Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 April 2021 Habakkuk 2:3b.

Habakkuk 2:3b.     ​though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

And then it was Holy Saturday; that suspenseful day of waiting between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, the day after the tragedy, but the day before the great awakening of joy and celebration! And yes, it’s always difficult for us human beings to wait for something, even though we know it will be better than what we currently have, especially in these times of immediate gratification. 

But please wait patiently on the promise my people. For as the Good Book says: ‘For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.’ (Hab. 2:3) Yes friends, Easter Sunday will surely come, so let’s just mourn quietly, but expectantly today, show our tremendous faith, for we are assured of the triumphant rising of the Holy One of Israel tomorrow! 

Now let’s see what interesting quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week as he aspires to inspire us for a brighter tomorrow. Here’s the first one: ‘We can’t retract the decisions we’ve made. We can only affect the decisions we’re going to make from here.’ I don’t know if that is totally true nuh, because sometimes we can take back the decisions we’ve made, especially if they have not been yet implemented. But in the logical process of the situation, I guess you can look at the retracting as a new decision and not merely a taking back of the old one. So, in that sense, the quote is right. (smile) 

Then there’s this: ‘I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is they must change if they are to get better.’ Now that seems to be rather truthful. If the current situation is bad, then things will only get better if wise change occurs. Merely leaving it the same will not cause any improvement. However, I totally disagree with this next quote: ‘When in doubt, choose change.’ That means you’ll be choosing change just for the sake of change, since there might be no good or logical reason to change. 

But change, especially significant change, should not be made without some good grounds, some useful purpose or enhancement such change will provide. And just because you have doubts, doesn’t mean you should just jump into the unknown. Although that’s what a lot of us are doing in these times of great change. Oftentimes, we don’t know what we’re doing or where we’re going, but because others are changing, are doing something new or different, we think we ought to do the same, we can’t let them get ahead of us, because we absolutely need to be a part of the in-crowd. But that is pure foolishness my brethren. 

Not all change is good for us, and the follow the Jones’ lifestyle only gets us into more problems than we already have. Just take the example of the new cell phones that come out almost every year. Some of us just feel we need to have them because they are new, and have new toys in them. But they are usually more expensive too, and don’t always work as good as the older ones. And in fact, most of us won’t ever use the new toys in them. 

We don’t even use our current phone to its best level. But there’s a new one out, and we must have it, we must keep up with the throng and make the phone makers even richer! And in such situations, re our first quote, we definitely may not be able to retract our hasty and thoughtless decisions. (smile) But as they say, to each his own. 

That brings us to the next quote: ‘When a defining moment comes along, you can do one of two things. Define the moment, or let the moment define you.’ Now that’s gospel truth friends! When defining moments crop up, you only have two options; to let the moment define you, or you define it. And the sensible option is usually the latter. You define the moment, you come up over the problem, don’t allow it to take you where it wants to go. 

And I guess we should define what we mean by defining moments. (smile) Those are basically important times in your life, when what is in front of you has the ability to change the trajectory of your life, like a new job offer, or meeting a new lady friend, or the most important defining moment in all of our lives, finding Jesus and cheerfully latching on to Him! When those opportunities appear in our lives, we have to face them mano -a- mano, rise up above them, take the bull by the horns sort of thing, evaluate the situations, and hopefully make wise decisions, because it’s not always in our best interest to let nature take its course. 

And that segues real nicely into our last quote. ‘A wise man can learn more from his enemies than a fool from his friends.’ Now that’s certainly an interesting statement. I guess it goes back to a couple of other sayings: ‘Keep your friends close, and your enemies even closer.’ And also, ‘Show me your friends, and I’ll tell you who you are.’ The last one insinuates that if you are foolish, then most likely your friends are also foolish, so there’s not a whole lot you can learn from them. 

Meanwhile, the first saying is telling us to keep a close eye on our enemies because we can learn their secrets and tactics, which will help us in our fight against them. But the whole thing boils down to having wise friends and no enemies. But if you do have enemies, as Cousin Sol says in Proverbs: ‘If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink. For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord shall reward thee.’ (Prov. 25:21-22) And the scholars tell us that ‘Coals of fire does not refer to revenge or punishment but to pangs of shame that will lead to reconciliation.’ 

But Jesus goes one better than that. He says: ‘LOVE your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully (spitefully) use you, and persecute you.’ (Matt. 5:44) Now that’s not an easy row to hoe in this strife filled world of ours, but that’s what Jesus expects of His followers, and what we should all endeavour to do, if we bear His name, consider Him our Lord and Saviour. 

And remember, He’s promised never to leave nor forsake us, as He told the disciples: ‘and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:20b) So there’s no need to fear, for Jesus is always with us, leading, guiding and helping us through His indwelling Holy Spirit and allowing us to do great things in His name, through His divine strength. Much LOVE!

…one more day…just one more day…before the triumphant resurrection…please wait faithfully for it… because it WILL come…

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 December 2020 Matthew 5:48.

Matthew 5:48.     ​Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

So it’s Saturday; that lazy, slouchy day again! And do I ever want to laze and slouch about… But it’s just not possible right now, cause I have the Lord’s work to do, and we can’t afford to laze and slouch when God’s work needs to be done! Amen! The problem though is that we talk a good talk about doing God’s work, but half the time that’s all we do; talk! If there was more truly Christian action from supposed believers, our world would certainly not be in the mess that it’s currently in. 

So why don’t we stop talking and start doing eh? As James says, ‘be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.’ (James 1:22) Yes friends, only by showing our faith through our works will our world get out of the turbulence and calamity in which it’s now engulfed. Sermon done! (smile) 

Now it’s time to check out some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And yes, the preface is still there: ‘Positive affirmation you should tell yourself to remind yourself just how awesome you are. I’m calm, happy, and content,’ but that’s the only time we will write it. And please remember that you can ONLY do those things contained therein if Jesus Christ is truly your Lord and Saviour! 

