Today​’s Scrip-Bit 22 April 2019 Romans 12:17.

Romans 12:17.   Recompense (repay) to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest (have regard for good things) in the sight of all men.
 
Ah my fellow believers, what an anti-climatic situation! Yes, in the heat, in the heart of our Easter Celebrations, the most important event in our faith, or rather the most important event in man’s history since the Creation, Easter Monday rolls around and many of us have to go back out to labour for our daily bread! 

Chuh! How unfortunate that the evil and ungodly world doesn’t consider Easter important enough to make the Monday following a public holiday. But some of them do think that it’s okay, in fact quite right to massacre Christians in their churches and elsewhere at Easter, as was so shamelessly done this past weekend in Sri Lanka! Ah Lord eh! When will the foolishness end eh? 

But let’s leave that topic alone for now and consider the importance of what happened at Easter time; the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ from the grave! Glory to God! And yuh know what friends, even though the ungodly world would like to trample on our physical celebrations, they can’t trample on the joy that the resurrection of Jesus Christ stimulates in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls! Absolutely not!!! And yes we need three exclamations marks there! (smile) 

For by God’s great grace, mercy and forgiveness, they can’t destroy the assurance of our own resurrection, and the ever-faithful promise of salvation and eternal life that Jesus’ triumphant victory over hell, death, the grave and our arch-foe Satan provides! Glory to God my people!

Give Him overwhelming praise and thanks for the overwhelming and unconditional LOVE He showed for us undeserving sinners when He sacrificed His only, sinless Son so selflessly for us on that old rugged cross of Calvary! 

So today, even if you’re out labouring, please keep that joy and assurance flowing freely and joyfully as you go about your tasks diligently and excellently, as Jesus desires of His followers.

And yes, you might have needed this a tad earlier, but it’s NEVER too late to pray. So let’s declare our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with the gumption, confidence and enthusiasm that Easter Sunday has raised up in us! 

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!’ 

Oh friends, by the enthusiasm, gravelly voices and slurred words, I can tell that I’m not the only one caught up in the throes of excitement and celebration of this most wonderful Easter Season! As always, those of us not going to work are rather vociferous on these occasions, but please remember Granny’s warning, ‘Sonny boy, please, please, ah beg yuh, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business!’ 

Yes my brethren, at times like these the evil one and his evil cohorts are out there seriously trolling for believers who might slip and allow them a foot or toehold into their righteous souls. So we do have to be careful and curtail our celebrations with a modicum of circumspection. 

But coming back to the massacre of Christians recently in Sri Lanka, it seems like it’s open season on believers these days. All over the world somebody or other is killing believers for no apparent reason other than that they believe! Hn! And to tell the truth, I think it’s high time that we retaliate in kind, because these people only understand one thing, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth, in other words, violence! 

Are we going to be continually led like sheep to the slaughter with no resistance? I certainly hope not! Oh, I know our faith and the Good Book says: ‘Recompense (repay) to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest (have regard for good things) in the sight of all men.’ But that’s extremely difficult friends, when the enemy is killing us with such joy and gay abandon with no one doing anything worthwhile to stop them! 

There must be something we can do to curtail this offensive and sinister state of affairs. It’s obvious that the governments of supposed Christian countries aren’t really interested in doing anything but talk when these senseless murders occur, because they soon get back into bed with the same offenders in search of money and power. So it’s definitely up to us believers to stand up in some form and fashion and do something about it. 

But then again we are constrained by our faith as to what we can actually do, for the Good Book purposefully says: ‘Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.’ (Rom.12:21) Now that’s a real hard row to hoe friends, but we just have to find some way to mitigate this senseless slaughter of our fellow believers in certain parts of the world. 

And please don’t ask me how, because you’ll just get me in trouble with the Lord! (smile) But some of you deeper and better thinkers than me, will have to come up with something, else the nonsense will just continue unabated…and possibly get worse, as the enemy begins to believe they have an open license to do their evil work. Much LOVE!

…the darkness and evil of Good Friday…has now been overcome…by the light and goodness of Easter Sunday…please…in Jesus’ name…let’s keep it going…

 

 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 12 April 2019 Proverbs 16:9.

Proverbs 16:9.   A man’s heart deviseth (plans) his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.
 

