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 23 November 2018 1 Timothy 6:6.

1 Timothy 6:6.   But godliness with contentment is great gain.
 
Well friends, it’s that big day, Friday…but unfortunately the ole fella’s not in great shape. I went to bed late last night and my sleep was disturbed so many time by getting up to go to the bathroom and just getting up and lying there awake so many times that I eventually lost count. Chuh! I was even up for about half an hour contemplating life before I finally got out of bed. 

So you must know that I was a tad grouchy, and to make matters worse that slimy crook, the devil, who’s always on the lookout for an easy mark, was there on my shoulder whispering all sorts of nonsense to me, until I shut him up by telling him: ‘Listen here nuh devil, I might be feeling somewhat low this morning but I’m not the easy mark you think I am eh. I still know that this is the day the Lord God of Israel has made, and yuh know what…I will rejoice and be glad in it, despite how I feel, so be gone with yuh ole lying, crooked deceitful self!’ 

Wow! And he was gone! Sometimes friends we just have to tell the ole deceiver where to get off. But he’ll be back later to try again. We constantly have to fend him off, because he NEVER stops trying to get into our souls and disrupt them! And I’m saddened not only by lack of proper rest but also because today is what has become known as ‘Black Friday.’ 

Steups! The day after Thanksgiving Day in the U.S has now become the biggest shopping day of the year in North America, overshadowing even the Boxing Day charade! Hn! Hordes of unruly human animals line up at all ungodly hours of the morning to rush and push and run over each other in their frantic attempts to get into stores that advertise a few things on sale; things that most of them don’t really need, neither can afford, but because it’s on sale…Ah Lord eh! 

The economic czars are lowering everything to their lowest denominator, so they can catch the foolish public into making their cash registers go kaching…kaching! And the saddest part is that Thanksgiving is no longer about really giving thanks, but much more about Black Friday. Everything seems to be rushed so that we can get ready for it. Even in Canada now the trend has caught on, because if the shopkeepers here don’t adapt, our foolish citizens will head to the U.S. to participate in the folly. 

And I really heard more about Black Friday than Thanksgiving in the last week or so, on the t.v and in the newspapers. Everybody had an ad out for it. Truthfully, if a friend hadn’t written me yesterday morning and reminded me, I would probably not have mentioned Thanksgiving at all in the Bit. What a sad world we’re living in eh mih breddren, where the LOVE of money and useless stuff is all the rage. 

And the workingman doesn’t do us any favours in his song either: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! Black Friday to boot! Where we shopping to kill! Buying up all the nice things in the stores and dem! Brother! Look at that nice big t.v on sale for only three hundred dollars nuh! And that tablet computer for only a hundred! Ah mih people, ah full mih belly yesterday, Thanksgiving Day, now today ah going to full mih eyes and dem. And no slave work until Monday morning, if ah not black up still… Who say ah not thankful for Black Friday and weekends eh?’ 

Ah friends, what a sad tale. And people have indeed been killed in the rush to shop…but it continues nonstop. Thankfully though, as believers in Jesus Christ, we’re not allowed to go so far out on the limb. We’re restrained by more sober boundaries. So let’s chant our Friday Chant with just as much, if not more enthusiasm than the workingman did in his song nuh. (smile) 

‘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, there’s something to be said for being sober! (smile) And we’ll end today with a sermon from way back when, from Bruh Paul to Timothy that addresses the problem they faced two thousand years ago, and which we still face today. He’s been talking about all the strife and evil that’s been happening in Timothy’s surroundings, and finally declares: 

‘But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment (clothing) let us be therewith content. But they that will (desire to) be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful (harmful) lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition (ruin and destruction). For the LOVE of money is the root of (all kinds of) evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many arrows.’ (1 Tim.6:6-10) 

Ah friends, food and clothing and money are essentials in this earthly life, but it’s when we go overboard and let them become our gods, our idols, that we fall into trouble. There’s nothing wrong in wanting to be rich, but it’s the path we take to fulfilling that dream that causes problems. Jesus says that we should seek God’s kingdom and His righteousness first, then we’ll get all the earthly things we need. (Matt.6:33) 

And Bruh Paul tells Timothy: ‘But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, LOVE, patience and meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art called, and hast professed (confessed) a good profession (confession) before many witnesses.’ (1 Tim.6:11-12) 

Yes my fellow believers, we too have confessed a good confession before many witnesses as to our trust and fellowship in the body of Christ, so please, let’s do as Bruh Paul says nuh, and stop behaving like the rest of the world! That’s our bounden duty as followers of Christ! Much LOVE!

