Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 October 2018 2 Timothy 2:3.

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

 

So where are all roads leading this Sunday morning eh friends: to church or not to church? I sure hope that the road to the Lord’s sanctuary will indeed be the one more travelled by His children.

That’s because we need to refuel our souls and spirits on a weekly basis, and there’s no better place to do so than in God’s house with other believers; singing and praising, worshipping and receiving His tender mercies, forgiveness, assurance and confidence to keep on keeping on in His name. 

And as always, before we receive the Lord’s Word, we like to engage in some praise and worship, to soften our hearts and make them more receptive to the Holy Scripture. And today’s song of praise is one written way back in 1865 by Sabine Baring-Gould.

However it never became popular until 1871 when Arthur Sullivan composed some music he called “St. Gertrude,” after the wife of his Friend Ernest Clay Ker Seymer, at whose country home he composed the tune. In time, the Salvation Army adopted the hymn as its favoured processional.’ 

But it was never clear sailing for ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’ because some religious people considered it too militant and militaristic.  But as all good tunes do, it has weathered the storms of controversy, and is now one of our favourite processional hymns.

So let’s blast it out now nuh, in full voice and sincere hearts. Let out song rise to heaven so mightily and sincerely that it will have them up there marching and singing with us.

‘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, onto 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 honour, unto Christ the King; This thro’ countless ages men and angels sing. (Refrain: Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before… (Repeat).’ 

Yeh friends, what better way to describe Christ’s followers than as a victorious army marching forward, subduing all the evil world before it! Unfortunately though, I don’t think Jesus would look at His church right now as a conquering army, but more like a divided, lazy, compromising, bunch of misfits, for all the progress we’re making. 

On our current watch, more people seem to be turning away from God than are turning to Him. So how does that make us victorious eh? Hell’s foundations aren’t quivering, neither is Satan’s host fleeing because our efforts on Christ’s behalf are not powerful or compelling enough to do either. 

My heart hurts when I sing the line, ‘We are not divided; all one body we, One in hope and doctrine, one in charity.’ That’s just not true, because the church of Christ is more divided than it’s ever been, and mostly over petty stuff, that’s why the evil one and his evil minions are having such a heyday in today’s world. 

The theme of the song is apparently based on Bruh Paul’s encouragement to Timothy regarding the Christian being a soldier for Christ. ‘Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.’ 

And remember my fellow believers, it’s not a physical but spiritual war we’re fighting. Thus Bruh Paul continues to Timothy: ‘No man that warreth entangles himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.’ (2 Tim.2:4) 

And Jesus is the one who has chosen us to lead His LOVE Revolution in these combative and perilous times, so we ought to be about His business more seriously and diligently than we are. I guess what we need is a refresher course in what it takes to be a true soldier in Christ’s army.

Hear Bruh Paul spell it out to the Ephesians, and consequently to us. ‘Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. (Let yourselves be constantly strengthened by His mighty power.)  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes) of the devil. 

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world (age), against spiritual (hosts of) wickedness (wicked spiritual beings) in high places. Wherefore take unto you (take up) the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’ (Eph.6:10-13) 

Yes mih people, the first rule in being a good soldier is to put on protection, in this case God’s armour. And what’s that? ‘Stand therefore, having your loins girt (girded) about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked (one). And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:’ (Eph.6:14-17) 

Yuh see friends, just like a soldier has armour, protection to fight a physical war, we believers in Christ’s spiritual army also have protective armour; truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation and God’s word.

But you know that still isn’t enough, Bruh Paul then concludes: ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:18) That’s right my brethren, with all that armour, prayer is still a necessity for us to win the fight, and prayer for all of God’s children too. 

So now that we’ve had that refresher course in spiritual soldiering, (smile) let’s buckle down and do better nuh. Look at all Christ has done for us, can’t we just stand up strong for Him? Aw shucks friends, we ought to be ashamed of ourselves with the miserly effort we’re putting forth on His behalf! Much LOVE!

