Today’s Scrip-Bit   19 November 2022 Proverbs 3:5.

Proverbs 3:5.       Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

Saturday, oh lazy Saturday, so glad to see you! And the good thing about Saturdays in the winter time, is that you don’t go out unless you really really have to! (smile) Especially if, as my computer tells me, it’s snowing now, which it isn’t in my area, although it might be in some other area, but that’s just one more excuse to enjoy a lazy Saturday. (smile) Anyway, enough laziness, let’s get to the Lord’s business and see what we can make of the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Now, he only sent us three quotes, so today’s Bit ought to be short…Hn! I wouldn’t count on it, with my penchant for being long-winded. (smile) And the first quote says: ‘Being vulnerable is a strength, not a weakness.’ And that’s the gospel truth! For although the word ‘vulnerable’ is defined as ‘susceptible to, or able to be easily physically or mentally hurt, influenced, or attacked,’ in another sense, when one is vulnerable, one isn’t fearful of being hurt or abused, but steps into the fray in spite of one’s vulnerability. 

And that comes out most forcefully in the emotion of LOVE, for when one LOVES, one is open to all kinds of negative things, but it doesn’t stop one from LOVING. And I think we also see a vulnerable strength in the word ‘meek, or meekness.’ Used in a negative manner it means weak and/or submissive, but used in a positive or biblical manner it means strength under control. And who are more vulnerable than Christians eh, if we truly follow Christ’s advice, like LOVING our enemies, going the extra mile, turning the other cheek, etc. etc. 

As Bruh Paul quotes Ps. 44:22 to the Roman church. ‘As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.’ (Rom. 8:36-37) Yes, believers may seem vulnerable, but that doesn’t mean they are weak. In fact, we are the strongest group on earth, as we fight the devil and his iniquity workers with goodness not evil. Just look at the Beatitudes, in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. His descriptions of those who are heavenly blessed all seem to be weak, passive and very vulnerable, but in fact they show an active strength clothed in humility, peace and godliness. 

Listen to this Beatitude from Jesus: ‘Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.’ (Matt. 5:5) He didn’t mean blessed are the physically or spiritually weak, but blessed are those who have humbled themselves before the Lord God Jehovah! And to be truly humble, one must have a strong spirit, because by nature humans are not created as beacons of humility, especially in this age of greed, selfishness and advantage taking. 

As ‘Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has said: “Meekness is strong, not weak; active, not passive; courageous, not timid; restrained, not excessive; modest, not self-aggrandizing; and gracious, not brash.’ In other words, to be vulnerable means to not be afraid of being human, of living for Christ. 

Now,  the next quote says: ‘We have to let go of who we think we should be and embrace what is.’ I don’t know about that nuh. We should certainly live in the present, but the important question is what’s our present life like, is it intertwined with Christ, or is it just running loose and lustful like the world? Remember, God has a plan for each and every life He creates, and if we’re not living in His will for our lives then we’re on the wrong side of the fence. The truth of the matter here is that we should first ascertain from our heavenly Father His will for our life, then put it into action, not do what we think we should in our own strength, or meekly (negative use) follow the world. 

And Cousin Sol wisely warns in Proverbs: ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct (make straight) thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear (reverence) the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel (body), and marrow (strength) to thy bones.’ (Prov. 3:5-8) Yes friends, it’s only when we buy into God’s plan for our lives that we truly blossom and are able to reach our destiny. 

And the last quote tells us: ‘In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present.’ I guess there’s truth to that statement for we cannot discern light unless darkness is first present. That brings us to Jesus, who is the light of the world. He said it Himself: ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ (John 8:12) 

Oh my people, isn’t that wonderful? It surely is! Jesus came to earth so that we could have the option of eternal life in the light of His heavenly Father and not merely the option of succumbing to the darkness and evil of Lucifer, the fallen angel, and ending up in hellfire and damnation with him. Unfortunately though, that darkness is covering our world right now with an overwhelming black cloud of sin and ungodliness, and it’s only as we accept Jesus and His bright shining light that the darkness of our world will lessen, for darkness is inherently evil, while light shows up goodness and godliness. 

And what better way to end today than with the words of John the Revelator, as he saw the new Jerusalem coming down from heaven in his vision. He joyfully declares: (yesss!!!) ‘And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.’ (Rev. 21:3-4) 

What a marvelous, bright and shining day that will be my fellow saints, when the very presence of God will be with us, His redeemed people. And from thence, He will forever dwell with us in the eternal state of a life without pain and sorrow, just joy and gladness in His shining light. So, let’s wake up and reach for that glorious goal nuh my brethren! Much LOVE!

…oh when the saints go marching…I want to be in their number…oh when the saints go marching in…  

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   20 August 2022   Psalm 139:23.

