Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 November 2018 1 Timothy 6:6.

1 Timothy 6:6.   But godliness with contentment is great gain.
 
Well friends, it’s that big day, Friday…but unfortunately the ole fella’s not in great shape. I went to bed late last night and my sleep was disturbed so many time by getting up to go to the bathroom and just getting up and lying there awake so many times that I eventually lost count. Chuh! I was even up for about half an hour contemplating life before I finally got out of bed. 

So you must know that I was a tad grouchy, and to make matters worse that slimy crook, the devil, who’s always on the lookout for an easy mark, was there on my shoulder whispering all sorts of nonsense to me, until I shut him up by telling him: ‘Listen here nuh devil, I might be feeling somewhat low this morning but I’m not the easy mark you think I am eh. I still know that this is the day the Lord God of Israel has made, and yuh know what…I will rejoice and be glad in it, despite how I feel, so be gone with yuh ole lying, crooked deceitful self!’ 

Wow! And he was gone! Sometimes friends we just have to tell the ole deceiver where to get off. But he’ll be back later to try again. We constantly have to fend him off, because he NEVER stops trying to get into our souls and disrupt them! And I’m saddened not only by lack of proper rest but also because today is what has become known as ‘Black Friday.’ 

Steups! The day after Thanksgiving Day in the U.S has now become the biggest shopping day of the year in North America, overshadowing even the Boxing Day charade! Hn! Hordes of unruly human animals line up at all ungodly hours of the morning to rush and push and run over each other in their frantic attempts to get into stores that advertise a few things on sale; things that most of them don’t really need, neither can afford, but because it’s on sale…Ah Lord eh! 

The economic czars are lowering everything to their lowest denominator, so they can catch the foolish public into making their cash registers go kaching…kaching! And the saddest part is that Thanksgiving is no longer about really giving thanks, but much more about Black Friday. Everything seems to be rushed so that we can get ready for it. Even in Canada now the trend has caught on, because if the shopkeepers here don’t adapt, our foolish citizens will head to the U.S. to participate in the folly. 

And I really heard more about Black Friday than Thanksgiving in the last week or so, on the t.v and in the newspapers. Everybody had an ad out for it. Truthfully, if a friend hadn’t written me yesterday morning and reminded me, I would probably not have mentioned Thanksgiving at all in the Bit. What a sad world we’re living in eh mih breddren, where the LOVE of money and useless stuff is all the rage. 

And the workingman doesn’t do us any favours in his song either: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! Black Friday to boot! Where we shopping to kill! Buying up all the nice things in the stores and dem! Brother! Look at that nice big t.v on sale for only three hundred dollars nuh! And that tablet computer for only a hundred! Ah mih people, ah full mih belly yesterday, Thanksgiving Day, now today ah going to full mih eyes and dem. And no slave work until Monday morning, if ah not black up still… Who say ah not thankful for Black Friday and weekends eh?’ 

Ah friends, what a sad tale. And people have indeed been killed in the rush to shop…but it continues nonstop. Thankfully though, as believers in Jesus Christ, we’re not allowed to go so far out on the limb. We’re restrained by more sober boundaries. So let’s chant our Friday Chant with just as much, if not more enthusiasm than the workingman did in his song nuh. (smile) 

‘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, there’s something to be said for being sober! (smile) And we’ll end today with a sermon from way back when, from Bruh Paul to Timothy that addresses the problem they faced two thousand years ago, and which we still face today. He’s been talking about all the strife and evil that’s been happening in Timothy’s surroundings, and finally declares: 

‘But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment (clothing) let us be therewith content. But they that will (desire to) be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful (harmful) lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition (ruin and destruction). For the LOVE of money is the root of (all kinds of) evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many arrows.’ (1 Tim.6:6-10) 

Ah friends, food and clothing and money are essentials in this earthly life, but it’s when we go overboard and let them become our gods, our idols, that we fall into trouble. There’s nothing wrong in wanting to be rich, but it’s the path we take to fulfilling that dream that causes problems. Jesus says that we should seek God’s kingdom and His righteousness first, then we’ll get all the earthly things we need. (Matt.6:33) 

And Bruh Paul tells Timothy: ‘But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, LOVE, patience and meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art called, and hast professed (confessed) a good profession (confession) before many witnesses.’ (1 Tim.6:11-12) 

Yes my fellow believers, we too have confessed a good confession before many witnesses as to our trust and fellowship in the body of Christ, so please, let’s do as Bruh Paul says nuh, and stop behaving like the rest of the world! That’s our bounden duty as followers of Christ! Much LOVE!