…the word of God is quick (living)…sharper than any two edged sword…piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 June 2016 Psalm 68:3

Psalm 68:3.   But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice.

Oh friends, oh friends, the ole fella’s just gushing with excitement this morning because a new and glorious day has been born, which means that we have another day ahead of us to give much thanks and praise to our wonderful Creator! 

So let’s begin the praise and thanksgiving by singing this awesome song nuh. As one harmonious choir now: ‘From all who dwell below the skies, Let the Creator’s praise arise. Alleluia! Alleluia! Let the Redeemer’s name be sung, Through every land, in every tongue! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! 

In every land begin the song, To every land the strains belong. Alleluia! Alleluia! In cheerful sound let voices raise, To fill the earth with joyful praise; Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! 

Eternal are your mercies Lord! Eternal truth attends your word! Alleluia! Alleluia! Your praise shall sound from shore to shore! ‘Till suns shall rise and set no more! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!’ 

Yes my faithful brethren, the sounds of our thanks and praise ought to be raised to high heaven as often as possible because our God is such a wonderful Deity! And besides that, He just LOVES to hear us praising and adoring Him! It warms the cockles of His heavenly heart! (smile) 

And to prove His awesomeness, let’s now declare our Thursday Blessings with much vim and vigour, sincerity and sense of purpose. No other faith can do this, like we can. 

‘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 my people, a blessing is not a blessing until it’s been spoken, so we need to remember to continually bless our friends and families, so that they can enjoy the goodness and LOVING-kindness of our merciful and oh so gracious God! 

And all of that jives so nicely with our Bit taken from Psalm 68 – God has gone before His people. ‘But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice.’ 

Oh my faithful followers of Jesus Christ, that directive of Bruh David is one we should all heed with joyful hearts! For where is there another Deity like ours eh? There is NONE whatsoever my brethren! 

And as we keep saying Christians should be the happiest people on planet earth because we have such a wonderful faith, such a wonderful Lord and Saviour, and we serve such a magnificent and magnanimous God! 

Oh, I know that our circumstances don’t always allow us, or encourage us to give such thanks and praise, but the whole point of the matter is that when we do, we feel better inside, our spirits are lifted and we can handle our situations better, because we are in the very presence of our God, who likes nothing better than hearing us glorifying Him in song. 

Now hear how Bruh David continues after our Bit. ‘Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol (praise) him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him. A father of the fatherless, and a judge (defender) of the widows, is God in his holy habitation. 

God setteth the solitary (lonely) in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains (causes them to prosper): but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.’ (Ps.68:4-6) 

Oh friends, right there is sufficient cause to praise God’s holy name! And that doesn’t even include all the other stuff He has done, is doing and will do for us! 

Now let’s check out a couple more instances where praise and thanks are offered up to heaven. Listen to this excerpt from the song of Deborah and Barak when the Israelites overcame their superior enemies. 

‘Praise ye the Lord for the avenging of Israel, when the people willingly offered themselves (volunteered). Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes; I, even I, will sing unto the Lord; I will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel.’ (Judg. 5:2-3) 

And we’ll end with this exhortation from Psalm 97 – The Lord is far above all gods. ‘Ye that LOVE the Lord, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked. Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. 

Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness (for the memory of his holy name).’ (Ps.97:10-12) 

Oh my brethren, I do hope that today, as we go about the Lord’s business, that thanks and praise will continually be in our thoughts and mouths and reverberate in our souls and bodies, all to the glory of our magnificent and majestic God! Much LOVE!

…a Christian who isn’t joyful…is surely lacking in faith…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 April 2016 James 1:25

James 1:25.    But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (in what he does).

Oh my fellow believers in Christ, it’s Sunday! Glory Hallelujah! What a joy it is to be able to get up and go out to church and worship with other believers! 

How awesome it is to get together and praise and celebrate the goodness and LOVING-kindness of our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Receiving in return His unbeatable strength, unsurpassed wisdom, unconditional LOVE, ever-faithful care and heart-felt compassion! Glory Be! 

