Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 May 2019 Luke 9:23.

Luke 9:23.    ​If any man will  (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
 
Oh isn’t it great to be alive on a sunshiny morning my faithful brethren in Christ? It surely is! And though it’s still somewhat chilly in my area, life gets even better when we realize the treasure we have in Jesus Christ being our Lord and Saviour, our Leader and Guide, etc. etc! That’s just the cat’s pajamas; (smile) the best it can get, both in this world and the next! 

So let’s not murmur and complain about the problems we have nuh, instead, let’s give thanks and praise and glory to Almighty God for the great blessings He’s bestowed on us, especially that of His Son, Jesus Christ! And since it’s Saturday, let’s get right to the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Hear this first one: ‘Happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them.’ And is that ever so true. This earthly life is chocked full of problems, but we can’t allow them to get us down, otherwise we’d just lead a negative and depressed life. 

And remember Jesus said that He had overcome the world and we should cheer up, be glad, in spite of the tribulations we encounter. (John 16:33) So please, let’s not allow problems to ruin our happiness. With Jesus help, they are all conquerable! 

And listen to this quote: ‘Make improvements, not excuses. Seek respect, not attention.’ More truth there friends! Our society nowadays is one of excuses and casting blame everywhere else but on ourselves, where more often than not, it truly belongs! But let’s not play the blame game nuh, because it doesn’t help, just causes more confusion and bitterness and disunity. And above all, it doesn’t show the kind of people we ought to be as followers of Jesus. 

And I like this quote: ‘The past is a place of reference, not a place of residence; the past is a place of learning, not a place of living.’ Oh is that truth in spades my people! The past is very useful, but only as a guide to the future, to show you what mistakes you should not make again. But unfortunately too many of us live in the past, that’s why we’re so unhappy and unfulfilled. We let the past colour our present and future lives too much. 

Living in the past is the worst thing we can do to our present day lives. Therefore: ‘Do not let the memories of your past limit the potential of your future. There are no limits to what you can achieve on your journey through life, except in your mind!’ So true friends so true! All the past does is limit our future and hold us back from the awesome life that God has prepared for us. So please, let’s just learn from the past nuh, but not live there in squalor and hopelessness. (smile) 

And this last quote also aligns nicely with those gone before, sort of paraphrasing them. ‘Life is about accepting the challenges along the way, choosing to keep moving forward, and savoring the journey.’ And before we even talk about the challenges, let’s remember that life is a journey, one we ought to enjoy, one in which we grow from glory to glory, meeting the challenges that this evil and ungodly world constantly throws at us with the help of the Holy Spirit of God that dwells within us. 

Some of us believe that life is just something to muddle through and be constantly depressed and negative. But remember what Jesus said, that He came that we might have life, and have it in abundance! (John 10:10) Now does that sound like we should always be down in the dumps, beaten by the challenges of life? No! Exactly the opposite! 

We talk about how Jesus has conquered, hell, death and the grave, so if He’s conquered the evil forces of this world, why should we be mired in depression and negativity, anxiety and fear eh? The victory is already ours, we just have to live it out in confidence and assurance, if we truly believe in Jesus and all that He’s said. 

But yuh know what friends, for us to successfully do all that we’ve talked about above, we have to do one basic thing, sincerely take up our cross and follow Jesus! That’s the ONLY way our lives will ever be truly worthwhile! Jesus didn’t mince words when He said it. ‘If any man will  (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ 

Oh my people, I know that many of us believe that taking up our cross and following Jesus is extremely difficult. And at times it is yes; like giving up our selfish desires to help others, facing up to challenges that we want to shy away from, going the extra mile and turning the other cheek, like Jesus desires of His followers. Yes, we are not supposed to be like the world, but show the world a different style. 

And I bypassed the most important word in Jesus’ statement on purpose; ‘daily.’ Now that’s the magic word friends. We don’t pick up our cross when we feel like, or when it’s convenient for us, but each and every day of our earthly lives, if we are truly sincere believers in Jesus! Yes, it’s hard. But nobody ever said that life would be easy. And just look at what Jesus suffered for us nuh. The least we can do is to show a li’l gratitude and gratefulness by picking up our cross and following Him daily. 

