Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 January 2020 Ecclesiastes 12:13.

Ecclesiastes 12:13.    ​Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter; Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
 
Well who says that this life isn’t interesting eh? When I got up about half an hour ago, it only seemed to be a cold, dreary looking kind of day in my neck of the woods. However, on going back upstairs just now to make a cup of caffeine, I happened to look outside again, and boy was our friend, those beautiful looking white flakes ever coming down out there! Yeh! With a vengeance too! Just goes to show how quickly things and times can change – except for ONE all-important fact; the unchangeability, the unchanging nature of our great God, Jehovah! The steadfast and everlasting sameness of His sovereignty and faithfulness! 

And all of God’s children gave out with a loud and grateful shout of ‘Praise the Lord! Bless His holy name!  Praise Him for being the same yesterday, today and forever! Praise Him for being ever-faithful and constantly watching over us like a good shepherd does over his flock! We thank You Lord for giving us this day, and know that despite the difficulties we may face, you are always right there beside us, riding shotgun, through the flood, through the fire and through the storm, ably leading and guiding us! We give you thanks and praise in the most holy and revered name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Ah friends, our God is indeed a great and very interesting deity. It wasn’t my plan to get into that prayer above, but I guess He wanted to hear some sacrifice of praise from us this morning, so He led me there. (smile) And if that’s the case, then I had better do the other thing He seems to want me to do. What’s that you ask? Well yesterday when I opened the Good Book, it opened at this particular scripture, but I ignored it and looked elsewhere for our Bit. However, today, it’s opened at the very same scripture! 

Now would you call that coincidence…or luck…or some such worldly thing? Well it just might be, but I’m not taking the chance to ignore it for another day. I’m going to behave as if it’s a sign from the Almighty, that He wants us to delve into this particular Bit of scripture on this particular, cold and snowy day! Call me cowardly if you want. (smile) So here s that particular Bit of scripture…and it’s a powerful one too! Hold on to your hats and your horses, as Cousin Sol, writing as the Preacher -Ecclesiastes, gives us the benefit of his extensive research. 

‘Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter; Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.’ Yes friends and fellow believers, that is the wisest and most sensible course of action we can ever take in this life. And how did Cousin Sol come to that awesome and auspicious conclusion? Because with his time, money and wisdom, he had embarked on a thorough research project of seeking work, pleasure and all the other vices known to man and had found them to be all less than fulfilling. In his own words, it was all, nothing but vanity; futility. 

And what made him conclude thus? I suppose this certain fact he discovered: ‘For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.’ (Eccl.12:14) And that’s something most of us either don’t know, or forget or just casually ignore. But please listen to these immortal words of Bruh Paul to the Corinthians, re Jesus Christ being the only wise foundation to build on. 

‘Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble (straw); Every man’s work shall be made manifest (become evident): for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try (test) every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide (endures) which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by (through) fire.’ (1 Cor. 3:11-15) Oh my people, those are words of mighty importance to our lives. 

Listen to the scholars explain them. ‘3”13. The day is the day of the judgement seat of Christ (cf. 4:5; 2 Cor. 5:10). Fire is figurative for judgement, more specifically, the absolutely righteous judgement of God. Fire is used here to denote, not enlightening power, but consuming power. Of the six types of material mentioned, three are combustible and three are incombustible. See also Deut.4:24; Malachi 3:2; 2 Thess. 1:8; Heb. 12:29.’  That means our work for Christ has to be solid, not cheap and frivolous, built on gold, silver, or precious stones, not hay, wood and straw, which will be quickly consumed in the judgement day fire. 

‘3:14. Reward (lit. “wages,” cf. 3:8). Of course, even the “wages” mentioned here are entirely a gift of grace (cf. 1 Cor.9:17; 2 John 8; Rev. 11:18).’ Yeh friends, we can get many rewards in this life and the next, but ALL are based on the grace of God, not on our efforts. ‘3:14. Saved: Such a one does not suffer the loss of his salvation, but the loss of reward. The stress in this entire passage is not on a person’s relationship to Christ, but on service to Christ.’ Hope those explanations bring a greater understanding to Bruh Paul’s words. But it’s also important for us to check out the scriptures listed in the explanations of the scholars. You will be surprised how they can enlighten you on a particular topic. 

So having said all of that, we come back to Cousin Sol, who from all he’s seen and experienced, reasons thus: ‘Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely (fitting) for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun (in which he toils) all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion.’ (Eccl. 5:18). Ah my fellow believers, as the scholars explain: ‘5:18-20. Enjoyment is a gift of God, and man should be motivated by the brevity of his own life to experience it.’ 

No wonder Jesus said that He came so that we could have life and have it abundantly. (John 10:10) And He’s certainly given us the tools to do so; our Thursday Blessings. So let’s invoke them now in loud voice and sincere hearts nuh. ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

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

And the same way those blessings were so generously bestowed on us, the same way we have to generously bestow them on others, not selfishly hoard them for ourselves. Much LOVE!