Psalm 139: 23.      Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my (anxious) thoughts: 

Saturday, oh blessed Saturday! Where we can laze about and do as we want. No alarm clocks, running to the baby-sitter or day care with the children and then facing the constant traffic jams that have become a normal part of today’s commute to work! No wonder we LOVE Saturday! And with all of that to do five days a week, it’s not surprising that so many of us are tired and worn out physically, emotionally and spiritually. 

But not all of us can sleep in on Saturdays. The ole fella still has to be up and about the Lord’s business, figuring out something to say about the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Ah Lord eh! No rest for the wicked. (smile) But I can’t really complain because the Lord usually helps me with that task since He’s allotted it to me, and He always gives us the tools to do the work He requires. So Lord, I ask you now to give me those tools, let your Holy Spirit lead and guide me to write sensible stuff today that will not only serve to open the eyes and hearts of our readers, but even more importantly, praise and glorify your holy name. Amen! 

And the first quote goes off with a bang! ‘The big lesson in life, baby, is never be scared of anyone or anything.’ Now that’s wonderful advice, but not so easy to put into action, since nowadays fear is all around us. Fear of disease, fear of fraudulent operators, fear of economic failure, fear of natural disasters, fear of government actions, fear of church brethren, and all of that leads to fear of life itself. Yes friends, everywhere we turn these days, fear seems to be staring us straight in the eye. But fear can be overcome through faith in Christ Jesus. Yes, that’s a guaranteed fact. Oh, we’ll always feel it, but with Jesus in our corner, it won’t get us down or cripple us like it’s doing so many people today. 

One of Jesus’ favourite statements was ‘Fear not!’ And I guess it’s only right to quote two of His most famous sayings on the subject. Listen to this first one. ‘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 14:27) Yes friends, when we have true peace, fear cannot invade our souls or bodies. And the true source of real peace is Christ Himself! No one or nothing else can give you the kind of uplifting, spiritual peace that He offers; the peace that conquers fear. 

Now listen to Him again. ‘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) There you have it! With Jesus and His Holy Spirit in your life, you have the peace of God living right there within you, so there’s no need to fear anything, because your Lord and Saviour has already overcome the evil world and all its tricks and trade. But for good measure, (smile) here’s one more scripture that as we said yesterday ought to be continually in our mind’s eye. These famous words of Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) 

Ah mih people, the only way to numb fear is by having Jesus Christ in our lives, and then sincerely accepting what He tells us. But that doesn’t come easily or overnight, which leads us to this next quote: ‘The unexamined life is not worth living.’ Now that’s gospel truth right there my brethren! We simply cannot live a life without examining it, to see what kind of life we’re living. And I guess the best way to begin doing that is to by following Bruh David’s example in Psalm 139, where he pleads: ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my (anxious) thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’ (Ps. 139: 23-24) 

Oh friends, how refreshing and renewing is self-examination! Especially when we do it with God’s help. It shows up the things we need to drop, and the places we need to improve. But we need to take it seriously and do what the Lord shows us, or what we know needs to be done. And it helps when we go to the Lord with sincere sentiments like Bruh David does in Psalm 51: ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God: and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me.’ (Ps. 51:10) The Lord will never turn us away with those kinds of sincere sentiments in our hearts. 

That brings us to this next quote which advises: ‘Turn your wounds into wisdom.’ And it does make sense to let our hurts teach us a wiser way to live. It’s basically learning from our mistakes. And that’s exactly what successful people do, for if you don’t learn from your errors, you will continue making the same mistakes and thus getting the same hurtful and wounding results. 

And how do we do that? I believe this advice from Cousin Sol in Proverbs makes a good start. He says: ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct (make straight) thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear (reverence) the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel (body), and marrow (strength) to thy bones.’ (Prov. 3:5-8) Yuh know friends, if you must choose one passage of scripture to remember, one that encompasses all you need to know, that’s it right there! Once you have the basic knowledge of scripture in your hearts and souls, that’s all you really need to live by. 

And that segues very nicely into our next quote, which offers great advice: ‘Don’t settle for what life gives you; make life better and build something.’ Ah mih bredrin, with Jesus in our lives, that’s exactly what He expects of us! When life gives us lemons, He expects us to take them and make lemonade. (smile) That means to improve on whatever we are given. Don’t just sit there and accept life’s handouts without any thought of making them better. Unfortunately though, that’s just what many of us do. Life hands us misfortunes and instead of trying to build something better on them, we simply accept them, and do the proverbial thing, lie down and die. 

But when you’re follower of Jesus, that’s not acceptable. He expects us to be always improving, always learning, always persevering to become more like Him. Look at the hand that He was dealt when He came to earth nuh. One of persecution, rejection, and abnormal suffering, what I like to term ‘sufferation’ Most of us would have gone crazy and run away. But He stood up and faced it all, obviously with the help of His heavenly Father, and turned the whole world upside down, an upheaval from which it still hasn’t recovered two thousand years later, and never will! 

