Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 November 2018 Deuteronomy 4:29.

Deuteronomy 4:29.   ​But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.​
 
Oh brother! What is it eh? I’ve been back from sunny Jamaica for a week now and so far I’ve only awakened to one bright and sun-filled day! I believe that was Sunday. Man o man! That sure doesn’t do wonders for the spirit nuh. But nonetheless, I am thankful that I can say that I’ve awakened…Glory be! 

Every time I read the obits and don’t see my name, I send up a grateful, ‘Thank You Lord!’ Oh, I know that one day I will read it there, but just not yet.’ (smile) 

And to help us on this cold, dark, wet and cloudy day, I’ve been led to share this poem from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional, titled, ‘Learn to Know God.’ So let’s do just that nuh. 

Please pray with me: ‘Dear Jesus, I’ve got to get to know You better. Please help me! I can feel my spiritual and emotional walls crack. I can hear old chains break. I can feel my heart opening like a heavy door whose ancient seals have just begun to break. I can sense the footsteps of Jesus walking into my life. I am beginning to experience the joy of a soul that is being saved, a life that is being born again. Thank You Lord! Life’s not fair, but God is good. Amen.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth: ‘Life’s not fair, but God IS good!’ Ah friends, whenever we come to God, sincerely cry out to Him for help in time of need, we can be sure that He will hear our plea and respond positively to it! That’s’ His promise, and He’s a faithful keeper of ALL His promises! But we first have to seek Him, to get to know Him. 

And every great man of faith has made that admonishment, as we will see as we go through the Good Book. We’ll begin with out Bit; Moses’ wise and true advice to the Israelites: ‘But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.​’ 

Yes friends, whenever we seek the Lord with a sincere heart, we shall find Him. It doesn’t matter what we were doing before. And we have perfect examples of that in the many times the Israelites turned from God and suffered, but when they came to their senses and returned to Him, He welcomed them back with opened arms. 

Likewise, in these evil and sinful times, if we turn back to God, seek Him with all our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, He will hear us and relieve the trials and tribulations, which we are suffering from disobedience to His holy will. And doh fool yuh fat nuh, we are undergoing adversity and calamity because of our sinful, ungodly way of life. But enough of my preaching, (smile) let’s see what some other great men of faith said on the subject. 

Hear Bruh David now, as he admonishes Cousin Sol on the matter. ‘And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart, and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.’ (1 Chr.28:9) And that my brethren holds good for all of us, be we prince or pauper! 

And on an even more important note, how many of us parents admonish our children with that information eh? Too few! Otherwise we would not have raised such an ungodly, narcissistic and nihilistic (rejection of beliefs in religion and morals) generation. Our parents taught us about seeking God, possibly more than we liked, but our generation have certainly not taught this current one enough about seeking their Maker. 

Come the judgement day, we will have a lot to answer for in that regard. But moving right along, listen to Bruh David again, this time from Psalm 9. ‘The Lord also will be a refuge (stronghold) for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.’ (Ps.9:9-10) 

And all God’s people broke out in a loud and grateful cheer: ‘Praise the Lord for His undeserved goodness to the children of men!’ Yes my brethren, we all know that the Lord NEVER turns His back on any one who comes to Him with a sincere and humble heart! 

Now hear that lamenting prophet, Jeremiah. (smile) ‘Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto (listen to) you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.’ (Jer.29:12-13) It couldn’t get any more forthright than that! 

Now listen to the Master tell it like it truly ought to be. This is His response to a foolish Pharisee lawyer trying to provoke Him, by asking which is the greatest commandment? ‘Jesus saw through the ruse and simply quoted the Old Testament words to him, (Deut.6:5) which as a leader of the people, he ought to have known. ‘Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.’ (Matt.22:37-38) 

And as a (langniappe, or brawta) a little extra thrown in for good measure, Jesus then informed him. ‘And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt.22:39-40) And that was only a reiteration of Leviticus 19:18, which the Pharisee lawyer also would have known. 

But friends, just like how they were not living those two great commandments back in the times of Jesus, likewise we are not living them in these end times. That’s why our world is such an evil mess. And it’s only if we believers improve our LOVING, both for God and man, will it ever improve. It’s as simple as that. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. In strong voice and sincere hearts 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!’ 

