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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And finally listen to Jesus in reply to the hypocrite Pharisee lawyer: ‘Master, which is the great commandment in the law?  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt.22:36-40) 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 August 2019 Matthew 22:37.

Matthew 22:37.    Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.

Oh what a beautiful morning! Oh what a beautiful day! It’s somewhat windy and chilly… But everything’s still going our way!’ And for that we have to give much thanks and praise to our heavenly Father for allowing us to enjoy another joyful day down here on planet earth! Praise His holy name friends! Exalt Him to the very ends of the earth, for He is indeed worthy to be praised and exalted!

And having paid our respects to our God, Creator, Provider, etc. etc. let’s see what bits of wisdom our friend Anselm has to offer us this Saturday morning. Hear this first one: ‘Don’t Take Anything Personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.’

Now I don’t know if I agree with all of that nuh. Granted, you can’t be open to the slightest of offences, and people do project their own ideas on you, but you shouldn’t be immune to their opinions and action, because ofttimes, though their motives might be selfish, some of their ideas might be sound and thus beneficial. You need to have a tough character, so to speak, but also an open mind, for pearls of wisdom can come from even the most unlikely sources.

And the next quote wisely advises: ‘To avoid a breakdown, take a break for rest and prayer.’ And is that ever so true! There’s so much meltdown and breakdown in our society today because we live in a fast paced, dog-eat-dog, rat race where there’s never enough time for rest and prayer.

That’s because we don’t make time for it, being too busy trying to keep up with the world and all it’s distractions. And that’s especially true of believers! Oh precious people of God, please, let’s slow down, let’s make time for rest and for God nuh. That’s the only way we can truly enjoy this earthly life!

Then there’s this: ‘Be Impeccable With Your Words. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.’ How true my friends, how true all of that is! But unfortunately nowadays most of that has gone out the window, into the trash can of history, especially in these times of all-pervasive social media and all the talking that’s going on.

We no longer think about what we say, before we say it, we just gush everything from the lip, regardless of the possible consequences. Sorry, no one considers consequences anymore, even though there are a lot of sad and tearful ones occurring each and every minute of each and every day!

And don’t talk about integrity nuh! What’s that eh? That’s what a lot of us might ask when posed with that quote. There’s no longer any integrity in our sad and sorrowful world. And that’s basically being of true and sound character, your word being your bond, given to trust and being trusted, fulfilling obligations as agreed upon, etc. etc. Even supposedly lawful contracts are being reneged on every day, so who’s going to stand on their word eh?

Christians ought to! True believers in Christ Jesus are supposed to stand by their promises, just like Jesus did and still does by His. None of us would be happy if Jesus broke any of His promises. We’d be ever so quick to pull Him down, to make a mockery of Him. But it’s okay for us to do it. Ah friends, as they say, what’s good for the goose, is also good for the gander.

Remember these immortal words of Jesus: ‘Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete (use), it shall be measured you again.’ (Matt.7:1-2) Those are words of great truth friends, for whatever you give out, you will eventually get back; like a boomerang, all your deeds will eventually come back to haunt you, or what you sow, you will eventually reap.

As Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) likes to say: ‘More than you sow, and later than you sow.’ That’s why we have to adopt the principles mentioned in this last quote as quickly and thoroughly as possible, and also spread them world wide so that our world can be greatly improved. ‘More smiling, less worrying. More compassion, less judgment. More blessed, less stressed. More LOVE, less hate.’

Mamacita! What a wonderful world we’d have if those things played a larger role in our lives! And yuh know what my people? I believe that all of that quote falls under these simple but far-reaching words of Jesus, which He answered to the Pharisee lawyer who tried to tempt Him, by asking:

‘Master (Teacher), which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.’ (Matt.22:36-38)

And so it is indeed my fellow believers. The first and most important thing for mankind to do is to LOVE our Creator with all that we have! That sets the tone and direction for everything else in our lives. But the interesting thing in this session is that the man asked about the great commandment, and Jesus gave it to him, but He didn’t stop there. He continued: ‘And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt.22:39-40)

And our Lord and Saviour and Leader and God, Jesus Christ would never lie to us! So therefore it must be of the uttermost importance that we concentrate in this life on LOVE for our great and wonderful heavenly Father, then LOVE for ourselves, and also LOVE for our neighbours.