So here’s the first quote: ‘I’m worthy of respect and acceptance.’ And that’s the God awesome truth my brethren! All God’s children, all His creation is worthy of acceptance and respect, for we are made in His image, with the breath of His life flowing through us and His Holy Spirit indwelling us! So how can we not be worthy of respect and acceptance eh? 

So please, let’s put all the tomfoolery about race, religion, power, wealth and all the other negative stuff we use to disrespect and refuse acceptance to each other aside so that our world could be a better place nuh. I don’t know how we can ever think that our world will be a better place with all that nonsense so prevalent and destructive in it. 

The next quote tells us: ‘I can absolutely do anything I put my mind to.’ Now that’s definitely not true, for as a mere mortal, who perishes like the grass in the noon day sun, you cannot do anything you set your mind to because of your own strength. However, if you’re a follower of Jesus Christ, then you can do anything, through Christ who strengthens you.’ (Phil. 4:13) Glory be! Can you move a mountain in your own strength? Certainly not! But with Christ in your corner, you can, because as the Creator and Controller of this universe, ALL things are possible through Him! Wow! 

And don’t forget too, this special statement Christ made the last time He visited us in human form: ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) Now that’s certainly telling it like it is! And having said that, this next quote should follow on from it: ‘My life becomes richer as I get older.’ 

Yes friends, as we get older and deeper in Jesus, our lives ought to get richer, not necessarily in money and earthly wealth, but in bearing good fruit for Christ, for as he says above, if we consistently hang out with Him, we will bear much good fruit. And He has no cause to lie about that. So yes, as we increase in age, with Christ in our lives, we get wiser and more peaceful and relaxed, less anxious and all those good things. The cares of the world don’t trouble us as much, for we have reached a stage where we can accept Christ’s truth in a practical manner in our lives. 

‘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) Now how can we have good cheer when our world is falling apart? Again because of these awesome words of Jesus: ‘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 14:33) And you’re wondering how you can ever do that with the wicked storms that are continuously howling around you? 

Simple. Because you have the peace of God working in and through you. ‘The peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:7) Yes, the peace of God, which transcends all human understanding, will guard us. Oh, how wonderful it is to experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand! But that only comes with age and maturity in the faith. Now, when we can accept all of that without necessarily understanding it all, then the last two quotes become even more important. ‘I make a significant difference to the lives of people around me,’ and ‘My contributions to the world are valuable.’ 

Ah mih bredrin…how I wish that I could truthfully say that we are all making significant differences, or rather positive significant differences to the lives of the people around us, because too many of us, including believers are making no difference, or instead negative differences that are causing more harm than is necessary. Yes, many of us are doing much worthwhile work, making plenty positive significant differences, but the truth of the matter is that it’s just not enough! Way too many of our fellow men are suffering either because of our many evil, inhumane thoughts and actions, or because of not enough compassionate and merciful ones. 

Precious people, there is only ONE way for us to climb out of the disgusting and life destroying mire in which we’re now engulfed, and that’s through LOVE! It’s the only way! We must learn to LOVE even our enemies. Let’s listen as our Lord and Saviour puts it in its proper perspective nuh. ‘Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, LOVE your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully (spitefully) use you, and persecute you. 

That ye may be children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye LOVE them which LOVE you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans (tax collectors) the same? And if ye salute (greet) your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans (tax collectors) so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.’ (Matt. 5:43-48) 

And that’s it in a nutshell! (smile) Yes, it is difficult, but not impossible with Christ helping us. And as the scholars explain, ‘perfect here doesn’t mean sinless perfection, but “complete,” that is possessing a complete LOVE that, like God’s (vs. 45), embraces those who LOVE you as well as those who do not.’ I guess the best all-round definition and/or summation would be Jesus’ words which we characterize as the Golden Rule: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you…’ (Matt. 7:12a) Much LOVE!

…LOVE in action is tough…but when times get tough…the tough (Christians) get going… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 July 2020 Ephesians 5:1.

Ephesians 5:1. Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
 

Welcome to another beautiful day on God’s great earth my fellow saints in Christ! And grace and mercy and peace to you from our heavenly Father as we spend the day doing His wonderful work, redeemed, sanctified, justified and made righteous by the awesome blood of His Son Jesus Christ! 

Mama Yo! What a bountiful privilege! And all God’s children said a loud, proud and grateful: “Praise the Lord our great and merciful God, who sends us new mercies and compassions every single day! Who looks after the undeserving children of men! Bless His holy name! Amen!’ 

And I know it’s Friday, the day so many of us look forward to, when our weekly tasks will end for two lousy days, but nonetheless it fills us with happiness. (smile) Look at it this way nuh, the Lord worked six days to create the universe, we’re only working five, which means we’re one up, that should lessen our antipathy to the work week. (smile) 

But let’s hear what the ordinary working man has to say for himself on this bright and sunshiny Friday. And he gushes today: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday and that longed for weekend is here! It was the best week for a while now. It wasn’t so hot, and some rain fell and mih body getting used again to the hard, physical labour in the slave master fiery furnace so nicely called a machine shop, so it not hurting so much again! Thank God for that oui, because it not easy to do all the things we need to do, at the speed and consistency we need to do it when every move yuh make hurts like hell! 

I just hope to heaven though that the pandemic and strife business would get settled and be over with, because they still casting a dark cloud over mih life and the world. Yeh, is good to see that they easing the lockdown, but how many people going to pay serious attention to wearing masks and physical distancing when everything gets more open eh? That is the big question, especially since those seem to be the only options we currently have for holding the virus in some sorta check. 

