Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 September 2020 1 John 5:5.

1 John 5:5.     Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

Well it’s Thursday! We’ve gotten over the hump of Wednesday and every eye is now focused on Friday; that magical day that just seems to lift our spirits with the thought of the no work weekend just around the corner. So what are our plans for today eh friends? I hope they are to live life to the full, while doing the work God has set out for each of us, to the best of our ability. 

For as Cousin Sol, writing as the Preacher in Ecclesiastes so truthfully proclaimed, having searched after truth, pleasure, wisdom and whatever else the world had to offer, as only he had the means and time to pursue: ‘Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.’ (Eccl.12:13) 

Yes my fellow saints in Christ, that is all we’ve been called to do down here on this earth; sincerely reverence our wonderful Creator, and do whatever He has asked us to do, in other words, faithful obedience to His holy will. Now is that so difficult to do? Yes, at times, with the state of our world, it is very difficult to accomplish, as the enemy exerts all his pressure on us to follow his will instead. And with our inherent human nature of fear and doubt that evil, demoniacal pressure makes it even harder. 

But the good news my brethren is that once we’re walking faithfully with Jesus, we do have the means, the wherewithal to avoid, to throw off the enemy’s evil attempts to keep us weighed down in sin and bondage. Christ, by His most sacrificial death on the cross has set us free! But as Christ so plainly said: ‘If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.’ (Matt. 16:24) Yes friends, we have to take up our own cross, die to self, and follow Him, if we want to be truly free of the enemy and his lying, deceitful ways. 

We have to fully embrace Christ and all that He stands for if we want to successfully fight the enemy. And we not talking here about physical war, but a spiritual one, because that’s where the enemy focusses most of his attacks; in our spirits, our souls, our minds, where his manipulative powers can do the most damage. But as we’ve been saying, with Christ in us, and we in Him, we can do anything, because He’s given us the power, the awesome power to fight the enemy mano-a-mano, without fear, and convinced of victory! 

Yes my people, John boldly proclaims it: ‘For this is theLOVEof God; that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous (burdensome). For whatever 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 Yo! What powerful words of assurance and victory my bredrin! Hundreds of years later, after encountering Jesus in person, John agrees with Cousin Sol that keeping the Lord’s commandments are imperative to our well-being. 

And Bruh Paul adds his own commentary on the subject in his first letter to the church at Corinth. ‘The sting of death is sin: and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain (futile) in the Lord.’ (1 Cor. 15:56-58) Ah mih people, victory and rewards are assured, but we still need to fight some battles, especially spiritual ones, and can do so very successfully with all the tools that’s been granted to us by the Lord. 

So let’s take a quick look, really a remembrance (smile) of those spiritual tools in our arsenal nuh. Bruh Paul refers to them as spiritual armour in his missive to the Ephesians. ‘Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world (age), against spiritual (hosts of) wickedness in high places.’ (Eph. 6:11-12) So that means we fighting in the spiritual realm, against demons, world rulers and other forces of darkness and evil, including the prince of darkness, Lucifer himself. 

And since no true soldier goes into battle without protective gear, this is the armour we, the soldiers of Christ, need to successfully stand up to the enemy. Our loins must be girded with truth; the truth, the knowledge of God’s Word. That would be the belt holding the rest of our armour in place. Then there’s the breastplate of righteousness. We talking here about Holy character and moral conduct; obedience to the truth which produces a godly or righteous life. 

And we can’t go into battle without proper footwear, and in our case our feet must be shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. That means a sense of eagerness or willingness to fight, to advance against the enemy, to take the fight to him. For remember the best method of defence is attack! And then mih bredrin, we need the shield of faith, so that we can stop the fiery darts of the evil one and his evil cohorts. That means taking God at His word, using the faith based promises to strengthen us in times of doubt. 

And we can’t forget the head gear, protection for our heads is invaluable. There we need the helmet of salvation; that’s the hope, the certainty, assurance of salvation; knowing that we’re saved and can’t lose it. Now we can’t go into battle without some sort of weapon to fight with. And ours is the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God! 

Brother! I won’t want to bounce up that sword in battle nuh. For remember what they say about it? ‘For the word of God is quick (living), and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of (able to judge) the thoughts and intents (intentions) of the heart.’ (Heb. 4:12) Now that’s the kind of sword you want to go into battle with! 

But yuh know what friends, with all that armour, you still can’t win the battle unless you have the most important and powerful tool in the universe; prayer. As Bruh Paul says: ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph. 6:18) Yeh friends, prayer is indispensable; without it we can never achieve victory! 

So having reviewed, rather lengthily, I must say (smile) our earthly job and spiritual protection, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Thursday Blessings, wonderful accoutrements that have been endowed on us to help us do God’s work, for He never asks us to do anything without giving us the grace, the power, the anointing to do it. 

