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)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 November 2019 Psalm 138:7.

Psalm 138:7.    ​Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.

Well my wish has finally been granted…the rain’s stopped! And the sun is even trying to push out against the darkness in the eastern horizon. But the wind is still causing a ruckus as it’s done since I don’t remember how long. And in spite of the seriously inclement weather, can you believe that children were still out there trick or treating last evening! But who am I to say anything eh, it’s not in my generational makeup? (smile) But the workingman might have something to say about it. Let’s hear him nuh. 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday…the weekend is finally here…and the rain stop! Brother, is almost two days of straight wind and rain! And it definitely kill Halloween for me. The children were disappointed, but no way was I going out in that foul weather to collect a few pieces of candy! Steups! And the children still too young to go out by themselves. And even if they were older I still wasn’t allowing them to go out there in that kinda weather. Chuh shoot! Can you imagine it still had children come knocking on my door, by themselves to boot! 

What is wrong with parents nowadays eh? Have they lost their minds? Many of them were probably home eating and drinking and partying, while deh children out on the street facing what kinda danger, nobody knows. And they like to talk about safety and child protection and all that stuff, but they still sending them out in such bad weather to get a few candy and expose them to the serious predators out there. And yuh know what? My children not going to be hard up for candy, because they have all the candy that I’d bought to give out and nobody came around to collect. So we have a win win situation! Wow! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, the ordinary workingman might step out far on the fragile limb sometimes, but he still does have his wits about him when it comes to the safety of his children. Now how many of us supposed believers either went out with our children in that bad weather last night, or sent them by themselves eh, all for the sake of a foolish, evil and ungodly tradition? That’s between you and God. (smile) Anyway, let’s raise our Friday Chant to heaven nuh, invoking our wonderful God’s care and concern. 

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

Yes my people, ours is a more structured environment, because our Lord and Saviour doesn’t encourage us to go way out on the fragile part of the branch for fear that the slender branch will break, and we fall off into the waiting arms of the enemy. Yuh know he’s constantly lurking and looking around for believers to make a mistake, so he can jump in and create havoc. 

Oh friends, what a wonderful God we serve and worship! For although He has set boundaries and borders for us, when we foolishly step out of them and endanger ourselves, or life just comes against us, as it ofttimes will, He will still step in and look after us, because we are His beloved children! That’s why Bruh David could proclaim with such certainty in Psalm 138: ‘Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.’ 

Glory be, my faithful saints in Christ! That’s exactly what our great and faithful God will do. And very few of us will have a difficult and dangerous life like Bruh David did, but the Lord saved him from his enemies, despite his many mistakes, because he never gave up on the God of his forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! And the Lord will do exactly the same for us, despite our many mistakes, if we just have true faith in Him and surrender our souls, our lives to His everlasting wisdom, grace and LOVING-kindness! 

And even if we don’t know, or are unfamiliar with the words of our Bit, we do know the immortal and momentous words of Bruh David from Psalm 23, that convey the same sentiments. ‘He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.’ (Ps.23:3-4)

Ah friends, just like the shepherd David protected his sheep with his rod and staff, likewise the Lord, our shepherd, will protect us with His invincible rod and staff! O praise his mighty and glorious name my fellow believers! 

And our God is so great and wonderful and brazen, (smile) here’s the staggering, the awesome limit to which He will take our divine replenishment. ‘Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest me head with oil; my cup runneth over.’ (Ps.23:5) Wow people! That’s the power and the boldness of our God!  He can feed and anoint us in the presence of our enemies!

And since we are the sheep of His pasture, it’s His duty to look after us as best He can. And we can be very sure that He will NEVER renege on His promise or duty, that’s why like Bruh David, we can profoundly believe and proudly and confidently say: ‘Surely goodness and mercy (LOVING-kindness) shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.’ (Ps.23:6) 

All praise and glory to our great God! So let’s rejoice and be glad in all the wonderful things we have going for us today in Jesus Christ my fellow saints! Much LOVE!

…if God be for us…who can be against us eh…NOBODY…not a single soul…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 October 2019 Ecclesiastes 3:1.

