Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 October 2020 Ephesians 5:20.

Ephesians 5:20.     ​Giving thanks ALWAYS for ALL things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING DAY CANADA! 

And do we ever have a lot to be thankful for in this blessed and bountiful land of Canada! Oh I know that some of you are complaining plenty about the problems we’re currently encountering on a rather large scale, and I admit they can be rather daunting, especially since we’ve never encountered anything like them before. But the truth of the matter is that even with those problems confusing and confuffling our lives, we’re still living much better in this country than most of the others around the world…and for that we should be everlastingly grateful! 

The abnormal situation we are undergoing right now is the norm for some countries. And as our Christian faith teaches us, once there is life, there is hope, and this too shall pass in God’s time. So we can’t give up, especially since giving up doesn’t exist in God’s vocabulary. Consequently, it’s time for us to have a new revelation; counting our blessings rather than our losses. And yuh know what? We’ll discover we have much more of the former than the latter, which ought to put us in a better and more thankful frame of mind. (smile) 

And to help us do that, let’s invoke a couple of Bruh Paul’s admonitions to the churches at Ephesus and Philippi re living in godly unity and thankfulness. To the Ephesians, he said: ‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation); but be filled with the Spirit. Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. Giving thanks ALWAYS for ALL things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph. 5:18-21) 

Yeh friends, as believers in Christ, we must allow the Holy Spirit to fill us with God’s character and virtues, and thus control our thoughts, attitudes and actions. And we do that through encouraging and exhorting each other with psalms and hymns etc., as well as being joyful in our own hearts and giving thanks to God for everything that comes into our lives, since we know that it will eventually be used for our good by God. And last but not least, deferring to the wishes of others, if we know it’s God’s will. 

And to the church at Philippi, Bruh Paul advised: ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation (graciousness) be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand (His return is near, and He will judge us according to our treatment of others). Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:4-7) 

Oh my people, I know those things are hard to accomplish in this evil world, but who ever said that following Christ was easy eh? (smile) But it’s those things that promote unity and LOVE amongst believers, enriching our own lives, as well as showing the unbeliever what is possible if He accepts Christ as His Lord and Saviour. Yeh friends, we must ever be prayerful and thankful, regardless of our circumstances. So even if we’re going through some really rough times now, prayer and thanksgiving are essential if we want to find that peace of God which passes all understanding. 

So what better time to start than right now eh, on this Thanksgiving Day? And we’ll do it through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, which I believe captures all our fears, doubts, needs and wants. So as one strong voice, in true penitence, let’s go to God in sincere prayer nuh. 

‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive and standing in faith despite the mass confusion that’s currently prevailing in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems; the pandemic of Covid -19, the racial, political, and religious strife that’s ignited worldwide, plus the natural disasters like storms, famine, drought, plagues, climate change, wildfires, earthquakes and erupting volcanoes that suddenly seem to be blossoming more and more as time goes by. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction to bring our problems under control. 

And for those who are currently suffering from the many negative situations, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. Father, please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again we say: Amen!’ 

So let’s turn from our evil ways nuh people; it’s as simple as that, because it’s basically sin that’s muddying our waters. That reminds me of a quote from Uncle Charles (Dr. Charles Stanley) on sin. He says: ‘Sin is like dirt in salt. It corrupts our lives, ruins the flavour of Christianity for all who know us, and makes us useless to God.’ More truthful words were never spoken my brethren! But it’s all up to us. If we want the Lord to heal us and our land, we need to turn from our evil ways. 

Oh, and let it not be said that I was amiss in my duty on this Thanksgiving Day, this day of celebration. (smile) Friends, I plead with us to remember Granny’s warning: ‘Sonny Boy, drunk or sober, ah beg yuh, please mind yuh business, else somebody else going to mind it for you.’ And that’s the gospel truth people, so please let’s be careful with food and drink, don’t overdo it, remember moderation in all things, and don’t get into no crowds, remember physical distancing and masks too. That’s the recipe for a successful and enjoyable Thanksgiving Day! Much LOVE!

…for the joy of the Lord is our strength…don’t let the devil steal it… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 October 2020 James 1:2.

James 1:2.     ​My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials);

Ah Lord eh people! Steups! The ole people was right yes: in this life, when is not one thing, is a blooming other yes! Chuh man! The devil get mih early this morning. I was coming downstairs a while ago, early to boot, (smile) to start writing the Bit when I had an unfortunate accident. Steups! So I had to waste valuable time, spend over half an hour cleaning up the spill and myself. Obviously I was annoyed, especially when I had argued in a lost cause for staying longer in bed. I guess the Lord really wanted to wake me up in a big way. (smile) 

And I had such a grand opening planned for today: And then it was Saturday; a day unlike the other days! One that does not follow the rules and regulations like the others. It’s a law unto itself; of the lazy, laidback, do it if and when you want it breed. No stuffy rules and regulations for Saturday. And I should have taken advantage of that lazy, laidback nature and stayed in bed! (smile) 

But we know that the Lord has a purpose for everything He allows to come our way, I just don’t know, or can’t see His purpose for allowing that accident this morning. But like the good believer I am, I’m just going to grin and bear it, and keep on keeping on. Someday I might know the reason…or I might just never. But that’s okay too, for the Lord is a good God and whatever He allows is always for my benefit, in my best interest. Sermon done! 

