Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 January 2020 Ecclesiastes 12:13.

Ecclesiastes 12:13.    ​Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter; Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
 
Well who says that this life isn’t interesting eh? When I got up about half an hour ago, it only seemed to be a cold, dreary looking kind of day in my neck of the woods. However, on going back upstairs just now to make a cup of caffeine, I happened to look outside again, and boy was our friend, those beautiful looking white flakes ever coming down out there! Yeh! With a vengeance too! Just goes to show how quickly things and times can change – except for ONE all-important fact; the unchangeability, the unchanging nature of our great God, Jehovah! The steadfast and everlasting sameness of His sovereignty and faithfulness! 

And all of God’s children gave out with a loud and grateful shout of ‘Praise the Lord! Bless His holy name!  Praise Him for being the same yesterday, today and forever! Praise Him for being ever-faithful and constantly watching over us like a good shepherd does over his flock! We thank You Lord for giving us this day, and know that despite the difficulties we may face, you are always right there beside us, riding shotgun, through the flood, through the fire and through the storm, ably leading and guiding us! We give you thanks and praise in the most holy and revered name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Ah friends, our God is indeed a great and very interesting deity. It wasn’t my plan to get into that prayer above, but I guess He wanted to hear some sacrifice of praise from us this morning, so He led me there. (smile) And if that’s the case, then I had better do the other thing He seems to want me to do. What’s that you ask? Well yesterday when I opened the Good Book, it opened at this particular scripture, but I ignored it and looked elsewhere for our Bit. However, today, it’s opened at the very same scripture! 

Now would you call that coincidence…or luck…or some such worldly thing? Well it just might be, but I’m not taking the chance to ignore it for another day. I’m going to behave as if it’s a sign from the Almighty, that He wants us to delve into this particular Bit of scripture on this particular, cold and snowy day! Call me cowardly if you want. (smile) So here s that particular Bit of scripture…and it’s a powerful one too! Hold on to your hats and your horses, as Cousin Sol, writing as the Preacher -Ecclesiastes, gives us the benefit of his extensive research. 

‘Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter; Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.’ Yes friends and fellow believers, that is the wisest and most sensible course of action we can ever take in this life. And how did Cousin Sol come to that awesome and auspicious conclusion? Because with his time, money and wisdom, he had embarked on a thorough research project of seeking work, pleasure and all the other vices known to man and had found them to be all less than fulfilling. In his own words, it was all, nothing but vanity; futility. 

And what made him conclude thus? I suppose this certain fact he discovered: ‘For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.’ (Eccl.12:14) And that’s something most of us either don’t know, or forget or just casually ignore. But please listen to these immortal words of Bruh Paul to the Corinthians, re Jesus Christ being the only wise foundation to build on. 

‘Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble (straw); Every man’s work shall be made manifest (become evident): for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try (test) every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide (endures) which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by (through) fire.’ (1 Cor. 3:11-15) Oh my people, those are words of mighty importance to our lives. 

Listen to the scholars explain them. ‘3”13. The day is the day of the judgement seat of Christ (cf. 4:5; 2 Cor. 5:10). Fire is figurative for judgement, more specifically, the absolutely righteous judgement of God. Fire is used here to denote, not enlightening power, but consuming power. Of the six types of material mentioned, three are combustible and three are incombustible. See also Deut.4:24; Malachi 3:2; 2 Thess. 1:8; Heb. 12:29.’  That means our work for Christ has to be solid, not cheap and frivolous, built on gold, silver, or precious stones, not hay, wood and straw, which will be quickly consumed in the judgement day fire. 

‘3:14. Reward (lit. “wages,” cf. 3:8). Of course, even the “wages” mentioned here are entirely a gift of grace (cf. 1 Cor.9:17; 2 John 8; Rev. 11:18).’ Yeh friends, we can get many rewards in this life and the next, but ALL are based on the grace of God, not on our efforts. ‘3:14. Saved: Such a one does not suffer the loss of his salvation, but the loss of reward. The stress in this entire passage is not on a person’s relationship to Christ, but on service to Christ.’ Hope those explanations bring a greater understanding to Bruh Paul’s words. But it’s also important for us to check out the scriptures listed in the explanations of the scholars. You will be surprised how they can enlighten you on a particular topic. 