And as the Good Book reminds us, He is the example we all must follow. ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb.12:2) So whatever life slings at us, we must let Jesus help us to take it and make it better. That brings us to our last quote: ‘Sing like no one’s listening, LOVE like you’ve never been hurt, dance like nobody’s watching, and live like it’s heaven on earth.’ 

Oh friends, that’s the abundant life, and it’s just how God intended for us to live! But nowadays, in this fallen and sinful world we can only live it if we’ve received Jesus as Lord and Saviour, and keep Him first and foremost in our hearts minds, bodies and souls! That’s the kind of life Jesus died for us to have. He said very clearly. ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10b) So, the long and short of the story friends, is that to do all those things our quotes tell us, we must be true and strong followers of Christ Jesus! Anything less than that will not cut it. End of story! Much LOVE!

…living for Jesus…that’s the ONLY way to go… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 September 2021 Proverbs 3:1.

Proverbs 3:1.     My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments.

Oh friends, this cool Thursday morning in early September is another day for us to live gratefully and enjoy the new mercies and compassions of God. And if you have been walking the same old roads that are leading you to sure destruction, and hearing the same old lies from the enemy of your soul, then it’s time to turn to the One who can change all of that, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

Yes, He’s the One that LOVED us so much that He sacrificed His life that we could be saved from eternal damnation and separation from Almighty God! And yes, that’s a mighty fine thing He did there, the only One who could have accomplished it, for being eternally separated from the Creator of this universe is the worst thing that can ever happen to a human being. So please, it’s not wise to allow that selfless action of Jesus to go unused, to go to waste, by not accepting Him as Lord and Saviour, Redeemer, Prince of Peace and the many other things that He is and stands for. 

But unfortunately, living for Jesus is not a nice easy walk in the park kind of life, for there are pitfalls and tribulations and all sorts of unhappy things can happen along the way. However, we are assured that despite the many problems we may face, there will also be lots of enjoyment and refreshment along the way, and eventually everything will work out for our good. That’s the Lord’s ever-faithful promise! And if you want to hook up with Jesus, you have to believe His many promises; that’s what we call faith! And with faith comes sincere obedience too. 

And these wise words from the wisest man ever, Cousin Sol, as he exhorts us to obedience, should take first place in our hearts if we are to enjoy all the beautiful things that Christ has promised us, ending with salvation, eternal life in heaven with Him and our Triune God. So, let’s check out these most important words from the Good Book that ought to be our guide for daily living. Cousin Sol begins thus: ‘My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments.’ (Prov. 3:1) 

Yes my brethren, it’s ever so important that we obey the rules and regulations involved in worshipping and living for Christ! All organizations have rules and regulations for its members to follow, otherwise there will be anarchy, with everyone doing as they please. And Jesus said it loud and clear to the disciples: ‘If you LOVE me, keep my commandments.’ (John 14:15) So if you don’t intend to keep God’s commands, then you are just wasting His time and yours. And please remember that God doesn’t really need us nuh, but we definitely need Him. So all of this is for our benefit, not His. 

And one of the major benefits that come from keeping His commandments is this: ‘For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.’ (Prov. 3:2) Oh mih people, who doesn’t want all of that eh? We all do! But we won’t get it unless we obey our heavenly Father’s commands. And Cousin Sol continues with his wise words. ‘Let not mercy (LOVING-kindness) and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart (mind). (Prov. 3:3) And why should we do that? The answer is quite simple: ‘So shalt thou find favour and good understanding (high esteem) in the sight of God and man.’ (Prov. 3:4) 

Oh people, people, there is always a good reason for accepting Christ as Lord and Saviour and obeying His commandments! It’s not just a disorganized, quickly thrown together thing. It’s taken thousands of years for this plan to come to fruition, and it’s not quite done yet. But for us to be a successful part of it we must do wise, though sometimes hard stuff like ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.’ (Prov. 3:5-6) 

Oh, how can we ever go wrong when we allow the Creator of the universe to guide our lives eh? No way! But it has to be a constant, continual way of life. Like Cousin Sol says: ‘Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel (body), and marrow (strength, refreshment) to thy bones.’ (Prov. 3:7-8) Wow mih bredrin! Who again doesn’t want those benefits eh? We all do. But they don’t come by just wishing and hoping, but by being continually faithful, obedient and trusting! 

Now hear this next directive from Cousin Sol nuh. ‘Honour the Lord with thy substance (possessions), and with the first fruits of all thine increase. So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses (vats) shall burst out with new wine.’ (Prov. 3:9-10) Ah mih people, that’s oh so important in the Lord’s economy, yet so many of us refuse to do it. We stubbornly refuse to give back to the Lord the first portion of what we earn or harvest through His bounty. Yes, it’s through the Lord’s bounty that we gain anything, as Moses reminded the Israelites long ago: ‘Remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth…’ (Deut. 8:18) 

And it’s not like the Lord needs it nuh, but He just wants to see if we really and truly believe Him when it comes to giving. In the Old Testament times they called it a tithe, or a tenth of what you earned. And it was also a means for the priests and people who worked in the church and could not work the land or raise animals, to get food, and to have food to share with the poor and the stranger. 

