Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 January 2020 1 Peter 3:11.

1 Peter 3:11.    ​Let him eschew (turn away from) evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue (pursue) it.
 
And as the day opens, a whole lot of people around the world emit sighs of relief because it’s that magical day called Friday, when their outside labour will end for a couple of days and they won’t have to face snarled, slow-moving traffic twice a day, and engage in mindless chit-chat with selfish, ignorant co-workers whom they thoroughly dislike! (smile) 

Ah friends, what an evil and deceitful world we live in! And the sad part is that it’s getting worse daily. All the negative stuff that’s currently happening in our world is just creating more tension, anxiety and strife between hitherto comfortable people. But all that us true believers in Christ can basically do is pray for world peace and then do our best to pursue it in our families, friends and neighbourhoods! 

And since it’s Friday, we ought to hear what the ordinary workingman has to say for himself. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! And am I ever grateful for the two days off! I forgot how hard work could really be. Yeh, now that the new year has truly gotten rolling, the work is pouring in and the slave driving task master we have is flashing the whip often because the more work we do means more money for him. And yes, we do get a little more too, but nothing like what he gets, and certainly not in proper proportion to the amount of work we do to create the extra money… 

But I guess them’s the breaks! It’s how the greedy massa and them build the society – the people who do all the back breaking work, get the smallest amount of the harvest. And to tell the truth, in all the different systems we have in the world, one thing stands out…the handful of people who run the show, always get the best part of the pie! Regardless of how much revolution yuh have, it always end up like that. And right now, I too old to fight it anymore, so I’ll just put mih gear in cruise, and just bide mih time till I retire, and until then keep saying, ‘Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

Now that’s the unfortunate reaction of a great number of people in our down-pressed world today, and sometimes you can’t give them wrong because they do seem to be fighting a losing battle. However, as true believers in Christ Jesus we don’t have to accept that defeatist philosophy, because in Christ there’s NO giving up. In fact, He has already won the victory and all we now have to do is walk it through in diligent faith and preordained works. That’s why our Friday Chant is so different from the workingman’s song. 

So let’s chant it now nuh, in strong voice and sincere hearts, so that we can be encouraged this Friday morning. ‘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!’ 

You see my faithful brethren, whatever it looks like, and however life turns out, we believers need to keep on keeping on, fixated on the promises and sacrificial work of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, always looking forward to His wonderful  coming in glory, sometime soon, any day now! In the meantime though, one thing we should all be seeking is that very real, but very elusive thing called peace, because it is a very important part of Christ’s kingdom. 

Now let’s look at some of the many scriptures in the Good Book that call for the making of peace. The first one is the prophecy of John the Baptist’s father, Zechariah re John’s work. ‘To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.’ (Luke 1:79) And if a big part of John’s work was to guide us in the way of peace, and John was the forerunner of Christ, then it means that peace was also a big part of Christ’s ministry. 

And He made that clear often enough. One of the Beatitudes, those 8 states of mind and heart  that Christ said was absolutely necessary for Christian discipleship in the Sermon on the Mount is: ‘Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.’ (Matt.5:9) Yes friends, blessed are those who seek peace and make peace and are at peace with God and man. And Peter makes it quite clear that if we want to have a good, long life: ‘Let him eschew (turn away from) evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue (pursue) it.’ Yuh see people, we have to make a definite decision and action; pursue peace. It doesn’t just come by desiring it, we have to make it happen! 

And I’m chuckling and a tad confused because I have so many scriptures on peace I don’t know which to share because of our time and space constraints. (smile) But since we can’t ever go wrong with Jesus, listen to Him again. ‘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 14:27) Yuh see that, Jesus’ peace is an entirely different kind of peace to what we find in the world. His is the kind that surpasses man’s understanding! (Phil. 4:7) And if we’re smart, we’ll diligently seek for His kind and not the world’s. 

