Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 July 2020 John 13:34.

John 13:34.     ​A new commandment I give unto you, That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another.
 

Top o’ the morn my people! And wonderful greetings from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who’s also our Comforter and Provider! And He’s asked me to convey these most faithful and worthy assurances this Tuesday morning at the end of July 2020, when our world is in a most turbulent and unrighteous state. ‘Fear Not: For, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ 

Wow! What reassuring sentiments from the One who sacrificed His sinless life on the cross at Calvary so that we could be reconciled to God, justified, sanctified, made righteous and all the other wonderful things His death and resurrection accomplished. Mama Mia! How can we not LOVE and honour, praise and reverence and sincerely worship such a mighty and faithful entity eh? 

That brings me to these momentous words of His to all who believe in Him. ‘A new commandment I give unto you, That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:34-35) 

Oh my people, those words are ever so important on at least two levels. The first is that the attribute of LOVE, God’s highest, strongest and most pervasive attribute should also be very strong and pervasive amongst us. But then too, by us showing that wonderful thing called LOVE to each other, mankind will see and know that we are truly disciples of Jesus! 

Yes friends, our showing LOVE to each other is the surest way to point out, to manifest to the world, that we are real and true ambassadors of the Son of God; the One who’s name is above every other in the universe, except the Father’s, and to whom every knee must bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord to the glory of the Father. 

Unfortunately though, that attribute of LOVE is not being displayed enough amongst the supposed followers of Christ, much less amongst those who deny Him. And that’s why our world is in such a divided, disunited, strife-filled and topsy-turvy state! The LOVE of God is almost non-existent in our current society. But then how can we expect it to be when God Himself doesn’t hold much sway in it. He’s been placed on the back burner, or simply kicked out of many of our lives and activities. 

But the truth of the matter is that the LOVE of God is what’s so badly needed in our society to stop it from further crumbling and sinking right down into the evil mire that it’s currently headed towards at break-neck speed. But each of us supposed disciple must get up, get up NOW, and perform the actions of discipleship, particularly the showing of LOVE for each other if we’re to reclaim the world for our Lord and Saviour. 

Listen to these most informative words of Bruh Paul to the Thessalonians on the subject nuh. ‘But as touching (concerning) brotherly LOVE ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to LOVE one another. And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more.’ (1 Thess. 4:9-10) 

Yeh friends, we’ve all been taught by God to LOVE, and many of us are trying our best to do it, but in these most trying and uncertain times, we desperately need to ratchet up that effort so that our world won’t fall apart. It’s as Jackie DeShannon’s popular song of some fifty five years ago, written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach, so rightly says: 

‘What the world needs now is LOVE, sweet LOVE. It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of. What the world needs now is LOVE, sweet LOVE. No not just for some, But for everyone.’ It was appropriate then when we were in the throes of the Vietnam War, and it’s ever so appropriate now when we are in the throes of a pandemic clothed with serious political strife. 

And John explains what the true test of knowledge, of discipleship is. ‘And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the LOVE of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought also to walk, even as he walked.’ (1 John 2:3-6) 

Yes my people, the only way to know if we truly LOVE God and He is in us, is if are walking in His will, keeping His commandments, of which the most important is that we walk in LOVE! So please, let’s check our LOVE walk nuh, and see if it can hold up to close scrutiny. And whether it can or cannot, let’s do as Bruh Paul asks, and improve it, with God’s help obviously. We all have room for improvement, that’s for sure! 

Now let’s; go home telling the world who and whose we are, as we declare (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra. 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!’ 

And that’s what true discipleship is; trusting our friend Jesus and sharing His wonderful, amazing and unconditional LOVE with the world. So let’s show some true discipleship nuh! (smile) Much LOVE!

…LOVE… the ONLY epoxy…the only glue…that can hold our world together… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 April 2020 Isaiah 33:22.

Isaiah 33:22.    For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us.
 

