Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 January 2019 Luke 18:1.

Luke 18:1.   ​And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray and not faint (lose heart).

 

And then it was Wednesday, the middle of the work week…and we did get some of the promised snow, not in the afternoon though, but sometime during the early morning hours, and not as much as expected. However, if you have to venture out there, please be careful, because snow is snow; slippery and dangerous, be it plentiful or li’l bit. (smile) But as always, with Jesus riding shotgun with us, there’s not much to worry about! Praise His holy name! 

And looking through the many bits of paper I have next to the computer for something to write about, I came upon this acronym; ‘PUSH!’ And what dies it mean? Simply, PRAY until something happens!’ Yeh friends, we ought to just keep on praying, until we see some results of our prayers, because God doesn’t always say, NO, but sometimes, GO SLOW, or NOT RIGHT NOW! 

So it’s always best to keep on keeping on until you get a definitive answer…and believe me, when the Lord is ready, He will give you one. (smile) And unfortunately, for whatever reason, in these wicked and sinful times, even true and strong believers don’t pray as much as they ought. 

But please remember Jesus’ admonition: ‘And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray and not faint (lose heart).’ And that parable was about the persistent widow who refused to go unjustified by the wicked judge. So too should we pursue justice and pray with all our hearts, minds and souls! 

As the scholars explain, re our Bit: ‘18:1. To faint means “to lose heart.”  Precisely when tempted to give up, men ought to be strong in their resolve to pray.’ And sadly, in this mish mash, judgemental, condemning society, it’s oh so easy to lose heart. But we have to be strong friends, and just pursue our dreams and hopes through prayer. 

And there are so many scriptures that advise and encourage and admonish us to keep on praying, especially since it’s God’s way of communicating with us, and it’s the most powerful element on earth! So let’s look at a few of them nuh, and use them to help us strengthen our resolve to keep on praying. 

And what better verse to begin with than one of my favourites, this one from Mark: ‘And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place, and there prayed.’ (Mark 1:35) Mama Mia! 

Oh friends, that scripture is talking about Jesus’ rising early every day to go out and pray. What a wonderful example He is! He doesn’t just tell us to do things, but leads the way Himself. Before Jesus did anything, He always sought the Father’s wisdom through prayer. And as I keep saying, if the Son of God needed to pray while down here on earth, why should we miserable sinners be any different eh? 

And then we have this wonderful statement from Bruh David: ‘For (in return for) my LOVE they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer.’ (Psalm 109:4) Yeh friends, it’s often best to pray when our enemies come against us, and remember Jesus said we ought also to pray for them. Meanwhile Cousin Sol gets right to the point, no beating around the bush: ‘If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.’ (Prov.24:10) 

No joking friends! As the scholars say: ‘24:10. Strength in the face of adversity is the true test of endurance.’ And one of the reasons why our world is in such sad shape is simply because we supposed believers don’t have enough belly and backbone to stand up to the evil forces of the world! It’s sad but true! We’re too scared of what others might say or do, therefore we just fade off into the sunset and let the wicked do as they please. 

I’m sure it breaks Jesus’ heart every time one of His supposed followers behaves thus. And if we’re believers, then in the words of Bruh Paul to the Corinthians: ‘Therefore, seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not (lose heart).’ (2 Cor.4:1) Oh my people, we have received the same mercy that Bruh Paul did, therefore, we ought also not to faint, not to lose heart! Friends, the worst thing we can ever do as a believer is to give up, to faint, to lose heart! Why? Because that attitude doesn’t exist in Jesus’ playbook! 

And as believers, it should not exist in ours either! And one of the ways we can keep it at bay is by listening and following this solid and oh so wise advice from Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.’ (1 Tim.2:8) And though Bruh Paul was there speaking about males only, expecting females to pray silently, in these modern times, it is extremely necessary that both men and women pray, every where; be it loudly or silently! 

And this last scripture is one we all know and quote, but don’t put it into proper action. ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.’ (Phil.4:6) Please remember that my people; we don’t only go to God to ask and ask for what we want, but we must also give thanks for what we already have, and whatever we’re asking for, believing and receiving it by faith, and not by sight. 

