Hope you are going to remain steadfast and true to the sunny disposition you now have and grace us with a wonderful spring, or better yet, near summer day. (smile) We’ve got to hope and have faith friends that all will go well today. And even if it doesn’t, then we have our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to rely on, to bring us comfort, safety and a refuge from the trials and tribulations of this crazy and evil world. Now who wouldn’t want such an awesome life eh? 

Unfortunately though, many of us choose not to believe in Christ Jesus, only to their everlasting sorrow. But all we can do, as good ambassadors of Christ, is to keep on telling His story, the good news of His wonderful gospel that brings salvation and eternal life to all who dare to believe, and hope that eventually they will come to recognize the error of their ways. However, since it’s Saturday, we need to get on with our business of checking out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And the first quote tells us: ‘Even if you cannot change all the people around you, you can change the people you choose to be around. Life is too short to waste your time on people who don’t respect, appreciate, and value you. Spend your life with people who make you smile, laugh, and feel LOVED.’ And that’s the gospel truth! Life is indeed too short and the world too evil and confused to spend time with people who don’t appreciate and value you. Oh, I know that we all desire to be amongst people, that we were made to be in relationships, but sometimes it’s better to be alone than to be in unproductive relationships. 

And if you cannot find satisfying relationships, like those mentioned above, then turn to God and ask for His help. There’s no shame in that. He will lead you down the right path, but sometimes it might take a li’l while for Him to arrange it, so you might have to be lonely and unsatisfied for a spell. (smile) But placing the problem in God’s hands is always the correct answer. Remember, Christ died for us to have the abundant life, and being in unsatisfying, unvalued relationships certainly does not meet that criterion. 

And do I ever like this next quote, which says: ‘When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.’ Oh, is that ever true! And why not eh? As we just said life is short, so why wait when you find the one you want to be with in this life? But a word of caution here. Let’s not rush into things. With such a huge commitment, a lifetime one in mind, we need to first ascertain that the other person also wants to spend the rest of their life with us. And even more importantly, that they are the right person for us in God’s will. But if you’ve checked, and all of those things are in the positive realm, then why wait? (smile) 

Meanwhile, the next quote explains why we must be very careful in our every move nowadays for it tells us that ‘The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.’ And that’s an indisputable fact. Our world is made in the image of our thoughts. Our minds are the fountains of creativity, and the thoughts and ideas which flow through and from them lead to the actions that we take. And that’s why the enemy, Satan, is so gung-ho to get control of our creative space. It enables him to drive us down the path of evil, instead of the path of righteousness. 

No wonder the mind is called a battlefield; everyone is fighting for control of it. Thus it is true, that to change our world, we must change our thinking. However, it’s ever so important that we have the right kind of thoughts and thinking that will benefit our world rather than harm it. And Bruh Paul made that quite clear when he wrote these marvellous words of advice to the church at Rome. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.’ (Rom. 12:2) 

Yes friends, by its very nature, the world is sinful, and thus reflects a sinful lifestyle, but we can reject that by transforming our minds to believe and do the things that Jesus wants us to do. It’s not always easy, but with His help, it can be done. In fact it must be done, if we ever want to, or hope to see a better world for our children and grandchildren. That’s why Bruh Paul also wrote these words to the church at Corinth. ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.’ (2 Cor. 5:17) It’s time for us to put away our old lifestyle and conform to the new one that Christ has designed for us, one of righteousness and not of sinfulness. 

Then there’s this quote: ‘There is no charm equal to tenderness of the heart.’ More awesome truth my brethren! There’s absolutely nothing in this world to beat a tender, compassionate caring heart! And undoubtedly, we have the best example of that in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Throughout the Gospels, they talk about the compassionate heart of Jesus, and that’s just a reflection of the heart of our great God. As Bruh Paul wrote to the Corinthians. ‘Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.’ (2 Cor. 1:3)

Oh my fellow saints, our great and wonderful God is indeed characterized by mercy, care, comfort, compassion and long-suffering, otherwise we would have been destroyed long ago. And it’s that kind of heart we need to also have, as outlined in the words of Bruh Paul to the Colossians. ‘Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies (tender mercies), kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, and long suffering… And above all these things put on charity (LOVE), which is the bond of perfectness.’ (Col. 3:12,14) 

Yes my people, LOVE is the crowning glory or grace of all Christian virtues, as well as God’s greatest attribute. So, to be a true reflection of God, those attributes must also be reflected in us. That brings us to this last and very interesting quote. ‘Nobody has ever measured, even poets, how much a heart can hold.’ And that’s no lie. We don’t know for sure how much our hearts can hold, not even God’s heart. We just know that it can hold a lot, especially if one is a believer in Christ Jesus. 

