Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 March 2019 Mark 14:38.

Mark 14:38.   ​Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.
 

Well it’s Saturday, March break Saturday, and the airports are still full of people trying to get away from this cold weather for a few days. Some of us though are not so blessed so we have to stay and stick it out. And I hear the groaning and grumbling: ‘Chuh man! why me eh?’  

But let me remind us of this one very important fact; wherever we are right now is where Jesus wants us to be, and wherever He plants us, that’s where He’ll help us to handle all that comes against us, and we’ll even grow in our adversity and discomfort through His evergreen gardening thumb! And that’s no lie! What a Lord and Saviour we have my people! 

And since today is Saturday it means we ought to check out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Unfortunately, this week though, I’ve only received one quote from our friend Anselm, but it’s an interesting one, so let’s check it out. 

And it says: ‘Every day we have plenty of opportunities to get angry, stressed or offended. But what you’re doing when you indulge these negative emotions is giving something outside yourself power over your happiness. You can choose to not let little things upset you.’ And that’s all gospel truth my brethren! It’s one of the ways the devil tries to steal our joy in Jesus, simply by letting little things offend us. 

But we have to be strong and watchful and don’t allow resentment and other negative emotions to take root and grow in our souls, else our joy in Jesus will be completely destroyed. The enemy knows that the joy of the Lord is our strength (Neh.8:10) that’s why he goes after it. And sadly, so often, so many of us allow him to steal it, which throws us into depression, resentment and not being able to focus positively on our God. 

And this Lenten season, when we are all wrapped up in getting closer to God is exactly when the devil is at his most rampant, because he obviously doesn’t want us to get closer to our Maker! That’s why Jesus warned the inner circle of His disciples, who were supposed to be praying with Him in the Garden of Gethsemane, but were instead sleeping: ‘Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.’  

And nothing has changed since then friends, except possibly our spirit getting weaker as we go after the enticing things of the world more than we ought to. And if you don’t believe what Mark says, then hear it from Luke. After telling the disciples the parable of the fig tree, Jesus cautioned them thus: 

‘And take heed to your selves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged (weighed down) with surfeiting (carousing), and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.’ (Luke 21:34-35) 

Yes friends, too much carousing and good times can make us miss out on Jesus’ coming. The scholars put it thus: ‘21:34. Surfeiting means “to indulge one’s appetitive excessively.” No believer is beyond the temptation to fall into sin. Jesus warns against slackness and lack of daily readiness in the Christian walk.’  

And sadly again, too many of us are not getting and staying ready for whenever Jesus reappears. And how do we not fall into that very unpleasant situation? Jesus gives us the answer: ‘Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.’ (Luke 21:36) 

And here is what the scholars have to say about that verse. ‘21:36. Prayer is the better part of valour when persevering for Christ under pressure. Prayer alone will enable one to stand before the returning Son of Man, when those all around are falling, whether in condemnation before Christ or to the temptation to deny Christ under the trials of the hour.’  

So there you have it my faithful brethren, prayer is the anchor, the foundation stone on which we must build our daily lives, otherwise we’re liable to fall into temptation rather easily and damage our reputation with Christ. And yes we all know that our Christian walk is not an easy row to hoe, for even that great man of God, Bruh Paul, had a hard time fighting the lures of his flesh. 

Listen to his testimony. ‘For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal (fleshly), sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not (understand): for what I would do (want to do), that do I not; but what I hate, that I do. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto (agree with) the law that it is good. 

Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would (want to do) I do not: but the evil which I would not (want to do), that I do. (Rom.7:14-19)  

Yes friends, even Bruh Paul had problems with the sinful nature of his flesh, versus the spiritual nature of his mind. So we ought not to feel too badly when we experience the same struggle between out two natures, it’s a part of our earthly walk.

And we’ll end with Bruh Paul’s handling of the matter. ‘O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the (this) body of death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.’ (Rom.7:24-25) 

Ah friends, there’s not much we can do about out two natures, except to try and let the spiritual law of our minds outwork the carnal and sinful nature of our flesh. And the best way to do that is through constant prayer. Much LOVE! 

