Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 December 2018 Matthew 7:20.

Matthew 7:20.   Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
 
Aye friends, the ole fella is somewhat listless and lethargic this Saturday morning yes! And the aches and pains not helping the situation either nuh. But yuh know what, we not giving in to the feelings today. The aches and pains might slow us down some, but we not stopping. Remember the race is not for the swift but for the sure of foot, and yuh better believe when I plant my big feet down they stay down! (smile) 

Yeh, it’s just one of those days; the weather doesn’t look good, the body doesn’t feel good, but GOD IS GREAT! That’s something we can always count on, for He has said so in the promises of His Word, and His Word does not lie! Give Him some thanks and praise my people! 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week in his noble attempt to aspire us to a better tomorrow. And this one jumps right out at me today: ‘You are never strong enough that you don’t need help.’ Wow! That’s gospel truth! For none of us can do it all ourselves. As they say, no man is an island. The Lord made us to fellowship with each other and to help each other, not to be single and all sufficient in our selves. 

And on that point, hear what the Good Book says: ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves: but our sufficiency is of God.’ (2 Cor.3:5) Now that says it all! 

And this next quote also points directly to God: ‘Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.’ You do have all of that, but only if God is sincerely in your efforts! 

Now listen to this one: ‘It is possible to become discouraged about the injustice we see everywhere. But God did not promise us that the world would be humane and just. He gives us the gift of life and allows us to choose the way we will use our limited time on earth. It is an awesome opportunity.’ 

Yes friends, it is an awesome opportunity we’ve been given to live for Jesus on this earth. And to use that opportunity properly, we need to remember these two scriptures. In the immortal words of Bruh David: ‘O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.’ (Ps.34:8) And also: ‘The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.’ (Ps.145:9) 

It’s all about our heavenly Father my people! And this quote exemplifies that: ‘We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.’ That goes right back to the first quote, we can’t be successful on our own, for success means taking others on that journey with us, both individually and communally! That’s how the Lord designed it! 

And this last quote covers them all: ‘When we are really honest with ourselves we must admit our lives are all that really belong to us. So it is how we use our lives that determines the kind of people we are.’ And today I want to focus on that last line; how we live our lives determines the kind of people we are. 

Yeh friends, we can live our lives like the Pharisees did, outwardly showy and hypocritical, or like Jesus recommended, honest and truly considerate of others. For as He says: ‘Wherefore by their fruit ye shall know them.’ Yes friends, by our deeds we shall be known. And hear some deep insights of Jesus on the subject of how men live their lives. 

First off, He states very clearly: ‘A good tree cannot bring forth evil (bad) fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.’ (Matt.7:18) And that’s not rocket science, just plain, basic logic. Then Jesus lays it out in plain terms: ‘Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.’ (Matt.15:11) 

Oh friends, I hope we understand that. We can’t bear good fruit unless what is in us and what comes out of us is good! What’s in our hearts determines the kind of people we’ll be! 

Hear Jesus again: ‘Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out (eliminated) into the draught (body waste)? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart 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.15:17-20) 

Yeh friends, that whole argument began when the Pharisees complained that the disciples were eating with unwashed hands, which they considered a big thing. But Jesus, as usual set them right. And in Matthew 23, (please read it) He really lambastes the Pharisees, who looked real good on the outside but were dirty as hell on the inside! 

And we’ll end with this description: ‘Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like unto whited sepulchres (white washed tombs), which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (lawlessness).’ (Matt.23:27-28) 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ’23:27-33. Whited sepulchres: Since contact with a dead body rendered a person unclean according to the Mosaic Law, graves were customarily painted white to make them conspicuous and give the opportunity of avoiding contact with them.’ 

Oh friends, please let us live lives that will not cause those unpleasant comparisons to be said of us nuh. Instead let us be good and uncorrupted trees, so that we can bear good fruit in Jesus’ name and make a productive difference in the lives of those around us. Much LOVE!

…whatsoever is in our heart…will undoubtedly manifest itself in our outward behaviour…that’s why we need a clean heart to live for Jesus…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 February 2018 Proverbs 14:23.

Proverbs 14:23.   In all labour there is profit: but the talk (idle chatter) of the lips tendeth only to penury (poverty).

