Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 December 2018 Psalm 5:11.

Psalm 5:11.   But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest (protecteth, covereth) them: let them also that LOVE thy name be joyful in thee.
 

Once more unto the breach dear friends, once more…! Yes mih people, we going to attack the supposedly impregnable ramparts of that concrete jungle called Toronto, one more time this Tuesday morning in early December! That’s why we here so early. (smile) But on a serious note though, I recently read that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find living space down there that has sunlight splashed over and around it. 

Chuh! That’s because of all the tall buildings that have gone up, and are still going up, which block out the sunlight from the lower ones. And I’ve noticed it over the summer. You can walk down one of those canyons, they are no longer streets, and the only light is what comes from directly above you, because of all the tall buildings on both sides. 

 But that’s what we call progress nuh; the more concrete we pour, the more we feel we’re progressing. Like the Joni Mitchell song, ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ so appropriately declares: ‘You tear down a paradise to put up a parking lot.’  But yuh know what friends? We believers don’t need to worry our pretty li’l heads (smile) over that situation too much, because our great God is still on the throne, still controlling the universe He created. 

And here is what Bruh David, God’s friend and man after His own heart said many moons ago: ‘But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest (protecteth, covereth) them: let them also that LOVE thy name be joyful in thee.’ Yes my fellow believers, it couldn’t get any clearer than that! If you trust in the Lord God Jehovah, then you ought to rejoice and be glad every day you awake and see the light. 

As believers in Christ we ought to shout for joy, because the Lord defends, protects us each and every day of our earthly lives! How many of us are doing that eh friends? Certainly not enough! There are too many supposed Christians walking around like ‘poor me ones’ believing that to be a believer means you must walk around like yuh suffering. 

Not at all my people! If you LOVE the Lord, you’re supposed to walk around with your head held high, a li’l swagger in your step, more confidence than arrogance, because you know where your bread is buttered! As Bruh David continues in the psalm: ‘For thou Lord wilt bless the righteous: with favour wilt thou compass (surround) him as with a shield.’ (Ps.5:12) 

As true and mature Christians, we ought to have those words written indelibly in our hearts, so we can go around and proclaim them in our everyday lives. And I guess what the Lord LOVED about Bruh David, is that despite his human failings, he never gave up on Him, was always calling out to Him, acknowledging Him as Lord and Protector. 

Hear this passage from Psalm 18 – Thanksgiving for Deliverance. Bruh David solemnly opens it by proclaiming: ‘I will LOVE thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength (my rock), in whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (stronghold). I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.’ (Ps.18:1-2) 

Oh mih people, if we’re true believers, then we ought to be saying all those things too, because the Lord God is in fact all those things to a true believer! But please notice that word ‘believer,’ remember it implies belief. And that’s what is wrong with too many of us supposed believers; we might believe in our heads, but not truly in our hearts. 

But that’s where the belief is really supposed to be my brethren, so that it can take effect in our lives. Remember what Jesus said, it’s from the heart that we live, either good or bad things come out of it, but the heart is the driver of our lives. (Matt.15:17-20) 

And Bruh David solidifies his argument later on in Psalm 18, when he declares: ‘As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried (proven): he is a buckler (shield) to all those that trust in him. For who is God save (except) the Lord (Yahweh)? Or who is a rock save our God?’ (Ps.18:30-31) Those are certainly excellent questions my friends! 

And Bruh David answers them thus: ‘It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect. He maketh my feet like hinds feet (the feet of the deer – nimble and strong), and setteth me upon my high places.’ (Ps.18:32-33) And that He most definitely does my faithful brethren! And that brings us full circle: if you LOVE the Lord and trust in Him, then you ought to be joyful and proactive, not sad and miserable and reactive. End of story! 

Now for those of us who truly LOVE the Lord and put our utmost faith and trust in Him, let’s go home telling the world, in no uncertain terms, who and whose we are, by declaring our Tuesday Mantra in strong voice with sincere hearts! 