…rejoice evermore…pray without ceasing…in everything give thanks…for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you…quench not the Spirit… (1 Thess.16-19)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 November 2017 Psalm 46:1.

Psalm 46:1.   God is our refuge and strength, a very present (abundantly available) help in trouble.

Saturday, oh Saturday; what a great day! Oh, let me take that back…no embellish it. Saturday is a great day -good for sleeping in, like I just did – (smile), but the real truth is that EVERY day is a great day in God’s world! 

How could they not be when you have the Holy Spirit of your Creator constantly walking with and dwelling within you eh? Oh, we ought to know that just because we call ourselves Christians and have Jesus beside us all the time, that all our days will not be worry and problem free. 

Unfortunately many of us supposed believers seem to think so, but if you look through the Good Book you’ll notice that some of the men and women of greatest faith and holiness, like Bruh Joseph, Bruh David, Uncle Job and Bruh Paul had more problems than some of their lesser peers, with the most important being our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

And what makes every day a great day is basically our mindset and attitude. A positive approach to life is the best. Obviously there will be some negative circumstances, but the trick is to try and consider them in a positive light; like the Lord is testing us, and this too shall pass, and He won’t allow more than we can bear. 

Our God must always be prominent in our thoughts whether we are experiencing good or bad circumstances. As Job said when his whole life crumbled in mere moments, we can’t always expect good and not some bad. That’s just how life is in our fallen and sinful world. 

And I have personal testimony to that this morning. And before giving it, I have to exhale a ‘Steups!’ and an ‘Ah Lord eh!’ Why? Because I just came down to my office to write the Bit, and lo and behold I saw that one of the panels in the ceiling of the office had come apart. 

Obviously I was annoyed, and further annoyed when I tried to put it back together and found that I couldn’t do it by myself. I couldn’t raise my hands above my head and hold all the stuff together at the same time. Some years ago I could have done it, although it has always been a finicky job; as you fix one side, the other tends to drop out etc. 

And believe me, I can’t see any reason why that particular panel fell out, except to test my resources. (smile) But am I going to let it spoil my day? Obviously not! It’s relatively a small, unimportant thing, which can stay as it is until I can get someone to help me put it back together again. 

Yeh friends, too many of us allow little things to rattle us and get us off of our ‘A game’ and spoil the rest of our day. That brings us to the quotes from our friend Anselm, who aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. I only got two from him this week, don’t know what happened. 

But anyway, this first one segues in quite nicely to what we’ve been talking about. ‘Don’t think too much…. you’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place.’ And that’s quite possible. 

When problems befall us we tend to over think them, wondering why, what, when, wherefore and all the other questions, which only makes the current problem bigger than it ought to be. 

I could have done that with the fallen bit of ceiling, but it wouldn’t have gotten me anywhere, except miserable. And it at least brought home the knowledge that I’m not as agile and supple as I used to be. (smile) 

And the next quote says: ‘Sometimes the wrong choices bring us to the right places.’ I really don’t know how to view that nuh, except to think that when we make wrong choices we can end up in places so desperate and helpless, that we are forced to turn to God for help to extricate us. 

And that’s why our Bit tells it like it is. ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present (abundantly available) help in trouble.’ 

And all God’s people shouted a loud and grateful ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ because they know that that statement is the ultimate in truth. Yeh friends, when you belong to the most omnipotent force, the highest Being in the universe, you have no reason to fear what man can do to you. 

And as the sons of Korah continue to sing their song of praise and tribute: ‘Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst (the heart) of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.    Selah.’ (Ps.46:2-3) 

Yeh mih people, though the earth and all therein erupt in deadly turmoil, yet we who believe in Almighty God will not be afraid. Glory to God! So total is our surrender, so strong is our faith, hope and trust in Him, that nothing will move us, except His rejection. 

And we know that will NEVER happen! Not after He showed His undying LOVE and sacrificed His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ to atone for our abominable sins. 