And it was so important to the Lord that in Malachi, He claimed that the Israelites robbed Him, then challenged them thus: ‘Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat (food) in mine house, and prove (test) me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.’ (Mal. 3:10) 

Yes friends, that’s how generous and faithful our great God is! But we also have to be faithful and trusting by giving back a fair portion of our goods for His work. And believe me, no one that has ever tithed will tell you it doesn’t work! Now it’s not just a matter of giving to get, but it must come from a sincere place in our hearts; a place of true belief and trust. And it does take time to mature in the grace and mercy of God, so all that stuff we’ve spoken about won’t happen overnight, but we do need to make a serious effort to live it. 

And when we do that, Almighty God blesses us even more, bestowing what we call our Thursday Blessings, so that we can do a good job for Him down here on earth. So let’s declare them together now nuh, because they don’t come into effect until they are declared. As one strong voice: ‘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 every day! Amen!’ 

That’s for sure my fellow saints! But now we must go out and share those blessings just as generously with others as the Lord shared them with us. Much LOVE!

…for an organization to be successful…all members must obey its rules…                                                                                                       

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 June 2021 Proverbs 3:1.

Proverbs 3:1.     My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:

Can you believe it friends, this is already the first day of June, the sixth month? The year is just flying by despite all the problems currently engulfing the world! And it’s certainly a good thing that we have a strong, staunch, unchangeable, immovable God, who is the same yesterday, today and forever, otherwise we would be an easy prey to the numerous evil elements lurking around almost every corner! So it’s rather wise to call out to our great God at all times; in the morning, in the evening and in the midnight hour, for He is indeed our very help in times of trouble and tribulation. 

And that’s why these monumental words of scriptural wisdom from Cousin Sol are so important to our earthly travels. ‘My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to your life.’ (Prov. 3:1-2) Yuh see the importance of obedience to God’s commandments friends? It shall only add long life and peace to your days here on earth! 

Then Cousin Sol continues: ‘Let not mercy (LOVING-kindness) and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart. So shalt thou find favour and good understanding (high esteem) in the sight of God and man.’ (Prov. 3:3-4) Ah mih bredrin, that’s the incomparable benefit of walking in mercy and truth! And the scholars offer these explanations: ‘3:3. About thy neck: The teachings should be made as much a part of one’s adornment as a necklace. The table of thine heart, that is, the mind.’ 

But Cousin Sol doesn’t stop there, he gets deeper into his exhortations on obedience. ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct (make smooth or straight) thy paths.’ (Prov. 3:5-6) More incomparable wisdom friends! 

Now hear the scholars on those two verses. ‘3:5-6. Three commands are given: trust, meaning “rely on, depend on”; lean not, meaning do not depend on your own native instincts; and acknowledge him, meaning have fellowship and intimacy with God in all of life. The result of such devotion is that God will make the paths straight before you.’ Now what more can we ask for eh my fellow believers? 

However, there is much more available, as Cousin Sol tells it, tells it straight and true. ‘Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel (body), and marrow (strength) to thy bones. Honour the Lord with all thy substance (possessions), and with the first fruits of all thine increase. So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses (vats) shall burst out with new wine.’ (Prov. 3:7-10) 

Oh my people, if there was only one set of scriptures to describe the kind of life a believer in Jesus is supposed to live, those first ten verses of Proverbs 3, would be it! It covers everything from obedience to length of life, from trust to health, to increase and prosperity; the how’s, whys and wherefores of living for our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! Now why aren’t we living that wise kind of life eh? Who knows? But wisdom dictates that that’s how we ought to live, and if we don’t, then we will suffer the consequences for wrongdoing and sinful living. 

But even then, our God is so wonderful, as Cousin Sol explains: ‘My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of (detest) his correction: For whom the Lord LOVETH he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.’ (Prov. 3:11-12) Wow! What a wonderful God we serve and worship my people! As the scholars say of those verses: ‘God’s correction shows His LOVE (cf. Heb. 12:5-6).’ 

And we certainly will check out those verses which deal with God’s discipline. ‘And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children (sons), My son despise not thou the chastening (discipline) of the Lord, nor faint (be discouraged) when thou art rebuked of him. For whom the Lord LOVETH he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.’ (Heb. 12:5-6) So you see that discipline is as much a heavenly measure as it is an earthly one. (smile) 

And the author of Hebrews takes the discipline matter a little further. ‘If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, wherefore all are partakers, then are ye bastards (illegitimate), and not sons. Furthermore, we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence (respect): shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure (as seemed best to them); but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.’ (Heb. 12:7-10) 

Now that’s a very good question my brethren? If we respect our earthly fathers who punish us according to their whims and fancies, why won’t we reverence our heavenly Father, the One who gives us life and all the good things thereof, when He disciplines us for our profit, our benefit eh? Because we’re foolish, sinful, prideful and disobedient! 

