Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 June 2019 Hebrews 13:5a.

Hebrews 13:5a.    ​I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
 

Ah mih people, life is as changeable as the weather! Yuh remember yesterday I complained that it was going to be another ‘riney’ day? Well, lo and behold, by mid-day, it had turned into a perfectly beautiful warm and sunshiny day, lots of blue skies and cool breezes! Shorts and shirtsleeves weather! 

Well it’s the same way our lives can change rather abruptly, with no warnings at all. One moment you might be going through a perfect period of peace and calm, then all of a sudden calamity and adversity strike and you feel lost and out of your element. Or the opposite can happen; you’ll be going through a real rough time, and then for no apparent reason, the storm, the winds and the seas just suddenly become calm and you find yourself sailing along in perfect peace! 

Wow! That’s what we call life! Unpredictable, unreliable and unforeseeable! (smile) Consequently, too many of us struggle to maintain our equilibrium in the sudden and scary ups and down of life. But there is a most positive antidote, a positive and productive way to handle life…His name is Jesus! 

Yes friends, Jesus is the ONLY ONE who can help us successfully handle and navigate through the vicissitudes of life! Without Him, we are at the very mercy of life’s ever-changing circumstances. And that’s the gospel truth! But more on that later, because the workingman is just dying to bellow out his song this bright and sunshiny morning. (smile) So let’s give him a listen nuh. 

‘Woyoyo! At long last I can shout TGIF! Thank God is Friday! The weekend, the weekend, it’s here, alive and in blazing sunshine too! Let’s just hope it stays so yes. We’ve been disappointed too often in the last few weeks. And I’m all ready to get out there in mih short shots and tank top and grill a few steaks, dogs and burgers, while sipping some cold brewskis! It’s June now, a week into it, so is high time we could go out there and do that sorta thing without any worries about cold weather! 

Steups! Wuh happen, we living in the North Pole or something, that the weather so blooming cold and miserable? And if yuh check it out, up there right now they must be having long, hot bright days, enjoying a good summer already, while we down here having this expletive deleted kinda weather! 

But is not much we could really do about it nuh, so let me stop complaining and just have a positive mindset and get mih self ready to get out there this evening when ah get home and do mih own thing. Mama Yo! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes, at long last, ah chance to get away from the slave driver and them work…and party hearty too! I’ll be in mih essence then!  

Yeh friends, the workingman surely tells it like he sees it. And generally speaking, nothing’s wrong with that, it’s just sometimes he goes overboard, or crosses over the line that we believers in Christ Jesus can’t afford to cross over, for fear of having the enemy infiltrate our already less than strong and mature souls. (smile) 

And there’s no shame in that, it’s just common sense to shy away from danger before it hits you…and believe me the enemy we’re fighting is pretty dangerous when we give him a chance. On his own, he’s harmless, a toothless tiger, but once we open the door, brother, he’s all over us with his evil self like white on rice! (smile) That’s why our Friday Chant is not as expansive and expressive as the workingman’s song. So let’s chant it now nuh, in full voice and strong sense of purpose. 

‘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 brothers and sisters in Christ, ours is a dedicated life that requires some borders and fences so that we don’t cross over into enemy territory. But that’s the beauty of living for Jesus…He gives us the wherewithal to handle ALL that comes against us, as well as constantly being by our side. And furthermore, He’s made an everlasting and ever faithful promise: ‘I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.’ 

Wow! What an awesome promise! And we know He’ll keep it, because that’s the kind of Lord and Saviour He is. And it’s not like it’s something He just said the other day; He’s been saying it for ages now! Listen to how He said it to Joshua when He assigned him leadership of the Israelites after Moses’ death. ‘There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Josh.1:5) 

And we know that the Lord kept that promise to Joshua in spades! But even before that, the Lord had made the same promise to the Israelites through Moses, when He brought them out of bondage in Egypt, leading them towards the Promised Land. Hear this encouraging and reassuring part of Moses’ last speech to the Israelites: ‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Deut.31:6) 

So friends, that’s definitely not a new promise, and every time the Lord made it, He kept it, so why should it be any different now with us eh? No reason whatsoever! The Lord our God never changes, so His promises last for a lifetime. That’s why we need to embrace His Son, Jesus Christ RIGHT NOW, and gratefully and humbly accept all that’s He’s already done, as well as all He’s promised to do for us. 