But friends, please pay attention to Jesus’ words, ‘LOVE thy neighbour as thyself.’ That means we can only LOVE our neighbours as much as we LOVE ourselves. And we’re not talking in a narcissistic way. But unfortunately, in these trying and troublesome times, too many of us don’t LOVE ourselves, that’s why we can’t LOVE our neighbours. Remember, we can only give what and as much as we have!

And that’s a major reason why our world is in such turmoil. So please, today, let’s ponder the state of our self-LOVE nuh. And whatever state it might be in, let’s ask the Lord for His grace and mercy to bring it up higher, so that we can also LOVE others more, and fulfill His commandment, and thus make our world a much better place for our children and future generations! Let’s let out legacy be one of LOVE! Much LOVE!

…the basic Christian motto…do unto others…as you would have them do unto you…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 January 2019 Matthew 22:37-38.

Matthew 22:37-38.   ​Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.

 

‘Winterlicious winter…lots of cold and snow. Winterlicious winter…why don’t you go…back to where you came from and leave us all alone eh?’ Now that’s a question that many of us in my area will be asking this morning as they struggle through the mucho snow left by the major snowstorm yesterday. 

I remember looking out the window after lunch yesterday and there was just the residue from the day before, but by mid afternoon when I looked out again, it was all white, and the flimsy flakes were falling down from heaven like rain! Hn! Hn! But that’s what winter is all about. 

We thought we were getting a nice, snow free winter, but that was just a fantasy, a figment of our imagination. As the repairman in the ad used to say: ‘You can pay me now, or pay me later.’ It’s the same thing with the snow, we can get it early or late, or even in between, but we will get it. End of story! 

Now having said, that here is something to counteract the negative concerns. It’s a quote from Gordon W. Allport (1867-1967) a pioneering American psychologist and Harvard professor. It’s said that ‘He rejected two of the dominant schools of thought in psychology at the time, psychoanalysis and behaviorism, in favor of his own approach that stressed the importance of individual differences and situational variables.’ 

Consequently, he was able to come up with this gem: ‘LOVE received and LOVE given comprise the best form of therapy.’ Mama Mia! What awesome words of wisdom! Friends, there’s nothing better in this land of the living than giving and receiving LOVE! That’s because it’s the greatest emotion in the world, the supreme attribute of our great God, and the one that caused Him to send His Son to die on the cross for us at Calvary to pay our sin debt in full! Glory Be! 

So how could it be anything but great eh, since its effects are ever so wonderful? I know many of us, including believers, shrug off or shirk away from LOVE because we’re afraid of the hurt it can bring and the vulnerability that it imposes on our souls. But just think for a moment, if our heavenly Father had thought about the hurt it would bring Him, do you think He would have sent His Son to die for a bunch of miserable, ungrateful sinners? Definitely not! 

And think again, if Jesus had considered the severe pain and vulnerability His LOVE for the Father and us would bring Him, He would have willingly gone to the cross on our behalf? No way Jose! That’s why, as believers in and followers of Jesus, we ought to embrace that wonderful attribute of LOVE as our watchword and guiding light! 

Remember Jesus’ answer to the hypocrite Pharisee lawyer who tried to trick Him by asking: ‘Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.’ (Matt.22:36-38)

Yes friends, LOVE for God should be…no not should be, but IS our number One priority in this fallen world! And it’s not like the Pharisee didn’t know that, because all Jesus was doing there was quoting from the Old Testament, Deuteronomy 6:5. The foolish Pharisee even got more than he bargained for, because Jesus continued: ‘And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thy self. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:39-40) 

Oh my people, my people, from day one, when the Lord made us, it was all about LOVE! And when He sent Jesus to save us, it was still all about LOVE! And when Jesus comes a second time, to take us home to heaven with Him, it will still be all about LOVE! Some of us claim to abide by the first commandment, LOVE for God, but can’t get our heads around the second; LOVING our neighbours as ourselves. 