And the author of Hebrews concludes that message with this insightful comment: ‘Now no chastening (discipline) for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised (trained) thereby.’ (Heb. 12:11) And that’s the indisputable truth friends. Discipline or punishment never seems good for the present moment, but later on, when we look back at the situation, we usually see the benefits of it. 

Anyway, if, after reading all of the above, we still continue in our foolish and disobedient ways, then what am I to say eh…except crapaud smoke yuh pipe! But for those of us who are sincerely trying to be wise and obedient, let’s go home declaring (awright!) our Tuesday Mantra. 

As one strong, heart-felt voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’  

And now, as our duty entails, let’s go out and share the awesome friendship and amazing LOVE of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Much LOVE!

…to obey is better…than to sacrifice…and to hearken…than the fat of rams… (1 Sam. 15:22) 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 March 2021 Proverbs 3:1.

Proverbs 3:1.     ​My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:

So it’s another brand new day! However, this one isn’t as bright and sunshiny as the last several ones have been. No, it’s wet and rainy, but it’s still beautiful, because we need the rain as well as the sun to keep nature refreshed and clean and growing like the Lord God intended. And since it’s springtime, which means a rebirth of things green and beautiful to the eyes, that means heavenly showers of blessings are necessary to accomplish such a feat, especially after all the cold, dryness of winter. 

So let’s still be bright and grateful and obedient in spirit to our great God nuh, the One who made us and knows exactly what we each need to have a wonderful day and a glorious life walking with Him and His awesome Son, Jesus Christ, through the amazing guidance of the Holy Spirit! 

Wow! Isn’t that a mouthful! But a beautiful mouthful indeed! (smile) And it’s also going to be a good day, because the ordinary workingman has something to say today. There seems to be a resurgence in his spirit, as he declares (steups!), though still not with his old fervour: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday and there’s a li’l light at the end of the tunnel! The boss called couple days ago and said a few of us, the senior ones, could come back to work Monday, at least for a couple days a week, according to how much business it have! 

Oh brother! I don’t even know if I remember how to do the blooming work nuh, it’s been so long. But it is a start, and it gets me out of the old house…Glory be! I’ve never stayed cooped up so long in all mih life, and it was really starting to get on mih nerves. Couldn’t go to work, so no real money was coming in, couldn’t go down to the pub and drink a few pints with the boys, because the pub closed down. Couldn’t do all the things I like to do… Ah Lord eh! 

Let’s hope this is the start of a new day yes, because I really couldn’t take much more of this lockdown business nuh. But ah not holding mih breath, because people still behaving stupid out there, not wearing masks and partying plenty together, and in spite of the vaccine, a setta people still catching the bloody virus. So leh we keep on praying yes…and if you weren’t praying before, yuh better had start now, because is only with God’s help we going to see a brighter day oui!’ 

And that friends, is the awesome, gospel, indisputable truth! Without sincere prayer, repentance and obedience to God’s word, our world will never return to some semblance of normalcy, call it the new normal or whatever, but there will never be a sense of security and a lack of the fear that has settled over us during the past year. And the scripture that seems to best fit our situation comes from Cousin Sol, from his wise words in Proverbs, as he exhorts us to obedience to God. 

So please listen up: ‘My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.’ (Prov. 3:1-2) Yuh see that friends, we don’t need to go far to find out the benefits of obedience to God’s laws; it lengthens our lives and brings us peace. But that isn’t all, it’s just the beginning. Hear Cousin Sol continue: ‘Let not mercy (LOVING-kindness) and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favour and good understanding (high esteem) in the sight of God and man.’ (Prov. 3:3-4) 

Oh my people, what’s there not to understand in those simple and self-explanatory verses eh? If we embrace mercy and truth, keep them close to us like a piece of jewelry that adorns our bodies, and write them on the table of our hearts, our minds, we’ll find favour with both God and man. Now isn’t that something to be earnestly desired? It surely is! 

And Cousin Sol’s not done yet: ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct (make smooth) thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel (body), and marrow (strength) to thy bones. Honour the Lord with thy substance (possessions), and with the first fruits of all thine increase: so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses (vats) shall burst out with new wine.’ (Prov. 3:5-10) 

Mama Mia! What awesome words of wisdom! And yuh notice that when God’s chosen people Israel followed those simple rules they prospered in all aspects of their lives. But when they got too high and mighty, too big for their tight britches, they suffered tremendously. And it’s the same scene that’s playing out in our sick, confused and strife-filled world right now. For we have also gotten too big for our britches, believed that our prosperity was our doing, and not the Lord’s, as it actually is, so we have turned away from Him, doing all we can to remove Him from our society. 