That’s because there’s no one, or nothing else that can give us that kind of reliable, steady and steadfast life, through each and any situation, through calm and storm, through adversity and peace, like Jesus can! He is the ONE and ONLY ONE friends! So please, let’s be wise and come to Him in all sincerity nuh, and then hold on to Him for dear life, because He is indeed the Way, the Truth and the Life…as well as the Light! Much LOVE!

…to LOVE and LIVE for Jesus…Wow!…it’s the most wonderful thing…in God’s great universe…

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 September 2018 Matthew 7:14.

Matthew 7:14. Because strait (how narrow) is the gate, and narrow (difficult or confined) is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

 

Awright friends, it’s bright and sunshiny out there, so let’s get with the thanks and praise, as we all joyfully declare: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ 

And we’d be very foolish and ungrateful not to do so my brethren, because that’s why the Lord made the beautiful day – so that His precious people could enjoy it. Glory to our Most High God, whose kind, gracious and LOVING thoughts are always upon us, ‘thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer.29:11) 

Yes my dear brethren in Christ, our God only has our best interest at heart, but we foolishly screw it up when we don’t pay Him His much-deserved obeisance and obedience. Anyway, He’s also overflowing with forgiveness, so when we realize the error of our ways and come to Him in sincere repentance, He WILL have mercy on our poor human souls, and forgive us. That’s just how magnanimous and generous He is! 

And that’s why the workingman, even in his somewhat mislead agenda, can cry out in thanks and appreciation this Friday morning to the Most High: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! MamaYo! The weekend is at hand; the time to celebrate life is upon us. So what we waiting for eh? Let’s celebrate life! 

We alive and kicking, and the wisest man ever, Solomon, said that it was good for a man to eat drink and enjoy the fruits of his labour! So leh we do that nuh, celebrate the end of another back breaking week of slave-like labour, as we give thanks for Fridays and weekends!’ 

Ah friends, as always, I have no complaints re the workingman’s song, except that he takes the celebrating thing a little too far, so that he opens wide the door for Lucifer and his evil minions to get a foothold in his soul. And that’s why, as believers, our Friday Chant is somewhat different; still exuberant and enthusiastic, but with tighter boundaries and a li’l more circumspection. So let’s chant up a storm now nuh, as we declare our thanks for the weekend to Almighty God. 

‘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 people, we have to be careful to not go too far out on the limb of freedom, so that we don’t allow the enemy to muddy our clean, clear waters. And remember too, that not because a wide door or path has been opened to us, that we have to go through or take it, for oftimes, it is the enticement of the enemy. 

That’s why Jesus warned us: ‘Enter ye in at the strait (narrow) gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in there at. Because strait (how narrow) is the gate, and narrow (difficult or confined) is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’ (Matt.7:13-14) 

 And that’s the God awesome truth friends! Living and working for Jesus, does take away some of our wiggle room. (smile) Meanwhile, Luke puts it thus: ‘Strive to enter in at the strait (narrow) gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.’ (Luke 13:24) Yes my brethren, the way to eternal life is narrow and fraught with difficulty, and only those who sincerely seek it and are willing to pay the price will find it. 

And it’s not only narrow, but there’s only ONE WAY, that through Jesus, as He succinctly informed doubting Thomas. ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6) Right there you have that narrow, one-way street to eternal life my people! Jesus didn’t mince words; He told it exactly like it is: ONLY through Him can one get to the Father and bypass eternal damnation with Lucifer in the lake of fire! 

So what’s it going to be eh: eternal salvation in the amazing company of our Triune God, or hell fire and damnation with the fallen angels? It’s a decision each individual has to make for themself; nobody else can make it for you. They can suggest it, or even lead you to that narrow path, but it’s always going to be your decision to tread or not to tread it. 

 Let’s hope today my people, that we all make the wise decision; that to follow Jesus on the narrow but difficult and self-sacrificing path to victory and everlasting life. It’s the best and wisest decision we can ever make in this lifetime! And we will never regret it, all the way through eternity! Much LOVE!