…Christians…be in the world…but not of the world…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 June 2018 1 Timothy 6:6.

1 Timothy 6:6.     But godliness with contentment is great gain.

All right friends and family, here we go again; one more time around the dog and pony track called Life. (smile) And though it’s oftimes a difficult journey, it certainly is an interesting and adventuresome one, made even more interesting and fruitful if you’re walking hand in hand with Jesus, the great Saviour of the world! 

Wow! What an awesome guide and leader He is! And if you’re not walking with Him, then unfortunately you’re missing out on the best part of this earthly life, and consequently the eternal life too. So please check Him out nuh. You’ll be surprised at what He has to offer…and it’s all for your benefit. 

And with it being Saturday, let’s turn to some quotes of this past week from our friend Anselm, who genuinely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And we’ll begin with the shortest one: ‘When you think positive good things happen.’ 

And that’s generally true. It doesn’t mean that you won’t have any negative things happen, but they will be mostly positive, since what the mind focuses on, is what generally comes to pass. 

And like Anselm was in a friend seeking mood this week (smile) as he offers these two quotes on the subject. ‘There is a misconception among people that the higher the number of friends you have, the more fun you’ll have. The fact is the lesser friends you have, the lesser you have to deal with. 

Trust me; it doesn’t matter how many friends you have, all that matters is how many friends you can count upon when you are in need.’ And ‘Having a single best friend is better than having ten random friends who aren’t going to be with you for long.’ 

Oh my people, how many of us have suffered betrayal and rejection by those we thought were friends eh? We all have, because it’s a human frailty. The wisdom lies in having a few staunch and genuine friends you can call on in times of need. A big posse is not a set of friends, but a group of hangers’ ons. And remember the corollary to the above; to have genuine friends, you must also be a genuine friend. 

Then there is this last one: ‘You are living in your comfort zone, having an active Internet connection, food to eat, TV to watch and a roof to sleep under. Do remember that even if you have only these four basic amenities, you are richer than 75% of the world’s population. Be happy for what you have, but don’t settle for it.’ 

I would say that you are better off than more than 90 percent of the world, and you shouldn’t just be happy, but be darm happy and contented and feel extremely blessed, because there are so many others in the world struggling and suffering with much less than you have. 

But unfortunately the nature of our society is that the more we have, the more we complain about the few things we don’t have. We never seem to value sufficiently the things we do have, always seeking for more, when we don’t even have the time or the resources to handle it. And it just results in a greedy and selfish society, of which we are the cream of the crop. 

But Bruh Paul’s words to Timothy in our Bit should be the norm in our society. ‘But godliness with contentment is great gain.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth my brethren? It surely is! When we have God first place in our lives we’re not selfish or greedy, because He induces a peace and contentment in our souls regardless of our particular situations. 

And the verse following our Bit highlights the ridiculousness of fighting and killing ourselves over the material wealth of the world. ‘For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.’ (1 Tim.6:7) 

And the scholars offer this very interesting explanation of that verse. ‘6:7. And it is certain we can carry nothing out (or, “because we are unable to carry anything out”): Man enters the world at birth possessing nothing, in order to teach him that he will exit the world in the same manner – taking nothing with him. This is a divine means of showing man that since material wealth is relatively insignificant, he should pursue the important things mentioned in verse 11.’ 

And those things include ‘righteousness, godliness, faith, LOVE, patience and meekness.’ Now here is this very seminal verse as Bruh Paul continues: ‘And having food and raiment (clothing) let us therewith be content.’ (1 Tim.6:8) 

The scholars explain: 6:8. This verse prevents the wrong understanding of verse 7, that material possessions have no place in the Christian’s life. By figure of speech food and raiment stand for all of life’s basic necessities. These are all the believer needs, and having these he can be content.’ 