But friends, we can’t have one without the other. For as John so rightly says: ‘If a man say, I LOVE God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that LOVETH not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he LOVE God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who LOVETH God LOVE his brother also.’ (1 John 4:20-21) 

That’s as plain as night and day my brethren! Yet we foolishly try to have one without the other. Perhaps it’s because we DON’T LOVE OURSELVES, that we can’t LOVE our brothers! That’s something for us to check up on as soon as possible, because that might just be what’s hindering our LOVE walk. 

Oh friends, Jesus’ teaching was ALL based on LOVE and so should our lives ALL be based on it. Listen to this heart-opening directive as He wound down His earthly ministry. ‘A new commandment I give unto you. That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:34-35) 

Yuh see that friends, the distinctive recognition of our discipleship on Christ’s behalf must be that mankind sees our LOVE for each other! And I won’t even get into a discussion on whether we’re showing that distinctive difference, because we all know that we’re not showing it as much as we ought to. But yuh know what friends, come the judgement day, we’ll each have to answer as to why we did not keep that commandment. So nuff said! 

Let’s go home now declaring (got it right) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are – even though we’re not as good as we ought to be. (smile) As one voice, in all sincerity and truth: ‘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!’ 

And if we are sincere about that, then let’s indeed go out and spread the friendship and LOVE of Jesus with the world! Much LOVE!

…it’s so sad…that the evil emotion of hate…is so much easier to come by in this world…than the godly attribute of…LOVE…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 November 2018 Deuteronomy 4:29.

Deuteronomy 4:29.   ​But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.​
 
Oh brother! What is it eh? I’ve been back from sunny Jamaica for a week now and so far I’ve only awakened to one bright and sun-filled day! I believe that was Sunday. Man o man! That sure doesn’t do wonders for the spirit nuh. But nonetheless, I am thankful that I can say that I’ve awakened…Glory be! 

Every time I read the obits and don’t see my name, I send up a grateful, ‘Thank You Lord!’ Oh, I know that one day I will read it there, but just not yet.’ (smile) 

And to help us on this cold, dark, wet and cloudy day, I’ve been led to share this poem from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional, titled, ‘Learn to Know God.’ So let’s do just that nuh. 

Please pray with me: ‘Dear Jesus, I’ve got to get to know You better. Please help me! I can feel my spiritual and emotional walls crack. I can hear old chains break. I can feel my heart opening like a heavy door whose ancient seals have just begun to break. I can sense the footsteps of Jesus walking into my life. I am beginning to experience the joy of a soul that is being saved, a life that is being born again. Thank You Lord! Life’s not fair, but God is good. Amen.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth: ‘Life’s not fair, but God IS good!’ Ah friends, whenever we come to God, sincerely cry out to Him for help in time of need, we can be sure that He will hear our plea and respond positively to it! That’s’ His promise, and He’s a faithful keeper of ALL His promises! But we first have to seek Him, to get to know Him. 

And every great man of faith has made that admonishment, as we will see as we go through the Good Book. We’ll begin with out Bit; Moses’ wise and true advice to the Israelites: ‘But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.​’ 

Yes friends, whenever we seek the Lord with a sincere heart, we shall find Him. It doesn’t matter what we were doing before. And we have perfect examples of that in the many times the Israelites turned from God and suffered, but when they came to their senses and returned to Him, He welcomed them back with opened arms. 

Likewise, in these evil and sinful times, if we turn back to God, seek Him with all our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, He will hear us and relieve the trials and tribulations, which we are suffering from disobedience to His holy will. And doh fool yuh fat nuh, we are undergoing adversity and calamity because of our sinful, ungodly way of life. But enough of my preaching, (smile) let’s see what some other great men of faith said on the subject. 

