Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 January 2019 Psalm 31:7.

Psalm 31:7.   ​I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities (troubles).
 

‘Saturday, oh Saturday; day of not getting up early, of sleeping in, of lying on the couch like a couch potatoe and just letting the world pass me by…Oh how I LOVE thee! Let me count the ways…’ (smile) Yeh friends, Saturday is one of our friendliest days in this busy modern universe, although for some it’s rougher than having to get up and go to work because they have all the household chores to do that have been put off during the week. 

And no, I did not sleep in, I’ve been down here for a while fighting with my computer, it wanting to do its own thing and not my will, then having the audacity to freeze up on me. Oh the boldfaceness of these technological do-dads eh! But it makes me smile, because that’s just the way we behave with our heavenly Father; audaciously wanting to do our will and not His. And when He steps on us, we quick to cry foul. Hn! Hn! But that’s His prerogative as our Maker and Controller. 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, in his noble attempt to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And this first one answers a question that many of ask: “Why am I as I am? To understand that of any person, his whole life, from Birth must be reviewed. All of our experiences fuse into our personality. Everything that ever happened to us is an ingredient.” 

Yeh friends, we can’t disconnect ourselves from anything that has ever happened to us, because they all come together to make us who we are. And then there’s this: ‘Read absolutely everything you get your hands on because you’ll never know where you’ll get an idea from….’ Holy smokes! Reading! What is that eh? Our children don’t know the a from b about that! 

Neither do some of us big people. It’s only the nonsense found on the tube and texting the mindless new language that’s developed for these technological toys! One friend sent me an e-mail yesterday with some symbols that seemed to tell me to stick whatever it was where the sun doesn’t shine, only to find out that they meant praying hands. (smile) 

Ah mih people, reading is the best form of quiet recreation, and it also opens up your mind to so many other things and places. And as for me, you can’t be a writer unless you read. There’s nothing like curling up with a good book and just getting lost in it. Even if it’s an electronic one! (smile) 

And we all know this one: ‘If you don’t stand for something you fall for everything.’ How true that is! Being wishy-washy, double-minded and that sort of thing only makes our lives bounce insecurely from one thing to another, with no steadfastness on the horizon. That’s why as Christians, we are encouraged, and admonished to STAND UP for Jesus, because then we have security and sense of purpose! 

And that segues very nicely into this next quote: ‘Children have a lesson adults should learn, to not be ashamed of failing, but to get up and try again. Most of us adults are so afraid, so cautious, so ‘safe,’ and therefore so shrinking and rigid and afraid that it is why so many humans fail. Most middle-aged adults have resigned themselves to failure.’ And that’s no lie! But please remember the old saying: ‘try, try again…until you succeed.’ And as believers in Jesus Christ that should be one of the top priorities in our lives, because in Jesus’ kingdom there is NO GIVING UP! 

And though we won’t like this last quote that complements the others very well, it’s very true: ‘There is no better school than that of adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance next time.’ 

Ah mih people, it’s only in adversity that we grow and hopefully learn from our mistakes. So although many of us are going through some rough times now, please remember they are building blocks for our future, they are the experiences as we said above that make us who we are, and lead us to a future and a hope as the Lord promised. (Jer.29:11) And also that ALL things work together for good to those who LOVE God and are called to do His work. (Rom.8:28) 

That means whatever we’re going through has a definite meaning and correlation to the plan that the Lord has in mind for us and there’s no need to run from or bemoan too much the adversities that come against us, for the Lord would not have allowed them if they were going to damage us. Remember He said that when we walk through the fire or the flood, He would always be with us. (Is.43:2) 

And since many of us have been walking with God for sometime we must have seen the goodness of His hand on our lives, more than once too, thus we ought to be able to say like Bruh David does in our Bit: ‘I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities (troubles).’ 

Yeh friends, when we can say that in our times of trouble then we know that our faith is strong. For as Cousin Sol so truthfully and plainly says: ‘If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.’ (Prov.24:10) And the scholars tell us: ’24:10. Strength in the face of adversity is the true test of one’s endurance.’ And in terms of our Christian faith and maturity, that is oh so true. 

And yes, it is not easy to be strong when troubles strike, but we also have that most faithful and true promise of Jesus to hold on to. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) Now friends, as supposedly true believers in Christ, if we can’t rest in, and on that promise…then I don’t know what else to say nuh. Much LOVE!