Altogether now: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

And if we truly believe that, then let’s go out and sincerely share the LOVE of our wonderful friend Jesus with the oh so needy world nuh! Much LOVE!

…the three watchwords for Christians…belief…belief…belief…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 September 2018 Matthew 10:29.

Matthew 10:29.    Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall to the ground without your Father.  

 

I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.’ (Ps.122:1) Oh what a wonderful idea that is this Sunday morning my brethren, the first day of autumn in the abnormal year of 2018! Bruh David was ever so glad for that invitation to go to the Lord’s sanctuary because he knew the amazing benefits it produced. 

And going to God’s house still produces wonderful benefits to this day my people! Where else can you get the peace and joy, confidence and reassurance that come from a session of praise and thanksgiving, and hearing the Lord’s word being read and feeling it seeping into the deepest recesses of your hurting heart? Nowhere else friends, but in a place where the Lord reigns supreme! 
And today we’re going to open with a Gospel Hymn written in 1905 by Civilla D. Martin and composer Charles H. Gabriel. ‘It is most associated with actress singer Ethel Waters who used the title for her autobiography. Mahalia Jackson’s recording of the song was honoured with the Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 2010.’ Most of us though, might be more familiar with the Kirk Franklin version of a few years ago. And the name of that revered and moving song is ‘His Eye is on the Sparrow.’ 

So without further ado, let’s reach deep down into our souls and produce a real soulful version that will bring tears to the eyes of heaven. As one now: ‘Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come, Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heav’n and home, When Jesus is my portion? My constant Friend is He: His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me. His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me 

(Refrain: I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free, for His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.) “Let not your heart be troubled,”  His tender word I hear, and resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears; Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me. (Refrain: I sing…) 

Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise, When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies, I draw closer to Him, from care he sets me free; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me. (Refrain: I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free, For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.’ (Repeat). 

What a marvellous song my fellow believers! And it’s also filled with God-awesome truth! Everything it says is true! Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is constantly looking out for us, just like He’s doing for the sparrows of this world. And when life gets rough and tough we can simply go to Him and ask for comfort and reassurance…and we’ll get it. Glory to God! 

 

The song was obviously inspired by words from the scriptures. Hear these reassuring words of Jesus in our Bit: ‘Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall to the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.’ (Matt.10:29-31) That’s the gospel truth friends! 

We are indeed more important than the birds of the air, as Jesus says earlier on: ‘Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?’ (Matt.6:26) Ah mih people, we are indeed higher up the totem pole that the birds and other animals, which the Lord looks after so faithfully, so why won’t He look after us in the same, or even better manner eh? No reason whatsoever! We just have to have faith, trust in and surrender our lives to Him. 

 

Now listen to this testimony and let it uplift our lives, because only a few of us can, or will ever personally know this level of suffering. Civilla Martin, who wrote the lyrics, claimed this story as her inspiration. ‘Early in the spring of 1905, my husband and I were sojourning in Elmira, New York. We contracted a deep friendship for a couple by the name of Mr. and Mrs. Doolittle – true saints of God. 

Mrs. Doolittle had been bedridden for night twenty years. Her husband was an incurable cripple who had to propel himself to and from his business in a wheel chair. Despite their afflictions, they lived happy Christian lives, bringing inspiration and comfort to all who knew them. One day while we were visiting with the Doolittle’s, my husband commented on their bright hopefulness and asked them for the secret of it. 

 

Mrs. Doolittle’s reply was simple: “His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.” The beauty of this simple expression of boundless faith gripped the hearts of Dr. Martin and me. The hymn “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” was the outcome of that experience.’ 

And all God’s people declared a loud and proud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord!’ Yes friends, that is indeed what you call boundless faith! Not too many of us would go through such difficulties today with such aplomb, even though we now have many more amenities to alleviate that kind of suffering.  

 

And Bruh David adds his two cents worth (smile) Of the Lord he says: ‘I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way in which thou shalt go: I will guide the with mine eye… Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.’ (Ps.32:8, 11)Yes friends, we couldn’t get any better advice on this the Lord’s Day, so let’s be wise and take it nuh. Much LOVE!