And it’s a cloudy, drizzly Tuesday morning…Thank the Lord for Life and some spring blessing, so that in these cold and dry northern climes, His earth can return to it its wonderful green and flowery nature! Yeh friends, whatever the situations or circumstances in our individual lives and our overall world, we need to give our heavenly Father much thanks and praise for His LOVING-kindness and mercy and grace to us undeserving children of men. For without those benefits, we’d be lost forever in a state of sin, shame, disgrace and eventual death! 

Now here’s a poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that brings home that very truth. It’s most appropriately titled ‘Wrong Question.’ Please pray with me: ‘My faithful God I see afresh this morning The grave error of my question “Don’t You LOVE me anymore?” I ought always to ask instead “How can You LOVE me so continually With such immeasurable LOVE?” Now that my fellow saints in Christ is the zillion dollar question – how can a holy, just and righteous Deity LOVE a bunch of ingrates so much eh? 

Well the answer is really quite simple: our God is also a God of LOVE, of mercy, of grace and of forgiveness, and above all, we are His own creation, created to have purposeful fellowship and communion with Him, so it’s obvious that He can’t simply throw us away even though we’re rather disobedient and sinful! Remember too that He’s also the God of second, third, fourth and unlimited chances. So it would be against His very nature to just cast us off without any form of help. As Bruh Paul told Timothy: ‘If we believe not (are faithless), yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.’ (2 Tim. 2:13) 

Yes friends, the Lord cannot deny what He is, or go against His natural attributes. And remember too, He promised to redeem mankind after He kicked our forefathers Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden for their unfaithfulness. So it’s finally come right around full circle: the Lord’s kept His word and gave us a Saviour in Christ Jesus, redemption and salvation bought and paid for by His precious blood shed sacrificially on the cross at Calvary. So alright, I said it was simple, and to the Lord it was and is; though to us it might seem rather convoluted. (smile) 

But precious people, all we need to know and believe is that Christ died to save us, and true belief in Him and His righteous cause will lead us to eternal life. And a li’l while ago, when I opened the Good Book, what positive and proactive and promising scripture do you think it opened at eh? Hear the voice of the prophet Isaiah: ‘For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us.’ Mama Mia! That says it all my brethren! The Lord God of Israel is all of those things to us, and we need to badly acknowledge Him as them if we want to see long life and good days. 

Unfortunately though, our world has turned away from God and has made the prince of darkness it’s new leader. But friends, lemme tell you a li’l ‘secrat’ nuh; the Lord is not going to allow the fallen angel Lucifer to usurp His earthly creation, just like He didn’t allow him to usurp His heavenly kingdom. So for all of those who want to put their trust in Satan now, it will be a sad day for them when that day of judgement arrives, as it most certainly will. The Good Book says it quite plainly: ‘And it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement:’ (Heb. 9:27) 

And then it will be too late to change our minds, so please, please, I beg of us, let’s disassociate ourselves from the darkness of the world nuh, and instead seek the light, the bright, shining and everlasting light of Jesus, for in Him will we find the true life, the true reason for living! And I just got a good allegory for that: like we doing social distancing now for Covid-19, the same way we ought to do social distancing from Satan! Oh yes, I likes it! It’s rather appropriate! Let’s keep our social distance from this world and all it’s sinful temptations and cling to that Master vine that’s Jesus, so that crapaud don’t smoke we pipe when the end times come. 

That’s wisdom at its highest mih people, so please let’s joyfully embrace it now nuh. As Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) defines wisdom: something you do now that will benefit you later on down the road of life! And believe me, clinging to Jesus is the most beneficial thing we can ever do in this life! And the scripture verses for the poem above is also rather apropos for today’s discussion. They’re taken from, or rather all of Psalm 117 – ‘The truth of the Lord endureth forever.’ 

So please declare (steups!) with me: ‘O Praise (glorify) the Lord, all ye nations (gentiles): praise (glorify) him, all ye people. For his merciful (LOVING) kindness is great towards us: and the truth of the Lord endureth forever. Praise (glorify) ye the Lord.’ (Ps. 117:1-2) And it couldn’t be said, any sweeter or shorter than that nuh mih bredrin. So let’s do it right now nuh; praise and glorify our magnificent and magnanimous God by declaring (Steups! Like I have to go back to school and learn to spell declare (yeah!) and its derivations yes!) our Tuesday Mantra. 