‘For whosoever will (desires to) save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose (loses) his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged (benefited), if he gain the whole world, and lose himself (is destroyed), or be cast away (lost)? For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.’ (Luke 9:24-26) 

Oh my people, it couldn’t be any plainer and clearer than that! So please, let’s wake up and smell the roses nuh, because Jesus can return at any time, and if you’re caught napping when He comes, then crapaud smoke yuh pipe! Much LOVE!

…to truly serve Jesus…one must take up one’s cross…DAILY…

 

 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 25 March 2019 Revelation 4:11.

Revelation 4:11:   Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are (by your will they exist) and were created.
 

Awright friends, the work cycle has come full circle again! (smile) Yeh, unfortunately it is that famous day that we all LOVE…LOVE to hate…Monday! What a sad way to spend a lifetime eh, being disliked by the many you try to help! But that’s the destiny of Monday! When you’re first, the majority of the negativity falls on you, especially when it has to do with humankind going to work after a short respite. (smile) 

But in this life we have to do what we have to do, and going to work on a Monday is paramount amongst those have to do things! That is if we’re lucky or blessed enough to have a job, and we desire to put food on the table and have a roof over our heads. And if we don’t, then there’s absolutely no reason to work! Enough with the philosophy though, it sounds good, but it doesn’t bring home the bacon! (smile) 

We all know we’ve got to go, so let’s get ourselves together and do it afraid and/or unwillingly nuh, many other lives are depending on us. And as always, to help boost our spirits, let’s summon up some confidence and enthusiasm and declare (steups – wrong, wrong, wrong) our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, our wonder antidote for whatever ails us on a Monday morning. 

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

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

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

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

And we can both see and feel it working right away by the rush of adrenaline now coursing through our bodies and the sudden spring in our step. So let’s just keep it going and get out there and do our thing for Jesus! Glory to God! And does our God ever deserve much glory! As the Good Book proclaims: ‘Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are (by your will they exist) and were created.’ 

Now if you ever want to know what truth really is, then you can use that passage as a definition, because that’s just what it is – TRUTH! And we’re using the same Bit as yesterday because I want to touch on some choice scriptures that corroborate those words. 

And in the very first words of the Good Book, we discover the biggest truth: ‘In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.’ (Gen.1:1) And from nothing too – through an instantaneous and miraculous act! What power, what absolute and marvellous power that signifies! And then He spoke everything else except mankind into being! That’s why there’s such awesome power in the Word and we believers ought to make much more use of it than we currently do. 

And even when He formed man’s physical body out of the dust of the ground, He had to breathe the breath of life into him before he could become a living soul. (Gen.2:7) That shows another extension of God’s amazing power! First He created the heavens and the earth from nothing, then He spoke the rest of the stuff into existence, and finally He breathes the breath of life into man! Wow! 

Please note His fondness for man in the fact that He didn’t just talk him into existence, but took the time and effort to personally mould him with LOVE and affection and attention to detail, for man is the most complex of His creations.  And even when man fell from grace through his addiction to sin, God did not give up on Him. Listen to these momentous words from the Son of God, who eventually gave His sinless life to pay for our sins. 

‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:16-17) Oh my people, in these troubled and turbulent times, those are words for us to live by! No others will get us through! 

No wonder John saw in his vision of the new heaven, where the beasts and elders fell down before the Lamb: ‘And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book (the Book of Life) and to open the seals thereof, for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred (tribe) and tongue and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.’ (Rev.5:9-10) 

Yes friends, that’s what Jesus did for us. Consequently, John continues: ‘And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.’ (Rev.5:13) 

And that’s how it ought to be…and how it will be my fellow believers! So let’s stand strong and steadfast in faith nuh, if we want to be numbered amongst the thousands and ten thousands witnessing that wonderful spectacle at some time in the future! What a joyful time it will be! Much LOVE!

…let everything that hath breath…praise the Lord…praise ye the Lord… (Ps.150:6)

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 August 2017 2 Chronicles 15:7.

 2 Chronicles 15:7.   Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded. 

It’s another new morning…somewhat cloudy, chilly and windy though! (smile) But we’re alive, and God is working diligently within us to bring us up to Christ’s standards. 