But friends, if we have learned anything from history, is that the Lord always prevails in the end. Look at how many super societies fell upon hard times and eventual ruin when they despised God and turned away from Him. And simple common sense, which unfortunately doesn’t seem to exist today, tells us, that if we’ve tried all of our own remedies and they haven’t worked, then we should at least turn to God in prayer. Not that it should be the last thing we try, but rather, the first. 

In any case, be it first or last, not turning to him in prayer is utter stupidity; stemming from foolish pride and baseless arrogance. So let’s do the wise thing now and turn to Almighty God for help nuh. In sincere, humble, but also confident voice, let’s call out to Him for divine help, through our Friday Chant. 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. Yuh know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife causing. We not accustomed to that kind of life Lord, and it really telling on us. And we know we can’t handle it on our own, that we desperately need your help. 

Oh 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, if we were sincere and serious, then we’ll handle the situation properly, with repentance and obedience. Otherwise, we’re just making a mockery, a sad and sorry spectacle of ourselves! Much LOVE!

…OBEDIENCE…the ONLY way we will ever satisfy God’s demands… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 September 2020 1 Corinthians 3:18.

1 Corinthians 3:18.     Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world (age), let him become a fool, that he may be wise.

Well can you believe it’s Friday! I can’t. As usual, the whole week has passed by and I haven’t done any of the things I claim I want to do. But what to do eh? (smile) I’m not going to berate myself unnecessarily, or feel terribly guilty – there will be a touch of guilt though – (smile) for in these unprecedented times, who knows what unprecedented and abnormal things will happen in our lives. The important thing is to stay connected with God, and to grow in wisdom and knowledge and obedience to His will and holy word and encouraging others as best we can. 

If we’re doing that, then I believe we’re fulfilling our purpose for this time when we can’t, or are not supposed to go out and about like we are, or rather were used to doing. And now that I’ve had my say, (smile) let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to share this Friday morning in the last week of September of this crazy and mind-boggling year of 2020. 

As usual, he opens with an enthusiastic: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday…and the weekend is here at last! Wow! It’s been a good week, nice warm September weather, with temps even in the mid 20’s. But it’s coming…yes people, winter is coming. The trees already bearing out that indisputable and unchangeable fact; they starting to turn colour. And are they beautiful colours; gold, brown, yellow, red… fall is the best, or rather most colourful season of the year. Like the Lord made it beautiful because He knew that winter was coming when everything would be cold as ice and look dead and dreary, so He wanted to give us something to perk us up before that happen. 

But that lead me to wonder what going to happen with this Covid-19 business, if it going to get worse with the cold weather and flu season? And the numbers now going back up again because people not observing the safety precautions. Steups! Like is only when we catch it, we going to learn. Yuh see the virus is no respecter of people, even the leader of the Federal opposition and his wife have it, as well as the leader of the French party. So what it going to take eh? Another lockdown. They done restrict gatherings in Toronto and Peel and Ottawa… Ah Lord eh! Thank God that me an’ mine doing we best to stay safe yes!’ 

Yes my people, that’s why I have serious concerns about the belief that mankind is the wisest animal on the planet. (smile) He certainly doesn’t show that in his everyday actions. That brings me to this interesting, and I believe appropriate bit of scripture from Bruh Paul’s first missive to the church at Corinth, when they were debating and divided over whom to follow, Bruh Paul or Apollos. ‘Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world (age), let him become a fool, that he may be wise.’ (1 Cor. 3:18) 

That’s good advice, for as Cousin Sol adds in his two cents worth: ‘Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear (reverence) the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel (body), and marrow (strength) to thy bones.’ (Prov. 3:7-8) And that’s the gospel truth friends! And if you’re wondering why, then listen to Bruh Paul’s explanation. ‘For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. for it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain (futile).’ (1 Cor.3:19-20) And there Bruh Paul is quoting Job and the psalmist. 

Job says of the Lord. ‘To set up on high those that be low; that those which mourn may be exalted to safety. He disappointeth (frustrates) the desires of the crafty, so that their hands cannot perform their enterprises (plans). He taketh the wise in their own craftiness: and the counsel of the froward (of the wily) is carried headlong (comes quickly on themselves).’ (Job 5:11-13) And the writer of psalm 94 admitted: ‘The Lord knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity (futile).’ (Ps.94:11) So it wasn’t anything new that Bruh Paul was preaching. 

And he concludes: ‘Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours. And ye are Christ’s: and Christ is God’s.’ (1 Cor. 3:21-23) Immortal words of wisdom and truth friends! 

As the scholars explain: ‘3:21-22. For all things are yours: The one who belongs to Christ is a child of God, and his Father will do anything for him. The absurdity of their division over allegiances to any of these men is that God gave them “all” to the Corinthians.’ The same goes for us today; whoever is teaching us, they were ALL given to us by God, for His glory, not for us to be foolishly attached to them. 