So 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!’ And though the Coronavirus and social distancing might bridle us a bit, they certainly won’t stop us from sharing Christ’s LOVE and friendship with the many others who desperately need it in these calamitous times! Much LOVE!

…it’s definitely foolish…for one created…to trust another created…more than their common Creator…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 November 2015 Psalm 95:1

Psalm 95:1. O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) to the rock of our salvation.

Welcome to a wet and woolly Wednesday Friends! (smile) I guess you can say we’ve been enjoying a touch of British weather. I’ve never experienced it personally, but I understand that it can be damp and drizzly for extended periods of time. 

Well that’s the kind of weather we’ve been having in my neighbourhood since yesterday afternoon. It also means that it might put a damper on some of the Remembrance Day Celebrations. 

Yes Friends, it is Remembrance Day, when we remember those who gave their lives for us in the wars all over the world, particularly World War 1, where so many brave young men and women died needlessly. But that’s the nature of war. 

We must never forget them because they are the ones who allowed us to have the freedoms that we now enjoy. It’s one of those things we ought also to teach our children, so that future generations will also remember the greatest gift possible of a man to his fellow beings. 

As Jesus said to His disciples. ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ (John 15:13) 

Yes my people, a whole lot of friends, and families laid down their lives for us in those wars, so please let’s take a moment to reflect on it and appreciate their gift of LOVE. And because of that, some of us also have the day off from work, so please use it wisely, not in unholy debauchery. (smile) 

Now the sun is actually trying to push its way through the clouds, but without too much success. However, although we can’t see it, we know for a fact that it’s somewhere out there rolling along on its own sweet, merry way, just shining brightly as it was programmed to do by its Maker. 

Contrary to that though my brethren, the brilliant LIGHT of the SON is always shining brightly on us. Because He lives within us, He is ALWAYS with us. No clouds can block His radiant light from us! Glory Hallelujah! 

And it’s something NO ONE can ever take from us, for once we are filled with the Holy Spirit, sealed as a child of God, and our name’s written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, we are His FOREVER! Glory to God! 

So though the physical outlook on life this morning might be somewhat grey and dreary, the spiritual light of Jesus is just blazing away, leading us down paths of righteousness. Paths we don’t need the sun for, because we already have the SON! 

And since it’s Wednesday, we also need to declare our Wednesday Wail. All together now, let’s 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!’ 

Oh Friends, what a wonderful feeling it is to be alive and active in the ministry of Christ! There is no better way to live this earthly pilgrimage than in consort with Jesus, the One who selflessly sacrificed His holy, sinless life on the cross at Calvary, so that we could be made into the righteous children of God. 

He took all of our sins on Himself and gave us His holiness and righteousness. Oh glory to the Lamb of God, who is most worthy to receive all our praise and adoration! For without Him, hn…! 

I don’t even want to contemplate that situation… for we would all be headed for death and damnation in the fold of Lucifer and his evil minions, but through Jesus’ sacrifice, we’ve been given a second chance. 

Oh my people, please let’s use that new chance wisely and turn in repentance, with all sincerity and truth to our wonderful heavenly Father, who LOVED us so much that he gave His only SON that we might be saved from the evil clutches of sin. 

That’s why we are continuing this series of message of praise and thanksgiving, because we don’t pay enough reverence to our heavenly Father. We should be doing much more of what our Bit tells us. ‘O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) to the rock of our salvation.’ 

Oh my people, what can be better than giving praise and thanks to our awesome God eh? Nothing at all! For it is in those acts of faithfulness that our souls are renewed and refreshed, our faith is strengthened, we are once more invigorated to go out and live a good and true life in Jesus’ name. 

As the psalmist continues in Psalm 95 – A psalm of praise to the great God: ‘Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) unto him with psalms (songs). 