Oh friends, how I wish the majority of us would feel like that on Sunday mornings. Hn! The sad reality though is that too many of us force ourselves to get up and go to church because it’s expected of us; just like work on a Monday morning. There’s no joy in our spirits like if we were going to a party. 

But friends, it is a party we’re going to! Isn’t there singing and dancing, and praising and giving thanks? There surely is! It’s not just a mournful, dirge-like experience that we’re forced to live through. So why, for so many of us, going to church is like pulling teeth eh? 

We ought to be happy and joyous, celebrating the occasion to be able to get together freely in public to glorify our Creator. Many of our fellow believers around the world don’t have that privilege. They have to hide and meet in secret, in out of the way places to have church. And in many places they are persecuted for simply believing in Jesus! That means we have the best of all worlds, but simply don’t appreciate it. 

Anyway, enough of my ranting, (smile) listen to this excerpt from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. As soon as I read it, I knew that it would be most appropriate for this glorious Sunday morning. 

It’s titled ‘The Secret,’ and it says: ‘I couldn’t help but watch her As we sat in the service together Last Sunday morning… Her white hair so neatly coiffured Her hands resting on her open Bible Her smile so beautifully tranquil. When the hymn was announced She sang with a glowing smile. Occasionally during the message She nodded her head in assent. 

(O Lord, what peace she portrays.) After the service I spoke to her: “You are an inspiration, my dear. I hope I may sit with you again.” She thanked me profusely. Then she added with shining joy “Isn’t it wonderful to know Jesus? I mean – really KNOW Him!” In that instant, dear God I knew the secret of her radiance.’ 

Oh precious people of Jesus, that is how we ought to be, and can be if we’d only invest some more time and energy in truly getting to KNOW our amazing, magnificent and magnanimous God! And we can only do that by seriously reading His Word, sincerely talking to Him in prayer and joyfully fellowshipping with other believers. 

And by the way, the promise attached to that poem is ‘Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.’ (Phil. 3:8 NL.V) 

Oh what indisputable truth that is my brethren! There is nothing that’s worth more in this mish-mash world than truly KNOWING Jesus! For He is indeed the Be All and the End All of our world; the First and the Last; the Alpha and Omega! Oh praise His Holy Name my people!  

That brings us to our Bit: ‘But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (in what he does).’ More truth of enormous proportions my brethren! 

And we’ll continue looking at the references that the scholars gave re ‘the perfect law of liberty.’ We saw what Jesus had to say about His coming to fulfill the law not destroy it. (Matt.5:17) Now listen to Bruh Paul, as he talks about zeal but no righteousness. 

‘Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record (witness) that they have a zeal of (for) God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.’ (Acts 10:1-4) 

And the scholars explain that last verse thus: ‘10:4. Christ is the end of the law: Israel mistook the purpose of the law. The law pointed to the righteousness that is attainable only by belief in Christ. Israel also mistook the scope of the law. The righteousness to which it pointed was universally available to all who responded to God’s revelation of Himself through the law. 

But by Paul’s time many had substituted works for faith. Rather than seeking redemption in God’s mercy, they pinned their hopes on their own religious achievement.’ 

And unfortunately many of us are doing the same thing today my people. We are concentrating too much on our religious works and achievements, and not enough on the righteousness that is necessary, and can be attained from a sincere and purposeful union with Christ. 

Ah friends, many of us are being led astray by the religiosity of the church; the concentration on man-made rules and regulations, the many do’s and don’ts that have become institutionalized down through the ages. It’s time for us to be free from the bondage of traditional church law and return to what is truly important, the spiritual acumen that Jesus died for us to have; the true inner faithfulness and righteousness, not merely the outward show to look good in public. 

Now I hope that this message makes sense, but as I always say, we Christians are bright enough to pick sense from nonsense. (smile) And if the message does nothing else, I hope that it puts a joy in our hearts, minds, bodies and spirits to get up and go to church this Sunday morning, for that is indeed the wisdom of the ages my fellow believers! Much LOVE!