And Hebrews so wisely tells us: ‘Follow (pursue) peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.’ (Heb.12:14) Then James proudly proclaims: ‘And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.’ (James 3:18) Yeh friends, peace is one of the fruits of the Spirit, and you can’t get it unless you sow it. And what better way to end than with one of Jesus’ better known sayings on peace. ‘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) 

Oh friends with those encouraging words ringing in our hearts and minds, let’s go out today and in our own li’l way pursue peace nuh, because that’s the only way our world will ever improve! Much LOVE!

…as much as possible…follow peace with all men…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 January 2020 Proverbs 3:25.

Proverbs 3:25.    ​Be not afraid of sudden fear (terror), neither of the desolation of (trouble from) the wicked, when it cometh.
 
And then it was Friday, that day we so revere and look forward to, because it means we’re about to get a much needed break from work. Many of us, however, are today more concerned about the serious state of negative affairs in our world in this short space of ten days of the new year. The anger and concern in our world hasn’t been this high in a long while. What with the natural disasters of fires, famines and whatnot, we also have the heightened tensions caused by indiscriminate bombings and killings and heated words and arguments of imminent international war being thrown around by incompetent and corrupt leaders. 

Steups! Haven’t we had enough of war? Are we still so stupid and short sighted to think that war solves anything? We must be, since the warmongers are having a field day with rhetoric of unbelievable proportions! But friends, the long and short of the story is that most of us can’t do anything about the tenuous situations currently facing our world, so we have to stop the worrying. Remember, worrying fixes nothing, just causes things to get worse. If you can fix it, why worry about it, just fix it! And if you can’t fix it, then why worry about it eh? 

Our main solution to the problem is simply prayer; turning to God with sincere hearts minds bodies and souls. And what amazes me is that we’ve turned away so far from God, that with all the negative stuff happening, our religious leaders aren’t even thinking that it might possibly be all a wake up call from our dissatisfied God, and all He’s seeking is for us to return to His wonderful fold. It’s been documented in the Good Book all down through it’s history, so why should these perilous times be any different eh? 

Friends, I don’t know the answers either, but I do know that this ought to be a time of serious prayer and repentance because that is the only thing that can bring us back from the overhanging precipice of war and possible extinction on which we’re currently precipitously balancing! Anyway, it’s Friday and the workingman is just dying to have his say. So what say we let him eh? (smile) 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! It wasn’t a bad week at work nuh, though the weather could have been more consistent; instead of one minute snow, one minute rain…yuh never know what to expect. Just look at all the snow we had fall yesterday. Today there’s hardly a trace of it; either washed away by the rain, or melted in the warmer temps. I guess that’s all about climate change. But don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, for generally speaking, the less snow I have to encounter in my everyday life, the happier I am! 

And with the children back to school now, contented with all their toys and stuff, for the time being that is, the wife was able to get some much needed rest and do some stuff for herself. Brother, it’s so busy and draining being a homemaker these days, even with all the helpful tools that are supposed to make it easier! Don’t know how women long ago handled it nuh. We just got to be thankful for sensible, hardworking wives, Fridays and weekend yes!’ 

And all the men said a loud and grateful ‘Amen!’ (smile) Ah mih people, life might have been somewhat harder physically long ago, but it certainly wasn’t as stressful and busy like it is today. And one would think that with all the technological inventions etc. etc. we’d be able to slow down. But the truth is all those inventions are just making us become busier and want things in even shorter time periods. 

But for those of us who sincerely believe in and trust the Lord Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, we don’t need to rush around like a chicken with it’s head cut off – have you ever seen that – (smile) we ought to be well grounded, calm and not anxious or fearful. And to help us do that, let’s give out with our Friday Chant nuh. 

‘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 friends, ours is a more cautious though still amazingly more enjoyable life than that of the ordinary workingman. 

And you’ll notice that in his song he didn’t mention anything about the current turmoil in our world. That’s because a lot of the ordinary working people, don’t have the time to worry about such stuff, even though they might hear it on their televisions or radios or social media. Why? Because they’re too busy trying to make a half decent life in this crazy, dog-eat-dog world in which we now live! 