So having said all of that, we come back to Cousin Sol, who from all he’s seen and experienced, reasons thus: ‘Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely (fitting) for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun (in which he toils) all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion.’ (Eccl. 5:18). Ah my fellow believers, as the scholars explain: ‘5:18-20. Enjoyment is a gift of God, and man should be motivated by the brevity of his own life to experience it.’ 

No wonder Jesus said that He came so that we could have life and have it abundantly. (John 10:10) And He’s certainly given us the tools to do so; our Thursday Blessings. So let’s invoke them now in loud voice and sincere hearts nuh. ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And the same way those blessings were so generously bestowed on us, the same way we have to generously bestow them on others, not selfishly hoard them for ourselves. Much LOVE!

…working diligently for Jesus…doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy life…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 December 2019 Isaiah 9:6.

Isaiah 9:6.     ​For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
 
And yes, it’s Friday, the day we all been longing for, the one that heralds the end of the work week! And it’s also the Friday before Christmas! And that’s an even bigger Friday than usual, because we’re all wrapped up in the Christmas thing, where we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; eat, drink and give gifts to celebrate the occasion! But please, please, let’s not put the eating and drinking and gift giving first as we tend to so often do nuh! Let’s put the thought of Christ being born first and foremost, as it ought to be. Remember it’s the greatest gift this sinful and evil world has ever received. So let’s be adamant about putting Christ in His right and proper place in the season: FIRST! For HE is the reason for the season. 

Now let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say on this Friday before Christmas nuh. And he joyfully shouts: ‘Oh mama, mama, TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! Christmas Friday to boot! And ah taking the whole of next week of! No work for another seven days; just eat and drink and party! Brother! And is the slave master ever so vex, because several people taking holidays this week, and he have to pay we for Christmas and Boxing Day as well, even though we not working. So yuh know he’s not a happy camper, because he don’t like to pay at the best of times, but it just kills him when he have to pay us for days we don’t actually work. 

But that’s the system Mr. slave master, and yuh got to live by it, like it or not. But enough about he oui! Is Christmas; Christmas time in the city! And all the lights bright and shiny on the Christmas tree inside and the leafless trees outside! The weather is not the greatest, snowy and dreary, but the children happy because they see gifts packing up under the tree, and I happy too because plenty drinks and food in the cold room downstairs, and plenty treats up here. So how can I not thank God for Fridays, the weekends and Christmas eh?’ 

And that’s ever so right my brethren! We’ve got to thank the Almighty for ALL that we have, especially His Son at Christmas time! And though the ordinary workingman does have some good points in his song, we, as believers have to be ever so careful that we don’t overdo the carnal side of the equation and allow the enemy to get inside our spirits and souls and cause confusion as he just likes to do. That’s why our Friday Chant, though enthusiastic, is not as ebullient as the workingman’s. (smile) We have to pay a li’l more attention to the evil around us. 

So let’s chant it now nuh, with sincere hearts and strong voices. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Ah friends, working for Jesus is wonderful, adventurous and exciting, but as they say, it’s never done. We always have to be on our p’s and q’s, even when, or especially when we’re enjoying ourselves. So I guess Granny’s warning is apropos right here and now: ‘Sonny boy, ah begging yuh, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business!’ And that my people should be our motto for this Christmas season. We don’t need any more problems than we already have…

Oh, and by the way…let’s not forget church nuh! Ah notice nobody ain’t say nothing about church yet nuh! (smile) But it is imperative that we visit the Lord’s sanctuary over this Christmas season and give him much thanks and praise for sending His One and Only Son to earth at this time so that our salvation could be forthcoming. And there is no better scripture that proclaims this than the mighty and momentous words of Isaiah. ‘For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.’ 