…if Christ…who cannot lie…says He is the ONLY way to the Father…then it must be true…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 November 2017 Psalm 84:11.

Psalm 84:11.   For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

Ah friends, thankfully my area did not get the heavy precipitation of snow that some other areas apparently received overnight. There is a smattering of the white stuff here and there in disparate patches on the ground, but nothing to be concerned about. 

We did get lots of rain and brutal winds though. You could hear the wind howling outside and rattling stuff. Hopefully it didn’t do any serious damage to any buildings. 

The cold of morning, which seems bright and quiet enough, obviously did not stop the workingman from getting out on the street and lustily declaring his weekend anthem. ‘TGIF! Thank the Lord Friday come! The weekend finally here! What a time it going to be, with all sorts of riotous goings ons. 

Mama Yo! Is party fuh so! Party and more party! As the song says: ‘Party, party, party!’ Yeh mih breddren, we have to thank the Lord for Fridays and weekends oui, otherwise the slave driver would kill we with work everyday!’ 

And as always, there is some truth to the workingman’s song. It’s just that he is carried away by his exuberance. (smile) No doubt many of us Christians might feel the same way, but we know that we can’t just let it all hang, out otherwise we’re going to get in trouble with the enemy. 

That’s why our Friday Chant differs from that of the ordinary workingman. We set some boundaries and restrictions to our leggo beast tendencies, (smile) so that the evil, always lurking enemy cannot get a foothold in our business. And believe me, it’s very easy to go overboard and allow him in, when you are tired after a difficult week of work. 

So let’s declare our anthem with as much gusto and purpose as the workingman declared his nuh. 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.’ 

Ah mih fellow saints of Jesus, that’s how we operate! We try to stay within the lanes of common sense as the values and directives of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ dictates. And when we call upon our great God for help, He helps us to stay within those parameters which are dear to His will. 

As our Bit so explicitly and graciously declares: ‘For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.’ 

Now yesterday we saw what Isaiah and Revelations had to say about the Lord being our sun. Hear now how Malachi puts it as he talks about the coming day of the Lord. ‘But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall (grow fat like stall fed calves) 

And ye shall tread (trample) down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts. Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgements.’ (Mal.4:2-4) 

Yeh friends, another great promise of our awesome God, but we also need to remember to live by His statutes and His law. It’s not going to happen regardless of our behaviour. 

Now hear this most significant promise of the Lord to Abram. ‘After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and they exceeding great reward.’ (Gen.15:10 ) 

And the scholars have this to say re that verse. ‘15”1. Thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward: This chapter introduces the Abrahamic covenant by which God promises him an heir and eventual descendants who will one day possess the land of Canaan. 

The word “shield” is translated in other passages as “believed.” Thus, God is the object of Abram’s faith and thereby the source of his confidence. The promise of reward is especially significant in view of the fact that Abram had just refused a reward from the king of Sodom (Gen.14:21-24). God Himself would be Abram’s true reward (cf. Ps.127:3).’ 

And we all know that God fulfilled that promise to Abram in magnificent and miraculous fashion! Just ponder it for a moment nuh; having a child around a hundred years old… That’s only possible with our omnipotent God, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! 

So let’s cling with genuine faith to the many promises He’s made in His word, as we live in His will, for He who has promised is faithful to deliver. Much LOVE!

…Lo…children are a heritage of the Lord…and the fruit of the womb…is his reward… (Ps.127:3).

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 August 2016 Philippians 4:11.

Philippians 4:11.    Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

Aye mih people, another bright, sunshiny day is in the offing… And it’s Friday to boot! So you can imagine the raucous shouts worldwide of ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! Hurrah for the weekend! Get yourselves together to party! No more slaving for two, whole big days! Mama yo! We going to mash up the place! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, you can’t help but voice those sentiments after facing the endless traffic jams, both morning and evening, that result from everybody commuting to work these days and working in the li’l fishbowls that so many of us toil in, five days a week. 

But we have a better perspective on the usage of the weekend. It’s called our Friday Chant. So let’s chant it and raise the stakes to a higher level nuh. 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 fellow believers in Jesus Christ, that is a much better way to spend the weekend. It provides some semblance of balance and circumspection, along with some godly intentions, not merely a free for all of worldly lusts and pleasures. 