…adversity brings out the best…in true believers…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 October 2018 Proverbs 26:12.

Proverbs 26:12.    Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit (eyes)? There is more hope of a fool than of him.
 

Ah mih breddren, unfortunately at 8 o’clock on this Wednesday morning, the last day of October 2018, my neighbourhood is dark, dismal and cold…it’s also raining. To tell the truth, I don’t even remember what rain looks or feels like, for the past two weeks that I spent in Jamaica, I never experienced a drop of heavenly blessing. Yes, a few times the sky darkened, but nary a drop of water fell wherever I happened to be. Hn! 

But I’d better get accustomed to this new state of affairs…and quickly too, because that’s going to be the new norm now. Oh to be in Jamdown once again, experiencing sea, sand, surf and salt, with the occasional bit of rum! (smile) Yes friends, that’s what dream are made of! But here is a taste of reality from the Swedish U.N Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold (1905-1961). 

He piloted the United Nations from 1953 to 1961, when his plane, under mysterious circumstances, crashed in Africa, on his way to try and quell a dispute over there. These are some of the words he left us: ‘Maturity: among other things – not to hide one’s strength out of fear and consequently live below one’s best.’ Words of great wisdom my people! 

And as Christians we have to stop living in fear and proclaim our strengths, strengths which we all have. As they say: ‘healthy thinking requires us to develop and use our many strengths.’

That’s never been truer of Christ’s church than right now, because instead of exhibiting strength, too many of us are embracing weakness and compromising our Christian beliefs and situations. We can’t afford to hide our strengths my people, because that’s when we enjoy our best life. 

And to help us do that, here is a li’l prayer from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. Please pray with me: ‘Thank you, Lord, for bringing me to the place where LOVE can knock at the door of my heart. O Father, do not let me be afraid. I shall not resist your affectionate touch. Let me, O Lord, have the spirit of a little child and dare to respond and run with open arms to your call of LOVE. Amen.’  

Oh friends, it amazes me that we can even contemplate resisting the Lord’s affectionate touch, much less do it! We must be mad, crazy, or stupid… or all three! But unfortunately a lot of believers do it every day.

No wonder their lives are so confused, strife-filled and unfulfilling. This action reminds me of Cousin Sol’s words in our Bit: ‘Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit (eyes)? There is more hope of a fool than of him.’ 

Yes friends, when we are so conceited that we turn away from God’s affectionate touch, there is more hope for even a fool, than for us. And in chapter 29, Cousin Sol says the same thing though somewhat differently: ‘Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? There is more hope of a fool than of him.’ (Prov.29:20) 

And he reiterates his point in Ecclesiastes as the Preacher: ‘Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon the earth: therefore let thy words be few. For a dream cometh through the multitude of business (effort or activity); and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.’ (Eccl.5:2-3) 

Oh friends, I doubt there have been ever been more fools than in this present age! Why? Simply because of the rampant technology that allows us to connect so easily to each other, which unfortunately we are using to talk a whole lot of nonsense, drivel and petty stuff, instead of real and serious matters. 

We’ve become a low standards, low level society in all aspects. That new, but oh so foolish phenomenon called ‘Selfies’ are driving us even further into narcissism and ungodliness, because we’re so focused on ourselves, not on God and others.

Everybody’s walking around with their smart phone – except me- thank the Lord –  (smile) paying more attention to it than what’s happening around them. Sometimes I just have to shake my head and steups at how technology has invaded and taken over our lives. 

But here is the ultimate word on our foolish and selfish, conceited behaviour. This from Jesus two thousand years ago, as he spoke to his disciples about the differences between the praying publican (sinner) and the supposedly devout Pharisee.

‘The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 

And the publican (tax collector), standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon (beat) his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.’ (Luke 18:11-14) 

Oh my people, in these end times there are too many of us like the Pharisee and not like the publican. Please, let’s try and turn it around nuh, for our sake, as well as our children’s.

Remember the Lord doesn’t need anything from us, but we need a whole lot from Him, and we’ll only get it by being obedient to His word. Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our sincere and secure positions in Jesus. 

All together now…lets wail! ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home.

My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And will that future ever be more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…turning away from God…that’s the most foolish thing man can ever do…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 October 2018 1 Peter 1:7.

