Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 August 2018 John 14:15.

John 14:15.   If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments.

And then it was Friday…already? Yes already. Remember, it was just a short workweek, what with the Caribana Monday holiday. Ah yes! I remember now! That means we into the weekend. Yes. We’re into the weekend. 

And does it ever warm the cockles of the workingman’s heart that he sings out with joyous abandon: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! And we only work four days this week! Mama Yo! Ah don’t see why they can’t make it just a four day week all the time nuh. Then we’ll have so much more time to party. Party…Party…Party! 

Yeh, life is all about partying, about living it up, about eating and drinking and having a good time, wining down like we did this past Caribana weekend. What did Solomon, the wisest man ever say? Something like eat and drink today, for tomorrow you may die. Well that is exactly what we doing! So if we die tomorrow, we won’t have no regrets. Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, that is how the world thinks, how the unwise adherents of the prince of darkness behave. But as followers of, and true believers in Jesus Christ, the Prince of Light, we cannot afford to think or behave like that. Our Crown Prince wants us to behave with a tad more restraint than the workingman. It’s not that we can’t enjoy ourselves, but not to the extent that the world does, in terms of lewdness and leggo beast behaviour. 

That difference shows up in our weekend song, our Friday Chant, a much more responsible ditty. So let’s chant up a storm now nuh, in response to the workingman’s proclamation. As one now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

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

Now that’s more like it mih breddren! We still have fun and enjoy ourselves, but we just don’t take things to the extreme, we exhibit a li’l more care and concern, like Jesus desires of us. As He says so simply and explicitly in our Bit: ‘If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments.’ 

It couldn’t get any plainer or simpler than that my people. If we LOVE Jesus we WILL keep His rules and regulations, for every organization has to have a stated, streamlined and orderly manner in which to carry out their business, if they want to grow and prosper. And that’s what Jesus definitely desires of His organization, the church! 

So if we want His church to grow and prosper, we must abide by His commands, toe the party line as it were, and not behave like the irresponsible workingman. Jesus said those words in our Bit to His disciples when He was preparing to go back to heaven. Obviously they were grieved and disappointed, but He solemnly promised. 

‘And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless (orphans): I will come to you. 

Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that LOVETH me: and he that LOVETH me shall be LOVED of my Father, and I will LOVE him, and will manifest (reveal) myself to him.’ (John 14:16-21) 

Oh mih people, what marvellous and miraculous promises, all of which have been kept! And we especially talking about the promise of the new Comforter, the Holy Spirit, which came to earth on the Day of Pentecost and made mas in Jerusalem, with a rushing wind and cloven tongues like fire sitting on the followers of Jesus.

It caused them to speak in foreign languages, and they were so excited, behaving like the workingman I suppose,(smile) that the people of Jerusalem thought they were drunk at that early hour in the morning. And Peter preached one of the best sermons ever preached. You can read all about it in Acts 2. 

That’s when the Holy Ghost began to indwell ALL believers…and it still does today! Yes friends, that’s the Comforter Jesus promised, the Spirit of truth, and it certainly does all the things He promised it would. And the world still cannot see it because they don’t believe in and follow Jesus. 

And we’ll end with some reinforcements from John in his first epistle. ‘For this is the LOVE of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous (burdensome). For whatsoever (whosoever) is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?’ (1 John 5:3-5) 

Mama Mia! What indisputable truth! Only those who believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God can overcome this dark and evil world controlled by the fallen angel Lucifer! That’s it, plain and simple! So what shall your decision be eh? Do you want to overcome the world? I certainly hope so. Then you know what to do. Much LOVE!

…if you want to dwell in the light…and overcome the world…then you must accept Jesus as the Master of your life…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 August 2018 John 17:16.

John 17:16.   They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

Ah friends, it’s a sad day when bodily aches and pains contrive and conspire to drive you out of your bed! But that’s what came against me this morning. I got up around 5.30 to go to the bathroom and found I could barely walk the few feet to it. And that’s after going to bed around two thirty in fairly good shape. Every joint was crying out in resistance. Then when I went back to bed I couldn’t find a comfortable position to get back to sleep. 

