Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 July 2020 John 13:34.

John 13:34.     ​A new commandment I give unto you, That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another.
 

Top o’ the morn my people! And wonderful greetings from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who’s also our Comforter and Provider! And He’s asked me to convey these most faithful and worthy assurances this Tuesday morning at the end of July 2020, when our world is in a most turbulent and unrighteous state. ‘Fear Not: For, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ 

Wow! What reassuring sentiments from the One who sacrificed His sinless life on the cross at Calvary so that we could be reconciled to God, justified, sanctified, made righteous and all the other wonderful things His death and resurrection accomplished. Mama Mia! How can we not LOVE and honour, praise and reverence and sincerely worship such a mighty and faithful entity eh? 

That brings me to these momentous words of His to all who believe in Him. ‘A new commandment I give unto you, That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:34-35) 

Oh my people, those words are ever so important on at least two levels. The first is that the attribute of LOVE, God’s highest, strongest and most pervasive attribute should also be very strong and pervasive amongst us. But then too, by us showing that wonderful thing called LOVE to each other, mankind will see and know that we are truly disciples of Jesus! 

Yes friends, our showing LOVE to each other is the surest way to point out, to manifest to the world, that we are real and true ambassadors of the Son of God; the One who’s name is above every other in the universe, except the Father’s, and to whom every knee must bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord to the glory of the Father. 

Unfortunately though, that attribute of LOVE is not being displayed enough amongst the supposed followers of Christ, much less amongst those who deny Him. And that’s why our world is in such a divided, disunited, strife-filled and topsy-turvy state! The LOVE of God is almost non-existent in our current society. But then how can we expect it to be when God Himself doesn’t hold much sway in it. He’s been placed on the back burner, or simply kicked out of many of our lives and activities. 

But the truth of the matter is that the LOVE of God is what’s so badly needed in our society to stop it from further crumbling and sinking right down into the evil mire that it’s currently headed towards at break-neck speed. But each of us supposed disciple must get up, get up NOW, and perform the actions of discipleship, particularly the showing of LOVE for each other if we’re to reclaim the world for our Lord and Saviour. 

Listen to these most informative words of Bruh Paul to the Thessalonians on the subject nuh. ‘But as touching (concerning) brotherly LOVE ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to LOVE one another. And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more.’ (1 Thess. 4:9-10) 

Yeh friends, we’ve all been taught by God to LOVE, and many of us are trying our best to do it, but in these most trying and uncertain times, we desperately need to ratchet up that effort so that our world won’t fall apart. It’s as Jackie DeShannon’s popular song of some fifty five years ago, written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach, so rightly says: 

‘What the world needs now is LOVE, sweet LOVE. It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of. What the world needs now is LOVE, sweet LOVE. No not just for some, But for everyone.’ It was appropriate then when we were in the throes of the Vietnam War, and it’s ever so appropriate now when we are in the throes of a pandemic clothed with serious political strife. 

And John explains what the true test of knowledge, of discipleship is. ‘And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the LOVE of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought also to walk, even as he walked.’ (1 John 2:3-6) 

Yes my people, the only way to know if we truly LOVE God and He is in us, is if are walking in His will, keeping His commandments, of which the most important is that we walk in LOVE! So please, let’s check our LOVE walk nuh, and see if it can hold up to close scrutiny. And whether it can or cannot, let’s do as Bruh Paul asks, and improve it, with God’s help obviously. We all have room for improvement, that’s for sure! 

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

And that’s what true discipleship is; trusting our friend Jesus and sharing His wonderful, amazing and unconditional LOVE with the world. So let’s show some true discipleship nuh! (smile) Much LOVE!

…LOVE… the ONLY epoxy…the only glue…that can hold our world together… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 December 2017 John 15:4.

John 15:4.   Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

Well friends, Friday is here, and another long weekend is in the offing! Glory Be! I think we should have Christmas and New Year’s falling on a Monday every year yes, that would give us two long weekends back to back. (smile) But we all know it’s not going to happen, so let’s just enjoy it while we have it. 

And meanwhile some of us are still tired after the Christmas celebrations, and the three days of work, but now we have to get ready for the big New Year’s Eve bash, where the bubbly flows like water and people don’t know their A from their E and are hugging and kissing everyone in sight, crying out ‘Happy New Year’ as though everything will change in that one day. 

But no such luck, because as soon as we sober up, we’ll go right back to our old, nasty, sinful ways, forgetting whatever resolutions we might have made. And there’s no better time to introduce Granny’s warning, because New Years is the time of the biggest drinking bash. 

So friends, please remember ‘Drunk or sober, please mind yuh business,’ because when we overdo it, that’s when we get into serious trouble with Lucifer and subsequently our God, and sometimes the consequences of such error can be suffered for a lifetime. So please be careful, don’t give the devil any chance to break into our spiritual armour. 

