Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 March 2020 Matthew 23:28.

Matthew 23:28.    ​Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (lawlessness).
 
Well Saturday has dawned dry and sunshiny… Thank the Lord yes! Unlike yesterday, which had a constant drizzling of snow in all it’s various shapes and sizes; wet, dry, light, heavy. Thankfully though, none of it stayed on the ground and we’re now looking forward to a warm weekend. Glory be! I’m not accustomed to this cold and snow business nuh! (smile) Somebody was against me yesterday, or trying to send me some kind of message, because on my first day back from ‘paradisiacal’ Jamaica, every time I looked out the window all I saw was this white stuff floating down from the heavens. Chuh man! It’s enough to depress a body! (smile) 

But now it’s Saturday, a new and different day; one filled with the many new mercies and compassions of our magnificent and magnanimous God! Bless His holy name! So let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And this first one says: ‘It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.’ And it’s strange how all of us can look at the same thing and see something different. A good example of that is a ghetto or a sorrowful person. 

Some of us will be disgusted by either sight and simply walk away as quickly as possible. On the other hand, some will see the sad plight of the place and person and be filled with compassion, and feel a burning desire to help.’ It’s all in our attitudes friends, the state of our hearts. And as believers in Christ, we ought to display the latter attitude. Our hearts ought to be filled with compassion for the lost, the sick and lonely, like Jesus’ heart was, and still is filled with compassion for us. 

And then there’s this: ‘A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.’ I guess the basic premise there is greed. How many things do we need to feel materially wealthy, as opposed to how many things we don’t need, because we’re spiritually rich? Now that’s a good question. And the best answer I can give is Jesus’ warning: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) The things of the world ought not to have us in such a deadly grip that we don’t put the Lord first place in our lives. 

And the next quote says: ‘Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.’ Now that should be obvious, since it’s basic common sense. But it also implies that we will be growing in the meanwhile. However, unfortunately, a lot of us are not growing, or in the way we should, and that includes believers. So how can we do better eh? That means we have to try our best to grow in the right way, in godliness, because we can only do better when we grow, and grow in the right way. 

We certainly waxing philosophical this morning oui! (smile) And we’ll also get scriptural too. (smile) For as James warns us: ‘Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.’ (James 4:17) So if we know that we should improve in a godly way, so we can do good, and don’t do it, then it just might be imputed to us as sin. Now that ought to stir us up to some godly movement. (smile) 

That leads us to this last quote, a relative to the previous one. ‘Persistence, perseverance, and continuous improvement are the ingredients for forming a successful person.’ And that’s the God awesome truth! Regardless of how rich and educated you are, even if you are filled with Bible knowledge, you will not be successful unless you put some blood, sweat and tears into your endeavour, whatever it may be. Yes friends, even when you know and practice the Word of God, persistence and perseverance are still necessary to be successful. 

And these well known words of Calvin Coolidge, (1872-1933) the 30th President of the U.S. puts it all in the proper perspective. ‘Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.’ And that’s no lie, since you can’t solve a problem unless you keep pressing on to solve it. Philosophy 101! 

Unfortunately though, we as true believers in Christ Jesus need those words more than any other set of people in our current world, because we drastically need to step up our fight against the evil and darkness that’s shrouding our world like a blanket. We’re definitely not as persistent and determined as we need to be. There is too much disunity and dissension in Christ’s body, the church, and then it’s members are also  too laid back, lazy and compromising. That’s why evil is currently ruling the roost. 

And if you didn’t know it before, let me enlighten you now. We, the supposed true believers in Christ, are the ones who are expected to fight the good fight of faith, to run a glorious and powerful race in Jesus name! Remember, Christ expects us to be the salt and light of the earth. But we’ve apparently lost our saltiness, and talk about lacking in light – we don’t seem to be shining at all. You have to look hard to find a decent Christian these days. Remember we are to be known by our works… 

Well, not enough of us are doing enough sincere works with the right motives, so that we can be noticeable and have others come to want Jesus. Instead, the main word you’ll hear re Christians is ‘hypocrite!’ And sadly that’s the truth, because we’ve become so much like the Pharisees that Jesus condemned in Matt. 23, like whitewashed  tombs, who appear beautiful on the outside but on the inside it’s another story. ‘Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (lawlessness.)’ 