1 Peter 1:7.    That the (genine) trial (testing) of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried (tested) with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing (revelation) of Jesus Christ.
 

Ah friends, life can be so unfair at times eh! Chuh! For the past two weeks I was waking up to bright sunshine, blue skies, aquamarine surf rolling up on the shores, and tall coconut tress swaying gently in the cool North East Trade Winds, with refreshing island talk drifting up to my room. 

But all of a sudden, I got up this morning and looking out my bedroom window, somewhat cloudy skies, multihued trees and a set of dead brown leaves on the cold looking grass shockingly greeted my sleepy eyes. It certainly brought my system to a standstill. (smile) 

But there was one redeeming feature; my neighbour has a tall tree in his backyard, don’t ask me what kind, and it is covered in golden yellow leaves from head to foot! It looks real beautiful, could be a wonderful poster tree for the colourful fall season. 

Yeh mih people, the ole fella is back home, dressed in his old red spring jacket, sitting in his old chair before his aged desktop, and writing much more comfortably than I did for the last two weeks on my laptop in J.A. But that vacation has been enshrined in the top ones that the duchess and I have taken. 

It definitely is not number one. That place of honour permanently resides in one we took some fifteen to twenty years ago, in the same Jamaica, but we stayed in a town house somewhere down in the Parish of Trelawney. And brother, the things we did; climbing Dunns River falls, rafting down the White River and numerous other tours. 

But I guess the highlight was boating up some river in the night with flambeaus, flaming torches all around, and drums beating in the distance, going to a night time barbecue somewhere along the river bank. Sorry, don’t ask me any more, because it seems I was totally wasted that night. (smile) The things we do when we are young eh! 

But in my maturity and brokenness, I was still able to do one amazing feat; walk up the winding, dangerous nature trail to the Blue Hole Waterfall, and then walk back down in my flip-flops. And I would indeed be foolish to take all the credit, or rather any of it, because it was the Lord who carried me back and forth on His strong, massive, magnificent shoulders. 

If I had known what it was like before attempting it, I doubt I would have done so. So please give the Lord all the glory, because in my weakness, His grace and strength were more than enough to see me through. Glory to the wonderful Deity we serve! 

And on that note of thanksgiving, here is something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that certainly describes my life in the past couple of years. It’s titled ‘Don’t Stop Lord.’ Please pray with me. ‘Lord In asking You to make me whole I certainly didn’t know What I was in for. You have ransacked me Until I sometimes feel There is nothing left. But don’t stop Lord Please don’t stop! I’m trusting that the product Will be worth the process.’ 

Yes mih breddren, when I asked the Lord for healing, I surely didn’t know the paces He would put me through. And if I had known, I can’t say for sure that I would have asked for it. But since we’ve come so far, it’s too late to turn back now. And even if I don’t feel like crying out to Him to continue, the wise and sensible thing to do is let Him finish the renovations and refurbishment, because as Bruh Paul confidently told the Philippians: 

‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you, will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil.1:6) Yes my brethren, once the Lord begins working in us, He never stops until the job is done, even if it takes till Jesus’ Second Coming. So please don’t ever give up on Him! 

And the Bible Promise for the poem above is also our Bit. ‘That the (genuine) trial (testing) of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried (tested) with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing (revelation) of Jesus Christ.’ 

Oh friends, the Lord puts us through some tough trials to simply test our faith, to see how committed we truly are to Him. But He only does it for a ‘season,’ a short time. And if we stand strong and steadfast, He will bring us out of the testing fire, stronger, purer and more mature, like when gold and silver are burnished. 

As James says: ‘My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials); Knowing this, that the trying (testing) of your faith worketh (produces) patience.’ (James 1:2-3) And patience, re perseverance, is something ALL believers need to acquire, and sadly, it cannot be acquired without going through tough times. 

So please friends, let’s all try and bear up under whatever adversity comes against us, knowing that our ever-faithful God will not give us more than we can handle, and in any case will help us through the fire and the flood. And it’s going home time, so let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with much sincerity, in loud voice and strong sense of purpose, proudly letting the world know who and whose we are. 

In unison now: ‘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 to be true to our word, let’s go out now and share the wonderful LOVE and compassion of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! Much LOVE!

…truly living for Jesus is not easy…but praise the Lord…it is certainly very rewarding…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 October 2018 Psalm 119:80.