And as always, the ordinary workingman is wearing his passion on his sleeve, as he declares: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! We only work three days this week, and if yuh see the massa face when he have to pay us for the whole week…that was such a joy to behold… and next week going to be the same thing because New Year’s falling on the Monday. And is the party ever going to be rocking this New Year’s Eve? It surely is! 

Plenty nice women, good food in abundance, good music and enough waters to drown a heard of elephants. Mama Yo! And is not the cheap bubbly we drinking nuh, but the expensive one. Yuh have to go first class at New Year’s! So let’s get ball rolling from now nuh…Party! Party! Party! We going to mash up the place this New Year’s Eve! Thank God for Fridays and them long weekends yes!’ 

And believe me friends, a lot of what the workingman is saying there will unfortunately come to pass this New Year’s weekend and Beelzebub will be in his glee, since when we drink up the waters, too many of us turn stupid and do nonsense. But please, this weekend I implore us to stay sober and run our race properly, don’t give the enemy a chance to inveigle himself into our affairs. 

Anyway, let’s chant our Friday Chant, which gives us a better perspective on how to spend the weekend. 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 mih breddren, whatever the celebration, we followers of Christ still have to keep our wits about us, keeping God first place in our hearts and souls. For if we don’t, we can seriously jeopardize our relationship with the Holy Trinity, and that’s not a very wise move. 

No wonder Jesus warned the disciples in our Bit: ‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.’ 

And those are words of everlasting truth friends. Without Jesus we can do nothing! He is the one from whom we draw all our sustenance. Therefore, if we are not in Him and He in us, then we’re nowhere. Like the branches of a vine draw their power to produce fruit from the main vine, so do we draw our power to produce good fruit from our close and wonderful relationship with Jesus. 

And Jesus continues His analogy of the vine. ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto (for) you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.’ (John 15:5-8) 

There we have it friends, plain, simple and straightforward as Jesus is wont to put it. The only way to bear good fruit and glorify God is by being a disciple of Jesus. And that means letting Him live and work in you, so you can draw His life-giving power and carry out His wishes and duties. There’s no other way my brethren. 

So at the end of this tumultuous year of 2017, let’s sit down and ponder our relationship with Jesus nuh, see if He is truly in us, and we in Him, and if we’re bearing any good fruit. And whatever the answer might be, let’s turn to our heavenly Father and ask for His help to improve our witness, because we all have room for improvement. Much LOVE!

…walking hand in hand with Jesus…is the only wise way to do this earthly life…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 December 2017 Romans 13:12.

Romans 13:12.   The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 

Arise friends, arise and greet this brand new day, filled with both mercy and work. The Lord is granting us new mercy so that we can be strong and courageous and go out and diligently do His work this Monday morning. So let’s rise and shine and greet the day with joy in our hearts and the LOVE of God in our souls! 

Remember it’s the Christmas season, one of the most important times of the year, when we celebrate the miraculous birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! That alone should be enough to drive our engine this morning. But just in case it isn’t we have our favourite stand by, our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, which fires us up, even when we are at the ebb of our spirits. So without further ado, let’s sing it out with some enthusiasm and sincerity. 

As one now: ‘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!’ 

Yuh see friends, when we put some zest in it, it just raises our spirits, gets our adrenaline flowing and make us just want to get out there and work our fannies off for Jesus. (smile) So having said all of that, let’s get a move on nuh, for as our Bit so rightly says: ‘The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.’ 

And just for this moment we’re going to take our Bit at face value; the night is almost done and day is dawning, so we desperately need to get up and make preparations for going to work, and getting there on time too, for punctuality is one of the strong points of the followers of Jesus. 

Turning now to the philosophical side of our Bit, let’s see if we can get some more serious insight into what Bruh Paul is talking about. Now yesterday we saw it basically meant to give up the sinful ways in which we knowingly are involved; ways that don’t suit a follower of Christ. For as Bruh Paul tells the Corinthians: ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.’ (2 Cor.5:17) 

Yes my people, when we become people of Christ, we are to shuck the old sinful habits we had, and pick up the new ones which reflect the nature of Christ. But a lot of us are still doing the old stuff and it’s giving both Christ and us a bad name. The unbelievers keep shouting ‘Hypocrites!’ And more often than not they are right. 

As Bruh Paul puts it later on to the Corinthians: ‘Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness (in common) with unrighteousness (lawlessness)? and what communion (fellowship) hath light with darkness? And what concord (accord) hath Christ with Belial (Satan)? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel (unbeliever). And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.’ (2 Cor.6:14-16) 

Yes friends, individually and collectively we are the temple of God, the church of Christ, and as such we need to live a life that reflects the nature of Christ, and obviously the unbeliever’s life doesn’t reflect that, so we shouldn’t be too chummy chummy with them and pick up their bad habits. 