…oh the true joy of really knowing Jesus…nothing to it can compare…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 July 2015 Zechariah 9:17

Zechariah 9:17.   For how great is his goodness, and how great is his beauty! corn (grain) shall make the young men cheerful (thrive), and new wine the maids.

Aye Friends, it’s the big day, Sunday! Yeh, the day when we come together to sing and dance before the Lord, like Bruh David did when he brought the Ark of the Covenant home to Jerusalem. (2 Sam.6:14-15)

Yes Friends, it’s the day that Christians all over the world gather to fellowship, to celebrate the life and good news of Christ, whether it be in a palatial cathedral, a medium sized sanctuary, mud huts or tin shanties.

The physical structure is not all that important, though it’s certainly nice to worship Jehovah God in beautiful surroundings, for Jesus said that ‘where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.’ (Matt.18:20)

So please, let’s all make a serious and sincere effort to get out today and worship with other believers, because there are things we definitely receive when we fellowship as Christ’s body, that we don’t really get when we worship alone. I’m talking about things like joyful communion and communication, overall encouragement, strength and guidance between believers. The singing and praising of many voices also inspires us to greater faith.

So as I said earlier, it is imperative that we get out each Sunday to sing and dance, praise and worship our Creator and constant Provider.  Please, no flimsy excuses will be accepted.

Anyway my people, lately I’ve been pondering, ruminating on the wonderful attributes of our most venerable God. And you know there are no words to truly describe Him, or describe Him fully, but these give us some idea of His majesty and magnificence.

We talk about His great and unconditional LOVE, His kindness, goodness, grace and compassion. Then there is His merciful and understanding ways, plus His everlasting wisdom and tender heart full of forgiveness. And we can’t forget His holiness, justice and truth, as well as His utter faithfulness.

Wow! Is that a God or a God my people! That’s why I can’t understand why so many people are turning away from Him, abusing His holy name and casting serious doubts and aspersions on His character. No other supposed deity has the endearing characteristics that our God possesses. Plus we’ve seen His magnificent works from way back when to the present time, and furthermore He is a living and breathing God, which cannot be said of any other deity.  

So why the big fuss and rush to get Him out of our society and our lives eh? I guess because Lucifer’s minions are afraid that if His followers are left to worship Him in peace, their evil deeds, thoughts and plans will all come to naught. And that’s more than just a plausible assumption, it’s a guaranteed promise. So they figure to take in front before in front takes them. (smile)  

But my people we are not going to allow the evil folks and spirits of this world to take over God’s great earth are we? Definitely not! That’s why as Christ’s body we have to dwell in harmony and unity, all for the greater good. The selfish and petty disagreements that mostly separate us have to be acknowledged and cast aside once and for all time, if we want to wage a successful war against the infidel.

They are using the long time tactic of divide and conquer to successfully keep us fighting each other instead of them, and we have to wake up and smell the roses, the coffee or whatever is necessary to stop the internal feuding of Christ’s people. And I’m chuckling, because I don’t know how I got to where I am. Hn, Hn!

My intentions were merely to encourage us to go to church today, mention the wonderful attributes of God, then consider His goodness in particular. But better late than never. So let’s consider the goodness of God, beginning with our Bit and the verse before it. The prophet Zechariah is talking about Zion’s future king.

‘And the Lord their God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people: for they shall be as the stones (jewels) of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon (a banner over) his land. For how great is his goodness, and how great is his beauty! corn (grain) shall make the young men cheerful (thrive), and new wine the maids.’  

Yes my brethren, if it wasn’t for the Lord’s goodness and LOVING-kindness we would already have perished on account of our abominable sinfulness. But He’s so wonderful, He gives us chance after chance after chance. One day though, sometime in the foreseeable future, those chances will disappear, as Christ returns in glory to rule the earth.