Mama Mia! What a promise! And that’s not all: ‘Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgement and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.’ (Is.9:7) And perform it He did, starting with the birth, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus! We just waiting for His Second Coming now to continue the fulfillment of that prophecy! What a mighty and faithful God we serve my people! 

Now let’s look at some New Testament scriptures that attest to the fulfillment of our Bit, starting with ‘For unto us a child is born.’ Hear the angels talk to the shepherds on Christmas night. ‘For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.’ (Luke 2:11) And per ‘unto us a son is given.’ Listen to Jesus Himself: ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (John 3:16) 

Then, per ‘the government shall be upon his shoulder,’ listen to Jesus again, this time as He sends the disciples out into the world to proselytize it: ‘All power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth.’ (Matt. 28:18) We’ll leave out ‘his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor,’ because it’s found in the Old Testament (Judges 13;18) (smile) And by the way, in Hebrew that’s one word, talking about ‘miraculous counsel given by this God-like King.’ 

And as per ‘the mighty God, The everlasting Father,’ hear Bruh Paul from Titus, as he talks about the Christian life. ‘Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.’ (Titus 2:13) ‘The everlasting Father, literally means Father of Eternity. He alone is the source of eternal life.’ And finally, per, ‘The Prince of Peace,’ hear Bruh Paul to the Ephesians. ‘For he (himself) is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition (division) between us.’ (Eph. 2:!4) 

Yes friends, Jesus is the ONE, the One of Peace who broke down the enmity between Jews and Gentiles and made us ONE in the Christian Church, His Church. So please, let’s ponder all of that this upcoming week as we celebrate Christ’s birth nuh, and keep Him first place in our hearts, souls and minds. Much LOVE!

…without Christ’s birth…there’d be no Christmas… never forget that…

P.S. Yeh, I know it’s long and late, but it’s ever so good! (smile) Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 November 2019 Psalm 89:6.

Psalm 89:6.    ​For who in heaven can be compared unto the Lord? Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord?
 

One more morning…one more wet and cloudy morning! But, as always, Christ will see us through it successfully if we ask Him nicely. (smile) Yes, He is our Lord and Saviour, Guide and Navigator, so there is no One better to ask, since He’s the most adept at the job! Give Him praise and thanks for His awesome help my fellow believers! For as Ethan the Ezrahite said in his contemplation of God’s sure promises to David: ‘For who in heaven can be compared unto the Lord? Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord?’ 

And the correct answer to that question is ‘Absolutely NOBODY!’ And for that very reason: ‘God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had (held) in reverence of all them that are about him.’ (Ps. 89:7) And isn’t that the living truth, although so many of us are not giving Him the reverence that is His deserved due. Oh my people, how can we claim t be wise when we are working against our Creator, the most powerful entity in the universe He created? That’s not wisdom, that’s utter stupidity! 

As I recently saw someone explain the difference between stupidity and foolishness: the last is making a wrong decision when you don’t know all the facts, but the first is making the wrong decision when you do know all the facts. And that’s exactly what’s happening with our world today! We all know that God is Creator and King, but yet we refuse to honour and adore Him and live by His rules. Instead we listen to the lying and most stupid Beelzebub, yes he was totally stupid for thinking He could overthrow God, the very one who created him. 