Yeh friends, it’s white and beautiful out there, but please don’t be fooled by that beauty, because it’s a deceitful beauty, worse than the hissing forked tongue of a viper! At least you can see and/or hear the viper, but one never knows what the snow has hidden underneath that beautiful appearance. 

So after all the white stuff that fell yesterday, please be careful on the roads this morning, because it’s definitely going to be a mess out there. The commute to work will be even longer and more dangerous than normal, so, if possible, please leave home earlier than usual, and be wary of the other drivers on the road. 

Now, to get some much needed adrenaline flowing through our body this cold and snowy Monday morning, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, which always works wonders on us. 

With plenty gusto now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Wow! That surely lifts our spirits. But be careful now, don’t let that rush of adrenaline make us go overboard, become too self-confident and screw up on the other side of the ledger. (smile) Oh yes, we are indeed capable of moving swiftly from one end of the spectrum to the other with a burst of adrenaline; from being slothful and lethargic, to being swift and overconfident. 

That brings us to an interesting, but ever so true Bit, taken from the wise words of Cousin Sol.‘ In all labour there is profit: but the talk (idle chatter) of the lips tendeth only to penury (poverty).’ There is no doubt whatsoever my people, about the truth and wisdom in those few words. 

And there is no better example of it than our current society. I doubt that there has ever been an age of man’s evolution where there has been so little enthusiasm for work and so much idle chatter like there is right now. And we can lay it all at the feet of modern technology. 

We certainly have the ability to communicate better and faster, but the meat of the meal, the underlying substance of what we have to communicate has not improved or increased in like manner. We now talk more nonsense than we talked before, and too many of us just talk for talk sake. 

But an interesting side to all of that, another sad fall out from our increased power of communication, is that we might communicate more through technological devices, but we don’t actually talk to each other as much as we should. I’m sure you’ve seen a group of supposed friends, at say a restaurant together, but nobody is talking to nobody, because they are all busy doing whatever on their latest model of communication technology. 

I’ve even seen LOVERS, more engrossed in their tablet or I-phones than in their supposed LOVED one. Now that just boggles my imagination. Have things changed since my time? Am I missing something? I remember in my time, your full concentration would be on your LOVED one. You didn’t want to take your eyes off of them. You listened intently to every word they said. Steups! Now they don’t even seem to talk to each other. 

Ah mih people, NO talk is just as bad as TOO MUCH talk! It could even be worse, since you won’t even know what the other person is thinking. And please don’t tell me about communicating through the technological devices when you’re in the same space as the other person. 

And another anomaly that has arisen from this communication revolution is that what began as having a mobile phone, so you could talk anytime and anywhere, has now morphed into having a technological device to use for sending messages. Many people don’t even use the phone aspect of the device any more. 

Ah Lord eh! But who am I to fight it eh? All I know is that I won’t let it control me like it does so many of us. And we’ll end today with another interesting take on our Bit from Cousin Sol. ‘A fool uttereth all his mind (vents all his feelings): but a wise man keepeth it in (holds it back) till afterward.’ (Prov.29:11) 

Please friends, as we go out today, to do the Lord’s work, let’s ask Him to help us to be wise and not be foolish, and thus spoil our witness for Him. Much LOVE!

…there’s a fine balance between…what we talk…and how much we talk…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 July 2017 Lamentations 3:22.

Lamentations 3:22.   It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

Well friends, that joy-filled day called Sunday has rolled around again! And with it, we gather in the Lord’s sanctuary to worship, joyfully sing and praise His holy name. There’s nothing that can compare to a gathering of fellow believers singing and praising Almighty God! That’s because it’s the essence of who we are, why we were so gloriously made. 

So let’s not make me a liar (smile), let’s send up to heaven wonderful words of praise and glory, joy and thanksgiving as we sing the beautiful and grateful words of the hymn; ‘New every morning is the LOVE!’ Yes my fellow believers, let’s offer up the sacrifice of praise with heartfelt song,. As an earthly choir, sounding like heavenly angels, let’s sing!