‘And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:7) What more can I say eh friends? I can only present the evidence, you have to make the individual decisions! (smile) Now let’s go home declaring (right ho) our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our wonderful position in Christ Jesus! 

All together now, in loud voice, with sincere hearts and strong sense of purpose: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And if you truly believe, then you know that that future will be even brighter and more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…when one truly knows Jesus…you can’t help but LOVE Him…with all your heart, mind, body and soul…

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 November 2018 Job 27: 3-4

Job 27:3-4. All the while (as long as) my breath is in me, and the spirit (breath) of God is in my nostrils; My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit.

Ah mih friends, as the ole people would say, when is not one thing is two yes… and sometimes even three, as happened with me this morning. Steups!

The first thing is I woke up late, about nine o’clock, because my sleep schedule was somewhat thrown off kilter last night. Then when I came down to write the Bit, I couldn’t get on to Microsoft Outlook, which is where my stuff is.

The server has proper access and good strength, but Outlook seems to be on the blink. For those of you who use it, the circle at the bottom of the stylized ‘O L’ just keeps going around in circles. So after about fifteen minutes of trying, couldn’t even get to it through Firefox, I decided to try the laptop upstairs.

And wonder of wonders, the third thing happened; as I turned on the light to go up the stairs, the bulb blew. Hn, hn! I couldn’t do anything else but laugh. But upstairs on the laptop, the same nonsense happened.

Now at eleven o’clock I’m back downstairs on my desktop, and still can’t get through to Outlook. I can get everything else but that. And without it, I can’t send off the Bit.

So finally, the Lord, in His infinite wisdom, put the brilliant idea to just write it in Word, like I always do anyway, and then transfer it whenever Outlook becomes available. Now why couldn’t I have thought about that two hours earlier eh?

And I would hate to think that the little snowfall that happened yesterday afternoon and overnight has put the great Microsoft system down for the count! Well, in fact it wasn’t a li’l snowfall, but the first big one for the season. (smile)

And during the night it looked so beautiful; pure, virginal and unsullied by man, covering the rooftops and the trees in a perfect white blanket. But then the morning comes, and man gets into it…and it gets all dirty and ugly, as man’s penchant is to make a mess of everything his hands touch.

Look at the mess we’ve made of God’s great earth…and how we’ve messed up the moon and are in the process of messing up any other terrestrial place we happen to land. But the most refreshing action of the morning is the workingman out there singing his song of weekend freedom, despite the snow and the hard times.

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes mih working-class breddren! The weekend is here; two days of freedom from the slave driver’s whip! And don’t mind the snow nuh, because we don’t have to go outside to party, we can do it inside just as well.

So let the alki flow…and bring on all the food, because yuh know a man can’t drink on an empty stomach…is not a wise thing to do! And just forget everything about work and the slave labour we involved in for the next couple days…And besides, if when Monday come yuh still black up and tired, then don’t go to no blooming work!

What the slave massa going to do eh? Fire yuh… so what! Yuh go to work for another slave driver. It have plenty ah them out there who willing to hire you for the li’l pittance they willing to pay.

The important thing though, is to enjoy yuh weekend and the li’l free time as much as possible and doh give a darm about anything else! Just thank God for Fridays and weekends so you could enjoy the fruit of yuh labour like the Good Book says!’

And as always, the basic thing that’s wrong with the workingman’s song is his worship of the god of pleasure Bacchus and his bacchanalian ways. We as believers in Christ are not allowed to go that far because then the enemy will delightedly grab the opportunity to invade our souls and cause enormous confusion.

Thus our weekend song, our Friday Chant, is not as liberal and essentially borderless as the workingman’s song. Please chant it here with me now nuh, in sincerity of heart and a strong sense of purpose.

‘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!’

Oh friends, it is important to realize that as Christians, we too are entitled to have fun, to rejoice and enjoy the fruit of our labour, but not to the extremes that the workingman takes it to. We still have to keep a level and sober head, because the evil leader of this evil world and his evil cohorts are just lying in wait to destroy us.