…working diligently for Jesus…doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy life…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 December 2013 Proverbs 10:22

Proverbs 10:22.    The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.

Oh Friends, I don’t know about you all nuh, but I’m tired of the snow and cold already! And that’s only the first big snowfall and cold spell of the year. I guess I’m tired mainly because I had to be out and about in it all.
 
But here this, the weather people are forecasting above freezing temps and rain for later this week! That discrepancy and uncertainty is what drives people crazy and also gets them sick, because they don’t know how to properly prepare for the weather in these changing times.
 
However Friends, I also have the answer, the antidote for it all; prayer!
 
And like Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) describes it in his devotional for yesterday: ‘Prayer is the umbilical cord that allows you – with your embryonic ideas – to draw nourishment from a source that you, like an unborn infant, can neither see nor fully know or comprehend – God our heavenly Father! Prayer is the power that pulls everything together successfully.’
 
And that’s a novel but absolutely true way to put it my people! When I read it yesterday, I just knew that I had to share it with you. And would you believe that I’ve been reading that devotional for a number of years now, and that idea did not even sound familiar when I read it yesterday.
 
Ah Lord eh! Makes you wonder what I’m thinking about when I read them. (smile) I guess though, that I wasn’t mature enough in Christ for it to make a notable impression on me, before yesterday. But who knows, since our God moves in such mysterious and unfathomable ways with His higher thoughts and methods.
 
Anyway, the important thing is that I’ve finally recognized it, so let’s turn to our Bit. ‘The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.’
 
More undeniable truth my brethren! For when our God blesses us, we know that we are blessed, and He doesn’t include any sorrow in it. Now maybe the sorrow will come before, or even after the blessing, (smile) but the blessings are usually blessings alone.
 
And we’ll continue from where we left off yesterday, with Abraham’s servant being sent to his master’s home country, Mesopotamia, to find a wife for Isaac from his brethren. And Friends, it’s not by luck or chance, but rather by divine decree and guidance, that Abraham’s servant ended up in the city where Nahor, Abraham’s brother dwelt.
 
Neither was it luck or chance, but divine appointment, that caused Rebekah to come out and fulfill all the conditions that the servant had desired of the Lord in prayer.
 
Oh mih people, yuh see the wonderful and inescapable truth of what we’ve been saying above, about prayer being the lifeline, the umbilical cord to God! The servant prayed faithfully, setting some parameters, and asking the Lord to send someone favourable to fulfill them.
 
And I like how the Good Book says that before he was even finished making his requests known to God, that Rebekah showed up. (Gen.24:15a) Oh my brethren, we can’t ask for a better example than that of faithful and fulfilled prayer!
 
And if you read what transpired afterwards, as I asked you to do yesterday, (Gen.24:16-25), you’d have seen Rebekah offer the servant drink, as well as offer to quench his camels thirst. And when she’d fulfilled her pledge, he gave her an expensive gold nose ring, weighing half a shekel, approximately $960.00, since a shekel of gold is worth around $1920.00. To that he added 2 gold bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight. Do the math my people.
 
And after he enquired about her family, she then ran home and told her family about the strange happening that had befallen her. That brought her big brother Laban out to meet the servant. And to make a long story short, (smile) they invited him to lodge with them. He graciously accepted the offer, and after the camels were looked after, they set food before him, but he refused to eat before he divulged his purpose. (Gen.24:28-33)
 
‘And he said, I am Abraham’s servant. And the Lord hath blessed my master greatly; and he is become great: and he hath given him flocks, and herds, and silver, and gold, and menservants, and maidservants, and camels, and asses (donkeys).’ (Gen.24:34-35)
 
What I want us to note here my fellow believers, is the difference in blessings. In the first scenario, the Lord showed the servant favour by granting his prayerful request, while in the second, He gave Abraham material wealth.
 
So not because our Bit says that the blessings of our God make us rich, it doesn’t necessarily mean material wealth. The blessings of our great and wonderful God can come in all shapes, sizes and forms, whatever suits His purpose. His omnipotence and LOVING-kindness don’t limit Him to any one kind of blessing.
 
And that’s something all believers ought to fully understand. Not because we pray for material wealth or any other kind of blessing means that we’ll automatically receive it. We’ll be showered with whatever fits the needs of God’s plan for our lives.
 
And until we fully understand and appreciate that point, we’ll always feel disappointed and/or hard done by our God. But we need to remember that God’s not there to simply do our bidding, to serve our selfish and petty requests.
 
On the contrary, we are here to serve His desires; to LOVE Him, to LIVE out our Faith, and to SPREAD His Holy Word! At times though, we seem to forget that HE is the MASTER, and we are the SERVANTS, not vice versa! 
 
And on that oh so important remembrance, we’ll close for today. I don’t want to give us too much to ponder on, (smile) just enough to keep us focused in the right direction – on Jesus Christ, our ever-LOVING Lord and Saviour. Much much LOVE my fellow believers!
 
…this Christmas season…let’s show the world what true LOVE is all about nuh…by keeping Jesus first and foremost…in our hearts, minds, souls and actions…