For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all Gods. In his hand (possession) are the deep places of the earth: the strength (the heights) of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.’ (Ps.95:2-5) Words of indisputable truth Friends! 

So today, on this Remembrance Day of 2015, as we reflect on all the wars and lives lost in them, please, let us also consider the most important life that’s ever been lost, well not lost, but given on our behalf, that of Jesus Christ, and let it cause us to be ever so thankful for the gracious opportunity to have the options of salvation and eternal life that His death provided. For that my people is wisdom everlasting. Much LOVE!

…lest we forget…let us remember…all those who have given the greatest gift a man can give…their lives on our behalf…especially Jesus…

P.S. Please excuse the lateness of the Bit. It was just one of those days, or rather nights that the ole fella was up pretty late, thus necessitating  a late awakening. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 October 2015 Colossians 2:4.

 Colossians 2:4.   And this I say, lest any man should beguile (deceive) you with enticing (persuasive) words.

Well Friends, it’s Saturday… and in these northern climes the cold winds of autumn are now blowing steadily, with daytime highs of around 12 or 13 and nighttime lows down to 3 and 4 Celsius. That’s not a wonderful situation at all, because it means that the nighttime now calls for heat, and in the day time sweaters and coats and scarfs etc., for though the sun might be shining brightly its heat is negligible. 

But all praise to God that the Son is ALWAYS shining brightly and His LOVE and spiritual warmth never dissipates, regardless of our earthly seasons! Oh Glory to God my people, for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who sacrificed His sinless life on the cross of Calvary so that our sins could be forgiven and our souls reconciled to our heavenly Father! 

Please, let’s NEVER FORGET the awesome price He paid for our deliverance! He paid it so that we could have life abundantly, that we could be conquerors, that we could run this race of earthly life and be sure winners. And though we may fail often in this life, that’s absolutely no reason to give up. 

As our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us, says in a recent quote: ‘Failure defeats losers, failure inspires winners.’ And that’s gospel truth my people! When losers fail, they give up, but when winners fail, they get right back up and keep on trying, until they eventually succeed. 

And here are a couple of other quotes from two men who met with a lot of failure early on in their careers but never gave up. And we all know the results of their persistence and perseverance, for down through the years we have enjoyed the phonograph, the motion picture camera and the practical light bulbs of Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931), and the affordable motor car coming off the assembly line of Henry Ford (1863-1947), though now all in more modern forms. 

Edison is reputed to have said: ‘Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.’ 

Meanwhile Henry Ford apparently declared: ‘You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.’ And so saying he went out and developed the assembly line that built cars quicker and cheaper. And the same things apply to us Christians; we can’t give up, since giving up doesn’t exist in our vocabulary, neither can we build a solid Christian reputation on just talk. But we still try to do it anyway. (smile) 

Our lives ought to reflect that of Jesus Christ as much as possible, according to whatever stage we’re at in our race. But in this day and age of so much ungodliness, fraud and discontentment, where almost instant communication is available, and lots of out and out crooks, charlatans and false teachers abound, the believer has to be very selective in whom or what he or she reads, watches or listens to. 

Bruh Paul would have cried in dismay if he could see the amount of falsehood and deceit that’s been perpetrated in our current world. That’s why his words to the Colossians found in our Bit, are still so vital and necessary today. ‘And this I say, lest any man should beguile (deceive) you with enticing (persuasive) words.’ 

Yes my brethren, it so easy to be led astray today, especially if we don’t have personal knowledge of God’s Word. That’s why it’s ever so important for EACH and EVERY BELIEVER to read their Bibles; to study, to meditate on its contents, so you can have a good foundation and not be easily led astray by any and every nefarious doctrine that’s preached. 

Listen to how Bruh Paul puts it to the Roman church in his personal greetings. ‘Salute one another with a holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you. Now I beseech you, brethren, mark (note) them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good (smooth) words and fair (flattering) speeches deceive the hearts of the simple (innocent). 