And I believe this passage from Proverbs will help us today, if we seriously embrace it. ‘The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. By his knowledge the depths (deeps) are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew. My son, let not them (wisdom, understanding, knowledge) depart from thine eyes; keep sound wisdom and discretion: 

So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace (favour) to thy neck. Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble. When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet. Be not afraid of sudden fear (terror), neither of the desolation of (trouble from) the wicked, when it cometh. For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.’ (Prov. 3:19-26) 

Oh my people, as true believers, let us not fear in these troubling times, but instead stand strong and sincerely turn to our omnipotent God, Creator and wonderful Shepherd! That will certainly stand us in good stead when negative things come against us! Much LOVE!

…the most used words of Jesus…FEAR NOT…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 January 2020 Matthew 18:20.

Matthew 18:20.    ​For where two or three are gathered together in my name; there am I in the midst of them.
 
Can you believe it friends, we’re already into the third day of this new year of 2020! The days surely are running fast. As the duchess tells me when I complain about how the day ends so quickly: ‘Sit down there and think the day waiting on you nuh!’ It certainly isn’t my people, that’s why we got to get up and make hay while the sun shines, and not put off for tomorrow what we can do today. Another of the duchess’ sayings to me when I tend to procrastinate. (smile) But thankfully it’s Friday, and a lot of us are giving thanks for that fact because we’re still tired and bombed out from the hectic Christmas and New Year’s Eve activities. 

And I guess the workingman is too, so let’s hear what he has to say. ‘Oh mercy me! TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! I haven’t looked forward to a Friday like this one in a long time. Brother am I ever tired! Having not worked for the Christmas week, and then partied so much for the New Year’s, I was definitely out of sync and not up to snuff these last couple days in doing the slave master’s work. Steups! I should really have taken the two weeks off. Next year I’ll know better. 

But it was a good Christmas and New Year’s. The family got closer together as we did stuff that we hadn’t done in ages, and I promised mihself to keep on doing that, not kill mihself out in the slave driver work, like I did last year. Ah getting older, ah not a spring chicken any more, so the work getting harder, because it entail plenty physical labour. And the wife needs some help with the children too, she not getting any younger either. So hopefully this will be a year when everything comes together, falls into place for us. Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

Yes friends, I guess all of us are hoping that for 2020 we’ll turn over a new leaf in our lives, round a serious corner and discover the good life. (smile) And it’s always possible once you have Jesus as the Guiding Light of our lives. But please remember, it’s not going to be easy. It wasn’t easy for Jesus, and won’t be for His followers. But it surely will be interesting, adventurous and worthwhile, because that’s the kind of Leader we have. Now the workingman had some good sentiments in his song, but our weekend song is somewhat different, with checks and balances, as required by our Lord and Saviour to prevent the enemy from getting a foothold in our lives. 

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

Oh my people, is it ever important for us to get our souls, bodies, minds and spirits renewed and refreshed every week, so that we can do Jesus’ work at a high standard, with the diligence and excellence He expects of us. That’s why gathering to fellowship with other believers, on a Sunday, or whenever, is a must! We were made for fellowship, not to be independents or loners. Remember the saying, no man is an island. We can’t do it all on our lonesome. In fellowship there is great joy and togetherness, such that cannot be found on our own. 

Why yuh think Jesus said: ‘For where two or three are gathered together in my name; there am I in the midst of them.’ Because He knew the great benefits that accrued from fellowship. Not that He isn’t with us when we’re alone, but the Father made us specifically to dwell together in harmony, and when we forget our foolish pride and do just that, then all heaven cries out with delight and joy. Yuh think heaven’s happy now with the way we supposed believers living – divided by petty squabbles, full of resentment, bitterness, hatred and anger towards each other? 