…Christians…be in the world…but not of the world…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 November 2018 John 16:33.

John 16:33.   These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
 
Well it looks like it’s Wednesday, the middle of the work week…but don’t quote me on that nuh, because I’m not completely sure. (smile) I’m just assuming that because I was so busy on the first two days, that this next one is indeed Wednesday, since Wednesday is supposed to be the third one in the troika!  And that’s why they say B.S baffles brains! 

Lighten up mih people, the Lord Jesus Christ is in the house, and all’s right with His people, because He says so: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ 

Yeh friends, I know that’s a very big, broad and difficult statement to handle, especially with all the stuff that’s going on in the world today. And I’m sure if you are one of those people in California who have lost everything through those terrible wild fires, and are now being threatened by flash floods, mudslides and landslides, it might be near impossible to accept that. But being a true believer means that you ought to accept whatever Jesus says as gospel truth, even though your circumstances are crying out in a much different manner. 

Ah mih people, it’s only faith, buoyed by hope that will take us through the terrible times. Without faith and hope in Jesus Christ, you’re just completely lost, because He is the ONLY ONE who can really turn things around in your favour. And yes, it is hard, and difficult and heart-rending, but with Him in your corner, please remember that ALL things are possible. End of Sermon! (smile) 

Now let’s try and break down our Bit into its salient parts and find passages of scripture that agree with it. Let’s begin with ‘in me ye might have peace.’ Listen to Bruh Paul in his epistle to the Ephesians. ‘But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes (once) were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he (he himself) is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition (division) between us. 

Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances, for to make (create) in himself of twain (the two) one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain (put to death) the enmity thereby. And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.’ (Eph.2:13-17) 

And what that’s basically saying is that Jesus came and broke down the walls of enmity between Jews and Gentiles and made them into one body, the Christian Church. The Jews felt that they were better than the Gentiles because they had a close relationship with God, and they considered the Gentiles outcasts.

But Jesus came and removed the dividing wall, the Mosaic Law, which had been instituted to protect the Jews from pagan corruption, and which the Jews were abusing anyway. So that now, through Jesus’ coming and sacrifice, both Jews and Gentiles are now one; Christians in Christ! Glory to God! 

And as pertaining to: ‘In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer;’ hear Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘But thou hast fully known (followed) my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, long-suffering, charity (LOVE), patience, persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers (imposters) shall wax (grow) worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.’ (2 Tim.3:10-13) 

Yes friends, even Jesus, when speaking of the signs for the world’s end, said it in so many words: ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. But there shall not a hair of your head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls.’ (Luke 21:17-19) Ah mih people, we simply have to keep the faith and believe in the promises of Jesus! 

And finally, as per ‘I have overcome the world,’ listen to Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. ‘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.8:37-39) Now that’s surely a most powerful statement my fellow believers…and a very true one at that! 

Hear 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 (v.28).’

Glory to God my believing brethren! Nothing can harm us because our heavenly Father is the most omnipotent power in His universe! Wow! 

Now let’s go home telling this evil world our position in that omnipotent force, Jesus Christ, through our Wednesday Wail! In loud, proud and sincere voice: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ And will that future ever be glorious my people! Much LOVE!

…believing in Jesus here on earth might be rough…but brother…are the heavenly rewards ever awesome and amazing…simply stupendous…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 November 2018 Galatians 5:22-23.

Galatians 5:22-23.  But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.
 