For your obedience is come abroad (reported) unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil. And the God of peace shall bruise (crush) Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.’ (Rom.16:16-20)  

And the scholars offer these explanations on those verses. ’16:17. Words of warning concerning danger threatening the church. Paul does not want the unity implied in verses 3-16 to be broken, marred, or impaired. Paul delivers the command to mark them who are the source of divisions and stumbling blocks in the assembly, because they cause divisions and offenses (cf. 14:13b). They are to avoid them or “turn away” from them. They are not to try to argue with or convert them (cf. 14:1).’ 

‘16:18. Serve not our Lord: Anyone who mars the unity or harmony of the local church does not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, regardless of his claim. He puts his interest above the welfare and interest of the local church.’ 

Oh Friends, oh Friends,  you don’t need me to tell you that ‘divisions and offenses’ as spoken by Bruh Paul are rampant and unceasing in today’s church, both local, national and international. It seems that politics, bureaucracy, greed, selfish pride and ego, along with an insatiable hunger for power are at the forefront of today’s church. That’s why nobody is taking us seriously anymore. 

But if the church cannot be trusted to do the right thing, who can be eh? I admire Pope Francis’ down to earth attitude and his desire to turn the church around to where it is truly a conduit to Christ, but he is only one man, and an old one at that, and some of the unrighteousness is so deeply built into the church and its bureaucracy, that it will take more than him to root it out. 

Anyway my people, enough for today. There’s a lot for you to consider, to ponder on, so please do, and then let’s try and improve Christ’s church, one day, one brick at a time. With His help, we can certainly do it. Much LOVE!

…oh how good and pleasant it is…when brethren dwell together… in peace and unity…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 July 2015 Proverbs 17:17‏

Proverbs 17:17.  A friend LOVETH at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Ah Friends, one more day, one more day on God’s planet earth this Saturday morning! Praise the Lord! He allocates them one at a time, which means we have to enjoy each one as it comes along, because we don’t know if we will see another one tomorrow. In His infinite wisdom He might just decide that we have enjoyed enough of His breath of life down here, and it’s time to move on to higher matters and heights.

So please, let’s all give our Creator, Provider and heavenly Father a rousing shout of ‘Thank You Lord! Thank You for Jesus and all that You have done for us unworthy humans. We are Your creation and though we rebelled against You, Your LOVE for us was so great, You found a way through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross at Calvary to reconcile us to You. We can never repay Your LOVING-kindness, but we will be forever grateful! Thank You Lord! We LOVE You and Praise Your Holy Name!’

Yes my people, it’s ever so wonderful to serve and worship such a magnificent and magnanimous God!

Now here is a quote attributed to one of our early church fathers, St. John Chrysostom (349-407). He was born in Antioch and became the Bishop of Constantinople. Constantinople was founded by the Roman emperor Constantine on the already existing city of Byzantium, part of the Byzantine Empire. It is now known as Istanbul, part of modern day Turkey.  

St. John was well known for his writings, public speaking and influence on church affairs, including his denunciation of abuse of authority by both ecclesiastical and political leaders.  Anyway, his quote says: ‘A friend is clearer than the light of heaven, for it would be better for us that the sun were extinguished than that we should be without friends.’

Ah mih breddren, I don’t know if I would go so far nuh, (smile) but Friends definitely are useful and necessary, especially in these very trying and deceitful times. And according to my One More Day Devotional for People with Chronic Illness: ‘Friendship is our greatest achievement and reward. Our friends are people to care about, celebrate with, and count on.

Within the closest friendships we find the best of each other at all times. Friendships enrich our lives… It is no accident that we become close and maintain our contact. We offer help and hope. We share each other’s pain and enhance each other’s growth. We appreciate our friend’s unique qualities.’

It’s all true my people, but it’s ever so hard to find one of those real friends nowadays, where distrust, deceit, fraud and all kinds of evil are rising to the forefront of our society, where trust is no longer the rule, but rather the exception. 

