Today’s Scrip-Bit   24 September 2022 Hebrews 12:2a.

Hebrews 12:2a.        Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; 

And is it ever a lazy day Saturday my friends! I actually went to bed early and got up early, obviously by my standards, (smile) did a few things, then went back to enjoy some lazy time in my bed. Now isn’t that the way to spend a Saturday morning? It surely is! But as always, reality eventually sticks its unwelcome head in and makes you realize that time’s a passing and there are things to be done, like the Bit. 

So, here I am finally, at minutes to ten, on this sunshiny but rather chilly Saturday morning, looking at the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow, considering what to write about them. But I’m not worried, because I know, with the Lord’s help, I’ll eventually write something worthwhile. (smile). 

And I guess we’ll begin with the shortest and simplest quote: ‘You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.’ And that’s the gospel truth my people! In the first place, while there’s God’s breath of life flowing through your body, you should never stop doing, stop learning or growing, because when you stop, then your life technically stops too, for being inactive causes spiritual death, and ofttimes even physical death too. Just look at those people who retire and simply become sedentary after a half century of being busy. Their bodies soon atrophy and they die from lack of activity. 

And thankfully, regardless of your age or mobility, in this modern world of so many conveniences and amenities, there’s always something constructive you can find to do, something that can keep you physically and spiritually active. So there’s absolutely no need to ever stop dreaming or goal setting. You just have to be realistic and find a dream or set a goal that you are still capable of reaching. 

And I believe that leads us nicely into this next quote. ‘For me, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn’t end.’ Now that statement is also full of truth. It’s not always about an end or a goal, but more often about the learning and the growing, of improving oneself, the joy of being on the journey. You know when you set out on some trip, physical or mental, by whatever means, you never think so much of the end point, your destination, but more of enjoying the time in between, the time it takes to get there. 

And that’s what life is all about, a journey, a journey preferably with Christ Jesus as your Instructor and Guide. For He personally knows all the ups and downs of life, the good and exciting places to visit, as well as the bad ones, because He’s been through it all already. As the Good Book so rightly advises: ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb. 12:2) 

Yes friends, Christ Jesus has already blazed the trail and finished the course so that we can have fairly smooth sailing with Him as our Leader and Guide. He knows all the ins and outs of the journey of life, having researched and experienced them to the max. And as the Good Book further explains: ‘Seeing that we have a great high priest, that is passed into (through) the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession (confession of faith). For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (our weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.’ (Heb.4:14:15) 

What a marvellous Lord and Saviour we have my faithful brethren! He knows our weaknesses and can understand what we go through from day to day, because He also experienced the rough and tough times of human life down here on earth. The only difference is that He did not sin. That doesn’t mean He didn’t feel temptation, for He surely did, as you can read in the Good Book, where the Holy Spirit led Him into the wilderness after His baptism so that the devil could tempt him, and He could walk out of there, the victor in that early battle of their ongoing deadly war. (Matt. 4:1-17) 

So, whatever our eternal destination, we know that the journey through this earthly life will be tough, but if we’re walking with Jesus, we also know that even in those rough and tumble times, He’ll take us on an interesting journey, because that’s His promise. ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10b) 

And that segues rather nicely into our next quote. ‘People tell you the world looks a certain way. Parents tell you how to think. Schools tell you how to think. TV. Religion. And then at a certain point, if you’re lucky, you realize you can make up your own mind. Nobody sets the rules but you. You can design your own life.’ 

Oh my people, the hullabaloo in our world today is so great that the noise level is maddening! There are so many voices in our heads nowadays, telling us what is good from bad, how to live, how to think, what to eat and wear, etc. etc. that if you’re not careful, it can drive you crazy. That’s why the stress level today is so high and such a big money maker, as well as the current number one killer of the brethren. All of a sudden, our world has gone mad with mountains of advice and supposed truth, most of which however are totally fraudulent. 

And when, by hard experience you discover the fraud, and realize that you can do your own thing, you still need good guidance and advice to navigate the treacherous waters of life on your own. But thankfully, there’s still one place you can find some peace, truth and wise advice. That’s in Jesus Christ; as a believer and follower of His. He is the ONLY One who can successfully lead us through this myriad of highways and byways, of dark alleys and narrow lanes, the confusing maze, we term life, and then bring us to that amazing and wonderful destination called heaven! 

So, the wise word is to tune out all the voices that are continually fighting to be heard, and it’s not that easy to do, but when you tune into Jesus, He helps you to do just that, and then leads you on an amazing journey, filled with ups and downs, but He never leaves you to face them alone. That’s why this last quote is oh so important. ‘At the end of the day, whether or not those people are comfortable with how you’re living your life doesn’t matter. What matters is whether you’re comfortable with it.’ 

Now that’s true to a certain extent. We must be comfortable with the lives we’re living, or otherwise what’s the purpose of living it. But then too, in the context that there are basically only two options of living this life, for Jesus, or for Satan, then we need to make a choice as to which one to be comfortable in. And as we all know, the wise money is on Jesus, for He’s already defeated Satan in the battle for overall supremacy, by taking away the keys of hell, death and the grave, Satan’s territory, through His own death and resurrection. So why live for Satan then eh, when Jesus is the victor, when it’s all over bar the shouting! Much LOVE!

…life is certainly turbulent and  tumultuous…but with Jesus as our knowledgeable pilot…we can navigate it all with peace, joy and LOVE… 

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

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   20 August 2022   Psalm 139:23.

Psalm 139: 23.      Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my (anxious) thoughts: 

Saturday, oh blessed Saturday! Where we can laze about and do as we want. No alarm clocks, running to the baby-sitter or day care with the children and then facing the constant traffic jams that have become a normal part of today’s commute to work! No wonder we LOVE Saturday! And with all of that to do five days a week, it’s not surprising that so many of us are tired and worn out physically, emotionally and spiritually. 

