Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 January 2020 Ecclesiastes 12:13.

Ecclesiastes 12:13.    ​Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter; Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
 
Well who says that this life isn’t interesting eh? When I got up about half an hour ago, it only seemed to be a cold, dreary looking kind of day in my neck of the woods. However, on going back upstairs just now to make a cup of caffeine, I happened to look outside again, and boy was our friend, those beautiful looking white flakes ever coming down out there! Yeh! With a vengeance too! Just goes to show how quickly things and times can change – except for ONE all-important fact; the unchangeability, the unchanging nature of our great God, Jehovah! The steadfast and everlasting sameness of His sovereignty and faithfulness! 

And all of God’s children gave out with a loud and grateful shout of ‘Praise the Lord! Bless His holy name!  Praise Him for being the same yesterday, today and forever! Praise Him for being ever-faithful and constantly watching over us like a good shepherd does over his flock! We thank You Lord for giving us this day, and know that despite the difficulties we may face, you are always right there beside us, riding shotgun, through the flood, through the fire and through the storm, ably leading and guiding us! We give you thanks and praise in the most holy and revered name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Ah friends, our God is indeed a great and very interesting deity. It wasn’t my plan to get into that prayer above, but I guess He wanted to hear some sacrifice of praise from us this morning, so He led me there. (smile) And if that’s the case, then I had better do the other thing He seems to want me to do. What’s that you ask? Well yesterday when I opened the Good Book, it opened at this particular scripture, but I ignored it and looked elsewhere for our Bit. However, today, it’s opened at the very same scripture! 

Now would you call that coincidence…or luck…or some such worldly thing? Well it just might be, but I’m not taking the chance to ignore it for another day. I’m going to behave as if it’s a sign from the Almighty, that He wants us to delve into this particular Bit of scripture on this particular, cold and snowy day! Call me cowardly if you want. (smile) So here s that particular Bit of scripture…and it’s a powerful one too! Hold on to your hats and your horses, as Cousin Sol, writing as the Preacher -Ecclesiastes, gives us the benefit of his extensive research. 

‘Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter; Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.’ Yes friends and fellow believers, that is the wisest and most sensible course of action we can ever take in this life. And how did Cousin Sol come to that awesome and auspicious conclusion? Because with his time, money and wisdom, he had embarked on a thorough research project of seeking work, pleasure and all the other vices known to man and had found them to be all less than fulfilling. In his own words, it was all, nothing but vanity; futility. 

And what made him conclude thus? I suppose this certain fact he discovered: ‘For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.’ (Eccl.12:14) And that’s something most of us either don’t know, or forget or just casually ignore. But please listen to these immortal words of Bruh Paul to the Corinthians, re Jesus Christ being the only wise foundation to build on. 

‘Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble (straw); Every man’s work shall be made manifest (become evident): for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try (test) every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide (endures) which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by (through) fire.’ (1 Cor. 3:11-15) Oh my people, those are words of mighty importance to our lives. 

Listen to the scholars explain them. ‘3”13. The day is the day of the judgement seat of Christ (cf. 4:5; 2 Cor. 5:10). Fire is figurative for judgement, more specifically, the absolutely righteous judgement of God. Fire is used here to denote, not enlightening power, but consuming power. Of the six types of material mentioned, three are combustible and three are incombustible. See also Deut.4:24; Malachi 3:2; 2 Thess. 1:8; Heb. 12:29.’  That means our work for Christ has to be solid, not cheap and frivolous, built on gold, silver, or precious stones, not hay, wood and straw, which will be quickly consumed in the judgement day fire. 

‘3:14. Reward (lit. “wages,” cf. 3:8). Of course, even the “wages” mentioned here are entirely a gift of grace (cf. 1 Cor.9:17; 2 John 8; Rev. 11:18).’ Yeh friends, we can get many rewards in this life and the next, but ALL are based on the grace of God, not on our efforts. ‘3:14. Saved: Such a one does not suffer the loss of his salvation, but the loss of reward. The stress in this entire passage is not on a person’s relationship to Christ, but on service to Christ.’ Hope those explanations bring a greater understanding to Bruh Paul’s words. But it’s also important for us to check out the scriptures listed in the explanations of the scholars. You will be surprised how they can enlighten you on a particular topic. 

