Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 June 2020 Matthew 10:22.

Matthew 10:22.     And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
 

Well mih people, hope you all are having a fine Saturday, sleeping in or lazing on the couch. Some of us can’t afford those luxuries though, we have to get up and labour away, just like any other day. (smile) But it’s all in the Lord’s name, so I guess it’s okay. And the confusion in the streets and in the medical community still reign. In some places it’s better, in some it’s worse, but be it known that this is indeed a monumental time in the history of mankind. 

And who knows what the outcome will be? For sure there will be changes, but what changes and to what extent? And are they going to make a difference, a substantial or meaningful difference in the way our world operates. Right now, ONLY the Lord alone knows, but let’s all hope and pray, that at the end of this pandemic and these protests that our world will wake up in a new and better place. And all God’s people said a loud and prayerful ‘Amen!’ 

Now let’s get into our Saturday mode and look at the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one directly addresses one of our current problems. ‘It’s important for us to also understand that the phrase ‘Black Lives Matter’ simply refers to the notion that there’s a specific vulnerability for African Americans that needs to be addressed. It’s not meant to suggest that other lives don’t matter. It’s to suggest that other folks aren’t experiencing this particular vulnerability.’ 

And I know that some of you, particularly the privileged ones, won’t agree with that statement, because you have never walked a day in a black man’s shoes, but I do, wholeheartedly. That’s because all over the world, the people of African heritage are treated differently than others. It’s so ridiculous that even if you have a white parent, and you look white, you are considered black, because dislike of black skin or heritage is so deeply entrenched in our white ruled society. Now that’s not to say that other minorities aren’t treated in a poor manner too, but nowhere near as badly as black people are treated. 

And the next quote informs to the first one: ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ And isn’t that the living truth! For some reason, possibly because we’re all so selfish and greedy, injustice travels faster and further than justice! The wheels of justice turn ever so slowly, while those of injustice just seem to race along. Have you ever noticed how quickly injustice spreads amongst a hitherto reasonably just society, but how long it takes for justice to be restored when the injustice has been broken down? 

What can I say eh? I guess it’s just the nature of the human animal, that’s why there’s so much truth in the saying, ‘Man’s inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn.’ No doubt our Creator made us to be LOVING, humane beings, but with our free will, we have evolved to be the exact opposite. And the next quote interestingly advises: ‘If people are doubting how far you can go, go so far that you can’t hear them anymore.’ 

Hn, Hn! I like it. It sounds saucy and somewhat rebellious! And why not eh? If people keep jawing in your ears about your inability to move up and on, then simply do so well, move on and up so far, that you can’t hear their negative caterwauling any longer. (smile) It’s so sad when you realize the vast amount of people who never reach their potential because of loudmouthed naysayers! And that’s exactly why our next and last quote is so awesomely true: ‘It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.’ And that’s the backbone of our Christian faith: ‘NEVER GIVE UP!’ 

Yes my faithful believing friends, those words don’t exist in Christ’s vocabulary. His motto is ‘KEEP KEEPING ON!’ And anyone who chooses to seriously follow Him must also make that their number one goal. And Jesus said it ever so plainly: ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.’ It couldn’t be any clearer than that. And for good measure, He said it a second time when talking about the signs before the end. ‘And because iniquity (lawlessness) shall abound, the LOVE of many shall wax (grow) cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.’ (Matt. 24:12-13) 

And we’re seeing that right now; lawlessness abounds and LOVE is a meaningless word. But as a true believer, you just have to tell your awesome pilot, Jesus: ‘Steady as she goes!’ (smile) We just have to keep on keeping on, enduring and persevering right down to the very end. We can’t be like the seed in the parable of the sower that are sown on stony ground, who hear the word and ‘immediately receive it with gladness. And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction (tribulation) or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended (caused to stumble).’ (Mark 4:16-17) 

No friends, true believers need to react in Bruh Paul’s words, like Charity, like LOVE: ‘Doth not behave itself unseemly (rudely), seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil (keeps no account of evil); Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.’ (! Cor. 13:5-7) Yes mih people, true Christian behaviour is not an easy row to hoe, but with Jesus’ help we can certainly accomplish it, if we truly believe as we like to say: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ (Phil. 4:13) 