Ah Lord eh! Some of us real dense and stupid yes! We still mouthing off about freedom and trampling of rights, but when we go out there not careful, what yuh think going to happen eh? The same blooming foolishness that happening in the U.S. now! But what do I know eh? I’m just a lowly, ordinary workingman, giving thanks to God for the li’l weekend rest ah going to get come this evening.’ 

Ah friends, the ordinary workingman claims not to know a whole lot, but he does know more than a lot of the so-called upper class and educated people who are not taking our current situation as seriously as they ought to. But that’s where we, the saints of Christ come in; offering prayer and assurance that things will get better, we just don’t know when, and these things will pass, when our God decides it’s time. So let’s go to Him now nuh, corporately, through our Friday Chant, with sincere hearts and plead for His awesome help. 

All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. It’s been pretty rough…some of it from work, as many of us are now back to work in varied ways, but most of our anxiety still comes from all the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus still causing. We not accustomed to that Lord, and it really telling on us. And now, on top of all that, we have racial riots and protests to put up with. Oh Lord, yuh know we can’t handle it on our own and desperately need Your help. 

Yes, heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. It’s also a good opportunity to introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

And now that we’ve prayed with sincere hearts my people, what is our next move eh? To put into action what we said above, re God’s faithful people handling the situation with wisdom and compassion. And how do we do that? Like Bruh Paul told the church at Ephesus when he expounded on the ways of the believer. ‘Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in LOVE, as Christ also hath LOVED us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour (aroma).’ (Eph. 5:1-2) 

And how do we do all of that? As Jesus said: ‘But LOVE ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again (in return); and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.’ (Luke 6:35-36) 

And if Jesus words don’t appeal to you, then try these from Peter nuh, as he talks about the call to Christian dedication. ‘Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind (prepare your mind for action), be sober, and hope to the end for grace (rest your mind fully upon the grace) that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;’ (1 Pet. 1:13) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘1:13. The exhortation to set one’s hope involves an inward resolution. Gird up the loins of your mind: The imagery is that of personal discipline and outward conduct. Be sober: (Gr. nephontes): Be free of every sort of mental and spiritual intoxication. The revelation of Jesus Christ is the Second advent when Jesus returns to earth to set up His kingdom.’ 

Consequently, our behaviour should be: ‘As obedient children, not fashioning (conforming) yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance. But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation (conduct); Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.’ (1 Pet. 1:14-16) 

And for our information, that scripture is found in Leviticus 11:44-45; 19:2; and 20:7. Not only one place, but several, which means the Lord was very serious about it. So please, let’s take holiness seriously too, as we go about doing God’s work each and every day! Much LOVE!

…in troubled times…the saints of God lead the way…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 June 2020 1 Corinthians 13:13.

1 Corinthians 13:13.    ​And now abideth faith, hope, charity (LOVE), these three; but the greatest of these is charity (LOVE).
 

Greetings and salutations on this beautiful Wednesday morning, my Scrip-Bit friends and family! It’s a joy to come into your homes and visit with you for a few minutes every day! Thank you so much for graciously inviting and then warmly welcoming me. (smile) And the word for today is that monumental and magnanimous one, the chief attribute of our great God; LOVE! And what a magnificent word and attribute it is. But before we delve further into it, here’s something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that beautifully expresses one important aspect of LOVE! It’s titled ‘Remembrance.’ 

So please pray with me: ‘Lord, somewhere I read That when two people LOVE deeply When they live together Sharing Caring Giving Forgiving Eventually they begin To resemble each other. Lord, how long will it be Before I look like YOU?’ Now that my people is indeed an awesome question! Why is that you ask? Because the Lord’s basic intention is to have all His children resemble Himself and His first born. 

Hear how Bruh Paul puts it to the Corinthians in the Bible Promise used for our poem above. ‘But we all, with open (unveiled) face beholding (reflect) as in a glass (mirror) the glory of the Lord, are changed (transformed) into the same image (His likeness) from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.’ (2 Cor. 3:18) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘3:18. Beholding as in a glass: The term beholding can have the sense of “reflecting.” The believer himself “reflects” the glory of the Lord just as the face of Moses reflected the glory of the Lord. For Moses, the glory eventually faded away, but under the New Covenant the believer is changed into the same image. This transformation takes place by the abiding presence of the Spirit of God.’ And remember He’ll keep doing that good work in us, right until Christ returns. (Phil. 1:6) So it’s not a vikey vie, or hit and miss thing. (smile) 

Now let’s delve a li’l further into that marvellous attribute called LOVE nuh. And the first thing we need to realize and tearfully acknowledge is this verse from Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. ‘But God commendeth (demonstrates) his LOVE toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom. 5:8) Now friends, we’ll never understand the true meaning and value of the word LOVE until we sincerely appreciate what our great God did for us, while we were separated from Him by what He most despises; sin! 

Yes, it must have taken a great attribute for Him to sacrifice His only Son for a bunch of ingrates. But He did it because of His unconditional and everlasting LOVE for us, His original creation! And Jesus stated it unequivocally: ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (John 3:16) Yes my people, it was all about LOVE! That’s why John could write so purposefully in his epistle: ‘We LOVE him, because he first LOVED us.’ (1 John 4:19) 

And some of you are still wondering what’s so great about this thing called LOVE – and it’s not the romantic aspect we talking about here, but the brotherly aspect. Well here are a few things that LOVE does within societies. Cousin Sol warns us: ‘Hatred stirreth up strifes: but LOVE covereth a multitude of sins.’ (Prov. 10:12) And that is the gospel truth, for if there was more LOVE and less hatred in our world, it would not be in the sad state it’s now in with strife and resentment fomenting from corner to corner. 