Now that doesn’t mean we can’t associate or work with them, because how else would we show and teach them about Jesus eh?  However we have to make sure that their unbelief doesn’t contaminate us, and that our belief is the more powerful nature of the relationship so that we can eventually draw them to Christ. 

But seriously though my believing brethren, in these troubled and evil times, we desperately need to come up higher. There is way too much strife and evil happening in our world, not enough LOVE, joy peace and goodwill, and if it continues in the current vein, it will only lead to a massive explosion, which I’m sure none of us want. So please, please, in Jesus’ name, I implore us, let’s do better nuh, for all of us have room for improvement.  If not for our sakes, then for our children’s. Much LOVE!

…the light of Jesus’ followers…ought ALWAYS to overpower…the darkness of the unbelievers…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 November 2017 Proverbs 24:1.

Proverbs 24:1.   Be not thou envious against (of) evil men, neither desire to be with them.

And then it was Thursday – the penultimate day of our workweek… And everybody gave a small sigh of relief, while muttering: ‘Wish it was Friday though.’ (smile) That’s just the nature of the beast. We’re grateful, while being ungrateful. 

That brings us to this quote ascribed to Louise Heath Leber, although there are naysayers who claim that it was already well known when she reputedly said it. ‘There is always room for improvement, you know – it’s the biggest room in the house.’ 

And regardless of who said or didn’t say it, is the gospel truth! We all have plenty room for improvement in many things in this life. But today I want to focus particularly on us Christian folk, because right now we are not living up to Christ’s ideal of true followers. 

Oh we talk the talk, but don’t sincerely walk it, and thus are regarded more or less as big time hypocrites. That certainly paints a bad picture of Jesus and His supposed LOVE Revolution. 

And I know many of us are bristling at that criticism, but if we look deeply and sincerely at what’s happening in Christ’s body, His church, you will see that it is definitely not functioning, as it ought to. 

There are too many divisions, too many religions, too many little cliques and groups who want to run it the way they want to, with envy and jealousy, resentment and anger very prominent in Christ’s body. And very often the leadership also leaves much to be desired, with everybody preaching their own version of the truth, or slanted to their personal benefit. 

That’s why the powers of evil and darkness are running the show. We don’t have a united enough front to challenge them, and apparently neither the will, thus they are picking us off one by one with the lures of their evil world, in the truly cunning manner of divide and conquer. 

Friends, we’re falling for the things of the world way too much and too often. Remember we’re supposed to be IN the world, but not OF the world. And yes the things of the world look wonderful on the surface, but deep down they have no real eternal values. 

So what’s our answer to these questions of Jesus eh: ‘For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?’ 

Oh my fellow believers, there is absolutely nothing to be gained by selling our souls for the trivial, valueless stuff that the world tries to foster on us. The world is evil…and wicked…and greedy…deceitful, envious, hateful and jealous… all the negative things that Jesus dislikes. 

That’s why our Bit warns us so sternly: ‘Be not thou envious against (of) evil men, neither desire to be with them.’ For if you look enviously at what the evil people have or do, at how they prosper in their wickedness, you won’t ever be a true believer. 

You will be like the seed that fell among the thorns in Jesus’ parable about the sower. ‘He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word, and the care (cares) of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.’ (Matt.13:22) 

And sadly, that is what is happening to too many supposed Christians today: we are too concerned with the cares of this world, thus we have less time, energy and appetite to do Jesus’ work, like we should. 

Now there are many scriptures in the Good Book which remind us of that fact and also point the way to the straight and narrow path, but this one is definitely the most colourful and thought provoking. Listen to Psalm 1 – Blessed are the righteous. 

‘Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly (wicked), nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate (ponder by talking to oneself) day and night. 

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in due season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. 

Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgement, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.’ (Ps.1:1-6) 

There it is right in a nutshell my brethren – the way to prosperity in God’s kingdom! The next move depends on us, whether we believe and practice it or not. It would be a grave mistake if we didn’t, for then, eternal separation from our Creator will be our eventual lot in life…the spiritual one that is. 

And for those of us who believe, and at least try to practice our convictions, lets go home declaring the wonderful blessings that our magnanimous God has so generously bestowed on us this glorious Thursday. 

With sincerity and true sense of purpose: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! 

I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And now, after the talk…the action! Much LOVE!

Christian folk…we are richly blessed…so that we can SHARE our blessings…remember that…

 


Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 December 2016 Philippian 3:13.

Philippians 3:13.   Brethren, I count not my self to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.

Well mih people, the long Christmas weekend is finally over, and it’s time to get back to some semblance of normalcy, especially where work is concerned. Some of us might even have forgotten how to do our jobs having being off for so long. (smile) 

But not to worry, our great God is still in control of His universe and everything will fall into place as He decrees it. But we still have to get one more holiday out of the way, New Years Eve. 