All of that eventually brings us to our Bit. ‘A friend LOVETH at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.’ What awesome truth my people! And how lucky, or rather blessed we are, if we can find even one person to fit that bill in our earthly lives!

The scholars explain it thus: ‘17:17. A true friend has unquenchable LOVE that is not diminished by adversity.’

Ah Friends, do we have that kind of LOVE for anyone in our lives, or does anyone have that kind of LOVE for us? I certainly do hope so, otherwise we’re missing out on a most important part of life.

And what I want to do now is to quote some scripture from Proverbs, where Cousin Sol writes a lot about friends and friendships. Don’t know how many we’ll get in, because there quite a few. We’ll do it by chapters, beginning with 14. ‘The poor is hated even of (by) his own neighbour: but the rich hath many friends (the LOVERS of the rich are many.’ (Prov.14:20) And that’s gospel truth!

The scholars put it this way. ‘14:20. Social standing is improved with riches, but the good neighbour will have concern for all, regardless of their status.’ That’s how it’s supposed to be, but there aren’t a whole lot of good neighbors around these days nuh.

In Chapter 16, Sol writes: ‘A froward (perverse) man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief (the best of) friends.’ (Prov.16:28)

And the scholars simply say of this: ‘16:28. Gossip destroys friendships.’

Now we all know that is an indisputable truth since we all have experienced it to some extent. And it hurts like the dickens!

And in chapter 17, early on, Sol says almost the same thing. ‘He that covereth a transgression seeketh LOVE; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very (the best of) friends.’ (Prov.17:9)

Now that’s the real difference between a true friend and an imposter! One will keep quiet about certain private matters, while the other will go and broadcast them to the world.

Meanwhile in chapter 18, Sol pens this highly interesting and oh so true proverb. ‘A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.’ (Prov.18:24)

Now that doesn’t mean exactly what it says. Listen to the scholars. ‘18:24. A man that hath many friends must show himself friendly may also be translated, “A man of many friends comes to ruin.” In other words, a man must not spread himself too thin among many superficial relationships. Far better it is to have (a few) genuine friends who become like family and LOVE at all times (17:17).’ 

And isn’t that the unfortunate truth my brethren! We all know of people who have suffered irreparable damage by having too many hangers on in their lives. Celebrities are a very good example of that. Some of us might even have experienced it.

And these last two come from chapter 27. ‘Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.’ (Prov.27:6)

Hear the scholars: ‘27:6. True criticism from a friend may hurt for a time but may be welcomed, for it issues from his LOVE, whereas the kisses of an enemy are an attempt to conceal his hatred.’

And last but definitely not least: ‘Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.’ (Prov.27:17)

And the scholars explain that thus. ‘27:17. As the proper tool shapes and sharpens iron for its desired use, so a man sharpens his friend morally and intellectually by their personal friendship.’

Now that is the kind of friends we need in these last desperate days! Oh my people, I do hope now that we have a better understanding of what true friendship is all about. So let’s put that understanding into practice nuh, but carefully, for easy does it. Much LOVE!

…I bring myself honestly to my friendships…  (One More Day Devotional).

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 April 2015 Deuteronomy 31:8

Deuteronomy 31:8.    And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.
 
Well Friends, it’s a beautiful Wednesday morning in Holy Week! The sun’s shining, the birds are a singing, but sadly, all’s not right with our world. It is filled with too many negative emotions and the strife and discontent that they bring. But it’s important to realize that our great God is still on His throne watching over things, in full control of it all.
 
We might not understand why He’s allowing all the negativity to continue, but rest assured that He, with His higher wisdom and understanding, knows what He’s doing. That’s the only way we can endure the evil and ungodliness that’s currently festering the soul of our world.
 
I guess the ole fella’s a bit tardy this morning too. But there’s good reason for my tardiness. I was about the Lord’s work, at a meeting in the church last night, which finished later than I expected, and by the time I got home and did my own thing, it was minutes to two in the morning.
 
