Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 December 2019 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.    ​Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus.
 

Well we didn’t get it for Christmas day, but it looks like we getting it for New Year’s! We talking about that beautiful looking but ever dangerous thing called snow. (smile) Yes, outside is covered in white, not deep, but still covered, and who knows we might get some more before the day is done. And it is indeed one of the biggest days in our social calendar: New Year’s Eve, or as we call it down south, Old Year’s Night! Yeh, the partying will be over the top, but please my fellow believers, let’s keep Granny’s warning in the back of our minds nuh. ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, ah begging yuh, please mind yuh business!’ 

Oh my fellow believers, if we ever need that warning, it’s certainly on this New Year’s Eve night, when even those without hair let it down, (smile) when the waters flow like a river in flood, yeh, the alkie abuse is tremendous and the bacchanal stupendous! It’s a night that the ole fool Satan just has a continual grin on his ugly face and licks his chops ever so sweetly, because there’s so much fodder out there for his evil deeds. But remember, we going to party, party hearty too, but not give him any opportunity whatsoever to get into our business. 

And, as seems to have recently become the norm, the duchess and I will be partying right here in we yard! What a way life changes eh! As the ole people would say, after one time is certainly two yes! I remember the days when every New Year’s Eve night we’d be on the road, come rain or snow, going to some rollicking party. But over the last few years we’ve come to feel like homebodies; the parties too far away…and there’s too much snow to drive in…and yuh have to pay so much close attention to how much yuh drink, because Babylon always on the lookout for impaired drivers. 

The bother has become too much. So we just stay at home and have our own private party! (smile) Don’t have to worry about any of those outside influences. And as for resolutions… Chuh! I don’t know why we even bother to make them nuh, because in a week or two, we’re right back to our old selves. Ah friends, there’s only ONE New Year’s resolution that we really need to make yes; that of following Christ more closely in the upcoming year of 2020! And once we do that, everything else will be taken care of. The Lord in His infinite wisdom will, as we say but don’t truly believe, work everything out for the good of those who LOVE Him and want to do His will. (Rom. 8:28) 

Yes, if your heart and soul are set on Jesus, then you will exercise and eat properly and thus lose the weight you need to lose. Your financial arrangements and other glaring needs will be looked after because God has promised to satisfy all our needs according to His riches in glory through Christ Jesus! (Phil. 4:19) And let’s remember to follow these few, but ever so important guidelines for Christian living nuh, as penned by Bruh Paul to the Thessalonians: ‘See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves (believers), and to all men. Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus.’ (1 Thess. 5:15-18). 

Oh my people, those are not difficult things to do, if Christ truly dwells within us. But so many of us follow the dictates of the world so much, that when we hear those things they seem to be oh so difficult and life changing. Yes, they are life-changing, but not difficult, if you truly believe. So for this upcoming year of 2020, let’s promise ourselves…and Jesus too, to follow Him much more closely than we’ve done this past year of 2019. And let’s put some sincere effort into it nuh, not just a lot of talk, for the world is looking towards us to be its salt and light in the pervasive darkness and tastelessness that currently has it in grip. End of sermon! (smile) 

Now let’s end the year on a most uplifting and appropriate note with some refreshing and energizing words from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller). These are his last thoughts and words for the end of the year, from his Hour of Power Devotional, which he’s titled: ‘To Feel the Presence of God.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘As a great wave rises from the deep to wash away the scratches on the sand, come, O God, to dissolve forever in your sea of peace my cares, my fears, my worries, and my anxieties. As the blessed blackness of a quiet night comes to blanket from my sight the cluttered collection of billboards, buildings and power poles until my eyes see only bright stars, so come, O God, and blot out this day’s dreary and weary accumulation of daily irritations, hurts. dents, and disappointments until I see only your goodness shining in the shadows. 