So having said all of that, we come back to Cousin Sol, who from all he’s seen and experienced, reasons thus: ‘Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely (fitting) for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun (in which he toils) all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion.’ (Eccl. 5:18). Ah my fellow believers, as the scholars explain: ‘5:18-20. Enjoyment is a gift of God, and man should be motivated by the brevity of his own life to experience it.’ 

No wonder Jesus said that He came so that we could have life and have it abundantly. (John 10:10) And He’s certainly given us the tools to do so; our Thursday Blessings. So let’s invoke them now in loud voice and sincere hearts nuh. ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And the same way those blessings were so generously bestowed on us, the same way we have to generously bestow them on others, not selfishly hoard them for ourselves. Much LOVE!

…working diligently for Jesus…doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy life…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 December 2019 Psalm 73:26.

Psalm 73:26.    ​My flesh and my heart faileth; but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.
 
Awright, so it’s the Monday after Christmas and the one before the New Year, and yuh feeling even more miserable, tired and sluggish than normal, what with all the fattening food and drink you recently guzzled and imbibed and the resultant lethargy it produced! (smile) Yeh friends, I know the feeling, there’s no celebration like Christmas, and seeing the wide variety of goodies available, can really make you gluttonous. I’ve already put on a couple pounds and the season not finished yet. 

And though we know we going to feel terrible come Monday morning when is time to go to work, we just can’t turn away from the pile of good looking and sweet tasting food and drink available. And now we paying the price; can hardly get up, and we complaining everlasting, as though somebody did we something. (smile) But that’s the style nowadays; blame everybody else for our mistakes. Anyway, doh worry, we have your problem covered, and by the time we finish, you’ll be so energetic and enthusiastic to go to work, you won’t even recognize yuhself. 

So join us in a moment of prayer, that most powerful tool on the face of God’s great earth. It’s something we call our Monday Morning Battle Hymn and it helps to dissolve all fears, doubts and anxieties; it cleanses all the ills that affect you on Mondays. So altogether now, in humility and sincerity. ‘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!’ 

Yes, I can see that the moods and attitudes are already improving. All glory to our great and wonderful God! And by the time you spin around and are ready to leave home, you’ll be so energized and enthusiastic, you’ll be ready to fight the most dangerous wild animal for Jesus’ sake! (smile) Yeh friends, that’s how mightily the Holy Spirit of God moves in us. That’s why we can proudly and confidently declare the reassuring words of the psalmist Asaph: ‘My flesh and my heart faileth; but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.’ 

Ah my brethren, even the godly psalmist Asaph, at one stage struggled to understand how the wicked could be so prosperous. That is: ‘Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end. Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction. How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! They are utterly consumed with terrors.’ (Ps.73:17-19)

In the sanctuary, he received a divine perspective on the situation. The Lord has set up the wicked to fail eventually. But Asaph did not realize that until then, and seeing the wicked prosper even throughout their entire lives, ‘it almost caused him to stumble spiritually and lose his faith.’ 

Thus he said, after understanding the situation: ‘So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee. Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden (held) me by my right hand. Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.’ (Ps. 73:22-24)

Oh my people, let’s not worry about the prosperity of the wicked nuh, for the Lord has promised to deal with them accordingly, and we know He keeps all of His promises. Let’s just be concerned with our own personal relationship with our heavenly Father, for when the day of judgement comes, He won’t be asking us questions about anybody else, His focus will be directed on us personally. 

That means we need to get it right asap. And in that respect, I like the question Asaph poses just before our Bit. ‘Whom have I in heaven but thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.’ (Ps.73:25) Now that ought to also be our stand if we truly mean the words of our Bit, because in truth, whom else do we have but our God-head eh? Nobody! 

