Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 December 2018 Matthew 7:20.

Matthew 7:20.   Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
 
Aye friends, the ole fella is somewhat listless and lethargic this Saturday morning yes! And the aches and pains not helping the situation either nuh. But yuh know what, we not giving in to the feelings today. The aches and pains might slow us down some, but we not stopping. Remember the race is not for the swift but for the sure of foot, and yuh better believe when I plant my big feet down they stay down! (smile) 

Yeh, it’s just one of those days; the weather doesn’t look good, the body doesn’t feel good, but GOD IS GREAT! That’s something we can always count on, for He has said so in the promises of His Word, and His Word does not lie! Give Him some thanks and praise my people! 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week in his noble attempt to aspire us to a better tomorrow. And this one jumps right out at me today: ‘You are never strong enough that you don’t need help.’ Wow! That’s gospel truth! For none of us can do it all ourselves. As they say, no man is an island. The Lord made us to fellowship with each other and to help each other, not to be single and all sufficient in our selves. 

And on that point, hear what the Good Book says: ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves: but our sufficiency is of God.’ (2 Cor.3:5) Now that says it all! 

And this next quote also points directly to God: ‘Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.’ You do have all of that, but only if God is sincerely in your efforts! 

Now listen to this one: ‘It is possible to become discouraged about the injustice we see everywhere. But God did not promise us that the world would be humane and just. He gives us the gift of life and allows us to choose the way we will use our limited time on earth. It is an awesome opportunity.’ 

Yes friends, it is an awesome opportunity we’ve been given to live for Jesus on this earth. And to use that opportunity properly, we need to remember these two scriptures. In the immortal words of Bruh David: ‘O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.’ (Ps.34:8) And also: ‘The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.’ (Ps.145:9) 

It’s all about our heavenly Father my people! And this quote exemplifies that: ‘We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.’ That goes right back to the first quote, we can’t be successful on our own, for success means taking others on that journey with us, both individually and communally! That’s how the Lord designed it! 

And this last quote covers them all: ‘When we are really honest with ourselves we must admit our lives are all that really belong to us. So it is how we use our lives that determines the kind of people we are.’ And today I want to focus on that last line; how we live our lives determines the kind of people we are. 

Yeh friends, we can live our lives like the Pharisees did, outwardly showy and hypocritical, or like Jesus recommended, honest and truly considerate of others. For as He says: ‘Wherefore by their fruit ye shall know them.’ Yes friends, by our deeds we shall be known. And hear some deep insights of Jesus on the subject of how men live their lives. 

First off, He states very clearly: ‘A good tree cannot bring forth evil (bad) fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.’ (Matt.7:18) And that’s not rocket science, just plain, basic logic. Then Jesus lays it out in plain terms: ‘Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.’ (Matt.15:11) 

Oh friends, I hope we understand that. We can’t bear good fruit unless what is in us and what comes out of us is good! What’s in our hearts determines the kind of people we’ll be! 

Hear Jesus again: ‘Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out (eliminated) into the draught (body waste)? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.’ (Matt.15:17-20) 

Yeh friends, that whole argument began when the Pharisees complained that the disciples were eating with unwashed hands, which they considered a big thing. But Jesus, as usual set them right. And in Matthew 23, (please read it) He really lambastes the Pharisees, who looked real good on the outside but were dirty as hell on the inside! 

And we’ll end with this description: ‘Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like unto whited sepulchres (white washed tombs), which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (lawlessness).’ (Matt.23:27-28) 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ’23:27-33. Whited sepulchres: Since contact with a dead body rendered a person unclean according to the Mosaic Law, graves were customarily painted white to make them conspicuous and give the opportunity of avoiding contact with them.’ 

Oh friends, please let us live lives that will not cause those unpleasant comparisons to be said of us nuh. Instead let us be good and uncorrupted trees, so that we can bear good fruit in Jesus’ name and make a productive difference in the lives of those around us. Much LOVE!