And here, I opened the Good Book to these wonderful words of Job that comprise our Bit. His spirited response to the overly judgemental accusations and allegations of his supposed friends. ‘All the while (as long as) my breath is in me, and the spirit (breath) of God is in my nostrils; My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit.’

Yeh friends, those are words that we should both think and utter whenever life seems to come against us. Despite hardship and adversity we should always try to be truthful and of good integrity.

As Job continues: ‘God forbid (far be it from me) that I should justify you (say you are right): till I die I will not remove (put away) mine integrity from me. My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach (reprove) me as long as I live.’ (Job 27:5-6)

Ah my fellow believers, that’s the attitude we need to have in this evil world. As the scholars explain. ’27:6. In spite of the loss of family, wealth, and health and the accusations of his friends, Job maintained his integrity to the end.’

Please let that be said of us in these tough and trying times nuh! Much LOVE!

…in the world ye shall have tribulation…but be of good cheer…I have overcome the world… (John 16:33b)

P.S. At 12.45 I’ve published the Bit on the Blog, but I still can’t send it out by email! Steups! But what can one do eh, now that we are slaves to technology! Much LOVE!

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 July 2018 Lamentations 3:22-23.

Lamentations 3:22-23.   It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Ah mih Scrip-Bit breddren another hot summer’s day is in the offing… But what do we expect eh? It’s summer! It’s supposed to be hot! We’re just a bunch of pampered, selfish people, who only want it to be the way we want it! It’s a good thing though that our God thinks differently. (smile) 

Anyway, it’s Saturday, so let’s get going with some really interesting quotes this week from our friend Anselm, who aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one says: ‘Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.’ And that’s no lie friends, for all the material wealth in the world cannot be compared to the figurative wealth, talking about wisdom and experience and simple joy that one gets from living a full and productive life. 

That brings us to this next quote that’s tied up with the first. ‘Life is short and the older you get, the more you feel it. Indeed, the shorter it is. People lose their capacity to walk, run, travel, think, and experience life. I realize how important it is to use the time I have.’ 

And is that ever so true! When we’re young, energetic and supple, we feel like time is there waiting on us, like we have oodles of it. But the older we get, the more restricted our bodies become and we realize that time’s not waiting on us, and we need to use whatever we have left in a big way. The old fogies like me, will recognize the ultimate truth in that statement. (smile) 

Therefore, one has to ‘Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.’ That also relates back to our first quote, because we all know that a life lived on the safe side does not produce any real joy and excitement, just a bland, so-so existence, and that’s not the kind of life that Jesus died for us to have. 

We were put down here to experience life, not merely go through the motions. That means we need to step out of our comfort zone and take some risks every so often; for that’s the only way we will ever grow, both in Christ and in the living world. 

And the last quote is rather eye opening: ‘Empathy begins with understanding life from another person’s perspective. Nobody has an objective experience of reality. It’s all through our own individual prisms.’ 

Yes friends, if we could only see life through another’s eyes, we would not be as judgemental and cynical and repulsive and repugnant as we are. And only when we try to understand another’s position or circumstance can we have that wonderful trait called empathy, which is just another name for compassion. 

That brings us right to our Bit. ‘It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.’ 

h mih people, it’s the Lord’s empathy towards us that has us breathing and experiencing another day in His world! That’s what Jesus had for us, that’s why he came and died to pay for our sins, and it’s the same thing we need to have for others, even though they may be different in many or all respects from us. And I want to finish the scriptures on compassion today, so let’s get right to it. 

And the first scripture comes from a parable of Jesus, one we all know and talk about but don’t practice nearly as much as we ought to, else life would not be as bad as it is. (smile)  That’s the parable of the Good Samaritan. The Levite and the priest, supposedly good and religious people, passed by the wounded man on the ground with nothing but a mere glance. 

Regardless of what excuses they might have had for their behaviour, in Jesus’ eyes, they were heartless, unsympathetic people. ‘But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him.’ (Matt.10:33) And we all know the story of how he looked after him, took him to an inn and paid for his recovery. 