So let’s end like Asaph did nuh: ‘For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee (are unfaithful). But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.’ (Ps.73:27-28) 

And all God’s people said a loud and proud: ‘Praise the Lord. Exalt His holy name, for He is worthy to be exalted!’ Much LOVE!

…the wise ones…live like if judgement day is today…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 November 2019 2 Corinthians 3:18.

2 Corinthians 3:18.    ​But we all, with open (unveiled) face beholding as in a glass (mirror) the glory of the Lord, are changed (being transformed) into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
 

Ah friends, you just don’t who or what to believe in these days of fake news nuh. I’m talking about the weather forecasters who promised a bright and sunshiny day yesterday, yet it drizzled with rain all day. And today, that was supposed to be rainy, seems like it might have some sunshine. Chuh! I guess that’s why weather forecasting is called an ‘in exact science.’ (smile) 

It’s a good thing though that we believers can sing confidently like Angie Stone: ‘My sunshine has come. There’s no more rain…’ Yes my believing brethren, our sunshine came two thousand years ago…and He ‘s still here, shining as bright as ever in our lives! Praise the Lord for Jesus Christ, who brightens up our lives, even when they seem to be in a terribly dark and cloudy place! 

And that’s the advantage we have over the ordinary workingman who’s complaining today. ‘Yes, I know I should declare ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday!’ But ah fed up with all the rainy weather, with the cold and damp and the consequent chill it causing in mih bones! Oh I know it coming on to winter and all that, but does it have to be so wet and dark and dreary so often? What happen to a li’l dryness and sunshine every so often nuh man? 

Brother! It just seems to suck the very life out of a body; going out and coming in in that constant dark, dismal and wet weather. And though it’s the weekend, and I’m glad to see it, the dirty weather just steals the real joy from it, because you still can’t go anywhere without getting wet from head to toe. Steups! So I guess I’ll just stay home then this weekend and watch the rain fall… But ah still thankful though for Fridays and weekends!’ 

No doubt many of us believers feel like the ordinary workingman, but thankfully we have Jesus Christ in our lives, and He mitigates the sad and downbeat effect dreary weather causes by His uplifting Word and Will for each and every one of His followers! Glory to God! That’s why we can chant our Friday Chant with such sincerity and 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!’ 

Oh my precious people of God, I don’t know what we’d do without Jesus nuh! What a wonderful day it was when He came into our lives! Glory Hallelujah! Yes friends, when Jesus died on the cross He tore down the veil that guarded the Holy of Holies, where only the high priest could enter once a year, bur now each of us has the marvellous opportunity to come before the throne of grace personally when we accept Jesus. 

As Bruh Paul wrote to the Corinthians: ‘But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart. Nevertheless, when it (one) shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open (unveiled) face beholding as in a glass (mirror) the glory of the Lord, are changed (being transformed) into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.’ (2 Cor. 3:15-18) 

And what does all of that mean eh? Listen to the scholars. ‘3:15. Veil is upon their heart: Unfortunately, as far as the Jews are concerned, Christ is still a stumbling block they cannot see (cf. 1 Cor. 1:23). For the apostle this is no light matter and a concern that caused him great anxiety (cf. Rom. 9:1-4). But now the veil is not so much on the revelation of the glory as on their own hearts. (cf. Luke 24:25; Acts 13:27-29).’ The glory of Christ has eventually been revealed my people, we have been set free from the bondage of sin! But the onus of receiving that liberty is now on us; as individuals, as supposed believers, we now have to accept and keep Jesus treasured in our own hearts, minds, bodies and soul! 

And per 3:18, the scholars say: ‘Beholding as in a glass: The term ‘beholding’ can have the sense of “reflecting.” The believer himself ‘reflects” the glory of the Lord just as the face of Moses reflected the face of the Lord. For Moses the glory eventually faded away, but under the New Covenant the believer is changed into the same image. This transformation takes place by the abiding presence of the Spirit of God.’ 