As an explosion of happy sunshine brings a joyful glow to dark corners, so come, O God, and explode your bright joy into the gloomy corners of my mind. As a great victorious general awakens his battalions with a trumpet blast, and rallies his retreating army with renewing power, so come, O Lord, and awaken me to “rise up, be done with lesser things, to give heart, soul, mind, and strength to serve the King of Kings.” As the spring rain gently, patiently, irresistibly falls to soften the hard crust of frozen ground until it can receive fruit-producing seed, so, O God, may showers of your LOVE soak in to soften the cold corners of my heart, allowing creative new life to break forth. 

As a happy fountain leaps jubilantly and tumbles joyfully, come, O Holy Spirit, to transform my melancholy mood until my heart erupts in joy and happiness. O Father, make my life a melody like that of a great wave, a calm night, a morning sun, a spring rain, a happy fountain! Amen.’ 

Yes friends, let’s see if we can’t end this year and begin the next one on those melodious notes nuh, evermore believing and applying our Tuesday Mantra to the articles of our faith. ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ Now let’s go out and do just that nuh! Much LOVE!

…let’s allow our victorious General…Jesus…to awaken us this coming year…with a great trumpet blast…of His eternal LOVE… 

P.S. Yes, it’s somewhat long and late, but ever so uplifting and true! (smile) Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 August 2019 Proverbs 2:6.

Proverbs 2:6.    ​For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
 

Aye friends, the ole fella must really be getting old yes, because believe me, the aches and pains and them seem worse today than they did yesterday. And the hard part is all I did yesterday was rest! (smile) However, not to worry, because I have the greatest healer in the world working with and on me, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! And He’s also offered the Greatest Invitation ever offered: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ (Matt.11:28) 

And yuh better believe friends I’m accepting that invitation yes…in fact I’m running as fast as I can towards Him, not even thinking about falling down, because He’s also promised to catch me when I fall, to have angels guard me so that I don’t hurt myself! Wow! What a wonderful Saviour we serve and worship my people! 

And hear this li’l note of advice nuh: I’d highly advise that you run to Him with all haste too, if you have any problems whatsoever burdening you down, because He specializes in that sort of thing: His yoke is easy and His burden light! And we can learn oodles from Him, cause He is meek and gentle and lowly in heart! Glory to our great God mih faithful breddren! 

And even the ordinary workingman who isn’t as schooled in the ways of Almighty God knows that He is mighty and majestic, as he declares in his weekend song: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! The day He release we from jail, from slavery and torture in the slave master work! When He gives us a couple of days rest and relaxation, to do whatever we want; just relax and do nothing, or party as hearty as we want, to eat drink and be merry, just in case tomorrow we die! 

And with August coming to an end, which means summer is also drawing to a close, I just think that this weekend we going to mash up the place, inviting everybody over, partying enough – can you ever party enough though (smile) – just in case we don’t get another chance to do so before the cruel and harsh winter weather sets in! Oh thank God for Fridays and weekend yes!’ 

And don’t you just LOVE the workingman’s optimism and candour? His frankness is like a breath of fresh air in this stale and evil world! Oh yes, he does go overboard somewhat, but he’s not restrained by righteousness as we are. But our Friday Chant is still best for us believers, as it sets some boundaries for us, to help keep the always-lurking enemy out of our souls. 

Let’s chant it now nuh, with sincerity and pride: ‘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!’ 

Yuh see mih people, we too can have rest and relaxation, as well as fun and fellowship! We just have to be careful not to give the ole devil a chance to invade our righteous and godly souls. (smile) That’s called wisdom friends! And we get it by seeking it from Almighty God. 

As Cousin Sol, in the role of a wise father, so wisely says in Proverbs: ‘My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide (treasure) my commandments with thee; So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding: Yea, if thou criest after knowledge (discernment), and liftest up thy voice for understanding; 

If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear (reverential awe) of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.’ (Prov.2:1-6) 

Ah mih people, what words of wisdom! And how yuh think Cousin Sol acquired all that wisdom eh? Because he sought it and searched for it like treasure, and the Lord gave it to Him! He certainly didn’t come by it just so. But had to put some elbow grease in his efforts to acquire it. 

