Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 May 2021 Philippians 4:7.

Philippians 4:7.     And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Oh my people, Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and LOVE!’ (2 John 3) What a most magnificent greeting this Saturday morning in these pandemic times! That’s why the Word of the Lord is so important to believers; it lifts us up, encourages us and keeps our faith strong, so that we can keep on keeping on despite the troubles and problems that surround us. 

So, knowing that the Lord is with us, all the time, if we only believe, and is constantly showering His grace, mercy, peace and LOVE upon us, let’s go forward today without fear, but with courage, wisdom and compassion, as He leads us on the straight and narrow path, right home to Him. Glory be, mih bredrin! 

Now let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one says: ‘Learn to let go and be clear of where you really want to head for.’ Now that’s certainly an interesting thought, for we can’t go anywhere successfully unless we know where we want to go and drop all the other baggage that’s preventing us from following our destiny. And I want to say here that associating with Jesus, committing your life to Him, is the best way to know where your destiny lies and to find it with a true sense of purpose! That’s because He cares and will always be there to help us navigate the storms and the rough roads of this earthly life. 

Then we come to this quote: ‘LOVING yourself is the greatest revolution!’ Well, I don’t know if it’s really the greatest revolution, but I do know that it’s a very important one in all of our lives, for until we learn to LOVE God and LOVE ourselves, we’re not fit for anything. And the best way I know to express those sentiments is by quoting these marvellous and wise words of Jesus, as to the great commandment. ‘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) 

Yes friends, that’s where it all begins and ends – with LOVE! And that’s why this next quote is also important for our well-being: ‘To LOVE yourself is to understand you don’t need to be perfect to be good.’ And that’s quite true. The fact is that no human is perfect, for the Lord God made us intentionally as imperfect beings. The only perfect Being in this universe is our Godhead! And since our Creator knows we’re not perfect, He doesn’t expect perfection from us. He just expects our best and most sincere effort. 

Unfortunately though, too many of us try to be perfect, when it’s impossible, and then get down on ourselves when we mess up. But friends, our great God sees and knows everything, that’s why we refer to Him as omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present. That means He looks at our hearts, and if they are right, then He will forgive, forget and comfort any and all imperfection. But we need to first understand that being perfect is not His expectation, but He does want us to be diligent and excellent in our efforts. 

That brings us to our last quote: ‘Inner peace begins the moment you choose not to allow another person or event to control your emotions.’ Now, on a basic and fundamental level that seems to be true, but it’s definitely not the whole story! Granted, it’s good not to let people and events control our emotions too much, however, it’s a natural consequence of being human. And try as we want, it’s not possible to completely shut out other people or events from our emotional roller coaster. (smile) 

And even if, by some fluke, we manage to shut out other things and people, the peace we receive is still not true or lasting, because it’s a peace the world gives, and that can never be worthwhile because it comes from a world that’s plagued by an abundance of sin and evil, and those two things can never bring true or lasting peace. The only place one can find really true and lasting peace in in Christ Jesus! And if you don’t believe me, let’s hear it straight from the horse’s mouth, that’s directly from Jesus, as He so generously bestows what He alone has to offer. ‘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) 

Oh my fellow saints, that’s one of the most important and encouraging scripture verses ever! It’s something for us to hold on to tightly if we want to make it successfully through this confused and evil world. But we can’t get it until we sincerely commit our lives to Jesus. And if that wasn’t sufficient to convince you to seek the peace that only Jesus can give, listen to more of his awesome words, as He talks about overcoming the world. ‘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) Glory be my people! More good news and encouragement! 

And let’s also remember Bruh Paul’s awesome words on the subject to the Philippians: ‘And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:7) Just imagine that nuh; a peace that we can’t even imagine or understand. And I just couldn’t leave out these explanations from the biblehub.com website. This from Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers. 