Ecclesiastes 3:1.    To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
 

Oh man, it seems like I’ve gotten up too early (smile) because it’s still dark outside, and therefore no indication of what the weather will be like. But at least it’s not wet. That’s a good start to this Friday morning. Yeh working people, it’s the day we all look forward to with such eagerness because it signals the end of our work week and the beginning of our weekend! Wow! And short though our weekend might be, we still value and look forward to it like a child does to toys at Christmas. (smile) And nobody looks forward to it like the ordinary workingman. 

Hear him joyfully declare: ‘Oh boy, oh boy, TGIF! Thank the Lord is Friday yes! The weekend is here at long last! Time to party again… No, no, no! Hold down on that party scene yes! I still remember last week, at Thanksgiving, when I partied so much, I was sick like a dog the next day! Steups! Got to have a li’l more common sense and doh hit the food and drinks so hard nuh, because I definitely can’t handle another sick like that one.

That was possibly the worse hangover and overeating scene that I’ve ever experienced. Ah Lord eh! I guess that’s why the ole people say to take a little and live long. I certainly wouldn’t be living long if I continue imbibing food and waters like that nuh. Yeh, this weekend go be a quiet one oui. Leave out all that unnecessary stuff…spend some quiet time with the wife and children…that is if they have time for me. (smile) Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’

 Oh friends, I’m chuckling here because there’s nothing to bring us to our senses like an unpleasant experience! Yeh, I’ve had a few of them in my time, like many of us have, but I eventually learned my lesson, and I don’t over imbibe or over eat anymore because it’s a terribly uncomfortable feeling, one that has you feeling so lousy, sometimes you even want to die.

And that’s why our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ instituted borders in our lives. Unlike what the evil one says, about them being there to cut short our fun, they’re there to keep us safe, to ensure that we don’t go overboard and hurt or destroy ourselves. And that’s why our Friday Chant is not as permissive and loose as the workingman’s song. So let’s chant it now nuh, sombrely remembering the workingman’s predicament. (smile) 

As one, in true sincerity: ‘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.’ Ah mih Christian breddren, that is not meant to curtail our fun, but to ensure that it’s clean, safe and godly, consequently not giving the devil a chance to get into our business and stir up strife and trouble as is his won’t. 

That brings us to our Bit for today, some immortal words of Cousin Sol, writing as the Preacher in Ecclesiastes. ‘To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.’ Now isn’t that an everlasting truth? It certainly is! And Cousin Sol breaks it down for our small minds to understand. (smile) ‘A time to be born (to bear children), and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get (gain), and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend (tear apart), and a time to sew (come together); a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to LOVE, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.’ (Eccl.3:2-8) 

Yes friends, there is a time for everything in this life. And I like how the scholars put it. ‘3:1-8. As Solomon reflects on all of life, he expresses in a beautiful poem of 14 pairs of opposite events that God has a sovereign design behind all events (cf. Rom.8:28). To gather stones (v 5) refers to the process of clearing land for planting or building. To hate (v 8) means to withdraw from intimacy and should not always be taken in an absolute sense (cf. Mal.1:2-3).’ It all goes to show that our great and wonderful God didn’t create the world in a reckless or foolish manner, but gave serious thought to it. 

That’s why Bruh Paul could say with such confidence: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom. 8:28) If there wasn’t a time and purpose for everything, we would not be able to say that. And we’ll end with Cousin Sol’s take on life itself. ‘Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.’ (Eccl.12:13-14) 

And if you’re a true believer, there’s no way you can refute that conclusion, because that’s what the Good Book says. So now let’s go out and live that kind of life nuh; reverence God, and keep His commandments, for that’s wisdom of the highest level. Much LOVE!

…all things have their time…be they good or bad…

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 October 2019 Hebrews 12:14.

Hebrews 12:14.    ​Follow (pursue) peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

 

Welcome to another hot and hazy day in Kingston, Jamaica my dear people! I don’t know if it’s just cloud cover, dust from factory outputs, or a combination of both, but the haze they generate keep preventing me from seeing the nearby harbour and the distant mountains properly! But yuh know what? I’ll take it over the cold weather every time! (smile) And I hear that you all might be having snow, lots of it, for Thanksgiving next week. Hn! Just make sure it’s all gone by the time I get back oui! (smile) 