And likewise, so do we have to seek and search for wisdom my brethren, cause it’s essential for living a righteous and godly life, but it’s just not handed out freely, some effort, along with some faith must be put into our search so that we can truly appreciate it. Yuh know how they say we never truly appreciate something unless we work for it. The same goes for wisdom friends! And the only place to get that most valuable commodity is from Almighty God. 

As Cousin Sol says earlier on: ‘The fear (reverential awe) of the Lord is the (principal) beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.’ (Prov.1:7) Yes friends, knowing and recognizing the ‘amazingness’ of God is the beginning of ALL wisdom! 

However fools, and those who foolishly associate with Beelzebub, despise it, since they have to abide by certain rules and regulations. But no organization, society, or whatever have you, can last for any length of time without some basic rules and regulations, otherwise there’d be simply anarchy, with everybody doing as they please, especially in this greedy and selfish world. 

So in closing, I’m asking us, pleading with us to be wise. Do like the scholars suggest: ‘2:1-22: The conditions for obtaining wisdom are given first: one must earnestly seek it, as a prospector would search for gold (vs. 1-4). It is not an undirected search, however, since the parent’s instruction is the basis. The consequences of obtaining wisdom are then listed (vs.5-22): knowledge of God (vs.5-8) and right conduct (vs.9-22).’ 

Yes friends, let’s go out today and prospect for wisdom nuh, armed with the fear and knowledge of God and right conduct. And we’ll surely find it if we’re sincere and persevering in our search! Much LOVE!

…one cannot be wise without knowing Jehovah God…for it’s from Him…that ALL true wisdom comes…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 October 2018 Proverbs 4:26.

Proverbs 4:26.    Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.

 

And I can see all the joyful smiles and hear all the joyful conversation simply because it’s Friday, and the working population has only the upcoming weekend on their minds. What a way our attitudes can change from one day to the next, when something that seems good is on the horizon. Wish we could have that joyful attitude come next Monday morning. (smile) 

And there is no stopping the ordinary workingman come Friday morning, for he will sing his song, come hell or high water. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday mih breddren! The weekend come…and while it brings joy to our lives, it brings tears to the slave massa’s eyes, because he has to pay us for not working for two whole days! Glory be! 

You wouldn’t know how that eats away at his thieving sinful soul. But God is good…and fair too. And after plenty fighting and dying we finally get some days off with pay. Wow! And as always, we going to party hearty and celebrate that fact, because we entitled to enjoy the fruits of our labour! Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

Ah friends, the workingman does make some good points in his song, but just goes too far out on the limb in pursuit of the ripest, juiciest fruit. Yes my brethren, there is inherent danger in pursuing that at the edge of the limb, it’s liable to break more easily, because it’s usually smaller and more brittle out there. And when the bough breaks, you’ll fall, and down will come cradle, baby and all. (smile) 

And as that pertains to our Christian faith walk, it means allowing the enemy to get into our lives and settling in to spoil them, and have us walk away from Jesus, rather than with Him. Now that’s one thing we definitely don’t want to happen, and the best way to avoid it is to stay away from what appears to be the juiciest fruit at the edge of the limb. 

We need to erect some boundaries as to how far we’re going to go, so that we don’t invite the enemy into our lives. That’s why our Friday Chant is different from the workingman’s song, with more circumspection and awareness of the pitfalls of unbridled carnal living. So let’s chant our Friday Chant nuh, with even more enthusiasm than the workingman, because we know that we have Jesus on our side. Glory to God! 

Altogether now: ‘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, to live sincerely for Jesus means always being aware of the world around you and its constant efforts to make you succumb to its evil ways. But we’re blessed, for Jesus’ Holy Spirit that dwells within us warns us of the pitfalls. Oh, we don’t always pay attention to, or take heed to the Holy Spirit’s advice, so we have no one else to blame but ourselves, when that unwise attitude gets us into trouble. 