However, contentment is not a mainstay of our current society. We are more apt to follow this agenda that Bruh Paul talks about. ‘But they that will be (desire to be) rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful (harmful) lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition (ruin and destruction). 

For the LOVE of money is the root of all (kinds of) evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith (for which some in their greediness have strayed from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.’ (1 Tim.6:9-10) 

Ah mih people, the desperate seeking after money and the material possessions of this world only cause more problems than they solve. So please, let’s stop it nuh, and follow Christ’s wise advice: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:32) That’s all there is to it! Much LOVE!

…you cannot serve God and mammon (money)…at the same time… (Matt.6:24b)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 April 2018 Matthew 6:19.

Matthew 6:19.    Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal.

Oh friends, it’s bright and sunshiny in my neighbourhood today! Yay! Both the Sun and the SON are in their element! Glory Hallelujah! But it’s still cold, and the ice still remains frozen on the ground and at the curbs. 

Oh, and I received some info from my Ward Councilor yesterday explaining why the roads were not cleaned after the recent ice storm. Some nansi story about it was ice and not snow and ice is harder to clean, and then it rained and clearing it would have caused more flooding etc. Hn! 

But the bottom line is that the city’s snow clearing contract ends at the end of March and keeping it going until April would cost some four hundred thousand dollars a week, which would eventually be added to our Property Tax Bill. So who cares eh? People want to be able to walk and drive safely after those storms! The Property Tax Bill is still going up every year regardless. 

At least this way we would have some idea as to what the increase is being used for. And besides, she concludes, spring will soon be here anyway. So people have to carefully navigate the dangerous ice that has accumulated on the curbs and the banks until when ever it gets warm enough to melt it? Steups! Politicians eh! Two–tongued crooks! 

But yuh know what? It’s Friday, and the workingman isn’t concerned about that now, as he sings his song. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! The weekend…Freedom time…though is only two lousy days off! But any time off from slave labour is gladly appreciated. Our time to eat, drink and be merry! For who knows, tomorrow we may die, so let’s enjoy it to the max nuh, while we have the ability to do so. Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes!’  

Ah mih breddren, the complexities of this modern life eh! Life was so much simpler and clearer when we didn’t have as much as we now have, and overall I believe people were happier, at least more contented with their lot. They weren’t as worried and perplexed. But now, we’re just hurrying and scurrying, walking over each other to make a living that’s not much better in quality than what our parents enjoyed. 

Oh we have more amenities, but we have to spend more time servicing those same amenities, and work like crazy to pay for them, thus the complaints in the workingman’s song. However, as Christians, true believers in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we have a different take on the situation as stated in our Friday Chant. Let’s declare it now nuh with much zeal and strong sense of purpose. 

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

Yeh friends, believers don’t go overboard, we have boundaries which prevent the enemy from getting any footholds in our souls and thus wreaking havoc in our relationship with Christ. I know it’s hard sometimes to hold back from the leggo beast attitude, but hold back we must, if we are to be good and true representatives of Christ. In the long run though, it will pay enormous dividends. If not down here on earth, then certainly in heaven. 

We therefore need to be more heavenly minded or centred than we currently are. That’s why we need to take serious heed of Jesus’ warning in our Bit. ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal.’ Such wonderful advice from the Master! 

However, to be wise and faithful servants, Jesus advises: ‘But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves do not break through and steal.’ (Matt.6:20) Yeah mih people, treasures in heaven are theft proof, rust proof and moth proof. 

So where will you rather secure your treasures then, down here on earth, where you can lose them or they be destroyed through natural wear and tear, and you have to leave them behind when you die anyway, or in heaven where they are completely safe? The obvious answer would be heaven. 

Please note though friends, that there is nothing bad about having or gaining earthly wealth and power, Jesus will indeed grant them to us if it’s in His plan for our lives. The problem is when we begin treating the earthly stuff as our god, when it becomes more important than the real, One True God, our heavenly Father. 

