Today’s Scrip-Bit   18 March 2023 James 4:8a.

James 4:8a. Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you…

So, after all the problems of the work week, we’ve finally gotten back to our beloved lazy day Saturday! Praise the Lord! Isn’t it wonderful to know that there’s one day you don’t have to listen for the shrill ringing of the alarm clock, or whatever device you use to awaken you. And even if it does come on, you can turn it off with a grateful sigh? Of course! And even if sleep eludes you, you can lie in your warm, comfortable bed and just enjoy the laziness and pleasure of a lazy day. (smile) 

Some of us might even dare to roll out of bed and roll right on to the living room couch in front of the boob tube and watch the days happenings with bleary eyes. And when you see it’s just the same old, negative things that’s been reported as news, you shut down the annoying, intruding thing, then curl up on the couch under a warm blanket and drift off to some faraway place, where, in your dreams, you can see yourself frolicking on a golden brown, sandy beach, with calm blue seas stretching off into eternity, just inviting you to come and have a salacious dip. 

Wow! Now that’s the thing that dreams are made of! And I guess why the Lord, our marvellous and imaginative Creator, gave us the power to dream, the power to use the amazing imagination with which He’s gifted each one of His wonderful creations. But yuh know what, the Lord also desired that we use that power to imagine and dream to come closer to Him, to let our biggest dream be to have an intimate relationship with Him. And why is an intimate relationship with God important eh? 

Because, in the first place, that’s why He created us. He wanted to be in a covenant relationship with living beings who bore the same traits and attributes like Himself. That’s why God made us in His image and likeness, with thoughts, minds and ways, that are lower than His but nonetheless above all other living beings. Man is supposed to be His most masterful creation. And please don’t believe that our God was foolish when He created us and gave us free will to do as we choose. No, not all. 

That’s why there’s a space in every man’s soul that’s specially set aside for the Lord, and until He comes and sets up shop in that space, man is never happy, satisfied or contented. God’s intention from the very beginning was that all of His creation should come to know and LOVE Him the way He knows and LOVES them. However, when our forefathers, Adam and Eve, fell from grace, and sin became our heritage, we automatically withdrew from that closeness with our Maker and our eyes were turned to the lustful, evil and ungodly works of the enemy, Satan. 

But the Lord has never given up on us, He’s lays there ready to hear and help us if we come to Him. That’s why James tells us to ‘Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you… Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.’ (James 4:8,10) Yes friends, we need to draw near to God if we want to have the successful life He’s planned for us to have, but we can’t do that with all the sin and evil deeds and thoughts that saturate our souls, bodies and minds. 

Oh, we do need to be humble, penitent and sincere, but the beauty of our God is that He will accept us anyway and anytime we come to Him. As Hebrews tells us: ‘Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.’ (Heb. 10:22) And I know some of us have questions on the whole subject of why draw close to God, and even more importantly, how do we do that? I guess I put the cart before the horse, jumping into what we need to do, rather than first explaining the why’s and wherefores. (smile) 

So, let’s see if we can answer them to your satisfaction. As per why we need to draw close to God, why is it good to do so? One commentary gives us this answer. ‘Drawing near to God gives peace to our souls; peace from the burden of our sins and peace in the midst of the burdens that come to us through others’ sin as well. The nearness of God is our answer. His nearness is our need’ Remember I said that we each have an empty space set aside for God? Well, until He occupies that space, we will never have true peace or contentment. 

And that’s not the peace that the world gives us, but the peace that comes from God, the peace that passes all understanding. In other words, the divine peace of God, who’s thoughts, mind and ways are so much higher than ours. And peace is something the whole world is desperately searching for right now. But real peace can only be attained when one draws close to God. And how do we do that? Here’s a list of the basic things we need to do. 

The first and most important thing is to receive Jesus. Yes friends, receiving Jesus into your life is the first step to getting closer to the Lord. For as Jesus said, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.’ (John 14:6) That sets the stage right there. If you don’t receive Jesus, then you’ll never get close to the Father. That’s all there is to it. Then we need to Study the Bible. Studying the Bible is essential if you want to grow closer to God, because that’s His word, His will for those who wish to follow Him. 

Next, we must pray, because prayer is how we communicate with God. That brings up the subject of praise and worship. We need to do those things since He expects them of us. Praise and worship show that we LOVE and glorify the Lord. Then there’s the dire need to trust Him. Yes friends, that’s a must. For without true trust in the Lord, you will be lost, like a rudderless ship floundering in the raging sea. Which brings us to this other very important factor, faith. 

