Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 December 2018 1 Chronicles 16:8.

1 Chronicles 16:8.   Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.
 
Well mih people, it’s the day that so many of us have waited for with baited breath; New Year’s Eve, or as we use to call it down south Old Year’s Day! But as they say, a rose by any other name is still a rose, and whether we refer to it as an intro to the New Year or as a goodbye to the Old Year, it’s till the same khaki pants! (smile) 

And I know that many of us are making excited preparations to ring out the old year and ring in the new one, getting out we fancy dan-dan to go out and party, and practicing puckering up we lips for that great midnight kiss, (smile) while making sumptuous plans and resolutions for the New Year. 

And believe me, I don’t want to burst yuh bubble nuh, but here’s a li’l secret; it all won’t make one iota of difference unless we change the way we think, and cleanse our hearts and spirits by getting closer to Jesus! Once the newness and its excitement wears off, we’ll, like the animals of comfort and complacency we are, simply return to our old ways of life. 

That’s why I keep saying the ONLY resolution we need to make is to sincerely promise ourselves to walk closer and more faithfully with Jesus this coming year of 2019! And friends, once we do that, everything else will fall into place; we’ll lose the necessary weight, drop the addictions, improve our financial picture, have a more caring and compassionate self and family, etc. etc. 

For remember, it’s the Lord who helps us to get wealth and all the other good things in life! Like Jesus said, seek first His kingdom and righteousness, then all that you need will be added unto you. And believe me friends, that’s not an empty promise. But you won’t experience it, until you try it! End of sermon! 

And since it’s Monday and many of us have to go to work and are in a crotchety mood, because work is interfering with our New Year’s Eve plans, let’s turn to our heavenly Father and declare our heartfelt plea, in our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, which has the awesome power to lift our spirits and faith in our awesome God. All together now, with as much enthusiasm as we can muster: 

‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ Yes friends, let’s do whatever we have to do, as though we doing it for Jesus and we’ll find it all goes down so much easier! 

That’s the secret of living this earthly life in good form and shape; truly believe we’re doing it for our wonderful Lord and Saviour, who LOVED us so much that He chose to selflessly sacrifice His sinless life, taking our sins on His burly shoulders, so that we could receive the free grace of salvation and eternal life! Wow! 

And the Good Book opened this morning at a most appropriate place; at Bruh David’s psalm of thanksgiving after he successfully brought the Ark of the Covenant up to Jerusalem. And having praised the Lord, offered the necessary sacrifices, given everyone meat and wine, and appointed singers and musicians to fill the air with thankful words and music, the Good Book declares: 

‘Then on that day David delivered first this psalm to thank the Lord into the hand of Asaph and his brethren. Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works. Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord. Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually. 

Remember his marvellous works that he hath done, his wonders, and the judgements of his mouth; O ye seed of Israel his servant, ye children of Jacob, his chosen ones. He is the Lord our God; his judgements are in all the earth. Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.’ (1 Chr.16:7-15) 

Ah friends, on this last day of this rather disastrous and controversial year of 2018, I implore us to read those words prayerfully, and let’s action them in 2019 nuh, because it’s all for our benefit. And I’m sure none of us wants to go through another tough and trying year like 2018. However, we can only be assured of that if we sincerely and diligently seek the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob like we’ve never done before! Much LOVE!

…when sincere thanks and praise rise up to heaven…it’s doors open wide…and untold blessings pour down upon the earth…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 December 2018 1 Peter 5:8.

1 Peter 5:8.   ​Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.
 
Aye mih beauties, welcome to spring time in December! It’s raining outside, and they say it might go up to as much as ten degrees Celsius today! Brother! Imagine that scene at the end of December nuh! I feel sorry for the purists who did not get their white Christmas and might not even get to ski as they ring in the New Year. But what yuh going to do eh? Everything’s changing, and changing fast too! I remember the days when you could be assured of snow, and plenty too, for Christmas! 

The duchess and I might even have wasted money paying for snow removal, since we can’t do it ourselves any longer, and there hasn’t been any to remove so far. But like my friend Scotty, I’m the eternal optimist! (smile) We will get snow, it’s only a matter of time…and then we’ll get so much, that we’ll all hold our heads and bawl! Matter fix! 