Our next move then is to go out and share that LOVE! Much LOVE!

…only as you seek the Lord…and with a sincere heart too…will you find Him…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 October 2018 Proverbs 26:12.

Proverbs 26:12.    Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit (eyes)? There is more hope of a fool than of him.
 

Ah mih breddren, unfortunately at 8 o’clock on this Wednesday morning, the last day of October 2018, my neighbourhood is dark, dismal and cold…it’s also raining. To tell the truth, I don’t even remember what rain looks or feels like, for the past two weeks that I spent in Jamaica, I never experienced a drop of heavenly blessing. Yes, a few times the sky darkened, but nary a drop of water fell wherever I happened to be. Hn! 

But I’d better get accustomed to this new state of affairs…and quickly too, because that’s going to be the new norm now. Oh to be in Jamdown once again, experiencing sea, sand, surf and salt, with the occasional bit of rum! (smile) Yes friends, that’s what dream are made of! But here is a taste of reality from the Swedish U.N Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold (1905-1961). 

He piloted the United Nations from 1953 to 1961, when his plane, under mysterious circumstances, crashed in Africa, on his way to try and quell a dispute over there. These are some of the words he left us: ‘Maturity: among other things – not to hide one’s strength out of fear and consequently live below one’s best.’ Words of great wisdom my people! 

And as Christians we have to stop living in fear and proclaim our strengths, strengths which we all have. As they say: ‘healthy thinking requires us to develop and use our many strengths.’

That’s never been truer of Christ’s church than right now, because instead of exhibiting strength, too many of us are embracing weakness and compromising our Christian beliefs and situations. We can’t afford to hide our strengths my people, because that’s when we enjoy our best life. 

And to help us do that, here is a li’l prayer from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. Please pray with me: ‘Thank you, Lord, for bringing me to the place where LOVE can knock at the door of my heart. O Father, do not let me be afraid. I shall not resist your affectionate touch. Let me, O Lord, have the spirit of a little child and dare to respond and run with open arms to your call of LOVE. Amen.’  

Oh friends, it amazes me that we can even contemplate resisting the Lord’s affectionate touch, much less do it! We must be mad, crazy, or stupid… or all three! But unfortunately a lot of believers do it every day.

No wonder their lives are so confused, strife-filled and unfulfilling. This action reminds me of Cousin Sol’s words in our Bit: ‘Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit (eyes)? There is more hope of a fool than of him.’ 

Yes friends, when we are so conceited that we turn away from God’s affectionate touch, there is more hope for even a fool, than for us. And in chapter 29, Cousin Sol says the same thing though somewhat differently: ‘Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? There is more hope of a fool than of him.’ (Prov.29:20) 

And he reiterates his point in Ecclesiastes as the Preacher: ‘Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon the earth: therefore let thy words be few. For a dream cometh through the multitude of business (effort or activity); and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.’ (Eccl.5:2-3) 

Oh friends, I doubt there have been ever been more fools than in this present age! Why? Simply because of the rampant technology that allows us to connect so easily to each other, which unfortunately we are using to talk a whole lot of nonsense, drivel and petty stuff, instead of real and serious matters. 

We’ve become a low standards, low level society in all aspects. That new, but oh so foolish phenomenon called ‘Selfies’ are driving us even further into narcissism and ungodliness, because we’re so focused on ourselves, not on God and others.

Everybody’s walking around with their smart phone – except me- thank the Lord –  (smile) paying more attention to it than what’s happening around them. Sometimes I just have to shake my head and steups at how technology has invaded and taken over our lives. 

But here is the ultimate word on our foolish and selfish, conceited behaviour. This from Jesus two thousand years ago, as he spoke to his disciples about the differences between the praying publican (sinner) and the supposedly devout Pharisee.

‘The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 

And the publican (tax collector), standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon (beat) his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.’ (Luke 18:11-14) 

Oh my people, in these end times there are too many of us like the Pharisee and not like the publican. Please, let’s try and turn it around nuh, for our sake, as well as our children’s.