And unfortunately that can be said of too many supposed believers today, and it’s a convenient excuse for many who refuse to go to church because there are too many hypocrites within its walls. But the truth of the matter friends, is that we are ALL hypocritical in some respect and to some degree, thus going to church will only add one more to the group. (smile) Seriously though my brethren, it’s time we stop being so clean and righteous on the outside and so sinful and nasty on the inside because it doesn’t draw others to Christ, just turns them away. 

So please, let’s ask the Lord, starting right now, to clean us up inside nuh, so that both sides of us will truly be the same and we can then be good and sincere ambassadors of Christ. Much LOVE!

…it’s what comes out of the mouth…that defiles a man…not what goes in… (Matt.15:11)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 February 2020 Proverbs 27:4.

Proverbs 27:4.    ​Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous (a torrent); but who is able to stand before envy (jealousy)?
 

So at last it’s Friday, and everybody sighing a sigh of relief…as though we work so hard this week, (smile) when so many of us don’t know the real meaning of hard work! Our parents, and their parents knew the meaning of hard work because they didn’t have all the amenities and accoutrements that we have nowadays, and yet many of them did a nine to five like us and didn’t complain half as much as we do. 

I guess the problem is that we’ve become too accustomed to the easy life and lost all the spine our parents had. And it’s not that some of us don’t have it hard in these modern times, but it’s just a different kind of hard. However, is Friday, and work soon done, so enough of the philosophizing. I’m in paradise, or a part of paradise, and I do feel sorry for those of you who are enshrined in the cold. (smile) 

But it seems like I’m not even in the best part, because a breddren wrote in response to yesterday’s Bit, that I should not boast because he’s in heaven, sweet Tobago. (smile) Yes Antonius, who showing off now eh? Right now I only have a slice of heaven, but one of these good days I’ll be in heaven too! And yes Miss Althea, I’ll look after my diet. I’m only having breakfast and dinner. In any case, I’m not much into food since that tumour operation a couple of years ago. 

So what’s happening today? Same as yesterday…nothing! The duchess just went out, like yesterday, don’t know when she’ll be back either. But that’s okay by me, she’s home, and I’m happy just to go and soak in the salt, eat some jerk something or a burger, and drink a yellow bird or some other such exotic cocktail over by the beach hut, then come back and rest before dinner and some decent entertainment they have tonight. 

Last night when we wanted to go out nobody took us out, and we ended up listening to a karaoke show, then went to check out the disco which was too loud and too young, (smile) but I’m sure tonight when I want to stay in and hear the live band, somebody’s going to show up. Anyway, the sun’s shining and the cool sea breeze is blowing, although it’s somewhat cloudy and the planes are still coming and going. Mo Bay seems to be real popular this winter season. Don’t even know the temperature, and I don’t care, once I can go outside in shirtsleeves or even barebacked. (smile) 

And the ordinary workingman is just dying to let his voice be heard, so let’s bring him up nuh: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! The weekend…the weekend! That is all I can look forward to yes! But brother, some people real lucky though, they get to go away for the winter! 

Chuh! Wish I could do that too, but with the li’l pittance the slave master pay me, and with mih big family like I’ll never be able to afford a foreign vacation, not even in the summer, much less in the winter. But is okay. I born and grow here in the cold, and the cold is all I really know, except for the short summer months.

And I’ve learned to never jealous people for what they have because yuh never know how they get it, possibly even sell their soul, and unless you willing to do the same, then it doh make sense to jealous them. So let me just enjoy my weekend yes, do my thing, watch mih tv, drink mih drinks, play with mih children, LOVE mih wife and thank God for Fridays and weekends and that I still alive to enjoy them!’ 