That’s why Cousin Sol warns us in our Bit and beyond: ‘Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.’ (Prov.4:26-27) And that jells nicely with these words of the Lord spoken through the prophet Isaiah. ‘And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.’ (Is.30:21) 

Yes friends, anytime we veer off the straight and narrow path that Jesus advises us to follow, we will hear His Holy Spirit calling us back to it, for the broad way of the world only leads to eventual destruction. As Cousin Sol further declares: (Chuh! Spelled it wrong again). ‘For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and he pondereth (weighs, observes) all his goings.’ (Prov.5:21) 

So please don’t foolishly believe that we can do stuff that the Lord doesn’t see, because His eyes are always on our goings and comings. That’s why we have to pay close attention to the warning against disobedience in Hebrews: ‘Wherefore lift up (strengthen) the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way (dislocated); but let it rather be healed.’ (Heb.12:12-13) 

And the scholars explain: ‘12:12-13. Some of the runners of verse 1 have grown so weary that they have become stooped and need spiritual strength to be straightened up again. They must be given help, yet they themselves also must strengthen their paths by avoiding obstacles that would spiritually trip them up.’ 

Yuh see friends, neither the Lord, nor our fellow man can or will do everything for us. At some stage of the game we need to strengthen ourselves, pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps and set out eyes firmly on that straight and narrow path. 

And here’s a fitting end from Hebrews to today’s message. ‘Follow (pursue) peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.’ (Heb.12:14) So let’s be wise and try our best to do that nuh my people! Much LOVE!

…there’s only ONE way to stay on the straight and narrow…keep your eyes fixed steadfastly on Jesus…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 April 2018 Proverbs 4:23.

Proverbs 4:23.    Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

May untold blessings befall you and your families this Friday morning my Scrip-Bit friends! May the Lord open the windows of heaven, as He has promised, and shower down his awesome blessings on us all as we walk in His wise and wonderful will for our lives! 

What a magnificent and magnanimous God we serve my brethren! Please don’t ever forget that. Even the workingman in his own way acknowledges that as he proclaims in his song.

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! This week was a rough week, what with all the Easter partying and carryings ons! We really had to come up strong, because massa was in a nasty mood…too much paid time off and all that nuh. 

But now that the weekend reach, we can feel the party spirit rise to the forefront once again. And believe you me, we going to party as hearty as we can for the next two days. Thank God for Fridays and weekends, because it was meant for partying!’ 

Ah friends, the workingman’s heart is in the right place, but he’s somewhat misguided; the weekend wasn’t just meant for licentiousness and flagrant worldly behaviour, but more so for rest and relaxation and renewing of our spirits, hence our Friday Chant. 

‘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.’ 

Yes my people, it’s all about building, about furthering God’s kingdom here on earth; that’s our mission, and we can’t do it properly if we’re too taken up with the lustful ways of our flesh and the world.

So though, deep down we might want to party hearty like the workingman, we realize that that is not permissible in Jesus’ economy, we must have some boundaries to keep the enemy out of our lives, live them always with an ounce of circumspection. 

That’s why Cousin Sol warns us in our Bit today: Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.’ Words of awesome truth my people! And why is that you ask? 

Hear the scholars’ explanation. ‘4:23. The Old Testament word ‘heart’ often refers to the physical organ of the circulatory system. Both Testaments also see the heart figuratively as the centre of the personality or spiritual life.

The heart is the seat of the intellect, emotions, will, and moral consciousness. It is the personality which has that extraordinary ability to perceive itself. The heart is presented as the seat of conscious life and the fountainhead of life. 

Illustration: Jesus taught that sin came out of the heart of people, thus defining them (Mark 7:21-23). Yet after conversion, one of the characteristics of Christians is that they have the law of God written in their hearts. (Heb.8:8-12).

Application: Christians should LOVE the Lord with all their hearts (Matt.22:37). (First Ref. Gen.6:5; Primary Ref. Prov.4:23; cf. Rom.2:15).’ 