Not on your life! Jesus came to break down the barriers that existed between Jews and Gentiles, and form ONE unified church! But we, in our worldly wisdom, have made a mockery of Jesus’ plan, for there’s no other organization or institution that’s as divided as the church in these turbulent end times! It’s ever so sad that when we need to come together the most, we’re drifting even further apart by the enemy’s successful drive to divide and conquer us. Oh my fellow believers, can’t we see that we’re only harming ourselves by all the foolishness that’s happening in Christ’s church? 

We’re only giving Satan a bigger and stronger foothold in our lives and demeaning the sacrifice and work of Christ! Do we need the many denominations and sects, numbered in the thousands, that are supposedly a part of the unified church? Definitely not! Especially when all are preaching something different. And Bruh Paul saw it coming when he warned Timothy about the apostasy (renunciation and doubt of formerly held beliefs) that would eventually appear. 

‘This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous (money lovers), boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers (irreconcilable), false accusers (slanderers), incontinent (without self-control), fierce (brutal), despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady (reckless), high-minded (haughty), lovers of pleasures more than (rather than) lovers of God: Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.’ (2 Tim. 3:1-5) 

Oh my people, we’ve always had some of this in our world, but right now it’s the worse it’s ever been! The false teachers and preachers, the antichrist, as John calls them, are holding too much sway. Too many are preaching that form of godliness; ‘mere religion without power or spiritual life.’ From those we must stay away. But we can only do that successfully when we know the Word. 

That means, this year, more than ever, we need to delve into God’s Word with a vengeance, so that we can know the false teachers and preachers, the antichrist, and stay away from them. Our world is depending on us friends, so let’s put some serious effort into raising our spiritual level, our faith, so that we can be strong, vibrant witnesses for Christ, and thus turn back the enemy. Much LOVE!

…the Word will set you free…but you can’t be free…until you know the Word…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 December 2019 Matthew 4:19.

Matthew 4:19.    ​And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
 
Welcome to another glorious day friends…! And we talking here about the overall day, not just the physical weather pattern, which by me, for the last few days, have been dark and damp and dreary. It’s just great to be alive and kicking and enjoying all the benefits of living for Christ, like the new mercies and compassions that are new every single day! 

Wow! What a magnificent and magnanimous God we serve my faithful brethren! I know some of you tired hearing me say that, but it’s the gospel truth, and if we are indeed true believers, we ought to acknowledge it with pleasure, each and every day, because it’s the same wonderful God, who breathed His awesome breath into our nostrils at birth and keeps us alive and kicking every day and provides ALL of our benefits, both earthly and heavenly. So how can we not be grateful eh? Gratitude friends…gratitude. The next best thing after LOVE! Matter fix! (smile) 

Anyway, it’s Friday, so let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say for himself nuh. And he expounds: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday…the weekend cometh, and no work until Monday! Have been on holidays all week though. And it’s certainly been a great Christmas week! Forgot how good it is to spend time at home with the family and have friends drop over to celebrate Christmas. The old bod is well rested…but satiated with food and drink though. The children liked their presents and so didn’t behave like spoiled brats, as they can do when they’re not happy. 

Oh, the wife was also thrilled with her presents…even got a nice big hug and sweet, long kiss from her. Mama! Could certainly use some more of those yes. But life so busy, we don’t find that much time to enjoy ourselves together. But I promised her, and mihself too, that this coming year of 2020, we going to make time to get away to some romantic place, just the two of us…can’t wait for it to happen. Yes, life ain’t bad at all! It ain’t always easy, but you just have to take it with a grain of salt, else it surely going to drive you crazy. Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

And isn’t that the living truth. Life isn’t easy, but if you face it with the right attitude, it will surely turn out all right. So what’s the right attitude, you ask? Well it starts by having Jesus Christ in your life as El Numero Uno; Number ONE! And then sticking to stuff like what’s contained in our Friday Chant. Let’s chant it loud and proud now nuh. 