All glory and thanks be to our heavenly Father who takes such a wonderful interest in each and every one of His children, made so intimately in His very image! 

Well today is the big day; the day of the Caribana, sorry, Toronto Caribbean Festival Parade. Hn! Let’s hope that they have better luck than we did yesterday with the Pan Competition. 

Ah Lord eh! Would you believe that the day was going along quite well until around four p.m, when the skies suddenly darkened, then the heavens opened, and the rained poured down steadily for over an hour! 

Chuh! I was just about to leave home to go and meet my panman friend down the street by Leila’s Roti Shop. The plan was to get a couple of Leila’s nice, big, shrimp rotis, with a couple of banana Solos (T&T pop – the best drink to wash down a roti) then head down to T.O for an evening of beautiful and intense pan. 

I left home in the downpour because I knew my friend didn’t have a cell phone and he would be waiting there expectantly for me. But lo and behold, when I got to Leila’s the rain was still pouring down and the skies looked dark like night. 

We hung around Leila’s for a while – I ate half my roti and drank half my Solo (smile) but the rain didn’t look like stopping, and I certainly didn’t feel like driving into T.O in that downpour, with all the Friday evening traffic, to go and sit on the hard concrete steps of an open-air Lamport Stadium. 

So we decided to shelve the Pan Competition idea, and go home and spend some quality time with our families, because with that kind of weather it might have to be cancelled. And so in the still pouring rain, I dropped him home, then came home myself. 

But would you believe, that when I was almost home the ‘so and so’ rain stopped falling! Steups! And after that the evening was clear and beautiful. But by then I definitely wasn’t going back out. In any case my family and I had a good evening together. So it wasn’t too bad after all. 

Don’t even know if they still held the Pan Competition. And that was how my one evening of Caribana involvement passed. (smile) But it’s Saturday, so let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm shared this past week. 

It seems like he was in a positive frame of mind, since all of them dealt with positivity. Here is the first one: ‘Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.’ And that’s a verified fact! 

Now this next quote builds on the first: ‘Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.’ How could it not eh? 

Then: ‘In order to carry out a positive action we must develop here a positive vision.’ That’s only logical, since you can’t have action of any kind without some kind of vision. 

And this one is the biggie: ‘Positive thinking is more than just a tagline. It changes the way we behave. And I firmly believe that when I am positive, it not only makes me better, but it also makes those around me better.’ 

And is that ever so true my brethren! That’s why we’re constantly told to surround ourselves with positive people, because it rubs off, just like the negativity of negative people does. 

And the final quote: ‘Focus 90% of your time on solutions and only 10% of your time on problems.’ Now that’s advice of mythical proportions! (smile) Too many of us spend too much time belabouring and bewailing our problems, when we should be more focused on solving them. 

And there’s no better way to do all of that than by holding on tightly and sincerely to the encouraging and assuring words of our Bit. ‘Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.’ 

Now true believers should never have cause to doubt that statement, for the promises of our ever-faithful God are infallible. And we’ll close this series of messages with a couple of interesting and important scriptures. 

The first is from Peter, re being good stewards of God’s grace. ‘Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 

But rejoice, inasmuch as (to the extent that) ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. 

If ye be reproached (insulted) for the name of Christ, happy (blessed) are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of (blasphemed), but on your part he is glorified.’ (1 Pet.4:12-14) 

Finally, listen to these words of absolute wisdom from Bruh Paul to the Colossians. ‘And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men, Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance (salvation): for ye serve the Lord Christ.’ (Col.3:23-24) 

Yeh friends, in ALL that we do, it is best to consider that we are serving Christ rather than men, since serving men can surely lead us down the path of unrighteousness. And who wants to tread that unwise path eh?  Much LOVE!

…the very word Christian…implies being strong and positive…like Christ…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 July 2017 Proverbs 15:13.

Proverbs 15:13.   A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance (face): but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.

Happy Saturday friends, whether you’re simply lazing about the house, doing household chores or getting ready to go out and do whatever you’re going to do, be it work or play! (smile) Just don’t stress yourself out. Whatever you do, do it calmly with the thought of God’s rest on your mind. 

Today is not a good day to get upset and fly off the handle, because that’s exactly what the enemy is standing on the sidelines waiting for. So please take it nice and easy today…all day. 