So let us go forward this Saturday morning, filled with the strength, wisdom and understanding granted us through His Holy Spirit and make it a great day, spreading LOVE and the good news of Christ’s gospel to all and sundry. That’s the way our Lord and Saviour, Jesus, desires it. Much LOVE!

…don’t fear man…but certainly fear God…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 April 2017 Philippians 4:13.

Philippians 4:13.   I can do ALL THINGS through Christ which strengtheneth me!

Well friends, it’s Easter Saturday; another season of Lent is over with the passing of Good Friday and Jesus is resting quietly in His tomb. Glory to God! We’re only waiting for the big day now; Resurrection Sunday, possibly the greatest day in the history of the Christian faith. 

I know many people prefer Christmas to Easter, but without Easter there could be no death, thus no payment for sins, no Resurrection and consequently no reconciliation with the Father, salvation and eternal life. We’d be left forever wallowing in the deep and deadly mire of sin. 

So Easter is indeed a most important time in our faith, that’s why we ought to celebrate it with joy and gladness, offering up songs of thanks and praise to our heavenly Father who made it all possible through His awesome, amazing, undaunted, unconditional LOVE for us. 

But please remember, that though Lent is over and the celebrations will begin today, we must not overdo it, and give occasion to Lucifer to penetrate our spiritual battle armour.  So let’s take Granny’s advice to heart, one more time; ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business!’ (smile) And that truly is some of the best advice we can ever receive my brethren. 

Now since today is Saturday, I guess we ought to take a look at some other advice, this from our friend Anselm, who aspires to inspire us in our daily living. He had some interesting advice this week. Listen to this one. ‘Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.’ 

And that’s certainly an option that’s open to us all. It’s like the verse from Psalm 118 that we often declare: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.’ It’s our choice how we view and then spend the day; it can either be in a positive or negative manner. 

That brings us to this next quote: ‘Optimism is the most important human trait, because it allows us to evolve our ideas, to improve our situation, and to hope for a better tomorrow.’ 

Now I don’t know if optimism is indeed the most important human trait, but it surely is a very important one, because it allows us to look on the bright side of every situation and gives us hope that things can get better, thereby lifting our troubled and worried spirits.. 

And this last quote reinforces all the others. ‘Beliefs have the power to create and the power to destroy. Human beings have the awesome ability to take any experience of their lives and create a meaning that disempowers them or one that can literally save their lives.’ 

And nobody knows that better than we Christian believers! Our faith in Jesus Christ can cause us to move mountains, as we believe that with our great God ALL THINGS are possible! 

And that brings us to our Bit: ‘I can do ALL THINGS through Christ which strengtheneth me!’ Glory Hallelujah my believing brethren! 

Like in Bruh Paul’s life, when he made that statement to the Philippians, our God places us in certain situations, and then gives us the enabling power to handle them. Whether we be rich or poor, abounding or abased, weak or strong, God gives us the strength, the power to be content in them all, regardless of their complexity and/or painfulness. 

And we see this attitude and belief in all of Bruh Paul’s teachings, though how else could it be eh, seeing the rough, dangerous, nomadic life he led once he began preaching Christ crucified? 

Listen to him in the first epistle to the Corinthians. ‘ For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet (worthy) to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.’ (1 Cor.15:9-10) 

Yeh friends, it’s only through God’s saving grace that Bruh Paul could have survived all the dangers and rough times he encountered during his missionary journeys. And the same thing goes for us; only through God’s grace are we able to bear the trials and tribulations of this earthly life. 

Now hear him in the second epistle to the Corinthians, as he talks about ministers in the New Testament. ‘And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God:’ (2 Cor,3:4-5) Yes friends, we are indeed nothing without God! 

Now let’s end with the immortal and authoritative words on the subject, from the mouth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ Himself. ‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:4-5) 

And if there ever was real gospel truth, that’s it! Without an association with Christ we are powerless to do anything, much less to bear much good fruit in this life. So the moral of the story is to get in good with Christ, and stay attuned to Him all the days of our lives. And there’s no better time to do so than right now at Easter; the time of His awesome, world changing Resurrection! Much LOVE!

…only in and through Christ…do our lives live up to their true potential… 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 April 2017 2 Peter 2:2.