Now here is an interesting quote from my ‘P.S. I LOVE YOU’ Poster. It says, quite straightforwardly; ‘Almost all of our unhappiness is the result of comparing ourselves to others.’ 

And there is indeed a lot of truth in that statement friends! Comparing ourselves to others is one of the big problems in our current society. Keeping up with the Joneses causes more confusion, debt and jealousy than we can ever imagine. 

The world’s wrong definition of who and what we are, which depends on our material possessions, social standing and level of power, drives too many of us to levels of debt, work, lies and pretensions that we cannot safely manage. 

I thank the Lord everyday, that though I may desire some of the things and standards of living that others have, I’m not envious, neither do I try my level best to become like them. And the sad part is that oftimes we don’t know what others have sacrificed to get what they have and where they are. 

And if we knew, we wouldn’t be so quick to want to be like them, because many have sold their souls to Beelzebub for their power, social standing and material possessions. So friends, let me strongly dissuade us this Friday morning from comparing ourselves to others, because it’s just a fool’s game. 

The Lord in His absolute wisdom made us each different for a purpose. If He wanted us to be all the same, He would have done so. And trying desperately to be like others only drives a negative wedge in our lives. So please stop it! End of sermon. (smile) 

That brings us to our rather appropriate Bit. ‘Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.’ 

Oh my brethren, learning that, takes so much stress and strain off of our frail human shoulders, especially in this show-off society of ours. 

Hear the scholars take on our Bit nuh. ‘4:11. Not that I speak in respect (because) of want: Paul’s ability to be content despite the circumstances assures the readers that his joy of verse 10 is not solely over his “need” being met at their expense. He implies that he could have done without their financial aid. For justifies this implication. 

I have learned …to be content: The Greek here suggests that contentment is a lesson learned neither in a classroom nor overnight, but through many practical experiences in life.’ 

And indeed so it is my people! Contentment is a learned way of life, through many trials and tribulations. Bruh Paul was here acknowledging the financial aid he’d received from the members of the Philippian church. 

‘But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of (concern for) me hath flourished (revived) again; wherein ye were also careful (though you surely did care), ye lacked opportunity.’ (Phil.4:10) They were concerned about him, but lacked the opportunity to minister to him. 

That leads Bruh Paul to continue after our Bit. ‘I both know how to be abased (live humbly), and I know how to abound (live in prosperity): everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.’ (Phil.4:12) 

And we’ll end with some interesting explanations from the scholars. ‘4:12. By listing some specific examples, this verse elaborates upon the very general and broad “in whatsoever state I am” of verse 11. Be abased means literally to discipline oneself, that is, to tighten the belt in lean times. 

To abound means to live in prosperity. Everywhere and in all things I am instructed (or, “in all circumstances I have learned the secret of how”) to be full, that is, “well fed.” To abound means to have plenty. To suffer need means to go without. 

Paul has acquired the skill required for successful living with little and with much, the latter being harder. “For one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity.” (Thomas Carlyle).’ 

Yeh friends, for many of us, living in prosperity is indeed harder than living in adversity. When we have plenty, we often don’t know what to do with it. However, when we only have a little, we just have to make do. 

Now please don’t get the idea that we’re supposed to live miserly or stringently, because Christ said He came that we might have life, and have it more abundantly, but by the same token, we also need to know how to live when we don’t have abundance, and not be greedy or envious of those who have. 

So let’s go out there today and begin learning the life lessons we need to live as we ought nuh. (smile) Much LOVE!

…contentment can only be had through the peace of Jesus…

 

  

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 June 2016 Psalm 40:4

Psalm 40:4.   Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

Well friends, it’s a brand new day called Monday! Mama yo! (smile) 

And we all know what means; time to rise and shine and get to work. Now we can either do that in a sour, miserable, complaining state, or we can do it filled with the peace and LOVE and good cheer of Jesus. It’s your choice. But believe me the latter way is the best way. 

One way or the other you have to go to work, so who are you hurting if you go there whining and complaining eh? Most likely yourself. 