Of a truth friends! The workingman sure has innate wisdom and common sense. Some people might be a tad jealous that I’m here holidaying in sunny Jamaica, but they don’t know what I did to be able to get here. I might have even sold my soul. (smile) And like is not me alone selling we soul, because since I began writing the workingman speech, some five planes passed in to land at the nearby airport. 

And since we not jealous and envious because we’re Christian breddren, (smile) let’s chant our Friday Chant nuh, letting the whole world know how we going to spend our weekend. As one 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, we always have to be cognizant of our ambassadorial position for Jesus, and we can’t go about vikey-vie and wishy-washy when we doing His business, meaning we always have to be on our p’s and q’s, whatever we doing, since we’re always representing Him. And I wasn’t planning to get into envy and jealousy nuh, but the thought just kept nagging at me, and some good envy scripture is always useful in this troubled and evil world. (smile) 

So here goes, from the wisest of the wise, Cousin Sol. ‘Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous (a torrent); but who is able to stand before envy (jealousy)?’ Nobody friends, nobody! Envy and jealousy are two of the enemy’s mightiest weapons. No wonder Cousin Sol warned earlier on: ‘Fret not thyself because of evil men, neither be thou envious of the wicked.’ (Prov.24:19) And again: ‘Let not thine heart envy sinners; but be thou in the fear of the Lord all the day long.’ (Prov. 23:17) 

Oh friends, there are so many stories in the Good Book about envy and the trouble it causes, but we don’t have time to visit but a couple. Remember why Cain killed Abel? Because he was jealous that the Lord accepted his brother’s sacrifice and not his own. (1 John 3:12) And look at the mighty psalmist, Asaph. He says plainly: ‘But as for me, my feet were almost gone (I had almost stumbled); my steps had well-nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish (boastful), when I saw the prosperity of the wicked…. Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.’ (Ps.73:2-3, 17) 

Oh my people, if such a man of God could be envious of the prosperity of the wicked, you can imagine how it’s also easy for us to fall prey to the enemy’s temptations where envy and jealousy are concerned. So please let’s not be caught up in the envy game nuh, because it’s the most dangerous and cruel game on earth. The Lord will provide all that we NEED, though not necessarily all that we WANT! 

So let’s be truly Christian-like and be satisfied with what we have nuh! Much LOVE!

…our motto ought to be…the Lord is my shepherd…I shall not want…so I won’t have cause to envy…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 February 2020 Proverbs 27:1.

Proverbs 27:1.    ​Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring.

 

And yuh see how life could turn back and bite yuh! Yes, for all of you in the G.T.A, who were crowing yesterday morning because you didn’t have to go to work, yuh see the dangerous and messy conditions you have to go out in today…the white enemy all over, after a heavy snowfall last night! Serve yuh right for lording it over those who had to go and labour yesterday! (smile) 

Ah friends, it’s just another winter’s day in the northern climes, and as you valiantly forge through it, you must have a good attitude, laugh and chuckle, hope for and think of the sunshine and good weather that soon come, otherwise it’s just going to drive you crazy, as you slip and slide through it. You might not like the snow, but the wise thing to do is to mentally embrace it, with Jesus’ help of course, so you’re not always flustered and bothered when you encounter it. 

Yes, that can be easier said than done, but like everything else in this world, we have been endowed with the parts to live a pleasant and abundant life, we just have to put our best foot forward in Jesus’ name. And all of that brings us to this ever so important principle of scripture and life in general. Hear these immortal, truthful and wise words of Cousin Sol. ‘Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring.’ 

And Jesus described it ever so well in the parable of the rich fool, who had so much wealth and not enough space to store it, that he decided to tear down all and build bigger and better… ‘and there will I bestow (store) all my fruits (crops) and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.’ (Luke 12:18-19) Yes my brethren, that’s how too many of us behave, believers included. We live too much for the world’s wealth and pretty but worthless possessions. 