2 Peter 2:2.   And many shall follow their pernicious (destructive) ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of (blasphemed).

Oh friends, we constantly talk about the many wonders of nature, but oftimes forget its eccentricities! And I have a perfect example of that. 

Yesterday the rain fell around here all day, and not mere drizzles, but strong, steady showers. I even got caught in it going to and from the heart clinic in afternoon. It just went on and on, with the wind wailing and howling like crazy. 

Now at minutes to three this morning, on my way to bed, I opened my front door and looked out to view the situation. It was extremely wet and incredibly windy! However, at minutes after eight, when I finally got up and looked outside…lo and behold, it was white with snow! 

Mama Mia! I know I heard something on the T.V about wet snow in the evening, but apparently nothing happened until the early morning hours, and this was a little more than the wet kind. (smile) 

But yuh know what? It didn’t kill the workingman’s enthusiasm for the upcoming weekend…not at all! He was still out there in the cold, enthusiastically declaring: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and the weekend is here! At long last, our little break from sweatshop work and paltry pay! 

A man can’t even afford to really party on the slave wages we make…Steups! But we’ll certainly do our best! And we going to have a rollicking good time in spite of it! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah mih people, paltry pay is certainly a major factor in our world’s abject poverty today. Even in the supposed first world countries, it’s difficult to have a decent standard of living just working one job, so can you imagine what’s happening in the third and fourth class countries? Hn! Absolute robbery and immense ‘sufferation!’ 

And the last thing we need is a whole lot of partying and licentiousness. Our focus should be instead on action like what our Friday Chant advises. So let’s chant it out nuh in true sincerity and a strong sense of purpose. 

‘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 friends, unless we renew and refresh ourselves over the weekend, we’ll be no good for the new week of work. That brings us to our Bit. ‘And many shall follow their pernicious (destructive) ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of (blasphemed).’ 

Now all of us have encountered some of that false teaching and blasphemy at some stage of our lives, and I reiterate, the only way to counter it is by knowing the Word of God. And you can’t know the Word of God unless you are constantly and faithfully and deeply immersed in it. 

Over the last couple of days, we saw what Peter had to say about the false teachers and prophets. Today we’ll get some insight into Bruh Paul’s predictions of apostasy, in his first letter to Timothy. 

‘Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing (deceiving) spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron. 

Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats (food), which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified (consecrated) by the word of God and prayer.’ (1 Tim.4:1-5) 

Yuh see friends, Bruh Paul also knew how evil we’d become in the last days. Now here are some explanations from the scholars. 

‘4:1. Expressly means clearly. To depart means to apostatize. Apostasy is the deliberate and permanent rejection of Christianity after previous profession of faith in it. Doctrines of devils, that is doctrines taught by demons.’ 

‘4:2. Speaking lies in hypocrisy (or, “by the hypocrisy of liars”): The demons of verse 1 expound their doctrines, not directly, but indirectly through such human ministers. These are further described as having their conscience seared with a hot iron, that is branded (scarred) in their conscience. 

Permanently defaced, the moral life of these hypocrites is scarred by sin as they carry around the awareness of their guilt, yet continue preaching to others.’ 

‘4:3. Two examples of demonic doctrines are cited here: (1) prohibition against marriage, and (2) abstaining from certain foods.’ 

‘4:4. Every creature of God is good (or, “Everything created by God is good”). This substantiates the remark in verse 3 that God created foods to be eaten, not abstained from.’ 

‘4:5. By divine statements (by the word of God) declaring all foods fit for man, and by the believer’s giving of thanks before meals (by…prayer), food is sanctified. This means food is set apart (reserved) for consumption by Christians.’ 

So friends, let’s remember today that there are numerous false teachers and doctrines in our world, trying to take us away from following the true Christ, and we need to be very diligent and careful in what and whom we listen to, else we can be very easily led astray. Much LOVE!

…the only antidote for false doctrine and teaching…thorough knowledge of God’s Word…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 March 2017 Matthew 6:19.

Matthew 6:19.   Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal.