What I don’t understand about human beings is that we have to go to work, that’s a given, so why constantly grouse and complain when the work day rolls around, especially when, as Christians we have God’s peace and LOVE and otherwise that will enable us to overcome our natural resistance? 

Anyway, that’s for each of us to figure out individually. Right now let’s try to help the situation by singing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with much enthusiasm and positive conviction. All together now, harmoniously and in strong voice. 

‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Oh friends, that was excellent! Or as Nuculer, a long ago friend would say ‘most excellent man, most excellent!’ And Jesus, our choir director thought so too, going by the big smile on His face and His energetic working of the director’s baton. 

That means mih people, that we’re getting off on the right foot, with plenty enthusiasm and adrenalin coursing through our bodies, so let’s get out there in the ungodly world and show them what’s what nuh! 

Show them the true LOVE and affection of Jesus, so that they can envy us and want to come to Him too to receive the salvation and eternal life that we possess through His sacrificial death on the cross, which banished our sins forever! 

Ah mih breddren, I’m chuckling here as the Spirit moves me, and the brain is thinking faster than the pen can write. (smile) But enough fooling around, let’s get to our Bit, the same one as yesterday: ‘Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.’ 

Oh friends impeccable truth and wisdom for all of us to live by! If we would only truly trust in God and live a decent, humble, truthful life, this world would be such a wonderful place, instead of the deep, dark and evil quagmire that it now is! 

The sad part about it all is that only we Christians can do anything positive with it. That’s why we have to do things like go out to work on Monday mornings with a joyful and peaceful attitude, and thus set a good example. That’s the only way the heathen will come to heel and seek Jesus. 

Let’s move on now to some scriptures that corroborate our Bit. Listen to Bruh David from Psalm 34 – The Lord hears the righteous. ‘Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate (condemned, found guilty). The Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate (condemned, found guilty).’ (Ps.34:21-22)

What wonderful words of promise and encouragement my brethren! And as we always note, Bruh David isn’t speaking from hearsay nuh, but from personal experience. That means we can trust his words without fear of falsehood. And listen to Bruh David once again, this time from Psalm 5 – A prayer for protection. 

‘But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that LOVE thy name be joyful in thee. For thou Lord wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass (surround) him as with a shield.’ (Ps. 5:11-12)  Friends, Bruh David certainly knew what he was talking about. 

And we’ll end at the beginning; (smile) Psalm 1- Blessed are the righteous – which clearly spells out the kind of life the righteous can expect. ‘Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly (wicked), nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 

But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate (ponder) day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers (channels) of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.’ (Ps.1:1-3) 

Oh friends, oh friends, what more encouragement do we need to live a righteous and godly life eh? I certainly don’t need anymore, for me to at least try and live right. So I’ll leave us to ponder those thoughts today, to decide whether you want to live a godly or ungodly life. It’s all up to you. Please make the wise decision. Much LOVE!

…choose you this day…whom ye will serve…but as for me and my house…we will serve the Lord. (Josh.24:15) 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 August 2013 John 13:35

John 13:35.    By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one for another.
 
Oh Friends, through the eternal LOVING-kindness of our heavenly Father, we’ve been granted another day on planet earth, with all its new mercies, blessings, and forgiveness! Wow!
 
And it plans to be either a bright, scorching hot summer’s day, or a hot rainy one, to kick off the last long summer weekend of this year, which culminates on Labour Day on Monday.
 
I’ve said that it could either be sunny or rainy because I’ve seen and heard forecasts for both types of weather. We definitely have to say some prayers for the poor weather forecasters yes, for their job was hard and unrewarding enough before, but now with the changing weather patterns that are devastating our world, it becomes an even more impossible task.
 
But Friends, be the day sunny or grey, it’s still Friday…
 
And that obviously brings forth joyful shouts from tired workers. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday again yes! We’ve been working hard all week, and with this long Labour Day weekend on tap… Mama yo! We going to party down the place like we crazy!’
 
Oh mih breddren, please take care, we can’t let it all hang out like that, for remember the evil one is out there prowling, just trolling for defenceless victims, like the true predator that he is. And it’s in these throw down, anything goes party times that he catches us napping and very vulnerable to his wiles and lies.
 