And it’s why He also told Timothy: ‘Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship) like a good soldier of Jesus Christ.’ (2 Tim. 2:3) We believers are all supposed to be soldiers in Christ’s army, and good soldiers endure hardship for their leader and their cause. What we must therefore endeavour to truthfully say at the end, are these momentous words of Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith; Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim. 4:7-8) 

Now friends, if we would all make that our sincere goal, and work diligently towards it, then our world will be eventually turned right side up, and we’ll get our just rewards in heaven. Much LOVE!

…with strong faith and trust in Christ…we can persevere and endure…whatever comes our way…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 March 2020 Matthew 5:16.

Matthew 5:16.    ​Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
 
Well the party’s over my friends. It sure was nice while it lasted. But unfortunately I had to call it a day! Yes I’m back in my ordinary surroundings called HOME! The best place in the world! Wow! Yuh know, whether it’s a palace or a hovel, home is where you feel most comfortable because home is where your heart and soul truly are. Yes, Jamaica was nice, but there’s something about home that get’s the heartstrings playing ever so sweetly. (smile) And now it’s back to the daily grind and common task – or which ever way they say it – back to the cold and snow and bleak vegetation. 

And since it’s Friday – didn’t even realize that until just now, people must be clamouring for the workingman’s song. Well never let it be said that I kept you all from hearing what you want to hear. (smile) So here he is, in all his riotous colour and workingman’s common sense. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday…and time for that much needed break from slave labour, called the weekend! Don’t know what I would do without it nuh. Gosh! It hard enough working five days straight, and I’m really sorry for those who have to work six and seven days straight without a break. 

Steups! Mankind really is something else yes. Like greed and abuse of his fellow man seem to be his middle name! No wonder the sad truth found in the saying: ‘Man’s inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn!’ Chuh! What a crying shame! And we now have to change that to countless millions…and soon to countless billions, since mankind is getting ever more greedy and oppressive as the rich get ever richer and the poor get ever poorer. What a sad world we live in eh Dr. Jack! 

And the sad part is that there’s enough in the world for everybody to get sufficient to fill their needs, but the few with plenty, more preoccupied with greedily hoarding rather than generously sharing it. That’s why there’s so much poverty and homelessness and all the other ailments that the disenfranchised suffer. But yuh know this saying is also true…One day, one day congotay … Yes the longest rope have an end…And one day all ah we, have to meet we maker and answer for we wrongs. Till then, all I can say is thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Brother, the workingman was sure on a roll today! But what he says makes sense yes! Mankind getting more heartless, oppressive and abusive, even as we seem to be getting more enlightened. But that seems to be only in the mind, not in the heart, where it really matters. Anyway, as true believers in Jesus Christ, we have the responsibility to try and change that disgusting image of mankind. And no, it’s not easy, but with the help of our Leader we can do it, if we are willing to put in the required amount of time, energy, belief and faith it requires. 

And that’s the billion dollar question – are we willing to do what it takes to bring Jesus’ dream for the world to fruition? Apparently not, because right now we’re allowing Beelzebub and his evil cohorts to run away with the race while we sit and mourn and murmur pitiful platitudes. Oh friends, the attitude of those involved in Christ’s organization has got to improve tremendously if we expect to see any real change in our world and leave our descendants a safe and reasonable place to live and sincerely worship Jehovah God. 