What wonderful news my brethren! The Lord’s plan is to have ALL of His children transformed into the glorious image of His Son, Jesus Christ! And when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, His Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us and is responsible for transforming our lives, making us new creations! 

But please, let’s remember that this transformation doesn’t take place over night, it’s a lifelong process, and the onus is on us to follow the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit, for He will not force us to do anything. That means we have to continually read the Word and listen carefully, so we can understand what the Holy Spirit is saying to us, and be obedient to Him, if we truly want to come up higher…be changed from glory…to glory… to glory… Much LOVE!

…know the truth…the Word of God…and the truth…shall set you free…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 November 2019 Psalm 81:9.

Psalm 81:9.    ​There shall no strange (foreign) god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange god.

Welcome to another wonderful day on God’s great earth my people! And I won’t be presumptuous and pass judgement on the kind of weather we’re going to have today, although it is dark and cloudy. (smile) Why you ask? Because I did that yesterday and much to my surprise the ugly duckling at the beginning had turned into a beautiful princess by early afternoon, with bright sunshine and temps up to 8 degrees Celsius! (smile)

And if the weather forecasters are right, today is supposed to follow in the same footsteps. So instead of bad-mouthing the day, let’s look forward to another glorious one, with a good attitude, in which we do God’s will and work in an excellent and diligent manner. 

And all God’s children said, ‘Praise the Lord!’ And speaking of praise, last night while reading the Daily Bread Devotional, I learned that the Israelites had a psalm appointed to be sung on each day of the week, and Thursday’s was Psalm 81, a psalm of Asaph, so I decided we should check it out and sing it today.

So here we go: ‘Sing aloud unto God our strength; make a joyful noise (shout) unto the God of Jacob. Take a psalm (raise a song), and bring hither (strike) the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery (lyre). Blow up the trumpet in (at the time of) the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day. For this was the statute for Israel, and a law of the God of Jacob.’ (Ps. 81:1-4) 

And according to the scholars: ‘Psalm 81. The background of the psalm appears to be the Feast of Tabernacles (Lev. 23:34-44) which reminded the people of God’s law and also constituted the feast of ingathering (Ex. 23:16).’ So the people had constant reminders of God’s law and His overwhelming goodness to their forefathers! 

Ah friends, if we could only begin each day with songs of praise and worship to Almighty God, how wonderful that would be! But most of us just get up and go our way, without even a thought of giving thanks for seeing another day, possibly so overwhelmed by the troubles facing us, that that’s all we can think about. But if we would do like Jesus says and bring all our burdens to Him, we’d find rest and peace for our weary souls. (Matt. 11:28-30) 

Now hear this part of the psalm that the Lord kept pounding in the Israelites’ ears, and is still pounding in our own to this day: ‘There shall no strange (foreign) god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange god. I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.’ (Ps. 81:9-10) Yes people, that’s the First Commandment of the ten that the Lord gave to Moses for the Israelites to live by, and consequently all later believers. (Ex. 20:3) 

I don’t know what’s so hard to understand in that nuh: No other God is supposed to rival the One True God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! But Israel only listened when it was convenient to them, when they found themselves between a rock and a hard place because of their obstinate and willful disobedience. And sadly, we’re doing the same thing today; we’re trying to push God out of our society, a society that became prosperous and powerful because of His goodness and mercy. Steups! How foolish can we get eh? 

No wonder the Lord commented: ‘But my people would not hearken (heed, listen to) my voice; and Israel would (have) none of me. So I gave them up unto their own hearts’ lust (stubbornness), and they walked in their own counsels.’ (Ps. 81:11-12) And yuh see what happened to Israel when they walked in their own counsel…sufferation everlasting! And it’s the same so and so thing that’s happening to us today because we refuse to walk in God’s will! Look at the strife torn world we’re currently living in nuh! 