Oh my people, without true faith in God, where will we be? Mired in the devil’s world of sin and darkness, sinking ever so slowly to hellfire and eternal damnation! But with trust and faith in Almighty God, our lives take on an entirely different colour, one of light, of salvation and eternal life. That’s why the Bible tells us: ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ (Heb. 11:6) 

And once we’ve done all of that, we then need to get involved. That’s go to church, gather and worship with other believers, encourage each other, and help to spread the Word to all the world as Jesus desired in the Great Commission. ‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:19-20) 

And that’s it in a nutshell friends! We draw near to God through Jesus Christ, for our good, not God’s. Please, let’s remember that everything God says or does, is essentially for our benefit, not His! Much LOVE!

…in this turbulent world…close to God is the place to be… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   11 February 2023 Matthew 7:12.

Matthew 7:12.       Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

Oh boy, is this really a lazy day Saturday! I lazed in bed for as long as I could…and now that I’m up, I’m still feeling lazy. And the dry though cloudy and chilly day out there isn’t giving one much encouragement either. (smile) But life must go on. We must do the work that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has ascribed to us. So here I am, being ever so obedient and writing the Bit, although my flesh feels like rebelling. And since it’s Saturday, we will turn to the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Now he only sent me three quotes this week, one of which we had already received and dealt with last week, which means we only have two quotes to consider today. Glory Be! That means we shall have a short Bit! But I won’t go counting on that nuh, because you never know what or where the Holy Spirit will lead me, and with my natural tendency for being longwinded, anything’s possible. (smile) 

So having set the stage, let’s see what this first quote says: ‘Only people who are not happy with themselves are mean to others.’ Now there’s some truth to that statement, I just don’t know how much. Unhappy people do like to see others unhappy like themselves, but if that statement is totally true, then there are even more unhappy people in our world than we thought, since so many of us are mistreating our fellow beings. And I really don’t know why that is, because in many instances there doesn’t seem to be any need for the mistreatment. 

I don’t know if we’re just so evil-minded these days that it comes naturally. Whatever happened to the Golden Rule as outlined by Jesus in His Sermon on the Mount, re asking and receiving? ‘Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 7:12) 

One commentator addresses it thus: ‘The Golden Rule, known also as the Ethic of Reciprocity, is arguably the most consistent, most prevalent and most universal ethical principle in history. Many regard it as the most concise and general principle of ethics. The Golden Rule is found in numerous cultures, religions, ethical systems, secular philosophies, indigenous (Native) traditions, and even in the mathematical sciences (e.g. the golden mean). And because it crosses so many traditions and philosophies, the Golden Rule possesses tremendous moral authority and reveals a profound unity underlying the diversity of human experience. The Golden Rule also emphasizes values of mutuality, interdependence and reciprocity.’ 

Yes, it does cut across all different facets of life, and is something we’ve learned since the devil was a boy; do unto others as you would have them do unto you. But somehow or the other we seem to have lost it in these evil and ungodly years. And why is that eh? Who knows. Possibly because the devil’s influence has been getting stronger and more pervasive in the last generation, while the influence of Jesus has waned. 

And I like this biblical explanation of the principle as outlined by Brannon Deibert on the website. He says: ‘In summary, the Golden Rule encompasses the empathic essence of morality. It is a simple yet powerful way of saying that we should recognize the respective dignity of our fellow man and not forget we all are capable of inflicting immoral actions. This is vital in following the commandments of God and creating a more virtuous world….

With regard to the Old Testament, two main points prevail. Matthew’s reference presents the Golden Rule as encapsulating the teachings of the law and the prophets. Second, even though the Golden Rule addresses human interpersonal relationships, its message is additionally theological. That is, the very character of God guides how we should interact and relate to one another. We are to follow and exercise the Golden Rule because God’s heavenly wisdom teaches self-control, and his virtue teaches kindness. 

This proverb is appropriately called the Golden Rule, for it encompasses in its few words the underlying and guiding principle of all morality. It comprises all the rules of the law with regard to man and all the amplification of those precepts given by the prophets. It instructs us to put ourselves in our neighbor’s place, and guide our behavior accordingly. It assumes, of course, that when we put ourselves in our neighbor’s place, we are wise enough not to make any foolish wishes and good enough not to make any evil ones. The Golden Rule was a vital emphasis on empathy and the reciprocity of morality.’ 

And since we are no longer a moral, but a rather immoral society, it’s obvious that golden principle has become irrelevant. Wow! Did we ever say plenty on that quote! Let’s hope we don’t have nearly as much to say on this second and last one, which advises: ‘If you focus on hurt, you will continue to suffer. If you focus on the lesson, you will continue to grow.’ 