Yeh friends, our hearts are figuratively the controlling device of our souls. Listen to Jesus on the subject. ‘O generations (brood, or offspring) of vipers, how can ye being evil, speak good things?

For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth for evil things.’ (Matt.12:34-35) 

Ah my fellow believers, it’s what inside of us that colours us, not what’s on the outside. It’s like whatever you put in a clear plastic bag, the colour of the contents will manifest itself though the plastic.

Likewise, we can look all clean and rosy on the outside but are truly dirty and evil on the inside, and it’s that dirty and evil stuff that will eventually come out into the open. You can only hide it for so long. 

Now hear Jesus as He admonishes the disciples, when they asked for an explanation of His remarks about the blind leading the blind. ‘Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out (eliminated) into the draught? 

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) 

Oh friends, let’s seriously ponder those fateful words of our Lord and Saviour this Friday nuh, and truly see what’s in our hearts. Let’s look deeply and sincerely, and not fool ourselves, and then bring our problems to God for His awesome and always available help. That is indeed wisdom of untold proportions. Much LOVE!

…white-washing the outside…doesn’t mean the inside is clean…if it was dirty before…it’s still dirty afterwards…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 December 2017 Hebrews 4:12.

Hebrews 4:12.   For the word of God is quick (living), and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of (is able to judge) the thoughts and intents (intentions) of the heart.

Ten more days friends, ten more days to the Big Day of Christmas! Then the celebrations will erupt in volcanic fashion, as in all parts of the world we give thanks and praise to Almighty God for the miraculous birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, born two thousand years ago on a wintry night in Bethlehem of Judea, to grow to manhood, and eventually save mankind from sin and eternal damnation.

Exalt His holy name my people, for it’s the best gift mankind has ever received! And on this chilly Friday morning, the ordinary workingman is also out there singing his song of freedom. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! The weekend here! At long last mih li’l time of freedom come! And as is Christmas time to boot, the partying going to be even greater than usual.

We going by everybody to eat up deh food and drink up deh liquor! When the lime buss so, people wouldn’t know what hit them! And please, doh tell me nothing about partying too much nuh, because if I could work for five days straight, then I could at least party hearty for two. So just leh we thank the Lord for Fridays and weekends yes!’

And believe me friends, that is exactly what’s happening in some parts of our world. (smile) But as Christians, as believers in Jesus Christ, that is just simply too much leeway for us, as it gives the enemy too many opportunities to get a foothold in our lives and thus mess with our relationship with Jesus.

And we certainly don’t want anything to mess with that, the most important and wonderful relationship ever! That’s why we have certain boundaries and limits that we try not to cross over, and why our Friday Chant is so different to that of the ordinary workingman. So let’s declare it now nuh, with suitable enthusiasm and 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.’

Yes my people, it doesn’t prohibit us from having fun, but it also emphasizes the necessity to get ready for next week. And, as believers, we should always be ready: readiness should be a constant state of our lives, especially being ready for the Second Coming of Jesus, which can occur at any time, like the proverbial thief in the night.

Now it’s time to check out our Bit; such a mighty piece of scripture, than when you read it, it just takes your breath away. ‘For the word of God is quick (living), and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of (is able to judge) the thoughts and intents (intentions) of the heart.’

Ah mih bredden, that just shows that we cannot fool with the Word of God, for it’s all-seeing and knowing and more powerful than any man-made instrument! And Bruh Paul adds this addendum after our Bit which corroborates our statement. ‘Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in (hidden from) his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do (must give account).’(Heb.4:13)

Yeh friends, you can run, but you certainly can’t hide from your Creator! So those of us who are trying to get away from Him, please, let’s stop the foolishness nuh, for He knows your every move before you even think them. It’s so much easier, and wiser, to just give in to Him and say, ‘Lord, here I am, take me, I’m yours, now and forever more! Amen!’