Hn! And sometimes that can be even more deadly than the Christmas cheer, since it’s an out and out party scene. The coming of a new year changes nothing, for most of our resolutions get thrown by the wayside soon thereafter. But I guess it’s just a way to party hearty and fool ourselves. 

Anyway, enough of throwing my cold water on the New Year’s Eve celebrations, (smile) for the Christmas season is still with us. And please friends, when we go back out to work today, let’s keep that sense of Christmas, that sense of peace and goodwill to all, still burning bright nuh. 

Let’s not be like the radio stations; as soon as Christmas day is past, they stop playing Christmas music, but let’s continue sharing all the good things that Christ’s birth brought. Now before we get into our Bit, let’s check out a couple verses before it, so that we can have some idea of the context in which Bruh Paul is speaking. 

In verse 10, he declares: ‘That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death. (Phil.3:10) Bruh Paul wants to personally know Christ so that he can experience His resurrection power and share in His sufferings, which will make him more conformable to Christ’s death. 

‘If by any means I might attain unto (arrive at) the resurrection of the dead.’ (Phil.3:11) 

And the scholars tell us: ‘3:11. If by any means I might attain means “in order that I may attain” the resurrection from the dead. Like the preceding verse, this one also contains a literal and a non-literal interpretation. 

Paul is eager to become more like Jesus in His death (v.10) so that he can (1) progressively experience more of the believer’s resurrection life to be enjoyed now (“newness of life,” Rom.6:4), and (2) so that he can someday undergo physical resurrection from the grave, thus experiencing God’s power in one of its greatest aspects.’ 

And he continues: ‘Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which I am also apprehended of Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.3:12) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘3:12. Paul denies that he has already attained his objective of verse 10 and 11. That objective is to know Christ and all that is in included in this knowledge, that is experiencing His power, sharing His sufferings, being made like Jesus in death, and experiencing resurrection from the dead. 

At this point in his life the apostle does know Christ, but not to the full extent possible. He has experienced His power, but not to the degree he desires. He has been made like Jesus in His death, but he can still die more to sin and self. He does “walk in newness of life,” but there is room for improvement. 

Either were already perfect: Unlike the perfectionists who claim to be sinless in this life, Paul admits that he is not. If the chief of the apostles does not feel he has “arrived” spiritually, then neither should we. 

I follow after…Christ Jesus. Christ “laid hold of” Paul on the Damascus road for the very objective mentioned in verses 10 and 11: “to know him.” Paul concedes that he has not yet realized this goal to the full extent possible, but he is in hot pursuit of it.’ 

Ah friends, I hope that we too are in hot pursuit of knowing Jesus, for it’s the only that makes sense in a Christian’s life. 

And finally, we come to our Bit. ‘Brethren, I count not my self to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.’ 

Oh mih people, Bruh Paul was certainly something else yes. Whatever he pursued, he pursued with lots of zeal. I only hope that we could have half of his zeal as we live our lives for Christ in these modern but evil and ungodly times. 

Now hear what the scholars have to say about that verse. 3:13. Those things which are behind refers both to his religious credentials (vs.5-6), now counted as “loss” (v.7), and to his past Christian achievements and successes. 

In ever pursuing his goal to know Christ (v.10), he refuses to let past guilt pull him down, or to rest on past laurels. Either could spell spiritual disaster. 

Those things which are before refers to his goal of knowing Christ, with all that implies: experiencing His power and participating in His suffering, becoming more like Him in death (v.10), and experiencing the resurrected life.’ 

Oh friends, I know that the Bit is long, somewhat heavy and confusing this morning, (smile) but it is essential that as we grow in faith we also grow in scriptural knowledge. And that can only be done by taking time to read and study and meditate on God’s word. 

The important thing is that we truly want to know God, Bruh Paul style, so please let’s get serious about it and truly delve in to it, stop merely playing around the fringes. Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday wail with much zest and a strong sense of purpose. 

As one now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Now please let’s go out and put all that we’ve said today into action, as true believers. Much LOVE my people!

…we can only know Jesus…if we work steadily and steadfastly with Him…forgetting what has gone before and looking to the future with Him…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 August 2015 Philippians 3:13

Philippians 3:13.  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. 

Top o’ the morn, mih breddren! A glorious day lies ahead of us, filled with all sorts of wonderful goodies prepared by our wonderful God, especially for this Saturday in August 2015. Glory to God! 

He is so good to us that there are no words to truly do Him justice. Magnificent, majestic, magnanimous, mercurial, come close, but still leave something unsaid. His unconditional LOVE, and the undeserved blessings, mercies, forgiveness and compassion poured out on us, especially the sacrifice of His only Son Jesus… 

Oh Friends, they are indescribable. (smile) And the least we can do is return His LOVING-kindness with that of our own, to the best of our ability, through obedience, praise, worship, thanksgiving and glorification. 