Now three’s much truth in those statements, for whenever we focus on our hurts, we tend to make them last longer. It’s just the natural aspect of life. As Cousin Sol says in Proverbs 23:7. ‘For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.’ Yes friends, as a man thinks, so is he. Whatever we concentrate on, will most likely manifest itself in our lives. So if we concentrate on the hurt, the hurt will stay with us even longer than normal. But if we concentrate on the lesson that the hurt teaches us, we will grow. 

And believe me, there is an invaluable lesson to be learned from every hurt we suffer, from every mistake we make. And that’s the difference between hurting and growing. We cannot allow ourselves to wallow in the mire of self-pity when there’s wonderful growth to be achieved on the other end of the scale. And that’s why so many of us are unhappy and feeling hard done by in these tough and turbulent times; we concentrate on the negative aspects of our situations way too much. It’s time to concentrate on the positive aspects instead. And there are always positives to be found regardless of how bad or negative our situations might seem. 

Remember, we have Jesus, the One who strengthens us in all our undertakings, if we turn to Him for His divine help! And that’s the word for today: turn to Jesus, for there’s no better way! Much LOVE!

 in Jesus…we’ll find EVERYTHING we need, want and desire…

 P.S. I warned you! It’s not any shorter than normal. (smile) Much LOVE!

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   28 January 2023 Philippians 4:11.

Philippians 4:11.        Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

So, it’s our lazy day Saturday, but unfortunately I couldn’t stay in bed and be lazy like I desired, because I was just fresh like a daisy, rearing to go. (smile) Imagine that nuh! And what was I so excited to get up and see? Another cold and cloudy day with snow in the forecast. 

Well, if we are expecting more of the white stuff, and we still have plenty left over from the last bout, then apparently winter has finally reached my area. But that’s what we are all about at this time of year anyway, so we just have to grin and bear whatever comes our way. Therefore, let’s get our act together, and, as we do on Saturdays, check out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And this first one is rather interesting. It says: ‘I am letting go of things that don’t bring me happiness or peace.’ Wow! What a novel idea! (smile) And it would be ever so good if many of us in today’s busy and pressure-filled society would do that; just let go of the things that don’t bring us peace or happiness. And some of us might have to let go of a lot of things because we have so many things in our lives that are not bringing peace or happiness to our blighted souls. 

But the truth be known, there is ONLY ONE WAY to get true peace on this sinful and fallen earth, that’s by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. And why is that? Well because He is the Prince of Peace and His peace is far different than what the world offers. Listen to Him tell it: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) 

Glory Hallelujah my faithful brethren! What an awesome promise! And if you still don’t believe that Christ can bring you peace amidst the world’s troubles, then listen to this other affirmation of His. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) And that ought to sober us up and stop our flagrant, wasteful worrying because it’s the undeniable truth! 

Then there’s this quote: ‘My life isn’t perfect, but I am thankful for what I have.’ Now that’s the declaration (yesss!!!) of a mature believer! One who has peace in Christ and knows that life isn’t perfect, in fact it will never be perfect, but they are nonetheless thankful for whatever they have. 

Like Bruh Paul wrote to the Philippians: ‘Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know how to be abased (live humbly), and I know how to abound (live in prosperity): every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengetheneth me.’ (Phil. 4:11-13) There again friends, it’s our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who strengthens us and allows and helps us to endure whatever circumstance we encounter, and to do so with a thankful spirit. Isn’t He just great! He surely is! 

That brings us to this next quote: ‘No matter how good you are, people will judge you according to their mood and needs.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth! Especially in today’s selfish and fraudulent society! It’s sad, but people are so needy and unstable, more so since almost three years of the Covid pandemic, that they are liable to turn on you for no good reason, on a whim and fancy, although you are doing your best to help them. 

So that’s the unfortunate state to which our society has fallen. It’s every man for himself, regardless of what that selfishness and greed causes. And in getting there, through the revered auspices of the social media, we’ve become a rather judgemental society. Yes, it’s now the custom for us to expound on matters that we know absolutely nothing about. And the sad part is that through the social media we can do that anonymously, without being taken to task for our atrocious behaviour and comments. 

But that’s the new world we live in. Jesus’ admonition on the subject has now been completely thrown out the window. Do we even remember that He said: ‘Judge (condemn) not, that ye be not judged (condemned). For with what judgement (condemnation) ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete (use), it shall be measured to you again.’ (Matt. 7:1-2) But too many people are getting away with unfair judgement because of the anonymity provided by social media. 