Hear Bruh David now, as he admonishes Cousin Sol on the matter. ‘And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart, and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.’ (1 Chr.28:9) And that my brethren holds good for all of us, be we prince or pauper! 

And on an even more important note, how many of us parents admonish our children with that information eh? Too few! Otherwise we would not have raised such an ungodly, narcissistic and nihilistic (rejection of beliefs in religion and morals) generation. Our parents taught us about seeking God, possibly more than we liked, but our generation have certainly not taught this current one enough about seeking their Maker. 

Come the judgement day, we will have a lot to answer for in that regard. But moving right along, listen to Bruh David again, this time from Psalm 9. ‘The Lord also will be a refuge (stronghold) for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.’ (Ps.9:9-10) 

And all God’s people broke out in a loud and grateful cheer: ‘Praise the Lord for His undeserved goodness to the children of men!’ Yes my brethren, we all know that the Lord NEVER turns His back on any one who comes to Him with a sincere and humble heart! 

Now hear that lamenting prophet, Jeremiah. (smile) ‘Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto (listen to) you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.’ (Jer.29:12-13) It couldn’t get any more forthright than that! 

Now listen to the Master tell it like it truly ought to be. This is His response to a foolish Pharisee lawyer trying to provoke Him, by asking which is the greatest commandment? ‘Jesus saw through the ruse and simply quoted the Old Testament words to him, (Deut.6:5) which as a leader of the people, he ought to have known. ‘Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.’ (Matt.22:37-38) 

And as a (langniappe, or brawta) a little extra thrown in for good measure, Jesus then informed him. ‘And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt.22:39-40) And that was only a reiteration of Leviticus 19:18, which the Pharisee lawyer also would have known. 

But friends, just like how they were not living those two great commandments back in the times of Jesus, likewise we are not living them in these end times. That’s why our world is such an evil mess. And it’s only if we believers improve our LOVING, both for God and man, will it ever improve. It’s as simple as that. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. In strong voice and sincere hearts 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!’ 

Our next move then is to go out and share that LOVE! Much LOVE!

…only as you seek the Lord…and with a sincere heart too…will you find Him…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 July 2018 Mark 12:29.

Mark 12:29.   And Jesus answered him, The first (foremost) of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is One Lord:

                                  HAPPY  BIRTHDAY  CANADA !

Yeh friends, today is officially Canada’s 151st birthday, but we’ll talk about it tomorrow, when the Big Bang really happens. (smile) But just remember to follow Granny’s advice: Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business. Words of absolute wisdom my brethren! 

And my humblest apologies for the Bit being this late, but as the old people would say, what ent meet you, ent pass you. (smile) Now thank the Lord, I don’t usually have headaches, but I had a truly disgusting one this morning. I couldn’t even move my head without it feeling like it wanted to explode. I haven’t had anything like that in years. 

Steups! And I definitely didn’t want to venture writing the Bit under those less than positive circumstances. So I just took a couple of extra strength Tylenol and went to lie down. I didn’t even go to church. But I do have a new empathy for those who suffer with constant headaches, especially migraines. I guess the Lord felt I was having things a li’l too easy nuh. (smile) 

Anyway, enough pity party chatter, let’s get on with our Sunday morning, or rather afternoon proceedings. And as usual we’ll open with a song of praise to soften our stone hard hearts and make them more receptive to God’s word. And today’s ditty is taken from the old musical Godspell (1971), supposedly based on the Gospel of Matthew. 

It’s a song composed by Stephen Schwartz, one we’ve heard a thousand times down through the ages, but really haven’t paid much attention to – at least I haven’t, until I heard it this past week on commercial radio and had to check it out to see if the lyrics I heard were truly true. And by gosh, they were! 