Cousin Sol also tells us this bitter truth. ‘Better is a dinner of herbs (vegetables) where LOVE is, than a stalled ox (fatted calf) and hatred therewith.’ (Prov. 15:17) And many of us have proven that for ourselves through disastrous and unhappy relationships. Now hear Bruh Paul again to the church at Rome: ‘LOVE worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore LOVE is the fulfilling of the law.’ (Rom. 10:13) Glory be mih people! When we truly LOVE, we won’t, or can’t do wrong to anybody! 

And hear this wonderful power of LOVE from John nuh. ‘There is no fear in LOVE; because fear hath (involves) torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in LOVE.’ (1 John 4:18) Mamacita! What more can we ask or expect from LOVE eh? And remember that LOVE is not practiced by believers alone, for when Christ spoke about LOVING one’s enemies, He specifically stated: ‘For if ye LOVE them which LOVE you, what reward have ye? do  not even the publicans (tax collectors) the same? And if ye salute (greet) your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans (tax collectors) so?’ (Matt. 5:46-47) 

So LOVE exists in all spheres of our societies, just not between enough of those spheres to make our world a worthwhile place. And we’ll end the LOVE story on this dramatic note, (smile) with these momentous words of Bruh Paul to the church at Corinth. ‘And now abideth faith, hope, charity (LOVE), these three; but the greatest of these is charity (LOVE).’ Yes friends, the greatest attribute man can ever acquire and most importantly put to work is LOVE. And please note that LOVE means more than just talking, but more importantly implies, calls for action! LOVE means doing, helping, caring for, showing compassion, etc., etc. all action words! 

And having filled our souls and spirits with scriptures of LOVE, (smile) let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our position in Christ. In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And we know, we believe, that if we endure until the end, that future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…what the world needs now is…LOVE…sweet LOVE…not for some…but for everyone… 

P.S. Yes, it’s late, but yuh know how the ole fella stay (smile) and I think it’s great though. (smile) Hope you do too. Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 March 2020 Psalm 107:29.

Psalm 107:29.    ​He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.
 
Ah friends, this late night and early morning business will eventually kill me yes! (smile) But that’s just the nature of the beast. Some of us are made to be early birds and others night owls. It just so happens that I fall amongst the latter, but still have to get up and write the Bit at a decent hour. And to make matters worse, the computer is slow, guess too many people are on the internet with so many things shut down. And rather unwisely (smile) just now I agreed to a restart for an update, when I had other options, but it simply stood there spinning its wheels, so I had to shut it down and reboot it. 

Ah Lord eh! The things the enemy talks us into doing! (smile) But not to worry, with the Lord’s awesome help, we will accomplish whatever He sends us out to do. And on this bright and sunshiny Saturday morning, it’s His pleasure to keep us all safe and sound from whatever our ever-lurking foe throws against us! So let’s remember to give Him much thanks and praise for being our wonderful guardian Shepherd, especially in these unusual and abnormal calamitous times, so suddenly precipitated by the Covid -19 virus. And all God’s children said a loud and grateful ‘Praise the Lord for His absolute kindness to the children of men! His mercies are new every day and endureth forever. Amen!’ 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this week nuh, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Here’s the first one. ‘It’s not about money or connections, it’s the willingness to out work and out learn everyone. And if it fails, you learn from what happened and do a better job next time.’ Now that’s certainly an interesting quote, and there’s lots of truth in it. However, I’m not so sure about the out working and out learning everybody else. 

We must be diligent and excellent in our endeavours, but I think it’s somewhat impractical to always be trying to out work and out learn everybody around us. I believe we’re wasting valuable time and energy in the competition aspect, which could be better used in other areas. But we must always try to learn from our mistakes and do better the next time around. 

Now hear this one: ‘There is always one more thing to learn.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth my people. Whilst there is life, there are always things to be learned! And despite our age, the old folks say that we should try and learn at least one new thing each and every day. Why? Because learning is the basic foundation of life! If you don’t learn, you can’t live life successfully. 

And that’s the problem so many of us are having nowadays, believers included; for whatever reason, we’re not upgrading ourselves sufficiently in the things that matter most in life; the things of God. Please note Cousin Sol’s words in Proverbs. ‘A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto (acquire) wise counsels.’ (Prov.1:5) 

That brings us to this next interesting quote: ‘When you can’t control what’s happening challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what’s happening. That’s where your power is.’ Now that’s something for all we believers to hold on to very tightly. Yes my people, it’s all about attitude; our attitude towards prevailing circumstances. How we respond to those circumstances, especially those over which we have no control, is what’s going to make or break us. Responding to things like anger, rejection or abuse with the same attitude does us no good whatsoever. 

Forget the eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth saying. Jesus said to LOVE your enemies, and forgive those who do us wrong. And that’s wisdom of everlasting proportions, for responding in kind is only going to prolong the negative circumstances and cause even more confusion and adversity. Remember Bruh Paul’s invaluable words to the church at Rome: ‘Recompense to (repay) no man evil for evil… Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.’ (Rom. 12:17a, 21) 

Yes friends, it’s always better to come up over whatever is challenging us with a positive, godly attitude, than a negative, ungodly one. There is simply more good energy in the positive and godly attitude, and it will help us to better handle whatever is coming against us. And there’s no better time to apply it than RIGHT NOW with the serious problems that our world is facing! And this last quote, shows that our friend Anselm is on top of things. (smile) ‘As we deal with the Coronavirus, remember “To ride out your storm”.’ 