‘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 my fellow believers, that’s our basic job; to help unbelievers come to Christ! And the verse that I was led to for today’s Bit is ever so appropriate in conjunction with out Friday Chant. Hear these immortal words of Jesus as He called Peter and his brother Andrew to work for Him. ‘And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ Now that’s the same call Christ has issued to each one of us who claim to be His follower. And we all know that He doesn’t lie, He keeps every promise He makes! 

So why are so many of us so reluctant and hesitant to truly follow Christ eh? Is it that we don’t truly believe, or simply think it will interfere with our carnal or earthly lives? Oh yes, I think we need to take a moment’s thought before doing it, and I’ve always been amazed at how the first disciples didn’t even seem to contemplate it, just got up and followed Jesus when He called. The Good Book puts it this way: ‘And they (Peter and Andrew) straightway left their nets, and followed him.’ (Matt.4:20) 

Wow! They simply left all their equipment and their livelihood and followed this poor, itinerant Rabbi, whom they didn’t even know. And if you think that was amazing, then listen to this next part. ‘And going on from thence, he (Jesus) saw two other brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.’ (Matt.4:21-22) Wonder of wonders! James and John just upped and left their poor father Zebedee and followed Jesus. How many of us would ever do that eh? Not many. 

But the scholars make this rather true and appropriate statement as to the situation in verse 22 above. ‘The statement in verse 22 that they immediately responded to His call gives us a perfect picture of true obedience to the Lordship of Christ.’ And does it ever! No hesitation or reluctance to His call is what the Lord would prefer from us, but knowing our frailties and weaknesses and fears, He ofttimes gives us a li’l leeway, but He doesn’t relent or reverse the call. And the longer you take to accept it, the more difficult He makes your life. 

And I can tell you that from personal experience. When He first approached me about writing the Bit, I laughed and said I couldn’t because I didn’t know enough scripture. But He kept up the call, and suddenly I found some obstacles in my way that seemed rather strange and unnecessary. He eventually wore me down and I began writing a verse or a few lines every day. And over the last thirteen years, I’ve certainly learned of His amazing faithfulness, in that whatever He gives you to do, He also gives you the tools to do it and helps you too. Do you think I write all the stuff in the Bit every day in my own strength? Not on your life! The Lord helps me everyday! 

So friends, my best advice is, whenever the Lord calls, our best and wisest reaction is to immediately ask, ‘how high do you want me to jump Lord?’ (smile) Because, He’ll just keep upping the bar every time you refuse His offer, until you have no choice but to eventually accept it. (smile) Much LOVE!

…when the Lord wants you…He will get you…come what may…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 November 2019 Proverbs 1:7.

Proverbs 1:7.    The fear (reverential awe) of the Lord is the (principal) beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
 

Well thank the Lord for eyes that opened again this Friday morning unto another new day in God’s great universe! Although I don’t think that many of us found the time to do it for real, since we were, and are still too occupied with the man-made commercial day called Black Friday! Ah Lord eh, another day to spend our money, or rather get into debt foolishly for things we don’t need, another snare of supposed sales to get you into the stores and spend what you don’t have. And it’s become so big over the last few years that even in Canada now it’s taken over, ostensibly to stop the northerners from going south to spend their hard earned cash and credit. 

And sadly, it just shows up man’s wild beast behaviour, as we rush and push and fight, and even kill to be the first into the stores, for the storekeepers are smart enough to only advertise a few items at a true sale price, so that mayhem can erupt at their doors. I don’t know how many Thanksgiving Day parties ended early so the participants could go and line up early for Black Friday Door Crashers! 

But let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say about all of that nuh: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday again oui! That means the weekend is here, and there’s no more work! And please doh tell me no nonsense about Black Friday eh! I work hard enough for my money, ah not going to go and throw it away now and buy stuff I don’t really need. And on top of that, to get out early and rush and push to get the few items on sale. 