And the scholars offer a good explanation of the situation surrounding the parable. ‘10:33. Jews and Samaritans were bitter rivals (John 4:9). The Samaritans were despised for having at least partially Gentile ancestry (due to Assyria’s conquest of Samaria in 721 (B.C) and for having a different worship centre (Mount Gerizim; John 4:20). 

Thus Jesus’ parable was highly provocative. Samaritan was to Jesus’ hearers automatically a term of reproach. To portray a Samaritan as fulfilling the commandment (see v.27) (LOVE thy neighbour as thyself), but Jews as circumventing it, would be a supreme insult to the listening lawyer (v.25) and to the rest of the audience.’ 

Unfortunately though my brethren, that’s exactly how a lot of us supposed believers behave, while unbelievers offer more empathy, sympathy and compassion to their fallen brethren. And just like it shone a poor light on the priest and the Levite, it likewise shines a poor light on us. So let’s try and be more supportive of others nuh, regardless of their race, creed or class, because that’s what Jesus asks of, and expects of His followers. 

And we’ll end this series of messages on compassion with the most important scriptures of them all on the subject; Jesus’ Great Invitation to a suffering mankind. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

Oh my people, my people, what a magnificent offer! No one else has ever offered such an invitation besides Jesus, because NO ONE else had, or has the ability to keep it! So please, I implore us, in these crazy times, let’s turn to Jesus and accept His invitation nuh, it’s the wisest decision we can ever make. And furthermore, let’s also try and get others to do the same, for it’s our bounden duty as followers of Christ! Much LOVE!

…the Christian life is all about…compassion…compassion…compassion…as per Jesus’ example…



Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 July 2018 Lamentations 3:22-23.

Lamentations 3:22-23.   It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Well mih breddren, it’s Sunday morning, time to get thee hither to the Lord’s sanctuary to fellowship, praise, worship and exalt our heavenly Father and receive His blessings and confidence through His word for the upcoming week. 

Now yesterday we looked at the quote of our friend Anselm that talked about being judgemental in our youth, but after life humbled us with some serious life-lessons, we became more compassionate. Well since we dealt with judgmental attitudes yesterday I want to deal with compassion today. 

And it so happens that I went looking for a hymn on compassion to match our topic, and in the Lord’s grace and mercy was pointed to this beautiful modern hymn written by Keith Getty, Kristyn Lennox Getty and Stuart Townend. And it’s appropriately titled the ‘Compassion Hymn,’ with words that are ever so appropriate and heart-rending, putting our focus directly on Christ and His compassionate work on our behalf. 

You can google it and hear the beautiful melody and music that will definitely touch your heart and soul.  So let’s sing it out soulfully now nuh friends, in a medium tempo, in strong voice, with heartfelt sincerity, truly meaning the words of sacrificial praise that we offer. 

‘There is an everlasting kindness You lavished on us When the Radiance of heaven Came to rescue the lost You called the sheep without a shepherd To leave their distress For your streams of forgiveness And the shade of your rest 

And with compassion for the hurting You reached out your hand As the lame ran to meet you And the dead breathed again You saw behind the eyes of sorrow And shared in our tears Heard the sigh of the weary Let the children draw near 

(Chorus: What boundless LOVE What fathomless grace You have shown us, O God of compassion Each day we live  An offering of praise As we show the world your compassion) We stood beneath the cross of Calvary And gazed on your face At the thorns of oppression  And the wounds of disgrace For surely You have borne our suffering And carried our grief As you pardoned the scoffer And showed grace to the thief 

(Chorus: What boundless LOVE…) How beautiful the feet that carry This gospel of peace To the fields of injustice And the valleys of need To be a voice of hope and healing To answer the cries Of the hungry and helpless With the mercy of Christ (Chorus: What boundless LOVE What fathomless grace You have shown us, O God of compassion Each day we live  An offering of praise As we show to the world your compassion) (repeat)’ 

Wow! Isn’t that just beautiful friends! It’s like a listing of all that Jesus has done for us; and it all falls under the heading of COMPASSION! No one has ever showed compassion like our heavenly Father and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; that seems to be their middle name, as our Bit and the other scriptures we’ll share attest to. 