And having said all of that, here is an interesting quote from Laura Palmer. It seems that she was a character on the 1990 hit TV. show Twin Peaks, which apparently is being revived.  I guess there is also a book called the Secret Diary of Laura Palmer with a number of her quotes. 

This one says that, ‘The past should be culled like a box of fresh strawberries, rinsed of debris, sweetened judiciously and served in small portions, not very often.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my people. The past should not be dwelt upon, as so many of us do, thereby hampering the present and shortchanging the future.  Like Laura says, we ought to just wrap it up nicely and occasionally trot out the good parts. 

And my One More Day Devotional for People with Chronic Illness, from which I got the quote, further states. ‘Fond memories are healthy when they remind us how our lives are formed and shaped by our experiences. Memories reveal our development into the productive people we are today. Life does get better every day because we have both the joys of the present and some sweet memories of the past.’ 

But Friends, we MUST NOT LIVE IN THE PAST, but rather concentrate on each day as something new and alive with lots of wonderful promise. Too many of us look to the past too often and either dredge up the distasteful bits, or talk too much about the good old days. 

Certainly the old days were good, but believe me my people, our best days are still out in front of us. And until we realize this, our days will be gloomy and miserable reminiscing too much  on what’s already past, and not making new and wonderful dreams for today and tomorrow. 

That brings us to our very appropriate Bit from Bruh Paul to the Philippians. ‘Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.’ 

Yuh see that Friends, though Bruh Paul had reached some glorious heights in his ministry and walk with Jesus, he still maintained that he hadn’t reached where he really wanted to be. His objective is to know Christ as fully as can be; ‘experiencing His power, sharing His sufferings, being made like Jesus in death, and experiencing resurrection from the dead. 

At this point in his life the apostle does know Christ, but not to the full extent possible. He has experienced His power, but not to the degree he desires. He has been made like Jesus in His death, but can still die more to sin and self. He does “walk in newness of life,” but there is room for improvement.’ 

And so is there for all of us my fellow believers. Those are some explanations from the scholars on verse 12. Therefore since Bruh Paul has not attained his objective, he’s intent on putting everything behind him, so that he can concentrate on what is coming on the next wave.  

The scholars explain verse 13. thus: ‘3:13. Forgetting those things which are behind refers both to his religious credentials (vs. 5-6), now counted “as loss” (v.7), and to his past Christian achievements and successes. In ever pursuing his goal to know Christ, (v.10), he refuses to let past guilt pull him down, or to rest on past laurels. Either could spell spiritual disaster.’ 

Oh my fellow believers are we pursuing the things of Christ, pressing on towards the mark, reaching out to those things which are in front of us, not letting the past distract us from the future, wanting to know Christ so badly that we can think of nothing else? 

Oh, I know that not all of us can have Bruh Paul’s zeal, knowledge and perseverance, but we can all do much better than we’re currently doing. If we are truthful with ourselves, many of us are not really concentrating on maturing in our Christian walk, but are just ambling along, without any real zeal or purpose. That certainly is not good enough Friends. 

As believers in Christ, we have to have a hunger for Him, for the things which pertain to Him. ‘That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable to his death.’ (Phil.3:10) That’s what Bruh Paul desired, and what we should also be desirous of; that strong feeling to get to know Christ as well as we possibly can. 

It’s not easy, as Bruh Paul certainly found out, but he never gave up on his quest, and neither should we, for as we know, all things are possible with Jesus who strengthens us. (Phil.4:13) 

So today my brethren, please let’s stop living in the past and look to the glorious future that Jesus has in store for us. Remember too what He said way back when, in talking about the tests of discipleship. ‘No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of heaven.’ (Luke 9:62) 

Yes Friends, anyone who puts other matters before God’s work, is of little use to Him. Please don’t forget that, for it’s the wisdom of heaven!  Much LOVE!

…but his wife (Lot’s) looked back…and she became a pillar of salt… (Gen.19:26)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 July 2015 James 1:19

James 1:19.     Wherefore my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath. 

Ahoy there mih beauties! How goes it this cloudy Tuesday morning in the summer of 2015 eh?

Hope things are good, and even if they are not so hot, that yet still we’re up and about the Lord’s business, and have praised and thanked Him for bringing us safely through another dark night into the bright light of Jesus, our most esteemed Lord and Saviour. For He is indeed the ONLY way to true peace, joy and truth!
 
And that’s not simply hearsay, but an acknowledged fact! Without Him working in our lives, we’re like lost and forlorn sheep, easy prey for the wild animals of this world, namely the evil minions of Lucifer.
 
And that we cannot afford to let happen, so please let’s get serious with Jesus and allow Him to guide us safely along the straight and narrow path that leads to life eternal.
 
Now here’s a rather interesting, but also very pertinent excerpt from the One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. When I read it yesterday, I had no doubts whatsoever that I needed to share it with my Scrip-Bit family, because it’s oh so relevant to these days and times. It’s titled ‘A Quiet Tongue!’
 