And Jesus continued His parable with these words of everlasting wisdom. ‘But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?’ Yeh friends, for the lawyers and other professionals involved in the tremendous and foolish litigation that will follow his death! We see that played out everyday in the lives of the rich and famous: somebody is never satisfied with their portion of the estate, or unhappy that they didn’t get any. 

And the warning is also in the Old Testament. In 1 Kings 20, when Ben-hadad, king of Syria, threatened Ahab, king of Israel to destroy Samaria unless he gave up his wealth and power voluntarily, Ahab answered: ‘Tell him, let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth it off.’ (1 Kin. 20:11) Yes my people, we never know what’s going to happen in between time. And Ben-hadad in his righteous anger was defeated by Israel, obviously with God’s help, when he finally came against them. 

But getting back to Jesus’ parable of the rich fool. Here is how He ended it. ‘So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.’ (Luke 12:21) And the scholars explain: ‘12:21. Here Jesus brings out the meaning of verses 16-20. Notice that what Jesus calls for follows quite logically out of His own example (2 Cor.8:9), as well as out of God’s graciousness toward all who seek Him (Rom.10:12). Jesus is thus not speaking of a pay-as-you-go faith, but of participation in a relationship in which God already provides what He wishes His people to give back to Him.’ 

Oh my people, remember all that we have belongs to God, and we’re just stewards of His belongings, so it’s rather boldfaced of us to think that we’re giving Him our things. (smile) Anyway, we have space to highlight those two scriptures the scholars quote above. ‘For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.’ (2 Cor. 8:9) Yes, when coming to sacrificial LOVE, Jesus is the poster child for that, the mightiest example to be ever found! 

And the next verse declares (yeah!): ‘For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.’ (Rom.10:11-12) I put in verse 11 so that the context could be better understood, that our God is rich in mercy, grace, forgiveness, what ever have you, towards all and any that call on Him, in sincerity of heart, be they Jew or Gentile! So it doesn’t make sense for us to become so attached to the things of the world, as so many of us are. 

Now hear James theorize on the subject: ‘Go to (come) now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain (make a profit): Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this or that. But now ye rejoice (boast) in your boastings (arrogance): all such rejoicing is evil. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.’ (James 4:13-17) 

And the scholars offer a couple of explanations. ‘4:15. This, or that: This verse teaches that God does have something for Christians to do and that they should plan accordingly. James condemns only elaborate planning that omits God (cf. Prov. 16:9).’ ‘4:17. To do good here requires including God in one’s plans. Omitting God is not merely bad planning; it is sin.’ Now if all of that doesn’t grab our attention and teach us not leave God out of any of our business, then I don’t know what will. (smile) 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeah!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are! In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘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!’ 

And the end goal is to now go out and share that wonderful friendship and amazing LOVE with those who don’t know Him! Much LOVE!

…a man’s heart deviseth (plans) his way…but the Lord directeth his steps… (Prov.16:9)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 February 2020 John 10:10.

John 10:10.    ​The thief (Satan) cometh not but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy; I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
 

 

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

Happy  Valentine’s Day, my Scrip-Bit friends and family! It’s the Day of LOVE, or LOVE Day as celebrated by the world for consumerism purposes, to further enrich the coffers of the already wealthy! And yes, we know that a lot of it is not true LOVE, but once it has to do with treating people better, offering gifts and tender, compassionate feelings, then we ought to embrace it, especially since this is the ONLY day in the year truly dedicated to showing LOVING feelings. (smile) 

The flowers and the cards and the chocolates and other gifts will be rushing out of the stores today – I’ve got mine already – and the smiles on the owners faces will be huge as they hear those cash registers ring and ring – chhhring …chhhring…! But although it’s so commercialized, we still have to hold on to it, because it is a form of spreading LOVE…God’s most important character trait! 