Now let’s go home chanting our Friday Chant, asking God for His divine help in these turbulent times. With all sincerity now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. Yuh know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife causing. We not accustomed to that kind of life Lord, and it really telling on us. And we know we can’t handle it on our own, that we desperately need your help. 

Oh 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!’ 

Now it’s time for us to go out and handle the situation like the faithful believers we consider ourselves. Much LOVE!

…anyone can plant…but it’s God ALONE…who gives the increase… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 April 2020 Psalm 127:1.

Psalm 127:1.    ​Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep (guards) the city, the watchman waketh but (stays awake) in vain.
 
Well hello there you beautiful believers in Christ Jesus! It’s another beautiful sunshiny day in my neighbourhood, and I hope it’s like that in yours too. But the important thing is that we’re alive and kicking, our names have not been featured in today’s obituaries, so there are overwhelming reasons to be in a joyful mood and give sincere thanks for our amazing situation in Christ! So let’s do just that nuh, let’s offer up a li’l thanks and praise to our wonderful Father on high, using these words of Cousin Sol, taken from Psalm 72, one of the only two Psalms he apparently wrote. The other is Psalm 127. 

So please pray with me: ‘His (God’s) name  shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed. Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things. And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen, and Amen.’ (Ps. 72:17-19) And that’s exactly what our world needs right now my people; for the Lord’s name to fill it with sincere songs of praise and glory, because that is the ONLY thing that will get us through these disastrous times that we’re now facing. 

And as Cousin Sol said so definitively in his other psalm – The need for relying on God. ‘Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep (guards) the city, the watchman waketh but (stays awake) in vain.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth friends! Unless the Lord God Jehovah occupies a prime spot in our lives and our society, our efforts to grow and improve will NEVER amount to what it could be under His guidance and tutelage! 

And that’s a major reason why our society and our world is in such a calamitous state; we have not considered the Lord in our doings, but instead have tried – in vain obviously – to remove Him and His Word from amongst us. But friends, we obviously have not learned from history, where it shows that EVERY nation that turned away from the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, or tried to eradicate Him, suffered serious disaster and tribulation until they returned to His fold. The nation of Israel being the number one deviant. (smile) 

Oh my people, when will we wake up and see the light eh? When will we truly acknowledge in our hearts and souls that the Lord God of Israel is our Maker and Controller, and until we bow down to Him in sincere repentance and worship, our lives, and those of our children’s children won’t run smoothly. And it’s obvious too that we have not been paying serious attention to Cousin Sol’s words found in Proverbs. 

‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct (make smooth) thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel (body), and marrow (strength) to thy bones. Honour the Lord with thy substance (possessions), and with the first fruits of all thine increase: so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses (vats) shall burst out with new wine.’ (Prov. 3:5-10) 

Now that’s how a people, a society, a nation, a world ought to behave if it wants to succeed and prosper! But unfortunately, the majority of our people, societies, nations and world have not been following those wise words of advice. We haven’t trusted sincerely in the Lord, nor acknowledged Him, but instead have leaned heavily on our own understanding, unwisely removing His commandments from schools and public places, no wonder our paths have been rocky, and right now calamitous! 

We’ve foolishly chosen to be wise in our own eyes, and have not feared or reverenced the Lord, nor departed from evil. In fact, evil has blatantly increased, and is even being called good in these malicious and sinful times.  Neither have we honoured the Lord with our possessions and first fruits, no wonder our economies are suffering so much degradation. Oh friends, it’s not too late for us to turn this thing around, but we have to be sincere and work hard at it and truly believe in God’s sustaining power as the psalmist wrote about it. 

‘I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills (mountains), from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved (slip): he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve (keep) thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.’ (Ps. 121:1-8) 

Yes people, that was true way back then, but it’s also true right now, for the Lord our God does not change! So if we want to experience His goodness and mercy, then we are the ones who have to change! Simple maths – like one and one equals two! So let’s wake up nuh people, the signs are all over the place; the Lord is tired with our sinful and evil ways. Yes, He is long-suffering, but that doesn’t mean He will tolerate our foolishness, our insolent rebellion forever! So let’s be wise and get it together nuh, realize where our bread is buttered, turn back to the Most High God, Creator and Controller of this magnificent universe! That’s the ultimate in wisdom. 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeahh!) our Thursday Blessings, which He’s so generously given us to work with on His behalf. Altogether now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

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

And the next move is for us to generously put it all to work in His name. Much LOVE!

…for other foundation…can no man lay…than that is laid…which is Jesus Christ…  (1 Cor. 3:11)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 July 2019 Proverbs 3:5.