That’s why we can now belt out the song ‘Day by Day’ with much gusto and heartfelt sincerity. As one earthly choir, sounding like a heavenly one though, (smile) let’s sing: ‘(Slow) Day by day, Day by day, oh, dear Lord, three things I pray: To see thee more clearly, LOVE thee more dearly, Follow thee more nearly, day by day 

(Chorus (fast) Day by day, day by day Oh, dear Lord, three things I pray: To see thee more clearly, LOVE thee more dearly, Follow thee more nearly, day by day Day by day, day by day, by day, by day. (Slow) Day by day, Day by day, oh, dear Lord, three things I pray: To see thee more clearly, LOVE thee more dearly, Follow thee more nearly, day by day (Chorus (fast)… Day by day, day by day, by day, by day…. Day by day, day by day, by day, by day…’ 

Yes friends, the words aren’t plentiful, and are somewhat repetitive, (smile) but you can’t find a better prayer than that anywhere! We’re only asking for three things: to see the Lord more clearly, LOVE Him more dearly, and follow Him more nearly… Wow! If we could only get those three things, we’d be in seventh heaven, doing exactly the things the Lord desires of us, the things He created us for! Would there ever be great joy and peace on earth! Hn! 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘And Jesus answered him, The first (foremost) of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is One Lord: And thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first (foremost) commandment.’ (Mark 12:29-30)  

Yes my brethren, that was Jesus’ answer to the question one of the scribes asked Him, one day when He was holding forth on the topic of resurrection, trying to trip Him up, and thus find reason to accuse Him of blasphemy or some other foolish crime. 

But Jesus, as usual was too much for those hypocritical fools. If they had believed Him, they would have realized that He wrote the Good Book and thus knew all the answers. But such is man’s foolish pride, that he figures he knows everything, when in actual fact he knows nothing whatsoever! 

And as the scholars explain: ‘12:29. See Deuteronomy 6:4. These are the opening words of the Shema, the Jewish call to worship. They establish the basis of LOVE for God in the fact of God’s being the Lord our God, the God who has covenanted to redeem us to Himself.’ 

Yes my brethren, those were the words Moses spoke unto Israel when he gave them the Great Commandment, warned them that they were to worship ONE absolute God!  Logically speaking, there couldn’t be more than one, Supreme Being, else there would be no absolute, and thus oodles of confusion. 

And please notice the meaning of the word ‘Shema’, the first word in Hebrew: ‘HEAR!’ That’s what Moses was trying to drive home to the people when he gave them that message. And it’s what I am trying to drive home to us today my faithful followers of Christ: ‘Hear! Listen!’ so that we too can obey it, as well as the continuation of Moses’ message. 

‘And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.’ (Deut.6:6-9) 

And NOTHING has changed since then friends and fellow believers: we are still supposed to do all those things…as well as the Second Great Commandment that Jesus added: ‘And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.’ (Mark 12:31) 

And to tell the truth, that wasn’t even Jesus invention at that time, because Moses had already told the Israelites in Leviticus: ‘Thou shalt not avenge (take vengeance), nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.’ (Lev.19:18) 

What more can I say eh friends…nothing really. It’s all spelt out there for us. We must now use wisdom and accept and action it. Much LOVE!

…only two things are really asked of us in this earthly life…LOVE the Lord our God…and our neighbours as ourselves…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 June 2017 1 John 2:15.

1 John 2:15.   LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in him.

And it’s a cool, wet Tuesday morning in my area. Summer seems to have come in with a cool, wet mentality, for we haven’t had any real hot days as yet, and the rain’s been fairly plentiful. 

Oh we had a doozy of a thunderstorm yesterday afternoon, with all the glorious effects of Thor’s hammer and the beautiful strobe lights of his fellow god. (smile) 

But would you believe that thereafter, it turned into a wonderful day of sunshine and warm weather. And then around four o’clock this morning the rains came cascading down again. 

Oh the vagaries of the climate these days eh! Let’s hope that this doesn’t morph into a rather hot and dry summer as time goes by. But here is something that’s reminiscent of the weather, and also of too many of us supposed Christians. 

When I read it I chuckled because a lot of us behave this way. It comes from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin and is simply titled ‘Divided Heart.’ 

Please pray with me. ‘Lord I am so often tormented By my lack of clear direction – So often disturbed By my divided heart. I am like a little child Who wants to rock her doll And jump rope at the same time. I want to obey You in part If I can choose the area of obedience. 