Well at long last it’s Friday, the day we’ve been waiting all week for! Consequently, many spirits are on the rise, just thinking about all the free time and fun time that’s on the horizon. And as I sit writing here at the desk in the Hyatt Regency hotel room, I have a varied set of images to engage my eyes. 

Right out in front of me is a lovely view of the Port of Spain seascape. Up close, the harbour is dotted with what looks like old. cargo ships. But then the expanse of sea extends right to the horizon, revealing different shades of blue under the somewhat cloudy early morning sky. Meanwhile to my left, is the port itself, with a jumble of different types, colours and shapes of ships, and the early morning buildup of the busy Port of Spain traffic down the Wrightson Road artery. 

And the fancy high rise building on my immediate left is the Parliament Building, where our leaders gather to supposedly discuss high matters of state, but too often end up behaving like a bunch of rowdies on the street corner! If that’s the example the supposed leaders set, what else can they expect from their constituents but the same unruly, disorderly behaviour eh? Unfortunately, that seems to be the modus operandi of most elected bodies all over the world! 

Anyway, I don’t have any set plans for the day, so we’ll just play it all by ear. I’m in T&T, so any number can play! (smile) And since it’s Friday, let’s hear what the workingman has to say in his song nuh. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! Another week of back breaking work done, and I have a li’l time to mihself now! And believe me, I’m going to use it well; to eat drink, sleep and party, and make some plans for next weekend, which is Easter weekend! 

Might even go to Tobago, if I could get a ticket, and enjoy the many activities that happen over there at Easter time. Things like goat and crab race, boat races, and parties all over the place. Tobago is the place to go for Easter in these parts. But that is next weekend, still have to enjoy this weekend first…and believe me I’m going to do it, in style and fashion too. Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes, don’t know how I would survive otherwise nuh!’ 

Ah friends, we all would like to let it all hang out like the workingman, but as true believers in Jesus Christ, we have to toe a li’l tighter line, so that the enemy doesn’t have a chance to get inside our souls and work his evil, ungodly business. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun and enjoy ourselves too, just not as leggo beast as the workingman. So let’s chant our Friday Chant to show our thanks for Friday nuh. With strong voice and true sincerity: 

‘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, it’s not as boisterous as the workingman’s song, because we have to play it a li’l closer to the vest, but it’s still thankful and joyful and give us lots of leeway. (smile) Oh, the duchess is ready to go out for breakfast, so I’ll have to stop here for a while. Soon come! 

Well I’m back finally after some hearty local breakfast at the Breakfast Shed, just up the sidewalk from the hotel. It’s a group of about ten small businesses under one broad enclosure serving local food. And the food good, so they doing good business. And most importantly, the duchess enjoyed it, so I’m happy. (smile) 

And today I’ve been led once again to the wise words of Cousin Sol for our Bit. ‘A man’s heart deviseth (plans) his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.’ And is that ever so true my people. As the old people would say, ‘man plan, but God laugh!’ That’s because He knows who is the real guide of our footsteps – He himself! 

As the scholar’s explain: ‘16:9. The Lord is sovereign over man’s scheming and planning.’ No doubt about that friends: the Creator of man is sovereign over him and can disrupt our best laid plans with a simple nod. And Cousin Sol says it this way later on: ‘There are many devices (plans) in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.’ (Prov.19:21) 

And I know that many of us can attest to that, for over the years we’ve made so many plans of our own only to see them sadly jettisoned by the Lord. Now hear how Jeremiah puts it. ‘O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.’ (Jer.10:23) 

And if all of that is true, then we have to come back to Cousin Sol’s words and ruefully ask: ‘Man’s goings (steps) are of the Lord; how can a man then understand his own way?’ (Prov.20:24) He obviously can’t because the Lord is controlling it all, and His ways and thoughts and plans are so much higher than ours. 

But let it be known that our great God never leaves us in a lurch, in a place where we are without hope, thus this great promise of His through the mouth of the prophet Jeremiah. ‘For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you and expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer. 29:11) 

How can you beat that promise eh friends? Only possibly with this one from Bruh Paul: ‘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.’ (Rom.8:28) So friends, please don’t despair when our plans are thwarted by God, for He usually has something better in mind for us, and it will ALWAYS be for our good! Much LOVE!