‘It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.’ 

Oh friends, we should all be extremely grateful that the Lord is merciful and compassionate yes, else we’d be lost in hellfire a long time ago. And are we ever blessed that His compassion for us is brand new every day! Glory be mih people. And we’re going to highlight God’s greatest act of LOVE and compassion through the words of Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. 

‘For when we were yet without strength, in due (at the right) time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure (perhaps) for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth (demonstrates His own) LOVE toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom.5:6-8) 

Wow! What a magnificent and magnanimous God we serve and worship my brethren! In that while we were still sinful enemies, still estranged from Him, He showed His great and unconditional LOVE for us by sending His Son to die on our behalf, so that we could be reconciled to Him. 

Mama Mia! And all God’s children declared a loud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord! Hallelujah! Exalt His holy name!’ And the best way we can do that friends, is by showing our LOVE and compassion to others, be they believers or not. 

Remember what we sang in the chorus above: ‘What boundless LOVE What fathomless grace You have shown us, O God of compassion Each day we live An offering of praise As we show to the world your compassion.’ Yeh, we claim that we show the world your compassion every day. 

But is that really true, or is it as true as it can and should be? I don’t think so friends. If we were really showing the world God’s compassion through our actions, our world would not be such a divided, strife-filled and unhappy place, pervaded by so much poverty and sickness. 

So please, let’s get serious and begin living the words we sing nuh. Remember if it wasn’t for God’s compassion, we’d never have Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, and would be still hell bound instead of heaven bound. Much LOVE!

…only true compassion heals the wounds of the world…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 July 2018 Matthew 7:1.

Matthew 7:1.   Judge (condemn) not, that ye be not judged (condemned).

And so Saturday opened in my neighbourhood bright and beautiful…and cool! Thank the Lord! But down in southern California their heat wave apparently continues with temps reaching 110 degrees Fahrenheit!  Wow! And that wildfire in Northern California is still burning with a vengeance, causing people to run from their homes. 

Meanwhile, in Japan, the rain is causing havoc, having killed several people over the last couple days. Mama Mia! On one side of the globe is one type of disaster, and on the other is a different kind. 

But not to worry friends, the only way to handle all of that is by keeping our eyes and hearts steadfastly focused on Almighty God; our Creator, Protector and the Controller of ALL things. He has His reasons for allowing all that stuff, and there’s nothing much we can do about it but pray and offer whatever help we can. 

And since it’s Saturday, guess we should turn to the quotes of our friend Anselm for this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Unfortunately, I only received one quote from him this week, but it is an interesting one. 

‘Life experiences can, at times, be quite humbling, but you learn from them. But I like the changes in my life and what kind of person they’ve made me into. I’m very open, not as judgmental as I was in my twenties, and a lot more compassionate.’ 

And I know that’s true of many of us. In our early years we were full of spunk and hot to trot, figuring we knew everything and would show the world what was what. Hn! Hn! But instead the world showed us what was what! Isn’t that always the case when we get too high on our horses, or too big for our britches? 

The world and our God has a way of humbling us, of bringing us back down to earth, and sometimes with a heavy thud, which quickly brings us to our senses. Unfortunately, that scenario usually takes time to materialize, so it’s often not until we’ve lived real life that we see the faults in our approach to it. 

But as our quote says, eventually we become less judgemental and more compassionate. And oh how we badly need to reverse those two aspects of human nature in our mish-mash, evil and ungodly society today. Are we ever judgemental and opinionated about people and things we don’t know anything about. We see people and hear things and right away we jump to judgement, more often than not a negative judgement too. 

But it seems we have forgotten the immortal words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on that particular topic. ‘Judge (condemn) not, that ye be not judged (condemned).’  I couldn’t put it any better or simpler friends. 