Please repeat with me. ‘Lord, a revealing fact Began to surface today: I talk more than I listen. I seem to be thoroughly convinced That my ideas My inspiring experiences My bits of wisdom Are exactly what my friends need. Too often I break into conversations Confident that my enlightened insight Will solve the predicament – Whatever it is.
 
Obviously, I feel more comfortable When I’m expounding. But this morning at a Bible study I cringed when I read your command In the first chapter of James: “Don’t ever forget That it is best to listen much Speak little, and not become angry.”
 
At first I wanted to run. But as the words kept battering away At my guilty heart I finally circled them with red ink. Now, Lord, please help me to obey them. Remind me daily, hourly That listening is a discipline And a discipline always costs. I know I must pay a price. The price for me Is a listening ear and a quiet tongue.’
 
Oh glory to God my people! That paints such a true picture of so many of us that it’s unreal. Most of us talk too much and don’t listen sufficiently. I know I’m a guilty party. The Lord dealt with me about that a couple years ago when at the Holy Thursday night vigil His simple message to me was ‘LISTEN!’
 
And I have indeed been doing better since then. But as Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) would say: I haven’t arrived as yet. I still have a ways to go. But look at where I’m coming from!
 
Yes Friends, the important thing to do is to make a start, which is usually the hardest part, and as the Chinese Proverb says: The longest journey begins with the first step. Yes my brethren, beginning is half done.
 
But please remember too as it says in the poem, it takes discipline to listen more than we talk, and a very strict discipline too, if we really want to be successful at it.
 
That reminds me of the saying that the Lord gave us two ears and one mouth so that we can listen more than we talk. And isn’t that the gospel truth! (smile) And especially in this modern talkative society, we do need lots of will power to refrain from talking too much. I think it’s a deep-seated malady in this age of almost instantaneous and far-reaching communication.
 
And the Bible Promise for that most meaningful poem is also our Bit for today. James’ famous words: ‘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)
 
Ah Friends, words of indisputable truth! And the scholars offer us this info on those verses. ‘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.’
 
And is that all ever so true my believing brethren! Talk and anger just inflame each other like nothing else in this world! And all of that tends to lead to violence if they continue for any length of time.
 
Now this subject of talking and listening is so important in a believer’s life that it is dealt with in several parts of the Good Book. Cousin Sol in particular touched on it several times in his writings. Let’s look at a couple of them. First off this from Proverbs 10: ‘In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth (restrains) his lips is wise.’ (Prov.10:19)
 
And he backs that up with this gem from Proverbs 17. ‘He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent (calm) spirit. Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace (keeps silent) is counted (considered) wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.’ (Prov.17:27-28) 
 
Oh Friends, that is all so true that it’s amusing! Though we might be the biggest fool and least knowledgeable person on the planet, we will most likely be considered wise and understanding if we keep our mouths shut. Glory Hallelujah!
 
So let us each diligently ponder today where we are on that continuum of listening and talking nuh, and then make a serious decision to improve, for we all have room for improvement, just some more than others, and with God’s help, let’s come up above this important problem.
 
Now may the grace, peace, mercy, forgiveness and LOVE of God be with us all this blessed day! Much LOVE!
 
…if we follow the sure leading of the Holy Ghost…our words will be few and wise…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 December 2014 Hebrews 10:24

Hebrews 10:24.      And let us consider one another to provoke (stir up, encourage) unto LOVE and to good works. 
 

Oh Friends and neighbours, what can I say to us this fateful Wednesday morning eh, the last day of the very troubled and tumultuous year that was 2014?
 
As we said a few days ago, circumstances don’t really change much from one day to the next, but our attitudes and mindsets can. And it’s in that vein I want to address us today.
 
First of all, I want to remind us of a very salient and most important fact, through a prayer from the back of my late mother’s Bible. It says: ‘Father in heaven, we thank You for Your faithfulness during the past year. Help us to remember that Your faithfulness will go with us into the New Year. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.’
 
Yes my people, we need to remember that God’s faithfulness will not change, and hopefully, neither will ours. In fact, it’s a sincere wish that our faithfulness to Almighty God will grow with each passing day, so that we can have a win-win relationship with our Creator and Provider.
 
For no relationship can progress, or even last for any length of time if it is constantly weighted on one side, like our faithfulness to God can often be. We must keep being aware that God doesn’t change. He has no need to.
 
But we, His followers can change, and do need to in many respects. We definitely need to come up higher, to grow and mature in the nature and character of Jesus Christ.
 
That’s why we resolved to have only ONE overriding resolution this past year; to grow closer to Jesus each and every day, in some form and fashion. And we’ll continue to let that be our Number ONE promise to ourselves and each other for the coming year of 2015.
 
Oh my people, I know that all of us grew some this past year, some more than others. But the good news is that if we were truly concentrating on Christ in 2014, we would definitely have improved our relationship with Him. How much, only you and God can tell.
 