…God’s promises are never idle…but are meant to lift our spirits…give us hope…and strengthen our faith…

 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 1 April 2019 Ephesians 5:20.

Ephesians 5:20.   ​   Giving thanks ALWAYS for ALL things unto God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
 

And so we continue round the merry go round of our work life once again, as Monday has blazoned into our consciousness on this beautiful and sunny day in sweet Tobago! Glory to God! I’m truly sorry to hear that you all had snow in my area in the northern climes yesterday, but them’s the breaks, that’s what the northern climes are all about! (smile) 

Hope you didn’t have to trudge and drive through any snow to get to work this morning while I blessedly sit here writing on the porch, listening to the birds chirp their sweet songs of thanksgiving, admire the beautiful flora and listen to the sea lap gently and playfully on the rocky shore line. No, don’t be jealous! Let your Christian nature take hold and be glad for me, seeing that I have not enjoyed such blessings in a number of years! (smile) 

Oh don’t worry, I know it’s hard not to be envious when one of your associates is enjoying fair weather while you are experiencing the foul kind! But wherever we are in this fine universe of God’s, it’s Monday and we need to get out and labour to provide the necessities of life for our families and ourselves. And regardless of how hard we try, somehow we still always get fouled up by Monday’s. I guess it’s just the nature of the beast. 

But thankfully we have an antidote for all of our Monday morning ailments, called the Monday Morning Battle Hymn, and it just chases away all those dark and cloudy Monday skies. So let’s raise our voices and declare it (chuh- wrong again!) in sincere faith, with as much enthusiasm as we can muster: 

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!’  

Ah friends, what a quick and pleasant change sincere prayer can make in our sad and miserable spirits eh! It’s simply the awesome power of God! The amazing solution that He has developed to right our spirits; those who believe in Him and His Son Jesus Christ! For if you don’t believe in them, then NONE of what we’re talking about will work! 

As this quote from a Daily Bread Devotional so truly declares (right ho!) ‘Grateful praise satisfies us and pleases God!’ Yes my people, both parties are satisfied with words uttered in praise and thanksgiving; it corrects our spirits, and it pleases God, who made us most of all to be a source of vital communication, through praise and thanksgiving. 

No wonder Bruh Paul informed the Ephesian church thus: ‘Giving thanks ALWAYS for ALL things unto God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ And there are no truer words than those to be found in our faith my people! And Bruh Paul said the same basic thing to the Colossians: ‘And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father by him. (Col.3:17) 

 And the scholars have this to say about that verse: ‘3:17. The beneficial influence produced by the indwelling word of Christ is not only to affect public and private worship (vs.16), but it is also to control ALL areas of a Christian’s life.’ Yuh see that friends, thanks and praise and the Word of God are to be the mainstays in a believer’s life! 

You can’t be running around crazily with and longing for the things of the world, ignoring Almighty God, your Creator and Provider and expect to flourish, either in this life or the one to come! And you’ll notice too that even Jesus, the Son of God gave thanks. Check out when He fed the four thousand with seven loaves of bread and a few fishes: ‘And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks…’ (Matt.15:36) 

And He did the same thing when He fed the five thousand men with five loaves of bread and two fishes. ‘Then he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them, and brake, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude.’ (Luke 9:16) Yes friends, Jesus knew where His bread was buttered; in heaven, at the Father’s throne, and the only reason He could do those miracles is because He looked to the Father and also gave thanks! 

And if Jesus needed to do that, then how much more we mere sinful mortals need to come to the throne of grace in humility and thanksgiving eh? Even when Jesus initiated the holy act of communion in His remembrance; ‘He took bread and blessed it…And He took the cup, and gave thanks…’ (Matt.26:26-27) 

Not much more to say friends, except to add Bruh Paul’s directive to the Thessalonians: ‘Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess.5:16-18) Now as obedient children of God, let’s go out and do exactly that today nuh! Much LOVE!

…continue in prayer…and watch in the same…with thanksgiving…

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 29 March 2019 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.
 

Oh friends, please give God the glory! Yes, give him much thanks and praise for bringing the ole fella home to sweet Tobago…the land of salt water and sunshine…togetherness and LOVE! Yeh, the ole fella is in Paradise, God’s li’l acre! 