Now let’s hear what the workingman is singing this spring-like Friday morning nuh: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! And another long weekend…in cool weather to boot, as New Year’s rolls on in! Wonder what 2019 going to hold for we eh? Most likely the same old slaving for the slave driver…but we going to cross that path when we come to it yes! Right now is celebration time, ringing out the Christmas season and ringing in the New Year! 

And brother, what a Christmas we had; food and drinks and parties galore, though not as much presents under the tree as usual! But everybody was happy and had a good time. So we can say that Christmas 2018 was wonderful, as we thank the Lord for Fridays, weekends and Christmas time!’ 

Ah mih people, I do hope that we all had a good Christmas, and that unlike the workingman, we included Christ in it, because in spite of everything the unbelievers say and do, He is the reason for all this celebration, every year, in the month of December.

Let’s also hope that we didn’t overdo any aspect of the celebrations, kept Granny’s warning in mind: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’ And consequently, did not give the always lurking enemy a chance to get even a toehold in our souls, for we all know that’s his avowed purpose. 

Now let’s sing our weekend song, our Friday Chant. It’s not as colourful as the workingman’s but it serves our purposes admirably. 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!’ 

Yeh friends, our song elicits a modicum of circumspection that’s absent from the workingman’s; we tend to keep narrower borders, so that the enemy isn’t given an open invitation to infiltrate our souls. That’s why Peter steadfastly warns us: ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.’ 

And that’s gospel truth friends! Satan is only interested in stealing our peace and joy found in Christ Jesus! When he has us low down and miserable and doubting then he laughs and believes he’s won. But the truth is he can NEVER WIN unless we allow him to, for Jesus has already won the battle for death, hell and the grave, He has the keys to eternity, and the prince of darkness is a defeated foe! He’s only trying to fool us into thinking that he has some sort of authority and power. But he’s actually a toothless tiger! (smile) 

Nonetheless, we still need to follow Peter’s advice: ‘Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world.’ (1 Pet.5:9) Yeh mih people, all of us experience some kind of affliction in this earthly life, because it’s a fallen world. Jesus said it clearly: ‘In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33b) 

Oh friends, I know that’s easier said than done, but Peter also has some advice for how we can best resist the adversary. Listen up: ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.’ (1 Pet.5:6-7) Oh faithful believers, truer words were never spoken! Our heavenly Father cares for us more than we can ever imagine! 

And He is the ONLY ONE who can help us to steadfastly resist the enemy! But we do need to acknowledge His supremacy, and humbly come to Him asking for His help. And please note, He will NEVER turn away anyone who comes to him sincerely and humbly asking for assistance. That’s his ever-faithful promise! So let’s not be proud and foolish nuh, thinking we can do it on our own, because we can’t. 

But if we seek the Lord diligently, Peter promises: ‘But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen and settle you.’ (1 Pet.5:10) Wow mih brethren, what a wonderful promise! We can’t expect life to be all wine, roses and song, there must be some tough times so that we can grow spiritually, become more Christ-like! 

However, when we’ve valiantly withstood those times, with Christ’s help of course, then our wonderful God will indeed establish and strengthen us in His might and power. That’s why Peter ends thus: ‘To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen!’ (1 Pet.5:11) Oh what a great God we serve and worship my people! Let’s not forget that He is our Alpha and Omega, our First and Last, our Everything! Much LOVE!

…living for Jesus…is the ONLY sensible way…to live this earthly life…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 December 2016 Matthew 6:33.

Matthew 6:33.    But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. 

Well friends, the big day of New Year’s Eve is finally here! The partying will be sensational, the food will be to die for and the alco will be flowing like water! And everybody will hug and kiss at midnight and wish everyone a Happy New Year. Our society will be overflowing with good feelings for at least one time in the year. Glory to God! 