And that’s no April Fool’s joke, it’s the gospel truth. (smile) And the ole bod refused to get up until it was well rested and refreshed, able to take on the rigours of writing the Bit. So what can I say eh? (smile)
 
But Friends, can you imagine that’s it’s already April? The year of 2015 is surely winging its merry way along without any thought to whom or what it leaves behind. Therefore, I beseech us to take the necessary precautions not to be caught up in that situation.
 
We have to be aware of what’s going on around us and play our part, which is an ambassadorial role for Jesus Christ. We have to get out there and let the world know that He’s alive; alive and kicking, kicking very hard too.
 
And especially at this most important time in our Christian Calendar, Easter, we’ve got to shout it out, let the world know that Jesus is still the most important person in the universe, and without Him in our lives, we are doomed to death and eternal separation from God Almighty!
 
And as I keep reminding us, that’s the worst fate that can ever befall a human being. So please, let’s get a move on in our personal lives nuh, let’s rise to the glorious occasion and show the unbelieving world that Jesus is for real, that what He stands for is of much more benefit than what the ungodly world and its evil minions have to offer.
 
Jesus‘ free gift of salvation through His sacrificial death on the cross at Calvary, engendered by God’s grace and unconditional LOVE, beats anything that this sinful world has to offer. It’s the greatest gift ever offered to man; freedom from sin, reconciliation to God, and eternal life with Him.
 
What could be sweeter and more fulfilling than that eh mih people? NOTHING! ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!
 
So let’s not forget that and allow the world to fool us into thinking that its earthly benefits are better than the heavenly ones. Our salvation and where we spend eternity depends on it.
 
Enough with the preaching though, (smile) let’s hear this most appropriate plaintive cry from the One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s titled ‘At Such Times,’ and says: ‘God, there are times In the midst of heartache and heartbreak When there is no comfort, no solace Anywhere at all.
 
There are times When in my crumbling state of mind I feel I can no longer endure – Not for a day, not even an hour. It is at such times, O God That I draw heavily Upon your unfathomable LOVE. At such times I explore Your transforming peace.
 
At such times I live By the power and promises Of a Father who cares infinitely more Than I can begin to grasp or comprehend. Today, dear God, is a “such time.”
 
Oh my fellow believers, isn’t that beautiful? It shows us exactly where we need to turn and what we have to do when times get rough, as they so often are in our present age. Turn to God and stand on His ever-faithful promise! It has worked for numerous believers for eons, and will continue to work until time everlasting!
 
And the promise for that poem is our Bit for today: ‘And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.’
 
Oh my brethren, what encouraging and uplifting words! Only a powerful Deity, One who is confident and comfortable in His own figurative skin, can make such a bold and forthright promise! And it sets the tone for all our endeavours even up to this day, centuries after it was made.
 
And our God not only talks, but takes firm action on behalf of His people, as He did with the Israelites when he brought them out of bondage in Egypt, by putting the words of our Bit into physical action.
 
Hear these words from the Good Book. ‘And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light to go by day and night. He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.’ (Ex.13:21-22)
 
What a merciful and gracious God we worship my Friends! And the good thing about all that is that He is till leading us today, not necessarily by pillars of clouds and fire, but in so many different ways, individually and collectively. The problem though is that we are often too busy or lazy to hear and see His leadership in our lives.
 
But Friends, I want to tell us that that is an integral part of our earthly lives, and until, and unless we embrace His grace and mercy and listen to His direction and plan for our lives, we will most definitely go astray and not live the life that He had planned for us.
 
Now let’s end with another scripture verse of enormous proportions, of wonderful encouragement and promise. This is when the Lord promoted Joshua to the Israelite leadership after the death of Moses. The Lord told him, man to man: ‘There shall not be any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so will I be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Josh.1: 5)
 
Oh my people, my people, what a glorious promise, one that the Lord fulfilled in spades. Once Joshua stayed faithful and followed His lead, all things worked together for his good. The same still goes for us today, my brethren.
 
Once we walk faithfully with the Lord, He will be faithful to us and lead us in the paths of righteousness, making us to lie down in green pastures, beside restful waters, and restore our souls, all for His name’s sake. Glory to God my brethren!
 