Don’t blame me! I was quite prepared to spend the whole winter in the cold climes, but the duchess got fed up with the crazy weather and a sickly, whining husband and decided to bring me here to see if I could get better some! (smile) 

As she said to me this morning when she got up and looked out on her idyllic scene: beautiful tropical flora, blowing in cool breezes flowing off the gently undulating sea as it washes up on the rocky shore – she knew it would make my heart glad…and hers too…and does it ever! And you know I’ll never refuse a trip to sweet Tobago! 

Sorry to leave you all back up there in the cold, but I myself am sick and tired of being sick and tired – never happened to me before – (smile) and I do believe my old bod will do good with the constant sunshine and salt water…just wish it could be for at least six months…but as my wise mama always taught me: ‘Son be thankful for small mercies!’ And yuh better believe I am! 

Anyway, it’s Friday and the workingman is just dying to trill out his weekend song. So let’s allow him to have his say nuh. “TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! Wow! Another weekend already! This one really caught me by surprise! I was so busy working I didn’t even notice the days just flying by! 

But yuh better believe that now is my time! I put in mih required time in the slave master work, now is time for me to enjoy mihself and party and eat and drink and enjoy the fruit of my labour as the wisest man ever, King Solomon said, cause that’s the benefit from our great and generous God! 

And since spring is in the air, although it still chilly when the day come with the cold wind blowing, is now time to get ready for all the stuff that’s going to be soon happening. Mama Yo! Everybody will be sure glad to see the end of this crazy winter! But in the meantime we going to give God thanks for Fridays and weekends, otherwise life woulda been real rough with we yes! Thank you Lord, thank you!’ 

Yes friends, we do have to give much thanks and praise to our heavenly Father for looking after us the way He does…even the ordinary working man realizes and appreciates that, so how much more should we true believers recognize and appreciate it eh? Much much more! And really the basic difference between our Friday Chant and the workingman’s song is that we recognize tighter, narrow boundaries than He does. 

Our Redeemer, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ doesn’t want us hanging off the edge of the limbs, because they might just break and send us plunging headlong into the chasm of hell with the powers of darkness and that would be very unfortunate for us. So to celebrate His ultimate wisdom, let’s chant our Friday Chant nuh, with the enthusiasm and sense of purpose that the workingman showed in his song. 

Altogether 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, as believers we always need to be cognizant of what’s happening around us because the enemy is always lurking around trying to bring us down to his disreputable level, then laugh cowardly at how we have fallen. We must try our best however not to give him that pleasure as Peter advises, by casting all of our care upon God, because He cares very much for us. And then, ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.’ 

Yuh see I wasn’t lying! The devil is always trying to get some toehold or foothold in our business so he can drag us down then cackle at our fall from grace. But as Peter continues, he’s a monster, ‘Whom (we need to) resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished (are experienced) in your brethren that are in the world.’ (1 Pet.5:9) 

Yeh mih people, all of us experience afflictions and trials in this earthly life, but our Redeemer has said that He’s overcome the world and we ought not to let the trials of this world bother us too much, instead we should be more cheerful than fearful, because He has already given us the victory! Praise His Holy Name! 

And Peter, in his reassuring message, puts it this way: ‘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.’ (1Pet.5:10) Yes my fellow believers, we have to believe that, otherwise our faith is useless. 

And you can bet your bottom dollar that I am believing it yes; believing that all the sickness and other unfortunate stuff that’s come against me in the last couple of years will be improved with this trip to Tobago, and thus grow my faith, glory by glory! (smile) 

Anyhow, enough for today, lemme go outside and enjoy some of the nice sunshine and hot weather and beautiful surroundings, because that’s what I came here for. (smile) Don’t be jealous – be glad for me, because it will make me a better person! Much LOVE!

… if you claim to be a believer…then you have to truly believe…and let it show in your life…otherwise you’re nothing but a Pharisee…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 February 2019 John 17:17.

John 17:17.   ​Sanctify them (set them apart) through thy truth: thy word is truth.
 

Can you believe it friends, it’s the first day of February already! Wow! The days are certainly slipping by quite quickly. It seems like just last week we were celebrating New Years, now Valentine’s Day is already upon us. (smile) And the iron grip of the deep freeze has been loosened a little, it’s only minus 18 in my neck of the woods today! Glory Be! 