…man is God’s greatest creation…and He certainly treats us like such…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 August 2018 John 14:27.

John 14:27.   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.

And then it was Wednesday; the mid-point of the workweek, and a lot of people exhale a grateful sigh that the week’s nearly over. Now yesterday was a rainy day in my area, and I slept a lot of it away, (smile) but I can’t afford to do that today, because I have things to go out the street and do, so I hope the sun that’s valiantly trying to push its way through some swirling dark clouds out there is successful. 

And later in the evening, I also want to go down to the C.N.E, the Canadian National Exhibition grounds, to our annual country fair and see international Reggae Artist Freddie McGregor and our local boy Jay Douglas at the Band Shell. It’s a long walk from the train station to the Band Shell and it’s also an open-air venue, so the rain definitely will not be welcomed. 

But then I just thought, who controls the rain eh? The Lord God Almighty! And if He wants to send it pouring down, who is to say Him nay eh? Nobody! Let’s just hope and pray He doesn’t make that unfortunate decision today eh. (smile) And even if He does, we just have to live with it. 

That makes this quote of the famous American essayist, lecturer and poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) come in very handy. ‘Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.’ Yes friends, that’s ever so true, because if you don’t accept peace, even that of Jesus, you won’t ever have it. One must make a conscious decision to accept peace, to live in peace and fervently pursue peace. 

As our One More Day Devotional – Daily Meditations for People with Chronic Illness tells us: ‘True peace comes from the harmony we feel within ourselves. We don’t go out and get peace of mind; it’s the result of what we do. Harmony is being at ease with ourselves, our surroundings, and with our lives. This is no easy task, as we must come to grips with the issues that cause us concern. 

This doesn’t mean that all our problems must be solved before we can have inner peace, for life will be much like a mountain road, with twists and turns and many unexpected bumps. Peace is a reality for those who accept what cannot be changed and take up the challenges that can and must be dealt with. Peace is easier to attain when we cherish the gifts of the present moment.’ 

And isn’t that the indisputable truth my brethren! When we appreciate what we have, and are not complaining or loudly clamouring for what we don’t have, it’s much easier for our souls to find peace. And the thought for that day’s devotional declares: ‘In my life, peace begins with me. I will remember that peace is a prize of the spirit and is available to everyone.’ 

Now that’s basically true, but in this current world, peace is not a valued commodity. Things like strife and anger and war and resentment seem to be more prized. So if you’re trying to find peace in worldly terms, you have an almost impossible task to fulfill. But friends, if you really want peace, the ultimate peace, then you have to look to Jesus for it. 

Listen to what He told His disciples as He warned them of His impending return to heaven. ‘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.’ 

Wow mih people! What mighty words from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Only He could have made such a pronouncement to the disciples in their time of fear. That’s because He knew the power of the Holy Spirit that was to come upon them after He left. 

And it’s that same Holy Spirit that comforts us in our dark and desperate times. But as with everything else, we have to accept it, and work with it. It just doesn’t happen on its own or overnight. We have to actively go after it. As Bruh David says in Psalm 34 – The Lord hears the righteous: ‘Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.’ (Ps.34:14) Yeh friends, peace in our lives, all depends on us actively seeking it. 

And here is Bruh Paul’s sage advice on finding it. ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:4-7) 

Ah my fellow believers, that’s such wise and wonderful advice! Please, let’s promise ourselves today to take it to heart and put it into action nuh! For that’s the only way we will achieve the wonderful peace of God that passes all human understanding. 

And for those of us who have already made that wise and momentous decision, we can now go home in peace, safety and comfort, declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our sure position in Christ Jesus. So with a strong sense of purpose and loud voice, let’s wail nuh: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! 

Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And I can’t help but say it, because it’s oh so true: That future with Christ will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…there’s no other way to gain true peace…than through Jesus…the Prince of Peace…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 July 2018 Matthew 14:31a.