So it is ever so important that we make use of the opportunities we now have to get right with God ASAP, because as soon as we depart this life, or Jesus returns, and our names are not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, then we’ll unfortunately spend eternity on the outside looking in. And I can guarantee you that that will not be a very pleasant experience. Nuff said.  

Now listen to Isaiah as he talks about the Lord’s favour shown to Israel. ‘I will mention the LOVING-kindness of the Lord, and the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his LOVING-kindness.’ (Is.63:7)

Oh Friends, we’ve seen God’s goodness to the Israelites all down through the ages, so why is it so difficult for us to believe and be obedient to His holy will eh?

And we’ll end with these marvellous words of Bruh David from Psalm 31- In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust. ‘Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men.’ (Ps.31:19)

Yes my brethren, the Lord has laid up much goodness for those of us who serve and worship Him in sincerity and truth. I implore us all to be that kind of person so that goodness, rather than evil and destruction will be our just reward. That is indeed the zenith of wisdom! Much LOVE!

…surely goodness and mercy (LOVING-kindness) shall follow me…all the days of my life…and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever… (Ps.23:6)

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 July 2015 Colossians 3:2

Colossians 3:2.      Set your affection (mind) on things above, not on things on the earth.

And then it was Sunday! Yes Friends, it’s that wonderful day when we concentrate on family; both our individual blood families and our church families, those we acquire through faith in Christ Jesus. Yes, it’s time to spend quiet and meaningful time with our biological relatives, but also to gather together in God’s sanctuary, be it in a palace or under a coconut tree, and worship and fellowship with other believers.

We need both kinds of rejuvenation each and every week, so that we can do God’s work with an enthusiastic spirit and a willing heart, to a standard of excellence. And the best way to accomplish those desires is by getting together with others of like faith and singing, praising, worshipping and praying to Almighty God, our Creator, Controller and great Provider.

By so doing, we receive encouragement, upliftment and a sure confidence that we can do all we need to with and through God’s timely help. So please don’t ignore or find lame excuses not to go to church today. And I know there are lots of hypocrites in church, so what? You will only make one more. (smile)

Oh I know people use that foolish excuse, but we are all hypocrites to some extent or another, so if no hypocrites went to church, the churches would be empty. We go to church because we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and thus need to cleanse our souls and spirits and give thanks and praise for a wonderful Deity and all that He does for us.

You can’t call yourself a Christian and not go to church, because the church is Christ’s body here on earth and we all need to mingle at some time so that we can keep up the church’s work and raise its profile, and thus spread the good news of the gospel around the world as Christ desires of us. So no more shirking going to church, right.

Now here is an interesting comment from our Friend Anselm, who only seeks to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And here he’s talking about change, which we all need to do at some time or other. ‘But even though change is often difficult, many times it’s also for the best. Accomplishing anything great in life requires significant change that pushes us beyond our comfort zones.’

And that’s gospel truth my people! We don’t usually make meaningful changes without some upheaval in our normal routines and lives. That’s the only way significant change occurs. And that’s exactly what a lot of us are afraid of; the unknown, the uncomfortable and oftimes risky and challenging situations. But if we sincerely want to improve in any area whatsoever, it will be necessary to make some changes, though they may seem rough, unpleasant and foreboding.

Now here is our Bit, which, if taken seriously, will cause a whole lot of us to make a whole lot of significant changes. Bruh Paul told the Colossians in no uncertain terms: ‘Set your affection (mind) on things above, not on things on the earth.’ Wonderful words of wisdom and some of the best advice we can ever get my brethren.

And the scholars venture this explanation. ‘3:2. Set you affection on things above: The Greek word literally says, “Set your mind on things above.” The readers are not to be preoccupied with things on the earth, such as current heretical philosophies (2:8), legalistic practices (2:16, 21-23), and vices (v.5); nor are they to dwell on things that are not wrong in themselves (houses, jobs, careers, ambitions, etc.), but can be wrong should they become priorities above Christ.’