Psalm 119:80.    Let my heart be sound (blameless) in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed.

 

Oh mih people, would somebody please explain it to me, because I obviously have not been granted the heavenly wisdom to understand the ramifications of this mind-boggling situation! And I’m talking about how a body can go to bed feeling perfectly fine – well not perfect perfect, but fairly decent – then some five or six hours later wake up racked with pain in body and soul, reduced to moving around like a doddering old man? 

Oh, I know some of you will say than I am old, so that’s no surprise… But please, I beg to differ. I’ll grant that I’m somewhat aged, (smile) but nowhere enough yet to be doddering! And to make matters worse, while lying there contemplating the pain and getting up, I was seduced to stay in bed for another forty five minutes by a couple showers of seductive rain. Yes, it looks like it’s going to be a ‘riney’ day. But how fickle is the soul of man eh! (smile) 

And though I’ve asked the Lord a couple of times about this abnormal situation, I’ve gotten no answer, which leads me to thinking that He’s intimating to me, the same thing that He said to Bruh Paul, when he asked for relief from the thorn in his side. ‘My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength (power) is made perfect in weakness.’ (2 Cor.12:9a) 

And though I know that, and gratefully acknowledge it, it still doesn’t ease the pain. (smile) I guess the Lord’s waiting for me to say like Bruh Paul did after receiving that Bit of info. ‘Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then I am strong.’ (2 Cor.12:9b-10)  

Oh my brethren, I’m trying, but I’m nowhere close to Bruh Paul’s maturity nuh, and the Lord knows it. So I’m not going to fool myself by saying all those things that he says above. I’m just going to move around as best as I can, grin and bear the pain, and/or cry out for mercy, (smile) and have faith for the Lord to make ALL things right as He’s faithfully promised. 

Now let’s hope that I have enough space to write what I really intended to write, before the Holy Spirit led me to write what I’ve actually written. (smile) And it’s a most appropriate poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, titled, ‘Three Unalterable Truths.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘Lord, through the years Of walking hand-in-hand with You I have learned three unalterable truths: First, what you command me to do You consistently expect me to do. Never do you say, “Give the command a fair try.” Nor do You say, “Consider and then decide.” My natural weakness is never An acceptable excuse. Nor is my inability To reach unreachable standards. Rather, You tell me to seek And then to keep your commands. 

Second, all of Your commands Are always for my ultimate good. “Obey me,” Your Word says “So that I can do for you All the wonderful things I promised…” “In the keeping of My Word There is great reward.” Third, whatever You command me to do You fully enable me to do. As You give light to reveal a command So you give grace to fulfill it. Your divine energy is always at my disposal. The choice to obey is always mine. The power to obey is always Yours.’ 

And the sad, humorous and glorious fact friends, is ALL of that is indisputably true! When the Lord gives us a command, He expects us to obey without a lot of hemming and hawing, as we so often tend to do. And that’s simply because He never asks us to do something without giving us His powerful grace to enable us to do it. 

And the best part of it all my brethren is when we obey with alacrity and faith, there are innumerable rewards to be reaped from His magnanimity and outrageous generosity! Give Him His much deserved glory my people! And the Bible Promise associated with that poem is also our Bit for today: ‘Let my heart be sound (blameless) in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed.’ 

Yes my brethren, being blameless in keeping the Lord’s principles is something we should all aspire to. And don’t worry, He knows that we’re not perfect, because He didn’t make us perfect, but He does expect us to try and get as close to perfection as is humanly possible. It’s all in the state of our hearts friends. As Cousin Sol warns: ‘Keep (look after) thy heart (and mind) with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.’ (Prov.4:23) 

And the scholars explain: ‘4:23. Heart could often be translated “mind” in the book. Since the Hebrews had no separate word for “mind,” the word “heart” often served to represent the seat of the intellect. The key to the whole man is his mind. Whatever captures the mind captures the man.’ Gospel truth that my fellow believers! 

And remember the Lord doesn’t go by our outward actions, He searches our hearts and minds to discover our true motives. That’s why we have to cry out like Bruh David did in his prayer for cleansing: ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me.’ (Ps.51:10) 

And having taken all of that to heart (smile), let’s go home declaring (Steups! Spelt it wrong again) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. In loud voice and strong sense of purpose: ‘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 the obvious corollary to that is for us to now go out and share Jesus’ amazing LOVE with the rest of the world, as He so greatly desires of us. Much LOVE!