And what better day for it to fall on than a Friday, when people are normally overjoyed to see their work week wind down and their time become their own for a couple of days. And no one is as enthused as the ordinary workingman, so let’s hear what he has to say nuh. And we can always depend on him for an interesting word, as he declares (yeah!): 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! The week wasn’t too bad, as I’m learning my limitations, and not stressing out mihself on the work like before. Yeah! And is also Valentine’s Day to boot. A good weekend that! Going to get a baby-sitter for the children and take the wife out to dinner and a movie! I’ve already lavished her with flowers and chocolates! 

Valentine’s Day is one of our special times because that’s the day we had our first kiss, oh so long ago, behind the barn on her father’s farm out in the country! I could remember it like it was yesterday…one of the most tender moments we’ve ever shared. And I know she’s looking forward to this weekend, just like I am! Brother! We going to make some more good memories to add to those we already have! Mama Yo! Thank God for Fridays, weekends and Valentine’s Day yes!’  

Now don’t you just adore the workingman’s simple joy and enthusiasm? I certainly do! Perhaps that’s because I’m merely a simple workingman my self. (smile) But that’s what life is about friends, making good, godly memories with those we LOVE and care for. 

Remember Jesus’ immortal words regarding the sheep of His pasture, His followers: ‘The thief (Satan) cometh not but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy; I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ Glory be mih people! 

That means that Jesus didn’t come to earth to die, to sacrifice his sinless self so that we could live, miserable, unhappy lives. No way Jose! He came that we could enjoy life while doing His bidding! What’s the point of Him atoning for our sins and giving us His righteousness, and reconciling us to the Father and making us One with Him, if we had to be miserable and downtrodden doing it eh? We were already doing that before He came, so why come for us to do the same thing eh? 

And as Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) says, that’s why she calls her television programme ‘Enjoying Everyday Life,’ because that’s why Christ came to earth, so that He could release us from the bondage of sin and have down here on earth, a good, healthy and happy relationship with each other and ultimately the Father! 

Yuh see how all yuh get me carried away there! (smile) That’s because I hate to see miserable, slobbering, poe (poor) me one, like they on their last breath, no belly and backbone people calling themselves Christians! We have ALL the best blessings of God, like we declared in our Thursday Blessings yesterday, so why should we go around tired looking, fearful and miserable eh? 

We’re supposed to be the happiest, most joyful and most powerful people on the planet, because our heavenly father is the Creator of the Universe and the most important and powerful person therein! So please my fellow believers, let’s cut out this struggling appearance that we portray to the world nuh. Tell me, if Jesus had come to you with our poor me one attitude and a life of constant struggle and poverty, would you have embraced it and or Him? Definitely not! 

Likewise if we bring that kind of attitude to our fellow man as that which Jesus desires of His followers, you expect them to accept it? Not on yuh life! So it’s time we not only stand up strong in Christ, but also LOOK STRONG, for remember the world judges so much on outward appearance and we won’t ever entice them to have a look at Jesus if we look poor and downtrodden. As Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley ) likes to say: When you go out to represent Jesus, you must look your best, be your best and do your best! It couldn’t be any clearer or wiser than that friends! (smile) 

And no, I haven’t forgotten our Friday Chant, it’s just that you all threw me a curved ball about our less than appropriate way of living everyday life that led me into the unavoidable spiel… (smile) But that’s okay. I guess it needed to be said, to remind us of the privileged people we are, and that we ought to show it in our lifestyle. 

So all together now, let’s chant: ‘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, we need to have our wits about us, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy ourselves, once we stay within certain boundaries as outlined by Jesus. And contrary to popular opinion, there’s a lot of leeway in His rules and regulations, (smile) we just like to overdo it. We’re not happy unless we’re overdoing it. I guess that’s our natural sinful nature showing up there. Anyway, please have a Happy Valentine’s Day, spread the LOVE, the true LOVE, AGAPE LOVE, like Jesus wants and all will be fine! Much LOVE!

…what’s a day of LOVE…without joyful feelings ruling the roost…and the author of LOVE being celebrated…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 February 2020 Psalm 18:32.

Psalm 18:32.    ​It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.
 