And everybody will be making resolutions to improve every aspect of their lives. But wait, by a couple of weeks later all those promising resolutions would have unfortunately bitten the dust. Most of us will revert to our former selves and our former caustic, uncaring behaviour, for the New Year’s scene is simply one without any real substance. We create a great clamour as we ring in the New Year, but in truth it only lasts for a short while, since nothing much changes from one day to the next. 

Oh I know some of you might think I’m being pessimistic, but I’m simply being realistic. I’ve seen it happen for so many years of my life, and each year our society becomes more evil and ungodly. Now nothing is wrong with a good party, but when we place so much emphasis on it and we don’t follow through, then it becomes a waste of time. 

Now since it’s Saturday, here are a few quotes, resolutions, from our friend Anselm, who aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Here is the first one. ‘One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this – To rise above the little things.’ And that does make sense, because we should never sweat the little things. 

Then he says: ‘Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better person.’ Now that makes sense too. And the third one declares: ‘Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.’ And the last one is: ‘Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.’ 

Oh my people, all those resolutions are useful in their own way, but we don’t need so many. As I said at the end of last year, there is ONLY ONE RESOLUTION we need to make, and that is a sincere and diligent resolve to walk closer with Jesus, our Lord, Saviour, Friend, Brother, etc. etc. each and every day that His wonderful breath of life courses through our bodies! End of story! 

Walking sincerely with Jesus, and trying to be a more mature Christian encompasses everything else we need or want to do.  Why do you think He went through the trouble in the Sermon on the Mount to tell us our Bit eh? ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.’  Yes my fellow believers, all who have pledged their allegiance to Jesus, must keep on seeking His kingdom and its righteousness without ceasing. 

Then Jesus adds: ‘Take therefore no thought for the morrow (Therefore do not worry about tomorrow): for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt.6:33) 

And the scholars tell us, re those two verses. ‘6:33-34. The present imperative form of the verb (Gr. zeteo) indicates a continual or constant seeking. The contrast between the spiritual and the material is again emphasized. The believer is to seek first the righteousness that is characteristic of God’s kingdom and then all these things (material things) shall be added to him. 

When our priority is spiritual, God will take care of the material, for where God guides, He provides. We need not even worry about tomorrow, for sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. (v.34) This means that each day has its own troubles and challenges to be responsibly handled, without worrying about the hypothetical problems that could arise tomorrow.’  

And the sad part is that many of us Christians are material seekers as well as tomorrow worriers! The things of the world take first place in our lives, and consequently we have to worry about what will happen tomorrow. But if we just concentrate on following Jesus, we won’t have those things to worry about and all our material needs would be met. 

Hear what Bruh Paul told Timothy on the subject. ‘But refuse (reject) profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. 

This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. These things command and teach.’ (1 Tim.4:7-11)  

Now listen to the scholars. ‘4:8. The verse may be paraphrased, “For physical exercise is of limited value, but godliness, the result of spiritual exercise, has unlimited value, since it brings blessings for both now and eternity.’ 

Yeh friends, if we seek God first, things like physical exercise, healthy diets, and all the stuff we feel we need, they will be inculcated into our walk with Him. As we go, Jesus will see what we need and guide us and give us the wherewithal to accomplish them. 

And if you want an example of all that we’ve said, just read about Cousin Sol in 1 Kings 3:3-15, and you’ll see when he asked the Lord for wisdom and understanding to rule his people Israel, instead of riches and honour, the Lord made him both the wisest and richest man who ever lived. 

Friends, He will do the same thing for each of us who sincerely surrenders to and trusts in Him. Now the burning question I have to ask before we close, is did we walk closer with Jesus this year, did we become more mature, more spiritually minded Christians? 

Now only you and Jesus know the answer, and I sincerely hope we did. But just in case we didn’t, I’m pleading with us to make walking closer with Jesus our ONE and ONLY resolution for 2017. Let’s seriously focus in on it nuh. So at the end of 2017, if we’re still around, and I ask that question again, this time I’ll get a joyful shout of ‘Yes, I did!’ Now that’s wisdom at its zenith! Much LOVE!

…dress up in yuh fancy dan-dan…and party hearty…but please remember…that drunk or sober…to mind yuh business…