…Jesus is still waiting for us to show our true colours…to be the salt…and the light of the world…as He asked us to be…

P.S. It’s certainly been a smiley day! But why not eh? That’s why the Lord gave us the wonderful ability of smiling…to smile! Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 February 2018 Matthew 5:20.

Matthew 5:20.   For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case (by no means) enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Oh friends, out there is like a true winter wonderland! Everything is as white as ever, for as far as you can see. And the white stuff has begun coming down again, at least in my area. Chuh! 

But that’s the Lord’s will. There isn’t anything we can really do about it. It’s winter, and that’s what happens in winter. We’ve just been lucky over the last few years not to see so much snow, so early in the season. 

But remember, anything God brings us to, He will bring us through. So if you have to go out today, please be careful, because that white stuff, though it may look beautiful on the ground, like the enemy it can be very deceiving and dangerous. 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Listen to this first one. ‘When writing the story of your life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen.’ And why would you want to do that eh? It’s your life. You have to control it. 

Now check this out. ‘All the days that you wake up, you got one job, and that’s to get better every single day.’ And that’s oh so true, especially for a Christian. We need to aspire to grow in maturity and Christ-likeness every day that we draw breath. 

That leads us to: ‘Clear your mind of can’t!’ Wonderful advice! For as a believer in Jesus Christ, ‘can’t’ is not supposed to be in our vocabulary, since ALL things are possible with God, and we are God’s chosen people! 

And here’s an interesting one. ‘If you wanna fly, you got to give up the useless stuff that weighs you down.’ Is that ever so true friends! You can’t fly, or prosper, or take off, or rise up if you are being weighed down by useless and unnecessary stuff. 

Note how they carefully pack airplanes and ships for balance, and consider how much stuff is placed in them, otherwise they won’t be able to lift off the ground or sail. The same goes for people, improperly placed and unnecessary baggage will hold us back. 

And this last quote says: ‘If you do not go after what you want, you will never have it. If you do not ask, the answer will always be NO. If you do not step forward, you will always be in the same place.’ 

And that is certainly true, but for believers a serious proviso has to be added to it: All we do, must be done under the will of God, His leading, and in His awesome timing! If not, our seeking will be to no avail; we’ll never truly fly, or write a good life story. And I do hope those quotes give us something to ponder this snowy Saturday morning, as we laze around the house. (smile) 

And we have a very interesting Bit today; memorable words of Jesus, as He talks about the law. ‘For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case (by no means) enter into the kingdom of heaven.’ 

Wow mih people! Imagine that nuh! And those people were supposed to be the most religious in their day, but Jesus lambasted them right, left and centre for their hypocritical behaviour. 

Hear how the scholars explain it. ‘5:20. Because of the necessity of righteousness as a requirement to enter heaven, Jesus then declares that except their righteousness should exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees they could not enter heaven. 

The significance of this is seen in the fact that the Jews of Jesus’ day considered those people to be the most religious in all Israel. However, their religion was largely an outward show of self-righteousness. 

In communicating the depth of His message, Jesus used a series of contrasts between the outward behaviour demanded by the law and the inner attitude of the heart desired by God. Here we discover the practical application of genuine Christian character to true spiritual living. Here we see the gospel in action.                                  

              Law                                           Spirit                         

             No Murder                               No anger

              No adultery                            No lust

              No divorce                               Commitment

              No oath-taking                      Speak the truth

              No retaliation                        Forgiveness

              Hatred for your enemy       LOVE for your enemy                  

             (tradition allowed it)                  (commanded)

Ah mih people, yuh see the basic difference between the laws of man and those of God. Our God expects us to come up to a higher standard than that of the basic law. Just living by the law is not good enough. And the scribes and Pharisees didn’t even truly live by the law that they propagated. 

Unfortunately, so do a lot of us supposed Christians in these end times. Some of us put on a great outward show, talk a good talk, but behind closed doors it’s an entirely different story.

But please remember Jesus’ words; unless we are more righteous than the religious leaders of His day, we won’t enter heaven. Now, that’s something of immeasurable value and importance for us to ponder this Saturday morning. Much LOVE!

…unless you walk the walk…in God’s eyes…where it really matters…talking the talk is useless…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 February 2018 1 Corinthians 15:57.