And we’ll reinforce that statement with the truthful words of Bruh David: ‘Give ear, O Lord, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me.’ (Ps. 86:6-7) Oh friends, in the day of our trouble can we call upon the stupid, lying and deceitful devil to help us? I don’t think so, because he doesn’t have even one iota of the stupendous power that our great and wonderful God possesses! Satan can’t make any new beings or creations; he can just titillate and titivate whatever the Lord’s already made. (smile) 

That’s why Bruh David could confidently continue and sincerely proclaim: ‘Among the gods there is none like unto thee. O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works.’ (Ps. 86:8) And friends, if we don’t believe that deep down in our innermost being, then we’re just as stupid as the supposed prince of darkness! For hear what is going to eventually happen in this going ungodly world. ‘All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name. For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God ALONE.’ (Ps. 86:9-10) 

Oh precious people, please pay particular attention to that last statement, for it is the gospel truth, and those who don’t believe it do so at their very peril. And long before Bruh David, Moses said it thus in his song of praise: ‘Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods (the mighty ones)? Who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? Thou stretchedst out thy right hand, the earth swallowed them. Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation.’ (Ex. 15:11-13) 

Tell me friends, could Lucifer separate the Red Sea and allow the children of Israel to cross over on dry land? Could he then close it back up and drown Pharaoh and his mighty army? What about feeding the Israelites for forty years in the wilderness with manna, and not letting their clothes or shoes wear our eh? No way Jose! The lying and deceitful and stupid devil could not do any of those things, because he is basically powerless, he just relies on our foolish thinking and behaviour to do his evil deeds. 

Now listen to King Hezekiah, when he received a letter from the king of Assyria, threatening war and utter destruction. Hezekiah’s first and very wise action was to take it to the temple and spread it before the Lord, showing his total dependence on Him. Then he prayed: ‘O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubim, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: thou hast made heaven and earth.’ (Is. 37:16) And we all know that the Lord answered Hezekiah’s prayer by sending His angel to destroy the army of the Assyrian king Sennacherib, without Hezekiah lifting a hand. (Is. 37:33-38) 

That’s the mighty, magnificent and ever-faithful God we serve my brethren! And we can’t close without some words from Bruh Paul. (smile) He’s speaking here in regards to Christian freedom and brotherly obligations, in particular, eating food sacrificed to idols. ‘As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth (as there be gods many and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we (live) by him.’ (1 Cor. 8:4-6) 

That says it all friends! So let’s go home declaring (yeh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. All together now, 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 the only proper response to that Mantra is to go out and action those statements, share the LOVE of our friend Jesus! Much LOVE!

…who can outdo the Creator of this universe…NO ONE…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 November 2019 Job 4:8.

Job 4:8.    Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.
 

Saturday… oh lazy Saturday! And I guess that after a rather trying week of labour and all that it entails, plus some negative weather situations, we all deserve to have a lazy day to wind down and release all our pent up frustrations and angst. (smile) And there’s no better day than Saturday for doing that. I can just hear the many sighs of relief as so many of us open our bleary eyes, look at the clock, then say, ‘Thank God is Saturday!’ then roll over and go back to sleep. Unfortunately it didn’t work for me. I got frustrated when I awoke around five and then tried to go back to sleep because all I did was toss and turn for over half an hour, before I finally gave up and got up. That’s why the Bit is a tad early. (smile) 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s have a gander at the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Hear this first one: ‘Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory.’ And isn’t that the awesome truth, as so many of us have found out over the years! We all have experiences we don’t pay much attention to at the time they are happening, but later on discover that they were indeed seminal moments in our lives. That’s why hindsight is 20/20! (smile) 

This next quote tells us: ‘Stay close to anything that makes you glad you are alive.’ Now I’m not so sure about that nuh, because there are so many things that make us feel glad to be alive, but in actual fact are not good for us. And we all know them; the misleading and deceitful things of the world. I guess it might be wiser to add something like ‘if it is Jesus’ will’ to the end of the quote. Then there’s this: ‘Inspiration comes from within yourself. One has to be positive. When you’re positive, good things happen.’ The first sentence is true a lot of the times, inspiration does come from within, when God places inspired ideas in our spirits, but one can also be inspired by external and outward circumstances  and situations. 