‘(7) The peace of God–i.e. (like the “righteousness of God,” “the life of God”), the peace which God gives to every soul which rests on Him in prayer. It is peace–the sense of unity in the largest sense–the “peace on earth” proclaimed at our Lord’s birth, left as His last legacy to His disciples, and pronounced at His first coming back to them from the grave (Luke 2:14; John 14:27). Hence it includes peace with God, peace with men, peace with self. It keeps–that is, watches over with the watchfulness that “neither slumbers nor sleeps”–both “the hearts and minds” (or, more properly, the souls and the thoughts formed in them), guarding our whole spiritual action, both in its source and its developments. 

It is “through Christ Jesus,” for “He is our peace (Ephesians 2:14), as “making all one,” and “reconciling all to God.” The comprehensiveness and beauty of the passage has naturally made it (with the characteristic change from the “shall” of promise to the “may” of benediction) the closing blessing of our most solemn church service of “Holy Communion” with God and man.’ 

Now that should open up some interesting comments and contemplations! (smile) And I’m also contemplating adding some more…but it’s already kinda long…Oh shoot! Tough yes! Who doesn’t want to get deeper into God’s word, that’s their business! But for those of us who so desire, here is the Pulpit Commentary on the verse. 

‘Verse 7. – And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding. The peace which God gives, which flows from the sense of his most gracious presence, and consists in childlike confidence and trustful love. This peace passeth all understanding; its calm blessedness transcends the reach of human thought; it can be known only by the inner experience of the believer. The similar passage, in Ephesians 3:20, “Unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think,” seems decisive for the ordinary interpretation. 

Bishop Light-foot, Meyer, and others take another view of the passage: “Surpassing every device or counsel of man. i.e. which is far better, which produces a higher satisfaction, than all punctilious self-assertion, all anxious forethought.” Shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus; rather, as R.V. (English Revised Version), shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus. Peace shall guard – “a verbal paradox, for to guard is a warrior’s duty” (Bishop Lightfoot). 

The peace of God abiding in the heart is a sure and trusty garrison, guarding it so that the evil spirit, once cast out, cannot return. The thoughts issue from the heart; for the heart, as commonly in the Hebrew Scriptures, is regarded as the seat of the intellect, not of feeling only. In Christ Jesus; in the sphere of his influence, his presence. True believers, abiding in Christ, realize his promise, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you.” 

Yes my fellow saints, it’s long, but interesting, (smile) and we couldn’t have a better ending. Much LOVE!

…the world is longing for true peace…but foolishly refuse to turn to Jesus…the only place that it exists… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8                

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 April 2021 Proverbs 23:7a.

Proverbs 23:7a.     ​‘For as he thinketh in his heart (mind), so is he.

Well, it’s another bright and sunshiny day in the life friends! Please thank our heavenly Father for that! But because it’s also Saturday, we’re going to add a touch of lateness and laziness to it! (smile) That makes it a bright, sunshiny, late and lazy Saturday! Praise the Lord! 

So though we’re lazing through the day, that doesn’t mean we are allowed to forget our great and wonderful God. On the contrary, today is one where we should gravitate towards Him and His Word since we couldn’t spend as much time as we wanted with him during the busy workweek. And now that we have some more time on our hands today, it’s only appropriate, and right, that we spend more unhurried time with Him; talking, praying, reading and meditating on His wise and awesome Word, so that we can get our souls and spirits renewed. 

And a note of caution here, please don’t think that we’re doing this for God nuh, but for ourselves, so that we can truly enjoy the many benefits He offers. And as we are doing that today, let’s remember to send up prayers for the safety and protection of our unfortunate friends and families on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent where the volcano La Soufriere (sulphur outlet) erupted yesterday after being dormant since 1979. People are being evacuated from the island, but like it’s doing everything else, the Corona virus is making it difficult to do efficiently and quickly. 

Let’s pray that the Lord will give my old university classmate, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves and his associates wisdom and guidance to handle this most serious situation, as it will not affect only St. Vincent, but also the neighbouring islands, with the resultant ash clogging up the atmosphere, causing breathing problems and restricting air traffic. 

Now, as we do every Saturday, let’s turn to the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us to a better tomorrow. And the first quote tells us to ‘Learn to let go and be clear of where you really want to head for.’ And I have no dispute with that because it makes very good sense. We must learn to let go of, to drop all the baggage from our past that is keeping us back from our destiny. However, when we get rid of the baggage, we must also know, as clearly as possible, where we want or intend to go; what’s our eventual destination. 