No way Jose! Too much violence does go on in that Black Friday business nowadays yes! It just have we behaving like wild animals…even worse than wild animals, the way we fight each other to get in the stores and them. Steups! Let them do their do yes! I not going nowhere no stores today! I’m just going home after work, as usual, and just enjoy mih weekend, making my preparations for the real big and worthwhile celebration…Christmas! Would you believe Christmas just round the corner! Mamacita! Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui people!’ 

And who says the workingman isn’t wise in his own simple way eh? There’s nothing that says you need a lot of education to be wise. In fact, in these foolish and tremulous times, more education seems to equal less wisdom. But thankfully there’s a group that specializes in wisdom, (smile) true believers in Christ Jesus. Although I’m sure many supposed believers are involved in the Black Friday crush. (smile) Nonetheless, let’s chant our Friday Chant so that we can show the world that we’re somewhat different. 

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

Yeh friends, that’s wisdom personified! If you are sincerely and diligently trying to do the will of Almighty God, then you are certainly numbered among the wise by those in heaven, though not necessarily by those on earth. But heaven is where it truly matters, since this earth will eventually pass away, but heaven, God’s Word and His Will, will not. That’s why Cousin Sol in his Book of Proverbs specified these awesome words of wisdom right at the very beginning: ‘The fear (reverential awe) of the Lord is the (principal) beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.’ 

Oh my people, that is indeed gospel truth! If you believe that the Lord made the universe and all therein it, then to know what the universe is all about, you must first know what’s Creator is all about. I think that’s simple logic. But hear how the scholars explain that verse. ‘1:7. The fear of the Lord means submission to the Lord and His revelation. When one is afraid of something, he either runs from it or submits to it. The latter idea is in view here. It is a healthy fear, like the fear of electricity or the fear of one’s parents, which causes one to act in an appropriate manner. The beginning does not mean that “the fear of the Lord” is left behind in the course of acquiring wisdom, but that it is the controlling principle of wisdom.’ 

Oh friends, how I wish that a much larger portion of this fractious world’s population truly feared, showed a reverential awe of the Lord! Then most of the nonsense that’s now happening would not even exist. And Job said it thus in his discourse on the subject. ‘But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? Man knoweth not the price (value) thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living.’ (Job 28:12-13) 

Then after evaluating the pros and cons of the matter (vs. 14-25) Job finally saw the light and announced: ‘When he (God) made a decree (set a limit) for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder (thunderbolt); Then did he see it (wisdom), and declare it; he prepared it, yea, and searched it out. And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.’ (Job 28:28) How much clearer can it get eh people? Not a whole lot! 

Now hear the psalmist: ‘He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.’ (Ps.111:9-10) 

There’s nothing left for me to say nuh friends, since great men of God have already declared the truth of the matter. All I can do now is to implore us to diligently seek the Lord, seek His face, seek His amazing wisdom though a sincere and reverential awe, so that wisdom can be ours, this day…and forever more! Much LOVE!

…you can’t know the created…until you know the Creator…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 November 2019 Mark 7:9.

Mark 7:9.    ​Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
 

Oh friends, looks like it’s going to be another cold, dreary, sunless, cloudy day in my neighbourhood! But the good news is that the harbinger of the weekend, Friday, is here! Glory be! And we do have Jesus Christ dwelling within us, so that makes it doubly good! (smile) Yes, whatever the weather might be, we can, and we will handle it with great aplomb. That’s because, with Christ in us, and we in Him, we have the self assurance and confidence to handle whatever comes against us. He’s faithfully promised that He will never leave nor forsake us, which means we have no need to worry or be overly anxious about anything! And all God’s children gave a grateful and sincere shout of ‘Praise the Lord! Bless His holy name!’ 

Now that’s something believers should always do. Anyway, since it’s Friday, we know the workingman is just dying to sing his song, so let’s listen to him nuh. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! The weekend has come around just in time, cause the foolish winter weather’s been getting me down. Wasn’t prepared for the snow and ice and bundling up in plenty warm clothes just yet. Oh, I know it was coming, but thought I had more time to get acclimatized. But with temperature change and all the other idiosyncrasies happening in the world today, one never knows where one stands, or what’s going to happen. 