Monday, oh Monday, how good you are to me! I truly do LOVE you! You cause me to get up early in the morning…while it’s still dark…and I haven’t had enough sleep…to fumble around and struggle to get dressed and go out in the freezing cold, to a freezing car, and then inch my way on a blocked up highway, full of sleepy-eyed and grouchy people just like me. 

And after it takes me an hour to make a normal fifteen minute drive, I get to the concrete jungle and search for another fifteen minutes to get a parking spot, that costs an arm and a leg, I finally get to my desk and plop myself down in the chair more tired than ever, but now expected to put in a full and productive 8 hour day, doing stuff that doesn’t turn my crank! And this is only the first of five consecutive days of this nonsense! (smile) 

Ah friends, we give Mondays such a bad rap eh, when the problem lies with us; we don’t prepare ourselves properly for what we know is going to happen on most Mondays of our working life! But it’s a long time human trait; cast the blame everywhere else than where it rightfully belongs, on us. Check out our forefathers, Adam and Eve after they had eaten the forbidden fruit. Eve blamed the serpent, and Adam blamed Eve. (Gen.3:12-13) 

So now that we’ve eased our conscience by blaming Monday for our woes, (smile) let’s get serious and go to the ONLY One who can really help us at this stage of the game nuh, our heavenly Father. And to make it easy, we’ve developed this ‘antidotal’ prayer we call our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, that automatically fills in all the blank spaces, but does not get us an answer unless we go about it the right way; that’s humbly, confidently and sincerely to the throne of grace. 

So as one humble, confident and sincere voice now, let’s lift up our petition to heaven: ‘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 yes, that incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit is now moving in all of us who prayed that prayer sincerely and humbly! That’s how quickly our God can move when it’s necessary! He knows that we have to go out and do Jesus’ work at a certain time, with not much to spare, so right away He acts on our request, raising our spirits, strengthening our belly and backbone, thus giving us the courage and confidence we need to go out and fight a good fight in His Son’s name. 

No wonder Bruh David could proclaim with such certainty in Psalm 18 – Thanksgiving for deliverance, when the Lord delivered him from the hands of all his enemies. ‘As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried (proven): he is a buckler (shield) to all those that trust in him. For who is God save (except) the Lord? Or who is a rock save our God? It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.’  (Ps.18:30-32) 

And that is the indisputable, gospel truth friends! Our God, the most potent Being in the universe, is the One who looks after all our needs on this troubled earth, just like Bruh Paul declared (yeah!) it to the Philippians. ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:19) 

And when Bruh David wrote that psalm, his needs were mainly those of a warrior, thus he declared (steups!): ‘He maketh my feet like hinds’ (deer) feet, and setteth me upon my high places. He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken (a bow of bronze can be broken) by mine arms. Thou hast also given me the shield of salvation: and thy right hand hath holden (held) me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.’ (Ps.18:33-35) 

Ah precious people of Christ, wherever we are, at whatever stage of life we’ve reached, the Lord God Almighty, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will supply whatever we need to be victorious! It’s imperative that we believe it and act like we believe it too, through the auspices of our wonderful faith! Otherwise our faith is useless. Remember faith involves believing for something like we’ve already seen it and received it, when, in reality it hasn’t yet happened, but we know for sure that through God’s largesse and faithfulness it will happen in His time! 

So this Monday morning, although things might be a tad on the rough side, let’s believe that the situation will change because our wonderful and ever-faithful God has promised that it will! He will work all things out for our good! (Rom.8:28) Now that should be more than enough to raise our desire to get out into our distressed world and do our best for Jesus! Much LOVE!

…working for Jesus can be difficult…but it’s ALWAYS rewarding…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 January 2020 John 8:12.

John 9:12.    ​I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
 
Well it’s begun as a somewhat grey and unappealing Thursday morning, but let’s hope that it will eventually turn into a bright sunshiny day like yesterday, although it was a tad on the chilly side. Yes friends, there’s something to be said for sunshine, even when it’s freezing cold! (smile) It just lifts the spirits…don’t know if it’s because of the light and our spirits were made to enjoy light, not darkness, but it certainly does help to see a nice, bright day filled with sunshine, especially when things are not going too well. 