Welcome friends, to a winter wonderland! Hn! We all thought we were in for an early spring, but Mother Nature had other ideas; we’re in for a late winter! 

Yes, for the last couple of days severe winter storms have been raging all over the Northeastern and Central parts of North America. We seem to be rather lucky in my li’l neck of the woods with only a few inches, but parts of the U.S have two to three feet of snow, and the winds have been constantly howling. 

Now that’s why I don’t like to be in this country for March; the winds always seem to be colder and more powerful in March. And it doesn’t seem to be over yet. But that’s what you get for living in these northern climes. 

Anyway, here’s a li’l something from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional to bring us in from the cold to God’s warm and everlasting LOVE. (smile) It’s titled ‘For Renewal.’ 

Please pray with me. ‘Almighty God, it is a beautiful way to live to know that you are there with a plan for my life, and through prayer I can draw my life into harmony with your plan. I know, God, that your plan for my life calls for me to follow Christ. 

Jesus Christ, I give my life to you. I’ve never done it before. That has been my problem. That has been my hang up. O God, I give my life to you now. Take my life, Jesus Christ, and make it yours. Forgive my sins. Fill me with your LOVE. You are doing it now and I thank you. Amen!’ 

Yes my brethren, there’s nothing better than making a commitment to Jesus for the first time, or renewing it for the umpteenth time! The important thing is that we make a commitment to live the way Jesus wants us to live, for that’s the only wise and sensible way to live this earthly life. 

Lucifer and his evil world offer lots of pretty baubles, bangles and fine looking things, but they are only façades, they have no real substance and only last for a short while, and they can also get stolen. 

On the other hand Jesus offers eternal stuff, stuff with real substance and value, which will last for eternity, and there are no thieves in heaven. Glory Be!  

That brings us to our Bit, a seminal teaching of Jesus from His Sermon on the Mount. ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal.’ 

That’s exactly what we were just talking about friends. Concentrating on storing up earthly treasures does not bring true joy and happiness, for eventually you will die and leave it all behind for someone else to dissipate. 

Bruh Paul said it to Timothy thus: ‘For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.’ (1 Tim.6:7) 

Now that doesn’t mean we should not save or purchase nice things and try to live a comfortable earthly life. The problem occurs when we let that be the main focus of our lives, when we idolize the things of this world rather than the things of heaven. 

And Jesus continues after our Bit: ‘But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will you heart be also.’ (Matt.6:20-21) 

Oh friends, that last sentence is indeed a mighty one! Gospel truth indeed! For wherever our treasure is stored that’s where our hearts will be leaning and looking towards. You’ll notice that when we concentrate on storing up earthly treasures our hearts are constantly aimed at the earthly stuff. 

However, if we concentrate on storing up heavenly rewards, then we spend most of our time concentrating on those things that bring heavenly benefits. 

Now listen to this interesting explanation from the scholars. ‘6:19-21. The attention of the believer is directed towards treasures in heaven. The term treasures implies the addition or accumulation of things. 

The two kinds of treasures are conditioned by their place (either on earth or in heaven). The concept of laying up treasures in heaven is not pictured as one of meritorious benefits but rather rewards for faithful service, as is illustrated elsewhere in the teaching of Jesus.’ 

Ah mih breddren, as we’ve already said accumulation of earthly things should not be our main focus of this life, but rather the stocking up of rewards in heaven through godly service down here on earth. 

And anyway, when you get to heaven, all the stuff you sought down here either won’t be necessary, or they will be of better quality than the shoddy stuff we have down here. (smile) 

Now listen to these telling words from the sons of Korah, from Psalm 49 – Trust in God, not wealth. ‘Be not thou afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased; For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend with him.’ (Ps.49:16-17) And that’s the ultimate truth friends! 

Now let’s go home pondering all that, while invoking our Wednesday Wail with much enthusiasm and a strong sense of purpose. 

As one now: ‘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!’ 

Yes my fellow believers, though we’re going through storms in our lives, both physical and emotional, we’re still glad to be alive and are looking forward to a glorious future with our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Now that’s wisdom for the ages! Much LOVE!

