Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 February 2019 Matthew 6:34.

Matthew 6:34.   Take therefore no thought for the morrow (don’t worry about tomorrow): for the morrow shall take thought for (worry about) the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.

 

Awright friends, it’s Sunday, that great first day of the week that we all know and LOVE! Some of us just like it because we can laze around in it, conveniently using the biblical contention that it’s supposed to be a day of rest. (smile) Meanwhile, to others, it is also a day to get together with fellow believers and celebrate God’s goodness, give Him praise and thanks and exalt His holy name in return for all that’s He done for us! 

And that’s what I’d suggest we all do on this cold Sunday in February; hie thee hither to the Lord’s sanctuary and worship and sing praises to our omnipotent and magnanimous God, hear His awesome Word, and receive His healing power and confidence to face the upcoming week! Now that’s what a Sunday should be all about! 

And as always, we open the proceedings with a song of praise and thanksgiving. Today’s song will be a popular gospel tune written I believe somewhere in the 1970’s by Marijohn Wilkins and Kris Kristofferson; a heartfelt plea to be granted mercy and grace, forgiveness and all that’s necessary to live a righteous life ‘One Day at a Time Sweet Jesus!’ 

So let’s raise the roof of the sanctuary- if there is one – (smile) as we raise our voices to heaven, humbly imploring our heavenly Father to grant our heart’s desire. As one body in Christ now:  (Chorus: One day at a time, sweet Jesus That’s all I’m asking of You Just give me the strength to do every day What I have to do Yesterday’s gone, sweet Jesus And tomorrow may never be mine Lord, help me today Show me the way One day at a time) 

I’m only human, I’m just a woman (man) Help me believe in what I could be And all that I am Show me the stairway That I have to climb Lord, for my sake, teach me to take One day at a time. (Chorus) Oh, do you remember When You walked among men Well, Jesus, You know If You’re looking below It’s worse now, than then, Cheating and stealing, violence and crime So for my sake, teach me to take One day at a time 

(Chorus: One day at a time, sweet Jesus That’s all I’m asking of You Just give me the strength to do every day What I have to do Oh, yesterday’s gone, sweet Jesus And tomorrow may never be mine Lord, help me today Show me the way One day at a time Lord, help me today Show me the way One day at a time One day at a time.’ 

Yeh friends, fortunately or unfortunately, one day at a time is the only way we can live this earthly life and we do need God’s provision to do so successfully. And He is only too eager to provide them for us every day! Remember what Jeremiah says in his Lamentations? ‘It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.’ (Lam.3:22-23) 

 That’s a crucial bit of scripture friends, something we should all pay serious attention to, for just consider what our state would be if the Lord didn’t provide us with new mercies and compassion and LOVE each and every day nuh? Putting it simple and straightforward; crapaud smoke we pipe! That’s for sure! 

But even more important than God’s mercies being available new every morning, is the inescapable fact that we have to do our part to get, to receive them. They just don’t fall in our laps like manna from heaven. Each day that we draw the breath of life, we need to be actively engaged in God’s work and try to live right, to let His will be our top priority. 

And Jesus, who knows best, because that’s exactly what He did in His earthly life – draw inspiration and strength from the Father each and every day through prayer and thanksgiving – gives us this serious and wise advice during His famous Sermon on the Mount. 

‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow (don’t worry about tomorrow): for the morrow shall take thought for (worry about) the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt.6:33-34) 

 And if we’d only follow those words of wisdom from our High Priest, our Lord and Saviour, our lives would be so much better. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make some plans for the future, but today should bear most of our concentration, for we don’t know what will happen tomorrow, we might not even be around, and most likely it will have its own troubles. 

I like how the scholars put it: ‘When our priority is spiritual, God will take care of the material, for where God guides, He provides. We need not even worry about tomorrow, for sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof. This means that each day has its own troubles and challenges to be responsibly handled, without worrying about the hypothetical problems that could arise tomorrow.’ 

So friends, it’s not like we don’t know what we’re supposed to do, but we either don’t believe it, are afraid to do it, or our faith just isn’t strong enough. But whatever the reason why we aren’t making God and today our primary focuses, let’s promise ourselves to change it nuh. 

Let’s go to the source of ALL help, our heavenly Father Himself and pour out our hearts, just like we did in the song above. Remember, He will NEVER turn away anyone who sincerely and humbly comes to Him for help! Much LOVE!

…Lord help me today…show me the way…one day at a time…only one day at a time…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 April 2017 Jeremiah 13:16.