And since today is Saturday, it means we have to check out some of our friend Anselm’s quotes for this past week, as he aspires to inspire us to a better tomorrow. So without further ado let’s get into the first one, which is ever so important. ‘Let go of anger. Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.’ 

And that is the gospel truth friends! Anger corrodes our insides like acid in a plastic bottle, so it’s not a very good thing to hold on to. Why do you think Bruh Paul told us through Ephesians: ‘Be ye angry and sin not: let not the sun go down on your wrath. Neither give place (opportunity) to the devil.’ (Eph.3:26-27) 

Because anger is a powerful negative emotion which causes us to do stuff that offers open invitations to the enemy, if we hold it for too long. Note he didn’t say, don’t get angry, because anger is a normal human emotion, but don’t sin when you do, and don’t hold it for too long. 

And this second quote pertains very much to the now generation, and even to some of the older ones. ‘Release yourself from entitlement. Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.’ 

Ah friends, too many of the young people feel that the world owes them a living, and it’s our fault (the parents) for giving them everything they wanted, when they wanted it, without trying to instill some sense of appreciation in them. 

This next one is also very instructive. ‘Don’t focus so much on making yourself feel good. The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.’ And that’s no lie! When we’re feeling down, the best remedy for our blues is to find some other blue person that we can cheer up, and you’ll be surprised how quickly your blues will disappear. 

And from this last quote, I want us to set today’s stage. ‘Lighten up and have some fun. Humour is mankind’s greatest blessing.’ Hn! I don’t know if humour or laughter is mankind’s greatest blessing, but I do know that it is one of them. Laughter is one of the best medicines for all maladies; it’s free and easy to come by. 

And as Cousin Sol says so eloquently in our Bit: ‘A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.’  

Oh my people, we can all attest to that truth, because we have all encountered a broken heart at some time in our lives and know that there is no pain as devastating as that. But we have also experienced the emotional high that a merry heart brings, and nothing is as delightful and delectable as that.  

So, I believe that we should all endeavour to have our lives guided by a merry spirit and a positive attitude. Just look at our Leader, our Lord and Saviour Jesus: He was always pleasant, always light hearted, not given to excessive negativity, even in the toughest of times. 

Listen to Cousin Sol from Proverbs again. ‘A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.’ (Prov.17:22) And the scholars explain it thus: ’17:22. A cheerful mind is revitalizing to the entire person.’ 

Now that is indisputable truth, because all the battles for control of our lives begin, are fought, and are decided in our minds. That means we have to learn to control our thoughts and focus on stuff that keeps us light hearted. 

And we’ll end with one more shout of wisdom from Cousin Sol. ‘Heaviness (anxiety) in the heart of man maketh it stoop (causes depression): but a good word maketh it glad.’ (Prov.12:25) And the scholars enlighten us: ’12:25. A good word is a kind word that cheers the heart.’  More stuff that we also know from personal experience. So I don’t understand why so many of us Christians are so uptight, sour, sad and depressed. 

Yeh friends, if we’re true believers, then our spirits ought to be light, having the assurance that Christ is looking after our every earthly need, and our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life in heaven.  Oh, by the way, they also say that one of the best abilities we can have, is the ability to laugh at ourselves. Too many of us take ourselves too seriously. 

So let’s lighten up today nuh mih breddren, let’s just enjoy the day, and let laughter and levity be uppermost in our souls today. That’s the word of wisdom for today, as detailed by the Holy Spirit. He wants to see a joyful body of believers raising the level of joy and laughter in the world this day. Much LOVE!

…to every thing there is a season…including a time to laugh…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 June 2017 Ephesians 6:11.

Ephesians 6:11.   Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil.

Aye mih people, what a blessed joy it is to be able to sit down on my porch at minutes to four in the morning, without much clothes on, munching a corn on the cob and sipping a ting! 

Hn! And I see the furrowed brows on some of you, wondering, ‘what’s a ting, how can you sip a ting? Well friends, a ting is just the name of a carbonated, grapefruit based drink from T&T. 

Oh, I know some of you have the joy of doing that sort of thing all year round, but we in the north country don’t, so when we do have the opportunity, to us it’s a big deal. And the morning was nice and quiet and cool; just right for silently communicating with God and nature. 