Another wet morning, without even a hopeful ray of sunshine! Steups! But thankfully, there’s no precipitation currently descending from on high! (smile) Ah friends, the gloom persists, but as believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we have all we need to handle it. And to boot, we can also truthfully declare: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps.118:24) 

And we would indeed be foolish if we did not enjoy this extra day the Lord has granted us on His great earth. And yes, every day we’re here is an extra day, so be wise and enjoy it and live obediently for Christ, do the work God has entrusted to you!

For we each have a purpose and a plan of God for this earthly life. Our God doesn’t move vie-ke-vie; in a careless, unplanned manner, so each day we’re down here means we still have work to do under His awesome, gracious, merciful and LOVING plan. So let’s get to it nuh! 

And it being Saturday, we will take a look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first quote says: ‘The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.’

And that’s oh so true! But unfortunately very few of us ever get to truly live the life of our dreams, because life is such a series of ups and downs, and none of us ever experience any downs in our dream life. (smile) 

The fact is that most of us have unreasonable dreams, and even with the reasonable ones, we’re not willing to work towards them. Now dreams are important in this life, but until we’re willing to action them, they will always remain dreams. 

 And the next quote tells us: ‘Live life to the fullest, and focus on the positive.’ Now that ought to be motto of the Christian believer! Christ said: ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10b) What’s the point of having abundant life and not enjoying it to the fullest eh? It would only make Christ’s sacrifice a waste down. 

But to enjoy our lives, we also have to focus on the positive aspects, especially of Christ’s teaching, because the negative aspects of the world only beat and break us down. 

And the last quote says: ‘Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.’ Now that is gospel truth my brethren! In fact, death is not a loss of life at all, for believers it’s only a journey from one realm to the other, and even more importantly it’s from a short, finite and rough earthly life, to a long and glorious infinite eternal life. So we don’t suffer a loss of life at all, but move up to a higher, spiritual one. 

The problem is the stuff that dies inside of us while we’re living this earthly life. We’re talking about stuff like, hope, faith, joy, LOVE, mercy, forgiveness, empathy, self-control and self-discipline; the attributes of God we need to live a faithful and fruitful life; things we call the fruit of the Spirit.

Thus our Bit: ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.’ 

Yes my believing brethren, those are the things we want alive and well in all of us, so that we can live the life Jesus died for us to have, and to do His work. Unless those things are reigning in our lives we’ll be unable to live good, Christian, fruitful lives like Jesus desires of us.

The Holy Spirit of God dwells in each believer, and is there for the express purpose of leading and guiding us in God-filled lives. That means we have to follow the Spirit’s direction if we want to live successful Christian lives. 

As Bruh Paul so astutely continues: ‘And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts (its passions). If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.’ (Gal.5:24-25) 

Now here are a few explanations from the scholars: ‘5:22-23. The word fruit is significant for three reasons (1) It means the result, product, outcome or effect produced by the Spirit in the believer’s life. (2) Unlike “the gifts of the Spirit” (plural), only some of which are given to a Christian, each believer is to have all nine virtues composing “the fruit of the Spirit” (singular). (3) As fruit on a tree takes time to grow and mature, so the spirit does not cultivate these virtues in the believer’s life overnight. 

LOVE is the willing, sacrificial giving of oneself for the benefit of another without thought of return. Joy is gladness of heart. Peace is tranquility of mind, freeing one from worry and fear. Long-suffering is patience with others, the opposite of a short temper, a disposition quietly bearing injury.

Gentleness is kindness. Goodness is generosity. Faith here is dependability. Meekness is gentleness, that is, courtesy and consideration in one’s relations with others. Temperance is self-control, that is, the ability to harness and control one’s passions and lusts.’ 

And there you have it friends, ‘the Fruit of the Spirit Lecture 101!’ (smile) Yes, I know it’s not easy to cultivate all those wonderful attributes, especially with the world on our back to do differently, but with the help of the Holy Spirit we can certainly work towards them and be fairly successful if we set our minds to it. 

Remember, as believers in Christ, we are done with carnal fleshly matters, and are supposed to live by the Spirit of Christ imbued in us. So let’s do that nuh, and consequently fulfill Bruh Paul’s desire: ‘Let us not be desirous of vain glory (conceited), provoking one another, envying one another.’ (Gal.5:26). Much LOVE!