I want to be real except at those moments When compromise is more appealing. I want to be half-motivated And half-satisfied with things as they are. I want to walk a straight path If now and then I can enjoy A few side trips into the far country. 

I don’t want to be a miserable sinner But neither do I feel excited About being a saint. I want to be partly Yours And partly my own. But in the secret chamber Of my divided heart I am so often disquieted By the pointed question: “Why do you so foolishly Mix weeds with seeds?”  

And that’s a question many of us need to ask ourselves my believing brethren, since we apparently haven’t really and truly surrendered our souls to Christ. We want to have one foot in the spiritual world and when it suits us, one in the carnal, fleshly universe. 

But that’s not wise my people, and our God won’t put up with it. He wants ALL of us, or nothing at all. We can’t run to Him when we choose, and then run to Lucifer when it’s convenient for us. 

In effect we still have too much of this evil world in us, as the Bible Promise associated with that poem and our Bit for today declares. ‘LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in him.’ 

Yes, I know friends, that true Christianity is not an easy row to hoe, but if we truly surrender our all to Christ, He will, as He has promised, give us the wherewithal to hoe it. 

Why do you think He put the third Member of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit to dwell in us eh? As we saw yesterday, it’s to lead and guide us along the straight and narrow path that leads to the Father. 

But as we also saw yesterday, the Holy Spirit won’t invade our space unilaterally, He waits to be invited to sincerely lead and guide us. And right within our Bit, lies the crux of our problem: We still LOVE the fleshly, carnal things of the world too much. 

And as the scholars explain: ‘2:15. LOVE not the world is a command implying that action now in progress must cease: “Stop LOVING the world!” There is, of course, one sense in which Christians should LOVE the world, since God Himself did and does (John 3:16). 

But in the sense of pledging personal loyalty and devotion of one’s whole being and means, Christians are to “LOVE” God first and foremost (Deut. 6:5; Mark 12:30).’ 

And just to further bring home the point to us, we’ll quote the immortal words of Moses to the Israelites way back when. ‘’Hear O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.’ (Deut.6:5) 

Now that hasn’t changed at any time down through the ages my people. And when Jesus’ detractors facetiously asked Him what was the greatest commandment, He reiterated the awe inspiring words of Moses, as you can read in Mark 12:29-30. 

So I don’t see how we expect the Lord to approve our fence-sitting, for that is being double-minded, and James warns us that ‘He that wavereth (is doubting) is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.’ (James 1:6-8) 

Good Christians, we need to forsake the things of the world and cling to the things of God, if we truly want to see the abundant blessings of God in our lives. That’s all there is to it! 

So let’s go home in truth and in spirit declaring our Tuesday Mantra. With one sincere voice now: ‘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!’ 

And if that’s truly whom we are, then let’s go out and let the world know it nuh my brethren, as Jesus so dearly desires of us. Much LOVE!

…one simply cannot LOVE God and Lucifer…at the same time…that’s a true impossibility…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 August 2015 Ecclesiastes 5:7‏

Ecclesiastes 5:7.   For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities (futility abounds): but fear thou God.

Ah Friends, it was Caribana Monday, so the ole fella had to celebrate, which meant a late night – early morning scenario! Well it wasn’t any real celebration, just doing my family thing a little later than usual.

Anyway, Caribana Monday did turn out to be a beautiful summer’s day after all! Glory to God! That means most of the festivities planned for the day were able to go ahead and the day wasn’t spoiled for the many out of town visitors and our residents who look forward so much to the weekend, and the Monday holiday in particular.

However, as the song says, ‘The party’s over my friends, time to call it a day,’ time to get up and go out and labour on this fine Tuesday morning that has been specially prepared for us with many new blessings, and mercies. Give God a shout of praise and thanks for His wonderful goodness to us undeserving children of men!

And all God’s children loudly declared: ‘All praise and glory to our great and wonderful God who makes a way for us when there seems to be no way, and who provides for our every need, when we come before Him in humble obedience! Amen.’