But not all of us can sleep in on Saturdays. The ole fella still has to be up and about the Lord’s business, figuring out something to say about the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Ah Lord eh! No rest for the wicked. (smile) But I can’t really complain because the Lord usually helps me with that task since He’s allotted it to me, and He always gives us the tools to do the work He requires. So Lord, I ask you now to give me those tools, let your Holy Spirit lead and guide me to write sensible stuff today that will not only serve to open the eyes and hearts of our readers, but even more importantly, praise and glorify your holy name. Amen! 

And the first quote goes off with a bang! ‘The big lesson in life, baby, is never be scared of anyone or anything.’ Now that’s wonderful advice, but not so easy to put into action, since nowadays fear is all around us. Fear of disease, fear of fraudulent operators, fear of economic failure, fear of natural disasters, fear of government actions, fear of church brethren, and all of that leads to fear of life itself. Yes friends, everywhere we turn these days, fear seems to be staring us straight in the eye. But fear can be overcome through faith in Christ Jesus. Yes, that’s a guaranteed fact. Oh, we’ll always feel it, but with Jesus in our corner, it won’t get us down or cripple us like it’s doing so many people today. 

One of Jesus’ favourite statements was ‘Fear not!’ And I guess it’s only right to quote two of His most famous sayings on the subject. Listen to this first one. ‘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) Yes friends, when we have true peace, fear cannot invade our souls or bodies. And the true source of real peace is Christ Himself! No one or nothing else can give you the kind of uplifting, spiritual peace that He offers; the peace that conquers fear. 

Now listen to Him again. ‘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) There you have it! With Jesus and His Holy Spirit in your life, you have the peace of God living right there within you, so there’s no need to fear anything, because your Lord and Saviour has already overcome the evil world and all its tricks and trade. But for good measure, (smile) here’s one more scripture that as we said yesterday ought to be continually in our mind’s eye. These famous words of Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) 

Ah mih people, the only way to numb fear is by having Jesus Christ in our lives, and then sincerely accepting what He tells us. But that doesn’t come easily or overnight, which leads us to this next quote: ‘The unexamined life is not worth living.’ Now that’s gospel truth right there my brethren! We simply cannot live a life without examining it, to see what kind of life we’re living. And I guess the best way to begin doing that is to by following Bruh David’s example in Psalm 139, where he pleads: ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my (anxious) thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’ (Ps. 139: 23-24) 

Oh friends, how refreshing and renewing is self-examination! Especially when we do it with God’s help. It shows up the things we need to drop, and the places we need to improve. But we need to take it seriously and do what the Lord shows us, or what we know needs to be done. And it helps when we go to the Lord with sincere sentiments like Bruh David does in Psalm 51: ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God: and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me.’ (Ps. 51:10) The Lord will never turn us away with those kinds of sincere sentiments in our hearts. 

That brings us to this next quote which advises: ‘Turn your wounds into wisdom.’ And it does make sense to let our hurts teach us a wiser way to live. It’s basically learning from our mistakes. And that’s exactly what successful people do, for if you don’t learn from your errors, you will continue making the same mistakes and thus getting the same hurtful and wounding results. 

And how do we do that? I believe this advice from Cousin Sol in Proverbs makes a good start. He says: ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct (make straight) thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear (reverence) the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel (body), and marrow (strength) to thy bones.’ (Prov. 3:5-8) Yuh know friends, if you must choose one passage of scripture to remember, one that encompasses all you need to know, that’s it right there! Once you have the basic knowledge of scripture in your hearts and souls, that’s all you really need to live by. 

And that segues very nicely into our next quote, which offers great advice: ‘Don’t settle for what life gives you; make life better and build something.’ Ah mih bredrin, with Jesus in our lives, that’s exactly what He expects of us! When life gives us lemons, He expects us to take them and make lemonade. (smile) That means to improve on whatever we are given. Don’t just sit there and accept life’s handouts without any thought of making them better. Unfortunately though, that’s just what many of us do. Life hands us misfortunes and instead of trying to build something better on them, we simply accept them, and do the proverbial thing, lie down and die. 

But when you’re follower of Jesus, that’s not acceptable. He expects us to be always improving, always learning, always persevering to become more like Him. Look at the hand that He was dealt when He came to earth nuh. One of persecution, rejection, and abnormal suffering, what I like to term ‘sufferation’ Most of us would have gone crazy and run away. But He stood up and faced it all, obviously with the help of His heavenly Father, and turned the whole world upside down, an upheaval from which it still hasn’t recovered two thousand years later, and never will! 

And as the Good Book reminds us, He is the example we all must follow. ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb.12:2) So whatever life slings at us, we must let Jesus help us to take it and make it better. That brings us to our last quote: ‘Sing like no one’s listening, LOVE like you’ve never been hurt, dance like nobody’s watching, and live like it’s heaven on earth.’ 

Oh friends, that’s the abundant life, and it’s just how God intended for us to live! But nowadays, in this fallen and sinful world we can only live it if we’ve received Jesus as Lord and Saviour, and keep Him first and foremost in our hearts minds, bodies and souls! That’s the kind of life Jesus died for us to have. He said very clearly. ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10b) So, the long and short of the story friends, is that to do all those things our quotes tell us, we must be true and strong followers of Christ Jesus! Anything less than that will not cut it. End of story! Much LOVE!

…living for Jesus…that’s the ONLY way to go… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   11 July 2022 Hebrews 12:3.

Hebrews 12:3.       For consider him that endured such contradiction (hostility) of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds (become discouraged).