…to grow good fruit…we have to sow good seed…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 October 2018 1 Peter 1:7.

1 Peter 1:7.    That the (genine) trial (testing) of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried (tested) with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing (revelation) of Jesus Christ.
 

Ah friends, life can be so unfair at times eh! Chuh! For the past two weeks I was waking up to bright sunshine, blue skies, aquamarine surf rolling up on the shores, and tall coconut tress swaying gently in the cool North East Trade Winds, with refreshing island talk drifting up to my room. 

But all of a sudden, I got up this morning and looking out my bedroom window, somewhat cloudy skies, multihued trees and a set of dead brown leaves on the cold looking grass shockingly greeted my sleepy eyes. It certainly brought my system to a standstill. (smile) 

But there was one redeeming feature; my neighbour has a tall tree in his backyard, don’t ask me what kind, and it is covered in golden yellow leaves from head to foot! It looks real beautiful, could be a wonderful poster tree for the colourful fall season. 

Yeh mih people, the ole fella is back home, dressed in his old red spring jacket, sitting in his old chair before his aged desktop, and writing much more comfortably than I did for the last two weeks on my laptop in J.A. But that vacation has been enshrined in the top ones that the duchess and I have taken. 

It definitely is not number one. That place of honour permanently resides in one we took some fifteen to twenty years ago, in the same Jamaica, but we stayed in a town house somewhere down in the Parish of Trelawney. And brother, the things we did; climbing Dunns River falls, rafting down the White River and numerous other tours. 

But I guess the highlight was boating up some river in the night with flambeaus, flaming torches all around, and drums beating in the distance, going to a night time barbecue somewhere along the river bank. Sorry, don’t ask me any more, because it seems I was totally wasted that night. (smile) The things we do when we are young eh! 

But in my maturity and brokenness, I was still able to do one amazing feat; walk up the winding, dangerous nature trail to the Blue Hole Waterfall, and then walk back down in my flip-flops. And I would indeed be foolish to take all the credit, or rather any of it, because it was the Lord who carried me back and forth on His strong, massive, magnificent shoulders. 

If I had known what it was like before attempting it, I doubt I would have done so. So please give the Lord all the glory, because in my weakness, His grace and strength were more than enough to see me through. Glory to the wonderful Deity we serve! 

And on that note of thanksgiving, here is something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that certainly describes my life in the past couple of years. It’s titled ‘Don’t Stop Lord.’ Please pray with me. ‘Lord In asking You to make me whole I certainly didn’t know What I was in for. You have ransacked me Until I sometimes feel There is nothing left. But don’t stop Lord Please don’t stop! I’m trusting that the product Will be worth the process.’ 

Yes mih breddren, when I asked the Lord for healing, I surely didn’t know the paces He would put me through. And if I had known, I can’t say for sure that I would have asked for it. But since we’ve come so far, it’s too late to turn back now. And even if I don’t feel like crying out to Him to continue, the wise and sensible thing to do is let Him finish the renovations and refurbishment, because as Bruh Paul confidently told the Philippians: 

‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you, will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil.1:6) Yes my brethren, once the Lord begins working in us, He never stops until the job is done, even if it takes till Jesus’ Second Coming. So please don’t ever give up on Him! 

And the Bible Promise for the poem above is also our Bit. ‘That the (genuine) trial (testing) of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried (tested) with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing (revelation) of Jesus Christ.’ 

Oh friends, the Lord puts us through some tough trials to simply test our faith, to see how committed we truly are to Him. But He only does it for a ‘season,’ a short time. And if we stand strong and steadfast, He will bring us out of the testing fire, stronger, purer and more mature, like when gold and silver are burnished. 

As James says: ‘My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials); Knowing this, that the trying (testing) of your faith worketh (produces) patience.’ (James 1:2-3) And patience, re perseverance, is something ALL believers need to acquire, and sadly, it cannot be acquired without going through tough times. 