And by Sunday we are promised temps just around freezing, even some rain. Hn, hn! What a weather cycle! But as I keep saying, we sincere believers in Jesus have all the parts to handle whatever comes against us, through His ever glorious strengthening! Give Him thanks and praise my people! 

Now since today is Friday, let’s hear what the workingman has to say for himself nuh. And as always, he has plenty to say: ‘TGIF! Thank the Lord is Friday oui! But Brother! This past week been cold suh! It seems as though every time I step outside it want to freeze off my li’l nutsies! (smile)

But in this country yuh know yuh can’t stay home from work because it cold, else yuh get fired…and believe me, the slave driver at my place was just itching to fire somebody this week who claim that they was sick, when is the cold have them fraid to come out to work! 

But thank the Lord, the devil man didn’t get a chance to fire anybody, because everybody come out this week…and we was punctual too! Almost give the man a heart attack when he couldn’t fire nobody or deduct money because yuh late! But is the weekend time now, we time off, and time to party…

And believe me not even this cold weather going to stop we from enjoying we self! Yuh don’t have to go outside to enjoy yuhself. So we’ll be living it up large inside, this weekend. Thank the Lord for Fridays and weekends yes mih people!’ 

Ah friends, the workingman is truly something else yes; he lays it all on the line, does whatever he feels inclined to do; loses himself in the bacchanalian manner of life without a care in the world. However, as followers of Christ, we cannot afford to be that free and easy. We have borders and boundaries to protect us from the constant attacks of the enemy. Thus our Friday Chant is different to the workingman’s song. Chant it with me now nuh, in strong voice with sincere hearts. 

‘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 friends, ours is a more sanctified, set apart lifestyle, since we don’t want the devil messing with our minds and lives. Remember where Jesus prayed for the disciples, and ultimately for us? ‘They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them (set them apart) through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. 

And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word. That they all may be one; as thou, Father art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.’ (John 17:16-21) 

Ah friends, yuh see how Jesus was right on the ball? He didn’t want us to be a part of the world, but knew that we could only bring the world to Him if we went to it. And He asked that we be sanctified, separated from the world by the Truth, God’s Word which is totally true! And just like the Father sent Jesus to earth to preach the gospel and bring sinners to the truth, Jesus has sent those who believe in Him out to do the same thing. 

Our purpose, the mission of Christ’s church is the same as His mission. And please note Christ’s prayerful plea, that we should ALL be one in spirit and purpose, for without spiritual unity our mission would fail miserably. Oh friends, sanctification of Christ’s people is oh so important if we want to do Christ’s work properly! 

Hear how Bruh Paul greets the church at Corinth: ‘Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours. Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.’ (1 Cor.1:2-3) 

Ah mih people, we cannot be sanctified in Christ unless we have a right relationship with Almighty God. Hear how Jude puts it: ‘Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified (set apart) by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called: Mercy unto you, and peace, and LOVE, be multiplied.’ (Jude 1:1-2) 

And the scholars offer these explanations of those verses: ‘1: Sanctified and preserved are in the perfect tense: Christians are once and continually “set apart” and “kept.” They are kept for the return of Christ (see v.21).’ ‘2. Believers who have sought God’s mercy also receive peace (“inner assurance” and “stability”) and LOVE.’ Now doesn’t it make sense to be sanctified and seek God’s mercy? It certainly does! 

Ah friends, there are many other scriptures throughout the Good Book that deal with sanctification. I’d advise us to take some time and look them up, because sanctification is very important in the life of a true believer. Much LOVE!

…believers can only be sanctified…through the work of the Holy Spirit…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 December 2018 Lamentations 3:22.

Lamentations 3:22.   It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
 
Aye mih people, it’s a brand new day with new mercies, LOVE, forgiveness, blessings and all the other good things that our magnanimous and ever-LOVING God showers down on us each and every single day! Glory be! Give Him much thanks and praise for His enduring goodness and LOVING-kindness to the undeserving children of men! Yes friends, is our God ever good to us! 

And would you believe that with only four days – not four shopping days (smile) to Christmas that we have rain in our area and not the crazy white stuff called snow! I’m surely grateful for that, although the skiers and other snow people won’t be thrilled.