But the heart that truly speaks to me amongst humans is that of Mary, Jesus’ mother. Her heart surely held a lot, from the surprising choice to be the mother of the Son of God, to seeing Him horribly punished and crucified for wrongs He did not commit. Then His triumphant rising from the dead and ascension back to heaven. No wonder the Good Book remarks after the shepherds came and paid tribute to Jesus in the manger after His birth. ‘But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.’ (Luke 2:19) 

Then after the only occasion where we see some rudeness from Christ towards His parents, when they found Him in the temple talking with the elders after searching for Him for three days. ‘And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist (know) ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?’ (Luke 2:49) Imagine any other twelve-year-old saying that to their parents nuh. Hn! Many teeth might have been lost. But the Good Book continues. ‘And they (Jesus’ parents) understood not the saying which he spoke unto them. And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.’ (Luke 2:50-51) 

Ah friends, from day one, mothers have never had it easy, but they are indeed the backbone of the family, and on this Mother’s Day weekend, let’s fill our hearts to overflowing with LOVE for them nuh, and treat them as the queens that they are, for they always give much more than they ever ask for or expect. Much LOVE!

…it’s only the LOVE in our world…that keeps it from totally falling apart… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 June 2019 Exodus 20:12.

Exodus 20:12  Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

HAPPY  FATHER’S  DAY!

Well a Happy Father’s Day to all you fathers out there, be you good, bad or indifferent! (smile) Yes, today is the day we spend celebrating that wonderful and godly gift called Fatherhood. And no, it’s not as big as the day we spend celebrating Motherhood, because the world tends to see Motherhood in a somewhat better light than Fatherhood. Therefore Mother’s Day seems to have a bigger impact on both our psyche and our active involvement than Father’s Day. 

And though fathers’ traditional role of bread-winner and ruler of the roost might have changed some, with more working mothers and more irresponsible and absentee fathers than ever before, they are still an important part of our society. (smile) But more on all of that later, because it’s Sunday and we’re going to the sanctuary to participate in faithful and exultant worship to the GREATEST FATHER there is…our heavenly Father! 

And that’s why our song of praise today is the popular Christian hymn ‘This is My Father’s World,’ written by Maltbie Davenport Babcock around the end of the 19th century. According to the website ‘God Tube’ when Babcock lived in upstate New York, in Lockport, ‘he would take strolls along the Niagara Escarpment to savour the overlook’s scenic view of upstate New York surroundings and Lake Ontario, telling his wife he was “going out to see the Father’s world.” 

The central theme of the hymn is joy and appreciation for the beauty of our natural world.’ So let’s sing it like we really mean it nuh, like we really enjoy the beauty of nature that our heavenly Father has created for our enjoyment and pleasure! Let the enthusiasm, sweet harmony and true exaltation just gush out of us on this Father’s Day. 

Altogether now: ‘This is my Father’s world, And to my listening ears All nature sings, and round me rings The music of the spheres. This is my Father’s world: I rest me in the thought Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas– His hand the wonders wrought. This is my Father’s world: The birds their carols raise, The morning light, the lily white, Declare their Maker’s praise. 

This is my Father’s world: He shines in all that’s fair; In the rustling grass, I hear Him pass, He speaks to me everywhere. This is my Father’s world: O let me ne’er forget That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the Ruler yet. This is my Father’s world: Why should my heart be sad? The Lord is King: let the heavens ring! God reigns; let earth be glad! 

I have a Father, a glorious father, He reigns in power and in LOVE, We have a Father, our glorious Father, Creator, King and God. This is my Father’s world: O let me ne’er forget That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the Ruler yet. This is my Father’s world!’ 

It certainly is my fellow saints in Christ! He made it, and He looks after it! Why do you think that the birds sing their songs of praise, and the morning light and lily white declare His praise eh? And so should we humans, His most wonderful creation! Just listen to these touching words nuh: ‘In the rustling grass, I hear Him pass, He speaks to me everywhere!’ That’s the gospel truth friends! In every aspect of nature we can view our great heavenly Father…if we would just slow down and take the time to smell the roses! 

And even more important are these immortal words: ‘O let me ne’er forget That though wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet!’ That’s for certain sure my people! Therefore why should our hearts be sad eh? ‘The Lord is king. So let the heavens ring! God reigns!’ That’s something we oftimes forget; ‘So let the earth be glad, because we have a Father, a glorious Father who reigns in power and in LOVE!’ Truer words were never spoken friends! 

But what we also have to take into account my brethren is that the Lord delegated a lot of His power here on earth to the earthly Fathers, and consequently they are required to lead us in His sovereign will, and we are also required to show them the respect demanded of that high and godly office. Parents are His earthly representatives. 

And the Lord taught it so important that He made it a part of His rules for godly living; the Ten Commandments: ‘Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.’ As always, our God says it simply and straightforward. Our fathers and mothers are the two most important people in our lives, after Him, of course. And regardless of if they are bad, good, or indifferent, it is our job to honour and revere them. 

And as Bruh Paul says later on to the Ephesians: ‘it is the first commandment with promise.’ (Eph.6:2b). That means it’s the first injunction given that has a promise attached to it; honouring and obeying parents ensures a long and prosperous life. Now, unfortunately, as our society gets less and less godly, the honouring and obeying of parents is also becoming less practiced, and a lot of us are even cursing and smiting them too. 