But with the Lord’s help I weathered it and did get some more spasmodic rest. However, the aches and pains in my back, both knees, both hips and both shoulders refused to go quietly into the sunrise, (smile) and I eventually got up somewhat earlier than I had planned. 

But brother, what an ordeal! And I’ve been taking the pain pills fairly regularly. So why this painful episode now eh? Steups! But yuh know what? The aches and pains won’t keep the ole fella down for long. He’ll rally and fight back. And with the Lord’s help we’ll win, because the Lord has promised that nothing that comes against us will conquer us. Glory be! 

And it’s Friday, Caribana Friday to boot, Toronto’s big day in the worldwide spotlight, so you know the workingman will be out and about blaring his song to all and sundry! ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Caribana Friday! A long weekend…and official time to play true leggo beast! 

Yuh going to see we out on the boulevard tomorrow in we pretty costume…with the music blasting…and we doing we thing, getting down and wining, showing off we bumbulum and having a rollicking good time! Oh people, oh people, is Caribana weekend, the summer soon done, time to get out and have some fun, and thank the Lord for Fridays and weekends, especially the long ones!’ 

Yeh mih breddren, we must give thanks for our days off from labour, but we don’t need to go that far out on the limb like the workingman, where the evil one can easily get a foothold in our affairs. But like Jeeves says, a modicum of circumspection is necessary. 

And it’s strange how life changes as one gets older. At one time Caribana was a big deal for me. Now I don’t even remember that it exists. That’s because I can’t handle all the walking and jammings again, as well as it has lost its flavour. It’s not as nice and authentic as it was before. 

I’m not even enthusiastic this year to go to the Steelband Competition, the only aspect I support these days. I haven’t even heard from my buddy Bas, who usually goes with me. But who knows what will happen. It’s still early times. And don’t tell me that I’m getting old and cold, because I’m not. (smile) 

Anyway, in response to the workingman’s song, let’s chant our more sedate and less frivolous Friday Chant. As one now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

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

Yes my people, in Jesus organization, we don’t behave like the world, that’s ruled by the prince of darkness behaves. As Jesus prayed to the Father on our behalf: ‘I have manifested (revealed) thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them (to) me; and they have kept thy word… I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine…

And now I am no more (longer) in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee, Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me, I have kept, and none of them is lost (destroyed), but the son of perdition (Judas Iscariot); that the scripture might be fulfilled. 

And now I come to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray NOT that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil (one). ‘They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them (set them apart) through thy truth: thy word is truth.’ (John 17:6, 9, 11-17) 

Oh friends, yuh see how important Jesus thought we were? He spent the whole of chapter 17, 26 verses praying for us. Even for the believers who’d come down through the ages (vs.20). He asked the Father not to take us out of the world, but to keep us filled with His joy and to set us apart from the world, so we don’t get too contaminated by it. 

Now we do have to be in the world, otherwise how would we bring the lost and suffering to Him eh? But we don’t have to be a part of the world, meaning doing the things the world does, or living the way it does. We’re special friends. And we need to know it and behave accordingly! 

As we said yesterday, we’re ambassadors of Christ, therefore we have to behave in a special way, a way that glorifies and exalts His Holy Name. And we definitely can’t do that by behaving the way the world behaves. So let’s up the ante nuh, let’s raise our level of excellence in doing Jesus’ work, otherwise we won’t be His fruitful and efficient ambassadors, like we’re supposed to be. Much LOVE!

…serving Jesus in this evil world… is not easy…but it sure is worthwhile…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 April 2018 Matthew 6:19.

Matthew 6:19.    Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal.

Oh friends, it’s bright and sunshiny in my neighbourhood today! Yay! Both the Sun and the SON are in their element! Glory Hallelujah! But it’s still cold, and the ice still remains frozen on the ground and at the curbs. 