Heads up my people! It’s Monday, and that means no dilly dallying, we’ve got to hit the pavement running, charging into the enemy’s ranks, not foolishly, but wisely, spunky and unafraid, living out the gospel of Christ in our godly, worthwhile actions. Yes, we’ve got to take Monday by storm and let it know unequivocally that we mean business, this first day of the work week…and each and every day after that too! 

Ah mih bredrin in these troubled times it is indeed necessary for us to run our race, to run a good race for Christ, one without too many hindrances. And we can only accomplish that if we follow the guidelines of the Good Book. The author of Hebrews tells us in no uncertain terms: ‘Wherefore seeing (since) we are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (snare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.’ (Heb. 12:1) 

Yes friends, we have a whole ‘cloud of witnesses’ looking on, that’s the heroes of our faith referred to in chapter 11, and we need to do them proud; set the same kind of example that they set, living by strong faith in Christ. However, to do that successfully, we must first remove any impediments that are weighing us down, be it excessive clothing or body weight. Then get ourselves out of any entangling sin that’s holding us back and finally move forward with endurance, keep persevering, because this is a race for salvation and eternal life, one race in which we cannot quit, cannot give up. 

In fact, we can’t even come second, (smile) we’ve got to win it for those who need to come to Christ. And the best way to do all of the above is like the author of Hebrews continues: ‘Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher (originator and perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb. 12:2) 

Oh my people, there could be no better example for us to follow than that of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who first blazed the trail of our faith and crossed the finish line miles ahead of all the other participants. We’ve got to keep our eyes fixed steadfastly on that finish line and just keep going in the direction that He set without turning to the right nor to the left. And the next verse puts it all in true perspective. ‘For consider him that endured such contradiction (hostility) of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds (become discouraged).’ (Heb. 12:3) 

Yes faithful believers, we must remember the suffering and rejection that Jesus went through on our behalf and not become tired and/or discouraged when we face the many problems that will crop up in all of our lives. That’s just par for the course. Remember though that we have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us to empower, lead and guide us in all righteousness, so it’s not as difficult as it would otherwise be. 

And here’s the sort of situation we ought to end up in. They are Bruh Paul’s words to Timothy. He said: ‘For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure (death) is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim. 4:6-8) 

Wow! What a powerful testimony! That’s how we need to go out of this world my fellow saints; a winner in the race of life, ready to receive that crown of righteousness from our ever-faithful God! Now, all that we’ve said above is both true and wonderful, but the whole process has got to begin somewhere, and that beginning somewhere is always prayer! So, let’s go confidently to the throne of grace in prayer, outlining our current position through our Monday Morning battle Hymn. 

As one voice: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

Now friends, we’ve got to wait with eager and expectant patience (smile) for heaven’s answer, and while doing that, keep our promises and develop right heart motives. That’s the only way we will receive positive answers. Much LOVE!

…JESUS…our champion and glowing example…in the race of life… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   1 January 2022 Philippians 2:5.

Philippians 2:5.     Let this mind be in you, which was in Christ.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! 

Well, it’s 2022 now my brethren, and I want to wish us all in this most favoured Scrip-Bit family a blessed and happy New Year! Some things will change, but most of life will remain the same, and with Jesus dwelling in our souls and bodies, we will be able to handle whatever comes against us, just like we handled it this past year! All glory be to God my people, for His goodness and mercy to us, sinful children of men! 

And like I’ve been saying over the last few New Year’s days, the only resolution we need to make is to get closer to Jesus! Like He promised: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) Like Bruh David says in Psalm 37 – The true state of the wicked: ‘I have been young , and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed (descendants) begging bread.’ (Ps. 37:25) And that’s the indisputable truth my fellow believers! No righteous believer in Christ will ever beg for bread! 

And Bruh Paul’s words to the Philippians reinforces that quite well. ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:19) And if all of that doesn’t raise your passion for Christ this New Year’s morning, then I don’t know what will! (smile) Now, since it’s Saturday, let’s turn to the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And the first one tells it exactly like it is: ‘There are greater things to be achieved in every new year, and each and every one must prepare themselves to be great, not by words of the mouth, but by a lot of sacrifices.’ And that’s the glorious truth friends. As they say, actions speak louder than words! You can’t deny that. And if we really want to live for Jesus, this year of 2022 is going to call for Christians to make a lot of sacrifices in Christ’s name and do numerous actions that will raise His presence in this evil and ungodly world. 

Remember Jesus said that if we don’t deny ourselves, give up our will, take up our cross and follow Him, we are not worthy to be called His disciple. (Matt. 16:24) Living for Jesus friends, means making sacrifices for Him, even to the ultimate sacrifice of giving up our life for Him. But thankfully, in our Western society, going to the ultimate sacrifice is not necessary, although it is in some other societies around the world, and those believers there do exactly that. 

But out here in our wonderful and entitled society many of us won’t even sacrifice a broken fingernail on Christ’s behalf, but yet we expect to get showers of blessings, and live high on the hog. It won’t happen friends. The only way that Jesus will be glorified in our currently ungodly world is by His followers making much sacrifice, and not the easy, but the tough kind! 

That brings us to this next quote: ‘The control centre of your life is your attitude.’ And that’s no lie. Your basic attitude towards life in general, and Christ in particular, controls what you will and won’t do. So, if you have an arrogant, evil, ungodly attitude or mindset, then those are the things to which you will gravitate. On the other hand, if you have a kind, LOVING and godly mindset, you will gravitate to the things of Christ. And this year, my fellow believers, more than ever before, our premier task is to get the unbelievers to change their mindset to one that values and believes in Christ Jesus, for that’s the only way our world will ever improve. 