…whatsoever is in our heart…will undoubtedly manifest itself in our outward behaviour…that’s why we need a clean heart to live for Jesus…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 November 2016 Psalm 139:1.

Psalm 139:1.    O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.

So it’s Friday once again, and the roar of the working people is in full swing: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and in particular Black Friday! We going to shop till we drop, then we going to party most heartily! Shopping and partying…! Oh what a glorious weekend it’s gonna be! Wow! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, the commercialism of our society is getting from bad to worse. Steups! We’ve finally integrated another shopping day into the calendar with the woeful name of ‘Black Friday.’ 

It’s actually become the biggest shopping day of the year, substantially beating out the old Boxing Day affairs. And the behaviour has become downright animalistic, like leggo beasts, as we rush and shove and push and fight each other to get to the items we think we need. 

Ah Lord eh! And it’s right after Thanksgiving too. Some stores open at midnight, so a lot of folks don’t even get to finish the Thanksgiving proceedings properly before they rush out to the supposed sales, to line up to buy stuff they often don’t need, and in many cases cannot afford. But it’s on sale! Chuh! 

Even in Canada it’s taken on a life of its own; I’ve never heard so many Black Friday ads like this year. I guess that’s because the Canadian proprietors don’t want the Canadians to go shopping down in the U.S.; they’d much prefer them to spend their dollars up here. Hn! 

What a life eh! Anyway, for those of us who don’t allow the commercialism and licentiousness to get to us, we have our Friday Chant to bolster our emotions. So let’s chant it in sincerity and unison nuh. 

‘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.’ 

Now that’s a much better way to view the weekend, especially this Black Friday madness. And our Bit is the same as yesterday: ‘O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.’ 

And that’s indisputable truth my brethren, for our God searches and knows the hearts of all His people, all His creation! It’s on the basis of the state of our hearts that He operates, not from our outward behaviour, since that outward show can quite easily be false and contrived and not reflect the true intentions and motives of our hearts. 

And today we’ll look at the section where Bruh David talks about God creating him. ‘For thou hast possessed my reins (formed my inward parts): thou hast covered (weaved) me in my mother’s womb. 

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right (very) well. My substance (frame, bones) was not hidden from thee when I was made in secret, and curiously (skillfully) wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 

Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect (unformed); and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned (the days fashioned for me), when as yet they were none of them. 

How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.’ (Ps.139:13-18) 

Yeh friends, our magnanimous and omnipotent God originated us in our mothers’ wombs, knew exactly how we’d turn out, wrote down our life plan in His book before we were even fully formed, as He watched us grow in delight. 

He knows all of our frailties, because He created us with them. And there’s not a moment that goes by and He doesn’t think worthily and beautifully of us, His most wonderful creation. 

As Bruh David says, those kindly and LOVING thoughts of our merciful and gracious God are more than sand in number. Wow! That just goes to show how much He thinks of us. 

Now the resulting and very important question is how much do we think about Him? Yes my people, how much do we consider our great and wonderful God in our everyday lives eh? 

For many of us, the answer is that we don’t think about Him enough. We only seem to remember Him when we are down on our luck, or want something. Then we rush to Him with all sorts of untrue endearments, and expect Him to jump to our rescue right away. 

But unfortunately, that’s not the way our God works. He expects continuous and sincere communication, from a true heart, before He opens up His treasure chest. And we’ll close with the serious and sincere words with which Bruh David closed Psalm 139. 

‘Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my (anxious) thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’ (Ps.139:23-24) 

Ah friends, this Black Friday morning is a very good time for each of us to pray that prayer individually, and ask God to cleanse us of any evil ways or desires that linger in our hearts and lead us along the right path, the one which leads directly to Him and His LOVING-kindness. We couldn’t ask for anything better. Much LOVE!

…to know… and to understand God…one must have frequent and sincere communication with Him…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 April 2013 Psalm 5:12

Psalm 5:12.     For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.
 