However, the remainder of the quote is definitely true. We have to be positive in what we do, since positive words, thoughts and actions produce positive results, while the negative aspects produce negative results. And there was never a more positive person that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. How yuh mean? Just think on it nuh: He had to be the master of positivism to have left a glorious spot in a glorious heaven, to come to this hellhole called earth, to die for a bunch of ungrateful sinners, who He knew would reject Him, then leave a mere twelve men to try and convert the whole world! But it all worked out as He planned. Glory Be! 

That leads us to ‘You must do the things you think you cannot do.’ And that’s ever so true, especially if you are a sincere believer in Jesus Christ, because He doesn’t advocate giving up. Those words don’t appear in His vocabulary at all. And furthermore, please remember the wonderful supportive scripture that says: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!’ (Phil. 4:13) Wow friends! That means anything that is in Christ’s will, He will enable us to do, we just have to buckle down and do it! So when things crop up that seem hard, or even impossible, let’s just remember that Christ will help us to do it, and better yet, remember Jesus’ words to His disciples, re a camel passing through the eye of a needle: ‘With men this is impossible: but with God, ALL things are possible.’ (Matt. 19:26) 

And I’ve left the best for last: ‘You get what you give.’ Oh my people, that is the very basis of God’s economy! We know it as you reap what you sow, and that’s the living truth! As the old people would say, you can’t sow peas and hope to reap corn, but many of us do just that. Now let’s look at some scriptures that point out the importance of sowing and reaping in God’s great universe. And Job’s friend Eliphaz puts it quite succinctly when he rebukes him. ‘Remember I pray thee, who ever perished, being innocent? Or where were the righteous cut off? Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.’ (Job 4:7-8) 

The scholars tell us that Eliphaz was talking from personal experience, and since he meant that you reap what you sow, his point was Job must be suffering because of his sin. Now, although in this case that wasn’t true, all through the Good Book we are told that the doers of iniquity will be severely punished. And Cousin Sol gives us a couple serious verses to consider. ‘The liberal (generous) soul shall be made fat (rich): and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.’ (Prov.11:25) And then: ‘He that hath a bountiful (generous) eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor.’ (Prov.22:9) 

And Jesus said it thus: ‘Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom (pocket). For with the same measure that ye mete (use) withal (with the same) it shall be measured to you again.’ (Luke 6:38) Jesus said it, therefore it must be true! 

Ah mih people, there are so many scriptures on sowing and reaping and giving and receiving that I’m confused (smile) and running out of space. So here are the last couple. This from Bruh Paul to the Corinthians: ‘But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully (generously) shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity (compulsion): for God LOVETH a cheerful (joyful) giver.’ (2 Cor. 9:6-7) Just like in the real world your ‘return is determined by your investment.’ 

And please pay close attention to these immortal words of Bruh Paul to the Galatians. ‘Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.’ (Gal. 6:7-8) That’s very in your face and to the point my people. So please, let’s spend some of this lazy Saturday pondering our sowing nuh. Forget about the reaping for now, because if we sow good seed, with a good heart, the Lord has promised that we will reap a bountiful harvest. And He is indeed faithful to His promises! Much LOVE!

…you reap what you sow…more than you sow…and later than you sow… (Uncle Charles – Charles Stanley)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 November 2019 Romans 8:35.

Romans 8:35.    ​Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

 

It’s that day friends, Sunday, when all roads lead to the Lord’s sanctuary, to praise, give thanks and glorify His holy name, with a humble attitude and penitent heart! Yes, it’s time to refuel our hearts, souls, bodies and minds with His word and the encouragement and confidence that the faithful fellowship of like believers brings. And as always, we begin our worship with a song of praise.

Today’s praise offering is simply titled ‘The Promise,’ a wonderful song of contemporary Christian music, as sung by the Martins, that popular Christian Family Trio out of the Southern U.S. So let’s get soulful and sincere as we raise our voices to heaven, letting our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ know how much we LOVE and adore Him, and how grateful we are for all that He’s done for us through His sacrifice on the cross, but also faithfully keeping the promises He made while down here on earth. 