Oh, and I received some info from my Ward Councilor yesterday explaining why the roads were not cleaned after the recent ice storm. Some nansi story about it was ice and not snow and ice is harder to clean, and then it rained and clearing it would have caused more flooding etc. Hn! 

But the bottom line is that the city’s snow clearing contract ends at the end of March and keeping it going until April would cost some four hundred thousand dollars a week, which would eventually be added to our Property Tax Bill. So who cares eh? People want to be able to walk and drive safely after those storms! The Property Tax Bill is still going up every year regardless. 

At least this way we would have some idea as to what the increase is being used for. And besides, she concludes, spring will soon be here anyway. So people have to carefully navigate the dangerous ice that has accumulated on the curbs and the banks until when ever it gets warm enough to melt it? Steups! Politicians eh! Two–tongued crooks! 

But yuh know what? It’s Friday, and the workingman isn’t concerned about that now, as he sings his song. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! The weekend…Freedom time…though is only two lousy days off! But any time off from slave labour is gladly appreciated. Our time to eat, drink and be merry! For who knows, tomorrow we may die, so let’s enjoy it to the max nuh, while we have the ability to do so. Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes!’  

Ah mih breddren, the complexities of this modern life eh! Life was so much simpler and clearer when we didn’t have as much as we now have, and overall I believe people were happier, at least more contented with their lot. They weren’t as worried and perplexed. But now, we’re just hurrying and scurrying, walking over each other to make a living that’s not much better in quality than what our parents enjoyed. 

Oh we have more amenities, but we have to spend more time servicing those same amenities, and work like crazy to pay for them, thus the complaints in the workingman’s song. However, as Christians, true believers in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we have a different take on the situation as stated in our Friday Chant. Let’s declare it now nuh with much zeal and 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.’ 

Yeh friends, believers don’t go overboard, we have boundaries which prevent the enemy from getting any footholds in our souls and thus wreaking havoc in our relationship with Christ. I know it’s hard sometimes to hold back from the leggo beast attitude, but hold back we must, if we are to be good and true representatives of Christ. In the long run though, it will pay enormous dividends. If not down here on earth, then certainly in heaven. 

We therefore need to be more heavenly minded or centred than we currently are. That’s why we need to take serious heed of Jesus’ warning in our Bit. ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal.’ Such wonderful advice from the Master! 

However, to be wise and faithful servants, Jesus advises: ‘But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves do not break through and steal.’ (Matt.6:20) Yeah mih people, treasures in heaven are theft proof, rust proof and moth proof. 

So where will you rather secure your treasures then, down here on earth, where you can lose them or they be destroyed through natural wear and tear, and you have to leave them behind when you die anyway, or in heaven where they are completely safe? The obvious answer would be heaven. 

Please note though friends, that there is nothing bad about having or gaining earthly wealth and power, Jesus will indeed grant them to us if it’s in His plan for our lives. The problem is when we begin treating the earthly stuff as our god, when it becomes more important than the real, One True God, our heavenly Father. 

And anytime we allow someone or something to become more important to us than God, then we’re in serious trouble. For remember our God is a jealous God, as He so blatantly states in Exodus 20:5. ‘For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God…’ And His very FIRST Commandment reflected that in spades: ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before me.’(Ex.20:3) 

So friends, it’s all well and good to live a good life down here on earth, because that’s part of the reason why Christ died for us. But we have to realize and recognize that God must come before everyone and everything else. And to do that without too many problems, we have to do it consciously, for as Jesus so rightly warns: ‘For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ (Matt.6:21) 

And that’s no lie my people! Just check your own life. Don’t you think about your earthly treasure a lot, whether it be money in the bank or costly artifacts you have already accumulated, or are in the process of accumulating? We certainly do! But today I’m imploring us not to make them more important than our heavenly Father, for we’ll certainly be on the losing end if we do. Much LOVE!

…true wisdom…live a full life on earth…but think a whole lot more about heaven…which will last much longer…like forever…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 November 2017 Psalm 84:11.

Psalm 84:11.   For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

Ah friends, thankfully my area did not get the heavy precipitation of snow that some other areas apparently received overnight. There is a smattering of the white stuff here and there in disparate patches on the ground, but nothing to be concerned about. 