However, as the old people would say, we all get our comeuppance at some time in some way. The Lord is a just God and He will judge rightly and justly. And because of all the above, we come to this last unwise quote. ‘LOVE yourself first and everything else falls into line.’ Now that’s not what Jesus teaches, but with the sorry state of our world, you really can’t blame people if they behave thus. It takes a strong, confident and mature believer to put others before themselves. 

And how does Jesus desire us to live? He says: ‘Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:37-40) That means we ought to LOVE God, ourselves and our neighbours with all of our being. It’s of supreme importance in our faith walk. 

One of the many problems we face though is that too many of us don’t LOVE ourselves, and that’s not meaning in a narcissistic, vain or self-absorbed manner, but just genuinely caring for and liking ourself. When we look in the mirror, we must see someone whom we like, someone whose company we don’t mind being in, someone we’re willing to treat kindly. But until we can do that for ourselves, we’ll never be able to like our neighbours, because you can’t give away what you don’t have. So today, I’m pleading with us to get serious about LOVING God and ourselves, so that we can LOVE our neighbors and bring about the kind of world that Jesus desires. Much LOVE!

…in a world filled with hate and evil…only true LOVE and goodness…can make an appreciable difference… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   3 September 2022 Psalm 90:12.

Psalm 90:12.        So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom (gain a heart of wisdom).

And then it was Saturday, our lazy day…and yuh better believe that I’ve been enjoying some of the laziness pervading the atmosphere this bright and sunshiny morning; lying in bed later than normal, and taking my own sweet time to come down and write the Bit. But when you have God’s work to do, you can only enjoy so much lazy time before He gently nudges you to get up and get a move on. So here I am, having been gently nudged (smile) as we venture to look at the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And the first quote says: ‘Life is like a coin. You can spend it any way you wish, but you only spend it once.’ And that’s the God-awesome truth my brethren! Life is like money, and you can spend it anyway you desire, but the fact of the matter is that once you’ve spent it, it’s gone. You can’t take it back and spend it again. That’s why we must be ever so careful about how we spend our lives; on what and with whom we spend them. We only have one life to live, and once you’ve spent even a li’l piece of it, that piece is gone forever. 

Unfortunately, life is not like writing on paper, we don’t have the luxury of erasing whatever we’ve done and doing it over on the same piece of paper. That span of life has been used up once and for all. And since our days on earth are short enough as it is, we cannot afford to use up too much of our life unwisely. That’s one of the reasons why Moses in Psalm 90, asks the Lord: ‘So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom (gain a heart of wisdom).’ (Ps. 90:12) 

And likewise in Psalm 39, A prayer for self-understanding, Bruh David beseeched: ‘Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am.’ (Ps. 39:4) None of us know how long or short our time will be on earth, hence the necessity to use that time wisely. And it all segues nicely into the next quote. ‘The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.’ 

Oh time does fly, and you don’t realize how fast until you’re getting on in age. I’m sure that time’s been flying at the same speed when I was young, but now that I’m on the downside of life, it seems that time is flying more quickly than ever. And you continually see my surprise in the Bit about how quickly the days and months are flying by. However, as the quote reminds us, we are the pilot of our lives, and thus can do whatever we want with them. The problem there, as we said earlier on, is using our time wisely. And we can only do that successfully if we are guided by the one who made time; our Creator and heavenly Father, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 

Yes friends, we can pilot the ship of our lives half decently in calm waters, but when the storms and crises of life come, it takes a greater and more experienced pilot than us, Jesus Christ, to guide us safely through them. It’s like in many big ports around the world, when a big ship comes in, a pilot from the port comes on board to take the ship into safe anchorage, because they know the harbour more intimately than the regular ship’s pilot. And it’s the same way with life friends, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ knows much more about life than we do, because He lived it, died, and rose again, so with that experience under His belt, He’s better able to offer us good advice on it. (smile) 

That brings us to this next quote. ‘You define your own life. Don’t let other people write your script.’ Now there’s lots of truth to that, because nowadays there are a lot of people, so -called experts who want to tell us how to live our lives. And it does help to pay attention to some of what they say, but ofttimes they will lead you to live the kind of life they want you to live, not necessarily the kind that you want to live. We need to keep a fine balance between what we want, what others advise us, and how it will eventually affect our lives. 