That, to me, is the best time of the day; when most of the world is sleeping, and you can even hear yourself think. We’re talking about those quiet moments before the macho cock stridently crows ‘cock-a doodle-do, cock-a-doodle-do,’ and awakens the universe to another loud and stressful day. 

And believe you me, the days are getting louder and more stressful, as the strife and hatred and anger proliferate around our world. But here’s a li’l something from my ‘P.S. I LOVE YOU Poster that will help us defeat some of the negativity on our planet. 

It says: ‘Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.’ And surprisingly, my faithful brethren, there is a whole lot more truth in that statement than some of us are willing to believe. 

That’s because we’ve become such sour and negative people, and refuse to share even a simple pleasantry with another human being, and not only because of their race, creed, colour or class, but simply because of the stern, serious, keep away from me look that so many of us present to the world today, a lot of it simply rooted in fear. 

And all of that is simply the work of the enemy. That’s why, today, I believe it’s ever so necessary for us to consider the words of our Bit. ‘Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil.’ 

Yeh mih people, as we read yesterday, without God’s strength and His protective armour, we are unable to resist the enemy’s negative fear-mongering schemes. Now it’s time we have a refresher course in what God’s armour consists of, and how to use it successfully. 

Firstly, let’s remember that as Christians, we are engaged in serious warfare, warfare of the spiritual kind. As Bruh Paul informed the Ephesians. ‘For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world (age), against spiritual wickedness (spiritual hosts of wickedness) in high places.’ (Eph.6:12) 

Yes friends, you’d be amazed to know the amount of spiritual wickedness that resides in the upper echelons of power in this world. And the scholars offer this explanation on that verse. 

‘6:12. Wrestle, used of hand-to-hand combat, emphasizes the personal and individual nature of spiritual warfare waged against each local church and Christian. Flesh and blood refers to humanity. Such is not the church’s adversary. 

Instead she opposes principalities (rulers), powers (authorities), rulers (world rulers), spiritual wickedness (wicked spiritual beings), that is, fallen angels, demons, and Lucifer himself.’ 

So you see, precious people of God, it’s a mighty force of evil that is lined up against us, and it will take an even mightier force to defeat them. And that mightier force is our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Glory to God! 

But friends, just like it would be foolish to go into flesh and blood warfare without some protective clothing or amour, likewise, we need protection in this spiritual war in which we’re currently engaged. 

Consequently, Bruh Paul has wisely advised us: ‘Wherefore take unto you (take up) the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’ (Eph.6:13) 

And what does all of that mean? Listen to the scholars. ‘6:13. Wherefore means “because of this,” that is, because we face such a formidable foe, we must avail ourselves of God’s provision lest the enemy destroy our Christian witness and ministry. 

The evil day refers to the periodic demonic onslaughts and Satanic assaults. Having done all includes both dressing oneself in God’s armour and resisting Satan. Having done all these, be ready, for the Devil will attack again and again.’ 

Of that we can be sure my brethren! Lucifer will keep attacking us until Jesus returns and completely obliterates him. In the meanwhile though, we definitely need to be prepared; clothed in God’s protective armour and filled with His fighting strength so that we can STAND! 

And having decided to do just that, let’s go home now with joyful hearts and spirits, joyfully and sincerely declaring our Tuesday Mantra. 

‘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 truly meant it, then let’s go out and share the beautiful, awesome, soul inspiring LOVE of Jesus with others, as He expects of us. Much LOVE!

…sharing the good news of Jesus’ LOVE…is what the Christian is all about…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 May 2016 Matthew 18:3

Matthew 18:3.    And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

 Oh friends, it’s a glorious Saturday morning on God’s wonderful earth! So like children, let’s take some time out to play nuh. Playing is a wholesome, healthy and hearty retreat from the pressures of this world. 

Remember what Jesus said when the disciples refused to let the children come to Him? ‘Suffer (allow the) little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for such is the kingdom of heaven.’ (Matt.19:14)  

Yeh friends, heaven is made up of simple, trusting, innocent people with child-like faith. So to keep our minds and bodies in a healthy state, sometimes, especially on beautiful days like these, we just need to let all our cares, worries and anxieties go and just play like innocent children. 