That’s our calling; this is our time to further the gospel and all that it entails. They say we were born for a time such as this, but the reality is that we were born for this particular time. If the Lord wanted us in any other time, He would have put us there. But since He put us in the here and now, that means this is when and where He expects us to make our mark, to obediently and diligently do His will. Jesus said it as clearly and plainly as possible. ‘Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour (flavour), wherewith (by what means) shall it be salted? it  is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.’ (Matt. 5:13) 

Oh my people, we all know the great benefits that salt provides to our lives, and without it, everything is bland and tasteless and often rendered useless. And sadly too many of us believers have become that way… good for nothing, because we’ve lost our passion, our sense of purpose and are just content to rest on our laurels. But that’s not what Jesus desires of us. Hear Him again nuh: ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket), but on a candlestick (lampstand); and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.’ (Matt. 5:14-15) 

Oh my fellow believers, that’s what Jesus expects of us; to be bright and shining and good direction lights in this dark and evil world! But we definitely are not being bright and shining and encouraging enough, since the darkness seems to be growing stronger and wider. Oh my people, my people, come on nuh, let’s do as Jesus so greatly desires of us nuh! Remember we are His ears, eyes and hands, His ambassadors on this dark and evil earth. So let’s take His words to heart and sincerely, diligently and excellently do as He asks nuh. ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ 

Oh friends, that is definitely not too much for Jesus to ask of us, after all that He’s done for us. So let’s get shipshape and become both the salt and light of the world as He desires nuh, so that we can reclaim the world from it’s dark covering with the wonderful and awesome light of Jesus! And no, I did not forget our Friday Chant, the other stuff just seemed to flow and follow more smoothly. (smile) So let’s chant our chant, in strong voice with sincere hearts, like we’re truly salt and light. 

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!’ 

Let’s do it nuh friends, let’s do it for Jesus! Much LOVE!

…you can’t be a true believer…unless and until…you do what your Leader asks of you…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 December 2017 Isaiah 2:8.

Isaiah 2:8.   Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their fingers have made.

And behold friends, it’s a bright and sunshiny morning in my neighbourhood! But it’s cold! And that’s the big difference between the light of the Sun and the light of the Son. 

The light of the sun can be so intense, you can’t even look at it without eye protection, but at the same time, depending on what part of the world you are, in certain seasons, there is no warmth in its brilliance. 

The light of the Son though is an entirely different story: His light is ALWAYS warm and comforting, regardless of where you are in this great big world! It could be in the mind-numbing cold of the Arctic or Antarctica, or the excessive heat of the Equator; Jesus is, and will forever be a warm, shining light that you can look at without eye protection. 

And all of God’s people declared a loud, proud and grateful: ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ Yeh, so even though the workingman has bright sunshine in which to declare his anthem today, he still has to be bundled up to do so. 

And it doesn’t stop him, as he vociferously declares: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and another week of slavery done! And I don’t understand it nuh; the slave master could be so evil and unkind, even as he claims to be a man of God. He want to fire me because I refuse to work overtime on the weekend. Steups! 

But what he expect eh? The weekend is the one li’l time I have off to do my business, and he expect me to give it up for the few lousy cents he want to pay me. Chuh pool! But not to worry, I going to enjoy my weekend, eat drink and be merry, and some way, get my pound of flesh from that ole crook, who call himself a Christian! Hn! That’s why I have to say thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes!’ 

And right there we have one of the problems that exist in our Christian faith; supposed Christians behaving in an un-Christian-like manner. Now we don’t have to give in to all the requests of our employees, but we do have to treat them in a fair and Christian manner, otherwise that’s the conception they develop of us; an hypocritical one, and rightly so. 

And talking about being unfair and unkind, listen to this scenario. You all know the Republican Party in the U.S is trying to pass a very bad Tax Bill, very much weighted in favour of the already rich, but one element of that Bill is supposedly removing the provision of deductions for loss of property from things like wildfires and earthquakes. Hn! 

Can you imagine the devastating effect that will have on those people in California who have already been through wildfires earlier on in the year, and those who are currently undergoing the tremendous calamity of the now raging, out of control fires in that State? 

No wonder we say that man’s inhumanity to man, makes countless thousands mourn. In this case though, it will be more like countless millions. Let’s hope wiser minds prevail, and that Tax Bill, or at least that provision does not get passed. Let’s pray on it please friends. 

Now let’s chant our Friday Chant, which is a tad more spiritual than the workingman’s song. (smile) All together 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.’ 