Matthew 14:31a.   O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

Well mih people, our gracious and generous God has granted us dominion over another beautiful day on Planet Earth, so let’s show our wisdom and rejoice and be glad in it nuh! But please note we’re not expected to just sit on our already large fannies and do nothing but rejoice, but even more importantly to work diligently and excellently in furthering God’s glorious heavenly kingdom. 

And to enable us to do Jesus’ work, today we want to share lots of informational wisdom with you, beginning with this bon mot from George Bernard Shaw (1856 – 1950), the famous Irish playwright, critic, polemicist, and political activist. And George wisely declares: ‘Life is not a “brief candle.” It is a splendid torch that I want to make burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.’ 

Glory be mih breddren! That’s exactly what our God expects of us. We ought to run our earthly race with plenty salt and bright light, so that others can vividly see it and hopefully touch their hearts. Then, when our race is run, we can turn it over to them like a relay runner turns over the baton, so that they can keep on running the glorious race that glorifies Jesus and brings the lost and unfortunate to Him for comfort and care. 

Mama Yo! What wonderful ambassadors we can be for our Lord and Saviour, if we’d only put our all into it! That brings us to this plea to our heavenly Father taken from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, titled ‘Immediately.’ 

Please pray with me. ‘Dear Lord I’m so tired of living In my little cramped vessel – So weary of dangling my feet in the water But never stepping out of the boat. I want to walk the waves with You Just as Peter did. True, he only took a few steps Before losing his courage But at least he was heading toward You. Lord, I’m coming, too! If I begin to falter or sink I trust You to catch me Just as You caught Peter. Remember, Lord? You caught him immediately.’ 

Oh friends, even when we try to be brave and courageous, deep down we still doubt the LOVE and caring and faithfulness of our heavenly Father. And He says, somewhat miffed: ‘Chuh! What kind of talk is that eh mih chile? Why do you even think that I will let you sink if you are coming to me?’ 

No my fellow believers, our wonderful God will NEVER let us sink into the morass or mire if we are sincerely seeking Him! Why would He ever do such an ungodly thing eh, when all He wants is to take us under His wing and guard us from the evil one? 

And the incident with Peter walking on water exemplifies what we’re talking about. He steps out of the boat boldly and confidently and is walking towards Jesus like a man on a mission. ‘But when he saw the wind boisterous (violent), he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.’ (Matt.14:30) 

Oh my people, so many of us are like that; we start out with courage and faith, but when the tough times come, we crumble and begin to sink back into the mire from which we’re trying to extricate ourselves. But have no fear, our Jesus is there, is ALWAYS there to rescue us from our failing faith. 

Listen as the story with Peter continues. ‘And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?’ (Matt.14:31) 

Yeh friends, oftimes our faith fails us, but that is not a crime, or anything to be ashamed of. Jesus knows our frailty and our weaknesses, and He is just thrilled to know that we want to come to Him, and will help us to do just that, in spite of all our shortcomings. Glory Be mih people! How can we want a better Lord and Saviour and King than that eh? 

However friends, our earnest desire should be to let our faith fail us as little as possible, which means we have to concentrate on growing it, becoming mature in the things of God. And the only way to do that is by reading and studying and meditating on God’s Word, by having constant communication with Him through prayer, by fellowshipping with other believers and by sincerely trying to live the life He has prepared for each and every one of us. 

Only then can we avoid Jesus asking us why our faith is so small. (smile) But remember too that maturing in the faith is an ongoing process, it doesn’t happen overnight, but as sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) says, ‘It doesn’t matter how far we’ve got to go, it’s how far we’ve come from.’ In other words it’s not where we were yesterday, but where we’ll be tomorrow. And if we do what’s required of us, then we’ll ALL be further along that continuum of faith… when tomorrow dawns. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. In strong voice with sincere hearts now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

And if that’s true, then let’s go out and share the LOVE and friendship of Jesus with the world, as He so greatly desires of us. Much LOVE!

…to truly show our LOVE for Jesus…we must generously and unselfishly share…ALL that He is…with others…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 July 2018 Psalm 62:1.