Jeremiah 13:16.   Give glory to the Lord your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.

Oh friends, welcome to a cloudy spring day in my neck of the woods. I was planning to rev us up with all sorts of good things, like it’s not the physical aspect of the day that really counts, but what we do with the day in Jesus’ name. And to invoke that well-known verse of Psalm 118 – ‘This is the day the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it!’ 

However, when I opened my e-mail I was greeted by some sad and bad, but also in a sense good and comforting news. My priest, Father Jeff, had written to inform me that one of my friends and fellow parishioners, Jacqueline Kitson had passed away this morning. 

And she fell victim to none other than our current scourge, the death-maker called cancer. What hurts some is that she was hospitalized a few days ago and I had promised to go and see her, but everyday I was either too busy, or not feeling up to scratch myself. But I spoke to her on the phone yesterday and promised faithfully to come today. 

Ah Lord eh! The good news scenario though is that she is now home with her heavenly Father and not suffering the pain and inconvenience that she’s been enduring over the past couple of years. She might have been small in stature, but had a big and strong heart, fighting the dreaded scourge every inch of the way. 

I remember the Sunday mornings during this last winter when I would pick her up and take her to church, she was always bright and positive in spite of her illness, bravely enduring the long trips to Toronto for the chemo and other treatments. 

And for a while there during the latter part of the year she seemed to have been in a stage of remission; eating fairly well, putting on some weight and looking better than she’d done for a few months. She even got out to the church’s annual dinner and dance last fall and partied up a storm. Everybody was glad to see her dancing and enjoying herself. 

But the cancer reared its ugly head again a couple of months ago and this time she was not able to fight it off. Rest in peace Jackie my friend. You are gone but not forgotten. You will always remain in our hearts and thoughts until we meet again in the Great Beyond! 

That’s why my brethren it’s ever so important to heed the admonition of our Bit: ‘Give glory to the Lord your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.’ 

Yes friends, we need to pay serious attention to God’s word at all times, for we know not when our number will be called up yonder. And it would be very unfortunate and damaging to our eternal situation if the grim reaper were to appear before we’re quite ready. 

We need to be always in a state of preparedness my people, looking continually to the light that’s Jesus, and giving our magnificent and magnanimous God all the glory and honour, the praise and thanksgiving that He so rightfully deserves. 

Walking in continual darkness does not become a child of God, for children of God have seen the light and gloriously acknowledge it! 

And we have a good example of God’s judgement when the men of Ai defeated the forces of Israel, and Joshua bewailed the Lord for the defeat.  (Josh.7:1-9) 

‘And the Lord said unto Joshua, get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing (things devoted to the Lord), and have also stolen, and dissembled (deceived) also, and they have put it even among their own stuff. 

Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed (devoted to destruction): neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you.’ (Josh.7:10-12) 

Yeh friends, contrary to popular opinion, our God is not a joking God, as Israel found out when they disobeyed His commands. So the long and short of the story is that Joshua searched all the people, until he came to one man named Achan. 

‘And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the Lord God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me. And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done: 

When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonian garment, and two hundred shekels of silver; and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted (desired) them, and took them; and behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.’ (Josh.7:19-21) 

Yuh see friends, all of Israel suffered because of one man’s greed and covetousness. And what became of Achan and his family? ‘And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones.’ (Josh.7:25b) 

It’s not easy my friends, but it’s very worthwhile to remember that disobedience to God’s commands always have consequences, very serious ones too. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, with much enthusiasm, faithfully believing what we say. 

‘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 now it’s time to go out and put it all into action my brethren! Much LOVE!

…only the light of Jesus…can prevent us from stumbling in the darkness of this world…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 September 2016 Galatians 5:16.

Galatians 5:16.    This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

Oh friends, it’s so good to wake up to the sound, to the riddim of the falling rain, as I did earlier on this morning. But it’s all stopped now and the dry and thirsty ground has sucked it all up like a giant sponge. The cloudiness remains though, so hopefully we’ll get some more heavenly blessings later on, because we badly need them. 

Rain has been in short supply in my area for the last little while. And though it’s nice to have bright sunshiny days, heavenly water is essential for man’s survival. So let’s pray we’ll get some more to keep everything moist and fruitful nuh. 

And now as it’s Saturday, let’s check out a couple of quotes from our friend Anselm who always aspires to inspire us. This first one is humorous but nonetheless true. ‘For 24 years of my adult life, by choice I weighed well over 200 pounds. I say ‘by choice’ because I have never ‘accidentally’ eaten anything, so when I choose to eat too much, I have chosen to weigh too much.’ 