In strong voice and sweet harmony, let’s sing: ‘I never said that I would give you silver or gold, Or that you will never feel the fire or shiver in the cold. But I did say you’d never, walk through this world alone… Hnnnn! And I did say, don’t make this world your home. I never said that fear wouldn’t find you in the night, Or that loneliness was something, you’d never have to fight. But I did say, I’d be right there by your side… Thank You sweet Jesus! And I did say, I’d always help you fight. ‘Cause you know I made a promise, that I intend to keep…My grace will be sufficient in every time of need…My LOVE will be the anchor, that you can hold on to. This is the promise…This is the promise, I’ve made to you. 

I never said that friends will never turn their backs on you, Or that the world around you wouldn’t see you as a fool. But I did say, like me, you’ll surely be despised. And I did say, my ways confound the wise. I didn’t say you’d never taste the bitter kiss of death, Or have to walk through chilly Jordan to enter into rest, But I did say, I’d be waiting, right on the other side… (yeah, yeah…He is waiting!) And I did say, I’ll dry every tear you cry. ‘Cause you know I made a promise that I’ve prepared a place, and someday, sooner than you think, you’ll see me face to face… And you’ll sing with the angels and the countless multitude. This is the promise…This is the promise, I’ve made to you. 

(Talk – I don’t know where you’ve been walking, but I know in life’s devastation, He will pursue you forever. You’ve picked the One who will never let you go! He’s able to do above and beyond anything we can ever ask or think. Hallelujah!) So just keep on walking, don’t turn to the left or right, And in the midst of darkness, let this be your light, That hell can’t separate us, and you’re gonna make it thru… This is the promise…This is the promise, I’ve made to you. ooooooh, this is the promise, I’ve made to you…this is the promise, I’ve made to you…’ 

Ah mih people, where to begin eh? I really don’t know. Originally I’d thought of finding a scripture for every promise, but when I came to do it, I realized that it would be a humongous task, taking up much more space and time than I have. Anyway, I’ve found a passage of scripture, one that we know really well, that somewhat encompasses all our hopes, dreams, faith and assurance in Christ. Listen to Bruh Paul as he expatiates to the church at Rome. 

‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom. 8:35-39) 

Yeh friends, if we truly believe and trust and surrender our lives to Christ, NOTHING can, or will ever separate us from His eternal and unconditional LOVE! Now check out this explanation from the scholars: ‘8:38-39. We cannot be separated from God’s LOVE, because it is set forth in a person who is God Himself, Jesus Christ, our Saviour. God’s desire to redeem believers cannot be frustrated, because He is infinitely greater than any potential enemy. His plan will be realized because it is his purpose (cf. v.28).’ Who can thwart the well laid plans of the Creator eh? Nobody! 

And I’ll spoon feed us, though we know v.28 better than most other verses. (smile) ‘And we know that all things work together for good to those that LOVE God, to them who are the called (the elect, the saints) according to his purpose.’ (Rom. 8:28) Oh faithful saints, as the scholars say, God is working out all things for good, but we who LOVE Him can appreciate it best, because we LOVE Him come what may. Whatever happens doesn’t change our LOVE for Him one iota! And that’s certainly how it ought to be! So let’s go out and show that to a disbelieving  the world nuh! Much LOVE!

…and, lo…I am with you always…even unto the end of the world… (Matt.28:20b)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 November 2019 Mark 2:22.

Mark 2:22.    ​And no man putteth new wine into old bottles (wineskins): else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottle will be marred (ruined): but new wine must be put into new bottles.
 

Oh brother, I can’t believe how dark it is still is in my area at eight o’clock on this early November morning! Not even a wisp of sunlight is showing on the eastern horizon. But the good thing is that it’s not raining…at least not yet. (smile) Nowadays, who knows what the weather will turn out to be on any given day, so it’s best not to worry about it. Just remember that Jesus is our Lord, Saviour and Guiding Light, and once He is in us, and we are in Him, then everything will work out for good eventually, as He faithfully promised! Glory to our great and ever-LOVING God! 