You’d be surprised how refreshed and renewed our souls, minds and bodies would be with a little mindless, free spirited playing. Believe me people, we all need to have some regular playtime in our lives. This evil, stressful, dangerous and angry world calls for it. 

Otherwise, it wouldn’t be long before we go stark raving bonkers, holding all the stress and tension that this world generates inside of us. Our bodies were not made to bear a whole lot of negative emotions, but positive ones. You see how quickly they deteriorate when they are consumed by too much negativity. 

So please, let’s lighten up some, and don’t try to take on all the worries of the world on our frail and mortal shoulders. Our Creator doesn’t seem overly worried, so why should we be, especially if we sincerely believe that He is in control of the universe He created?  

Now here is a little tidbit from our friend Anselm, who always tries to inspire us to reach for a better tomorrow. He says that ‘Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.’ 

And that’s no lie my brethren! It’s simple, straightforward logic. You will accomplish more if you control what you can, instead of selfishly trying to control what you can’t. But that’s a regular pattern of life with many of us, as the crazy, selfish world we live in sets us that example.  

Just look at how our world is populated with control freaks; those who want to control everything and everyone, and fighting tooth and nail to do so. Meanwhile, if they would just concentrate on those things they do have power over, their lives would be so much happier and longer. 

That brings us to our Bit, where Jesus explains greatness to the disciples by calling a child to Him and setting him in the middle of the crowd: ‘And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.’ 

There we have Jesus again referring to the importance of a child-like nature. And He continues: ‘Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. 

But whoso shall offend one of these little ones (cause them to sin) which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe unto the world because of offenses (enticements to sin)! For it needs be that offenses come; but woe to the man by whom the offense cometh.’  (Matt.18:4-7) 

And the scholars offer this explanation of those verses. ‘18:1-7. The dispute over who is the greatest was settled by Jesus’ emphasis that it was the one who was willing to forgive the most! 

Be converted means a “turning” of one’s whole life and person toward God. This is the true biblical picture of conversion. It is far more than mental acknowledgement of the truth or intellectual assent to certain ideas. 

To become as little children means to be born again (converted) as a newborn spiritual child, characterized by faith and humility. The little child represents a new convert or young believer. To receive such a fellow believer is to welcome Christ Himself. Therefore the basis of true Christian fellowship is established in Christ Himself. 

Offenses are viewed as a reality that must be accepted in the present world, but woe (the prophetic condemnation to death) to the one who is the source of the offense. A millstone is literally an “ass-stone,” or a large grindstone turned by an ass.’  

So you see my people, to enter heaven we must humble ourselves and have faith like a young child. And beware, if we cause one of these young children, the new spiritual converts to sin, then we’re surely in for a rough time; ‘woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.’  It would be like dissing and demeaning Jesus Himself. 

And Jesus ends that section with this warning. ‘Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt.18:10)  

And the scholars tell us: ‘Just as temptation arises from within, so does offending others and being offended. The reference to their angels (v.10) supports the idea of individual guardian angels for believers (see Heb.1:14). Salvation is not just a privilege to be enjoyed by a select few, but it is also to be shared with the lost, so that they too can be saved.’ 

Now friends, today as we play and pray, let us ponder how all that we’ve said pertains to us nuh. Are we causing others of less faith to sin, are we hogging salvation and not sharing it with others, are we being humble and faithful? Those are multi-million dollar questions my brethren, but questions only the individual can answer, before a just but kind and merciful God. 

It’s therefore imperative that we take stock of ourselves now and make whatever amends are necessary, so that that “ass-stone’ is not hung around our necks and we be deposited in the deep. Wisdom is desperately calling for that my people! Much LOVE!

…the open door to heaven calls for…innocent, child-like surrender, trust, faith and humility…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 April 2016 Exodus 33:14

Exodus 33:14.   And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.

And then it was Saturday, and the next couple days in my area are supposed to be cold and snowy and wet and rainy. Steups! Whatever happened to that thing called spring eh? In winter we didn’t get any snow, and now in what’s supposed to be spring, it’s too often cold and snowy! Chuh! And yet they insist that climate change is not real. 