So here’s Granny’s perennial warning, that most of us don’t like because we feel it inhibits us, but which we certainly cannot afford to set aside. ‘Son, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’ And that’s a most essential warning for this weekend my beautiful friends in Christ!
 
Now to tone down the party-hearty attitude somewhat, not to kill it completely, and thus get things in their right perspective, let’s chant our Friday Chant, with extra special emphasis for this long and dangerous Labour Day weekend.
 
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 Friends, we definitely need to handle this weekend with a modicum of circumspection and prevention! And please, let’s wear our spiritual armour all the time! Don’t leave home without it! (smile) Because that’s the only way we can fight a good fight when the enemy calls us out to do battle.
 
And all that we do this day my people, please, pretty please, let’s do it with feelings and actions of LOVE nuh. For as Jesus tells us in our Bit: ‘By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one for another.’
 
And I know that we all desperately want to be true disciples of Christ… but we aren’t ever going to be, if we’re not dealing in that wonderful emotion termed LOVE, the exciting, titivating and Christ-like attribute that makes the world go round.
 
Awright Friends, so I’m laying it on a bit thick, (smile) but isn’t that what LOVE is supposed be all about? But anyway, enough with the dilly-dallying, let’s get to the rest of the scriptures I promised yesterday.
 
And we’re going to begin with John, from his first epistle, re tests of true knowledge and LOVE, where he wisely declares: ‘And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
 
But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the LOVE of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also to walk, even as he walked.’ (1 John 2:3-6)
 
Yes Friends, that’s the conundrum many of us face. We claim to know Jesus, but we don’t keep His commandments, or walk as He walked here on earth, humble and LOVING, so therefore we’re liars and only fooling ourselves and each other.
 
And Bruh Paul had this to say to the Thessalonians: ‘But as touching brotherly LOVE ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to LOVE one another. And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more;’ (1 Thess.4:9-10)
 
He didn’t need to teach them the rudiments of brotherly LOVE, because Christ Himself, through the indwelling of His Holy Spirit plus hearing of the Word had taught them that. And furthermore they were doing a good job of showing it towards the believers throughout all Macedonia.
 
What Bruh Paul expected of them was that they continually increased in the showing of that brotherly LOVE! 
 
AND MY PEOPLE, THE VERY SAME THING IS EXPECTED OF US TODAY!
 
Please note I put it in capitals and also highlighted it, because it’s very important that we understand the pre-eminent position that walking in LOVE plays in our discipleship of Christ, especially in these very trying and dangerous times. 
 
And since we have many more advantages and opportunities than the Thessalonians had, why can’t we, or aren’t we doing a better job than them of showing brotherly LOVE eh? Why are so many millions of people still suffering sickness, poverty, hunger and oppression all over God’s great earth eh? Possibly because we’re still too caught up in the selfish ways and material things of the world.
 
But if that’s so, then Friends, we’re not doing what Jesus expects of us, we’re not showing that we’re His true disciples. In fact we’re being more His dire enemies, because we’re turning others away from Him by our selfish, worldly ways.
 
And we’ll end with some of Cousin Sol’s wise words from his Song. And though in this particular instance, it pertains more to romantic than brotherly LOVE, it truly shows the power of ALL and ANY kind of real LOVE. Listen up now my brethren.
 
‘Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for LOVE is strong as death; jealousy is cruel (hard, severe) as the grave: the coals (flames) thereof are coals (flames) of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.
 
Many waters cannot quench LOVE, neither can the floods drown it: if a man should give all the substance (wealth) of his house for LOVE, it would be utterly contemned (despised).’ (Song 8:6-7)
 
Now this is what the scholars have to say about those two verses: ‘These verses are clearly the climax of the story. The maiden describes in the most vivid terms the unquenchable nature of true LOVE: it cannot be destroyed by death or the grave; it burns like a blazing fire that cannot be extinguished; and it cannot be bought.’
 
And that my fellow believers in Christ is everlasting truth! True LOVE cannot be bought or extinguished!
 
Let’s ponder on that today nuh, and see if we can’t improve on our own LOVE-walk, because then, and only then, will we be true disciples of Jesus Christ. Much LOVE!
 
…and his banner over me was…LOVE… (Song 2:4b)