By the same token, we all have room for improvement, for growth. So let’s continue to stay the course, difficult though it may sometimes be, remembering that our faithful God has promised to be with us wherever we go, and to bring us out safely, more Christ-like, from whatever situations we’re forced to endure.
 
That brings us to some rather appropriate scripture verses that includes out Bit. The author of Hebrews, whom I sincerely believe is Bruh Paul, timely reminds us: ‘Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
 
And let us consider one another to provoke (stir up, encourage) unto LOVE and to good works. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.’ (Heb.10:23-25)
 
Yes my brethren, if we want to see the full effect of God’s faithfulness, we do have to stand strong and steadfast in our faith, without wavering, without being wishy-washy.
 
But then we also have to stir up, to encourage our fellow believers, promoting LOVE and good works, which are the foundations of our Christian faith! We need to do this through constant assembling, regular fellowship, not a once in awhile attendance at church meetings.
 
Now hear some important explanations from the scholars on those verses above. ’10:24. The word translated provoke (Gr. paroxysmos) usually has a negative sense, as is witnessed by its only other New Testament usage (Acts 15:39).
 
The positive connotation which the word has in the present text means to stir up. It is easy to stir up hatred and godless deeds; it takes much more to stir up another to LOVE and good works.’
 
And isn’t that the gospel, gospel truth my people! It’s ever so much easier for us to do evil and ungodly deeds than to do godly and good ones!
 
Then ‘10:25. Not forsaking the assembling: This admonition involves far more than erratic attendance. It involves the entire worship of Christ and is an outward indication of an inner condition.
 
The assembling of God’s people provides opportunity for reciprocal encouragement, strengthening, and the stirring up that can be gained from one another (cf. Col.3:12-16).
 
It consists of participation in worship and fellowship. The church is a body interacting (1 Cor.12:14-27); it is not merely a dispensary of spiritual food and medicine.’
 
Oh Friends, unfortunately that is often what we refuse to see. The church is supposed to be a totality of all things that pertain to Christ, and consequently to life itself. It’s where believers ought to go for succour and sustenance in whatever circumstance that afflicts us.
 
Anyway, I know you all are busy making your New Year’s preparations, so I won’t keep you any longer. (smile) We’ll end with this rather appropriate poem, an excerpt from an editorial by Ann Daily Goodwin published in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on December 31 1986.
 
‘Peace rises like dawn in the hearts of hope…. Peace reaches from warm and welcoming houses when workers go home. Peace wraps congregations as worship comes to comforting conclusions…. Peace floats like music through cabin windows to porch-sitters outside. Peace shimmers like lake water on star-dashed extravagant nights….
 
Peace blesses the day’s end, in the Dylan Thomas way: “I turned the gas down. I got into bed. I said some words into the close and holy darkness, and then I slept.” And so the last page turns to the new page, and we wish the world a happy new year. In peace.’
 
Oh my beautiful Friends and Scrip-Bit family members, let’s hope and pray that 2015 is not such a tumultuous year as 2014 was! Let’s hope that it is filled with much more peace and LOVE and good deeds!
 
And we can start it off on the right foot by not overdoing it later tonight, by paying serious attention to Granny’s warning: drunk or sober, mind yuh business. That’s truly wisdom at its zenith! Have a happy New Year’s Eve my brethren in Christ. Much much much LOVE!
 
…if we make following Jesus our number ONE priority…then everything else in our lives will fall into place… 
 
P.S. Please don’t expect the Bit too early tomorrow morning. For though my celebrations may be somewhat muted, compared to yours, they will continue late into the night, or early in the morning; your choice.  (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 January 2014 Psalm 15:1

Psalm 15:1.    Lord who shall abide (sojourn) in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill?  

And then Friends, it was Tuesday! Unfortunately, the vacation time is winding down. But not to worry, for there’s yet sufficient time to get in whole lot more activities and make many more memories, so that when I’m sitting in my rocking chair in the cold North Country, I can just reminisce and chuckle at the reminiscences.

And that’s what life really is all about yes people; making good memories. For when old age arrives and you physically can’t do much of anything, all you will have then are memories of the way your life was spent. Therefore it’s very important that we make as many good ones as possible.
 
For as the Johnny Bristol sings in his song of some years ago: ‘Memories don’t leave like people do. They always stay with you. Whether they been good or bad. They’re never something that you had.’
 
Gospel truth my brethren! Memories never leave us. When all else fails, memories will still be there. So let’s try and make as many good ones as possible nuh. Now let’s see what good ones I made yesterday. (smile)
 
Oh, in the early morning hours, some wicked wind and rain lashed my little area – twice to be exact. And what amused me was that in between each episode, the sun came out in all its fiery splendour. Also, around lunch time some friends from Canada came to visit. They are only here for about three days.
 