Psalm 62:1.   Truly my soul waiteth (waits silently) upon God: from him cometh my salvation.

Well my Christian brethren, it is the Lord’s Day! That means at some time today we should be bound for church, to celebrate, give praise and thanks, rejoice, exalt and receive strength and confidence in fellowship with other believers! Wow! 

What an awesome life we believers in Christ have! Mama Mia! We should be the happiest, most joyful people on the planet, for no other body of people has the magnificent and magnanimous promises and awesome situations that we have. Give our wonderful God some praise and glory for all that He’s done, is doing, and will do on our behalf! 

And today, to open the proceedings, we’ll sing a hymn that shows just how powerful, compassionate and LOVING our great God is, that in spite of calamities and distress, we can still stand strong under His umbrella of faith and LOVE! The song is one we all know and LOVE and is titled, ‘It is Well with My Soul.’ 

The song was penned by one Horatio Spafford after some traumatic events in his life, with music composed by Phillip Bliss. ‘The first was the death of his son at the age of 2 and the Great Chicago fire of 1871, which ruined him financially (he had been a successful lawyer and had invested significantly in property in the area of Chicago that was extensively damaged by the great fire). 

His business interests were further hit by the economic downturn of 1873, at which time he had planned to travel to Europe with his family on the SS Ville du Havre. In a late change of plan, he sent the family ahead while he was delayed on business concerning zoning problems following the Great Chicago Fire. 

While crossing the Atlantic, the ship sank rapidly after a collision with a sea vessel, the Loch Earn, and all four of Spafford’s daughters died. His wife Anna survived and sent him the now famous telegram, “Saved alone …”. 

Shortly afterwards, as Spafford traveled to meet his grieving wife, he was inspired to write these words as his ship passed near where his daughters had died. Bliss called his tune Ville du Havre, from the name of the stricken vessel.’ 

Oh friends, it’s only with Christ in our hearts and our lives that we can suffer such disaster and still offer up emotions and words as these. So let’s open up our mouths and offer up sacrifices of praise as we soulfully sing these heart-stopping words. These are the original lyrics, some people leave out certain verses, but we won’t because they are too beautiful and poignant to leave out. 

So in full voice now: ‘When peace like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say (know) It is well, it is well, with my soul. (Refrain: It is well, (it is well), With my soul, (with my soul) It is well, it is well, with my soul.) Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, Let this blest assurance control, That Christ has regarded my helpless estate, And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

(Refrain…) My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought! My sin, not in part but the whole, Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul! (Refrain…) For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live: If Jordan above me shall roll, No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life, Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul. (Refrain…) 

But Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait, The sky, not the grave, is our goal; Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord! Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul. (Refrain…) And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight, The clouds be rolled back as a scroll; The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, Even so, it is well with my soul (A song in the night, oh my soul!) (Refrain… repeat).’ 

Ah friends, do we have Christ as strongly in us as that poor man Spafford seemed to do? I certainly hope so, because that’s the only way we will ever overcome the calamities in our lives without completely falling apart. I guess Spafford must have had a strong belief and trust in God like Bruh David did when he wrote the opening words of Psalm 62, because that’s the only way he could have suffered such awful tragedy and claimed that it was well with his soul. 

‘Truly my soul waiteth (waits silently) upon God: from him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defense (strong tower); I will not be greatly moved (shaken) (Ps.62:1-2) 

Oh how I wish that more of us could claim such faith and trust in Almighty God when calamity comes against us. Oh, it’s not easy, but when you can do that, it means that your faith has reached a really mature state, and it’s something we should all aim for. And we’ll end with some more encouraging words from Bruh David. 

‘My soul, wait thou (wait silently) only upon God; for my expectation (hope) is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defense; I shall not be moved (shaken). In God is my salvation and my glory, the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us.   Selah.’ (Ps.62:5-8) 

Please my fellow believers, let’s take those words to heart this Sunday morning and put them into practice nuh, so that with God’s awesome help, we can withstand the tragedies that come against us. Much LOVE!

