Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 August 2019 John 16:33.

John 16:33.    ​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.
 

And then it was Tuesday – the day after the ever-difficult day of Monday! (smile) Hope that all is well this morning and that we have less difficulty going out today than we did yesterday. But the problem is that difficulties have a way of helping us to grow, for when we just enjoy the good life we don’t grow in Christ at all. 

And this morning I have a li’l something from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional that reminds us of the sublime purpose of difficulties in our lives. He calls it ‘To Face Difficulties.

’ Please pray with me. ‘Truly, Father, all things work together for good to those who LOVE You. Thank you for the difficulties that produce divine dividends. I know that pain is only a phase of the growing process: that seed buried alive under suffocating ground in a windowless grave agonizes before it ruptures into new life. I know that I build hard muscles in my heart, mind, and body only when I lift heavy loads. 

I thank you for tough times that produce calluses that could save my spirit from softness that could be weakness. There have been times, O Lord, when only through great difficulty have I learned the valuable lessons. I was too blind to see, too arrogant to believe, or too stubborn to accept any other way than by a bed of pain. 

I praise you for the times an open door slammed in my face and forced me out of an old rut that I never would have had the courage to leave, and led me down the road to a beautiful new life. I thank you for heartbreak which caused me to bury the hatchet and speak to someone with whom I had for far too long been out of touch. Thank you, Father, for life’s priceless times of fruitful difficulty. Amen!’ 

And yes friends, only when we can thank the Lord for those difficult times that build our faith and strength and trust in Him can we truthfully say that we’re growing in Christ! That’s Christianity 101! 

That leads me to think of all those believers out in the eastern parts of the world who are currently and constantly suffering persecution for simply believing in Christ, and are steadfastly refusing to renounce His precious name, standing strong through their difficulties, and thus growing in their faith. 

And that’s as opposed to us out here in the free western world where we can worship Christ in peace and freedom, we bitch and complain about every li’l problem and difficulty that crops up in our spoiled, lazy and complacent lives. Chuh! I’m tired hearing supposed Christians complain! And it’s even possible that we complain more than the unbelievers too. We live better than 90 percent of the world, but we also complain more than them. Life is just too nice and easy with us. 

And many believers feel that because they believe in Christ life should be just one, long, sweet, easy walk down the path of righteousness. But friends I have some unfortunate news for us; the path of righteousness  has NEVER, and will NEVER be a sweet, easy walk! Just check out what Jesus had to go through nuh. And though we won’t go through as rough a time as He did, it certainly won’t be all wine, women and song! 

Because it’s only when we face rough and tough times that we can grow, through having to actually exercise our faith and trust in Christ Jesus, our supposed Lord and Saviour! The same we build physical muscles by lifting heavy weights, the same way we need to face difficulties to build our Christian faith! But unfortunately, too many of us are so weak and wimpy that it makes Jesus shake His head in disappointment. 

Please remember Jesus’ serious words to the disciples: ‘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.’ 

Yeh friends, in Jesus’ own inimitable style, He tells us the bad news along with the good, in one verse of scripture. Life will be rough, but settle down, look up, and be at peace, because I have already given you the victory. But so many of us are so spineless that we whimper and cry at the first sign of difficulty. 

But hear how Bruh Paul told it to Timothy: ‘Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.’ (2 Tim.3:12) And Bruh Paul was an excellent example of those words. We wouldn’t have the wonderful news of Christ’s gospel today if he had simply refused to go through the numerous difficulties he faced in spreading it. 

And long before Bruh Paul, Bruh David said it thus: ‘Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.’ (Ps.34:19-20) And Bruh David also knew what it was to face stormy times, but such was his trust and faith in the God of his forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that he never wavered from it, even when his life was on the line. 

So my fellow believers, it’s of the utmost importance that we stand strong and steadfast when difficulties come along, because we know that the Lord will never leave nor forsake us in the midst of them, but better still, He will help us to go through the fire and the flood and come out even stronger and more faithful than when we entered the time of storm! Now that’s a convoluted sentence of which Bruh Paul would be proud! (smile) 

But hear his famous words on the subject to the church at Rome. ‘Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.’ (Rom.8:37) And indeed we are! Glory be mih breddren! Rejoice and shout for joy because our Jesus has given us the victory! Now let’s go home declaring (yo!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole wide world know who and whose we are. 

In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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!’ 

Now mih people, let’s do our bounden duty by going out and cheerfully sharing the awesome LOVE and friendship of Jesus with others nuh, as he so desperately desires of us! Much LOVE!