It’s certainly not like long time when everything was lined up properly and you didn’t have as many surprises as nowadays. But the long and short of the story is that this is the weekend, and if I let the weather, or anybody spoil it, then that’s my problem. So I’m just going to eat up and drink up and have a good time… Hn, hn, hn! Not like Thanksgiving weekend though, because I still remember that tragic feeling of dying from excessive partying. And the weather can do whatever it wants, just as long as it settles down on Monday, so I can go back to the slave master work without any hassles. Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Oh mih people, too much of anything is no good! I’m glad to hear though that the workingman has learned his lesson. (smile) Yuh know, we never learn from the mistakes of others as quickly as we do from our own mistakes. And he would have kept on overdoing it until one day he actually dropped down from excessive partying. Now that’s why our Leader, Jesus Christ has instituted borders and boundaries in our lives. He doesn’t want us to go out to the thin end of the branch and have it break with us. 

Then we tumble down like Humpty Dumpty and they can’t put us back together again. It’s not to spoil our fun, like so many of us think, but merely a precaution to save us from the devil’s deceitful enticements. Remember the old but oh so true adage: ‘prevention better than cure.’ Now let’s sing our Friday Chant, which shows that we don’t need to go overboard to have fun. 

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

Oh precious people, all that is for our benefit, so that enemy doesn’t get a foothold in our lives and thus be able to run roughshod over them. But as I said earlier on, too many of us think that Jesus’ rules are just another way to clip our wings and prevent us from having fun. But why would He do that when He explicitly came to save us from our sinful deeds and lives eh? It’s the extra-curricular activities that afflict us. (smile) 

That’s why Christ rebuked the Pharisees an’ them by saying: ‘Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.’ They were putting their traditions before God’s commandments, just like we’re doing today. So many of our traditions run counter to God’s commands, but yet we follow them without blinking an eye. 

And Jesus pointed out one particular case: ‘For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and Whoso curseth Father or mother, let him die the death (be put to death): But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift (dedicated to the temple), by whatsoever thou mightiest be profited by me; he shall be free. And ye suffer (allow) him no more to do aught (anything) for his father or his mother; Making the word of God of none (no) effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered (handed down): and many such like things ye do.’ (Mark 7:10-13) 

And the scholars explain: ‘7:11-12. Jews could evade responsibility to parents by declaring (steups!) their substance Corban, “devoted to God.” Religious leaders evidently condoned this clear circumvention of both the letter and intent of the Old Testament.’ How sad and evil was that friends! But don’t go quickly condemning the religious leaders of old, because we today are doing the same blooming thing! How many parents are left nowadays in the lurch by their children…for whatever they consider good reason…too many! It’s just more convenient for us to ignore them; economically, physically and emotionally. But yet we expect to reap God’s promises of long life. 

Ah mih people, paying for them in a nursing home but not going to visit them is not honouring them in God’s eyes. As the scholars explain verse 13; ‘Jesus quarrel was not with God’s word, but with human misuse of it.’ And there are many examples today where we do the very same thing; misuse God’s Word to serve our selfish purposes. But as they say, you can only lead a horse to water – like I’m trying to do here – but you can’t make it drink. Let’s hope the Word of God will do that. Much LOVE!

…unless you sow…what’s in God’s Word…you won’t reap His promises…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 November 2019 Matthew 5:19.

