Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 April 2021 Habakkuk 2:3b.

Habakkuk 2:3b.     ​though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

And then it was Holy Saturday; that suspenseful day of waiting between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, the day after the tragedy, but the day before the great awakening of joy and celebration! And yes, it’s always difficult for us human beings to wait for something, even though we know it will be better than what we currently have, especially in these times of immediate gratification. 

But please wait patiently on the promise my people. For as the Good Book says: ‘For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.’ (Hab. 2:3) Yes friends, Easter Sunday will surely come, so let’s just mourn quietly, but expectantly today, show our tremendous faith, for we are assured of the triumphant rising of the Holy One of Israel tomorrow! 

Now let’s see what interesting quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week as he aspires to inspire us for a brighter tomorrow. Here’s the first one: ‘We can’t retract the decisions we’ve made. We can only affect the decisions we’re going to make from here.’ I don’t know if that is totally true nuh, because sometimes we can take back the decisions we’ve made, especially if they have not been yet implemented. But in the logical process of the situation, I guess you can look at the retracting as a new decision and not merely a taking back of the old one. So, in that sense, the quote is right. (smile) 

Then there’s this: ‘I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is they must change if they are to get better.’ Now that seems to be rather truthful. If the current situation is bad, then things will only get better if wise change occurs. Merely leaving it the same will not cause any improvement. However, I totally disagree with this next quote: ‘When in doubt, choose change.’ That means you’ll be choosing change just for the sake of change, since there might be no good or logical reason to change. 

But change, especially significant change, should not be made without some good grounds, some useful purpose or enhancement such change will provide. And just because you have doubts, doesn’t mean you should just jump into the unknown. Although that’s what a lot of us are doing in these times of great change. Oftentimes, we don’t know what we’re doing or where we’re going, but because others are changing, are doing something new or different, we think we ought to do the same, we can’t let them get ahead of us, because we absolutely need to be a part of the in-crowd. But that is pure foolishness my brethren. 

Not all change is good for us, and the follow the Jones’ lifestyle only gets us into more problems than we already have. Just take the example of the new cell phones that come out almost every year. Some of us just feel we need to have them because they are new, and have new toys in them. But they are usually more expensive too, and don’t always work as good as the older ones. And in fact, most of us won’t ever use the new toys in them. 

We don’t even use our current phone to its best level. But there’s a new one out, and we must have it, we must keep up with the throng and make the phone makers even richer! And in such situations, re our first quote, we definitely may not be able to retract our hasty and thoughtless decisions. (smile) But as they say, to each his own. 

That brings us to the next quote: ‘When a defining moment comes along, you can do one of two things. Define the moment, or let the moment define you.’ Now that’s gospel truth friends! When defining moments crop up, you only have two options; to let the moment define you, or you define it. And the sensible option is usually the latter. You define the moment, you come up over the problem, don’t allow it to take you where it wants to go. 

And I guess we should define what we mean by defining moments. (smile) Those are basically important times in your life, when what is in front of you has the ability to change the trajectory of your life, like a new job offer, or meeting a new lady friend, or the most important defining moment in all of our lives, finding Jesus and cheerfully latching on to Him! When those opportunities appear in our lives, we have to face them mano -a- mano, rise up above them, take the bull by the horns sort of thing, evaluate the situations, and hopefully make wise decisions, because it’s not always in our best interest to let nature take its course. 

And that segues real nicely into our last quote. ‘A wise man can learn more from his enemies than a fool from his friends.’ Now that’s certainly an interesting statement. I guess it goes back to a couple of other sayings: ‘Keep your friends close, and your enemies even closer.’ And also, ‘Show me your friends, and I’ll tell you who you are.’ The last one insinuates that if you are foolish, then most likely your friends are also foolish, so there’s not a whole lot you can learn from them. 

Meanwhile, the first saying is telling us to keep a close eye on our enemies because we can learn their secrets and tactics, which will help us in our fight against them. But the whole thing boils down to having wise friends and no enemies. But if you do have enemies, as Cousin Sol says in Proverbs: ‘If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink. For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord shall reward thee.’ (Prov. 25:21-22) And the scholars tell us that ‘Coals of fire does not refer to revenge or punishment but to pangs of shame that will lead to reconciliation.’ 

But Jesus goes one better than that. He says: ‘LOVE your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully (spitefully) use you, and persecute you.’ (Matt. 5:44) Now that’s not an easy row to hoe in this strife filled world of ours, but that’s what Jesus expects of His followers, and what we should all endeavour to do, if we bear His name, consider Him our Lord and Saviour. 