Oh friends, that’s exactly what I’ve been trying to teach us these past tough days; we need to ride out these stormy times. And the ONLY WAY to do that successfully is through faith, trust and surrender in Almighty God! For He creates the storms, and He also calms them! And if you don’t believe me, then listen to these scriptures. Ethan, the Ezrahite, in his contemplative psalm – God’s sure promises to David, puts it thus: ‘O Lord God of hosts, who is a strong Lord like unto thee? Or to thy faithfulness round about thee? Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them.’ (Ps.89:8-9) 

Now hear the words of the psalmist from Psalm 107 – God’s wonderful works to the children of men. ‘For he commandeth and rasieth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.’ (Ps.107:25) And when we in fear, reeling to and fro, cry out to Him. ‘He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.’ (Ps. 107:29) Mama Mia! What a most powerful and merciful Deity we serve and worship my faithful brethren! 

And we all know or ought to know (smile) the famous story of Jesus and the disciples crossing the Sea of Galilee and the terrible tempest that arose and how the disciples were so scared and awoke Jesus who was sleeping comfortably in the stern. And His immortal words to them: ‘Why are ye so fearful, O Ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, what manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him.’ (Matt. 8:26-27) 

Oh my people, that’s not rocket science, it’s simple logic: The Lord made the seas and the winds, and still controls them, so when He speaks to them, it’s obvious they respond the way He wants them to. What a pity that His greatest creation – mankind – doesn’t respond in the same obedient manner to His will and wishes! Much LOVE!

…if Jesus is your life pilot…then the inevitable storms…won’t be disastrous…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 February 2018 1 John 3:18.

1 John 3:18.    My little children, let us not LOVE in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

Welcome friends, welcome to another great day on God’s great earth! Wow! Both the SON and the Sun are shining brightly; the latter so bright that if you’re not careful you can be blinded by its reflection off the white snow. (smile) Is it ever a joy and a pleasure to be alive to see another day! 

Please give our wonderful God much praise and thanks for the breath we’re still drawing in these turbulent times, for without Him we’d surely be faltering in the darkness of an evil and ungodly world. 

And can you imagine the bacchanal that ‘s taking place in places like T&T and Rio right now, at the height of the carnival season? Mama Yo! Fete fuh so! Everybody’s trying to get in as much partying as possible because tomorrow is Ash Wednesday…and then all the party done! (smile) 

Enough about partying though, let’s turn our attention to something that’s much more important and oh so lacking, but ever so necessary in our world, if it’s ever to run right; we’re talking about how to ‘Practice LOVING.’ That’s the name of the poem I want to share with us today from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. 

Please pray sincerely with me. ‘It is so simple, dear Lord So pleasant and comfortable To sit in church on a Sunday morning Listening to a sermon about LOVE – Perhaps even speculating a bit On whether my LOVE surpasses the LOVE Of the person to my right Or the Person to my left. 

But to LOVE with Your LOVE To practice LOVING, dear God How uncomfortable the church pew becomes When I hear this ringing challenge When I see Your gazing eyes. Suddenly I remember the vicious remarks Of the woman who misjudged me. I remember the unscrupulous associate Who finagled my husband’s job. I remember the careless driver Who totaled our shining new car. 

So quickly, Lord, I am faced With a haunting parade Of shameful, UNLOVING attitudes. God, You know me so much better Than I know my own complex self And still You continue to LOVE me. Give me, I pray, a fresh glimpse Of Your vast, immeasurable LOVE For it is only out of gratitude for Your LOVE That I shall finally learn What it means to practice LOVING.’ 

And isn’t that the everlasting truth my brethren! Only with God’s help can we truly practice LOVE! It’s something our world desperately lacks, but so badly needs! Just look at all the strife and war, the anger, hate and resentment that’s so blatant in our current societies. How could that ever be good for us eh? 

We need to come together rather then be split apart, and ONLY LOVE, or rather the PRACTICE OF LOVE, brings people together. And yes, I know that tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and everybody will be spouting LOVE, but LOVE is not, cannot be a one Day Special, if it is to have any real and lasting effect, especially if fuelled by commercialism as Valentine’s Day is in our current society. 

Hence the command from the first epistle of John in our Bit: ‘My little children, let us not LOVE in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.’ And as the scholars tell us: ‘3:18. In tongue refers to mere talk.’ And over the years I’ve tried to beat it into my children’s heads that you can’t talk LOVE, because LOVE is an action word! I hope you finally got the message mih LOVELIES! (smile)

Unfortunately though, when coming to LOVE, that’s all our world is about; TALK! We talk a very good talk about LOVE, but not enough of us walk the walk of true and sincere LOVE. And it’s not an easy thing to do, when we are surrounded and bombarded by all sorts of injustices and other things which don’t normally bring out the emotion of LOVE. 

Our poem above points out some of those difficult times; vicious remarks from being misjudged, unscrupulous associates, and careless drivers. Those things certainly don’t bring out LOVE in a natural manner, but our God wants us to have that sort of response, because that’s His response to our own misdeeds. 

So LOVE is something we have to actively and consciously work at, especially since our Lord and Saviour, our Leader, Jesus Christ so plainly and purposefully commanded. 

‘But I say unto you, LOVE your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully (spitefully) use you, and persecute you. That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.’ (Matt.5:44-45) 

Ah friends, obviously that doesn’t sit well with our normal sinful nature, but if we’re born again and are true believers, we need to adhere to the words of our Leader. And we know that anytime we flounder, all we have to do is to cry out to Him for help, and He will help us. So nothing He asks us to do is impossible. That’s why we can go home now sincerely declaring who and who’s we are in our Tuesday Mantra. 

All together now, in strong voice: ‘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!’ 

All glory to God my people! Now let’s go out and do exactly as we just said; share Jesus’ LOVE with the world. Much LOVE!