1 Corinthians 15:57.   But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Ah mih people, welcome to another day on God’s great earth! Oh, I know that we will be surrounded by numerous problems and everyday we hear of more and more foolish strife, war and heated words in our society, but that’s no reason not to give thanks to Almighty God for the good things He’s done, is doing, and will do in our individual lives. Yeh friends, telling God, ‘Thank You,’ is essential for our very survival. 

Now I’m going to share something from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional that I’m pretty sure I’ve never shared before. I don’t know why, if it was just too long and didn’t lend itself to useful paraphrasing, but to day I’m going to share the entire thing, because I believe it’s ever so important for believers in these violent and negative times to understand. 

So here goes. In the first place it is titled: ‘Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!’ So you know it’s all about thanking God. 

And Gramps Schuller says: ‘When you lose a LOVED one, there is a way to thank God. You can thank Him for the promise of eternal life. You can thank Him for the assurance that someday you will be reunited with the one you’ve lost. The worse the loss, the harder the fall, the deeper the pain – the more you need to say, “Thank You, Lord!”  

Thank You, Lord! is the force that draws back the curtains, letting tomorrow’s light pierce today’s darkness. Thank You, Lord! is the first slippery step back up from the ditch of depression. Thank You, Lord! is the seed of faith planted in the dry, cracked earth. When you least feel like doing it – say Thank You, Lord! 

You don’t say Thank You to God because you are crediting or blaming Him for your heartache. NO! Nothing could be further from the truth! God is good! He is the Father of LOVE and goodness! Most of the time we make our own heartache. Why then do we say Thank You, Lord, in the midst of the raging storm? 

We say Thank You, Lord, that you’re still there to help us! Thank You, Lord, that I’m not totally alone! Thank You, Lord for the help you will send me. Thank You, Lord. Thank You for tomorrows that are sure to come. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! It’s a vital element of positive prayer.’ 

Oh friends, I do hope that Gramps Schuller’s words on the importance of saying ‘Thank You,’ to God, have resonated and reverberated in us, and will continue to do so, because if we want to have positive thoughts and actions, we first have to use positive words, in spite of our circumstances. And there are no simpler and yet more positive words than those two: ‘Thank You!’ 

In our crazy, confused and troubled world, when said to others, they can diffuse a tremulous situation; soften a hard heart, lend healing to a broken one, and bring a smile to a sour face. And when we sincerely say them to God, we just raise the level of our faith and maturity. 

Our relationship with our heavenly Father enters a deeper phase, because we are acknowledging His goodness and LOVE, His omnipotence and ability to control circumstances, both our own and the world’s. We are saying in effect, ‘heavenly Father we trust You, regardless of what’s happening in our lives and the world. We’re standing firm on Your promises, because we know that You are faithful and will keep EVERY promise that You’ve made.’  

Now here is our Bit, which declares the thing that we ought to be most grateful for and give the most thanks for: ‘But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, we can never be too thankful or grateful for the victory over death, hell, the grave and any other negative things, that Jesus has given us through His own sacrificial death, resurrection and ascension, through the never-ending grace of our heavenly Father. 

And Bruh Paul further sates in his second letter to the Corinthians: ‘Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to (leads us in) triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour (fragrance) of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour (aroma) of Christ, in (among) them that are saved, and in (among) them that perish.’ (2 cor.2:14-15) 

Oh friends, are we ever a sweet fragrance to God when we accept His Son Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, and wisely accept His free offer of salvation and eternal life, and thus will not be relegated to the foolish group that will perish because of their non-acceptance of Christ. He doesn’t want anything more than that. So, with His awesome help, let’s do our best to bring others to that realization nuh. 

Now let’s go home declaring to the world who and whose we are in our Tuesday Mantra. In full voice and heartfelt sincerity: ‘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 if we are sincere, then let’s go out and share that amazing LOVE of Christ, as He so ardently desires. Much LOVE!

…LOVE unshared…is No LOVE at all…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 August 2017 Matthew 9:29b.

Matthew 9:29b.   According to you faith be it unto you.

Well friends, it’s  Tuesday. Were any of you lucky enough to see the mercurial eclipse yesterday? I wasn’t. But it seems like the most powerful man in the world thought he was powerful enough to view it without the special glasses recommended. (smile) 

But that’s what he’s all about ego and power. Enough of the tongue in cheek stuff though. Here is something to help us face the day successfully, from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional, titled, ‘A Prayer for Solutions.’ 