Yeh mih people, that’s more in tune with our Christian heritage; seeking God’s will rather than ours. That brings us to a rather appropriate Bit, where Isaiah talks about the day of the Lord, His judgement on the proud. ‘Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their fingers have made.’ 

And isn’t that the living truth friends? In this sinful and secular society today, we worship the things we have made, running behind the wealth and other foolish trappings of the world, instead of seeking God and His awesome righteousness. In fact we’re trying our hardest to remove God completely from our society. 

How foolish is that eh? How can you remove the One who created you? And how can you worship something that you have made with your own hands eh; something that has no life or power? 

As the psalmist so wisely and rightly puts it in Psalm 115 – Trust in God, not in idols. ‘Their idols are silver and gold, the work of man’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.’ (Ps.115:4-8)  

That says it all friends! Why worship the inanimate objects that you yourself have made eh? That makes absolutely no sense. What makes sense is to do as the psalmist says afterwards. ‘O Israel, trust thou in the Lord: he is their help and their shield.’ (Ps.115:9) 

And with those words of awesome wisdom, we’ll close today. Please, my brethren, let’s take them to heart and follow them nuh, for they will be exceedingly beneficial to us. Much LOVE!

…what’s the use of worshipping idols…if they have no power to do anything for you…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 April 2015 Matthew 27:35

Matthew 27:35. And they crucified him, and parted (divided) his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted (divided) my garments among them, and upon my vesture (clothing) did they cast lots.

Oh Friends, it’s Friday! And one we call Good Friday to boot. How can that be though, when such a dastardly deed, such a great injustice, a crucifixion, was perpetrated on a holy and sinless man two thousand years ago? How can it be that we call such a day good eh, especially when it was no ordinary crucifixion, but a horrific and cruel one, filled with all sorts of unimaginable brutality and inhumanity?
 
That’s the epitome of our saying that man’s inhumanity to man makes countless thousands suffer and mourn!  But I guess we call it good because it was the beginning, the initializing of some thing good. Without that sacrifice on Good Friday, there would have been no resurrection on Easter Sunday, no victory over hell, death and the grave.
 
And it’s also good in the sense that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ gave His life so that we could be free from the bondage of sin once and for all. We have to look at it that way Friends, otherwise it was just a brutal injustice.
 
And believe you me, Jesus paid a heavy, heavy price for our disgusting sins, for as we said above, it was no ordinary crucifixion, but a most cruel and heartless one, fuelled by fear and greed and the lust for power, the same things that are still controlling our world today.
 
Oh my people, please take a moment and consider the inhumanity that Jesus suffered before He even reached Calvary; the scourging, the spitting, the ridicule, the mocking, the slapping, the crown of thorns, the tearing of His flesh by the cruel whips with all sorts of sharp things attached meant exactly for that purpose.
 
In this modern day and age, although we’re still cruel, I don’t think we can truly capture the thoroughly disfigured and tattered picture of Jesus when He came out of Pilate’s place, then was given His cross to carry, though He could barely walk and His wounds were by then terminal. It was only a matter of time.
 
It’s a good thing that somebody had the bright idea to get Simon the Cyrene to help Him bear the cross, otherwise I doubt He would have made it to Golgotha that evil place of the skull, which we Christians now term Calvary, a much nicer name. Then being made to lie outstretched on two planks of wood and nailed to them with huge metal nails, in such a way that death would be painful and prolonged. Steups!
 
Can you imagine that gruesome scene Friends, of Jesus being put to lie down on the cross and nailed to it, then have it raised upright and what little lifeblood He had left, being set to drain slowly and painfully out of Him? And to make matters worse, they crucified Him between two common criminals. Chuh!
 
Ah mih people, can you look through your eyes of faith and see Jesus, all torn and tattered, just languishing up there on that cross in the hot noonday sun? Believe me Friends, it was definitely no little price that Jesus paid for the banishment of our sins nuh! That’s what you call real ‘sufferation.’ The Father really put it to Him.
 