…true believers in Christ…will show their joy and cheerfulness…during times of adversity…because of their overwhelming faith in Him…

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 August 2019 John 13:15.

John 13:15.    ​For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done unto you.
 

Oh my people, it’s a perfect beginning to what seems like a perfect day! The sun’s shining ever so brightly although it’s just eight o’clock in the morning, merrily reflecting off every possible surface. I was quite surprised at how bright it looked when I went outside a short while ago. And the temperature is nice and comfortable, so let’s hope it will continue like that all day. 

But the most important thing is that we’re alive to enjoy it! Yeahhh! Through God’s LOVING grace, mercy and forgiveness, we’re still around to enjoy another memorable day! Wow! Give Him much thanks and praise my fellow saints in Christ for being so wonderful to us when we don’t deserve any of it. 

But most of all, we have to give Him thanks for His most wonderful Son, Jesus Christ, who sacrificed His sinless blood on the cross at Calvary so that we could be made right with the Father! Glory to God! That’s why the Daily Bread Devotionals could tell us: ‘In a world filled with heartache, we can model the compassion of Jesus.’ And furthermore: ‘We serve Christ when we serve people!’ 

Words of gospel truth my brethren! Jesus is the most worthwhile example of all that we should aspire to be! Yes, we can never be truly like Him, be perfect in every way, because of our inherent sinful nature and His accompanying deity, but we can certainly try to get as close as possible to perfection in our humanity. And serving others while having a heartfelt compassion for mankind are possibly the two most important ways we can model Him. 

Oh, we won’t forget spreading His gospel, but people are more receptive to that good news when we first assuage their physical wants. Meaning, if someone’s hungry, before we begin preaching, we should first feed them. And likewise, if they are naked, clothe them first before trying to shove the gospel down their throats. 

And unfortunately that’s a mistake we often make. We reach out to the impoverished, both in body and spirit, but we put the gospel first. But as Sparrow once said in a calypso, ‘Yuh can’t make LOVE on an empty belly!’ (smile) And that goes for almost every other situation. You’re not receptive to much of anything if you’re cold and hungry. So please, in our own li’l worlds or spheres of influence, let’s try and satisfy the physical needs of others before we begin preaching to them nuh. 

And sadly, there are so many of our brothers and sisters in Christ in these supposedly prosperous times who are suffering severe and serious want, especially with all the natural disasters, like flood and famine and sickness, plus rampant greed and strife that’s occurring all over our world in these last troubled and trying days. 

And I just came upon a most interesting and ever so applicable statement of Bruh Paul’s to the Philippians, when he promised to send Timothy to help them in their faith walk. ‘For all seek their own, not the things which are Christ’s.’ (Phil.2:21)  Yes friends, in this age of me, mine and my own, everyone is more concerned about seeking their own needs and wants than those of Christ. 

But remember He said that if we seek first His kingdom and the things that are important to Him, we would be granted all the other ancillary stuff. (Matt.6:33) Sadly though, very few of us really pay attention to those words and instead run off to do what we think is best for us. But I’m straying from the original topic; servanthood amongst the followers of Jesus. 

Friends, we ought not to be too proud to do whatever job is necessary, even if it’s the most menial of jobs, like sweeping the floors or cleaning the toilets. And again in Jesus, we have the best example possible, when He washed the feet of His disciples. That was possibly one of the most menial jobs in Israel in those days, reserved for slaves, since they wore sandals and their feet were always dusty and dirty. 

But Jesus stripped Himself at the Last Supper, the Feast of the Passover, took a basin of water and washed every disciple’s feet. Why? Listen to His reasoning. ‘Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master (Teacher) and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. 

If I then, your Lord and Master (Teacher), have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done unto you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord (master); neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.’ (John 13:12-17) 

Ah friends, as always, Jesus gives us some dynomite examples to follow! And is that one about doing menial jobs ever so applicable in these days, where we all are so proud and hoighty-toighty and only want to do the jobs that the world thinks are so uplifting and convey what it calls success. 

But please remember that though the C.E.O might make the most money and have the biggest say about how to do things, it’s the lowly factory workers who actually do the jobs, make whatever they sell. Without them, he wouldn’t be in His glorified position. Likewise we should never forget the poor and unfortunate around us and not be too big and proud to help them in whatever way they need it, because that’s what our Lord and Saviour, Our Leader, Jesus Christ was all about. 

And if we want to truly follow His example, then we have to do what He did! And having washed away some of our foolish pride, (smile) let’s go home declaring (right ho!) our Tuesday Mantra, telling the whole wide world, in no uncertain terms, who and whose we are. 