Proverbs 3:5.    ​Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
 

Aye mih people, it’s a beautiful day in my neighbourhood! We’re alive…Glory to God! Yes, we’ve been granted another day on God’s great earth…Give Him thanks and praise for such generosity! And even better…the ole fella’s up early to write you encouraging words…and the icing on the cake is that my trusty desktop behaved perfectly this morning, no rebellion whatsoever. 

Wow! Would the Lord ever be mighty thankful if we could be that obedient! My spelling seems to be somewhat atrocious this morning though, for I made about five mistakes in that last sentence. (smile) And make no doubt about it, the evil one and his cronies are also up and about early, for I just received a phone call purporting to be from my Credit Card Company, warning me that they had stopped some unauthorized payment on my card and I should call such and such a number. 

I don’t know why I even answered the phone because I don’t usually answer numbers that I don’t know. But to be on the safe side, I did check out my Credit Card Company and they did not call me. Just goes to show we have to be on our p’s and q’s each moment of every day, because the master of deceit, falsehood and thievery is always on the lookout for a chance to creep into our souls and our business. 

Anyway, with our Lord and Saviour constantly riding shotgun with us, there’s no need to worry! Give Him some more thanks and praise, exalt His mighty name! And since it’s Saturday, let’s look at what words of wisdom our friend Anselm had to offer this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Hear this one: ‘People will always have an opinion, but you have to live life the way you want to.’ And that’s no lie, especially in these crazy and dangerous times of social media. But you indeed have to live your life the way you see it, though in line with the way our heavenly Father wants us to live our earthly lives. That is the supreme opinion to which you ought to pay constant and faithful attention. 

And then there’s this: ‘Success is a process that continues, not a status that you reach. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned and things you can do.’ Ah mih people, in the first place success from the world’s viewpoint, is definitely not the same as God’s. But in both instances, we have to work towards that successful point, it doesn’t just happen, and once we’re alive, we are supposed to keep on learning, for that’s the whole purpose of being alive! (smile) 

What’s the purpose of being alive and not learning anything eh? None whatsoever! It’s ever so important to keep on learning, both what the phony, evil world is really about, and what God’s righteousness calls for. And the next quote highlights that in spades: ‘Saying good words to people will never go out of style. The truth is everybody likes encouragement; everybody likes somebody cheering them on.’ Now that we can all attest to! 

And it is the duty of Christians to cheer each other on, as well as non-believers! Cousin Sol says it thus: ‘A word fitly spoken (spoken at the right time) is like apples of gold in pictures (settings) of silver.’ (Prov.25:11) and the scholars explain: ’25:11. A timely and fitting word is precious and pleasing.’ And Jesus was all about encouragement, just read His words, and so should His followers be. 

But unfortunately there’s way more discouraging words being spoken in this confused and strife-filled world than encouraging ones, and it is the Christian’s job, to get out there and shine, shine, shine, bring light and encouragement to a dark and tumultuous humanity! As Jesus so desperately desires of us: ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven’ (Matt.5:16) 

And this next quote gives some indication of how we’re doing, re maturing faith. ‘A good sign of how secure you are, is what it takes to “offend” you. The more secure you are, the less offended you get.’ And that’s gospel truth! The more secure we are in Jesus, the more it takes to get us offended. And brother, are we ever easily offended these days! 

But just look at Jesus’ example nuh. They said all kinds of rotten and blasphemous things about Him, but He went about His Father’s business nonetheless. He just let it all roll of like water off a duck’s back. He knew whom and whose He was, and His purpose here on earth, so He did not allow the naysayers to get Him off track with their evil words and deeds. And we’ll add this scripture here as a lagniappe. (smile) ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.’ (2 Cor. 3:5) Let’s remember that friends, it’s all about our dependence on God Almighty! 

Now hear this last quote: ‘As you keep your mind and heart focused in the right direction, approaching each day with faith and gratitude, I believe you will be empowered to live life to the fullest and enjoy the abundant life He has promised you.’ Yes my faithful brethren, Christ did come that we might have life, and have it more abundantly. (John 10:10b) But the important thing, as our quote says, is to be focused in the right direction. 

And what is the right direction, you ask? Well I believe that right direction is found in these wonderful and wise words of Cousin Sol. ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel (body), and marrow (strength) to thy bones. Honour the Lord with thy substance (possessions), and with the first fruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses (vats) shall burst out with new wine.’ (Prov.3:5-10) 

Oh my people, my people, no better direction can be found in all the world than those given there by Cousin Sol! Obviously the Lord inspired them, and if we’d just do those few but all-important things, our lives would be ever so wonderful! Not that we won’t have problems, because this world has natural problems coming out of its kazoo, but we’ll be able to prosper and stand strong in Christ despite them all. So please let’s take those words of Cousin Sol to heart this Saturday morning in July of 2019 nuh, so that our lives will manifest the Saviour to this lost and darkened world! Much LOVE!

…to the true believer…Jesus is our BE ALL…and our END ALL…our EVERYTHING…

 

 

 

 

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