And why is that important? Because, if you don’t know where you’re going, you will get lost, get distracted, and go in a direction that’s leading you away from your God-given destiny, which can also be very detrimental to your health, physically, spiritually and emotionally. That’s why you need to know where you want to go before you set out on your life’s journey. And it does help to discover your destination, if you also know where you are coming from. As they say, you can’t truly know your future until you know and understand your past. 

That brings us to this next quote: ‘Owning our story and LOVING ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we’ll ever do.’ And that’s no lie friends! Taking responsibility for our lives and LOVING ourselves in the process, takes immense courage, especially in this hate and strife-filled world, where everybody tries to blame somebody else for their problems and consequent lack of happiness. Now, it’s true that circumstances can come against us, over which we have no say or hold, but we’re still always responsible for our attitude towards them. 

But as faithful believers in Christ Jesus, that means we must come up over those circumstances with a good attitude, although that may be extremely difficult to do. Right now, the bane of our human existence is the sad lack of responsibility in our society! Nobody wants to accept it, but we all want to prosper and succeed…how? Riding on the backs of others. But God’s economy doesn’t work like that my brethren, for we only reap what we sow. And if we sow no seed, or only negative ones, we will get no harvest, or a negative one. Please, please, let’s remember that nuh, and begin taking responsibility for our actions. 

And this next quote segues very nicely into our conversation. ‘Self-LOVE is not selfish; you cannot truly LOVE another until you know how to LOVE yourself.’ And that’s gospel truth. Remember Jesus’ words on the two greatest commandments. ‘And the second is like unto the first, thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself.’ (Matt. 22:39) 

Now, to keep that commandment, we obviously need to have a strong LOVE for ourselves, because as our quote says, we can’t LOVE anyone if we don’t know how to LOVE ourselves. But in that process, it’s of the utmost importance that LOVE for ourselves doesn’t turn into a selfish, arrogant, vain, inordinate fascination, unkind, ungodly, narcissistic attitude. That comes from the story of Narcissus in Greek Mythology, where he sees himself reflected in a pool of water and falls in LOVE with himself. But when he realizes that that LOVE can never be reciprocated, he tragically goes off and commits suicide. 

Not a nice story at all, but unfortunately many of us still fall to those low levels and make life difficult for ourselves and those around us. This last quote though, will open our eyes, if we’re serious about getting to our God-given destiny. It says: ‘You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That’s the only thing you should be trying to control.’ 

That’s the truth right there in spades my brethren! The first thing we ought to learn to control is our mind, because that’s where all the battles in our life both begin and end. In Proverbs 23, Cousin Sol talks about not eating with a man that has an evil eye (is a miser), for though he tells you to enjoy the delicacies, he’s not sincere. ‘For as he thinketh in his heart (mind), so is he.’ (Prov. 23:7) 

And that’s more truth friends, for you can’t think evil and do good on a regular basis. What’s really inside of you will eventually come out. As Jesus said about the things that defile. ‘Not that which goes into the mouth that defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man…For out of the heart (mind) proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.’ (Matt. 15:11,19-20) 

Yes my fellow saints, we can’t deny it, evil begins in our minds. Mahatma Gandhi, the Indian philosopher, politician and peace maker, said it thus: ‘A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.’ Oh my people, thoughts are extremely important in shaping our personality and attitude. They can be good or bad, constructive or destructive, and eventually make us who we are. And we need to make our minds positive and productive if we intend to sincerely live for Jesus. 

And how do we do that? Let Bruh Paul tell us as he told the church at Corinth. ‘Casting down imaginations (arguments), and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.’ (2 Cor. 10:5) 

Now that basically means taking control over your thoughts; over what you think about yourself and life. It’s not easy to do with all the evil stuff that’s coming against us, but God has provided us with a way to do it, through His word and will, through His Holy Spirit that indwells us. So let’s remember that our mind is a battlefield between good and evil nuh. And Christ wants us to ‘Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.’ (Rom. 12:21) And there’s no better time to start practicing that than today; right now! Much LOVE!