‘New every morning is the LOVE Our wakening and uprising prove; Through sleep and darkness safely brought, Restored to life and power and thought. New mercies, each returning day, Hover around us while we pray; New perils past, new sins forgiven, New thoughts of God, new hopes of heaven. If, on our daily course, our mind Be set to hallow all we find, New treasures still, of countless price, God will provide for sacrifice. 

Old friends, old scenes, will lovelier be, As more of heaven in each we see; Some softening gleam of LOVE and prayer Shall dawn on every cross and care. We need not bid, for cloistered cell, Our neighbor and our words farewell, Nor strive to find ourselves too high For sinful man beneath  the sky.

The trivial round, the common task, Will furnish all we ought to ask; Room to deny ourselves, a road To bring us daily nearer God. Seek we no more; content with these, Let present rapture, comfort, ease As heaven shall bid them, come and go: The secret this of rest below. Only, O Lord, in Thy dear LOVE, Fit us for perfect rest above, And help us, this and every day, To live more nearly as we pray.’ 

Yes friends, each and every day the Lord showers down new mercies, blessings, grace, forgiveness, strength…you name it…He provides it free of charge. What an awesome God we serve and worship my brethren! I wonder if we truly realize that eh? No other faith on this earth can truthfully declare the things that we declare. 

Neither is any other faith as joyful, sorry, should be joyful as we Christians. And I corrected myself there because too many of us supposed believers walk around sad and lethargic, bowed and bending, as though we are carrying the whole weight of the world on our shoulders. But precious saints of God, two thousand years ago our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ died on the cross at Calvary and took all our burdens, all our sins, all our transgressions on His strong and comely shoulders! 

Why?  So that we would not have to be sad and miserable and burdened any more, but be filled with His wonderful peace, abundant joy and glorious unconditional LOVE! So why, as a group, are we so unhappy eh? Or rather why don’t we show the true external realities that our internal blessings ought to engender? Because we’re ashamed, afraid, lackadaisical, don’t truly believe…  

Who knows eh? But the long and short of the story friends, is as Jeremiah says in his Lamentations, which includes our Bit. Poor Jerry had been battered and beaten and locked up by his fellow countrymen when he preached repentance to them. But when he had time to reflect on it all, this is what he said. 

‘Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall (bitterness), My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled (bowed down) in me. This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.’ (Lam.3:20-23) 

Oh friends, what a marvellous testimony, based on gospel truth! And think about it nuh, Jerry didn’t have Jesus in the manner that we now have Him, and all the wonderful stuff that He bequeathed us. But yet still he (Jerry) knew on which side his bread was buttered, and despite his calamities, gave God the thanks and the praise He so rightfully deserved. 

Listen as he continues. ‘The Lord is my portion saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.’ (Lam.3:24-26) Words of indisputable truth my brethren! 

And the scholars tell us that ‘3:26. Jeremiah’s observation resembles those of other saints who have experienced great grief of soul.’ And they reference people like, Habakkuk, Job, Bruh David, Isaiah and Bruh Paul. So friends, serving God is wise, wonderful and right, but not always easy. But we have to remember too that the Lord will never give us a task to accomplish without giving us the wherewithal to accomplish it. 

That’s His outstanding modus operandi, as you can see from the records of all the great men of faith we just mentioned. They all  had it tough, but they all accomplished their given tasks with flying colours. God never forsook them, even when they were out of step with His plan for their lives, but was instead merciful and compassionate because He knew their human frailties would sometimes lead them astray. 

My precious people of God, it’s the same way He behaves with us. But we have to stand strong during our adversities and trials, otherwise we’ll forsake the good things He has in store for us. Hear Asaph tell us about the Israelites plight from Psalm 78 – A reminder of God’s goodness to Israel. 

‘For their heart was not right (steadfast) with him, neither were they steadfast (faithful) in their covenant. But he being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time he turned his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath. For he remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passeth away; and cometh not again.’ (Ps.78:37-39)  So friends, the Lord knows our capabilities, since He created us, and will not leave us high and dry because we make mistakes. 

Bruh David says it best in the closing verse of Psalm 23 – The Lord is my Shepherd. ‘Surely goodness and mercy (LOVING-kindness) will follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.’ (Ps.23:6) And if we refuse to believe that, then it’s to our great detriment my brethren. Much LOVE!