Remember the Lord doesn’t need anything from us, but we need a whole lot from Him, and we’ll only get it by being obedient to His word. Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our sincere and secure positions in Jesus. 

All together now…lets 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 will that future ever be more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…turning away from God…that’s the most foolish thing man can ever do…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 October 2018 Matthew 22:39.

Matthew 22:39.​    And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself.

Sorry that the Bit is so late mih breddren, but the circumstances were all out of my control. It started right after breakfast, about nine something, I didn’t even have time to get my after-breakfast nap when I was told to get ready, for a family member was coming to pick us up to go to his place where his wife was preparing goat head and goat belly soup especially for me. Hn! 

Glory be! How could I refuse that eh, when one of the major reasons I’m in J.A is to eat healthy local food to try and reinvigorate my old bod. And this is family I haven’t seen for about ten years? Then after downing a big bowl of goat head soup, they took me down to Doctor’s Cave beach, where I enjoyed a good swim in beautiful deep salt water, drank a Guinness, then was taken through the heart of Mo Bay at rush hour time. 

And if you think the big cities are bad, well downtown Mo Bay at rush hour is something else! What with the narrow street and narrow sidewalks, but numerous cars and people, all hustling in different directions at the same time. And the driving…Bubba! As crazy as ever, with people cutting in and out, taxis picking up and dropping off. It’s a good thing that the family member who was driving us through town was a tour bus driver himself, so he was familiar with it all and behaved just like them. 

I didn’t get back home to the hotel until minutes to six. I obviously had to rest some from all that exerting activity… Oh, I just heard that somebody was coming to pick us up to take us out again later. Brother! Don’t they know that I came here to rest and not gallivant all over the place? (smile) But that’s what happens when you have a lot of good and LOVING family around. Oh how I hope that most families could live more LOVING than they normally do. It would warm the cockles of the Lord’s heart so much and put such a broad smile on His face. 

But we going to get back to that just now, first let me apologize for forgetting to declare Thursday’s Blessings yesterday. I was too busy trying to get the Bit written before it was too late. Wonder if anybody noticed eh? And though we’re going to forego the workingman’s song this evening, we not going to leave out our Friday Chant though. 

So please chant along with me in enthusiastic manner and strong voice: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Now remember our Bit from yesterday, where the Pharisee lawyer was trying to trap Jesus by asking which was the greatest commandment, and Jesus’ replied: ‘Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.’ (Matt.22:37-38) But Jesus wasn’t done with the upstart Pharisee, He added His own addendum or corollary. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself.’ 

Yes friends, there are two basic requirements asked of believers in Jesus Christ: LOVE the Lord thy God, and LOVE thy neighbour as thyself! And once we do those two things, everything else will flow smoothly from them. Unfortunately though, we’re not doing either commandment as fully as we should. And even when we do, it’s mostly a halfhearted excuse for LOVING God and our neighbour. Plenty of us claim to LOVE God, but we treat our neighbours like garbage. 

And John strongly refutes that claim when he declares: ‘If a man say I LOVE God, and hateth his brother (neighbour), he is a liar: for he that LOVETH not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he LOVE God whom he hath not seen?’ (1 John 4:20) Good question that my fellow believers. How can we LOVE somebody we’ve never seen, but hate someone we’ve seen? That just doesn’t sound very logical. 

And John concludes that bit of scripture with these words that paraphrases Jesus’ two commandments. ‘And this commandment have we from him, That he who LOVETH God LOVE his brother also.’ (1 John 4:21) It couldn’t get any clearer than that nuh my people! So what I’d like to find out is why we aren’t LOVING both God and our brothers and neighbours so much more than we are currently doing? Hate seems to be the emotion that’s currently ruling the world, when LOVE should be the emotion that makes the world go around. 

And all I can do from my li’l corner is to cry out to us to try and change the situation as Jesus desires of us. Remember if we don’t do it, the evil doers won’t. They like the status quo. So please mih breddren, let’s get a move on nuh, and try to bring real LOVE into our lives, both towards our great God, who first LOVED us and gave His life for us, and also to our human brothers and sisters, our God’s greatest creation! That’s wisdom and obedience at the highest level! Much LOVE!