Look at the great amount of poverty, sickness, joblessness and homelessness in the midst of so much plenty! No generation has ever been as prosperous and powerful as ours, but we’re letting it go down the drain because of our greed, foolish pride and refusal to worship the One True God; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; the One who gives us power to get wealth! (Deut. 8:18) Yes friends, it’s not our own strength or wisdom that causes us to prosper in this evil world, and until we come to our senses and remember that, our world will continue to fall apart and go right down to hell in a handbasket! 

And as Bruh Paul later put it to the church at Rome: ‘And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate (debased) mind, to do those things which are not convenient (fitting); Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate (strife), deceit, malignity (evil-mindedness); whisperers…’ (Rom. 1:28-29)

And that’s not the whole list. But seriously my brethren, if we take a look around us that’s what our world has become; one of pure evil and ungodliness, and if we continue down that path, all we’ll eventually reap is death and destruction, because that is what God has promised to those who don’t follow His will. 

But the wonderful thing about our God is that He never gives up on us. Hear how He agonized over the Israelites, and still agonizes over us. ‘Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways! I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries.’ (Ps. 81:13-14) So let’s remember that while there is life, there’s always hope. Consequently, for those of us who seriously believe and are concerned about the state of our world, let’s use these tools, what we call our Thursday Blessings, that God has so generously granted us, to right our fallen world nuh. 

So let’s declare them now with loud voice and strong conviction, for they are only invoked when we speak them aloud. Altogether: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Yes mih faithful breddren, now it’s time to go out and generously share them with the unfortunate and unwise, as Jesus so dearly desires! Much LOVE!

…history speaks for itself…the haters of God were destroyed…and will continue to be destroyed…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 October 2019 Proverbs 16:32.

Proverbs 16:32.   ​He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.

 

Yeah, it’s Friday! And though the sun is struggling to get out from under the cloud cover, there is joy in the land, simply because it’s Friday and the workweek is ending! Thus, there are many ‘Praise the Lord’s!’ both sincere and insincere, (smile) ringing out from all parts of the world. And there’s none louder than that of the ordinary workingman, who never shies away from expressing his true feelings. 

And today, he shouts: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! What a week it’s been! I ate and drank and partied so much this past Thanksgiving weekend, that I was truly sick come Tuesday and couldn’t go to the slave master’s work. Obviously he tried to give me a hard time when I showed up on Wednesday, but I just ignored him, because I have my sick time rights and this one was certainly legitimate. He feels that nobody should ever book off sick, because he loses money when they do. 

But when he books off sick is okay though, because he’s the boss… Chuh! Just forget the li’l greedy man yes! And yuh better believe this weekend is going to be strictly rest! I like mih food and drinks, but not to the extent that I want them to get me sick. I surely hope I learn mih lesson this time yes. Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

Ah friends, yuh see what happen when we overdo it? Unwanted consequences usually come back to haunt us. As Uncle Charles (Dr. Charles Stanley) likes to say: ‘You reap what you sow; more than you sow, and later than you sow.’ And that’s the gospel truth! It holds in all situations in life! So let’s turn now to our Friday Chant nuh, which isn’t as verbose and in your face as the workingman’s song, but does do the trick for us believers. 

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

Yes, we do need to be careful how we operate, because the enemy, like the roaring, toothless lion that he is, is always lurking around seeking ways to get into our lives and create havoc. And I have a very good testimony on that point to share. This morning as I was getting ready to write the Bit, my trusty desktop computer began playing the fool. It just would not access the Internet after booting up. 

And as the Lord would have it, I opened the Good Book and began flipping pages and just happened to stop in Proverbs 16…no I don’t think that just happened nuh, because the Word that I read plainly said: ‘He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.’  

That was certainly more than mere coincidence, because every time I turned my computer off and on, and got no progress, I could feel the anger rising up in me and I wanted to give it a few good thumps. But with that scripture staring me straight in the face, and knowing that the Lord, or the enemy was testing my resolve, I managed to not thump it, and it did behave properly after the fifth or sixth time of turning it on and off. 