And our problems won’t go away, or even be lessened, until, and unless more of us get together under the glorious umbrella of Christ. Remember Bruh Paul’s entreaty to the Philippians? ‘Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same LOVE, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem the other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but everyman also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was in Christ.’  (Phil. 2:2-5) 

Yes friends, we all need to come to the thinking of Christ; humble, obedient, LOVING, compassionate and considering the welfare of others more than ourselves, if we ever hope to better this world. That leads us to the next quote: ‘To succeed you have to believe in something with such passion that it becomes a reality.’ And as most of us know, that’s the awesome truth! You can’t succeed at ANYTHING, unless you are so passionate about it, that in your mind and actions, it’s like it has already come to fruition, already become a reality. 

And I believe a good analogy is what Jesus said in this Beatitude: ‘Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.’(Matt. 5:6) Yes mih people to achieve anything, we must be that passionate over it, like we’re hungering and thirsting for it. And that carries us right into the following quote:  ‘No alarm clock needed. My passion wakes me.’ Now that’s all a part of the same equation; to succeed takes great passion. So much so that we don’t even need an alarm clock to wake us up in the morning, our passion for our project does that automatically. 

And the last quote puts it all together: ‘A great leader’s courage to fulfil his vision comes from passion, not position.’ Oh my brethren until we realize that a leader’s position is not merely a state of power but one of enormous and constant passion, we will never be ready for a leadership role. And the best example we have of that is our Leader, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who withstood all the sacrifice, resentment, rejection and punishment He had to bear, because He was truly passionate about saving us, about saving a sinful mankind, and that was the only way it could be righteously and justly done. 

As the Good Book so exultantly declares, admonishes and advises (smile): ‘Wherefore seeing (since) we are compassed about  with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us. Looking unto Jesus, the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb. 12:1-2) 

My fellow saints, if we want to be true and sincere followers of Christ, then we have to give up our own desires and follow His; follow His lead, if He is our leader. And remember what He’s called us to do, His last request to His disciples? ‘All power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:18-20) 

Now isn’t it time we got serious and do what our Leader asks of us? It certainly is, especially with the sad, sick and sorry state that our world is currently in! Much LOVE!

…if you truly know Jesus…you can’t help but LOVE Him…and LOVE those around you…even when it’s difficult to do… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 August 2021 Psalm 31:23.

Psalm 31:23.     O LOVE the Lord, all ye his saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth (fully repays) the proud doer.

Come now mih bredrin, why that sad, droopy look this bright and sunny Thursday morning eh? Oh, I know that it’s not always easy to put on a bright and smiley face when things aren’t going right, but we have to make the effort, and at least not allow those sad times to last too long. Remember we have Jesus, who died in our place so that we could have a good life and do all that we need to do through His amazing strength. And yes, the evil world is fighting a strong fight against us, and our carnal mind, our flesh isn’t helping matters either. 

But again, let’s not forget that we have Jesus, the Lord of Lords and King of Kings in our corner, and with Him beside us we can fight every enemy and win the victory! All praise and glory to His Holy name my brethren! Life isn’t easy, but with Christ in us, and we in Him, we are well prepared, have all we need to fight the good fight. And though we might lose a few battles here and there, we are guaranteed to win the war with Jesus, our esteemed Leader in our camp! 

So now it’s time to end the pity party and return to the safe, secure and happy pavilion of our great and wonderful God by reminding ourselves of why we first believed and continue believing. Let’s do that by declaring (yeah!!!) these marvellous words of Bruh David from Psalm 31. 

‘In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust (I take refuge); let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness. Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock (rock of refuge), for a house of defense (fortress) to save me. For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me. Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily (secretly) for me: for thou art my strength. Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.’ (Ps. 31:1-5) 

Ah friends, remember when you said similar words to the God of your forefathers and accepted His Son Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour? Well nothing has really changed, just a li’l trial and tribulation occurring along our pilgrim’s journey to heaven. And remember again, that with Jesus dwelling in us, through His awesome Holy Spirit, we can deal with anything that comes against us. 

Yuh know, even Jesus had it rough. On His human side, He too was tempted, rejected, betrayed, and suffered loads of inhumane treatment on our behalf, but He didn’t turn away His face from Calvary. And so too, we ought not to turn away from doing His work. Like Him, we too need to rest sometimes, but the idea of stopping or giving up should never occur to us, because He is our example, and He didn’t give up even when it came to giving His sinless life so unselfishly for us. 

Thus, the least we can do is put up with a li’l suffering on His behalf. We need to follow in His footsteps, as the scriptures advise. ‘Looking unto Jesus, the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb.12:2) 

Oh mih people, what a mighty example our Lord and Saviour set us! For the joy of our salvation and the rewards He would receive from the Father, He willingly accepted the sufferation of the cross. Likewise, for the rewards of heaven that we have been promised, we ought to stand strong and bear whatever burdens we need to bear down here. So let’s not look at the course, but at the finish line, that’s heaven, as Jesus did, and we’ll not notice the trials and tribulations along the way as much. Remember, Jesus has already blazed the trail, cleared the path to heaven, so we don’t need to do anymore clearing, just follow in the footsteps He left in the sands of time. 

Therefore, we can say like Bruh David did: ‘I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities (troubles). And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy (given me over to the enemy): thou hast set my feet in a large room (a wide place).’ (Ps. 31:7-8) 

Yes, my fellow saints, in these evil and turbulent times, life will not be sweet and easy, and we will have to put out a lot of effort to keep things under control, but with the Lord God Jehovah occupying a special place in our lives, being Number ONE to us, we don’t have to worry about accomplishing our earthly tasks. 