Yes friends, we can all attest to that! Our weight depends a lot on what we eat, and we don’t usually eat stuff by accident, but by choice. So what ever we weigh is a direct result of our eating habits, which means if we don’t like our weight, by choice, we’ve got to develop better eating habits. (smile) 

And the next quote is one attributed to Howard Zinn (1922-2010), an American historian, author, playwright, social activist and a professor at Boston University. He’s probably best known for his authorship of the book ‘A People’s History of the United States’. 

Anyway, Zinn reputedly made this comment. ‘Leave things to the market, and there are two million people homeless. Leave things to the market, and there are millions and millions of people who can’t pay their rent. Leave things to the market, and there are thirty-five million people who go hungry.’ 

And that’s no lie my people! The supposed market, when left uncontrolled is a boon to the rich, but a bane of great proportions to the ordinary man. It ruins the lives of so many, through no fault of their own, yet so many of us still foolishly believe in it and sadly trumpet its supposed benefits. They might look good on paper, but they certainly don’t work to the benefit of the majority of the population in actual practice. 

But as Christians, as faithful believers in Jesus Christ, we don’t need to worry too much about the market and its workings, because our Lord and Saviour has promised that if we seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, all our material wants and needs will be met. (Matt.6:33) And He is ever faithful to keep ALL of His promises. 

Then in our Bit, Bruh Paul tells us about the perfect way of walking in this life. ‘This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.’ 

Yes my brethren, when we walk in the Spirit, we don’t have to worry about what’s happening, because the Holy Spirit of God that indwells us, will never lead us astray! That’s indisputable, irrefutable truth! But remember though that we need to listen closely, pay serious attention to the Holy Spirit, if it is to work in and for us. 

Now here is an interesting statement two verses down from our Bit. ‘But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.’ (Gal.5:18) 

And the scholars have this interesting explanation. ‘5:18. Verse 17 may leave the impression of a believer being caught in a hopeless tug-of-war between the flesh and the Spirit. This is not the case. The Christian is led of (by) the Spirit, when yielding to Him, to turn away from the flesh’s evil yearnings, thus putting sin out of his daily life. 

The verb “led” indicates voluntary submission; the believer decides by whom he will be led – either by his flesh or the Spirit. The Spirit-led person is not under the law. The Christian does not need the restraints of the law because his moral life is governed by the Spirit.’ 

But friends, that’s not always easy, because the flesh, our sinful desires, advocate of the enemy, is always trying to drag us back down into the mire of sin and evil. However, once we’ve decided to live by the Spirit – remember it is a positive decision we must make – our lives are not as torn apart as before because the Spirit enables us, give us the strength and guidance to walk a more righteous path. 

And we’ll end with some encouraging and uplifting words from Bruh Paul to the Roman church, as he talks to them about freedom from sin’s power. ‘Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 

Neither yield (present) ye your members as instruments (weapons) of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield (present) yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments (weapons) of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.’ (Rom.6:12-14) 

Yes my people, it’s all grace; the grace of our wonderful and merciful God! Without His grace, we’d be long ago completely destroyed, without not even a remnant left. So be very thankful for His grace. 

Now here are a couple of explanations from the scholars on those verses. ‘6:12. Let not (lit. “stop letting”). The believer is to stop letting sin have mastery over his life.’ ‘6:13. Neither yield ye (lit. “stop presenting”). In the day-to-day confrontations with sin, stop giving in. But yield (lit. “present yourselves”). Paul calls for a determined commitment.’ 

And friends, a determined commitment is exactly what is needed from us when and if we decide to follow Jesus Christ. Without that strong sense of committal our walk of faith will not be successful, for Jesus desires total involvement and obligation. 

So let’s ponder all that we’ve said today, see where we are lacking, then sincerely ask the Lord to help us improve. He will NEVER deny such a request. Much LOVE!

…to walk in the Spirit…is to walk in the footsteps of Jesus…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 October 2013 Matthew 5:4

Matthew 5:4.    Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
 
Oh Friends, this was definitely not how I had planned to begin today’s message, but having heard of this dreadful happening, I had to change my plans. As Cousin Sol so wisely says: ‘A man’s heart deviseth (plans) his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.’ (Prov.16:9)
 
Now I’m talking about the tragedy of a 12 year old boy in a small town near Reno, Nevada, going to school early yesterday morning and shooting a Math teacher, wounding two other boys, then killing himself.
 