And Jesus continues: ‘For with what judgement (condemnation) ye judge, ye shall be judged, and with what measure ye mete (use) it shall be measured to you again.’ (Matt.7:2) That’s just poetic justice friends, the law of God’s society, whatever you sow, you’ll reap; whatever you give out, you’ll get back. It’s like a boomerang; you throw it at someone but it comes right back to you. 

Ah mih people, nobody can expand on a story like Jesus.  Hear how He embellishes this: ‘And why beholdest thou the mote (speck) that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam (plank) that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote (speck) out of thine eye; and behold a beam (plank) is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote (speck) out of thy brother’s eye.’ (Matt.7:3-5) 

Oh, is it ever refreshing to listen to Jesus! You’re always surprised and astonished by His metaphorical comparisons. And the scholars offer these explanations on those verses. ‘7:1-4. Judge not refers to an unfavourable and condemnatory judgement. 

This does not mean that a Christian should never exercise judgement of any kind under any circumstances. The point being made here is that we are not to judge the inner motives of another. We are not to render a verdict based upon prejudiced information. Nor are we to use ourselves as the standard of judgement for with what…ye mete (measure) you shall be judged. 

That ye be not judged refers to the ultimate judgement of God rather than our own judgement. The terms mote (Gr. karphos) and beam (Gr. dokos) are used metaphorically for a small fault and a great fault. A mote is a small speck of sawdust whereas a beam is a rafter used in building. Thus the idea of the text is that one cannot remove the speck from his brother’s eye until he has removed the rafter from his own eye!’ 

That hits the nail right on the head! And the scholars have another good one for verse ‘7:5. Thou hypocrite is the only statement that can be made for this play actor who pretends to be a physician when he himself is sick.’ 

And the sad part is that so many of us play actor doctors in this greedy, selfish and judgemental world are very sick ourselves, but we’re quick to dole out prescriptions to others. In other words, we’re hypocrites to the core! 

Oh my fellow believers, please let us take a good look at ourselves before we go doling out solutions to others nuh, because very often we are doing worse than those we judge and condemn. Much LOVE!

…don’t offer opinions…unless you know the whole true story…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 September 2013 Psalm 92:12

Psalm 92:12.   The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
 
Oh Friends, oh Friends, the ole fella went to se Bubba (Joel Osteen) at the ACC, Air Canada Centre last night. That’s the money making machine at the corner of Bay and Lakeshore, the home of the Maple Leaf’s Ice Hockey Team.
 
I know that some of you don’t like Bubba, find him too simplistic and smiley smiley, but I like him, and he’s been a great inspiration of mine over the years. I was first introduced to him by my mother, and when I found amongst her stuff, a little devotional booklet he’d written called ’30 Thoughts for Victorious Living,’ it became the last part of our daily prayer time, after I began reading prayers for her over the phone.
 
Now I don’t remember how we came to call him Bubba, maybe it was because of his Texas connection, but what’s really amusing is that some days neither of us could remember his right name, because we seldom used it. However from the moment we said ‘Bubba,’ we both knew exactly whom we were talking about.
 
Yeh Mols sugar, your Sonny Boy went to see Bubba last night, on the eve of what would have been your 86th birthday, and I know you’re up there smiling with joy for that. But I promised to uphold your good name, and I’m trying my best.
 
Anyway Friends, Joel was his usual bright, upbeat, smiling self, teaching his message of positive, upbeat Christianity, despite all the problems we face. And you already know I consider that the true way to celebrate all that Christ has done for us.
 
Just look at Jesus nuh; we would never be called on to face more ridicule and suffering than He faced, but even in His most bitter time, He was still positive and encouraging, because He knew that He had a job to do despite all the trials and tribulations. 
 
The same thing applies to us my fellow believers. And as I’ve said so often, Christians should be the happiest, most joyful cheerful and optimistic people on God’s great earth, especially when we have all that Jesus died to provide for us; cleansing, healing, forgiveness of sins, salvation and eternal life, just to mention a few.
 
Joel’s mother, Jodie was there, and she shared a few thoughts on how she was miraculously saved from cancer some 20 years ago. And we can’t forget the real power behind the throne, his wife Victoria. She also shared a positive uplifting message.
 