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

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

And the usual corollary is now invoked: let’s go out and share those blessings just as generously as they’ve been shared with us!Much LOVE!

…stand up, stand up for Jesus…you soldiers of the Lord… 

P.S. Yeh, it sorta long, but that’s how and where I was led, and I think it’s good. (smile) Hope you do too. Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 August 2020 Ecclesiastes 12:13.

Ecclesiastes 12:13.     ​Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

Ah mih people, the summer is quickly coming to an end… and many of us didn’t even have the time to notice it was summer and do all the things we enjoy doing in this wonderful season…and we all know why. (smile) And it wasn’t bad summer weather at all, hot – like you know where – with some rain and thunderstorms, what we would have termed a good summer if we were able to engage in all the usual summer activities. But now it’s time to buckle down for fall and the cold winter days ahead. 

Who knows what life will be like then eh? Will there be school, will there be some ease in the pandemic and strife, or will we see another round of the scourge and more strife? Questions, questions! That’s all we have, and only time will reveal the answers! Oh what a wonderful philosophical statement! (smile) Lighten up mih friends, our wonderful God is still on the throne, still controlling things, and that’s all we need to know! 

He’s the same yesterday, today and forever, which means we know exactly what to expect from Him, so there’s no need for us to hold our heads and bawl, He will make it right in His own time, when we are sufficiently repentant and have turned back to Him, sincerely welcoming Him back with open arms. Back to our homes, our schools, our society, when life once again focuses and throbs around His everlasting sovereignty! 

The longer our serious, mind boggling problems persist, the stronger I feel that only repentance and a return to God will save us. The only problem is how long can we afford to pussyfoot around when more people are dying everyday through sickness and strife? Yes, the Lord will save a remnant, like He did with Israel every time He punished them for disobedience, but I believe the size of that remnant will depend on how soon we move to bring Him back to our society. 

So in effect, the ball is in our court, we are the deciders of our faith – turn back to God and prosper, or continue down the destructive, hell-bent trail we’re now on and suffer divine intervention. Wow! Is the ole fella waxing philosophical this morning or what! (smile) But here are some interesting words from one who was ever so much wiser than me. 

We talking about Cousin Sol, and writing as the preacher in Ecclesiastes, he says: ‘I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all. For man also knoweth not his time as the fishes that are taken in an evil (cruel) net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.’ (Eccl. 9:11-12) 

And has an evil time ever fallen suddenly upon us my brethren! Oh some may say that it has not fallen suddenly because our evil deeds have been on a path of accumulation all along, and this is just the culmination. But however we parse it, these are indeed evil and unfortunate times. And I like the scholars’ brief explanations of those two verses above. ‘9:11-12. Five statements of unexpected results are followed by an explanation. Man’s ability cannot guarantee the results (vs.11) because of the equalizing effects of time and chance.’ 

Yes friends, our wealth, strength, wisdom, understanding and skill does not keep us from ‘sufferation,’ for we are all liable to the equalizing effects of time and chance, which happen unexpectedly to us all. Thus, the only thing we can be sure of in this life is the sovereignty of Jehovah God, who created us in His own spiritual image and still controls the reins of our lives, regardless of what the wise or evil man might think. And furthermore, as Cousin Sol says earlier in his famous treatise of a time for every purpose under heaven: ‘A time to LOVE and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.’ (Eccl. 3:8) 

Oh precious people, these crucial and most critical times are ones for LOVE and peace, not hate and war! The latter two will only drive more nails into our already prepared coffin. Only the godly traits of LOVE, peace, mercy, grace, forgiveness, kindness, friendship and the like, can save us in these turbulent and unrelenting times. And yes my fellow saints in Christ, Cousin Sol has some really good words of wisdom and advice in Ecclesiastes. Hear these, as he enjoins us to charity, which is so badly needed in this time of lack and hardship. 

‘Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days. Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth… As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit (wind), nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all. In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper (which will succeed), either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.’ (Eccl. 11:1-2,5-6) 

Now hear the scholars on those verses. ‘11:1-6. These verses contain a series of sayings about the uncertainty of human industry, and are held together by the fourfold occurrence of the expression thou knowest not. Although man cannot comprehend God’s work, nor predict success, he needs to be involved in life’s activities and trust God for the results.’ And that is exactly what I’m trying to get through to us my people! The only sure thing in this world is God, regardless of what we think or believe! And the only sure way to live this life with positive purpose is to interact sincerely with Him. 

And Cousin Sol wraps it up thus: ‘Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.’ (Eccl. 12:13-14) That’s it in a nutshell friends! To live successfully, we need to reverence God and be obedient to His will, nothing else will suffice! 

