Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 May 2019 Ephesians 6:11.

Ephesians 6:11.    ​Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (devious schemes) of the devil.
 
And after a rainy Sunday for Mother’s Day, it looks like we going to have a rainy Monday for work too! Chuh! What’s with this rain eh? And I know for many people it’s like the brother and sister duo, the Carpenters said in their 1971 hit song ‘Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.’ 

Yeh, there’s something about rain that brings out the sadness and blues in us, like sunshine brings out the joy and gladness. And when it’s the first day of the workweek, it just makes it worse! But please remember my people, we have the eternal light, the light of all lights, Jesus Christ in our corner, so even if you’re feeling down and blue this rainy Monday morning, we just need to turn to Him for help, and He will gladly assist us. 

So let’s just lay it all before Him right now with true sincerity, as we declare (right ho!) our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 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!’ 

Yes friends, that’s our antidote for whatever ails us on a Monday morning! And I see its working, because you’re stepping higher and lighter already, and your eyes have that bright light of Jesus shining in them, and you’re just more business like as the Spirit of Jesus works on you. Glory to God! 

And today friends, the Lord has put it on my heart to talk to us, to remind us of that spiritual and protective armour we pray about every Monday, how important it is for us believers to be always ensconced in it. As Bruh Paul commanded the Ephesians: ‘Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (devious schemes) of the devil.’ 

Yes my faithful saints in Christ, we are in a war, a war against the forces of evil, and soldiers can’t go to war without proper protection. That’s why the scholars tell us to ‘put on’ denotes a sense of urgency, demanding immediate action. And to stand has military overtones. This verb was used in classical Greek meaning to resist the enemy and hold a critical position.’ 

So we need to be always aware of what’s happening around us and stand strong for Jesus. But what makes it even more difficult is as Bruh Paul says: ‘For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world (age), against spiritual (spiritual hosts of) wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’ (Eph.6:12-13) 

Oh friends, please don’t take this all lightly, we are in a serious war with the satanic forces of evil, and a lot of it exists in the high places and powers of this world, plus there are fallen angels, demons and Satan himself. And besides, it’s not only a war being waged against the church proper, but also against individual believers like you and me. 

And the scholars explain verse 13 thus: ‘6:13. Wherefore means “because of this,” that is, because we face such a formidable foe, we must avail ourselves of God’s provision lest the enemy destroy our Christian witness and ministry. The evil day refers to the periodic demonic onslaughts and satanic assaults. Having done all includes both dressing in God’s armour and resisting Satan. Having done all these things, be ready, for the Devil will attack again and again.’ 

Oh friends, that last part is ever so true! If it’s one thing we can count on is that the forces of evil will always be on our case, especially since we’re believers, since their avowed plan is to make believers look foolish and fall for their wiles, lies and other evil schemes. That’s why we have to be ever so careful and take our Monday Morning Battle Hymn very seriously, because it’s a prayer for help, for the ability to resist the enemy, and even more to fight a strong and victorious fight in Jesus’ name! 

Oh my people, my people, believe me, the battle is getting hotter with each passing day, because the enemy is seeing that he’s losing and is trying to fight back; yuh know like how a wild animal behaves when its back is against a wall, so we just have to stand up strong and steadfast, dressed in our powerful armour, and allow the Holy Spirit to lead us out to battle! Glory to our great God! 

And we’ll end there today. Tomorrow we’ll talk about the various parts of the spiritual armour that we need to stand before the enemy and defeat him. Till then, may the grace of God bless all His saints and keep us safe from harm, as we step out courageously to fight the enemy, and may we all live to fight another day! This we pray, in Jesus’ name! Amen! Much LOVE!

…God’s saints can’t fight His spiritual battle victoriously…if they’re not clothed in His spiritual armour…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 January 2018 Matthew 5:41.

Matthew 5:41.   And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain (two).

Aloha my beautiful brethren in Christ Jesus! Welcome to another day in the awesome service of our Lord and Saviour! The One who gave His sinless life on the cross so that we could be saved from eternal damnation! How good it is to do time with Him; to have Him lead and guide us on this confusing earthly journey. 

Remember, He is the Way, the Truth and the Life, so He must know more than us re handling life’s problems. (smile) And for those of us who wisely surrender our lives to Him, He tends us like a kind and LOVING shepherd does his sheep; meeting all their needs, keeping them safe from harm, then taking them home to live with Him for ever. 

Oh glory to God my people for the Prince of Peace, our High Priest and heavenly Advocate, Jesus Christ! 

And since we’re talking about life, let me share a quote on the subject, attributed to one Kyle Crichton. There are several Kyle Crichton’s around, but I believe this came from the one who lived between 1896 and 1960, a playwright, author and screenwriter in the U.S. 