I believe the Lord saved me though, because I’m pretty sure that I would have thumped it if I had had to go through the annoying rigmarole one more time. (smile) So I passed the test…but just barely. And that’s the way this earthly life is my faithful brethren. Life just likes to test us, to muddy our waters and see how we react. 

Sometimes it’s the Lord, other times it’s the enemy. But whoever or whatever causes us to find ourselves between a rock and hard place, we need to be able to bring up scripture written indelibly in our souls, bodies and minds, to help us handle them in a godly and sensible manner. And today we just going to check out a few of those scriptures that we need to have as our bedrock, our fortification against unnecessary anger. 

Hear Cousin Sol earlier on: ‘He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit (impulsive) exalteth folly.’ (Prov.14:29) And that’s certainly no lie, as many of us have found out over the years. And just recently we featured these immortal verses from Bruh Paul to the Ephesians. 

‘Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’ (Eph.4:31-32) Words of eternal wisdom my brethren! 

Meanwhile James adds his two-cents worth thus: ‘Wherefore my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not (does not produce) the righteousness of God.’ (James 1:19-20) And if you’re a true believer, you ought to know that. But listen to the scholars’ explanation anyway. 

‘1:19. This is a key verse because it expresses three topics that James develops later: hearing, verses 19-27; speaking, 3:1-12; and wrath, 4:1-12.’ ‘1:20. Trials require silence and patience because talk inflames anger, and anger inflames talk. Anger also distracts from listening to God.’ I hope we all hear that friends: anger distracts us from listening to God, and when we don’t listen to God, we go astray and end up suffering severe consequences. 

And here are some final words on the subject from Cousin Sol once again. ‘The discretion of a man deferreth his anger (makes him slow to anger); and it is his glory to pass over (overlook) a transgression.’ (Prov.19:11) Awright mih people, there’s the ammunition to fight the battle against anger, let’s go out and put it to good use now nuh! It’s Jesus’ desire for all His followers. Much LOVE!

…be ye angry…and sin not…let not the sun…go down upon your wrath… (Eph.4:26)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 September 2019 Ephesians 5:19.

Ephesians 5:19.    ​Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.
 

Well, well, well, if it isn’t that wonderful day called Sunday! The one where we ought to visit the Lord’s sanctuary to give Him thanks and praise and fellowship with other believers, hear His holy Word and receive strength to face another daunting week in this evil and ungodly world. Unfortunately though the ole fella is unable to do that since he’s way out in the wilds of northern South Africa, with no TV or internet. But the Lord knows his heart and will hear whatever prayers I send up to him this day. (smile) 

So, obviously without access to the net, I can’t get words for a song, therefore we’ll just have to sing our own individual songs. (smile) As Bruh Paul says: ‘Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.’  And as James declares: ‘Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray. Is any merry (cheerful)? Let him sing psalms.’ (James 5:13) So since we’re all merry, let’s sing psalms nuh…and we don’t need any internet to do that. (smile) So let’s sing this rather appropriate psalm # 150 – Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. 

In strong voice and sweet harmony: ‘Praise ye the Lord (sing Hallelujah). Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power (his mighty firmament). Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet (cornet): praise him with the psaltery (lute or lyre) and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high-sounding cymbals. Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord (sing Hallelujah!)’ 

Yeh friends, anything, or anybody who draws breath in this crazy world ought to give the Lord God Almighty much thanks and praise just for that fact alone, because it is through His omnipotence and generosity that we are even able to draw breath, much less enjoy all the other benefits! Anyway, my Sunday began with a 5.a.m. wake-up call from our guide Fortune, so we could get to the Lodge for coffee and take off on the morning game drive by five thirty. 