…what the world needs now…is LOVE…sweet LOVE…something we can never have enough of…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 February 2017 John 3:16.

John 3:16.   For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Oh friends, welcome to another day of spring in the midst of February! This past week has been something else yes; spring like temps in a time when it’s the white stuff that’s usually falling. Hn! But I’ll take the rain that’s coming down out there now, any day over the white stuff. 

And it’s Friday to boot, so the workingman is happy, as he mouths his Friday song. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! That means the weekend is here too! Glory Hallelujah! No work for two whole big days! Take that massa! I can do whatever I want for the next two days and you can’t say a word! Bleh! (Longing out his tongue at the massa). 

So we going to eat and drink and party, and carry on like there’s no tomorrow…for who knows if there’ll be a tomorrow anyway! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah mih people, I know that’s a very tempting way to spend our weekends, but it’s not a very wise one, for instead of helping to solve our problems, that kind of bacchanalian behaviour will only compound them. 

Our Friday Chant is much more subdued but nonetheless still free and friendly enough to allow us to enjoy the comforts and blessings of life, while keeping our heads about us. So let’s chant it now in unison nuh, so that we can prep ourselves for the upcoming weekend. 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Yes friends, that way we both enjoy the benefits of the time off, as well as rejuvenate ourselves for the upcoming week, which are the only things that make sense under the circumstances. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit, that awesome statement that changed the whole world, set it on its ear, some two thousand years ago. ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ 

Wow! What a momentous, world changing statement, out of the mouth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! The world has never been the same since then friends! 

And you know the most important words in that scripture are simply, ‘God so LOVED…’ Yes my fellow believers, it all began with God’s LOVE! If He hadn’t LOVED, then we’ll all be toast at the end of our lives. 

But because He LOVED, many of us will be living forever with Him in heavenly circumstances when our earthly bodies crumble back to the dust from which they were formed. So let’s have a look at this miraculous word called LOVE nuh. 

The scholars have this to say about it. ‘3:16. LOVE is both an attribute of God and a description of His being. He alone is the epitome of divine LOVE and the source of all true LOVE. His LOVE is unconditional and consistently demonstrates the highest good of the one who is LOVED. 

Illustration: God’s LOVE was clearly demonstrated at Calvary when Jesus died for all our sins (1 John 3:1). Application: Because God first LOVED us, we ought to LOVE others as well (1 John 4:11). (First Ref. Gen.2:16-17; Primary Ref. John 3:16; c.f. James 1:17).’ 

Ah mih people, LOVE is what gave us life in the first place, and what is also keeping us alive now, and giving us hope for the future. So how can we be so callous about it eh? 

Listen to Peter and the other apostles when they were brought before the Jewish Council for continuing to preach Christ crucified, after being told to stop. ‘Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. 

Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.’ (Acts 5:29-32) 

Oh my people, please let’s take the LOVE of God seriously nuh, instead of just taking it for granted. As I said yesterday, LOVE is the most lethal weapon in existence. Listen to Jesus’ teaching from the Sermon on the Mount. 

‘Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, LOVE your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully (spitefully) use you, and persecute you. 

That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust. For if ye LOVE them which LOVE you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans (tax collectors) the same? 

And if ye salute (greet) your brethren only, what do ye more than others? Do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.’ (Matt.5:43-48) 

Please note friends, that perfect here doesn’t mean sinless, but as the scholars say, ‘complete, that is, possessing a complete LOVE that, like God’s (v.45), embraces those who LOVE you as well as those who do not.’ 

So please my fellow believers, let’s just do what Jesus desires of us nuh, for that’s the ONLY way we’ll ever be successful. Much LOVE!

…without true LOVE…the world will eventually sink into the mire of hate and deceit that currently has it in grip…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 September 2016 Psalm 37:21.

Psalm 37:21.   The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again (does not repay): but the righteous showeth mercy and giveth.                                    

Well friends and neighbours, it’s Saturday; Labour Day Saturday to boot! You know I didn’t even remember that this was the long, Labour Day weekend. That just goes to show how things and times have changed. As my Auntie Anne told me the other night when we were talking on the phone; ‘After one time is two yes nephew!’ 

And that’s ever so true. I never used to miss a Labour Day in the Big Apple. And my Auntie thought I was calling to say that I was coming down this weekend, because that’s how it would happen. I would say that I wasn’t coming, then last minute I’d call and say, I’m on my way. But unfortunately, that’s no longer in vogue. I can’t even handle the walking in Toronto’s Caribana street parade, much less that on the Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn. 

And besides, the parades and them not as good as they were; the mas and the music are of inferior quality compared to earlier times. That brings to mind my last Labour Day in New York, I believe it was in 2007.  My Auntie Anne and I had to park miles from the parade because there were no parking spots to be had close by, and then walk to the Parkway. Hn! 

The walk there in the afternoon hot sun was bad enough, but walking back later in the evening after the parade ended…Steups! That was murder; cruel and unusual punishment! (smile) Anyway, with the help of the Good Lord we made it back in one piece, but certainly aching in the joints and body. 

However, before I forget, let me dispense Granny’s wisdom, for it’s on occasions such as this, that it’s ultra-important. ‘Sonny Boy, a beg yuh please…when yuh go out there… drunk or sober…please mind yuh business, because is times like these, when the devil is most likely to pounce unsuspecting…!’ Oh my people, this Labour Day weekend, as you celebrate, please don’t leave home without that critical piece of advice tattooed to your heart, mind and soul! 

And now, since it seems to have become a Saturday routine, let’s check out a couple of quotes from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. The first quote says: ‘If you want to make peace, you don’t talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies.’ 