And now that we’ve been reassured and re-indoctrinated (smile) to our earthly purpose, let’s go home declaring (awright!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our most wonderful position in Christ Jesus. All together now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And will it ever be glorious, if we endure to the end! Much LOVE!

…wisdom dictates…that bowing to Almighty God…is the true answer to life… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 September 2019 Ecclesiastes 12:13.

Ecclesiastes 12:13.    ​Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
 

Ah mih people, it looks like the ole fella’s been in lost mode this past week yes! First, I lost my I-pad in the Paris Airport, then I came home and got sick, then apparently on Monday when I went into the concrete jungle called Toronto to see the medic, I lost my cell phone. Brother! So now I am without cell phone or I-pad, and have a lousy cough that’s just irritating my asthma. 

I can do without the cell phone and the cough, but I miss my I-pad, because now I can’t play any games before I get my daily naps. (smile) Life’s certainly strange yes, for at first I didn’t want an I-pad, complained that it was too much technology, but they made me take it so I could stay in the electronic loop. And now I miss it. Chuh! I put in a Lost and Found Report on it, cost me money, and I’m still waiting to hear from them. 

According to my young daughter, the loss of the cell phone though was God’s mysterious movement because it’s time I got into the 21st century with a smart phone so I can stay connected. But I think it might just be His desire for me not to have a phone at all, (smile) because most of the time it’s turned off anyway. But who knows eh? We’ll just wait and see how it all plays out. Anyway, those are my present woes. 

However, when I opened the Good Book earlier on, it opened at these wise words of Cousin Sol, acting as the Preacher. ‘The preacher sought to find out acceptable (delightful) words: and that which was written was upright, even the words of truth. The words of the wise are as goads (to stimulate to action), and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies (collections), which are given by one shepherd. 

And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh. Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.’ (Eccl.12:10-14) 

Mama Yo! That says it all friends! Our main duty on this earth is to reverence God and obey His commandments, and be very careful of our deeds, because He will eventually expose them all in the time of judgement, so we’d better make sure that they are mostly good deeds, whether they are done in secret or in public. 

And the scholars explain it thus: ‘12:12-14. God has not answered every problem of life, but He has commanded man to live joyfully, responsibly, and wisely. Finally, the controlling factor of all of life should be the fear of God, that is submission to God and His revelation (cf.Prov.1:7) The certainty of divine judgement demands it.’ 

And who in his right senses wouldn’t want to live joyfully, responsibly and wisely eh? Only a fool who has no knowledge of God! And since most of you won’t go and look up the above recommendation, I’ll spoon-feed us, as usual. (smile) Proverbs 1:7 declares (Steups! Yuh know I couldn’t even spell that right! What’s it with me and that word eh?) 

Anyway, Proverbs 1:7 declares (spelled it wrong again!) this most important warning: ‘The fear (reverential awe) of the Lord is the (principal) beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.’ Yes my people, as I said earlier on, only a fool will turn away from worshipping, adoring, obeying and exalting Almighty God, because that’s where it’s all begins in this life, and also ends in the eternity of time! 

And the scholars make an interesting point here: ‘The beginning does not mean that “the fear of the Lord” is left behind in the course of acquiring wisdom, but that it is the controlling principle of wisdom.’ So “the fear of the Lord” should always be before us if we sincerely desire to search for wisdom, since we can’t acquire it without that reverential awe of the Most High God Jehovah. 

Now just a couple more scriptures to reiterate what Cousin Sol has said. Hear Moses, as he tells the Israelites about the Great Commandment. ‘That thou mightest fear (stand in awe of) the Lord thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged.’ (Deut.6:2) That doesn’t require any rocket science to understand it. 

Now listen to the prophet Micah. ‘He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to LOVE mercy (LOVING-kindness), and to walk humbly with thy God.’ (Mic.6:8.) That doesn’t require any rocket science degree to understand it either! 

And finally listen to Jesus in reply to the hypocrite Pharisee lawyer: ‘Master, which is the great commandment in the law?  Jesus said unto him, 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.22:36-40) 

Now if you didn’t believe Moses, or Cousin Sol, or Micah, Jesus says the very same thing! So we have no excuses now not follow His directives. And our God is so wonderful that for those of us who sincerely desire to serve Him, He gives oodles of blessings to enable us to do it! Wow! What a great God we serve and worship my brethren! So let’s declare (right ho!) what we call our Thursday Blessings with loud voice and strong conviction: 

All together now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

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

And lest we forget and get too caught up with foolish pride, (smile) those blessings are to be shared, not hoarded! Much LOVE! 

…let’s hope…that all we’ve said today…will goad us…into truly serving the Lord…(smile)

P.S. Yes, it’s somewhat long, and a tad late, but I likes it… (smile) Hope you do too. Much LOVE!