But yuh know what? We believers don’t really need to depend so much on the physical sunlight because we have the one who made that sunlight, who is also that sunlight, dwelling deep down inside of us! And consequently, when the physical sunlight is not apparent, we can faithfully call on the spiritual light of Jesus to brighten up our days…and also our nights! Wow! That’s why He could make this awesome, but oh so true statement: ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ 

Ah friends, what a blessing it is to have the Light of the world in our lives; dwelling securely and faithfully in the souls and spirits of each believer! (chuh!) Give Him much thanks and praise for He is certainly deserving of them! Now hear how John characterizes Him nuh: ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.’ (John 1:1-4) 

Yes my people, Jesus was there from the very beginning: He was the Word; the awesome Word that God spoke to create the universe! ‘Let there be light…and there was light.’ (Gen. 1:3) He was also ‘the life’, which was the light of men, meaning when we have Jesus, we have both life and light! Glory be! And as the scholars explain: ‘1:4-5. Life…light: See also 8:12; 9:5; 11:25; 14:6. In John’s writings, life represents salvation and deliverance through Christ, and light denotes Jesus’ revelation of God which calls men to accountability.’ 

That’s why it’s so sad and unfortunate when John continues: ‘And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness comprehended (apprehended) it not.’ (John 1:5) Yes, Jesus came to shine light into a darkened world, but the world did not cotton to His light. Why, you wonder? Because as Jesus said in His famous discourse to Nicodemus: ‘And this is the condemnation of the world, that light (the light) is come into the world, and men LOVED darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.’ (John 3:19) 

No wonder we refused the life and light that was, is, and will always be Jesus! It’s hard for evil man to give up his evil deeds because it’s just an inherent part of his nature. But friends, that evil nature will not get us anywhere except hellfire and damnation, eternal separation from Almighty God, which is the worst thing that can ever happen to a human soul and spirit! That’s why the Father sent Jesus to earth to redeem us and to reconcile us to Him, otherwise come the big judgement day, we’d be left on the outside looking in. And believe me friends, whatever that might entail in reality, it certainly will not be a good thing! 

Now listen to Jesus again on the subject of ‘the light of the world,’ when He was about to heal a man born blind and the disciples asked Him who had sinned that he was born blind? ‘Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest (be revealed) in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the  light of the world.’ 

Yes precious people of God, certain things are made to happen in this evil word so that our God can cause them to be rectified and thus glorify His most blessed and holy name! But the most important part of those statements is the fact that while Jesus was in the world, He was indeed the light of the world, but once He left the world, the duty of being light to a darkened world fell on us, His believers. Like He said back on the Sermon on the Mount after the Beatitudes: ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. …Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:14, 16) 

Ah my fellow believers (yeah!), we are now the reflection of Jesus’ shining light to this evil world, so let’s go out and shine nuh… Oh and don’t forget we’re also the salt of the earth, so we have to be tasty too, otherwise we’ll just be cast out and ground underfoot. (smile)  And the great thing about Jesus is that He never gives us a task to perform unless He gives us the wherewithal, the tools to perform it. And He’s certainly given us the tools to be the salt and light of the earth in our Thursday Blessings, so let’s declare (yeah!) them now nuh, so we can invoke them in our daily routine. 

As one strong and sincere voice: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! 

I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And if we truly believe and are truly sincere, then we’ll go out now and generously share those blessings with others as Jesus desires of us, and don’t selfishly hoard them for ourselves. Much LOVE!

…oh…what a joy and pleasure it is…to be the salt and light of this evil world…in Jesus’ name…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 January 2020 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:
 
And then it was Friday…and there was lots of shouting and jumping for joy! Hn! More of us were happy to see Friday, and the end of the work week, than to celebrate being alive and kicking in God’s great universe and being a BELOVED and saved child of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! 