And the dishonouring and disobeying is especially true of fathers, many of whom, for whatever reason, are never around or don’t take any active part in their children’s lives. Remember friends, parents, especially fathers are supposed to bring up children with the word of God richly ingrained in them, starting from very young. 

So if many fathers aren’t around, or are around and don’t do it, then this exacting and rather important job is either going to fall by the wayside, or the poor mother will be forced to take it on, in addition to her many other rearing duties. That’s a lot for any parent to handle, hence the waywardness and ungodliness of so many of today’s youth. 

Ah friends, as the most important part of our society, the family crumbles, the godly commands also fall by the wayside. But we won’t give up, because that’s not in the Christian vocabulary. Instead, we’ll keep trying to push parents and children to be better, beginning with these warnings from the Lord a long, long time ago, re, honouring parents. He that smites or curses his father or mother shall surely be put to death. (Ex.21:15,17) That just goes to show how important God thought parents were. 

And a couple more admonishments from Bruh Paul: ‘Children obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right….And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture (training) and admonition of the Lord.’ (Eph.6:1,4) Yes friends, children ought to obey their parents when instructed to do anything that’s in God’s will, and fathers need to use their authority wisely, giving them proper spiritual training, as well as teaching them their responsibilities and duties. 

Let’s hope and pray that this Father’s Day will bring some recalcitrant fathers and children to the place where they see and acknowledge God’s Word and His awesome desire for their lives. Have a blessed and happy Father’s Day! Much LOVE!

…fear (revere) every man…his mother…and his father…and keep my Sabbaths…I am the Lord your God… (Lev.19:3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 June 2018 Acts 12:5.

Acts 12:5.   Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.

And then it was Friday; that magical day of the week that has us all gushing with the promise of a wonderful and relaxing weekend! 

But I don’t think the people on the Big Island of Hawaii, where the volcano has now swallowed up some 600 hundred homes, or those in Guatemala, where their volcano is starting to act up again, are thinking about a relaxing weekend. Neither are the people in Colorado where the wildfires continue spreading like wildfire. Hn! So please, let’s continue to keep them in our prayers. 

And on a note of interest, the people of the Province of Ontario here in Canada have decided to vote for change. The Progressive Conservative Party was elected with a safe majority in yesterday’s Provincial Election. Let’s hope that the change we voted for doesn’t end up worse than what we had before. 

And why you ask? Because the Leader of the party is none other than Doug Ford, the brother of the late Rob Ford, who as mayor of Toronto recently made the city the laughing stock of the world with his ‘unmayoral’ antics. Let’s hope that brother Doug is not cut from the same cloth. But remember too, that a people get the government they deserve. 

Then we have the workingman, who is more than ecstatic about the day and rejoices in song: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and soon a release from slavery! The weekend…the weekend…it’s here at last…and is it ever going to be great! Lots of wining and dining…carousing and cart wheeling! Nobody can stop we now from doing what we want to do, because now is our time. Yay! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, I wish we were as enthusiastic about our weekends as the workingman is about his. And there’s no reason why we should not be, it’s just that after hearing his song, our sinful nature hungers for the lack of boundaries, the licentiousness that’s open to the workingman which is not open to us as believers in Jesus Christ. (smile) 

Nonetheless, let’s enthusiastically chant our Friday Chant which states our belief. ‘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 mih people, our Leader, Jesus Christ, doesn’t want us involved in the lascivious and lustful activities of the world, that’s why He has sanctified and set us apart. Remember, we should be in the world, but not of the world. That brings us to our Bit, which is the same as yesterday. ‘Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.’ 

And if you’re wondering why, it’s because the story of Peter’s miraculous escape from prison has another part to it. Yesterday we ended where the angel left Peter in the street and he realized that the Lord had delivered him out of Herod’s deadly clutches. 

And the Good Book continues: ‘And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying. And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken (answer), named Rhoda. 

And when she knew Peter’s voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate. And they said unto her, Thou art mad (out of your mind). But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel. 

But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished. But he, beckoning unto them with the hand to hold their peace (keep silent), declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Go show these things unto James, and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into another place.’ (Acts 12:12-17) 

Ah friends, can you imagine how jittery Peter must have been waiting openly in the street, knocking with no one answering. What I want to point out in this message is what the scholars explain here. ‘12:12-16. Though the prayer of the church was fervent due to Peter’s situation (v.5), there was a deficiency in faith (vs.15-16). Evidently they did not believe God would answer in this miraculous way, or so soon.’ 

And unfortunately the same thing happens today: we pray fervently, but don’t believe wholeheartedly. But what’s the point in praying if we don’t truly believe eh friends? None whatsoever. Remember Jesus’ admonishment to the disciples after He cursed the barren fig tree and it died? ‘Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.’ (Mark 11:24) 

The only corollary to that my brethren, is that whatever we pray for must be in God’s will, otherwise we won’t receive it, no matter how fervent our pray and strong our belief. So please, as individuals, as well as Christ’s body here on earth, His church, let’s ramp up our belief in our prayers nuh, because as I said yesterday, miracles are still happening each and everyday to those who sincerely believe. Much LOVE!

…you won’t get a miracle…unless you truly believe for one…