Now that’s not rocket science, but strictly common sense, for you and your friends should always be at peace. Unfortunately though in today’s strife –filled world, not too many enemies are seriously and sincerely talking to each other, consequently peace is mostly a figment of our imagination. 

And the second quote from Anselm tells us that: ‘Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.’ That’s also not rocket science but simply common sense. In this crazy and busy world of ours, where so many things call for our attention, we must prioritize our efforts and plans on those things which are more important to the successful running of our lives. 

However, too many of us tend to get tied up in the small, unimportant things and thus make our lives harder than necessary. Time is of the essence my brethren, so we need to use it wisely, don’t waste it by getting too involved in the piddling things of life. (smile) 

That brings us to our Bit, some interesting words of Bruh David from Psalm 37 – The true state of the wicked. ‘The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again (does not repay): but the righteous showeth mercy and giveth.’ 

And isn’t that indisputable truth my brethren? Of course it is! And it’s indeed a sad and sorry comment on the state of our society, especially in these fraudulent, greedy and deceitful times, when consciences seem to have disappeared, where honour and truthful dealings have apparently been turfed out, and we lie and deceive with impunity. 

White collar crime has certainly been on the rise in the last decade or so and seems to be getting worse with each passing day. And the sad part is that many of the people who have been defrauded by the wicked, don’t ever see a penny of their money again and are basically left to suffer while the defrauder merely has his hands slapped. But that’s our modern-day society for you! 

Meanwhile the righteous, of which there are never enough, are the ones who show mercy and give to those in need. And so it should be friends, if we’re to be true followers of Jesus. Christians ought to be amongst the most merciful and generous, although I’m not so sure that we are, for we perpetrate a lot of fraud and deceit on one another too. 

But nonetheless, let’s check out a few scriptures that encourage us to be merciful and generous. From Psalm 112 – Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord – come these two beautiful verses. ‘A good man showeth favour (is gracious), and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion… He (a good man) hath dispersed (distributed abroad), he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn (strength) shall be exalted with honour.’ (Ps.112:5, 9) 

Yes my people, that’s how a true believer in Christ ought to behave. But how many of us really behave that way eh? I’d venture to say, certainly not enough, otherwise the hunger, poverty, sickness, and other negative things that are currently engulfing our world would not be half as bad. 

Now let’s end with some words from Jesus Himself. ‘But LOVE ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again (in return); and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.’ (Luke 6:35-36) 

Aye friends, Jesus didn’t mince any words there, He spelled it out as simply and straightforwardly as possible. Now it’s our duty to go out and put all that He said there into action, if we want to be true children of God. Much LOVE!

…he who wants mercy and forgiveness…must also mete out mercy and forgiveness…for what you sow…is what you will reap…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 December 2014 Romans 12:17

Romans 12:17. Recompense (repay) to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest (have regard for good things) in the sight of all men. 
 

Well Friends, we’ve made it through another week all in one piece. Glory Hallelujah! 
 
Yes my people, it is indeed Friday, and the labouring will soon cease for a couple of days, so let’s shout it out: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday, and soon my time will be my own!
 
No more supervisors looking over my shoulder with their beady eyes and sour dispositions, telling me what to do, as though I’m dotish (stupid) and can’t read or follow instructions. Chuh! They are the ones who make most of the week hard yes! But thank God is Friday oui, and I can get them off mih back for a li’l bit!’
 
Oh my brethren, we do have to be thankful for small mercies! The big ones are indeed wonderful, but they only occur once in a while. It’s the small ones that are always happening, and for which we must remember to be thankful, because they often are so small and seemingly insignificant that we don’t even notice them.
 
However, they are the ones that God uses to demystify us, to build our faith, and keep our lives on an even keel. And over time they do add up and eventually become the testimony of our lives.
 
So please, let’s pay attention to the small happenings, to the small showers of mercy in our lives and allow them to make us joyful and thankful, as our God intends for them to do.
 
Now let’s chant our Friday Chant which enables us to keep the right perspective on the weekend. As one now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through.
 
Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’
 
Yes my people, we have to be very careful that we don’t abuse the freedom and privilege of the weekend. And our Bit talks to the problem in its own way. ‘Recompense (repay) to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest (have regard for good things) in the sight of all men.’
 
Now that’s solid advice and heavenly wisdom we should all heed my Friends!
 
And please note Jesus’ words on the subject. ‘Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil (an evil person): but whosoever shall smite (slaps) thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.’ (Matt.5:38-39)
 
Oh my people, it is indeed a hard row to hoe, but as followers of Jesus we have to hoe it. And Luke’s version goes like this: ‘But I say unto you which hear, LOVE your enemies, do good unto them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully (spitefully) use you.
 
And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat (tunic) also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.’ (Luke 6:27-30)
 
That’s sound Christian advice my brethren, straight from the Master’s mouth! He doesn’t mean we should just roll over and play dead, but we shouldn’t be playing tit for tat and treat others the way we want to be treated.
 
Unfortunately neither of those directives holds much in this current world. We all want revenge for wrongs done to us, and we tend to treat others terribly, but expect great treatment ourselves, in spite of our evil doing.
 
That obviously doesn’t wash with our Saviour, so let’s try and get rid of those unchristian habits nuh my brethren, for all they do is bring shame and disgrace on us, as well as the Lord’s church.
 
And the second part of our Bit reminds us to ‘Provide things honest (have regard for good things) in the sight of all men.’ We must be honest in all our doings Friends.
 
As Bruh Paul reminds the Corinthians: ‘Providing for honest (honourable) things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.’ (2 Cor.8:21)
 
And he continues after our Bit, to the church at Rome: ‘If it be possible, as much as lieth in (depends on) you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
 
Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.’ (Rom.12:18-21)
 
And here are some explanations from the scholars. ’12:19-21. Give place unto wrath: Paul quotes Deuteronomy 32:35 to show that only God has the right to avenge, and He certainly will avenge.
 