In my humble opinion it did not have to be so cruel, but I guess it just goes to show how disgusting and diabolical sin is and was, and that the only way to truly get rid of it was by a serious sacrificial death of a sinless person. And unfortunately Jesus was the ONLY ONE who fit that description.
 
It also shows how serious the Father is and was about His dislike for sin, if He could allow such terrible atrocities to be performed on His only Son. If you think it hurts us, just imagine the heartache He must have felt nuh, seeing His Son go through so much agony, and knowing that He could stop it with a simple word, but also knowing that if He did, sin would then forever run rampant throughout His universe, with no end in sight, and the evil Lucifer would have won the war.
 
Being a holy and just God, He just could not allow that, so like we say, He just had to grin and bear it. And yet we still doubt His wonderful and unconditional LOVE for us!
 
What hurts too Friends, is that after that most expensive price Jesus paid for our forgiveness, for our reconciliation and atonement, for our salvation and eternal life, so many of us simply ignore Him, or don’t take him as seriously as we should.
 
That’s not only unfortunate my brethren, but rather foolish, for if we don’t embrace Jesus and all that He stands for then we’ll still end up in the pool of fire come the judgement day with the wicked Beelzebub and all his other minions, and His sacrifice would have been worthless.
 
Oh Friends, the Father sent His son to pay the price for our abominable sins because He did not want to lose even one of His most wonderful creations, mankind, to Lucifer. So why aren’t we being wise and truly accepting Jesus as our Lord and Saviour eh? That’s the multi-million dollar question?
 
Instead, we’re sadly moving away from Him in droves, embracing the worthless and sinful stuff of the world, foisted on us by the prince of darkness and his evil lackeys. That’s only going to bring us more sin and suffering, and it’s oh so foolish, when Jesus has already paid the price for us to be free from the bondage and torment of sin.
 
But yuh know what my brethren, Jesus was such a mighty and majestic man, that throughout it all He didn’t complain. He knew that that was the reason for which He was made man, and though He pleaded some with the Father to change the plans, deep down He knew that it was not going to happen, so again, like we all have to do at times, He just grinned and bore it.
 
He withstood the mockery and jeers and otherwise that were hurled at him while He hung there limp and helpless on the cross. The only sad words that reached His lips on the cross were as the Good Book says: ‘And about the ninth hour (noon) Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ (Matt.27:46)
 
Yes Friends, in that moment, as the scholars explain; ‘Here we have the high cost to Christ of His atonement for our sins, who was accursed of God as our sin-bearer, (cf.2 Cor.5:21; Gal.3:13) and suffered the agony of spiritual death for us.’ 
 
Ah mih breddren, as our Bit so sadly says too: ‘And they crucified him, and parted (divided) his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted (divided) my garments among them, and upon my vesture (clothing) did they cast lots.’ That prophecy comes from Psalm 22:18, words of Bruh David.
 
But you know what Friends, Jesus is so beautiful, that even on the cross He still reached out to us. He pleaded with the Lord; ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’ (Luke 23:34) Then to one of the criminals who were crucified with Him and who embraced His sanctity as they hung there together, He sincerely promised: ‘Verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with me in paradise.’ (Luke 23:43)
 
And to show how much He cared for His mother, the Good Book tells us: ‘When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by whom he LOVED (John), he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.’ (John 19:26-27)
 
What’s left to be said eh, my people? Only this: ‘And when Jesus had cried with aloud voice, he said, ‘Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost (breathed his last).’ (Luke 23:46)
 
Oh Friends, on this solemn Friday which we call good, and on which we didn’t even shout for joy, ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday!’ since most people are already off work, for it’s a public holiday in most places, let’s Chant our Friday Chant nonetheless as we spend the day in worship and ponder what the day means to us as a congregation, as well as individuals.
 
Let’s chant: ‘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.’
 
Oh my people, it’s long and somewhat involved. (smile) But that’s what I was guided to write. I just hope it brings home to us the real hefty price that Jesus paid for our sins to be forgiven, and brings us ever closer to Him. Much LOVE!
 
…to all serious believers…today…let’s take up our crosses and follow Jesus…for that’s what he desires of us…