Now let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspired to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Listen to this first one, which is ever so appropriate for our world today. ‘Complacency is the forerunner of mediocrity. You can never work too hard on attitudes, effort and technique.’ And that’s the awesome truth. You can never work too hard on your life skills. But the most significant sign of a declining person and a society is its level of complacency, the level of its overall standards. When we stop building and just decide to relax on our fat fannies, dwell on our laurels or past achievements, that’s when our standards and everything else begin to fall. 

Life is a constant cycle; it’s always moving, and if you’re not moving along with it, to a reasonable extent, you’ll get left in its dust. And that’s why our society is now in freefall mode; our complacency is dragging us down; our standards are falling lower and lower every day. And that’s not me speaking, that’s history. Just look at all the old, great societies. Once they got fat and prosperous, they laid down and became complacent, and it was only a matter of time before they died. 

That’s why the next quote is important. ‘I don’t worry about maintaining the quality of my life, because every day I work on improving it.’ Yes friends, we need to constantly work on improving the quality of our lives, our standards. Now that doesn’t mean just running after material things and wealth of this world, but more about enjoying everyday life, having it more abundantly like what Jesus promised. (John 10:10) Please note one universal truth: if you run behind the material things of life, without judicial and godly wisdom, without common sense, then you’ll certainly pile them up, but you won’t be able to enjoy them, since you will always be too busy trying to attain more. 

So what’s the point of piling them up if you can’t enjoy them eh? None whatsoever! No wonder Bruh Paul advised us to use moderation in all things. (Phil. 4:5) The scholars’ term it ‘graciousness’ or ‘sweet reasonableness.’ I term it simple common sense! (smile) 

That brings us to this quote: ‘I’m never satisfied with what I do. I always think I can do a lot better.’ Now that can either be a bane or a blessing in our lives. We can either overdo it, by never being satisfied with what we’ve done, or we can be satisfied when we know we’ve done our best. 

Oh, we must always try to be excellent in whatever we do, for that’s what Christ expects of His followers, but at the same time He doesn’t want us to go overboard and be overly fussy. None of us is perfect, and some are just better at certain things because of the divine gifts they’ve been given. So please don’t compare yourself with others, that’s the surest way to bring unnecessary sorrow to your life. Just do your best and be satisfied. The Lord knows and sees your heart. 

Now there’s also the other side to that story, as this quote explains. ‘Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.’ And that’s the living truth. Fear, or the devil’s work is too big a part in too many of our lives. So much so that we can’t get around to working on our dreams. Remember some of Jesus’ favourite words were:‘FEAR NOT!’ 

And that pertains to both the physical fear of danger and the spiritual and emotional fear of not being able to work on the dreams and desires of our hearts that the Lord bestowed on us. Again, that invokes godly wisdom and common sense, which can only be truly found when we put out trust in Jesus, read His Word and believe His promises. Remember, faith is the opposite of fear. And as they say, when fear knocks on your door, the best response is to send faith to answer that knock. 

So finally, we come to this last quote, which sort of encapsulates them all. ‘Pause and remember – Every single event in your life, especially the difficult lessons, have made you smarter, stronger, and wiser than you were yesterday. Be thankful!’ And all of God’s people said a loud and proud: ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ Yes, I’m being a li’l facetious there, because most of us don’t want to experience difficult times. But the truth is they do make us wiser and stronger than before we experienced them. 

For as James so wisely says, when talking about Christian living, faith and humility.‘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. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire (complete), wanting (lacking) nothing,’ (James 1:2-4) 

And the scholars offer this interesting explanation. ‘1:2-3.In this epistle on Christian living, James opens with a most crucial topic: the trials of life. These verses describe the various testings – whether from the world and Satan, or from God – into which godly Christians fall (Gr. peripipto). These “negative” experiences are to be accepted with great joy, not for the sake of the trial itself but because of the positive work God can accomplish through the testing…’ 

Yes, I know it sounds somewhat harsh and unreasonable, but the truth of the matter is that we don’t grow unless we go through adversity. It’s only in the rough times that we grow and mature, both spiritually and emotionally, so if we want to grow, we have to learn to face adversity mano a- mano. And the scholars wisely add: ‘1:4.The natural response to adversity is to escape it. But God uses trouble to mature His people.’ 

And that’s the honest truth! So if you really want to grow in godliness, you just have to bite the bullet and find joy in your trials. Remember though, that the Lord has promised never to leave nor forsake us, and that He’ll work everything out for our good. That means He will ALWAYS be beside us in whatever trial we’re going through, holding our hands to bring us out safely and stronger on the other side. But in those trying times, like now, we have to remember the immortal words of Jesus; ‘FEAR NOT!’ Just relax in His awesome presence and allow Him to lead the way! That’s true wisdom! Much LOVE!

…fear can only be overcome…through trust and faith in Jesus…