…only the Lord’s mercies…through Christ’s shed blood at Calvary…keeps us from being annihilated for our abominable transgressions…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 July 2016 Psalm 145:15

Psalm 145:15.    The eyes of all wait upon thee (look expectantly to you); and thou givest them their meat (food) in due season.

‘Monday, Monday! Oh how I just LOVE that day! Monday, Monday! Don’t you ever go away! TGIM! Thank God it’s Monday!’ 

Yes friends, there is method to my madness. (smile) I’m figuring that if we hear that often enough, Monday’s might just grow on us like Friday did. So in future, when Mondays roll around, as indeed they will, we won’t’ be so sour and miserable and complaining, but greet it with great enthusiasm and a sincere joy to get out there and do whatever we have to do unto Jesus, and not unto man! 

Ah mih people, the ole fella has to keep on trying to get us out bright and early and chirpy and chippy, so we can truly enjoy this earthly life, while diligently working on Jesus’ behalf. 

Now I know some of you are tired and lethargic, moaning and groaning and complaining about my li’l chat because you did not do as you should have over the weekend. But not to worry, we have something that will brighten your spirit and raise your adrenalin level so that you can go out bright and bubbly, expecting victory. It’s called our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. Let’s sing it as thought we truly mean it nuh. 

As one harmonious choir now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Good going friends, good going! Our choirmaster Jesus was pleased! Yuh see what happens when you put your all into something! So now with our motors up and running, let’s go out into the crazy, wicked world and do whatever Jesus has called us to do nuh. 

That brings us to our Bit which verily supports all of our contentions above. (smile)  But before we get to it, let’s check out the two verses before it. 

‘Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations. The Lord upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down. The eyes of all wait upon thee (look expectantly to you); and thou givest them their meat (food) in due season. Thou openest thine hand, and satisfies the desire of every living thing.’ (Psalm 145:13-16)

Yes my brethren, Bruh David said it, so there must be a whole lot of truth to it! He extols the Lord’s graciousness in this most excellent psalm of praise! And if you don’t believe that, then listen to this from Psalm 104 – God’s preservation of nature. 

The psalmist unequivocally declares: ‘He sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills. They give drink to every beast of the field: the wild asses (donkeys) quench their thirst. By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation, which sing among the branches. 

He watereth the hills from his (upper) chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works, He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb (vegetation) for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth; and wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart. ‘ (Ps.104: 10-15) 

Oh my brethren, with all of that – and there’s much more if you want to read all of Psalm 104 – how can we ever doubt the goodness, the LOVING-kindness, the wisdom of our wonderful God eh? Only a fool would dare to do that! 

Unfortunately though, currently there are way too many fools in the Lord’s great universe. We’re trying our very best to take him out of our society, which is a fool’s wisdom, and then when our world goes into a serious tailspin, with disasters, wars and all kinds of negative happenings across the globe, we sit back and foolishly wonder why. 

Steups! Oh friends, if we insist on removing the Creator of the universe and all therein from His universe, which is really impossible, what do we expect eh? Do we expect to get wine and roses and song and heartwarming kudos for removing Him from our society? 

Not on your life! We’ll get what we justly deserve, what He’s promised from day one to those who are disobedient to His Word and Will; negative happenings! Yuh see what He did to the rebellious, ungrateful Jews in the wilderness; earthquakes, snakebites and wandering around for forty years, till all of those who had come out of Egypt had died. 

Not even Moses made it over to the Promised Land because he angered the Lord. So friends how can we expect anything else but negative consequences for our foolish rebellion eh? We might get away with it for a while, but eventually it’s all going to catch up to us.  Remember our God is patient and longsuffering, but He’s not a patsy, a walkover. 

Please, let’s wake up and smell the coffee nuh, and realize the error of our ways and wisely return to His fold through repentance and reconciliation based on Jesus’ work at the cross. For that is indeed wisdom of the highest order! Much LOVE!

…you can’t sow peas…and expect to reap corn…likewise you can’t be blatantly disobedient…and expect to receive prosperity…