And anytime we allow someone or something to become more important to us than God, then we’re in serious trouble. For remember our God is a jealous God, as He so blatantly states in Exodus 20:5. ‘For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God…’ And His very FIRST Commandment reflected that in spades: ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before me.’(Ex.20:3) 

So friends, it’s all well and good to live a good life down here on earth, because that’s part of the reason why Christ died for us. But we have to realize and recognize that God must come before everyone and everything else. And to do that without too many problems, we have to do it consciously, for as Jesus so rightly warns: ‘For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ (Matt.6:21) 

And that’s no lie my people! Just check your own life. Don’t you think about your earthly treasure a lot, whether it be money in the bank or costly artifacts you have already accumulated, or are in the process of accumulating? We certainly do! But today I’m imploring us not to make them more important than our heavenly Father, for we’ll certainly be on the losing end if we do. Much LOVE!

…true wisdom…live a full life on earth…but think a whole lot more about heaven…which will last much longer…like forever…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 March 2017 Matthew 6:19.

Matthew 6:19.   Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal.

Ah mih people, the ‘confuffling’ day called Saturday is upon us once again. It’s ‘confuffling’ in the sense that for some it signifies sleeping in and a couch potato existence. However, for others it entails numerous household chores as well as grocery shopping and other running around. 

That means some people work harder on Saturdays at home, than they do all week at their place of employment. What an ironic side to our modern-day, have all the gadgets to make life easier society! 

Anyway, enough of my snide comments, let’s turn to some of our friend Anselm’s quotes of this past week. You know he always aspires to inspire us with his quotes. Listen to this first one: ‘To think too long about doing a thing often becomes its undoing.’ And there’s much truth to that, for we often sit down and ponder doing something for so long, that we end up not doing it. 

That leads us to this second quote. ‘Procrastination is the fear of success. People procrastinate because they are afraid of the success that they know will result if they move ahead now. Because success is heavy, carries a responsibility with it, it is much easier to procrastinate and live on the ‘someday I’ll’ philosophy.’ 

Oh friends, I don’t know if that’s the real reason people procrastinate nuh, although I’ve had that experience with someone sometime aback. I wondered why they didn’t accept the opportunity that I was giving them to do something at which they were good at. I found out later from a close relative that it was because they were afraid of succeeding, and the added responsibility that would bring. I don’t think I procrastinate because I’m afraid of success nuh, I think I procrastinate because I’m just downright lazy. (smile) 

And I like this last quote because it’s so appropriate to our faith. ‘You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.’ That’s ever so true when it comes to following Jesus! It’s like the staircase; once you know that it’s there, you don’t need to see all the steps at once, since some of them wind out of sight. So you just climb it, expecting that there will be another step, and another one until it reaches to the top of wherever it is going. 

Following Jesus involves the same action, we just call it faith. Once you’ve accepted Him as your Lord and Saviour, you know that He will always be there for you because of the promises He’s made in His word. The problem in trusting Him in our early faith walk comes from our fear of failure. 

But like climbing the staircase, until you take that first step of faith, you’ll never know whether He’ll be there for you and keep His promises. We just have to step out in faith my people. And after you’ve stepped out a few times and seen His awesome promises fulfilled, each step becomes a little easier. 

Consequently, we ought also to listen to His words of wisdom and warning in our Bit. ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal.’ 

Now Jesus must know what He’s talking about since He’s been to both heaven and earth. But many of us still doubt His warning, much to our detriment.  So let’s get some commentary on the subject from someone else, Bruh Paul, in his first letter 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.6:17-19). 

That’s Bruh Paul’s recommendation for those who have much earthly possessions. So it doesn’t mean if you are rich you can’t go to heaven. You have to use those riches in a good and godly manner. 

Now hear these explanations from the scholars. ‘6:17-18. Paul charges wealthy believers (1) not to be proud and look down on those who are not rich, (2) to confide in God rather than in unstable riches, (3) to be rich in good works by generously sharing their surplus of financial resources with the needy. To be ready to distribute is to be generous in sharing. To be willing to communicate is to be liberal in giving.’

‘6:19. When wealthy believers generously share (v.18), they secure an assurance (laying up in store for themselves a good foundation) that in the future (against the time to come) they will indeed enter heaven (lay hold on eternal life). Salvation is not purchased by the giving of money, but generosity demonstrates the reality of one’s faith. Since the believer trusts God and not money, he gives. This giving shows where his heart is and that he views his wealth in light of eternity.’  

