Today’s Scrip-Bit   18 June 2022 Proverbs 20:13.

Proverbs 20:13.      LOVE not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.

Oh brother, did we ever have some savage winds blow yesterday… all day and into the night. It seems like they wanted to blow away everything, and it did do some damage, but the strange part is that through it all, the sun shone brightly with not a cloud in the sky and people went about their business as usual. And that strong wind looks like it wants to continue today as the trees outside are still having a rough time of it. 

This makes me think that it’s just another factor in the climate change scenario, because I don’t remember ever having so many strong windstorms, especially in the summertime, until the last few years. But recently an intense wind system has become the norm. Anyway, as Cousin Sol says so wisely in Ecclesiastes. ‘To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven… He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.’ (Eccl. 3:1, 11:4) 

So, let’s not observe the wind or regard the clouds, but do what it’s time for under the heaven this Saturday morning, (smile) that’s checking out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. The first one tells us that ‘In every day, there are 1,440 minutes. That means we have 1,440 daily opportunities to make a positive impact.’ Yes, there are 1440 minutes in a day, and when you put it like that, it appears like we have plenty time available to make a good impact for Christ. 

However, in reality, it doesn’t work that way because we need time to sleep and do other functions that aren’t conducive to making positive impacts on others. That means, to be a good ambassador of Christ, we have to use the time left very wisely, we can’t afford to waste even a minute of it, because every minute lost, means a soul possibly lost to Christ. That’s why we have wise sayings like ‘make hay while the sun shines,’ and Cousin Sol’s words from Proverbs; ‘LOVE not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.’ (Prov. 20:13) 

In other words, don’t be lazy or procrastinating, but be up and about, actively producing a positive impact in the world for yourself and Christ. And the next quote says: ‘There is no advertisement as powerful as a positive reputation travelling fast.’ Now that’s very true, but not very easy to do, especially in a slanderous, evil, greedy and strife-filled world like that in which we currently live. But thankfully our friend Anselm has given us some useful pointers in the other quotes that he’s sent us this week, so we’ll just use them to paint a beautiful picture…all for Jesus Christ. 

Before we get to those quotes though, we must make one definite pronouncement, remembering that we can’t do anything worthwhile without Christ in our lives. He said it as plainly as it can be said. ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) And if the Son of God, who is the way the truth and the light, the only way to the Father, says that, then it must be true. So the basic foundation of creating a positive and fulfilling reputation is by having Christ in our lives. 

Then, as Anselm says in the next quote: ‘It’s most important that you surround yourself with positivity always, and have it in your mind at all times.’ Yes friends, we can’t do positive things if we are not filled with positive thinking, but positive thinking based on the word of Christ. That’s the crucial aspect of it all. Christ is the most positive thinker there’s ever been, therefore, to think like Him, His word must always be uppermost in our minds. That brings us to the next quote, the next step in the building process. ‘I surround myself with positive, productive people of good will and decency.’ 

Now, that’s possibly the most essential part of the whole building process! Why? Because, although we personally have all the parts necessary for the purpose, we can’t build anything strong and worthwhile by ourselves, without good material, without good folks around us. And though we might prefer them to be Christian like ourselves, they don’t have to be, since there are good, decent hard-working folks out there who are not believers in Christ, and likewise, plenty supposed believers whom you don’t want around you at all. If you get my meaning. (smile) 

That’s how Christ desires us to build our lives and consequently His church; first on the strong foundation of His word, and then with good, positive, productive helpers, for nothing good is ever constructed with poor, negative, lazy help. And I like this last quote, because it is the sum of all that we’ve spoken about so far, it brings all those things into a Christ-like fulfillment. It says: ‘When you are joyful, when you say yes to life and have fun and project positivity all around you, you become a sun in the center of every constellation, and people want to be near you.’ 

Oh my people, that’s the gospel truth! When we’ve taken what Christ has given us, the fruit of the Spirit, and used it wisely, there’s a heavenly joy that rises up in us that nothing or no one can take away from us, and people see and recognize it and want to be continually around us; ‘like a sun in the centre of every constellation!’ Wow! I like that analogy because it blends in beautifully with what Jesus asks and expects of His followers. 

Remember these poignant words of His in the Sermon on the Mount? ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket), but on a candlestick (lampstand); and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:14-16) 

Oh my fellow saints, that is what Jesus expects of us, especially in these times of so much fear and confusion! He expects us to be the ones showing a positive outlook to the world since we have all the good things that He’s bequeathed to us, that He’s died for us to have, like forgiveness of sins, peace, LOVE, joy, salvation and eternal life! 