Ah Lord eh! How many times Friends, am I going to bewail the sorry state of our world before we see some improvement eh? In particular, what is America coming to eh? Once upon a time she was the model of godliness… Steups! But now she is the pin up girl for Lucifer.
 
This shooting up of schools, either by pupils or outside interests, seems to be turning into a habit now. And yet guns are still much easier to get than dope, on which they’ve wasted billions of dollars trying to curb it.
 
They’re not seeing the forest for the trees. Guns are killing many more people everyday than drugs. And you only hear about the gun deaths when it’s a rampage or some other high profile shooting. When is America going to wake up and realize that the old saying is very true: ‘If you live by the gun, you’ll die by the gun!’
 
And sadly, as in so many other things, their culture is being transferred all over the globe. It’s in more than money and economics that as America goes, so does the rest of the world.
 
And why that tragedy struck me more forcefully than normal, is because I’m currently reading a novel, ‘Nineteen Minutes,’ in which a 17 year old boy in small town America goes into his High School one inauspicious autumn morning and rampages through it, killing ten people both students and adults, and wounding many others. 
 
This lad had been teased and bullied from the first day he got on the bus to attend kindergarten, even by his own star pupil brother. Apparently this 12 year old in real life was also being bullied. Now the question is, is life copying fiction, or fiction copying life? But whatever is following what, this bullying thing is really getting out of hand.
 
What is it, are we raising children without any spine, any backbone, so that they have to resort to such serious measures; shoot up the place or commit suicide?
 
I remember growing up that there were bullies around, and that some got bullied more than others, but it wasn’t the incessant type of thing that’s happening now, and I never heard of anyone picking up a gun or other weapon to exact revenge, or kill themselves because they couldn’t handle the pressure.
 
And apparently the supposed social media nonsense, more like the anti-social media, just seems to make matters worse, for some of the atrocities committed by our young people are brazenly posted there and go viral, oftimes with more likes than dislikes.
 
Doesn’t that tell us that our society is truly going to the dogs, when we’re raising children who take such pleasure in demeaning others? What kind of animals are they going to turn out to be as adults eh?
 
And sadly, we the parents don’t seem to have a clue about what’s happening with our children; we simply don’t care, or are too busy trying to make a living to pay serious attention to what’s happening to them.
 
The parents of this boy in the novel didn’t even know that he had guns in his room, or he was a big Internet freak on evil sites. And no doubt a lot of that is happening in real life today.
 
Ah Friends, I don’t have the answers, but somehow or the other we’ve got to stop the nonsense. And unfortunately all of that just links up so smoothly with our Bit. ‘Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.’
 
Ah mih breddren, so far from that disaster, two families are mourning and badly in need of serious comfort. Who will provide it to them eh? I just hope, for their sakes, that they are Christian families. Our Bit is another of the Beatitudes that Jesus delivered in His Sermon on the Mount.
 
And according to the scholars: ‘5:4. Those that mourn…shall be comforted. The depth of the promise of these statements is almost inexhaustible. Those who mourn for sin shall be comforted in confession. Those who mourn for the human anguish of the lost shall be comforted by the compassion of God.’
 
Let’s sincerely hope and pray that those families mourning right now are somehow comforted by God’s compassion, because ONLY Jesus can successfully minimize the yokes and burdens that have just been laid on them. (Matt.11:28-30)
 
Yes my people, for all the unfortunate things that happen to us in this oftimes wretched life, Jesus stands out as the bright light shining in our darkest hours. He is the ONE we can and should always turn to in dire situations.
 
For as Bruh Paul said to the church at Corinth: ‘Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble (tribulation), by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted by God.’ (2 Cor.1:3-4)
 
And that’s the undeniable truth Friends! God comforts us so that we can comfort others in their time of need. And we WILL ALL endure trials and tribulations and be in need of comfort at some time(s) in our earthly lives.
 
But please remember Jesus’ faithful promise: ‘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.’ (John 16:33)
 
Oh my fellow believers, I know that’s easier said than done, but with strong faith and trust in the Almighty, we can get through it. And we’ll close with a scripture that we’re all looking forward to; the arrival of the new heaven and the new earth.
 
‘And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.’ (Rev.21:4)
 
Yes mih people, then, and only then, will the cause for mourning and comfort cease. Till then, please wisely take hold of ALL God’s promises of help and succour, for they are the only sure means of comfort we have in this wicked, ungodly world. Much LOVE!
 
…when a human heart is hurting…only Almighty God can truly comfort it…