Heap coals of fire on his head
(cf. Prov.25:22): This may refer to a sense of shame or remorse engendered when we treat an evildoer kindly. Paul is discussing personal, not national enemies. He is not teaching pacifism.’
 
And therein my people, lies one of the basic tenets of our Christian faith; don’t return evil for evil. So let’s try and do as it says nuh, put it into serious practice in all our lives, for it is truly the wisdom of heaven. Much LOVE!
 
…evil only begets evil…therefore the true Christian will not condone evil…but rather focus on the good things that pertain to God…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 October 2014 John 15:13

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

One more day Friends, one more day! Wow! We’ve been granted life anew for another day, so let’s use it wisely please. Let’s use it like the present God desires it to be, with all the new mercies, blessings, forgiveness and LOVE that He’s showering down on us.
 
Let’s keep our focus on God: praise and serve Him diligently and sincerely, and do the works He desires of us. He has given us all we need to accomplish the tasks on our task sheets, so there should be no serious problems involved.
 
But if perchance, one does crop up, we have the freedom, or rather we’re expected to call on Him for assistance, which He’ll never refuse, once we’re sincere. For as Jesus says in His Great Invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
 
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek (gentle) and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30)
 
So my fellow believers, with those words of comfort and encouragement bubbling in our souls, let’s not allow anything or anyone to cause us anxiety, fear or worry today. Let’s stand strong in the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour, and try our very best to make a positive difference in this crazy, troubled world in which we now live.
 
That’s what Jesus desires of us! And remember that He is indeed our be all and end all! He is our Healer, our Helper, our Redeemer and our Friend! What more can we ask eh? Nothing really.
 
So let’s look at our Bit: ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’
 
And it’s worth repeating and remembering that after He spoke those purposeful words, He went out and died for us at Calvary… as Friends, not servants.
 
And we’ll continue looking at the interplay of ‘friends and friendships’ as found in the Good Book. Then there was Job and his supposed friends. They ostensibly came to comfort him in his sorrow and grief, but unfortunately ended up beating him down emotionally, claiming that his hidden sins had caused his disastrous experience.
 
And God’s wrath was kindled against them, because they had not spoken rightly of Him as His servant Job had done, and He commanded them to repent and offer burnt offerings.  (Job 42:7-9)
 
But hear this: ‘And the Lord turned (restored) the captivity (losses) of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.’ (Job 42:10)
 
Yes my people, the Lord turned Job’s adversity around when he prayed for his friends, and also worked some serious miracles on his behalf, blessing him with twice as much as he had lost. Oh how good our God is to us!
 
That brings us to this rather important point; the importance of praying for others, even when they’ve done us wrong. I know that’s sometimes pretty hard to do, but it’s required of believers.
 
Jesus said it loud and clear: ‘But I say unto you, LOVE your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully (spitefully) use you, and persecute you; That ye may be children (sons) of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust.’ (Matt.5:44-45)
 
So if you ought to pray for your enemies, it’s logical to assume that you ought to pray for your friends and fellow believers too. (smile)
 
Now let’s look at some wisdom of Cousin Sol, re ‘friends and friendships’ as divined in Proverbs. He declares first of all that: ‘The poor is hated even of (by) his own neighbour: but the rich hath many friends (the LOVERS of the rich are many).’ (Prov.14:20)
 
And isn’t that the gospel truth! The scholars explain it thus: ’14:20-21. Social standing is improved with riches, but the good neighbour will have concern for all, regardless of their status.’ That’s how it ought to be, but sadly in this topsy-turvy world of ours, we still look down on the poor and up at the rich.
 
And here’s a fitting companion to that Proverb. ‘Wealth maketh many friends; but the poor is separated from his neighbour (friend).’ (Prov.19:4) 
 

And we see that everyday. Many of us have also experienced it. When times are good and we are rolling in plenty, we have plenty supposed friends around us, but as soon as the good times stop flowing, they all disappear.
 
Now listen to these Proverbs. ‘A froward (perverse) man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief (the best of) friends.’ (Prov.16:28) Or as the scholars say: ’16:28. Gossip destroys friendships.’ That we all know and have experienced too.
 
Here is a companion to that one. ‘He that covereth a transgression seeketh LOVE; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very (the best of) friends.’ (Prov.17:9) More reflections on gossip.
 
Then we have this bit of wisdom. ‘A man that hath friends must show himself friendly (may come to ruin): and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.’ (Prov.18:24)
 
The scholars explain that this way: ’18:24. A man that hath friends must show himself friendly may also be translated, “A man of many friends comes to ruin.” In other words, a man must not spread himself too thin among many superficial relationships. Far better it is to have genuine friends who become like family and LOVE at all times. (17:17).’
 
And isn’t that the gospel, gospel truth my people! It surely is!
 
And we’ll close with this priceless gem of wisdom from Cousin Sol. ‘Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.’ (Prov.27:17)
 
Mama Mia! Wisdom from heaven Friends!
 
The scholars explain it thus: ’27:17. As the proper tool shapes and sharpens iron for its desired use, so a man sharpens his friend morally and intellectually by their personal friendship.’
 
Now that’s the kind of friends we need to have and need to be! Friends, who encourage, comfort, exhort, educate and uplift each other in as many walks of life as possible.
 
So let’s go out today and be that kind of friend nuh mih people. It could only make our world a better place for our children and us. Much LOVE!
 
…the fewer the friends…the less possibility of strife and troublesome friendships…

 

 

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