Hear Bruh David tell it again nuh: ‘Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear (reverence) thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men! Thou shalt hide them in the secret (place) of thy presence from the pride (plots) of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion (shelter) from the strife of tongues…. O LOVE the Lord, all ye his saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth (fully repays) the proud doer.’ (Ps. 31:19-20, 23) 

Oh friends, I hope all of that has reminded us of what we signed up for with Jesus, and all the promises we have to enjoy at the end of the road. It certainly brightened my outlook, because I was one of those with the sad, droopy looks before I began writing this Bit. But that’s one of the purposes of God’s Word; to brighten our outlook when times get rough. So let’s never forget when times look dim, we need to get into the Word and reenergize ourselves. 

And how can we ever forget the many blessings that the Lord has bestowed on us to do His earthly work eh? So, let’s spell out in loud and sincere voice, what we call our Thursday Blessings. Altogether 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 every day! Amen!’ 

And having declared all that, we now have to go out and share those blessings with others, just as generously as the Lord shared them with us! That’s His heartfelt desire! Much LOVE!

…be of good courage…and he shall strengthen your heart…all ye that hope in the Lord… (Ps. 31:24)                                                                                                                               

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 February 2021 Hebrews 12:1b.

Hebrews 12:1b.     …​let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.

It’s a new day people, so graciously granted to us by our heavenly Father, so let’s give Him some thanks and praise for it nuh, and promise to enjoy it to the fullest, while doing His awesome will! Yes friends, it feels so good to be alive on this Thursday morning, that despite all my difficulties, I still want to jump and shout for joy and sing praises to my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Wow! Hope you are also experiencing the same extraordinary feeling, because it is not a normal emotion that the world, that unbelievers can experience. 

That feeling of peace and calm, of LOVE and goodwill to our fellow beings, even when we are in the midst of a dreadful storm ourselves! And that feeling of euphoria, even in the darkest times is only possible when Jesus has first place in our lives. When we focus on Him, our lives take on a different quality, we rise to a higher level of humanity, we gain a strength and sense of purpose that enables us to run the race that our Creator has set out for us. 

Yes friends, when we embrace all the promises that our God has made down through the ages, we are then able to rise to the occasion, and allow Him to lift us from glory to glory, ever becoming more faithful and Christlike as we live this earthly life. And these awesome words from the Good Book epitomize all that I’m saying. The author of Hebrews, which resonate like the words of Bruh Paul, but which some scholars doubt, gives us this news of great assurance about running our race. 

‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.’ (Heb. 12:1) And I guess it’s only appropriate that I enclose the lengthy, but excellent explanation the scholars provide on that verse, so that we will get the real meaning and understand it perfectly. (smile) 

‘12:1. The present exhortation to run finds its basis in the examples of the champions mentioned in chapter eleven. These heroes of the faith are like a cloud of witnesses. As “witnesses” (Gr. marturon) they are sometimes regarded as spectators (Gr. theatai) or as martyrs; yet the Greek word should be understood as referring simply to those who testify or witness. The emphasis is on the witness provided by their living by faith. 

This race of faith is described by three modifying statements. First, it is to be run by laying aside every weight. This refers to impediments that weigh one down, whether clothing or excessive body weight. These things are not inherently wrong, but for the diligent runner, or the faithful Christian they must be removed.

 Second, it is to be run by putting off the entangling sin. This seems to refer to the one sin above all others that defeats a Christian. This may be a different sin for each individual. Third, it is to be run with patience (Gr. hypomones). Since patience is not an attribute commonly associated with running, this word would be better translated as endurance. Endurance and persistence have been on the author’s mind since the end of chapter 10 (cf. 10:32, 36-38, 11:13).’  

There you have it friends, our race is all about faith, learning from the faithful exploits of those who have gone before us and setting glorious examples, glorious witness and testimony for those who are coming after us. And remember our race is not a sprint, but a marathon, and those require much endurance and strength, both physical and spiritual, that’s why we need to practice, and practice seriously if we truly desire to win our individual races. And friends, the ability to do that is certainly enhanced when Jesus is our focus, cause remember we can do all things through Him, who strengthens us. 

Thus, the second verse of Hebrews 12 boldly continues: ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb. 12:2) Oh my people, that verse is key, for it is Jesus who began our faith and completed the first race in it. 

And the scholars declare it thus: ‘12:2. Just as verse 1 establishes some qualities for the entrance into and the actual running of life’s race, so verse 2 directs one’s eyes to the finish line. Jesus is the author and finisher in that He has already blazed the trail and finished the course.’ 

That makes Him the best example to follow in running our race. ‘For consider him that endured such contradiction (hostility) of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint (discouraged) in your minds (souls). Ye have not yet resisted unto blood (bloodshed), striving against sin.’ (Heb. 12:3-4) 

And the scholars explain: ‘12:3-4. Though chapter 11 provides many champions for believers to emulate, the supreme example of endurance is Jesus Himself.’ Make no doubt about that my brethren! Jesus is the example that our heavenly Father wants us to emulate. Yes, He knows that it won’t be easy, but that’s why He has blessed us so profusely with all the parts and trappings to be successful. 

And let’s thank our lucky stars, or should I say, our heavenly Father, (smile) that very few of us will have to undergo and endure the sad and brutal punishment that Jesus endured for our sinful sakes. That means we need to show gratitude by putting our best foot forward in supporting and promoting His wonderful cause. And He’s so magnificent and magnanimous that He’s even given us the tools to help us do His work. We call them our Thursday Blessings. Wow! So let’s remind ourselves of them as we go home this bright but cold Thursday morning nuh. 

As one strong, confident but humble 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 every day! Amen!’ 

And having declared them, let’s now go out, or stay in, or whatever, and share them with others, use them to benefit others, just as magnanimously as Christ has done with and for us. Much LOVE!