…in your patience…posses ye your souls… (Luke 21:10)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 June 2018 1 Peter 4:12.

1 Peter 4:12.   Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.

Well, well, well! If it isn’t Saturday; the sleep in day! No, I did not sleep in. I was just puttering around doing a few necessary things around the house before coming down to write. (smile) 

And do you really realize friends, that out of seven days, we only have one in which we can do some sleeping in; five days most of us work, and on Sunday we go to church, and most church services are fairly early. But even then, some unfortunate ones also have to get up early on Saturday to do household chores and groceries and other things that could not be done during the workweek. 

So where are all those supposed benefits from our so advanced society eh? We seem to be working more, and harder too, simply to make ends meet, and also seeing fewer benefits. 

But don’t worry my faithful brethren, if you have Jesus as your spiritual guide, Lord and Saviour, then you have all the necessary assets at your fingertips to make this life work in your favour. More on that later. 

And since it’s Saturday, we ought to take a look at the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. The first quote is certainly interesting. It advises: ‘Whatever you do, wherever you go, there will always be someone who will be unhappy with you. They might have a valid reason for it or might not, but it’s not something that you should care about.’ 

The first part is definitely true. Wherever you go, someone will always be unhappy with you over something. However, I don’t know if you should always dismiss their concerns out of hand, because some of those concerns might actually be beneficial to you. Neither should you allow each concern to overly trouble or overwhelm you. 

The wisest path seems to be to look at each situation as it arises, and judge each one on its own merit. Just note though, that nowadays people are so selfish and self-centred that they get their knickers all tied up in a knot very easily over simple nonsense. (smile) 

And the next quote says: ‘Faking is something that causes a lot of mental pain, so avoid it as much as you can.’ And I’m here to tell you that faking causes not only mental pain but can cause great physical anguish too. And it always catches up to you. It’s like your sin; it will always find you out. So please avoid it at all costs. 

Now here is the last quote, some true words of wisdom. ‘No matter how hard you try, you can’t change the past. So its better to move on in life with the lessons learned from the past instead of wasting time and energy on past.’ 

Ah friends unfortunately too many of us still dwell in the past. We let what happened before consume our lives and thus prevent us from moving on successfully to new things and people. 

However, the past, like someone once said, should be culled like a box of fresh strawberries; keep the good ones and throw away the bad ones. In other words the past is best used to enjoy the good memories and learn life lessons from the bad ones. 

And that brings us to our Bit, some rather tough, but true words from the apostle Peter. ‘Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.’ 

Yes my people, I know that is a rather difficult pill to swallow, but as true believers in Jesus Christ, we are expected to grin and bear the fiery trial, handle it with all the belly and backbone that Jesus displayed in His fiery time. And we’ll just let Peter explain why that should be so. 

‘But rejoice, inasmuch (to the extent that) as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached (insulted) for the name of Christ, happy (blessed) are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of (blasphemed), but on your part he is glorified. 

But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody (meddler) in other men’s affairs. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf (matter). For the time is come that judgement must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end of them that obey not the gospel of God?’ (1 Pet.4:13-17) 

And that’s a very pertinent question friends! Judgement Day is a must, and it includes those of us who have suffered for Christ’s sake in faithfulness to His word. Now can you imagine what will be the faith of those who have refuted Him and His gospel?  

Ah mih people, being a true believer is not for the faint of heart, but as we persevere, we become stronger and stronger, we grow from glory to glory. So please don’t get all upset and scared and quit as you read Peter’s words. 

The Lord has promised to give us the wherewithal to bear every trial, and if we do so in good faith, not being ashamed of Him and His word, then we will be welcomed into heaven by none other than the Father Himself, with words like these: ‘Welcome thou good and faithful servant!’ And believe me friends, heaven is the place to spend eternity! Much LOVE!

…if you suffer with and for Christ on earth…you will surely rejoice with Him in heaven…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 February 2018 Philippians 4:6.