…control what you think about…and what you think about will control you… 

P.S. Yes, it’s long and late, but that’s okay. It’s Saturday. (smile) Much LOVE! 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8            

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 August 2018 Matthew 7:7.

Matthew 7:7.   Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

And so we come to Saturday – Caribana Saturday in Toronto…and again I’m up before I planned to because of the many aches and pains coursing through the ole bod. But I don’t think they are as bad as yesterday morning. And in any case, though they might slow us down some, we’re not going to let them stop us. Glory to Christ Jesus who strengthens us and allows us to do all things in His name! 

So some people are getting ready to go out and party, some are sleeping in, and some are working, like me here, asking the Lord to show me what He wants me to write about today. But before we get to that, let’s look at some quotes from our friend Anselm, who aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And we have a full slate of them this week. 

The first one tells us: ‘Learn to let go.’ Now that is indeed some wise advice, because we often hold on to things and people we ought to let go, because their season in our lives is over. And holding on to stuff and people who’s best by date has expired, does us no good whatsoever, just causes more problems than we need. 

And that segues very nicely into this next quote: ‘One of the happiest moments in life is when you find the courage to let go of what you can’t change.’ Yeh friends, letting go brings a kind of exhilaration and relief to our spirits, as we say ‘Yes!’ and raise our clenched fists in victory. 

And then there is this: ‘Fall in LOVE with yourself before anything else.’ Now there is some truth to that statement, but we have to be very careful with it, especially in these selfish and narcissistic times. LOVE for ourselves should be one about self-worth and self esteem, in conjunction with Jesus command to LOVE others as ourselves. 

Now there’s no way we can LOVE anybody else if we don’t first LOVE ourselves. So please pay close attention to how you think about yourself. Do appreciate and value yourself, but don’t put yourself up on any high pedestal, and think you’re so much better than others, for you’ll eventually come tumbling down. 

And the next quote poses a very interesting question. ‘Ask yourself if what you’re doing today will get you closer to where you want to be tomorrow?’ Now that’s a question a lot of us need to ask ourselves! So many of us are doing stuff we don’t like, and are spread very thinly amongst so many things that we can’t focus on the thing or things we truly want to focus on. 

And in these days of multitasking and people having to work at several jobs just to make ends meet, steadily focusing on, and getting ahead in the area you particularly desire is difficult. But you can do it, if you know what you want, and are ready to make the sacrifices involved, and above all, with God’s awesome help. Remember NOTHING is impossible to Him! 

And last quote gives us: ‘Three life rules: 1. If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. 2. If you don’t ask, the answer will always be no. 3. If you don’t step forward, you will always be in the same place.’ And they are all quite true. We just have to put them in the context of living for Christ and what He said concerning those things. ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.’ 

Yeh friends, it’s only when we venture forth, we step out in faith that things truly begin to happen for us. As Jesus continues: ‘For every one that asketh receiveth; and that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.’ (Matt.7:8) And here Jesus was referring in particular to prayer, but in reality before we do anything, we ought to come to the Father in prayer about it. 

The scholars offer this explanation. ‘7:7-10. The three imperatives ask, seek, and knock are in the present tense of the original language, suggesting both perseverance and frequent prayer. Fervent and continual prayer is to be made on behalf of those for whom we are concerned. God promises to answer all genuine prayer (v.8). Everything we need for spiritual success has been promised to us. God leaves us no excuse for failure.’ 

Now that’s certainly a very interesting statement…and it’s also true. Our wonderful God has given us ALL that we need to be successful down here on Planet Earth. We just need to exercise our authority over it all! And what better way to close than with the words of our Leader, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, as he concluded His talk on the above subject. 

‘Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? (Matt.7:9-11) 

You can’t beat Jesus’ logic there my people. If we, in our sinful nature, know how to give good things to our LOVED ones, then can you imagine the generosity of the God of LOVE and Giver of ALL good things? No! Our puny minds won’t allow us to. But if we have faith, and persevere in fervent prayer, we will get some idea of how generous He is. Much LOVE!

…asking…seeking…and knocking…are the only ways…to truly find out what’s happening…