And since we said it’s Saturday, I guess it’s time to look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one says: ‘One small positive thought can change your whole day.’ And that’s the absolute truth my people! And we have the perfect example above, where we just think about Jesus, and our whole day gets brighter! There’s no more positive thought that that! So let’s wake up thinking on Jesus…and during the day think on Him…and go to bed at night…still thinking on Him! Wow! That way our whole day will be positive! (smile) 

Now listen to this next quote: ‘Every new day is another chance to change your life.’ I certainly can’t dispute that reasoning, for everyday that we’re given to breathe God’s air, is a new chance to improve our lives. God gives it to us because He knows that we need more time to come to Him, to grow more Christ-like and to complete the work He’s assigned us. So please, let’s not waste every new day that we’ve been so generously given nuh. Instead, as the old people would say, make hay while the sun shines, because you don’t know when the sun will stop shining, neither for how long, and if it isn’t shining, then you certainly can’t make hay. (smile) That means you can’t waste time; you must do whatever you have to do while there’s time – that means today – since there’s no guarantee that we’ll ever see tomorrow. Were the ole people ever so wise my brethren! Wish we were even half as wise. 

That brings us to this quote: ‘When life changes to be harder, change yourself to be stronger.’ Ah friends, that’s the only way to survive, for if you don’t get stronger as life gets harder, life will only beat you down. And this life is certainly getting harder, despite all our improvements and amenities. And don’t fool yuh fat either (don’t be deceived), for some reason I can’t fathom, life just enjoys beating us down. I’ve seen it happen often enough in my three score and ten. So you have to possess plenty belly and backbone to live what we call life. You also have to keep improving, keep adding to the strength of your backbone and belly everyday, because life doesn’t ever take a day off, so neither can you. And we all know the best way to do that is by accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour and let him lead and guide our mis-mash lives! 

And here’s another area where following Jesus will come in ever so handy. ‘Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don’t recognize them.’ Oh my people, is that ever so true! Very few good opportunities are ever easy. I guess by definition they are innately difficult, and in this lazy, selfish, greedy society of ours, hard work is something we don’t relish. We don’t even want to work, much less work hard. That’s why so many glorious opportunities are passing us by in this prosperous society where good opportunities abound…if we’re only willing to work hard at them. Here again, with Jesus running our lives, we will see the opportunities, and we will work diligently and excellently to bring them to fruition. Glory be! 

Now here’s the last quote: ‘Old ways won’t open new doors.’ But we still try anyway. As Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say; ‘You can’t keep doing the same thing and expect a different result.’ So we’ve got to stop trying to open new doors with old ways. That brings us to some very interesting  words of Jesus when asked by John’s disciples, why they and the Pharisees fasted, but His disciples did not? Apparently the Pharisees fasted twice weekly. He basically answered that fasting is done in times of grief, not of joy, and while He was with them, they were joyful, but when He went back to heaven, that would be the time for grief and fasting. (Mark 2:18-20) 

And furthermore, Jesus enlightened them: ‘No man also seweth a piece of new (unshrunk) cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh (pulls) away from the old, and the rent (tear) is made worse. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles (wineskins): else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottle will be marred (ruined): but new wine must be put into new bottles.’ (Mark2:21-22) Oh friends, how can you not be impressed by Jesus eh, no one else uses simple words and ideas like He does! 

And what does all of that mean? Listen to the scholars: ‘2:22. Bottles are wineskins, the old ones figuratively representing Judaism and the new ones Christianity. Old wineskins lose their elasticity and would be burst open by the fermentation of new wine put into them. The point: the old faith of Judaism and the new faith of Christianity cannot be mixed, nor can the practices or traditions (e.g., the time of fasting) of Judaism be forced on Christianity.’ Now that doesn’t mean we have to throw away all that is old, because it’s the old stuff that gives us the true and solid foundations, but if old ways aren’t working, then we do have to try new, but always godly ones. (smile) Much LOVE!