But there again, the best expert on life is Jesus! No one else has done what He’s done, or can ever do it. In a nutshell: ‘Jesus Christ was chosen to be our Savior. His Atonement makes it possible for us to be resurrected and to repent and be forgiven so we can return to our Heavenly Father’s presence. In addition to saving us from our sins, Jesus Christ, our Savior, also offers us peace and strength in times of trial.’  So, it makes ever so much sense to turn to Him and live the life that He advises or guides us to live, through the power of the Holy Spirit that dwells within each person who believes in Him. 

And this next quote is a meaningful one. ‘I just want you to know that if you are out there and you are being really hard on yourself right now for something that has happened … it’s normal. That is what is going to happen to you in life. No one gets through unscathed. We are all going to have a few scratches on us. Please be kind to yourselves and stand up for yourself, please.’ 

Now that’s oh so true! In this life we all face tough times, through rejection, persecution, whatever, but that’s normal, for life never runs smoothly. There are always ups and down, mistakes and disappointments, but through it all, we certainly need to stand up for ourselves and not be too harsh on ourselves because of any errors we’ve made. Forgiving ourselves ought to be our number one priority in times of poor choices or lack of wisdom. We must learn from the mistakes, but don’t let them weigh us down like unnecessary baggage. 

Unfortunately, many of us forgive others much quicker and easier than we forgive ourselves. The same sorry situation occurs when God forgives us, we don’t truly accept it, and keep on trying to make amends of our own. But forgiveness means letting go of the guilt. We are not called to be martyrs, just to live life to the fullest, which includes forgiveness of self and others. 

Or, like this last quote advises: ‘Be courageous. Challenge orthodoxy. Stand up for what you believe in. When you are in your rocking chair talking to your grandchildren many years from now, be sure you have a good story to tell.’ Now that’s the basic definition of life. As the Lord reminded Joshua: ‘Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.’ (Josh. 1:9) 

Yes friends, if we follow that wise advice, we’ll not go wrong. We will have problems, but we will also have wonderful adventures, even within the times of problems, because that’s the kind of life Jesus offers. As He says: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

And that’s an acknowledged fact! So, if we want to live a life filled with good stories to both tell our grandchildren and reminisce about ourselves, as we rock gently during the twilight of our lives, the best one to follow and listen to is Jesus! He’s the only real expert on the subject. There’s no doubt about that. Much LOVE!

…only JESUS…can take us safely through the ups and downs of life…  

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   27 August 2022   John 14:6.

John 14:6.        I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

So it’s lazy day Saturday, and we welcome it with open arms! Yes, this one day in the week when some of us can just do as we please, with no pressures from life or jobs or other people around us. For some unfortunate ones though, it’s also a busy day of housework, grocery shopping and other things they cannot do during the already crowded work week. They have my utmost empathy, (smile) for I remember those trying times in my own life, with children to look after, etc. etc. 

And the sad part is that in my time there were definitely not as many amenities as they are now. But with faith and perseverance my generation made it through, and now we can simply enjoy lazy Saturday mornings without any outside pressures. Glory be! But chuh! I still have to get myself together though and do the Lord’s work, writing the Bit, based on the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

So here goes. The first quote tells us: ‘Life is never easy. There is work to be done and obligations to be met – obligations to truth, to justice, and to liberty.’ Now what can we say about that eh? In the first place I won’t say that life is never easy, because it can be very rough and tough at times, but if you’re a believer in, and follower of Jesus, then you will be able to handle the ups and downs of life much better than if He’s not your Lord and Saviour. 

Why? Because He gives you all the tools you need to handle the vicissitudes of life. And though there is work to be done in His name – obligations to truth, to justice, and to liberty – with His awesome help we can handle them in a good and timely fashion. It does take faith, perseverance and a tough skin though to live and work for Jesus. But He is indeed the God of truth, of justice and of liberty. As He said in this famous proclamation: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6) 

And then we have this awesome verse from Isaiah on the topic of justice. ‘For I the Lord LOVE judgement (justice), I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.’ (Is. 61:8) Yes friends, our God is a God of justice, He hates robbery and wrong doing, and did as promised, made a covenant with His people Israel. 

And as per the subject of liberty, listen to Isaiah again. ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek (poor); he hath sent me to bind up (heal) the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty (freedom) to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.’ (Is. 61:1) 

Wow mih bredrin! What a marvellous God we serve! And He did keep that covenant by sending His Son Jesus, who said it thus: ‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world though him might be saved.’ (John 3:17) And Jesus did come to save the lost, the sick, the needy, to set us free from the sin and dark rule of Satan, and He did just that when He died on the cross, then rose triumphantly from the dead, defeating Satan at His own game. 