…when earthly LOVE is real and true…God smiles down from heaven…and bestows blessings untold…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 August 2013 Job 22:2

Job 22:2.    Can a man be profitable unto God, as he that is wise may be profitable unto himself?
 
Oh Friends, the weather forecasters predict another glorious day in the offing in my neck of the woods! But in truth, everyday on God’s beautiful and bountiful earth is a glorious one for all believers!
 
That’s because we have the LOVE of Jesus buried deep in our hearts. A LOVE made manifest by His sacrificial death on the cross at Calvary to pay our sin debt once and for all time.
 
And all God’s people gave a mighty joy-filled shout: ‘Praise the Lord and magnify the Holy Name of Jesus, for He was obedient to the Father’s will; obedient even unto death on the cross!’
 
Yes Friends, although Jesus was a part of the triune God-head, He humbled Himself and became a servant, not putting on the foolish airs and graces that so many of us like to put on to feel important, to impress our fellow man. Let’s sincerely hope and pray that we don’t fall into that pattern of pride and futility, otherwise, in the long run, we’ll be very sorry.
 
That brings us to our Bit: ‘Can a man be profitable unto God, as he that is wise may be profitable unto himself?’
 
That is Job’s supposed friend Eliphaz, getting ready to blast him with serious accusations of sin, that he believes ultimately caused Job’s downfall. And he continues into the next verse: ‘Is it any pleasure to the Almighty, that thou art righteous? Or is it gain to him, that thou makest thy ways perfect (blameless)?’ (Job 22:3)
 
Technically speaking Friends, the answer to Eliphaz’s questions are all NO. For though the Lord wants us to be upright, all our righteousness, wisdom and otherwise make absolutely no difference to God’s status or stature. All those things are provided for our benefit, not God’s.  He’s Jehovah Jireh, the Provider! He needs nothing from us to keep on being who He is.
 
Now listen to how Jesus puts it, when talking to the disciples about the duties of a servant. ‘But which of you, having a servant ploughing or feeding cattle (tending sheep), will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat (eat)? And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup (something for me to eat), and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink?
 
Doth he thank the servant because he did those things that were commanded him? I trow (think) not. So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded of you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.’ (Luke 17:7-10) 
 
Yes my brethren, a servant’s duty is to do his master’s bidding. And since Jesus is our Lord and Saviour, we ought to do as He commands, otherwise we’re not true followers of His.
 
And I like how the scholars explain those verses. ’17:7-10: Contrary to folk wisdom of the day (and now), Jesus is clear that human obedience to God does not put God in debt to man. Jesus here gives a succinct picture of the attitude that should underlie our service to God. Otherwise we’re mere hirelings. Contrast Jesus’ teaching with the reasoning in 18:12.’ 
 
Oh Friends, ours is to do the will of God, not to be proud and haughty as we see in chapter 18, where Jesus tells the parable of two men, a Pharisee and a publican praying in the temple.
 
‘The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican (tax collector). I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican (tax collector), standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon (beat) his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
 
I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for everyone that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.’ (Luke 18:10-14)  
 
And my people, we see that eternal truth in the last verse totally confirmed in the person of Jesus, as Bruh Paul so eloquently writes to the Philippians. ‘Let this mind be in you (constantly maintain this attitude), which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
 
And being found in the fashion  (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things (those) in heaven, and things (those) in earth, and things (those) under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil.2:5-11) 
 
Ah mih people, please let that be a lesson to us, to be humble, unto serving Almighty God, and not be carried away by the pomp, pride and prejudice of this foolish, evil, ungodly world. Because in due time, if we faint not, but remain steadfast and true, our heavenly Father will raise us up, just like He did Jesus, and exalt us much much more than our fellow earthlings are able to do.
 
As heirs with Christ, thus children of God, only the best will be laid out for us on that fateful day, when we see the Father face to face. That’s His promise to all faithful servants. And we know that He keeps ALL His promises. So take care, stand strong and tall in His name, but don’t let foolish pride drive us away from Him. That’s wisdom at its highest. Much LOVE!
 
…a man can only come to the Father through Jesus…and then he needs a humble and contrite heart to get an audience…