Well there we were heading out in the dark at five thirty in the crisp morning air, hoping to see at least one of the big five we had not yet seen. And the big five are: elephants, rhinos, lions, leopards and hippos. So far we’d seen the first two, but no trace of any of the other three. And believe me, driving out in that Land Cruiser in the darkness, especially as Fortune drives, is something else, because he slashes through and over the thickets with gay abandon. I learned early on, in my co-pilot seat, to keep my hands inside and move towards him when he began slashing through the brambles and numerous thorn trees. (smile) 

Unfortunately, we rode around the rough trails for a while without seeing anything besides some smaller animals, like guinea hens and impalas, or what they call McDonalds, because they have a big black, capital ‘M’ stenciled on their rear ends, that resembles the McDonald’s sign. (smile) What we did see however, was the spectacular rising of the early morning sun, coming up blood red above the eastern horizon, while the big, full moon still stood fairly high in the western sky! And as the Almighty God who made them so wisely planned it, the former eventually rose higher and commanded the day, while the latter decreased in stature and soon disappeared altogether. 

Sometime during that game drive though, the word came out that some lions had been seen, and we journeyed to the spot, joining two other groups of people. Now check out this scene. It’s my favourite of the whole trip. The male lion is lying quietly in the shade, barely discernible because his coat is so much like the brown, dry grass, while the female who seems to be in heat (it’s mating season) prances by him, goes off a li’l way, then lies down. Soon the king of beasts comes, mounts her from the rear, does his thing…and it’s all over in like five seconds. Then he casually strolls off and lies down below a shade tree, while the female moves off a short distance. 

It’s said that they have to copulate every twenty minutes, but I don’t think the lady waited that long, then she came back to the gentleman lying quietly below the tree, pranced around him, rubbed her rear end on him, and made all kinds of entreaties. But the ole boy was having none of it. He just lay their stoically, head held high in the air, till the lady got tired of not so subtlety making her intentions known and walked away to lie down on an incline where he could see her, and prostrate herself in all her glory. And I had to laugh, because a couple of minutes later, the ole boy just put down his head and apparently went to sleep, completely ignoring the lady. 

This just goes to prove the falsehood of the oh so prevalent and prevailing theory that a man never refuses a woman, that he will undoubtedly fall for all of her sensuous wiles and tricks! Let that be a lesson to you women! (smile) Man is not always as foolish and gullible as he seems! We left the scene shortly after the ole fellow put down his head, indicating that no further action was going to happen for a while, and eventually got back home around minutes to nine, had breakfast then went to sleep. We even told them not to prepare lunch because we were all so tired and filled with food. We’d come for high tea at four, before going out for another drive at four thirty. 

Unfortunately, we didn’t see much on that drive besides what we’d already seen. We went driving along the river, over and through the brambles and thickets, with Fortune’s dexterity, looking for hippos or leopards, but failed to see any. Then it was back to the lodge in time for supper. Oh, can you imagine I fell asleep on the way home driving through those rough roads with all the noise, with Fortune driving one handed while shining his spotlight from side to side with the other. I was surely surprised by that. Just goes to show how tired the ole fella was. Tomorrow’s another day though! Much LOVE!

…giving thanks and praise…for simply drawing breath…should be a top priority…..

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 September 2019 1 Timothy 2:3.

1 Timothy 2:3.    ​Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
 

Sunday’s here again friends! Glory be! It’s the day we cease from our normal labour and instead visit the Lord’s sanctuary and have fellowship with other believers! Yes mih people, it’s time for us to sing and dance and praise the Lord and give Him sincere thanks for the many blessings He’s so magnanimously bestowed on us! Wow! What a wonderful God He is! There’s none other like Him! That’s for certain sure!

That’s why we need to show our true LOVE and sincere gratitude by coming together as the body of Christ, His church, at least once a week! And not only do we offer up praise and thanksgiving, but we are renewed and refreshed in return, through hearing His Word and the encouragement of and communion with our fellow believers, so that we can go out and do His work with vim and vigour this upcoming week.

Now let’s get the show on the road by opening, as always, with a song of praise and worship. And today’s number is certainly an old but still very popular number titled ‘Onward Christian Soldiers.’ And I hear the excited sigh that rises from our throats as the song registers, because it is one we all LOVE to sing! So let’s sing it nuh, with plenty emotion, strong voice and the sweetest of harmonies!