…only in and through Jesus…can we find true joy and security for ever…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 October 2016 1 Timothy 1:12.

1 Timothy 1:12.   And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into ministry. 

Awright friends, it’s another brand new day! That means that we are one day older and one day closer to heaven! (smile) Therefore we can’t afford to waste any of the finite and limited time God has given us on this earth. 

What did Moses say in psalm 91 – From everlasting to everlasting thou art God – the only one he wrote, and therefore the oldest in the Psalter? ‘So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom (gain a heart of wisdom). (Ps.91:12) We don’t know how long we have left, so we’d be wise to make the best use of it. 

And on that note, since it’s Saturday, let’s check out some quotes from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And today we have a lagniappe, a broughta or braata; an extra one, a gift, used by vendors to encourage customers to return. 

The first is T&T slang, although according to Dictionary.com, it’s used in Southern Louisiana and South East Texas, I guess it comes from French Creole. And the second is a Jamaican term. That means we have three instead of two.  

The first one says: ‘The difference between can and cannot are only three letters. Three letters that determine your life’s direction.’ And that surely makes sense. ‘Can’ will take you in one direction, while ‘cannot’ will take you in a completely different one. The choice is up to you. 

The second quote from Anselm declares: ‘Challenge yourself! Look for new opportunities, step outside of your “comfort” zone and find new things to do. Do something special, just for you, something you’ve always wanted to do. Meet new people, learn what you need to know… be optimistic!’ That also is good advice, especially in these trying times. 

And the last one says: ‘You’ve got to get up every morning with determination if you’re going to go to bed with satisfaction.’ And ain’t that gospel truth my people! Even if laziness is your goal, you have to get up determined to be lazy, if you want to go to bed satisfied with your lazy day. (smile) That’s why laughter is the best free medicine available. 

But now it’s time to get serious, as we turn to our Bit. ‘And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into ministry.’ Yes friends, those are Bruh Paul’s words of thankfulness for mercy as he wrote to his protégé Timothy.  And that’s indisputable truth, for without Christ’s enablement, Bruh Paul would not have been able to fulfill his apostolic duties. 

He then continues to explain why. ‘Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious (violent): but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and LOVE which is in Christ Jesus.’ (1Tim.1:13-14)  

The scholars explain that last verse thus: ‘1:14. Grace…was exceeding abundant (or, “grace…was more abundant”).  Christ’s undeserved favour far outweighed Paul’s previous sinful life. With faith and LOVE: God’s grace brought about faith in Paul, in contrast to his former “unbelief” and it also produced LOVE in him, in contrast to his previous blasphemy, persecution and violence to the church (v.13). Which refers to faith: Paul’s faith or trust is in Christ Jesus.’  

Ah mih people, we all know Bruh Paul’s reputation as a terrorizer of the brethren, then known as Saul, before he was called by Christ on the road to Damascus, even as he was on a mission to capture believers and take them back to Jerusalem for punishment. (Acts 9) 

And many of us in reading the Good Book might have missed Bruh Paul’s part in the stoning, the martyrdom of Stephen. The brother was giving his testimony ‘Behold, I see the heavens opened; and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. Then they (the masses) cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord. 

And cast him out of the city, and stoned him, and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, (as he was) calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus receive my spirit.  And he kneeled down and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.’ (Acts 8:56-60) 

No friends, Bruh Paul was not a very nice man in his younger days.  That’s why he could continue to Timothy with all sincerity. ‘This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.’ (1 Tim.1:15) 

He believes that he is the number one sinner, the worst one of the lot. ‘Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all long-suffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.’ (1 Tim.1:16) 

Now that’s a very interesting statement, and here is the scholars’ explanation. ‘1:16. We could read the verse thus: “But I obtained mercy for this reason: that in my case as the worst (sinner) Christ Jesus might demonstrate the fullest of patience; as an example for those about to believe on him for eternal life.” Paul’s conversion encourages other sinners; since Christ has already saved the worst sinner, He can save those less sinful.’ 