Now here is some info from the scholars re our Bit and the succeeding verse. ‘4:12-13. For the word of God: The reason given for one’s careful scrutiny of his life involves the reality that God is intently scrutinizing it. His word is quick (living). This word is first in the Greek and is the emphasis. God’s word is not old or archaic; it is alive.

It is not inept or inactive; it is powerful (active). It reaches into the inner secrets of man’s mind to discern even his thoughts and intents. Likewise, God’s eyes sees man as though he were naked, unable to hide behind excuse or pretense.’ 

What more can I say eh friends? Not a whole lot. Our whole lives are open unto the One who created us from the dust of the earth, then breathed His breath of life into our frail and fragile bodies, so trying to hide anything from Him is a total waste of time.

What’s much better is going to Him with EVERYTHING! That’s what He wants and desires, so He can be an integral, or rather the most important part, closest friend, redeeming Saviour, merciful and LOVING God in our lives. That’s who He is friends! And the sooner we realize it and accept Him, the better off we shall be. Much LOVE!

…you can’t fight God’s word…because it’s All-Powerful…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 September 2017 Luke 12:32.

Luke 12:32.   Fear not little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 

And another one bites the dust…well possibly two! Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic have recently felt the wicked lash of hurricane Maria, and who knows where it’s going to land next. Meanwhile, they are still trying to come to terms with the earthquake in Mexico City… 

Ah mih people, these are certainly rough and tough, but also interesting times in the annals of mankind. How will we end up, what will our society look like after the devastation eh? 

Will it be more of the same evil, godlessness, or will a wiser, repentant and godlier society rise from the ashes of our calamity? Only God knows. And only time will tell. For all our sakes though, let’s hope our future is based sincerely on the latter option. 

But with all that misfortune going on, it still doesn’t stop the workingman from declaring his Friday anthem: ’TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and the weekend is finally here! Regardless of what’s happening in the rest of the world, we going to party hearty…eat, drink and be merry! 

For who knows, tomorrow, or even today we shall die! So bring on the good times, especially in this extra summer weather we getting here! Let the waters flow…the food pile up…and the music blast out! Thank God is Friday and we done work for another week!’ 

Oh friends, that is exactly the kind of attitude we’re trying to counteract. There’s nothing wrong with celebrating the end of the workweek, but the limits to which we go is another story. The workingman’s definitely goes overboard. A more sober and constructive one would be like our Friday Chant. 

So let’s chant it with nuff enthusiasm 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.’ 

Yeh mih breddren, to many of the young folks that might sound too retro for them, but it’s the kind of thing that the Lord desires; we enjoy His blessings, but keep our feet on an even keel so the enemy doesn’t get any leeway into our lives. 

And quite rightly, though we are all concerned about what’s happening worldwide, and also close to home, if we are living with and for Jesus then we should not be disturbed or blatantly afraid. 

For as He said, if we seek God’s kingdom as our priority, the Lord will satisfy all our needs. And as a lagniappe, or extra encouragement, Jesus tells us in our Bit: ‘Fear not little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’  

And if Jesus says it’s so, then it’s obviously so, for He has no reason whatsoever to lie or lead us astray. However, our natural sinful nature encourages fear much more than faith, so today we’re just going to concentrate on a few passages from God’s word on the subjects of fear and faith, beginning with this famous verse from Deuteronomy. 

‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee nor forsake thee.’ (Deut.31:6) Oh my faithful followers of Jesus, our God can’t say it in any plainer language than that. 

But in Isaiah, He unfailingly repeats the promise, the invitation to partner with Him. ‘Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.’ (Is.41:10) 

And friends, if we truly believe the Lord of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the Creator and controller of the universe, then we should not have any problems believing His word. But my favourite verses on fear and faith come from God’s command to Joshua, when He made him leader of the Israelites after Moses’ death. 

‘This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shall meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. 

Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.’ (Josh.1:8-9) 

And if that doesn’t grab you right in your heart my people, then I don’t know what will. But we’ll end with these uplifting words from Ethan, the Ezrahite from Psalm 89 – God’s sure promises to David. 