We did get lots of rain and brutal winds though. You could hear the wind howling outside and rattling stuff. Hopefully it didn’t do any serious damage to any buildings. 

The cold of morning, which seems bright and quiet enough, obviously did not stop the workingman from getting out on the street and lustily declaring his weekend anthem. ‘TGIF! Thank the Lord Friday come! The weekend finally here! What a time it going to be, with all sorts of riotous goings ons. 

Mama Yo! Is party fuh so! Party and more party! As the song says: ‘Party, party, party!’ Yeh mih breddren, we have to thank the Lord for Fridays and weekends oui, otherwise the slave driver would kill we with work everyday!’ 

And as always, there is some truth to the workingman’s song. It’s just that he is carried away by his exuberance. (smile) No doubt many of us Christians might feel the same way, but we know that we can’t just let it all hang, out otherwise we’re going to get in trouble with the enemy. 

That’s why our Friday Chant differs from that of the ordinary workingman. We set some boundaries and restrictions to our leggo beast tendencies, (smile) so that the evil, always lurking enemy cannot get a foothold in our business. And believe me, it’s very easy to go overboard and allow him in, when you are tired after a difficult week of work. 

So let’s declare our anthem with as much gusto and purpose as the workingman declared his nuh. As one now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

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

Ah mih fellow saints of Jesus, that’s how we operate! We try to stay within the lanes of common sense as the values and directives of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ dictates. And when we call upon our great God for help, He helps us to stay within those parameters which are dear to His will. 

As our Bit so explicitly and graciously declares: ‘For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.’ 

Now yesterday we saw what Isaiah and Revelations had to say about the Lord being our sun. Hear now how Malachi puts it as he talks about the coming day of the Lord. ‘But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall (grow fat like stall fed calves) 

And ye shall tread (trample) down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts. Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgements.’ (Mal.4:2-4) 

Yeh friends, another great promise of our awesome God, but we also need to remember to live by His statutes and His law. It’s not going to happen regardless of our behaviour. 

Now hear this most significant promise of the Lord to Abram. ‘After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and they exceeding great reward.’ (Gen.15:10 ) 

And the scholars have this to say re that verse. ‘15”1. Thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward: This chapter introduces the Abrahamic covenant by which God promises him an heir and eventual descendants who will one day possess the land of Canaan. 

The word “shield” is translated in other passages as “believed.” Thus, God is the object of Abram’s faith and thereby the source of his confidence. The promise of reward is especially significant in view of the fact that Abram had just refused a reward from the king of Sodom (Gen.14:21-24). God Himself would be Abram’s true reward (cf. Ps.127:3).’ 

And we all know that God fulfilled that promise to Abram in magnificent and miraculous fashion! Just ponder it for a moment nuh; having a child around a hundred years old… That’s only possible with our omnipotent God, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! 

So let’s cling with genuine faith to the many promises He’s made in His word, as we live in His will, for He who has promised is faithful to deliver. Much LOVE!

…Lo…children are a heritage of the Lord…and the fruit of the womb…is his reward… (Ps.127:3).

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 November 2016 Daniel 9:9.

Daniel 9:9.   To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him.  

Ah mih friends, Black Friday is over – Praise the Lord! And as always, we had the unruly leggo beast behaviour, the fights and the shootings. What is this life coming to eh? But if you think all the rigmarole is over, you’d better think again, for come Monday, it’s the online frenzy on what has now become known as Cyber Monday. 

Ah Lord eh! How many more new days can we get in the shopping calendar, especially when so many people are out of work and can barely make two ends meet? But the captains of commerce don’t care, they just want to sell their stuff, regardless of whom it impoverishes or bankrupts. 

I don’t know why we can’t resist these so-called sales, although we know that a lot of the things have not really been marked down, and for the few prices that have been lowered, several others have been raised. The sale talk is just a ploy to get us to come into the store, because they know once we are there we will buy other stuff at the marked up prices. 