Philippians 4:6.   Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

And then it was Friday…and a lot of grateful sighs punctuate the universal skies. None more enthusiastic and exuberant than that of the ordinary workingman: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui mih people! The end of backbreaking labour for a few days! Time to celebrate a li’l freedom from the cruel mental lash of the criminal slave master! 

Our time now is ours to do what we want with it. And believe you me, we going to do just that; we going to party and celebrate and be thankful for this short freedom from unfair work for unfair pay. And whatever happens after that happens! Who cares eh? Just be thankful for Fridays and the weekend that eases we pain!’ 

A lot of sad truth in there mih friends, but as believers, we are encouraged to handle the situation differently. We have Jesus in our corner, so though many of us might suffer the same injustice, we have a different recourse, a different way, to alleviate our problems. 

We turn to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who has faithfully promised to look after us from the time we are saved until eternity. That’s why our Friday Chant differs so much from the workingman’s song. Let’s chant it now nuh, with heartfelt sincerity and a strong 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.’ 

Yes faithful believers, our God wants us to abide within certain boundaries so that we can be rejuvenated and continue His awesome work without missing a beat. The workingman’s song invites Beelzebub and his carnal addictions, our Friday Chant invites Jesus and His eternal spiritual salvation. 

Wow! What a good and mighty difference! It frees us from having the judgement of Hades constantly hanging over our heads, like the infamous sword of Damocles, suspended by a single hair. Instead, as true believers we can focus on the wonders of heaven and the amazing life to come that Jesus promises. 

But that means sincerely following Him; consistently reading and meditating on His word, offering up prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, and generally being obedient to His law. And the good part is that He knows we’re not perfect, but He is ever so willing to work with us on becoming more mature and Christ-like. 

And in this season of Lent, where we seem to be somewhat more prayerful than at other times, (smile) I guess this is as good a time as any to remind us of Bruh Paul’s admonition to the Philippians, as reflected in our Bit. But first, the two verses before it. 

‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.’ (Phil.4:4-6) 

Ah mih breddren, what wonderful and wise advice! And the scholars have this to say about those verses. ‘4:4. The mention of believers’ names being recorded in heaven (v.3) causes the author to write rejoice in the Lord always. Harmony among church members, as Paul assumes will be the result of his plea in verses 2 and 3, is another reason to “rejoice.”  

In adding and again I say, rejoice, it is as though the apostle looks into the future, considers all possibilities of sorrow, and in spite of them all repeats “the command.” This command to rejoice at all times and in all circumstances is nothing less than a call to faith. For if the Christian believes that his life and all its circumstances are in the hands of a sovereign, wise and LOVING God who is always working to accomplish good for him, then he can indeed “rejoice always.” 

Oh friends, there is no disputing that logic! If we have the faith to believe it, then there’s all the more reason to rejoice! 

As for 4:5. Moderation means “graciousness” or “sweet reasonableness.” The believer who is at peace with his fellow Christian (v.2) and who rejoices always (v.4) is indeed a gracious, reasonable person. The Lord is at hand means two things. First, His return to earth is near. 

His imminent coming as a judge encourages the Christian to be “gracious” unto all men, for He will judge the believer for all his actions toward all people, and will avenge all wrongs committed by others against him. Second, the “Lord is at hand” spiritually. The Lord’s being presently near should free the Christian from fear and anxiety. Hence the command of verse 6.’ 

And that says: ‘4:6. Be careful for nothing means “don’t worry about anything.” The Lord’s nearness (v.5b) leads Paul to forbid his readers from worrying. This is no summons to irresponsibility or an invitation to dismiss legitimate concern. The solution to undue anxiety is to be prayerful about everything. While God is eager to hear our requests, they are to be accompanied with thanksgiving.’ 

And if we do all that, then ‘the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:7) 

Oh my people, what a glorious promise!  So today, let’s try and stop worrying and complaining nuh, for if we believe in our faith, then there is no reason for them.  Instead, let’s pray and give thanks nuh, because there’s a whole lot for us to be grateful about. Much LOVE!

…worrying and complaining invites Lucifer…prayer and thanksgiving… makes Jesus shine forth…

 

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