But we are not doing such a good job, because, if we were, the enemy, the purveyor of darkness would not have the death-like grip he currently has on the world. Instead, the harbinger of light; that’s Jesus, would have been in the ascendancy. So please, let’s get to work nuh. Since we claim to be true believers, it’s high time we do as Jesus desires of us, to bring forth much good fruit. We have all the tools, all the necessary credentials…so what’s holding us back eh?  Much LOVE!

…wherefore…by their fruit…ye shall know them… (Matt. 7:20)   

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 October 2020 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

1 Thessalonians 5:18.     ​In every thing give thanks: for that is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

 Well the weather is behaving just as inconsistently as us! (smile) Yeh, yesterday it didn’t morph into any bright and sunshiny skies, just remained dark and dreary. Now today, after a foggy, drizzly night, the sun is out there trying to overcome the dark rain-filled clouds. Who knows which aspect will be victorious eh? Only the good Lord at this particular time, but we’ll find out eventually. 

Yeh friends, that’s the way we live a lot of our life, not sure what’s happening in our present or future, and only understanding it when it becomes our past. As Cousin Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say; ‘you live life forward, but understand it backward.’ And that’s certainly the truth…if you understand it at all. (smile) Anyhow, enough of me, let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say this cloudy Friday morning, as we run through the month of a very calamitous October. 

And as usual, he opines: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday and work soon done for a couple days! It’s good to see another weekend, although there still isn’t much to do in it, but stay home and stay safe, for the Covid-19 numbers not coming down appreciably even though some of us still in phase 2 of the lockdown. In fact, the average cases actually going up, and some four major hospitals have outbreaks of the virus now. Ah Lord, what is happening eh? An’ people still refuse to wear masks, wash dem hands and stay away from crowds, the only things we currently have to somewhat control the virus So what yuh expect eh? Steups! 

But as my old mother always use to tell me: ‘Son, when yuh don’t hear, yuh does feel.’ And believe me, plenty times when I didn’t hear her, I certainly felt her! (smile) And is the same thing that’s happening to us as a society now. We not listening to the medical advice, what little we have, so people still living in fear of the tiny li’l virus that yuh can’t even see with the naked eye. What a knowledgeable and revolutionary society we’ve built eh… Hn! 

The trouble is that though we society so advanced and so flashy looking, we still only full of heifer dust! And as they say, if yuh put a pig in a palace, it still going to be a pig, and still going to behave like one! But with a small man like me, all I can do is try to keep my family safe yes, and say thank God for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

Ah mih bredrin, when you have a preponderance of sin, foolish pride, greed, hunger for power, and a lack of godly principles in a society, there will never be peace nor stability. And those are the things which are currently running rampant in our society, so it’s no surprise that we are in such a distasteful and disastrous situation. And how do we solve our calamitous situation eh? I just came upon a couple verses of rather appropriate scripture, some prayerful words ascribed to the prophet Daniel, when Israel was suffering the consequences of one of their disobedient spells; seventy years of captivity in Babylon. 

Daniel prayed: ‘O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city (Jerusalem) which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do (listen and act); defer (delay) not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.’ (Dan. 9:18-19) 

Yeh friends, it seems that it’s only in our dark and dreary times that we remember the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And so it is in these times, many who had turned away from God, for whatever reason, are now crying out to him for help and succour as they go through unprecedented and very unfavourable times. And those of us who have remained faithful and steadfast during the exodus from God’s fold, we too need to get very prayerful. As Bruh Paul said to the Thessalonians: ‘Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for that is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit.’ (1 Thess. 5:16-19) 

Ah mih people, those are not easy rules to follow, but if we want to be successful in this life, we ought to follow them as best we can, obviously with the Lord’s help. Hear these explanations from the scholars. ‘5:17. Pray without ceasing… the believer ought to remain in an attitude of prayer though not always praying audibly.’ That means praying at intervals throughout the day. ‘5:18. In every event or circumstance (thing) the Christian is to give thanks to God for the good He can bring out of the event, even should the event be unpleasant. The constant attitude of prayer, mentioned in verse 17, will help the believer to maintain gratitude in the face of adversity.’ 

Yeh friends, it’s not a matter of giving thanks for the adversity, although that will help us grow stronger in faith, but more for the fact that God can bring good from all our adversity. Remember the famous scripture that promises it. ‘And we all know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom. 8:28) So we need to be prisoners of hope and hang in there. And as per quenching God’s Spirit, we must ‘not stifle, suppress or hinder the Spirit’s workings by stopping Him from leading us to rejoice (vs. 16), to pray (vs. 17), to give thanks in adversity (vs. 18).’ 

Oh my fellow saints in Christ, it’s in those times of dire need that we need to listen to the Spirit’s leading and guiding more than ever. So let’s put some of that into action right now nuh, by going to God in prayer and supplication, making our needs, wants, fears and anxieties humbly known to Him through our Friday Chant. 

All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. Yuh know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife causing. We not accustomed to that kind of life Lord, and it really telling on us. And we know we can’t handle it on our own, that we desperately need your help. Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. 