Unfortunately though Friends, the sad reality of today’s situation is that Christians are more preoccupied with the things of the earth rather than the things of heaven. Those very things that the scholars enunciated above there, are taking priority in the lives of too many Christians over Jesus. And that’s very wrong my people. Why? As Bruh Paul continues: ‘For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.’ (Col.3:3)

And what does that mean? Listen to the scholars. ‘3:3. Your life is hid with Christ in God (or, “Your life is deposited with Christ, who is in intimate relation with God”). As all wisdom and knowledge reside in Christ (2:3), so the believer’s new life is stored up in Him. This means that the Christian life belongs to the spiritual or heavenly realm. Jesus is in intimate relation with God; so are His followers.

Since the Colossians now belong to the heavenly realm and are intimate with God, they should seek those matters and interests pertaining to heaven and not to the earth.’

Yes Friends, our lives are now tied up with Christ and thus ‘When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.’ (Col.3:4)

Oh my people, how can we appear in glory with Christ when He returns in magnificent splendour, if our lives are still tied up the things of the world eh? Not very likely.

And here is the definitive word from the true source, Jesus. ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ (Matt.6:19-21)

Ah mih people, that should be self-explanatory. But just in case it isn’t, listen to the scholars’ explanation. ‘6:19-21. The attention of the believer is directed toward treasures in heaven. The term ‘treasures’ implies the addition or accumulation of things. The two kinds of treasures are conditioned by their place (either on earth or in heaven).

The concept of laying up treasures in heaven is not pictured as one of meritorious benefits but rather of rewards for faithful service, as is illustrated elsewhere in the teaching of Jesus.’

So, it’s not simply for good works that we are rewarded, for anyone can do good for the wrong reason, but more the motives, the state of our hearts and the faithfulness of our service to God and man. That’s why we keep pointing out that God looks at our hearts rather than just our outward actions.

So please, let’s clean up our hearts and spirits nuh, and do faithful service, so that our rewards in heaven may be great. That’s wisdom to the nth degree! Much LOVE!

…the material things of the world are worthless…when compared to the spiritual things of heaven…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 August 2014 Psalm 56:1

Psalm 56:1.     Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me. 

Ah Friends, the Big Day, Caribana Saturday is finally here! And I don’t know why, but in the past week or so, there’s been a persistent bug in my ear, urging me to go down to the parade this year. I haven’t been for the last couple of years due to the condition of my ole knees and my lost enthusiasm for what the parade has morphed into.
 
And I was seriously considering it, but after the traffic problems I experienced going into the city last evening to check out the Pan Alive Steelband competition, I very much doubt that I’m going. With the major highway shut down to just two lanes right around the site of the parade, can you imagine the traffic jam that’s going to be out there this morning? 
 

People are already having problems getting into area with the closure of a major bridge, the Burlington Skyway, due to an accident on Thursday evening. Anyway, I’m suffering from Caribana Friday-itis…Hn!
 
And NO, I’m not referring to the after effects of inebriation – I’m too old and wise for that (smile) – I’m just talking about tiredness from a busy day and not getting to bed until after three this morning, hence the lateness of the Bit.
 
And I’m not even going to say much about the Pan competition either, because this year I found it to be rather mediocre. The attendance wasn’t as great as it usually is, and only ONE band out of the 13 that played really moved me – Pan Fantasy.
 
And to make matters worse, just as the last band, Pan Masters came on stage, they put out the main stadium lights, the ones focused directly on the band. Steups! What utter nonsense eh! So it was eleven o’clock, the byelaw wasn’t going to be in jeopardy for another five or ten minutes! Chuh!
 
So the poor band had to play in the darkness, with only the backlights of the stadium on. The fans couldn’t even see them. That just soured the whole situation for me, and I got up and left before they were finished. Subsequently I don’t know the results of the competition.
 