…the Lord knew we needed help in witnessing…that’s why He provided so many good examples…the best being Jesus…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 November 2020 Hebrews 12:2a.

Hebrews 12:2a.     ​Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfecter) of our faith;

Well friends, it was nice while it lasted; I mean the physical ‘gatheration’ in the Lord’s sanctuary for the past couple of months. But with the Covid -19 business coming back with a vengeance in a second wave, it’s been thought prudent, in my local church, after today, to suspend the physical gathering for a month and revert to just the virtual stuff. And if that saves lives, then so be it. It was good seeing a few people after such a long time though, but the virus is no respecter of persons and it doesn’t make sense trying to buck it if it’s not necessary. 

So let’s get down to the business of worship now nuh. And today we’ll sing a song penned by Marijohn Wilkins and Kris Kristofferson back in the last half of the last century, a favourite of all believers, titled ‘One Day At A Time Sweet Jesus.’ And no, we not doing a strictly soul version, but an easy rocking reggae version, a la Carlene Davis, the well-known Jamaican Gospel singer. So altogether now, let’s raise our voices in sweet harmony as we give praise, thanks and adoration to our wonderful Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. 

And we opening with the chorus…some easy skanking now. (smile) ‘(Chorus: One day at a time sweet Jesus That’s all I’m asking from you Give me the strength To do everything that I have to do Yesterday’s gone sweet Jesus And tomorrow may never be mine Help me today, show me the way One day at a time) I’m only human I’m just a woman (man) Help me believe in what I could be and all that I am. Oh show me the stairways I have to climb Lord for my sake teach me to take One day at a time. 

(Chorus: One day at a time sweet Jesus That’s all I’m asking from you Just give me the strength To do everything that I have to do Yesterday’s gone sweet Jesus And tomorrow may never be mine Help me today, show me the way One day at a time) Oh do you remember? When you walked among men? Well Jesus you know If you’re looking below That its worse now than then Oh there’s Cheating and stealing, violence and crime. So Lord for my sake teach me to take One day at a time) 

(Chorus: One day at a time sweet Jesus That’s all I’m asking from you Just give me the strength To do everything that I have to do Yesterday’s gone sweet Jesus And tomorrow may never be mine Help me today, show me the way One day at a time Oh help me today Show me the way One day at a time… One day at a time…Sweet Jesus…Teach me to take One day at a time…One day at a time…Lord help me today…Show me the way…One day at a time.’ 

Oh mih people, that was some nice easy rocking! And what I like about it all is that when the riddim is rocking down here on earth, heaven rocks with us! Glory be! And so it should be, all God’s creation ought to praise Him. As the psalmist so rightly says in Psalm 148 – All creation to praise the Lord. It’s a universal declaration: 

‘Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah): Praise ye the Lord from the heavens: praise him in the heights. Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the Lord: for he commanded, and they were created. He hath also stablished (established) them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass. 

Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons (sea creatures), and all deeps. Fire and hail; snow, and vapour; stormy wind fulfilling his word: Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars: Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl: Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth: Both young men and maidens; old men, and children: 

Let them praise the name of the Lord: for his name alone is excellent (exalted); his glory is above the earth and heaven. He also exalteth the horn (strength, dominion) of his people, the praise of all his saints; even of the children of Israel, a people near unto him. Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah)!’ 

Yes mih people, the psalmist is calling on everybody, all of God’s creation; heavenly beings and heavenly bodies, as well as earthly beings and earthly substances to give God praise because of His creative power and the towering majesty of His awesome glory. Yes, our great and powerful God should always be showered with praise because He undoubtedly deserves it! And no more so than for giving us the greatest gift ever, salvation and eternal life through the sacrifice of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

Wow mih bredrin! If that isn’t something to give much thanks and praise for, then I don’t know what is nuh. For Jesus is all that we can ever ask for or desire! He’s our EVERYTHING! He came to earth and experienced the evil and tough times like we’re doing, was tempted just like we are, but did not sin, so He understands our predicament from personal experience, not hearsay. That’s why it’s simple common sense to turn to Jesus for help. 

And I want to leave us with a couple of appropriate scriptures that proclaim such wisdom. Both are from the Book of Hebrews. The first says we can run our race day by day: ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfecter) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb. 12:2) 

And the second scripture tells us of the sympathetic Christ. ‘Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into (through) the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession (confession of faith). For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (our weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb. 4:14-16) 

Yes precious saints of Christ, that’s why we can look to Jesus for grace and mercy to live each day as we ought to, in His name, doing His work, diligently and excellently! Much LOVE!

…if yuh not turning to Jesus for help…then yuh being foolish… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 January 2020 Hebrews 12:1.

Hebrews 12:1.    ​Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (endurance) the race that is set before us.
 

Greetings and salutations this dreary looking Tuesday morning my Scrip-Bit friends and families! And as Bruh Paul liked to say in his letters to the New Testament churches: ‘Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ. who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world (age), according to the will of God and our Father: To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen!’ (Gal. 1:3-5) Yes my faithful brethren, EVERY DAY, we ought to remember the Father and the wonderful things He’s done for us through Christ Jesus and give Him the necessary praise and thanksgiving! 

And please don’t tell me it’s too difficult, or you’re too busy and you don’t have time…Make time! You make time for other not so important stuff, but you can’t make time for God, the most important thing, being and element in your life? Steups! Just take a moment and consider your state if He had not shown His amazing LOVE and compassion through the incomparable gift of His Son! You’d be headed straight for hell and the eternal company of Lucifer, the fallen angel and now the deceitful, lying devil! 