Matthew 5:19.    ​Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal:
 

‘Sunshine makes me feel so happy…Sunshine makes me feel so sad…’ Yeh friends, sunshine has the ability to do both those things. When we see it in the early morning hours, it lifts our spirits, but when it gets too hot, or too cold, as it is now in my neck of the woods, it deflates the spirit somewhat. But let’s be thankful for small mercies nuh, be thankful that there’s a bright sun shining in God’s beautiful sky, instead of any negative precipitation like the rain we’ve been recently having, or the snow that’s in our immediate future. And the ordinary workingman reminds us of just that in his weekend song. 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday, and the weekend is upon us! Boy, is that ever the best time of the week! And the sun’s shining to boot…and no snow not falling…not yet anyway. Wow! As Brother James Brown would say: ‘Get on the good foot baby!’ Yes, I’m certainly going to do that, come rain, snow or shine, cause life’s too short to allow the vagaries of the weather to control it. And who doesn’t want to do that, that’s their business, their loss. They don’t know what a good time they passing up nuh. To some of us, it’s okay to work all week, then don’t enjoy the weekend. Well not me nuh! I’m starting right now to enjoy it oui! Come hell or highwater, my weekend going to be a blast! Yes sir! Thank God for Fridays and weekends!’ 

And so should we all, my precious people of God! Because it’s only through His grace and mercy that we can enjoy the fruits of our labour in fairly peaceful surroundings. Unfortunately, a great proportion of humanity are unable to do that, due to strife and wars and other public upheavals. So let’s give some sincere and heartfelt thanks as we declare our weekend song, our Friday Chant.

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

And as I like to remind us each week, Christianity is an action oriented, outgoing association, but not one that just runs hither, thither and yon without a sensible sense of purpose. (smile) That is to say, our Leader, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ has instituted borders and boundaries that we should not cross over since they would just allow the ever-lurking enemy to get a foothold in our lives, something we need to avoid at all cost. So, unlike the ordinary workingman, we don’t rush out and do whatever we want, or whatever feels good, we need to examine our actions in the context of Christ’s boundaries before we do stuff. 

Now sometimes that’s difficult, or it seems to detract from what we’d naturally consider a joyful time. But friends, it’s better to be safe than sorry, for once we get into certain activities or circumstances, they will certainly come back to haunt us, possibly for the rest of our lives. Please, please, let’s remember that all that glitters is not gold, especially in the enemy’s camp. His stuff is not even gold plated, just covered with a thin veneer of gold paint, and gets rusty real quickly! (smile) That’s why Jesus went to such great length to warn us in His Sermon on the Mount: ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal:’ What life changing, world beating advice my brethren! 

And it’s not like we don’t know, or have not experienced the theft and/or fraudulent gain of our earthly treasure by others, yet we continue to kill ourselves in order to accumulate earthly wealth and possessions that can be so easily violated. And Jesus doesn’t leave us hanging, He shows us where to store our treasure. ‘But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal.’ (Matt. 6:20) That’s ageless wisdom people! If you have treasure, the best place to store it is where it’s the safest from thieves and rust…and that’s heaven. 

And furthermore, Jesus reminds us: ‘For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ (Matt.6:21) Gospel truth friends! Just think about your earthly valuables right now, wherever you have them stored, your mind is always on them wondering if they are safe; in the bank, or under your mattress, or if they are making you more money, increasing in value, in places like the stock exchange. And in these oh so turbulent times, we’re thinking about our earthly treasure more than ever, since matters totally out of our control can cause us to lose it all. 

Listen to the scholars: ‘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 (on earth, or in heaven). The concept of laying up treasures in heaven is not pictured as one of meritorious benefits but rather as rewards for faithful service, as is illustrated elsewhere in the teaching of Jesus.’ Oh friends all the wealth in the world won’t get us into heaven. That doesn’t mean it’s wrong to have earthly wealth, but it’s how we use it. 

Hear Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘Charge (command) them that are rich in this world (present age), that they be not highminded (haughty), nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute (give), willing to communicate (share); Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.’ (1 Tim. 17-19) Yeh friends, once we believe in Christ, we must use our earthly treasures to help others, to further God’s kingdom, thus we will store up rewards, treasures in heaven…and you can’t beat heavenly treasures! Much LOVE!

…labour not to be rich…do not overwork…cease from thine own wisdom… (Prov.23:4)

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