Now what’s wrong with that picture eh? Does it mean we’re putting the world before God? Maybe! And if so, then it’s a very unwise move, because when we celebrate God, with His awesome help, we are able to handle whatever the world throws at us. But following the dictates of the world, only makes life harder, for there is no help but our own, and we all know that there isn’t a lot we can do on our own. 

Remember, Jesus said that we ought to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and then all the worldly things will be added to us, we won’t have to sweat and strain and break our backs to acquire them, because the Father knows we need them. (Matt. 6:32-33) So please, let’s check out our lives today nuh, and see what’s our priority; God’s kingdom and His righteousness, or the things of the world, because it’s ever so important to get our priorities right! 

And as you’d expect, the ordinary workingman is hovering in the background, eagerly and expectantly waiting to sing his song, so let’s bring him on stage nuh. (smile) And as always, he crows: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! And the chains of the slave master will be unshackled for a couple of days! 

Wow! What freedom! And yuh better believe I’m going to use that freedom to the hilt; do whatever I want, whenever I want…providing the other snake in the grass, the weather allows me to! Chuh! The weather’s been so contrary these days that you can’t make any serious plans, because it changes from one minute to the next! And yet they tell me that climate change ain’t real! Pure heifer dust yes! But if I can’t go out and do whatever I want to, then I’ll certainly do it in mih own yard, where I’m king of the castle…

Hn, hn, hn! King of which castle eh? When the wife and children protest my behaviour, then I have to modify it. So even in mih own yard, ah not really the boss nuh! But what yuh going to do eh? Nothing but grin and bear it, because nobody ever send or call me to have wife and children, is I with mih fresh self, went and look for them, so now I have to put up with whatever they bring. 

Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE them dearly, and wouldn’t want to be without them, but yuh know, sometimes…sometimes they just cramp yuh style! (smile) And the truth of the matter is that I’m still ever so thankful for Fridays and weekends, regardless of the drawbacks!’ 

Ah friends, yuh see even when God is not your first priority, you still have barriers and boundaries to your behaviour. And as a serious and practicing child of God, we have more boundaries than most since we don’t want the enemy to compromise our lives and our living for Jesus. Consequently, our Friday Chant is somewhat different to the ordinary workingman’s song. So let’s chant it now nuh, in full voice with sincere hearts – yes our hearts must always be right when we come to the Father, otherwise He won’t acknowledge us. 

As one now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Now, though we have some boundaries as believers, it doesn’t mean we have to be constantly looking over our shoulder for the devil and his evil cohorts, but we do have to be careful that we don’t go too far out on the thin limbs of life. That’s why we have to constantly remember these poignant words of Peter. ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:’ 

And that’s the gospel truth friends, the enemy is always on the prowl, always looking for some way to compromise us. And not because he’s a toothless lion with more bark than bite (smile) since Jesus defeated him and now has the keys to hell death and the grave, he still can cause immense trouble in our lives if we give him the slightest opening. It’s up to us to keep our doors and windows and crevices closed so he can’t get in. 

And continuing with Peter’s advice: ‘Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (being experienced by) your brethren that are in your world.’ (1 Pet. 5:9). Oh, I know when the devil comes a calling, it doesn’t help all that much to know that other believers are suffering temptations too, but nonetheless, we must resist him through our faith in Jesus, because he’s a liar and cheat and deceiver and only wants to turn us away from God. 

Yuh see how smoothly and efficiently he made our forefathers Adam and Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit? He hasn’t changed, possibly gotten smarter and has more tools at his behest. So it’s of the utmost importance that we stand strong against him. And Peter ends with this assurance. ‘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.’ (1 Pet. 5:10) 

Ah friends, some temptation and affliction is necessary in the lives of all believers, because that’s how we get strong, how our faith grows. But be aware that the Lord will never give you more than you can bear, and with every temptation, He will either carry you through it, or make a way for you to go through it. That’s his ever faithful promise! So let’s stand strong and steadfast in the faith! Much LOVE!

…though Jesus rules…the devil still exists…with his evil ways…

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