However, the organizers have to accept a large share of the blame, because they know about the eleven o’clock byelaw, though I can’t ever remember seeing it so rigidly enforced, but a show that was billed to start at six p.m. didn’t get underway till about 7.45, almost two hours after the announced starting time. Unfortunately I was one of those who rushed down there for six o’clock.
 
Anyway that’s all over and done with now, time to move on. Let’s get some ‘I CAN’ affirmations to counteract the prevailing sense of tiredness and lethargy nuh.
 
So please say with me: ‘I CAN do ALL things through Christ. God has new opportunities for me. I’m not settling for where I am now, I’m stretching myself and pursuing what He has put in my heart! God’s plan for my life is greater than I could imagine, and I’m determined to be who He wants me to be. This is my declaration of what I CAN do through Christ.’
 
And now that we’ve declared it, my fellow believers, let’s go out and make it reality nuh. For it doesn’t make sense to declare something, then not do it.
 
And that affirmative declaration of what I CAN do through Christ, fits nicely in with our Bit; a cry of Bruh David when the Philistines took him in Gath. (1 Sam.21:11)
 
‘Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me. Mine enemies would daily swallow me up (hound me): for they be that fight against me, O thou Most High.’ (Ps.56:1-2)
 
Yeh Friends, daily, without fail, Lucifer and his evil cohorts come against us, trying to devour our spirits, to make us feel frail, feeble and inferior. But with our omnipotent God, we know that all things are possible!
 
Therefore, when the enemy comes against us, we can say a confident prayer for help, as Bruh David did: ‘What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.’ (Ps.56:3-4)
 
Oh my brethren, my brethren, what simple but powerful words of faith and trust! Bruh David certainly knew on which side his bread was buttered! That’s why the Lord blessed him so much, despite his nefarious activities.
 
Can we truthfully say those words? We ought to. When the enemy comes against us, do we with hungry hope and expectant faith turn confidently to Almighty God for help, guidance and/or succour? I certainly hope so Friends, because it is ONLY in our heavenly Father that there is rest and freedom from the manipulations of the evil one.
 
Listen to Bruh David’s great faith at work: ‘When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me.’ (Ps.56:9)
 
Oh my people, that is a declaration of faith that ought to be written in the depths of our souls, and then given voice through our mouths, as well as action through our behaviour, EVERYDAY that we’re alive on planet earth, since it’s gospel truth for ALL believers!
 
We need to be sure and confident enough in our God to be able to stand on His promises. For as the Good Book says: ‘What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?’ (Rom.8:31)
 
And the glorious answer to that my fellow believers is NOBODY!
 
And now with that affirmation boldly declared, let’s go home with some more faith building words from Bruh David: ‘In God will I praise his word: in the Lord will I praise his word. In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.
 
Thy vows are upon me (are binding upon me), O God: I will render praise unto thee. For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?’ (Ps.56:10-13)
 
Yes Friends, our great and wonderful God will surely deliver us in times of trouble, so that we can walk faithfully with Him, to continue praising and glorifying His Holy Name here on earth!
 
So let’s continue to stand strong and be numbered amongst His most awesome soldiers of faith nuh, for it’s the wisest action a human being can ever take! Much LOVE!
 
…faith in God is great…but it doesn’t come cheaply…it is paid for with the exacting price of experience…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 April 2014 Psalm 145:10

 
Psalm 145:10.        All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord; and thy saints shall bless thee.

Well a pleasant Good Morning to all you beautiful people out there in Scrip-Bit Land! And it’s not a too bad morning in my neck of the woods; somewhat damp, because we’ve finally had some preferred precipitation – rain, not snow – and the temps promise to be truly spring-like.
 
And all God’s people in the northern climes gave a joyous shout of ‘Praise the Lord! At long last this horrible winter seems to be over!’
 
Yes Friends, it seems like spring has finally sprung, and we’ve been promised temps in the 5-10 range for the next few days. Hopefully the weather people will keep their promise.
 