‘Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance. In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted. For thou art the glory of their strength: and in thy favour our horn (strength) shall be exalted. For the Lord is our defense; and the Holy One of Israel is our king.’ (Ps.89:15-18) 

That’s for certain sure my fellow believers in Christ. Now let’s stand strong as soldiers of Christ, and fight the good fight of faith, as He desires of us nuh! Much LOVE!

…one can only stand strong…if one is bolstered by faith…and not debilitated by fear…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 August 2017 Romans 12:2.

Romans 12:2.   And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Oh friends, the week finally finish! Glory to God! And for us Canadians, after the Caribana weekend, it was indeed a short week. So now we have a li’l time to rest and recuperate from all that exhilarating action. (smile) 

But for some really exuberant folks, the weekend will always be the time to totally celebrate the couple days off from work. Consequently they are now excitedly shouting: ‘TGIF! TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! The Lord give us two days to party, so leh we party hearty nuh! 

We can’t afford to waste the li’l time we have for weself in foolish thinking about work and all the other nonsense. Just let it all hang out, free up yuhself and doh worry about nothing till Monday! That’s why we have the weekend! Thank God for Fridays and the weekend yes!’ 

And I dare say that many of us believers would like to let it all hang out on the weekend, (smile) but we know that is not the Christian way; that is the way of the world. Now that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the weekend, but just that we need to put some limits on the ‘carefreeness.’ 

We definitely don’t want to be dissolute and licentious and give Lucifer any opening whatsoever to come against us. We need to think more like our Friday Chant says: ‘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.’ 

Yeh mih breddren, that’s the Christian way; we enjoy the time off, get some rest, relaxation and fellowship, so that we can handle the upcoming week with new energy and enthusiasm. 

If we don’t apply some limits to our life with some resuscitation along the way, we’ll just keep going downhill until we burn out completely, and worst of all, won’t be able to do a good job on Christ’s behalf, which is our major calling. 

So though we may feel to let it all hang out on the weekend, let’s hang in there, persevere with some circumspection, remembering that we are disciples of Christ, ambassadors for His kingdom and we can’t afford to behave like the world does. 

That’s why Bruh Paul was so emphatic to the church at Rome as our Bit declares: ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ 

That’s only basic common sense friends, for the world does not recognize the things of God nor His kingdom. So if we want to be true followers of Christ we need to abstain from a lot of things which the world thinks is right, but which our heavenly Father totally abhors and detests. 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ’12:2. Be not conformed  (lit. “stop conforming yourselves”): They are to resist being poured into the mould of the present thinking, value systems, and conduct of this world. This term is used only here and in 1 Peter 1:14.’ 

And since most of us won’t go and read that verse, I will spoon-feed us. (smile) Peter in his call to Christian dedication, says: ‘As obedient children, not fashioning (conforming) yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance.’ Meaning we should not go back to being the old kind of persons we were before we found Christ and put on the ‘new man.’ 

Now let’s look at a couple of scriptures which also admonish us to stay away from the evil, ungodly world. Listen to James: ‘Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of  (with) the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will (wants to) be a friend of the world is (makes himself) the enemy of God.’ (James 4:4) 

It’s that simple friends. As Jesus said: ‘Ye cannot serve God and mammon (the world, material possessions).’ (Mat. 6:24) So you obviously can’t serve the One True God and also worship, or idolize, or run behind the material possessions of the world. 

And we’ll conclude with some of the most authoritative words on the subject from 1 John. ‘LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in him. 

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.’(1 John 4:15-17) 

Oh my fellow believers, it couldn’t be put any simpler and plainer than that. As Christians we ought to LOVE God and do His will first and foremost. 

Remember Jesus’ words to the hypocrite Pharisee who asked Him. ‘Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus saith unto him, Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.’ (Matt.22:36-38). 

So friends, let’s go and do just that nuh, for it is the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!

…seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…that’s the Christian’s mandate…

 

 

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