I guess it’s just the greed in human nature that propels us to these things, and I thank the Lord that I don’t get involved in the madness.  

Now it’s Saturday, so it’s time to share a couple of quotes from our friend Anselm, who aspires to inspire us to a better tomorrow. And the first quote of today says: ‘It’s a long time until the next election, but it starts now. And if you truly want to see things change in the direction that our country is headed, you have to stay involved. You cannot quit now.’ 

Oh friends, truer words have never been spoken. It’s the civic responsibility of each citizen to get and stay involved in day to day politics and events in their country, especially if you want to see change. 

And that is rather appropriate in these times to the U.S with the unconscionable stuff that is taking place down there after the election of Donald Trump. If the people seriously want change at the next election in four years, they have to begin NOW to make their voices heard. 

And today’s second quote from our friend Anselm is one of pure truth. ‘Never deprive someone of hope; it might be all they have.’ That’s wonderful advice my people! 

So often in this negative and crazy world we tell people stuff that just kills whatever little hope they might have. Sometimes we do it on purpose, but ofttimes we do it unknowingly, then go our way rejoicing, not knowing that we have just caused someone else’s joy to plummet. 

No wonder Bruh Paul told the Roman church: ‘Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify (build up) another.’ (Rom.14:19) Yes my fellow believers, our words should always be chosen to build up and not tear down our fellow man. 

That brings us to the portion of the Prophet Daniel’s prayer for his people Israel, which contains our Bit. Before our Bit, he confesses. ‘O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face (shame), to our kings, our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee. 

To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him. Neither have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.’ (Dan.9:8-10)  

Oh friends, those three verses are so applicable to our world today that it’s not funny. We should indeed feel ashamed for the overwhelming amount of sin that has befallen our society in the last 25 years. We obviously have not obeyed God’s directive to walk in His laws. Instead we have foolishly chosen to walk in the ways of the prince of darkness, Lucifer. 

But thankfully, for our sakes, we have a God who is not only magnificent, but also magnanimous; He is ever merciful and all forgiving, despite our rebellious and ungodly behaviour. But don’t fool yuh fat, don’t get complacent and doh care, for although our God is merciful and forgiving, He is also a God of judgement and justice and there will be consequences for our continual rebellion and sinfulness. 

Now do you think that all the dreadful disasters that are happening in our world, one after the other, both natural and man-made, are simply coincidence or bad luck? I doubt it very much. I’m sure that there is some amount of divine retribution involved. I just don’t know how much. 

If the Lord, down through the ages, starting with His people Israel, could wreak havoc on ungodly nations, why do you think He won’t wreak it on us eh, as sinful as we are? There is no reason why He won’t. 

As they say ‘time longer than twine,’ and our God just has plenty patience, He is long-suffering, and in the fullness of time, if we don’t smarten up and repent, change our evil ways and return to His fold, we will see and feel His judgement. 

And listen to Daniel a few verses later. ‘As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil (disaster) is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth. Therefore hath the Lord watched upon the evil (kept the disaster in store), and brought it upon us: for the Lord our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice.’ (Dan.9:13-14) 

There you have it friends; the same things I just mentioned. And hopefully, if you didn’t believe me, then you will believe the man of God, the prophet Daniel… otherwise things will be extremely rough with us. In other words, crapaud smoke we pipe! Much LOVE!

…this world can only be saved…if we sincerely repent and return to diligently serving the Lord God Jehovah…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 November 2016 John 15:13.

John 15:13.    Greater LOVE  hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Well friends, it’s Friday, and many of us are singing our Friday jig: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! At last it’s our time to do as we please. No more massa looking over we shoulder to see what we doing. It’s our time to fly, as high as we want to; to touch the sky even. Thank God for Fridays and the weekend!’ 

But as always, that jig is a little too expansive with room for things that ought not to be indulged in. And we have our Friday Chant that offers a much better, healthier and godlier perspective. 