Anyway, in our preamble today, I want to mention a useful example of the negativity of gossip. And I don’t need to remind us that gossip is extremely big business in today’s wicked, ungodly world. Many people make their living off of gossip; notably the supposed entertainment and talk shows, as well as the tabloids.
 
The sad part is that they wouldn’t exist if we didn’t encourage the process by avidly watching and listening to them and buying the scandal sheets. Our lives seem to be so lacking that we have to have a daily fix of what the supposed celebrities are doing. And the fact of the matter is that their lives aren’t half as glamorous as they are made out to be.
 
However, the example for the day, deals more with office or small group gossip, not that the big ones are really any different. And the example comes from the comic strip ‘Between Friends.’
 
One co-worker passes by another in the corridor, her cell-phone is to her ear and she appears to be sniffling. The lady who notices that tells a male co-worker. ‘Judy just left the office – she looked upset.’
 
The male co-worker tells another female co-worker. ‘Judy just left the office – she was bawling.’
 
That female co-worker then tells a male co-worker. ‘Judy just left the office in hysterics.’
 
And that male co-worker finally gets back to the original co-worker with the news. ‘They had to call security to remove Judy from the office. She was out of control.’
 
Ah Friends, you see how gossip can escalate and blow things out of proportion! This time Judy might just have been having a case of allergies or something quite simple, but by the time the news passes through three people, she was out of control and had to be removed by security.
 
And unfortunately that kind of thing happens everyday in many avenues of life, and has the power to cause unknown problems. Please, let’s try and stop the idle gossip that too many of us engage in on a normal basis nuh. It’s true that the tongue is a fire and hard to control, (James 3:3-12) but we need to do it, else it can, and will get us in serious trouble.
 
As believers in Jesus Christ, we should be more in tune with our Bit: ‘All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord; and thy saints shall bless thee.’
 
Yes my people, like God’s works, we should be more interested in praising and blessing Him, rather than being involved in the unfounded rumours and hearsay so prevalent today.
 
We should be doing as Bruh David declares in this psalm of praise: ‘ They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power; To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom. Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations. The Lord upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down.
 
The eyes of all wait upon thee (look expectantly to you); and thou givest them their meat (food) in due season. Thou openest thine hand, and satisfieth the desire of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy (gracious) in all his works.’ (Ps. 145:11-17)
 
Now my brethren, that’s more like how we should be talking. All of God’s other creations show respect for God, even the lowliest of them all. They don’t have a finite mind to know Him, but they instinctively know where their largesse comes from and appreciate it. But not so man, who is supposed to be the showcase of God’s creativity.
 
Instead we curse and blaspheme His holy name, whine and complain that He’s not doing this or that for us. That shouldn’t be so my people, for we are the greatest benefactors of God’s LOVING-kindness. 
 
And in the immortal words of Bruh David from Psalm 19; the creation and covenants of God: ‘The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament (expanse of heaven) showeth his handiwork (the work of his hands). Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth (reveals) knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard.
 
Their line (measuring line) is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle (tent) for the sun. Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth (rising) is from the end of heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.’ (Ps.19:1-6)
 
Yuh see mih people how God’s work in the heavens and elsewhere in nature glorifies Him! That’s how we, His greatest creation should also glorify Him! We talk a whole lot, but our actions don’t reflect our talk, meanwhile the actions of the lesser creations do reflect the greatness of God to a magnitude we can’t even begin to comprehend.
 
Therefore Friends, it’s imperative that we do a much better job when it comes to praising and glorifying and magnifying our Creator. We shower much praise on men when they do stuff we think is great and worthwhile even when it’s not, so why can’t we give the Creator of the universe and all therein the same, even more deserved recognition eh? That only shows our lack of true appreciation for all His goodness and mercy towards us.
 
Please my fellow believers, let’s concentrate on building up our wonderful God nuh, instead of trying to tear Him down, as a lot of us are doing. That’s certainly wisdom of the highest order! Much LOVE!
 
…how can we call ourselves true believers in the Creator…when we don’t truly appreciate or magnify His creations…