Oh Friends, this is one of those mornings when the ole fella found it hard to rise and shine. That’s because I did some running around yesterday and didn’t get proper rest, so the ole body rebelled on me this morning. Hn, hn!  That sort of reminds me of how we rebel against our wonderful Creator. I guess that ought to give me some inclination of how He feels when I’m disobedient. Don’t know when I’ll realize that I’m no longer a spring chicken nuh, that I’m not young, resilient and sprightly as I used to be, and can’t burn the proverbial candle at both ends, without eventually paying a price. (smile) Anyway, we’re up now, and with God’s help, ready to blast off for places unknown. And we’ll begin the lift-off with this quote from the famous American poet and educator, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882). ‘Believe me, every man has his secret sorrow, which the world knows not, and oftentimes we call a man cold when he is only sad.’ And that’s truth in spades, my people! We use outward behaviour to quickly judge others, and in many cases our judgements are completely wrong. The quandary though, is that most times the outward behaviour is all we have to go on. We either can’t, or don’t want to get to know the other person on a deeper level. The solution to that problem then is not to judge as much or as harshly as we like to do. Let’s give the other person the benefit of the doubt, just like we’d want them to do with us. As the basic principle of our faith decrees; do unto others as we’d like done unto us. Let’s try and follow that principle as closely as possible today nuh Friends, it’ll make life so much easier and much more pleasant for all concerned. And to help us do that, let’s also take this advice from Bruh David’s prayer for protection. It’s the verse before our Bit. ‘But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest (protect) them: let them also that LOVE thy name be joyful in thee.’ (Ps.5:11) Why should we do that, you ask? Our Bit gives us the answer. ‘For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass (surround) him as with a shield.’ And that my people, is one of the most awesome truths in this world! So much so, that all God’s children rose up with one accord and with a mighty shout, gratefully declared: ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, for He is indeed mighty, and will look down with abundant favour on those who put their sincere trust and faith in Him!’ That’s for certain sure my brethren! And please remember that those words of our Bit didn’t come from any hearsay nuh, but from the personal experience of Bruh David, who was so tight with God, that he was called a man after God’s own heart. (1 Sam.13:14)  Oh fellow followers of Christ, to me that is the greatest commendation a human can receive. And I think it’s what all believers should endeavour to be called. It’s not an easy task, but as with every other good thing, with the Lord’s help and our own diligence, we can certainly reach that level of excellence. Now let’s look at some scriptures that support our Bit. In Psalm 29, the voice of the Lord in the storm, Bruh David solemnly ends with this great statement of faith. ‘The Lord sitteth (sits enthroned) upon the flood; yea, the Lord sitteth (sits) for ever. The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace.’ (Ps.29:10-11) More awesome truth Friends! And in Psalm 68, Bruh David again ends with another declaration of utmost faith. ‘O God, thou art terrible (awesome) out of thy holy places: the God of Israel is he that giveth strength and power unto his people. Blessed be God.’ (Ps.68:35) Oh my fellow believers, it’s all these scriptures of divine assurance, faith and trust that we need to write deeply and indelibly in our hearts, minds and souls, so that we too can stand steadfast, strong and true in this evil world, empowered by them, through God’s Holy Spirit, to do His Holy Will! And we’ll end with one of the most famous passages of scripture, one that we all know, but as usual, don’t put enough trust and faith in, otherwise we wouldn’t be as anxious and fearful as so many of us are. That great man of God, the prophet Isaiah, assures us of the protection and strength of our omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present God. ‘Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint (weak); and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fail: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.’ (Is.40:28-31) And all God’s children sent up a mighty shout to heaven. ‘Thank You Lord! You are most worthy to be praised! We truly LOVE You and bless Your Holy Name! Amen!’ Yes Friends, let’s go about the Lord’s business today with those powerful words of truth and assurance reverberating in our souls, so that we can stand strong and diligently pursue His Will in a most excellent manner. That’s certainly wisdom at its zenith! Much LOVE!…though God’s promises are tried and true…believers should never take them for granted…but always maintain a sense of awe…at the majesty and generosity of our great God…