And remember, He’s promised never to leave nor forsake us, as He told the disciples: ‘and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:20b) So there’s no need to fear, for Jesus is always with us, leading, guiding and helping us through His indwelling Holy Spirit and allowing us to do great things in His name, through His divine strength. Much LOVE!

…one more day…just one more day…before the triumphant resurrection…please wait faithfully for it… because it WILL come…

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 December 2020 Matthew 5:48.

Matthew 5:48.     ​Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

So it’s Saturday; that lazy, slouchy day again! And do I ever want to laze and slouch about… But it’s just not possible right now, cause I have the Lord’s work to do, and we can’t afford to laze and slouch when God’s work needs to be done! Amen! The problem though is that we talk a good talk about doing God’s work, but half the time that’s all we do; talk! If there was more truly Christian action from supposed believers, our world would certainly not be in the mess that it’s currently in. 

So why don’t we stop talking and start doing eh? As James says, ‘be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.’ (James 1:22) Yes friends, only by showing our faith through our works will our world get out of the turbulence and calamity in which it’s now engulfed. Sermon done! (smile) 

Now it’s time to check out some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And yes, the preface is still there: ‘Positive affirmation you should tell yourself to remind yourself just how awesome you are. I’m calm, happy, and content,’ but that’s the only time we will write it. And please remember that you can ONLY do those things contained therein if Jesus Christ is truly your Lord and Saviour! 

So here’s the first quote: ‘I’m worthy of respect and acceptance.’ And that’s the God awesome truth my brethren! All God’s children, all His creation is worthy of acceptance and respect, for we are made in His image, with the breath of His life flowing through us and His Holy Spirit indwelling us! So how can we not be worthy of respect and acceptance eh? 

So please, let’s put all the tomfoolery about race, religion, power, wealth and all the other negative stuff we use to disrespect and refuse acceptance to each other aside so that our world could be a better place nuh. I don’t know how we can ever think that our world will be a better place with all that nonsense so prevalent and destructive in it. 

The next quote tells us: ‘I can absolutely do anything I put my mind to.’ Now that’s definitely not true, for as a mere mortal, who perishes like the grass in the noon day sun, you cannot do anything you set your mind to because of your own strength. However, if you’re a follower of Jesus Christ, then you can do anything, through Christ who strengthens you.’ (Phil. 4:13) Glory be! Can you move a mountain in your own strength? Certainly not! But with Christ in your corner, you can, because as the Creator and Controller of this universe, ALL things are possible through Him! Wow! 

And don’t forget too, this special statement Christ made the last time He visited us in human form: ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) Now that’s certainly telling it like it is! And having said that, this next quote should follow on from it: ‘My life becomes richer as I get older.’ 

Yes friends, as we get older and deeper in Jesus, our lives ought to get richer, not necessarily in money and earthly wealth, but in bearing good fruit for Christ, for as he says above, if we consistently hang out with Him, we will bear much good fruit. And He has no cause to lie about that. So yes, as we increase in age, with Christ in our lives, we get wiser and more peaceful and relaxed, less anxious and all those good things. The cares of the world don’t trouble us as much, for we have reached a stage where we can accept Christ’s truth in a practical manner in our lives. 

‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) Now how can we have good cheer when our world is falling apart? Again because of these awesome words of Jesus: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:33) And you’re wondering how you can ever do that with the wicked storms that are continuously howling around you? 

Simple. Because you have the peace of God working in and through you. ‘The peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:7) Yes, the peace of God, which transcends all human understanding, will guard us. Oh, how wonderful it is to experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand! But that only comes with age and maturity in the faith. Now, when we can accept all of that without necessarily understanding it all, then the last two quotes become even more important. ‘I make a significant difference to the lives of people around me,’ and ‘My contributions to the world are valuable.’ 

Ah mih bredrin…how I wish that I could truthfully say that we are all making significant differences, or rather positive significant differences to the lives of the people around us, because too many of us, including believers are making no difference, or instead negative differences that are causing more harm than is necessary. Yes, many of us are doing much worthwhile work, making plenty positive significant differences, but the truth of the matter is that it’s just not enough! Way too many of our fellow men are suffering either because of our many evil, inhumane thoughts and actions, or because of not enough compassionate and merciful ones. 

Precious people, there is only ONE way for us to climb out of the disgusting and life destroying mire in which we’re now engulfed, and that’s through LOVE! It’s the only way! We must learn to LOVE even our enemies. Let’s listen as our Lord and Saviour puts it in its proper perspective nuh. ‘Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, LOVE your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully (spitefully) use you, and persecute you. 