It’s also a good opportunity to introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’  

Now if we were really sincere in that prayer, then we need to go out and behave like faithful believers, handle the situation the way Christ desires, so that others can take example from us and come to Him. Much LOVE!

…talk is cheap…but action needs sacrifice…let’s see some works with our faith…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 September 2014 Proverbs 20:13

Proverbs 20:13.  LOVE not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.

Oh Friends, it’s Monday, that wonderful first day of the work week! And some industrious, well prepared  believers began singing: ‘It’s Monday, it’s Monday; time to go to work and make some money, spread some good cheer around  and show them Jesus! TGIM! Thank God it’s Monday… and I’m alive and kicking!’
 
Yes Friends, those individuals were obviously well prepared to meet the coming work week, because their Sunday revolved mainly around God, family, rest and worship. Their spiritual selves have been made ready to deal with whatever comes against them in the next few days.
 
It’s not they won’t have problems, but since they grounded themselves in God on the first day, that grounding will enable them to rise up over those problems with assurance that Jehovah God is working with them.
 
Therefore: ‘No weapon that is formed against them shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against them in judgement they shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of (from) me, saith the Lord.’ (Is.54:17)
 
Unfortunately though my brethren, many of us did not take the time to prepare ourselves positively yesterday, so today we’re a mess; tired, moaning and groaning and complaining about having to go to work. However, there is a short tem remedy, a quick pick me up for that – our Monday Morning Battle Hymn.
 
So let’s get into it with all the gusto we can muster. As one earthly and harmonious choir 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!’
 
Ah mih people, that sounded somewhat hoarse and scratchy, (smile) but nonetheless it served its purpose, jump starting our engines, and getting our adrenalin flowing. So now let’s make the most of it and get a godly move on nuh.
 
That brings us to our Bit, a rather appropriate one for what we’ve talked about so far.  ‘LOVE not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.’
 
Truer words have seldom been spoken my fellow believers! Or as the old people would say; ‘sit down never says get up.’ If we are lazy and not industrious, like to lie around and not work, then we shall indeed come to poverty; that could be financially or in our relationships, even our health and our basic attitude towards life.
 
And it certainly does not reflect a godly or righteous lifestyle! Remember Jesus is all about doing constructive and productive stuff, and His followers ought to be of the same ilk.
 
This modern day society though, with its wealth and comfortable living, with appliances and gadgets to do many things that humans had to do by hand until recently, certainly lends itself to a more lazy and sluggish lifestyle.
 
Just think about the proliferation of computers and other communication toys, where we spend more time sitting on our fannies playing with them than physically moving around, like we did before their introduction. That lack of physical movement has obviously contributed to our sedentary lifestyle and thus to the epidemic of obesity that’s currently plaguing our Western world.  
 
What did Bruh Paul tell the church at Rome on the subject? ‘Be kindly affectioned (affectionate) one to another with brotherly LOVE; in honour preferring (giving preference to) one another; Not slothful in business (lacking diligence); fervent in spirit; serving the Lord.’ (Rom.12:10-11)
 
Yes my people, believers ought to be diligent in all walks of life!
 
Meanwhile Cousin Sol reiterates our Bit in a slightly different form in the following chapter of Proverbs. ‘He that LOVETH pleasure, shall be a poor man: he that LOVETH wine and oil shall not be rich.’ (Prov.21:17) 
 
It’s hard to argue with those statements my Friends, as we see them lived and acted out in reality and truth in our society all the time. If we concentrate on laziness, pleasure and generally unproductive behaviour, eventually we’ll be brought to nought. And believe me, that’s not a very nice or pleasant situation to find oneself in, since it can lead to things like homelessness and other detrimental behaviour.
 
And we’ll end with this tidbit from Bruh Paul to Timothy re widows. ‘Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate (left alone), trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day. But she that liveth in pleasure (indulgence) is dead while she liveth.’ (1 Tim.5:5-6)
 
And the scholars explain those verses thus:  ‘5:5. A widow deserving of church aid is desolate (has no family to care for her); trusteth in God (lives the Christian life faithfully); continueth in supplications (constantly prays for her support and for the church’s ministry).
 
5:6. This may be paraphrased, “But the widow who indulges in luxurious living, though physically alive, is spiritually dead.”
 
Yuh see Friends, the very real danger of living a lazy, riotous, pleasure-filled, unproductive life will eventually bring us to our knees, with the very real possibility of killing us, both literally and figuratively.
 
That’s not the lifestyle ordained by Jesus for His followers, so please let’s smarten up nuh, let’s get serious about living a true and faithful life for, and in Jesus, because that’s the highest standard of wisdom there is. Much LOVE!
 
…seek ye first …the kingdom of God and His righteousness…