So please friends, let’s all try and bear up under whatever adversity comes against us, knowing that our ever-faithful God will not give us more than we can handle, and in any case will help us through the fire and the flood. And it’s going home time, so let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with much sincerity, in loud voice and strong sense of purpose, proudly letting the world know who and whose we are. 

In unison now: ‘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 to be true to our word, let’s go out now and share the wonderful LOVE and compassion of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! Much LOVE!

…truly living for Jesus is not easy…but praise the Lord…it is certainly very rewarding…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 September 2018 1 Timothy 6:12.

1 Timothy 6:12. ​   Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast pro​fessed (confessed) a good profession (confession) before many witnesses.

 

One more time unto the breach, dear friends, one more time! Yeh, I’ve got another medical appointment this morning, that’s why the Bit is so early again. The good thing though is that I don’t have to go into Toronto, it’s just some diagnostic testing not too far down the street from me. 

But I do have to fast for it, and fasting, or rather forced fasting and I are not the best of friends. The ole stomach is here growling away on me, calling for food, but I still have a few hours to go until I can grant it its request. (smile) But as they say, it’s all for my benefit. So just suck it up, grin and bear it! 

That brings us to this bit of good advice attributed to James J Corbett (1866-1933), the American Heavyweight fighter, better known as ‘Gentleman Jim.’ He advises: ‘Fight one more round. When your feet are so tired you have to shuffle back to the centre of the ring, fight one more round.’ And that from someone who knows what He’s talking about through personal experience! 

Yes my brethren, that’s what we Christians are called to do; fight one more round, even though we feel at the point of exertion, be it physical, mental or emotional. Oh, I know many of us are tired, what with all our personal problems, including health, wealth and friendship matters, but as believers, we’re not supposed to give up. Giving up doesn’t exist in Jesus’ vocabulary. 

And further still, they say that the darkest hour is the one just before the dawn, so if you’re seeing what you consider a very dark hour, please believe that relief is right around the corner. Remember the mind is the most powerful tool in the world, and what we believe we can achieve. We have to use what resources we possess to our best advantage and keep on keeping on. 

As Bruh Paul cautioned Timothy in his first missive: ‘But thou, O man of God, flee these things (LOVE of money, hurtful lusts, material wealth.); and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, LOVE, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast pro​fessed (confessed) a good profession (confession) before many witnesses.’ 

And as the scholars say of our Bit: ‘6:12. The good fight concerns the daily struggle with sin in the Christian life, and the hardships and adversities in the ministry. A genuine believer demonstrates the reality of his faith by being engaged in this warfare. Lay hold on eternal life does not negate the fact that a believer now possess spiritual life (John 3:36); rather, it speaks of fully realizing or appropriating salvation as the believer matures.’ 

Ah mih breddren being a true believer in Jesus Christ is not easy, but since we have declared ourselves to be true believers, we have to just keep on keeping on. And it’s not like we don’t have ample resources and encouragement, assurance and help to fight our earthly battle. We do! Namely all the resources granted to us as believers in Jesus Christ; the biggest and most important ones being salvation and eternal life. 

As the Good Book declares: ‘He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth (remains) on him.’ (John 3:36) Oh friends, that provision alone ought to be enough to encourage us to stand strong and live and defend our faith. Which other faith has that sure promise eh…with the sacrifice, and resurrection of Christ to back it up eh? NONE! 

And then we have so many other promises of God, who has a good plan for every life, with a hope and good future. He’s also promised never to leave nor forsake us; to hear our prayers and pleas when we diligently and sincerely seek Him; to bring us out of the fire unscorched; to take us safely through the flood, and most of all grant us a Deliverer, a Messiah, one to sacrifice and atone for our sins, which He did through His only Son Jesus Christ becoming flesh and offering His sinless life upon the cross at Calvary so that our sins could be washed white as snow. 

Glory to God my people! For He has done all that He’s promised, and if we do what we’re supposed to do, then He will do the rest. The Lord will not do it all for us. He requires us to put in an effort on His behalf, since we’re partners in this New Covenant. So though life might be dark, dreary and difficult, we do have all the tools necessary to fight the good fight. 