That ye may be children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye LOVE them which LOVE you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans (tax collectors) the same? And if ye salute (greet) your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans (tax collectors) so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.’ (Matt. 5:43-48) 

And that’s it in a nutshell! (smile) Yes, it is difficult, but not impossible with Christ helping us. And as the scholars explain, ‘perfect here doesn’t mean sinless perfection, but “complete,” that is possessing a complete LOVE that, like God’s (vs. 45), embraces those who LOVE you as well as those who do not.’ I guess the best all-round definition and/or summation would be Jesus’ words which we characterize as the Golden Rule: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you…’ (Matt. 7:12a) Much LOVE!

…LOVE in action is tough…but when times get tough…the tough (Christians) get going… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 October 2013 Psalm 109:5

Psalm 109:5.    And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my LOVE.
 
Oh Friends, as the psalmist so wisely and rightly proclaimed eons ago: ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps.118:24) Please, let’s all do that today nuh, this first Sunday in October 2013.
 
And all God’s people joyfully declared: ‘We shall, yes we will rejoice in this day our great God has made for us to enjoy! A new day of new mercies, blessings, manna and forgiveness to revive our spirits! It is mete and right for us to enjoy the Lord’s LOVING-kindness and glorify His Holy Name!’
 
And since we’re so into God this morning Friends, (smile) what better time than now to check out that New Year’s promise we made, some nine months ago, to walk closer and more faithfully with Jesus, and to add our two bits worth to His glorious LOVE Revolution.
 
Now have we improved the strength of our relationship with our Lord and Saviour, and consequently with our fellow believers? And what about the unbelievers, the unwashed, the angry and resentful? Have we been more understanding and tolerant?
 
Oh my people, I surely do hope that ALL our answers to the foregoing questions are in the affirmative! And if by chance they’re not, then I’m strongly urging us to go to God today, and ask for His help in making them so. That’s provided we’re seriously interested in becoming true, strong and steadfast followers of Christ. For you know He will NEVER refuse our requests, if we come to Him in sincerity and truth.
 
Remember, we can always fool ourselves and our fellow man, but we can’t fool Jehovah God, because He sees right down into the deepest, darkest, hidden recesses of our souls, and unearths our true motives.
 
And with all that godly wisdom laid out before us, (smile) let’s turn to our Bit. ‘And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my LOVE.’
 
Now Friends, all we’ve said above greatly impacts the way we handle situations like that encountered by Bruh David in our Bit. Do we return evil for evil, and hatred for hatred? We certainly ought not to, for Jesus doesn’t subscribe to, or embrace that philosophy.
 
Listen to His pronouncement on the subject. ‘But I say unto you which hear, LOVE your enemies, do good to them which hate you. Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully (spitefully) use you.’ (Luke 6:27-28)
 
Ah mih breddren, we all know that’s not an easy philosophy to adopt and then put into practice. And we’ll never be perfect at it, but we must try our best to execute it, if we truly want to grow and mature in our LOVE for, and faithfulness to Jesus.
 
Now let’s turn to a scripture where the prophet Jeremiah encountered that rendering of evil for good. He’s telling God: ‘Then said they, Come and let us devise devices (plans) against Jeremiah; for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come and let us smite (attack) him with the tongue, and let us not give heed to any of his words.
 
Give heed to me, O Lord, and hearken (listen) to the voice of them that contend with me. Shall evil be recompensed (repaid) for good? for they have digged a pit for my soul (life). Remember that I stood before thee to speak good for (concerning) them, and to turn away thy wrath from them.’ (Jer.19:18-20) 
 
Yes Friends, Jeremiah suffered intense persecution for his efforts on God’s behalf. But like Bruh David, though he too cited what he’d like to see happen to his enemies, (Jer. 19:21-23) he left the actual revenge up to God. And so too should we, because vengeance doesn’t belong to us, but to Almighty God. (Deut. 32:35)
 
And I like how Bruh David puts it in this verse from Psalm 38, the prayer of a penitent heart. ‘They also that render evil for good are mine adversaries; because I follow the thing that good is.’ (Ps.38:20)
 
Yes my brethren, once we try to do what is right in the sight of the Lord, we’ll always encounter opposition, sometimes even physical hurt. But we can’t allow that to stop us. Please look at all that Jesus innocently suffered on our behalf. The least we can do is put up with a little anguish to help Him build His wonderful kingdom. (smile)
 
And we’ll close with these few, simple, but oh so powerful and productive words of Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. ‘Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.’ (Rom.12:21)
 
Oh Friends, those truly are exceptional words, undoubtedly words of godly wisdom! So let’s take them to heart, bury them deep in our consciousness, and go out and put them into practice today nuh. It’s what Jesus desires of us. Much LOVE!
 
…the negative emotions of evil, anger and hatred…can NEVER be more powerful and productive…than those of peace, LOVE and goodwill…because they come from the Most High and omnipotent God…