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

And if we believe it, then let’s follow Jesus’ example and go out and share His amazing LOVE and wonderful friendship! Much LOVE!

…no job…should ever be too menial…for a true believer in Christ…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 November 2018 Deuteronomy 4:29.

Deuteronomy 4:29.   ​But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.​
 
Oh brother! What is it eh? I’ve been back from sunny Jamaica for a week now and so far I’ve only awakened to one bright and sun-filled day! I believe that was Sunday. Man o man! That sure doesn’t do wonders for the spirit nuh. But nonetheless, I am thankful that I can say that I’ve awakened…Glory be! 

Every time I read the obits and don’t see my name, I send up a grateful, ‘Thank You Lord!’ Oh, I know that one day I will read it there, but just not yet.’ (smile) 

And to help us on this cold, dark, wet and cloudy day, I’ve been led to share this poem from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional, titled, ‘Learn to Know God.’ So let’s do just that nuh. 

Please pray with me: ‘Dear Jesus, I’ve got to get to know You better. Please help me! I can feel my spiritual and emotional walls crack. I can hear old chains break. I can feel my heart opening like a heavy door whose ancient seals have just begun to break. I can sense the footsteps of Jesus walking into my life. I am beginning to experience the joy of a soul that is being saved, a life that is being born again. Thank You Lord! Life’s not fair, but God is good. Amen.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth: ‘Life’s not fair, but God IS good!’ Ah friends, whenever we come to God, sincerely cry out to Him for help in time of need, we can be sure that He will hear our plea and respond positively to it! That’s’ His promise, and He’s a faithful keeper of ALL His promises! But we first have to seek Him, to get to know Him. 

And every great man of faith has made that admonishment, as we will see as we go through the Good Book. We’ll begin with out Bit; Moses’ wise and true advice to the Israelites: ‘But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.​’ 

Yes friends, whenever we seek the Lord with a sincere heart, we shall find Him. It doesn’t matter what we were doing before. And we have perfect examples of that in the many times the Israelites turned from God and suffered, but when they came to their senses and returned to Him, He welcomed them back with opened arms. 

Likewise, in these evil and sinful times, if we turn back to God, seek Him with all our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, He will hear us and relieve the trials and tribulations, which we are suffering from disobedience to His holy will. And doh fool yuh fat nuh, we are undergoing adversity and calamity because of our sinful, ungodly way of life. But enough of my preaching, (smile) let’s see what some other great men of faith said on the subject. 

Hear Bruh David now, as he admonishes Cousin Sol on the matter. ‘And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart, and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.’ (1 Chr.28:9) And that my brethren holds good for all of us, be we prince or pauper! 

And on an even more important note, how many of us parents admonish our children with that information eh? Too few! Otherwise we would not have raised such an ungodly, narcissistic and nihilistic (rejection of beliefs in religion and morals) generation. Our parents taught us about seeking God, possibly more than we liked, but our generation have certainly not taught this current one enough about seeking their Maker. 

Come the judgement day, we will have a lot to answer for in that regard. But moving right along, listen to Bruh David again, this time from Psalm 9. ‘The Lord also will be a refuge (stronghold) for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.’ (Ps.9:9-10) 

And all God’s people broke out in a loud and grateful cheer: ‘Praise the Lord for His undeserved goodness to the children of men!’ Yes my brethren, we all know that the Lord NEVER turns His back on any one who comes to Him with a sincere and humble heart! 

Now hear that lamenting prophet, Jeremiah. (smile) ‘Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto (listen to) you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.’ (Jer.29:12-13) It couldn’t get any more forthright than that! 

Now listen to the Master tell it like it truly ought to be. This is His response to a foolish Pharisee lawyer trying to provoke Him, by asking which is the greatest commandment? ‘Jesus saw through the ruse and simply quoted the Old Testament words to him, (Deut.6:5) which as a leader of the people, he ought to have known. ‘Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.’ (Matt.22:37-38) 

And as a (langniappe, or brawta) a little extra thrown in for good measure, Jesus then informed him. ‘And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt.22:39-40) And that was only a reiteration of Leviticus 19:18, which the Pharisee lawyer also would have known. 

But friends, just like how they were not living those two great commandments back in the times of Jesus, likewise we are not living them in these end times. That’s why our world is such an evil mess. And it’s only if we believers improve our LOVING, both for God and man, will it ever improve. It’s as simple as that. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. In strong voice and sincere hearts 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!’ 

Our next move then is to go out and share that LOVE! Much LOVE!

…only as you seek the Lord…and with a sincere heart too…will you find Him…