So friends, this Saturday morning, let’s ponder our wealth and what we are doing with it nuh. Are we giving generously, or frugally? Remember the Lord LOVES a generous giver! And there is so much need in our crazy, disjointed and selfish world, that only through generous giving will it ever be lessened. So as true believers, let’s try and give even a li’l more than we’re currently giving nuh. You’ll be amazed at what it will do for your heavenly rewards. Much LOVE!

…to give…from our hearts…and yet to give…that is the message of Jesus…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 March 2017 Matthew 6:19.

Matthew 6:19.   Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal.

Well a Happy St.Patrick’s Day to you my brethren! I do hope that you all enjoy the luck of the Irish in all that you do today, with your green clothes and green food and drink! (smile) 

And you know what? St. Paddy’s day could not have fallen on a better day than a Friday for the working populace because it gives them even more reason to sing: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! St. Paddy’s day to boot! Going to wear me green clothes and drink up me green beer and have a real good time this St. Paddy’s weekend! 

No slave driver to tell me what to do! Just me and mih shamrocks, and mih li’l leprechauns partying all weekend long! Who say we shouldn’t thank God for Fridays and weekends eh?’ 

Ah mih people, can you imagine the raucous behaviour today all over the world, and not only by the Irish diaspora, in celebration of St. Patrick, Ireland’s Patron Saint, credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland? 

What I mostly remember about St.Patrick’s Day growing up in T&T is that it was the one day during Lent we heard calypsos on the radio and you could eat and drink and party hearty. Otherwise, Lent was drink dry and calypso non-existent on the radio. 

I guess to a certain extent that’s why the binge drinking of alcohol is so popular on St. Paddy’s Day. Anyhow friends, regardless of what day it is, binge drinking is never a good idea. So let’s chant our Friday Chant and show them the kind of behaviour that’s most appropriate for the weekend nuh. 

As one 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 mih people, the best way to handle the weekend is with ‘a modicum of circumspection,’ as Jeeves the Butler in the P.G. Wodehouse books would say. 

It’s obvious we can’t take the licentious behaviour to the limit every weekend or else we’d soon waste away and be good for nothing at all. 

But as true believers, we are expected to do God’s work here on earth, which means we cannot let our bodies and minds go to waste by carnal and lustful behaviour. 

That brings us to our Bit, Jesus’ words of everlasting wisdom from 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.’ 

But sadly friends, despite that serious warning of Jesus, a lot, too many of us, including Christians, still fall for the lure of worldly wealth and oftimes kill ourselves trying to accumulate it. 

That’s definitely not a wise path to follow my people, for it only leads to death and destruction. Yes my brethren, the purposeful accumulation of worldly wealth can sometimes lead to physical death, but it ALWAYS causes spiritual death, since we can’t serve God and mammon at the same time. 

Listen to these wise words of Cousin Sol from Proverbs. ‘Labour not (do not overwork) to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom. Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.’ (Prov.23:4-5) 

And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! It’s much easier to accumulate earthly wealth than to keep it. 

Now let’s look at the interaction between Jesus and a young, rich ruler. He came to Jesus and asked: ‘Good Master (Teacher) what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he (Jesus) said unto him, why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt (want to) enter into life, keep the commandments.’ (Matt.19:16-17) 

The fellow asked Jesus which one? Then Jesus listed the Ten Commandments. ‘The young man saith unto him, all these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? 

Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be (want to be) perfect, go and sell all that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.’ (Matt.19:20-21) 

Oh friends, don’t look down scornfully on the young man, because most of us would have behaved the same way. Just look at how much material wealth there is in our world today, but yet the great amount of need and poverty. 

If the rich would just give up a little of their wealth for the benefit of others, there’d be little or no poverty in our world. But the mantra of this world is ‘me, myself and I.’ Steups! It’s all first person singular! 

Anyway, that’s the sermon for today. (smile) But please, let’s ponder on all that we’ve discussed, then ask God for help to come up a little higher each day nuh. That’s the only way to improve our spiritual maturity. Much LOVE!

…be careful…earthly wealth can ruin your heavenly life…

 

 

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