But through Christ, He’s offered us another option, much better than what we had – eternal life with Him and Christ in heaven – and yuh boldfaced enough to tell me that you can’t make time to spend a few minutes with Him every day! Chuh! Pure foolishness that mih breddren! Anyway, here’s a most appropriate writing for this time of year and our current winter affliction; SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder – from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. And it’s also appropriately titled ‘January.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘It’s January, Lord – The drab, dreary middle – And my thoughts are as drab As the miserable month. Does everybody hit a January slump Or am I the only one? The first week wasn’t too bad: There were Christmas thank-yous to write A few resolutions to store away The huddle of year-end sales. But thank-you notes bring no returns And resolutions are quickly broken and marked-down trinkets fast lose appeal. When You said “Behold I make all things new” Did You forget January, Lord? Or in January do I sometimes forget You?’ 

Ah friends, I think the correct answer is more like the last one – we forget the Lord, because He’s promised NEVER to leave nor forsake us, and He always keep His promises. That we know for a fact. So if any forgetting goes on, it’s most surely on our side of the equation. And the strange thing is that the drearier and more downcast the weather and our souls are, the more we need to find consolation in God, not forget or move further away from Him. It’s like when you’re sick, that’s when you certainly need a doctor, and the worse you get, the more you need the medic! You run to Him more than ever then, not away from him. 

And it’s the same with our great God; we need Him more than ever when things are not going so good. So let’s think on that some today nuh, and see if we’re falling into that common rut. And we should also think on the Bible Promise from the poem, which is our Bit for today. ‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (endurance) the race that is set before us.’ 

Yes friends, we have so many heavenly witnesses looking on at our race of faith, who earlier ran the same race and testified to the LOVE and faithfulness of God, that we need to get serious and put aside any and everything that will hinder us in our own faith walk. And please remember that our race of faith is not a sprint, but a long-distance race, a marathon; one that requires lots of endurance and energy, not merely simple patience. As Bruh Paul said to the Roman church: ‘Rejoicing in hope; patient (persevering) in tribulation; continuing instant (steadfastly) in prayer.’ (Rom.12:12) 

That’s the kind of belly and backbone we need to run our race friends! And though we have plenty of other believers to look at as examples, the best and brightest is as the Good Book says: ‘Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher (originator and perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb. 12:2) 

Oh my people, how can there ever be a better example than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ eh? NEVER! For He is the One who blazed the trail, made the way, didn’t consider the shame or rejection or all the other negative stuff thrown at Him, and finished the race in steadfast and enduring faith! Wow! What a giant is our Jesus! That’s why the Father exalted Him to sit at His right hand of His throne ‘and given Him a name which is above every other name. That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil.2:9-11) 

And likewise my brethren, if we are faithful and run our race with an abundance of the necessary Christian elements, then we too will also be rewarded at the end. As Peter calls it: ‘a crown of glory that fadeth not away.’ (1 Pet. 5:4) So let’s up the ante this cold and dreary-looking winter’s day nuh – and even if you’re in the blazing sunshine too! (smile) Let’s raise the level of our faith so that we can witness for Jesus, like the true salt and light we’re meant to be. 

And we can begin doing that by declaring (yeah!) our Tuesday Mantra with strong voice and sincere hearts. As one now: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Then the next move is to actually go out and share Jesus’ wonderful LOVE and amazing friendship! Much LOVE!

…the race of life…the hardest to run…but the most rewarding to win…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 September 2018 Hebrews 12:2.

Hebrews 12:2.​     …who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame…

I don’t understand it nuh people. I went to bed around one this morning feeling fairly decent, but got up at seven with pains raging through the ole bod. Steups! I thought sleep and rest were the panacea for such ills, not the ‘bringer on’ of them. (smile) But what can you do eh, but grin and bear it? I guess it’s all a part of our earthly faith walk. The Lord doesn’t want us to get too relaxed and contented, so He tests us as soon as we get up. 

And yuh know what mih breddren? We going to pass that test; pass it with flying colours to boot! And with the Lord’s help too! Because that’s the wonderful kind of God He is: He not only gives us the tests, but also gives us the wherewithal to pass them! Glory to our Most High God! There’s none other like Him! And it looks like the wicked windstorm that rampaged through Southern Ontario yesterday has now quietened down. 

Oh friends, all day yesterday, into the late hours of the night, the wind just raced through the place, causing damage and power outages in several areas. Up around the capital city of Ottawa, they even had a tornado. Hn! I sat down on my bed and watched the wind just tear through the poor trees all day long. Had them dancing a merry, tiresome jig. But the trees were strong. Many times I thought they would fall, but they stood up strong, and this morning they seem none the worse for wear. 

Now that’s the way we Christians ought to be my brethren; stand up strong and steadfast to all the adversity that comes against us, especially when we have the Creator’s faithful promise to stand with us through thick and thin! 

And since it’s Saturday, it means we have to look at the quotes sent to us this week by our friend Anselm, who sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. I don’t know what’s happening with him, but this week, we only got one quote from him again. However, it is an interesting quote, which says: ‘Shame hates to have words wrapped around it. If we talk about it, it loses its grip on us.’ And that’s generally true. 

But friends, shame is possibly the second biggest problem we believers face, except for fear. The enemy uses fear and shame to quench our brightly burning lights that are supposed to shine in God’s favour. And way too many Christians fall prey to the falsehood of shame. 

And here is a perfect example of it. I know a Christian family that is going through some relational problems. One member of the family is acting up, his addiction causing him to behave very wild and irrational. I went to visit them earlier this week, but unfortunately what I took away from the talk and the visit is that shame over the family member’s behaviour is overwhelming. 