So let’s chant it now nuh. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

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

Yes my Christian brethren, that’s a much better way to use the weekend. Behaving like leggo beast, with all sorts of licentiousness and ungodliness isn’t appropriate behaviour for a child of God, a follower of Jesus Christ. So as Jeeves would say, let’s moderate our behaviour with a modicum of circumspection nuh. (smile) 

Now this Friday is a special and somewhat melancholy one in man’s memory, as we celebrate Remembrance Day, in honour of all those brave people who died in the Great Wars, especially the First World War. We remember those who gave their most precious possession, their lives, so that we could have a basic freedom in our lives. 

Now unlike what some think, freedom isn’t just granted, more times than not it has to be fought for. And those brave men and women did just that for us. So it’s essential that we remember them and give many thanks for their Christ-like behaviour, as least one day in every year. 

And in their honour, I’d like to share the world’s most famous War Memorial Poem, ‘In Flanders Fields,’ written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae on the morning of May 3 1915, at the battlefront during the second battle of Ypres, Belgium. 

Please read with me: ‘In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place: and in the sky The larks still bravely singing fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the dead: Short days ago, We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, LOVED and were LOVED: and now we lie In Flanders fields! 

Take up our quarrel with the foe To you, from failing hands, we throw The torch: be yours to hold it high If ye break faith with us who die, We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields.’ 

Oh my people, the many wasted lives created by that war eh! Young people died by the thousands. We claimed there’d never be another war like that, yet some thirty years later we’re fighting another World War, and several smaller ones after that. 

Steups! Mankind just seems to like war yes; innately he is a warmonger, rather than a peacemaker. 

And on this Remembrance Day of 2016, I believe that our Bit serves as a most appropriate reminder of all those deaths. Listen to Jesus, as He talks to His disciples about LOVE and friendship. Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ 

And that’s indisputable, irrefutable, gospel truth! Yes my precious people of God, those soldiers laid down their lives for us, so that we could have the opportunities we now have and to continue their efforts to have a free world. They have passed the torch to us. 

It’s just like Jesus laid down His life so that we could have salvation and eternal life and show others the way to Him. 

However, though we seem to appreciate to some extent the loss of lives back in the war, we don’t seem to particularly like or adopt Jesus’ words before our Bit. ‘This is my commandment, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you.’ (John 15:12) 

Now, if friends give up their lives for us, because they LOVED us, in keeping with Jesus’ commandment, we ought to LOVE and cherish those who remain. But unfortunately, in these times of worldwide anger and strife, the true meaning of the word LOVE is still eluding us. 

We tend to talk it a lot, but seldom do the acts required of it. How can we call ourselves true Christians then eh my brethren, when we are not following the commandment of Jesus? 

Now hear how John puts it in his first epistle. ‘Hereby perceive we the LOVE of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world’s good (goods), and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion (heart) from him, how dwelleth the LOVE of God in him?’ (1 John 3:16-17) 

That’s a very good question, friends! And the scholars offer this explanation of those verses. ‘3:16-17. The standard for our LOVE is God’s LOVE in Christ, who died for us. LOVE that observes need, and does not act to minister to it, is NO LOVE at all. Bowels of compassion in modern English would be “heart,” proceeding from our inward core of awareness and action.’ 

Ah mih people, sadly that does not happen in our poverty-stricken and sickly world as much as it ought to. That means we are falling down as Christians. Anyway, let’s close with the words of Bruh Paul while explaining to the Ephesians, the ways of a believer. 

‘Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in LOVE, as Christ also hath LOVED us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour (aroma).’ (Eph.5:1-2) 

I couldn’t have said it any better, so please friends, let’s see if we can’t ramp up, improve the incidence of true LOVE in our lives and our societies nuh. It’s the ONLY thing that will stop our world from the current free-fall that it’s currently in. Much LOVE!

…true LOVE is the motor that should drive our lives…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 September 2016 Galatians 5:16.

Galatians 5:16.    This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

Aye mih people, another great day is ahead of us, courtesy of our wonderful God! So please, let’s use it wisely nuh, guided by the Holy Spirit of God that dwells within us. 