So please, let’s take firm hold of the promise in our Bit today and go out and be the best we can be for Jesus. I pray this in His holy name. Amen! Much LOVE!
 
…Oh Lord…please reignite your image in our hearts…rekindle your fire in our souls…so that we can LOVE You as we ought to…and do Your bidding without fear…but with gladness and joy…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 November 2014 Psalm 145:4

 Psalm 145:4.  One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.

‘Monday, Monday! Oh how I LOVE you! Can’t wait for you to come around, so that I can get back into the wicked world and work for Jesus!’ And suddenly there erupts a barrage of inflammatory and abusive language. (smile)

Okay, okay. So I am laying it on a bit thick. But Friends, technically speaking, that’s how we ought to be; anxious to get out into the evil world and let the heathen know about Jesus and His awesome free gifts of salvation and eternal life, through His sacrificial and substitutionary death on the cross at Calvary.

But I guess most of us are miffed at having to get up and go out and earn a living, especially in the cold, snowy weather that’s currently permeating my area. But them’s the breaks yes Friends!

So we had better get accustomed to it, otherwise we’re only going to stress out ourselves more than is necessary, and always begin the workweek on the wrong foot, behind the eight ball. Ah Lord eh! When are going to get out of this bad habit? (smile)

Anyway, to help the situation, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, in full, sweet, heavenly tones. As one great voice 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!’

Now that wasn’t so bad, was it? At least it energized us and lifted our spirits so that we can lose our miserable, pitiful attitude and can get on victoriously with life, as we ought to. That means turning to our Bit. ‘One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.

And as we saw yesterday through Moses’ command, (Deut. 6:6-9) teaching our children about Almighty God and all the great and wonderful things He has done down through the ages is essential, absolutely necessary, if we want to propagate Him and His Word to future generations.

How do you think it got to us eh, so many thousands of years later? Because one generation told the other. But we, in our proud, high-minded and busy world, considered it not important enough to spend the time teaching it to our children. And that’s one of the main reasons why we now have such disobedient, uncouth, ungrateful, ignorant children in this ungodly society!

Remember Cousin Sol’s wise words though my people. ‘Train up a child in the way he should go: and (even) when he is old, he will not depart from it.’ (Prov.22:6) And that’s indisputable, undeniable, gospel truth my brethren!

But I think we need to check out the scholars’ explanation here, so that we get it right. ’22:6. Train up a child refers to the total process of molding a child’s life. The word ‘train’ (chanak) comes from the root word meaning to “put into the mouth” and implies the idea of conditioning the palate.

Thus parental training should help children develop a taste for the things of God. The biblical pattern of effective parental training emphasizes a balance of instruction and discipline (cf. Eph.6:1-4). The ideal parent is to be neither overly authoritarian nor overly permissive. Rather, he must balance LOVE and discipline so as not to “provoke” his child to rebellion.

When he is old means simply, “when he is grown up,” or a mature adult. It does not refer to his elderly years. The verse stresses the simple principle that education in the home forms the man throughout his lifetime.’

More gospel truth my brethren! As the old people so rightfully said; charity, or LOVE begins at home! Home is where the basic fundamentals of life, including God, and decent living ought to be taught!

Sadly though, that no longer seems to be the way. The world, through radio, television and the ever invasive and pervasive social media are now our children’s teachers. So what else can we expect eh, but unruly, ungodly, worldly children… and eventually adults.

But as I said yesterday Friends, all is not lost, we still have some time to teach them about Jehovah God and His mighty and wonderful acts – don’t know how much though. So please, let’s get on with it nuh. Ask the Lord to show you how to address the matter at this late stage, and He will surely give you the necessary guidance.

We certainly don’t want to be known as the generation that allowed God to go under, do we? Absolutely not! Then let’s get a move on, for time is of the essence. Much LOVE!

…Jesus is depending on each generation to keep His name and Word alive…by passing it on to the next one…