But it’s Friday all over the world, and what happens on a Friday? Working people sing their weekend song of short freedom. So let’s hear what the workingman has to say today nuh. And as always, he’s quite vocal: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! The weekend, the weekend! Mama Yo! Is party fuh so! From tonight, right back to Monday night! Might’n be even able to go to the slave driver work on Tuesday nuh, cause ah all partied out… 

And so it should be, because is Thanksgiving weekend, so we have to give plenty thanks for all we have…and giving plenty thanks involves having plenty parties. So we can all shout: ‘Party! Party! Party!’ Yeh it’s going to be a hot time in the land this weekend, what with all the gobble gobble (turkey) on the table, the pumpkin pie and what have you! And the drinks going to flow like water too! Yuh better believe that! Brother, the Lord surely not going to be able to say we not thankful nuh! Give Him thanks for Fridays and weekends that we have a li’l freedom to do we own thing!’ 

Yeh friends, it’s all meet and right to celebrate and give thanks for our many blessings, but as believers in Christ Jesus, we can’t be like the ordinary workingman and go way out on the limb, we have to remember Granny’s warning: ‘Sonny boy, ah beg yuh, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business!’ And yuh better believe if we don’t mind our p’s and q’s the devil going to mind them for us, getting into our business and screwing them up even more than we already doing. That’s why our Friday Chant is not as ebullient and effusive as the workingman’s song. We take a somewhat more serious look at the situation. 

So please chant with me now nuh in all sincerity: ‘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, let us enjoy ourselves, but with a modicum of circumspection, as butler Jeeves would say. 

And following on from that, we come to where we left off in the scriptures yesterday, re Hebrews warning against disobedience. The author wisely tells us: ‘Follow (pursue) peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail (fall short) of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane (godless) person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat (food) sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited (wanted to inherit) the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.’ (Heb.12:14-17) 

And what does all of that mean? Hear the scholars: ‘12:15. Root of bitterness accurately portrays the nature of bitterness. First it is hidden, but when it is discovered its noxious roots have spread and it springs up as something much bigger and more destructive (cf. Deut.29:18).’ That’s gospel truth friends; the roots of bitterness spread far and wide and fast like a cancer! ‘12:16-17.Profane person: This profanity (Gr. bebelos) involves far more than one’s speech; it is a quality of one’s life. The author sees this quality exemplified in Esau, even though Esau was not a vile man. In fact, he was less of a crook than his brother Jacob. 

The author accurately focuses on the one area that revealed Esau as profane – the selling of his birthright. To “profane” is to regard something as unhallowed, to treat something sacred as common. Being totally concerned with his temporary and material needs, Esau gave them priority over his rights as the firstborn son and his responsibilities as the heir to the blessing of the Abrahamic covenant. (Gen.25:29-34). The result in Esau’s life was that afterward, when he wanted the blessing, he was rejected. He repented with tears, but the situation was irrevocable.’ 

Ah mih people, many of us like to take the easy way out, then regret it, and try to turn it around, but unsuccessfully. It’s like burning a bridge behind you, then wanting to go back the same way you came. That’s ofttimes impossible. So please let’s think before we act nuh, and thus not get ourselves in those untenable and often irreversible situations. 

As Bruh Paul said to the church at Rome: ‘Be not wise in your own conceits (estimation). Recompense (repay) to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest (have regard for good things) in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in (depends on) you, live peaceably with all men… Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.’ (Rom. 12:16c-18, 21) 

And if you don’t believe Bruh Paul, then listen to Bruh David from way back when: ‘What man is he that desireth life, and LOVETH many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile (deceit). Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.’ (Ps.34:12-15) 

What more can I say eh mih people? Not a whole lot. Bruh David and Bruh Paul said it, so who am I to say them nay eh? So let’s be wise and sensible and godly and do like they advise us nuh, because anything else will just bring disaster. Much LOVE!

…blessed are the peacemakers…for they shall be called…the children of God… 

P.S. The first of the big parties, the Gala, is tonight. So as the man said…Party fuh so! But with Granny’s warning in mind. (smile) Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 September 2019 Romans 15:5.

Romans 15:5.    ​Now the God of patience and consolation (comfort) grant you to be like-minded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:
 

Welcome to another glorious day on God’s great earth my people! And it just happens to be Friday, the day that so many of us look forward to, because it heralds the death knell of our workweek and the arrival of the weekend! And this week has indeed been a rough one for the ole fella; being sick, going into the city several times to see medics, as well as losing my cell phone. 