Sorry people, but the Controller of the universe apparently feels for rain right now, not snow, and consequently there’s nothing we can do about it! But have no fear, we will get our fair share of the white stuff…in God’s time, that is! 

And the workingman has not forgotten us in these most celebratory times. Hear him sing his song: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday – the weekend! And only four days till Christmas too! Oh how we going to make merry and celebrate Christmas…but I already doing that yes!

I eating mih home made bread with ham flavoured with chow chow an’ pepper sauce! Brother does that ever taste good! Nice heavy bread with substance, not them light fluffy chupidness they sell in the bakery an’ call them bread! 

Then ah washing it down with sweet sorrel or ginger beer…an’ black cake and ice cream for dessert. Yuh smell how the alco strong in the cake? If yuh eat too much it soon black yuh up yes! (smile) And all we doing is going round to other people’s houses, singing carols and sweet parang music, an’ eating and drinking up all their Christmas goodies! Oh Christmas is such a wonderful time! Thank God for Fridays, weekends and Christmas oui!’ 

Yeh friends, Christmas is indeed a wonderful time, and all the celebrating is good, but it should not be paramount in our lives. The birth of our Lord and Saviour is what should hold first place in our lives this Christmas season, for it’s the very reason for the season! Without the birth of Christ, there’d be no Christmas! 

So why have we allowed that fact to be obscured by the foolishness of the man made festivities eh, where shopping and other bacchanalian activities seem to be honoured above the birth of our Saviour? Yuh can’t even say ‘Merry Christmas’ to some people! All they want to hear is the foolishness bout ‘Happy Holidays!’ What holiday is it eh? CHRISTMAS! So say it loud and proud: ‘MERRY CHRISTMAS!’ 

And forget the nonsensical watering down of the time when our God gave us His greatest gift ever: that of the birth of His only Son Jesus Christ, so that He would grow and show us the Father, and eventually die on the cross at Calvary to atone for our heinous and abominable sins! Brother! How can we not celebrate and give oodles of sincere thanks for such wonderful occurrences eh? 

My Christian brethren, please let’s not fall into the enemy’s trap of considering Christmas as more of a worldly time than it is eh. It’s ALL ABOUT CHRIST! So please let’s keep the CHRIST in CHRISTMAS! Keep it first place, like we ought to keep God first place in our overall lives! End of sermon! (smile) 

And I’ve talked so much about keeping Christ in Christmas that I almost forgot about our Friday Chant. Hn! So please let’s chant it up now with the same enthusiasm that the workingman placed in his song. Altogether now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Ah friends, it’s not as worldly as the workingman’s song, but it serves our purposes rather admirably; keeping us away from the excesses of the world, and more in line with the straight and narrow path that’s Christ desire for His people. That finally brings us to our Bit; a most wonderful piece of encouraging and reassuring scripture: ‘It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.’ 

And is that the gospel truth or what my faithful brethren! If it wasn’t for the Lord’s compassionate heart and intense care for us, we’d be long burnt up like the noonday sun burns up the dry grass! That’s why we need to take our Christian faith more seriously than many of us are doing. But hear how poor Jeremiah continues as he laments over his trials and tribulations nuh. 

‘They (the Lord’s mercies) are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.’ (Lam.3:23-26) 

Oh my people, those are indeed words of eternal wisdom! If we sincerely believe in God, then we have to HOPE and WAIT for His timing and dispensation! Nothing else makes any sense. And if you don’t believe me, then listen to the scholars’ explanation of that last section. ‘3:26. Jeremiah’s observation resembles those of other saints who have expressed great grief of soul (Hab. 2:20; 3:17-19; cf. Job 40:3-5; Ps.37:7; 73:23-27; Is.26:3; 2 Cor.1:7; 2 Thess.3:5).’ 

Yuh see friends, even though the great saints suffered trials and tribulations, and more than most of us do nowadays too, they all felt the assurance of hoping in and waiting for God. And I just looked up all those scriptures the scholars noted, and they are indeed interesting and inspiring stuff. So please look them up yourselves so that you too can be enthused and reassured! That’s the only sensible way to live this life my people! Much LOVE!

…ONLY because of Christ’s birth…is there Christmas…let’s remember that…and act accordingly…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 December 2018 Ezekiel 20:7.