It’s okay to shout ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and the weekend’s here…’ and what we going to do from what we not going to do, but not if they simply relate to the lustful and dangerous pleasures of the world. 

We desperately need to have better groundings, a better foundation for the way we spend our time off, if we are going to have any kind of godly success in this crazy world of ours. And our Friday Chant provides us with that solid footing, that godly balance that we need. 

So let’s chant it nuh, with sincerity, honesty and truth, praying that it will help us do better than we’re accustomed doing. As one now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

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

Yeh friends, that’s a much better template for our weekends, than just wild and crazy, dissolute, leggo beast behaviour, which so many of us unfortunately indulge in when we have the couple of days off. 

That’s why Bruh Paul spent so much time warning us against just such a thing, and gave us this godly direction in our Bit. ‘This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.’ 

Yes my believing brethren, the Holy Spirit was sent to dwell within us so that we would follow it’s godly leading and direction, but first we have to stop and listen to it, otherwise we won’t know what it’s saying or where it wants to guide us. 

And the scholars explain it thus: ‘5:16. Walk in the Spirit (i.e. “live by the Spirit”): Christians are to live with the Spirit’s help. How does one “live by the Spirit”? (1) The Christian must believe that the Spirit is with him, having been sent by God into his heart (4:6). (2) In every spiritual confrontation the believer must yield to the Spirit, that is, submit his own desires to those of the Spirit. 

(3) One must depend on the Spirit for help, enabling him to lead a God-pleasing life (v.5). (4) The believer should anticipate the effects of the Spirit’s help in his daily life. The believer who “lives by the Spirit” will not fulfill (accomplish, carry out) the lust (strong desires) of the flesh (sinful desires).’  

There you have it friends, a scholarly guide as to how the Holy Spirit should operate in our lives. Oh, we know it’s not easy living a godly and spiritual life; it takes patience, perseverance, listening, sacrificing, questioning and praying, but with God’s help we can do it all. 

And why is it so difficult to lead that godly life we so ardently desire? Bruh Paul gives us some indication in the verse after our Bit. ‘For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things ye would.’ (Gal.5:17) 

Ah mih people, it can be a monumental task, a veritable war, if we’re not strong, faithful and persevering. 

Hear how the scholars tell it. ‘5:17. One’s sinful human nature (flesh) and the Holy Spirit lusteth against one another, that is, they have desires and yearnings that are contrary to one another. The Christian, then, is a battlefield, having desires to do good and evil. The outcome is that ye cannot do the things that ye would: the flesh seeks to thwart the Spirit, who, in turn, attempts to frustrate the flesh’s evil desires.’ 

Gospel truth that my people! As Bruh Paul told the Roman church in his missive to them, talking about the struggle of our two natures. ‘For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal (fleshly), sold under sin. 

For that which I do I allow (understand) not: for what I would (want to do), that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto (agree with) the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.’ (Rom.7:14-17) 

What a battlefield of life my brethren! Now listen to this important explanation of the scholars. ‘7:14. The law is spiritual: The law has the characteristics of the Spirit and is consistent with the character of God. I am carnal: What follows is autobiographical and designed to reveal the real struggle the apostle experienced in the flesh. His experience is also exemplary, for it shows the problems all believers experience in their battle with sin.’ 

So friends, if you are experiencing problems in fighting your fleshly desires, don’t beat yourself up, for it’s just a natural part of this earthly life. We will always have problems trying to be godly, even Bruh Paul had a hard time doing what he wanted to do, as per living by the Spirit. 

What we need to do is to be patient and persevering; keep on reading God’s word, studying it, meditating on it, storing it in our hearts for future use, praying, fellowshipping, and listening intently to what the Holy Spirit tells us. 

And we won’t always be successful, but our compassionate and understanding God knows our weaknesses and frailties, and once He sees us sincerely trying, that our hearts and motives are right, He will be forgiving and compassionate. So please, let’s all stand strong and steadfast in His great LOVE, mercy, compassion and grace. Much LOVE!

…fighting our carnal nature…is a full time spiritual job…

 

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