That finally brings us to the next quote. (smile) ‘Life imposes things on you that you can’t control, but you still have the choice of how you’re going to live through this.’ Now that’s totally true. Life does its own thing in our lives, much of which we cannot control, but we do have the ability to decide how we handle them. Basically, it’s called our attitude. We can have a good or bad, right or wrong attitude about those uncontrollable things. But when you’re living for Jesus, you will always have the strength and wisdom to know how to handle them, have the right attitude, so that they don’t inflict more damage than is necessary. 

That’s what Jesus gives us friends, that’s what He showed us by example with all the suffering, the rejection, the injustice He suffered for our sakes down here on earth. He never complained, just went about His business, trusting in His heavenly Father to make straight His path. And so too, we need to look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, when life comes against us, as it most certainly will. Look to him for comfort and strength, wisdom and perseverance to handle the problems. That’s a major benefit of being a member of His fold. 

Then we come to this interesting quote: ‘I like criticism. It makes you strong.’ I certainly don’t agree with the first part, (smile) but the second part is very true! Oh, none of us like criticism, especially when we know we’re doing the right thing, but it’s a fact of life, just ask Jesus about it. Not everyone will agree with our moves or motives, and will turn on us, even when we’re trying to help them, like they did with Jesus. But criticism makes us strong, that is if we don’t fall down and stay down because of it. 

The first rejection, like the first failure is always the toughest one to handle. But once you get accustomed – oh, I don’t know if we ever get accustomed to rejection nuh, because each rejection hurts, but with Jesus as our foundation and backbone, we’re better able to handle it. And this next quote amplifies that situation. ‘Everything negative – pressure, challenges – is all an opportunity for me to rise.’ 

Yes my brethren, whatever negative thing happens to us, we must look at it as a positive opportunity to improve ourselves and our circumstances. That’s the only way to rise to higher levels of life. We can’t just wait for positive things to happen because they oftentimes won’t, while negative ones will always show up. It’s like the old cliché; when life hands you lemons, make lemonade. Whatever life throws our way, there is always something positive we can learn from it. Even if it’s simply not making the same mistake again. And with all the tools that Jesus gives us, we can certainly take advantage of any negative occurrences that pop up in our lives. 

That brings us to this last quote: ‘You never really learn much from hearing yourself speak.’ And that’s only true if you’re a fool and like to talk a lot. However, if you’re a true believer in Christ Jesus, then you can learn even more from hearing yourself speak than listening to others. I’m talking about knowing the Word of God, having it hidden in our hearts, so that when the world or the devil or whoever or whatever tries to come against us, we can speak it and be reassured. 

Sometimes too, we can just speak it for no good reason, simply because we want to hear it, or because we LOVE it, because it always makes us feel good, feel strong and reassured. But to do that, we first have to constantly read and meditate on the word, so that it seeps into our subconsciousness, because we can’t speak something we don’t know. And the best way to end today, is with this marvellous scripture that always brings a chuckle to my spirit. 

It’s the Lord talking to Joshua when He made him the Israelites’ leader after the death of Moses. He said to Joshua, in no uncertain manner: ‘This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.’ (Josh. 1:8-9) 

That’s it in a nutshell my fellow saints! That’s the secret to success in this world! And if we’re true followers of Christ, and if we are wise, we will follow it and be successful, for our God does not lie nor lead us astray. Much LOVE!

…in Christ alone…is true success found… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   13 August 2022   John 8:31.

John 8:31.       If ye continue (abide) in my word, then ye are my disciples indeed;

And then it was Saturday – our lazy day, where some of us have options as what to do with the day. And believe me, I had to force myself to get out of the bed this morning, because it felt so good just to lay there and do nothing but doze in and out of sleep and think dreamy, heavenly thoughts. (smile) Unfortunately though, I eventually woke up to the reality that I had work to do, that others were expecting words of wisdom from me re the quotes that our friend Anselm had sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Oh, reality is such a hard task master, but I knew that with God’s help, with His awesome faithfulness, I would be able to pen something worthwhile. ‘So Lord, I’m invoking your help, your faithfulness right now! Please show me what you want me to write on this most recent bunch of quotes. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.’ 

And the first one says: ‘In order to write about life first you must live it.’ And that’s the gospel truth! You can’t write about what you don’t know. Although many of us are doing just that nowadays in this sad era of many truths, of fake news, of amazing levels of dissension and deception, with the social media platform that allows us all to be pundits and soothsayers and know it alls. That’s one of the main reasons why our world is in such chaos; too many of us don’t know a blooming thing about life, having not lived long enough or experienced enough of it to make useful comments, but we voice our opinions on everything anyway and add to the worldly confusion. 