…new brooms sweep clean…but old brooms know the corners…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 October 2019 Ecclesiastes 3:1.

Ecclesiastes 3:1.    To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
 

Oh man, it seems like I’ve gotten up too early (smile) because it’s still dark outside, and therefore no indication of what the weather will be like. But at least it’s not wet. That’s a good start to this Friday morning. Yeh working people, it’s the day we all look forward to with such eagerness because it signals the end of our work week and the beginning of our weekend! Wow! And short though our weekend might be, we still value and look forward to it like a child does to toys at Christmas. (smile) And nobody looks forward to it like the ordinary workingman. 

Hear him joyfully declare: ‘Oh boy, oh boy, TGIF! Thank the Lord is Friday yes! The weekend is here at long last! Time to party again… No, no, no! Hold down on that party scene yes! I still remember last week, at Thanksgiving, when I partied so much, I was sick like a dog the next day! Steups! Got to have a li’l more common sense and doh hit the food and drinks so hard nuh, because I definitely can’t handle another sick like that one.

That was possibly the worse hangover and overeating scene that I’ve ever experienced. Ah Lord eh! I guess that’s why the ole people say to take a little and live long. I certainly wouldn’t be living long if I continue imbibing food and waters like that nuh. Yeh, this weekend go be a quiet one oui. Leave out all that unnecessary stuff…spend some quiet time with the wife and children…that is if they have time for me. (smile) Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’

 Oh friends, I’m chuckling here because there’s nothing to bring us to our senses like an unpleasant experience! Yeh, I’ve had a few of them in my time, like many of us have, but I eventually learned my lesson, and I don’t over imbibe or over eat anymore because it’s a terribly uncomfortable feeling, one that has you feeling so lousy, sometimes you even want to die.

And that’s why our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ instituted borders in our lives. Unlike what the evil one says, about them being there to cut short our fun, they’re there to keep us safe, to ensure that we don’t go overboard and hurt or destroy ourselves. And that’s why our Friday Chant is not as permissive and loose as the workingman’s song. So let’s chant it now nuh, sombrely remembering the workingman’s predicament. (smile) 

As one, in true sincerity: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ Ah mih Christian breddren, that is not meant to curtail our fun, but to ensure that it’s clean, safe and godly, consequently not giving the devil a chance to get into our business and stir up strife and trouble as is his won’t. 

That brings us to our Bit for today, some immortal words of Cousin Sol, writing as the Preacher in Ecclesiastes. ‘To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.’ Now isn’t that an everlasting truth? It certainly is! And Cousin Sol breaks it down for our small minds to understand. (smile) ‘A time to be born (to bear children), and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get (gain), and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend (tear apart), and a time to sew (come together); a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to LOVE, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.’ (Eccl.3:2-8) 

Yes friends, there is a time for everything in this life. And I like how the scholars put it. ‘3:1-8. As Solomon reflects on all of life, he expresses in a beautiful poem of 14 pairs of opposite events that God has a sovereign design behind all events (cf. Rom.8:28). To gather stones (v 5) refers to the process of clearing land for planting or building. To hate (v 8) means to withdraw from intimacy and should not always be taken in an absolute sense (cf. Mal.1:2-3).’ It all goes to show that our great and wonderful God didn’t create the world in a reckless or foolish manner, but gave serious thought to it. 

That’s why Bruh Paul could say with such confidence: ‘And we 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) If there wasn’t a time and purpose for everything, we would not be able to say that. And we’ll end with Cousin Sol’s take on life itself. ‘Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.’ (Eccl.12:13-14) 

And if you’re a true believer, there’s no way you can refute that conclusion, because that’s what the Good Book says. So now let’s go out and live that kind of life nuh; reverence God, and keep His commandments, for that’s wisdom of the highest level. Much LOVE!

…all things have their time…be they good or bad…

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