Please pray with me. ‘Lord, thanks for assuring me that you’ll solve the problems if I’ll exercise the faith and make the right decision! Forgive me for waiting for all difficulties, real or fanciful, to be resolved before deciding to make my commitment. 

I confess I have too often allowed problems instead of possibilities to take over leadership of my life – to make my decisions – and take command over my destiny. I know, now, what faith is, Lord! It’s making the right decisions before I see solutions to all problems! Increase my faith! Amen.’ 

Now have we been guilty of that kind of thing? I’m sure all of us have at some time or another. And what’s the first right decision we’re always supposed to make? Turning to God with the problem! 

Yeh friends, whether the problem be big or small, hard or simple, the Lord God Almighty IS ALWAYS THE FIRST ONE we should talk to about it, for He is the Master Problem Solver. Have the faith to let Him direct our steps. 

And what did Jesus say unto the two blind men who wanted him to heal them. ‘Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea Lord. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened…’ (Matt.9:28-30) 

Yes my brethren, our Bit says it all! Our power and blessedness will be defined by the maturity and strength of our faith, for Christianity is a faith-based organization. 

What does Hebrews say about the subject? ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ (Heb.11:6) 

And there was nobody who had more faith, or gave us a better example of it, than Jesus, for though He was God in the flesh, He never took credit for anything, but always deferred to the Father. 

Even as a youth, when He strayed from His parents in Jerusalem, when they finally found Him debating with the elders in the temple, His words to them were: ‘How is it that ye sought me? wist (knew) ye not that I must be about my father’s business? And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.’ (Luke 2:49-50) 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘2:49. Wist ye not or “Did you not realize?” There is a certain tension between Jesus’ responsibility to parents on the one hand and to His heavenly Father on the other.’ 

Though He was somewhat rude to His earthly parents with that answer, Jesus clearly showed from early on that His heavenly Father’s business was NUMBER ONE! 

And when the Jews tried to tell Him He had a devil (demon spirit), He bluntly answered. ‘I have not a devil (demon spirit): but I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me.’ (John 8:49) 

And later on when they asked if he was greater than Abraham and the prophets, His answer was: ‘If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me…’ (John 8:54) Yuh see mih breddren, with Jesus, it was all about the Father. And so should it be with us. 

Hear Him once more: ‘For I have not spoken of myself (my own authority), but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore; even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.’ (John 12:49-50) 

And whom did Jesus turn to in His time of greatest sorrow? The Father! That memorable night in the Garden of Gethsemane, where He fell on His face and prayed: ‘O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.’ (Matt.26:39) 

Even in His most fervent prayer, Jesus still acknowledged that His journey would be led by the Father’s will, not His. 

And finally, here is this episode from Mark which really shows Jesus’ strong, steady and faithful connection to His heavenly Father. ‘And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place, and there prayed.’ (Mark 1:35) 

The scholars then tell us: 1:35. Mark emphasizes that it was a great while before day. Showing that Jesus began each day of His earthly ministry with prayer is only the secondary intention of this verse. The primary aim is to show how Jesus made important decisions: by earnest, persistent prayer. 

Here Jesus stands at the crossroads of decision: His first year of public preaching (vs. 9-20) has borne little visible fruit. But His miracles of healing are drawing huge crowds (vs.31-32) and bringing Him recognition (v.28). 

So the question is whether He should continue to put the stress of His ministry on the preaching of the gospel for the healing of man’s diseased soul, or place the stress of His work on the more popular performing of miracles for the healing of man’s body. To make the proper choice, He seeks by prayer the Father’s wisdom.’  

And He certainly received the right answer: place the stress on healing our sinful souls! All praise and thanks to God for filling Him with that heavenly wisdom! Otherwise our bodies would have been healed, but our souls would still have been bound for Hades. 

Now let’s go home, safe and secure in the knowledge of our Tuesday Mantra, as we declare it loudly, proudly and sincerely. ‘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 if you truly believe it, then let’s go out and do it nuh! Much LOVE!

…if Jesus made it a point to first talk to the Father…then why shouldn’t we lesser mortals do the same eh…

 

 

 

 

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