And as life gets more confusing, it’s becoming even more important to look to the Good Book for the real truth in every situation, for it’s the ONLY unchangeable aspect in our lives these days. Everything else seems subject to change, but our God does not change. He said so in Malachi. ‘For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.’ (Mal. 3:6) And let’s be glad that He doesn’t change, otherwise we’d be long ago removed from the scene. (smile) 

And why would He want to change eh, when He is perfect in all His ways. So, whatever He’s said or caused to be written is written in stone for our benefit. That’s why Jesus is also the same yesterday, today and forever. (Heb. 13:18) And He’s also the source of ALL truth. ‘I am the way, the truth and the life…’ (John 14:6) Therefore if you want to know truth, you must get in agreement with Jesus, learn His word and put it into action. As He said to the disciples. ‘If ye continue (abide) in my word, then ye are my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’ (John 8:31-32) Glory be my people! 

So, we realize right away that if we want to have a safe, constant and stable life, our best bet is living through our unchanging God and His unchanging Word. That brings us to this next quote. ‘The whole secret of a successful life is to find out what is one’s destiny to do, and then do it.’ More gospel truth my fellow believers! For if you are a believer in Almighty God, then you will know that He has a plan for every life He creates. Jeremiah said it for Him. ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer. 29:11) 

It’s therefore obvious that God has good plans for us, but to find them out, we must go to Him in all sincerity and truth and ask about them. Now, finding out our destiny or God’s plan for our life is possibly the easy part of the quote, the doing it, is where things get somewhat sticky and difficult. Why you ask? Because of the unpredictability and changing nature of this earthly life. And the next quote speaks to that matter as it tells us: ‘If life were predictable it would cease to be life, and be without flavor.’ 

I guess we can’t deny that, because it’s the unpredictability of life that turns us on, that excites us and causes us to want to live. That’s why we’re always looking for something new, something exciting, something that will get our adrenalin flowing, despite the danger and misfortune that might lie in it. Excitement, unpredictability, newness, spiciness, are the flavours that we seek in life, not sameness or same old, same old. (smile) And believe me, living for, and walking with Jesus is the most unpredictable and exciting, yet encouraging and reassuring thing we could ever do. 

Yes friends, Jesus indeed provides an unpredictable though very safe environment for us to work in. Remember, He promises that though the world is full of trials and tribulations, all of which we cannot escape, we won’t be allowed to handle more than we can bear, (1 Cor. 10:13) and that everything will work out for our good in the long run if we stay under His protective umbrella. (Rom. 8:28) 

However, the following quote adds another dimension to the subject, when it says: ‘The big lesson in life, baby, is never be scared of anyone or anything.’ Now there’s a whole lot of truth to that statement, because if you live life like a scaredy-cat, it definitely will not be enjoyable. But you also have to be responsible, you just can’t flaunt your boldness in life’s face, because it will have you flat on your back in no time at all. Life likes, and expects you to stand up to it, but it doesn’t take kindly to us trying to put it down, make it look foolish. 

And you can only have the power and the wisdom to handle life properly if you are a true believer in Christ Jesus and put His words into action in your life. That’s because true wisdom is only found in Him, as James says: ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not (without reproach); and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (not doubting)…(James 1:5-6) And then we must also remember that ‘God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound or disciplined mind. (2 (Tim. 1:7) 

So you see friends, the only wise way to live this God created life in this God created world, is in a God dictated manner. (smile) And this last quote adds yet another dimension to the whole experience. ‘Not how long, but how well you have lived is the main thing.’ Now that’s ever so true! How well, how godly, how genuinely, and respectfully we live this life is way more important than how long we live it. 

Yes, although you may not believe in God, it’s still very important that you live, a kind, honourable, generous and humble life, for those are the things that cause others to be good to you in return and help you along the rough and rocky road that earthly living entails. And the truth is, we all need help in living life. Much LOVE!

…how you live life…is how life will respond to you…  

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   6 August 2022   2 Timothy 1:7.

2 Timothy 1:7.        For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound or disciplined mind.

Okay! So our lazy day Saturday is here again. Let’s give sincere thanks for it, because many of us do need it after a hard week’s work. And I’m not saying that tongue in cheek, or sarcastically, because many people do put in a decent effort during the work week and deserve a day to just relax and do nothing if they so desire. And then there are those of us who don’t do very much, but still take advantage of Saturday to do nothing. But that’s just life, and there’s nothing much we can do about it. 