And though they talk about praying and all the other believer’s tools, they are still in too much of a feeling sorry for themselves mood, thinking too much about what will happen to them. Their faith hasn’t risen to the top like it should. Oh I know you must consider those things, but your faith is supposed to help you come up over them. And yes, your family member is making a fool of himself, and you deeply regret it, and are concerned, but you didn’t do anything to be ashamed of. 

What others think seems to be of paramount importance. But who really cares what others think eh? They have the same problems and sometimes worse! I have always been somewhat irked at that behaviour. If I didn’t do something, why should I clothe myself in shame eh? It’s just the devil’s work! But hear the worst part of the story, in my opinion. 

Now I know they are short on money, and they know that I know that, but yet when I offered some to help tide them over, the mother refused it. And when I asked why, she claimed that it made her ashamed. And that with a disabled child to look after and only one family member working. Chuh! It hurt my heart. And though I argued some about it, with words like you can’t eat shame or pay your bills with it, I quickly realized that it was a matter best left alone. 

Oh my people, how can you turn down a few dollars from a close friend when you are in dire straits because of that foolish and senseless word called shame eh? I know what it is to be hungry and in need, and sometimes it’s an affront to refuse a friend’s help in those situations. But you can’t legislate the behaviour of other folks. 

And to end we’ll just highlight two instances where shame played a great role in the Good Book. The first is the first instance of it in the world, with Adam and Eve after they ate the forbidden fruit. ‘And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked, and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons (girding coverings).’ (Gen.3:7) Then when the Lord came looking for them later on, they were afraid and hid. Why? ‘…because I was naked…’ (Gen.3:10) 

Yuh see friends, before their eyes were opened, there was no shame, no reason to hide from God, but once the enemy intervened, they became ashamed of their nakedness. And then there is this magnificent verse from Hebrews containing our Bit: ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith: who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb.12:2) 

Yes friends, there couldn’t be anything more shameful to a Jewish man than being crucified butt naked in front of the whole world! If he had seriously considered the shame involved in His crucifixion, He wouldn’t have done it. But for our sake, and the wonderful rewards that awaited Him, Jesus threw out the thing called shame and went to the cross like it was nothing. 

Likewise friends, we ought to get rid of, overcome the twin deaths of fear and shame and take up our crosses as positively as Jesus did, and march on to victory in His awesome and holy name! That’s what being a true believer in, and follower of Christ means! Much LOVE!

…shame is just fear in disguise…

 

    

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 January 2018 1 Corinthians 9:24.

1 Corinthians 9:24.   Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run that ye may obtain.

‘On your marks; get set; Go!’ Yeh friends the race of life continues in earnest this Monday morning after the brief respite of the weekend. As soon as the trumpet sounds, you have to be off and running, if you want to be successful in this race. It’s not a simple sprint, but a long distance venture. 

So though you can’t run it all in one spurt, there is still no time to waste, no time to make excuses and just plod along. If we are entered under Jesus’ flag, then we have to give it our very best; make hay while the sun shines. So let’s get a move on nuh. The enemy’s runners are already gathering steam, and we can’t afford to let them get too far ahead of us. 

And to help bolster our spirits, let’s declare our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with plenty spunk and enthusiasm, knowing that it will raise our adrenaline levels and give us the jolt that so many of us desperately need. In unison 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!’ 

Ah mih breddren, what an exciter and encourager that prayer is! (smile) Now let’s hit the road, dressed in Jesus’ colours, heads held high, with a strong sense of purpose; that being winning the race of life in His name. Glory to God! 

And we all know Bruh Paul’s famous statement to the Corinthians about running their race, which is a most appropriate Bit for today. ‘Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run that ye may obtain.’ Yeh friends, we have to run so that we can win, otherwise it doesn’t make any sense running. 

And the scholars offer this explanation of Bruh Paul’s remark. ‘9:24. Paul draws on a scene familiar to his Corinthian readers in order to drive home his point. The Isthmian Games were an athletic event known to all his readers. They were held on alternate summers in the vicinity of Corinth. It was an event not to be missed by anyone of importance in all parts of Greece. As a national institution, it was familiar to his readers as modern football to most Americans.’ 

I would probably compare it more to the modern Olympic Games, since more people know about that than American football. Anyhow my fellow believers, it is of the utmost importance for each of us to run our earthly race to the best of our ability. The Lord has given each of us the talents He wants us to use in running this race, so let’s use them nuh; stop hiding our talents, our lights under a bushel, let the world see them as the Lord desires. 

Now here is another famous treatise on running our race, this time from the author of Hebrews. He eloquently and enthusiastically declares: ‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.” (Heb.12:1) 

And the great cloud of witnesses that he’s talking about, are the saints and martyrs noted in verse 11, who had run the race before us. People like Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Abel, Enoch, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Gideon, Barack, Samson, Bruh David, etc. etc. So it’s not like we don’t have many earlier examples to follow. But in the process, we also have to remove any impediments that might be weighing us down, (physically or spiritually) and living by faith, so we can be lithe and light and move swiftly. 

But then he mentions the greatest example of them all: ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’(Heb.12:2) 

Yeh mih people, there was none whatsoever like Jesus: He blazed the trail for us, perfected the course and won with significant achievement. He despised the shame and dishonour that was involved in sacrificing His life, to save us. That’s why the Lord exalted Him, to a name above every other name, and one to which all knees will eventually bow.  

And yuh know what friends, if we run this race with faith and perseverance, we too will be honoured significantly at the end. Hear Bruh Paul to Timothy: ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith: Henceforth is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim.4:7-8) 

And what a day that will be my people! So let’s keep running with faith and patience nuh, so that we can win our crowns when we see Jesus. It will all be worthwhile then. Much LOVE!  

…the race is not for the swift…but for the sure of foot….and the strong of heart…

 

 

 

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