And that’s no lie friends! Christ Jesus can save the worst of us if we come to Him in true repentance! 

And we’ll end with these beautiful words of praise and thanksgiving of Bruh Paul. ‘Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever.’ (1 Tim.1:17) 

That’s one thing about Bruh Paul; he never shies away from giving all the glory to God. May we also do likewise my precious people, for that is wisdom to the nth degree! Much LOVE!

…to our wonderful God…all praise, honour and glory be given…for that is His rightful desert…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 January 2016 James 2:14

James 2:14.   What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 

Oh friends, oh friends, the Christmas party done now! It’s time to get back to the daily grind and common task; that thing called work, which most of us don’t like, but which is ever so important. So let’s get a move on nuh, let’s be up and at ‘em this first Monday in this highly expectant year of 2016.  

Please don’t touch the snooze button! Hn! And I hear the moaning and groaning, the chuhing and steupsing, as the weight that we’ve put on over the Christmas season has us moving somewhat sluggishly. But don’t worry my precious people, with the Lord’s help we’ll handle it all with great aplomb! Nice word that- aplomb; simply meaning self-confidence and assurance. (smile) 

And please remember that though it’s a new year we still have some old tools that will serve us in very good stead. So without further ado, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with the new found joy and enthusiasm gained from our resolution to walk ever closer with Christ this new year. 

As one mighty and harmonious choir now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Now that wasn’t bad at all my brethren, considering our unhealthy lifestyles in the past week or so. And Jesus, our choirmaster understood, and didn’t balk too much when He heard the occasional croak in the voices. (smile) That brings us to our Bit: ‘What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?’

Oh friends, that can certainly be a bone of contention as we saw in the scholars’ explanation yesterday. But I don’t think it is, or should be, because Bruh Paul and James are speaking about different things under different circumstances, and each is right when you consider those circumstances. 

Now let’s continue with James’ treatise from where we left off yesterday. ‘Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know (do you want to know), O vain (foolish) man, that faith without works is dead?’ (James 2:19-20) 

And the scholars have some interesting explanations re those verses. ‘2:19-20. The reference to faith in one God probably alludes to Israel’s great creedal statement of Deuteronomy 6:4. ‘Hear O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord.” Adherence to a creed is not true faith. Even the demons know and accept the truth of the creed, but they do not possess saving faith. If one does nothing to enact his knowledge of God, he is worse than the demons, for they at least tremble.’ 

Yes Friends, Lucifer and his evil minions know that there is a God, but that doesn’t make them believers. And we see the truth in that by Jesus’ statements: ‘Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils (demons)? and in thy name done many wonderful works (miracles)? And then I will profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.’ (Matt.7:21-23) 

And the scholars explain: ‘7:21-23. Not everyone professing Christ is genuinely saved. Even the outward verbal acknowledgement of His lordship is in itself not enough to save the unbeliever apart from true repentance and faith. A genuinely saved person is one that doeth the will of my Father, the Greek present tense suggesting that he is continually living in obedience to the will of God as the normal course of his life.’ 

So my Scrip-Bit family, it is therefore essential that we all thoroughly examine ourselves, under that very critical light. Are we truly doing the will of the Father? Or are we just fooling, pretending that we have faith, professing Jesus, but in reality doing stuff contrary to His will? If that is so, then we definitely need to clean up our act, for we certainly don’t want Jesus to disown us and drive us away when the fateful day arrives.  

I can’t drive home enough, the seriousness of abiding by God’s will, if we profess faith in Him. And on that note, we’ll end for today. I have more stuff to discuss on the subject, but it will be way too long, and you already have enough information to ponder on. Plus I don’t want to hear any crying and whining about the Bit being too long. 

That brings me to this point which relates to what we were just talking about. I can send all sorts of foolish jokes and otherwise and nobody will complain that they are too long or insipid. But let it be about Jesus or God, if it’s not short, there will be much complaining.  (smile) How can we expect God to take us seriously and bless us, if we don’t take him seriously eh? Much LOVE!

…as Calvin said…faith alone saves…but a faith that saves…is never alone…

 

 

 

 

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