Yesterday the bus was full to overflowing, had to stand up all the way into T.O. Never saw it so filled before. And to make matters worse, a problem cropped up with some sensor in the bus, so that the driver had to pull over and stop several times until the sensor quieted down. 

Then my appointment with the ‘dragon lady’ my ophthalmologist, slated for three o’clock, was never fulfilled until six. But they warn you it’s usually a long wait to see her. (smile) So I never left the hospital until minutes to seven, and the train took another fifty minutes to get to my stop. So you see why, like the ordinary workingman, I’m glad to see Friday too. (smile) 

Listen to his spiel today: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday oui! Brother, can’t wait for the day to finish nuh! It’s been so busy around here this week…and the boss man just smiling a big, broad smile because business good and we working we tail off for the few dollars he paying us. But that’s life, I suppose! Once yuh doing an honest day’s labour, though not for an honest day’s pay, I guess yuh on the right track. 

And it looks like it going to be another warm, summerish weekend, so yuh better believe I’m going to take full advantage of it! Drinks and party and whatever else have you! Need to relax after all the slave work I put in this week yes! Thank God for Fridays and weekends! Don’t know how I’d manage without them nuh!’ 

And I’m sure many of us believers feel the same way…though I hope we don’t go down the same troubled and disastrous road that the ordinary workingman has chosen. As believers we can’t afford to get that far out on the limb, because then we’re liable to fall of right into the waiting hands of the ole devil, our certified enemy. So let’s chant our Friday Chant, which echoes most of the same sentiments of the ordinary workingman’s but is somewhat more cautious and sensible. 

All together now, like we really mean it: ‘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, we too can have fun and frolic, but not to the extent that the workingman craves, we have to be on our p’s and q’s, always keeping a watchful eye out for the enemy. And the word for today friends is ‘UNITY!’ Unity amongst friends and families, but more so amongst church brethren, amongst believers in Jesus Christ! And it’s sad, very sad, that there is so much disunity and unpleasant division betwixt and between the supposed believers in Christ. 

And yuh know mih people, once we’re not united, the enemy has won the first round in the battle, because then it’s very easy to conquer us once we’re as divided as we currently are. Yuh know how many supposed friends and family don’t talk to each other because they belong to competing religions? Competing religions eh! Steups! But Christ didn’t die for us to have religion, but relationships, salvation and eternal life in good fellowship with Him and with each other! 

So please listen, and listen good, and let’s put into action, these fateful and oh so important words of Bruh Paul to the church at Rome on the subject of unity in Christ. ‘We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities (weaknesses) of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification (being built up). For even Christ pleased not himself; but as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me. 

For whatsoever things were written aforetime (beforehand) were written for our learning, that we through patience (perseverance) and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Now the God of patience and consolation (comfort) grant you to be like-minded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore ye receive one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.’ (Rom.15:1-7) 

Oh my fellow believers in Christ, we all talk about been involved in a battle with the enemy, but yet we are divided amongst ourselves, warring amongst ourselves, and oftimes over petty, foolish stuff. How can we win anything if we’re not unified eh? We’d be so much further ahead in the battle against Satan and his evil minions if we would just put away our supposed differences and focus on our plentiful similarities. And I’m sure it breaks Jesus’ heart to see the nonsense, the trivial, petty jealousies and power struggles going on within His church! 

Listen to the scholars as they explain. ‘15:1-3. Strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak: The strong brother is morally obligated to take the initiative and bear with the weak brother in those things that bother him. The stronger brother must forego his liberty for the good of the weaker, so he is not offended or impaired in his spiritual life. The best example is Christ who took our sins upon Himself.’  

Ah friends, Jesus is ALWAYS our best example in all we do. We all talk a good talk, calling His name a lot, but we certainly don’t emulate Him as much as we should. Please, let’s change that nuh. Possibly stop calling His name as much, and instead emulate Him more, put His words and actions into action, rather than just talk about them. 

And above all, for heaven’s sake, let’s STOP fighting amongst ourselves over trivial, unimportant stuff nuh. We’d certainly be much further ahead in the battle against evil and wickedness than we are right now. Much LOVE!

…divided…as we are right now…we will be conquered…united…as we should be…we will be the conquerors…

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