Ezekiel 20:7.   ​Then said I unto them, Cast ye away every man the abomination of his eyes (which are before his eyes), and defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.
 
And then it was Friday…a whole comedy of errors! The sun’s shining brightly, but I’m tired and listless… Why? Because I never truly got to bed until six o’clock this morning. I did something I haven’t done in ages; read a book through the night! Bubba! It was good, though I’m paying for it now. I went to bed around 12.30, woke up about two, and I’ve had this book on my small Kobo e-reader that I usually only use for doctor’s appointments and such, because it’s small and easy to carry around. 

But a few days ago I began this book and it piqued my interest, and I’ve been wanting to finish it ever since. So when I got up around two a.m to go the bathroom and feeling fresh, I just couldn’t resist the lure and the incessant mating call of the book siren. (smile) So I sat on the edge of my bed and just read until it was done. And I wasn’t disappointed either. Imagine my consternation though, when I looked at the clock and saw five fifty five. Hn, hn! 

Then when I got up just now, I thought I saw the clock saying 8 o’clock…so I thought fine. I’m okay. But just after making my coffee, I happened to look at the clock on the stove and saw it saying after nine. Obviously I was taken aback, and had to look at the clock on the microwave to confirm that it was really after nine. So obviously the Bit will be late… And that’s my story… And I’m sticking to it! (smile) 

But out there in the real world all the working people are smiling and jubilant, hugging and kissing and wishing each other Merry Christmas, not Happy Holidays, as they write their Christmas lists or get to the stores to fill them! And there’s none more jubilant than the ordinary workingman as he sings his Friday song: 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday…and Christmas is on the way! The merchants will be smiling as their cash registers go …kaching…kaching! But I’ll be enjoying the best part of the season; eating and drinking and singing carols! Let them spend up the money that they don’t have on gifts and all the other trappings! 

Me, I’ll just be taking it easy, karaying mih body as the sweet Christmas music washes over me, and the waters flow like there was no tomorrow! And the eats! Mama Yo! Christmas holidays have the best eats ever; the black cake and the big Christmas ham and all them other fine West Indian delicacies!  Brother! I’m I ever thankful for Fridays and weekends, especially at Christmas time! That is the bestest!’ 

And I do have to agree with the workingman; Christmas time is the best time in terms of eats as well as celebrations. But please, let’s not forget the real reason for Christmas; the miraculous conception and virgin birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

That’s what Christmas is supposed to be all about, although, like everything else we’ve turned it into one big shopping party and half of us don’t even know or remember the real reason for the supposed Christmas Holiday! Chuh Poole! That’s my own statement of disgust at that untenable situation! 

Anyway, our Friday Chant might not be as frivolous and celebration tinged as the workingman’s song, but it’s what we need to keep us on the straight and narrow. So let’s chant up a storm nuh, just like the workingman did. Altogether 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!’ 

And not having a Bit for the day, I just opened the Good Book unto an interesting piece of scripture; the prophet Ezekiel chiding the rebellious people of Israel in the Lord’s name. ‘Then said I unto them, Cast ye away every man the abomination of his eyes (which are before his eyes), and defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.’ 

Oh my people, I believe the Lord is saying the same thing to us today, re all the idols we’re focused upon, especially in this festive Christmas season. Remember, whatever takes our attention away from God is an idol!

And you can’t doubt the fact that at Christmas time when we’re supposed to be wrapped up in the glorious birth of Christ, most of us are more wrapped up in the trappings and gift buying and the holiday time than that most auspicious occasion, the sacred birth of Jesus Christ, God’s greatest gift to man! 

And the sad part is that many of our homes don’t have the aura of Christ floating around as we prepare for this special occasion. Nothing’s wrong with all the celebrations and festivities, but please friends, please, I implore us, let’s put the horse before the cart nuh, let’s make Jesus the centre-piece of our Christmas activity, as it ought to be, so that we don’t incur the Lord’s wrath! 

Don’t fool yuh fat nuh, that wrath WILL come eventually, if we keep up the idol worship! The Lord might be long-suffering, but certainly not for ever! Much LOVE!

…remember…Jesus IS  the reason…for the Christmas season…let’s acknowledge it…with plenty pomp and pride nuh…

 

 

 

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