Anyway, let’s see if we can do something with the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this past week nuh, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. (smile) And the first one says: ‘Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.’ Now parts of that statement are very true. Our time on earth is very limited, as compared to eternity, and we should not waste it by living other people’s lives, as per their sometimes unreasonable or unreasoned thinking. 

And I guess they have dogma in a negative light here, although we do need to see it in a positive one, where ‘an official system of principles or tenets concerning faith, morals, behavior, etc.’ is necessary, if a society is to live in harmony and not constant chaos. The problem is that sometimes others take those principles too far, or too much for granted and want to keep us tied down to them, thus change and improvement are impossible. But then again, no society can exist and prosper without a certain amount of change. The same goes for individuals. 

So, we all need to put on our thinking caps and consider what is actually good for us, despite what others think or say. And as a believer in Christ Jesus, we have the best brains from which to pluck that wisdom; the brains of Almighty God! Yes friends, we can always go to the fountainhead of wisdom and ask for some. As James, Jesus’ brother writes in the Good Book. ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not (without reproach); and it shall be given to him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (not doubting).’ (James 1:5-6) 

There we have it my brethren. True wisdom is available to us if we ask it of the Lord in faith, not doubting. And we know that He has a plan for every life He creates, so we can kill two birds with one stone there: going to Him for basic wisdom and also asking His plan for our individual lives. Wow! No other faith offers such an amenity! (smile) 

And that takes us to the next quote: ‘Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.’ Yes, by no means should believers fear failure so much, that it keeps us from getting into the game of life. For remember these immortal words of Bruh Paul to Timothy on the subject. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound or disciplined mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) 

That’s the absolute truth! And one of Jesus’ favourite sayings while here on earth was ‘fear not.’ Thus, though fear will come against or upon us, it should not prevent us from living a wise and fulfilling life, especially if we are true believers in Christ, because He died for us to have an abundant life, beginning right here on earth. (John 10:10) 

Consequently, all of that is showcased in this next quote which proclaims: ‘Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.’ And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! Too often, too many of us give up just before we are about to taste the sweet flavour of success. And why is that, you ask? For many reasons, like lack of funds to continue, lack of passion, frustration from too many failed times, push back from others, etc. etc. 

But what we don’t realize is that the old adage, the darkest hour is the one just before the dawn, is absolutely true! The toughest times in our lives are when we are just about to achieve success. So, it behooves us not to give up, to always do our best to keep keeping on, even when it looks the gloomiest, especially if you belong to Jesus, because there’s no giving up in His vocabulary. (smile) And that keeping on is not always easy to do, but please remember that with Jesus, everything is possible! 

And so, we come to this interesting quote. ‘Money and success don’t change people; they merely amplify what is already there.’ Truthfully, I don’t know what to say about that nuh. (smile) Because on one hand it seems to be true, but on the other hand, I have the feeling that money and success do change people. I’ve seen too many people who seemed genuinely down to earth get swellheaded, arrogant and egotistic after achieving a li’l success and money. Oh, I know that deep down many of us harbour attitudes of pride, arrogance, greed and egotism, attitudes that don’t show up if we have no material wealth or success to talk about. 

But are we inherently that bad? I refuse to believe it. If so, what happens to those Christians whom the Lord chooses to bless with money and success eh? And there are plenty of them around. Do they all turn into evildoers? Think of the relatively poor woman in the U.S. who recently won a billion dollars. Is she suddenly going to become and ogre? Now it’s certainly possible, but I prefer to believe that there must be some inherent goodness in mankind, that the acquisition of success and money won’t turn us all into evil monsters. 

Look at all the wealthy and successful people in the Good Book, who weren’t evil, but godly. People like Abraham, Job, Cousin Sol, Bruh David and a host of others. If we have Jesus as the foundation of our lives, material wealth and success should not bring out the evil in us. 

And the last quote declares: ‘Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action.’ Now that’s true! Happiness doesn’t just fall from the sky; it comes as a result of something we do, some action we take. But unfortunately, not everything we do brings us happiness. That’s possibly because we haven’t done the right thing or things that bring happiness. But be assured that we won’t see happiness unless we get up and seek it. It’s out there just waiting for us to come and get it. 

And in closing, I’ll be even so generous as to tell you where to find that happiness you’re so badly needing and looking for. (smile) True happiness is only found in the Son of God, the One called Jesus, the Sinless One who died on the cross at Calvary to redeem our sinful souls! Only by accepting Him as Lord and Saviour, will you ever find true happiness! And that’s the indisputable truth! Much LOVE!

…everything in life becomes better…when Jesus is our foundation stone… 

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