But anyway, whether it is real or not, we believers in Jesus Christ don’t have to let it worry us. Oh yes, the weather will become irascible like many of us, (smile) but we can’t afford to allow that to dictate our lives, that ought to be done by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  

So to help us handle all the unwanted stuff we have to handle, let’s pray this prayer taken from a Devotional titled ‘A Journey of LOVE. Walking with St. Therese of Liseux’ – The Saint of the Little Flower. I’ve shared it before, but in these troubled times, times of hate and anger and doubt and all the negative stuff that’s predominant in our world, we need something to counteract that negativity. 

And the only thing able to do that is LOVE, and we have been assigned the vocation of LOVE. So let’s pray for help in our vocation. Please pray with me: ‘Jesus, I desire above all else to centre my life in you. Only you can give me the courage to face up to my responsibilities, to be compassionate and forgiving, to let go of what is not important and to embrace what is important. 

I am called to accept and to cherish your LOVE for me and to allow your LOVE to go out from me to all your people, Help me to walk in your steps without compromise and to be open to your presence in all of the people I meet. I make my prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.’ 

Yes friends, the irony of it all is that we cannot do God’s work without God’s help! And the most effective way to receive that help is through prayer.  The Lord has promised that when we diligently and sincerely seek Him, He will be found by us. That’s why prayer is so important in a believer’s life. 

That’s also why Bruh Paul told the Ephesians to pray ALWAYS; (Eph.6:18) the Thessalonians to pray WITHOUT CEASING; (1 Thess.5:17) and his young protégé Timothy to pray EVERYWHERE. (1 Tim:2:8) So to all intents and purposes, prayer MUST BE an integral part of a believer’s life, because in doing so we will always be in the presence of God, which is ever so important for our earthly journey. 

Moses, one of God’s greatest prophets was adamant about not continuing the journey through the wilderness if the Lord’s presence was not going to be with him. That is even after God promised in our Bit: And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.’ 

Ah mih people, without God’s wonderful presence in our lives, innumerable trials and tribulations will come our way, from which we’ll have little or no leeway to escape. However, when we are basking in the Father’s presence, we are assured of His help to get through the difficulties, though not necessarily complete escape. 

That’s because He has promised to work everything out for the good of those who LOVE Him and are called according to His purpose. (Rom.8:28) And if there’s one thing we can rest comfortably on, is that our ever-faithful God NEVER reneges on His promises. 

Now let’s look at some scripture that exalts the glory and wisdom of being in God’s presence. And we can’t talk about that without including words from Bruh David’s heartfelt declarations. This comes from Psalm 31 – In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust. 

‘Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men! Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence (secret place) from the pride (plots) of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion (shelter) from the strife of tongues. Blessed be the Lord: for he hath showed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city. 

For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee. O LOVE the Lord, all ye his saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer. Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart.’ (Ps.31:19-24) 

And we can’t argue with Bruh David because in spite of his mistakes, he was still considered a man after God’s own heart, so intense was His longing for Him. 

Meanwhile, in Jeremiah, when the Lord is dealing with the false prophets, He promises: ‘Therefore, behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you, and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and cast you out of my presence. And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.’(Jer.23:39-40) 

Yes friends, that’s the kind of thing that happens when we are cast out of God’s presence. Please pray that it never happens to us. And we’ll end with this great example from the prophet Jonah. 

The Lord had said to Jonah: ‘Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry (out) against it: for their wickedness is come up before me. But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.’ (Jon.1:2-3) 

Now how foolish was that eh my brethren? As a prophet, a man of God, Jonah should have known better than that. And we all know the story of the terrible storm that arose, due to Jonah’s disobedience, and how he was thrown overboard and spent three days and nights in the belly of a great fish, before coming to his senses and repenting. And the Lord in His great mercy and LOVING-kindness forgave him and gave him a second chance. 

Oh my fellow believers, fleeing from the Lord is not easy if He doesn’t want us to flee. But why should we want to flee from Him anyhow eh, when He is the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Creator and Provider of all? That’s certainly not wisdom. So please, let’s be wise today and seek the Lord’s presence rather than try to flee from it. Much LOVE!

…the Christian’s desire ought to be…to continually seek God’s face…and to continually bask in His presence…  

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