All together now: ‘Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before! Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe; Forward into battle, see his banner go! (Refrain: Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before!) At the sign of triumph Satan’s host doth flee; On, then, Christian soldiers, on to victory! Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise; Brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise! [Refrain]

Like a mighty army moves the church of God; Brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod; We are not divided; all one body we, One in hope and doctrine, one in charity. [Refrain] Onward, then, ye people, join our happy throng, Blend with ours your voices in the triumph song; Glory, laud, and honor, unto Christ the King; This thro’ countless ages men and angels sing. [Refrain 2]’

Oh friends, oh friends, what a powerful and emotionally touching rendition! Heaven could see that we truly believed what we were singing, felt it right down in the very depths of our souls! That’s what some of these old English hymns do to us. Now it’s reputed that the words to that song were written by Sabine Baring-Gould in 1865, while the music was composed by Arthur Sullivan in 1871. And has it ever stood the test to time! Becoming the Salvation Army’s favoured processional hymn along the way.

Apparently ‘it was written to encourage Christians in their ongoing battles with temptations within themselves and the evil forces of the world.’ And it takes its theme from New Testament references of Christians being soldiers for Christ. One example of that is our Bit, Bruh Paul’s famous words to his young protégé Timothy. ‘Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.’ (2 Tim.2:3-4)

Yeh friends as Christians we do need to stand up strong under whatever trials and tribulation comes against us, like a good soldier does. Consequently, that soldier doesn’t get involved with the unnecessary affairs of life, so that he can give his all, his total allegiance and attention to the business of the one who’s chosen him to be a soldier. That means, since Christ has chosen us to be His followers, then we too must endure the tribulation that will certainly come against us, as Christ promised in John 16:33, and neither get involved in the affairs of this world because we are not of it, as He says in John 17:16.

And the analogy of Christians being soldiers in Christ’s army is rather apt, since we are constantly fighting battles of temptation and deceit against Satan and his evil minions. However it’s not a physical battle, although many believers are fighting physical battles in many places in our strife-filled world, but it’s a spiritual battle that most believers face day by day. As Bruh Paul says to the Corinthians: ‘For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after (according to) the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (of the flesh), but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;) Casting down imaginations (arguments), and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought captive to the obedience of Christ;’ (2 Cor.10:3-5)

And the scholars offer these explanations of those verses. ‘10:3-5. Though we walk (live) in the flesh (in a body), we do not war (fight) after (according to) the flesh (human standards. The first phrase of verse 5 looks back to verse 3 and expresses the manner in which believers conduct spiritual warfare. It is by casting down (destroying) imaginations (false arguments), such as Paul’s opponents have raised.’

That also means refuting all the lies and deceit and the temptations the enemy constantly throws at us. And we do that by taking all those wrong thoughts captive and making them conform to Christ’s Word. Remember, our minds are where the serious spiritual battles take place, so we obviously must have our thoughts conform to Christ’s Word to be victorious. And as I was reading the words of the hymn just now, one verse struck me as being somewhat untrue in these evil, divisive times. ‘Like a mighty army moves the church of God;…We are not divided; all one body we, One in hope and doctrine, one in charity.’

I just have to shake my head and sadly chuckle because God’s church is certainly not moving in these ungodly days like a mighty army, more like a stagnant, sluggish, complacent, uninterested band of layabouts. And as to being one body with one hope and one doctrine…What a joke! Christ’s church has never been more divided and fractured and going different ways than now!

But friends, let’s remember that where there’s life there’s also hope, so it’s not too late. If we’re serious about rectifying the ills in the church we still can, if we come together, instead of moving further apart. It will take a lot of hard work and effort, putting our selfish, petty desires aside, and showing the true character of Christ. I know it sounds impossible, but remember too, that ALL things are possible with Christ! Much LOVE!

…to be true soldiers of Christ…Christians must stop seeking and seeing life…the way the world sees it…

 

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