And hopefully, at the end of our days, we’ll all be able to proudly say like Bruh Paul did to Timothy: ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim.4:7-8) 

Yes mih breddren, what a joyful day that will be! But until then, let’s keep fighting the good fight nuh, and as a promise of our faithful intentions, go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our current position in Christ. All together now, let’s wail: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And the future will be even more glorious than our puny minds can imagine. So think on that nuh! Much LOVE!

…when life gets difficult…consider our rewards in heaven…and the glorious future promised us there…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 September 2018 2 Corinthian 5:7.

2 Corinthians 5:7.   For we walk by faith, not by sight.

And then it was Saturday; the day so many of us use to sleep in. I tried to do it, but it didn’t work, the aches and pains were too powerful. Hn! I went out yesterday evening, came home tired and went to bed early, so the body responded by being up early too. But them’s the breaks! What’s the saying? Early to bed, early to rise! 

So here we are, another week of work is over and we need to recuperate in just two short days. And it’s only if and when we’re walking wholeheartedly with Jesus that we can accomplish such a miraculous task. So please check Him out. He’s anxiously awaiting your call for help. 

And you can see that by the wonderful offer of His Great Invitation. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

Ah people, what an invitation! There’s never been any like it, and will never be another like it, because Jesus is the only Being who can promise such stuff and actually provide it. Glory to His Holy Name! 

Now since it’s Saturday, we ought to look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us, but unfortunately I only received one this week. But it certainly is interesting and good enough for us to build around. So here it is: ‘The more you see yourself as what you’d like to become, and act as if what you want is already there, the more you’ll activate those dormant forces that will collaborate to transform your dream into your reality.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth friends! But you know why? Because as true believers in Christ: ‘We walk by faith and not by sight.’ Glory be mih people! It’s our faith in Christ Jesus that allows us to see the things that are not as the things that are. We don’t first have to see something to believe it. We believe it and then we see it! Glory to God! 

That’s why we have those magnificent verses of scripture from Hebrews that tell us: ‘Now faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds (ages) were framed (prepared) by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear (are visible).’ (Heb.11:1-3) 

Yeh friends, it’s faith that moves mountains; faith that allows us to believe what we don’t see, it’s through faith we believe that God spoke the world into existence from nothingness! And when we have great faith it can be counted to us for righteousness, like it was for Abraham. 

And then later on in Hebrews 11, we have that other famous verse on faith: ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ (Heb.11:6) 

Oh my brethren, only through faith can one believe that God, the ephemeral, spiritual, almighty Being exists, because you can’t see nor touch Him. And I’d be amiss if I didn’t share the scholars’ thoughts on the subject. 

‘11:1. Verse 1 is not so much a definition of what faith is, as it is a description of what faith does. (cf.11:6). Two truths concerning its activity are stated here. First, faith provides substance (Gr. hypostasis). Though broad in its usages, this Greek word normally has the meaning of “assurance” in the New Testament  (cf.3:14; 2 Cor.9:4; 11:17) and this seems to be the best sense here. 

Second, faith provides evidence (Gr. elegchos). It is evidence in the sense of proof that results in conviction. The difference between assurance and evidence would be minimal were it not for the phrase qualifying each: of things hoped for and of things not seen. The first involves future hope; the second involves present realities that are unseen. 

The first includes the hope of the resurrection, the return of Christ, and the glorification of the saints. The second involves unseen realities, such as the forgiveness of sin through Christ’s sacrifice and the present intercession of Christ in heaven. Hope is faith relating to the future; conviction is faith relating to the present.’ 

Ah friends, I hope (smile) that that li’l treatise on faith helps you to understand it better. And to end, we’ll get some more immortal words from Bruh Paul, this time to the church at Rome, on the subject of hope. ‘For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) wait (wait eagerly) for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) 

Exactly my fellow believers! If you can see something, there’s no reason to hope for it. But if you can’t see it physically, then there’s all the reason to hope for it! So let’s wisely hope for all the good things we can’t see nuh, and through faith, believe that we have them and with perseverance wait eagerly for them! That’s wisdom for the ages! Much LOVE!

…you can’t have faith…unless you first have hope…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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