Now here’s a li’l something from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional. He calls it ‘POSSIBILITIES UNLIMITED.’

And it goes like this: ‘I can count the seeds in an apple. But, Lord – you alone can count the apples in one seed! Some things are impossible, Lord! It’s impossible for me to see immeasurable, unlimited possibilities in one fertile idea. Praise the Lord. Amen.’

And that’s solid truth my people. We can see the small, finite stuff, but only Almighty God who created the heavens and earth, in His great wisdom and foresight, can see the unlimited possibilities in any given idea. Glory to God!

Consequently, we need to come before Him in sincere prayer and humble obedience for Him to point out the numerous possibilities in each fertile idea with which He has blessed us.

Oh, we can possibly envision a few in our own strength, but to get the real gist and gumption, (smile) of what He desires of us, we have to have serious communication with our heavenly Father.

In all of that though Friends, we still need to consider the wise words of our Bit. ‘For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities (futility abounds): but fear thou God.’ Everlasting truth that my people!

And the scholars explain this section about hasty vows thus. ‘5:1-7. The emphasis on the passage is on the folly of an empty religious profession before a sovereign God: God is in heaven, and thou upon earth. God expects sincerity and meaningfulness in worship. He is not impressed with foolish vows…’

And believe me Friends, we do make a lot of foolish vows to God, especially when we are caught up in the heat of a moment’s anguish and concern. But long, long ago, Moses exhorted the children of Israel with the Lord’s desires.

‘And now Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to LOVE him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul. To keep the commandments of the Lord, and his statutes, which I command thee this day, for thy good (benefit or welfare)?’ (Deut.10:12-13)

Yes my brethren, we need to ALWAYS remember that whatever our God commands, in the long run is for OUR benefit and welfare, not for His. I think we often lose sight of that most important fact, and thus murmur and complain unnecessarily when He asks us to do certain things.

Please remember that the Good Book is OUR lifeline to God, our guidebook, so that we can walk the straight and narrow path and eventually come to the throne of the Most High, reconciled and headed for salvation throughout eternity.

In His great and unconditional LOVE for us, He designed it so that we could find answers to whatever questions we might have down here on this frail and fallible earth. And many of us have problems we can’t solve because we don’t, we simply refuse to read that awesome Guidebook of Life!

But how can we know what God desires of us eh friends, if we don’t read His Word eh? We simply can’t. That’s why so much emphasis is placed on personal reading of the Bible. But as usual, too many of us are too proud, stubborn and arrogant to read it, preferring to decipher the whys and wherefores of life in our own strength.

However my people, that is undoubtedly a fool’s wisdom. What better way could there be to understand the ups and downs of life than through the words of the One who created life in the first place eh? None whatsoever!

And these words of Micah from times bygone, aptly paraphrase what the Lord expects of us. ‘He hath showed thee, O Man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to LOVE mercy (LOVING-kindness), and to walk humbly with thy God?’ (Mic.6:8)

Yes Friends, it’s that simple; not rocket science or any other great mind exercise; do good and righteous deeds and walk in humble obedience before Him.

What’s so difficult to understand about that eh? It might not be always easy to put into action, but we do need to understand what is required of us before we can consider doing it. And I believe that’s where many of us fall down; we simply don’t understand, or refuse to understand God’s requirements for this pilgrim’s journey called earthly life.

And we’ll give the last word to Cousin Sol in his capacity as the Preacher. ‘Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.’ (Eccl.12:13-14)

That says it all Friends! So please, let’s be wise nuh, and go out and do just that, so that we may glorify our Great God and lay up storehouses of treasures in heaven for us to enjoy at a later date. That is true and simple wisdom. Much LOVE!

……be not hasty…consider thy words and thy works…before a just, holy and righteous God…

P.S.  Would you believe that just when I was ready to send out the already late Bit, my trusty sidekick, my desktop computer froze on me, and I had to reboot it? Ah Lord eh! The trials and tribulations we have to endure in this life eh! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

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