And as I’ve seen from their interaction, and as Joel always says, it’s Victoria who has buoyed him up over the years, giving him the unstinting support and encouragement to do what he’s doing. As she said, they don’t always agree, but they agree to disagree respectfully.
 
But sadly my brethren, that principle, of respect and support, which is absolutely necessary to sound and growing relationships, is lacking in too many marriages and relationships today. We get angry and curse each other, spouting a whole lot of negative invective, and right there the respect that’s so badly needed disappears, causing so many relationships to founder on the rocks.
 
But Friends, please hear these words, believe and implement them in your own lives: ‘Behind every successful person, man, woman or child, is a sensible, understanding and encouraging person or group of persons.’
 
None of us can make it without the help and encouragement of others, who believe in and have faith in us. So please my brethren, let’s start seriously helping and encouraging each other nuh, whether it be our spouse, friend, child, co-worker or even a total stranger, since service is well pleasing to God.
 
‘Let brotherly LOVE continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.’ (Heb.13:1-2) Yes Friends, we never know whom we are helping, so let’s just help with LOVE, as Jesus did, for our God champions widows, orphans and strangers.
 
So fellow believers, if you see something in anyone that’s worth raising up, encouraging, please do so. Look for the positive things in people, for we all have some, and focus on those, instead of concentrating on the few negative aspects, as we tend to do.
 
You’ll notice that Jesus, God Almighty, never put down anybody, regardless of how abominable their sins might have been. But we, sinful, worthless creations that we are, are always quick to judge, ridicule and put down others, even though we don’t have a clue about why they are the way they are.
 
That brings me back to Bubba, where people are quick to criticize him, but thousands of people delight in him, as shown by the sold out crowd at the ACC last night, and the many who stood up and renewed their relation

ship with God. 
 
The fellow is only doing what he’s been anointed to do, in the manner he sees fit. But too many of us equate success with negativity, a lot of it stemming from pride and envy. And when you get right down to it Bubba’s only reiterating what the Good Book says, a very good example of that being our Bit. ‘The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.’
 
Now does that mean we should walk bowed down, miserable and unhappy? Absolutely not! Remember Jesus’ words: ‘The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) He certainly doesn’t want or expect His followers to be dead, downcast and downbeat!
 
Now listen to the psalmist as he continues after our Bit. ‘Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat (plump) and flourishing (green); To show that the Lord is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.’ (Ps.92:13-15)
 
And all God’s true believers said a loud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord! Amen!’
 
Oh my people, it doesn’t make sense to talk about all our God’s done, doing and plans to do for us, then walk around as though we’re living in the pit of despair. That’s why so many people consider us Christians hypocrites of the highest order! And in many instances they are quite right.
 
Our attitudes toward each other, the way we walk and talk and live our lives should be an enticement to the unbeliever to want what we have, to draw him into the body of Christ, not like it too often is, driving them away from the greatest gift and blessing ever bestowed on mankind – Jesus Christ.
 
So as of today my people, RIGHT NOW, let’s stop putting others down, especially when we don’t know anything about their circumstances. We’ve become so judgemental and prideful, like the Pharisees of old, that we’re doing more harm than good to Christ and His church.
 
We’re never going to like everybody and everything about them, but that’s no reason to be judgemental and condemn them. Remember that all of us have sinned and come short of God’s glory, (Rom.3:23) so we have no right to judge others.
 
And in any case, what was God’s reaction to our sinfulness eh? He opened His abundant storehouse of unconditional LOVE, and though it broke His heart, sent His only Son Jesus Christ to redeem us, by sacrificing His holy and innocent life on the cross at Calvary for a bunch of no-good, ungrateful sinners.
 
Now if He, the righteous judge, can do that, why can’t we forgive and stop judging others eh?
 
Oh Friends, that’s our ‘ponderation’ for today. And please do it seriously, for the way we live our earthly lives, will dictate our heavenly rewards and eternal destiny. Much LOVE!
 
…come the judgement day…will our words and deeds on earth, help or hinder us…now is the time to clean up our act.