Then in the afternoon, I went down to Store Bay for my daily constitutional. I believe the last time I mentioned that, I said testimonial, but it was really constitutional I meant. And that’s simply something good that you do for yourself on a fairly regular basis.
 
But lo and behold, as I entered the change room at Store Bay, I saw a man sitting there buckling the straps on his sandals. His face seemed familiar, but his cap was hiding the upper portion of his face. So I looked closer at him, only to realize that it was another old friend from Canada, one whom I hadn’t seen in ages, although we don’t live far from each other in the North Country.
 
But the busyness of life and the disgusting weather often keep people apart for long periods of time. You might talk to them regularly on the phone but hardly ever see them.
 
Anyway, as the Lord would have it, his wife, daughter and himself were just finished bathing and were planning to drop in on us on their way home. So we just visited right there, since they were only in Tobago for the day.
 
Nothing much happened after that. I got my dip, said some thanks to a couple of people who had been instrumental in safely securing my bag last week, stopped in the grocery and a food place, then came home and relaxed as best I could with the stupid headache still bothering me.
 
A couple pardners dropped by for a short visit later in the evening. But other than that it was quiet, had an early night because of the headache, which unfortunately is still bugging me some, almost two days later. I guess though, as the old people would say; after one time is two, since I hardly ever have headaches, especially ones of this magnitude and length. 
 
But for whatever purpose the Lord’s allowing it, I just have to get a grip and keep on doing what I have to, knowing that eventually He will make all things right. And those are the good memories I made yesterday. (smile)
 
Now let’s see what the Lord wants me to write on biblically speaking, today? And Friends it seems like He wants us to focus today on the important question of: ‘Lord who shall abide (sojourn) in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill?’ 
 
Yes my fellow believers, that’s an interesting and also very important question! Who is worthy to serve in the Lord’s tabernacle, what are the qualifications necessary for that awesome job?
 
And Bruh David answers the question he just posed in the following two verses. ‘He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up (receives) a reproach against his neighbour.’ (Ps.15:2-3)
 
Oh Friends, that means that the person who serves in the tabernacle must have personal purity. But all those things also pertain to the ordinary Christian. EVERY follower of Christ needs to walk uprightly, work righteousness and speak truth from their hearts. It’s all a part of the Christian make up and character. Neither can we be spreading deceit and false rumours with our wicked, hard to control tongues, or doing evil against our neighbours.
 
As Bruh David also asks in Psalm 24, the King of glory: ‘Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who shall stand in his holy place? (Ps.24:3)
 
And his answer is basically the same: ‘He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity (to an idol), nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.’ (Ps.24:4-5)
 
Unfortunately though mih breddren, those characteristics are in very short supply these days, even amongst supposed believers! That serious drop in moral standards and otherwise, are why our world is now such a troubled, evil, disaster-prone and calamitous place.
 
The attributes of good character and personal integrity have sadly lost their position of high standing and importance. They are no longer considered necessary aspects of human life. These days fraud, corruption, deceit, unfaithfulness, selfishness, pride and greed rule the roost.
 
And it’s sad that many of us believers dabble too much in such unchristian activity, instead of being the ones to uphold the Christ-like character and integrity. That brings us back to Psalm 15, where Bruh David continues his discourse on the qualifications for working in the Lord’s sanctuary. 
 
One ‘In whose eyes a vile person is contemned (despised); but he honoureth them that fear the Lord. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not. He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.’ (Ps.15:4-5) 
 
Yes my people, those are all qualifications that the ordinary but serious believer also needs to possess. We ought not to uphold the works of the unrighteous, but remember they are also God’s creation. And furthermore, at times we also behave unrighteous, and we surely don’t want others to despise or condemn us then.
 
We need to honour those who reverence God, and promises and vows should be taken seriously, neither should we take advantage of the already disadvantaged. But unfortunately all the negative aspects of those things are rampant in our troubled, misguided world. Like the constant and severe oppression and suppression of the poor and needy and the insatiable greed of the wealthy.
 
Oh my brethren, those things should not be happening on such a large scale. And it is our responsibility, the responsibility of the true and serious believer, first to eradicate those negative things from our own lives, set a proper example, then try and eradicate them from our immediate circle and surroundings, then keep moving up to the higher levels of our society, and finally the world.
 
That’s our bounden duty Friends, for nobody else has any real and serious interest in the overall betterment of mankind, which is what Jesus came to do, and what His followers ought to be doing!
 
Therefore, please let’s ponder our individual situations today, re the things we’ve talked about, then, with the Lord’s help obviously, try to make the necessary improvements. And even for those who are already fairly decent, there is always room for improvement.
 
Let’s make Jesus proud of us nuh, by living the kind of life He desires of His followers. That’s heavenly wisdom my people! Much LOVE!
 
…until believers improve their own performance…the unbelievers will rule…and the world will remain in shambles…