And he said: ‘Life’s a pretty precious and wonderful thing. You can’t sit down and let it lap around you…you have to plunge into it, you have to dive through it.’ And that’s the awesome truth friends! We only have one life to live, and wisdom dictates that we enjoy it, even though it might be difficult. 

One thing is for sure, you can’t allow life to run you, otherwise it will take serious advantage of you. You have to run life, in concert with Jesus Christ of course! Life is a bully boy, and you know how bully boys behave if you allow them to control you. 

That’s why you have to admire the ordinary workingman when he declares his Friday song. ‘TGIF Thank God is Friday oui! Another week of slave labour done! And now the weekend is mine to do exactly as I please; behave drunk and disorderly or not, give way to my carnal desires or not. 

But it all depends on me, not on any chupid slave master. Granted the time short, but Glory to God, my time is mih own! Thank Him everlasting for the li’l weekends and them yes! Otherwise I don’t know how I’d manage nuh. The weekend’s here people, enjoy it to the last drop!’  

There is definitely enthusiasm for life in the workingman’s song! Although he is somewhat misguided, he doesn’t allow life to beat him down, he rises up against it, takes it by the scruff of the neck and uses it for his own purposes. That’s what we Christians are also called to do, but within certain boundaries laid down by our leader, Jesus Christ. 

So let’s sing our rebuttal song nuh, our Friday Chant, with much feeling and true sincerity. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Yeh friends, we are also to enjoy our weekend, but with a modicum of circumspection, renew our minds, bodies and souls, not give in to even more carnal living, so that come Monday, we’re just dragging and are too tired to perform our normal duties. For if we are too tired to do what we’re supposed to do, then how can we fulfill Jesus’ desire in our Bit eh? ‘And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain (two).’ 

Ah mih people, that’s just like our Jesus; always giving or doing more than is asked. And that’s how He wants us, His faithful followers to also behave. 

And the scholars explain thus: ‘5:41. In ancient times government agents were in a position to compel forced service upon a subjugated people. A Roman soldier, for example, could compel a Jewish native to carry his armour or materials for one mile. Jesus now states that if someone compels you to walk a mile, go with him twain. 

The believer is to be willing to “go the extra mile.” Doing double our duty not only proves our loyalty to human authority, but likewise proves the spiritual intention of our heart.’ 

Ah mih breddren, I have to laugh yes! Do double duty in our society? Hn! We don’t even want to do single duty, much less double. This is an age where the word ‘responsibility’ has apparently been removed from our vocabulary. No one wants to do anything much, except enjoy the good life; a life of ease and sloth and gossip and run around aimlessly, like chickens with our heads cut off. 

But as Christians, we are supposed to be different my fellow believers. We have to take our responsibility seriously, which doesn’t mean not enjoying our everyday lives, but simply keeping our eyes and ears open and doing what needs to be done in Jesus’ name. 

When we do that, it makes us right with Him, and glorifies our heavenly Father. That’s the ultimate in wisdom and common sense my brethren! Much LOVE!

…faithfully serving Jesus in this life…is the wonderful recipe for spending eternity with Him…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 October 2014 Amos 4:6B

Amos 4:6B.      …yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord.
 
So Friends, it’s Friday! What do you have to say for yourselves eh?
 
And everybody just began rejoicing: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! The weekend’s here! Work soon finish, and we going to party down the place! Getting ready for Christmas and Carnival, checking out the parang, (Venezuelan based folk music popular in T&T) and whatever else there is to check out!
 
Yes Friends, the Christmas scenario is already being played out in T&T, and after Christmas is obviously the epic street party termed Carnival, Mas, Bacchanal, etc. etc. Imagine that nuh, in the middle of October, we already touting Christmas!
 
Every year it seems to start earlier and earlier, driven by the economic engines of sales and shopping. But my people, we need to remember that it’s not all about partying, or shopping, or any of those worldly related things.
 
It’s all about Jesus! The One who made it all possible, from a heart exceedingly filled with LOVE for us. So let’s try to put Him FIRST nuh… FIRST in all we say and do, because He is the One who enables us to do anything at all!
 
Now today I want to ask us to address two serious problems in prayer; that of the deadly Ebola virus that’s wreaking havoc in West Africa and is slowly spreading to other parts of the world. It’s already in Europe and North America, so please don’t think that because we’re so far away from Africa, that we’re immune to it. The very fact of our small, global village world and the ease with which we can travel makes anything very easy to spread.
 
And I also want us to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ in Jamaica, who are apparently suffering the wrath of another virus called ‘chikungunya.’ It doesn’t seem to be as deadly as Ebola, and consequently isn’t making as many headlines, but it certainly seems to wreaking havoc in J.A.
 
I don’t know much about it myself, but as I e-mailed some of you a message earlier on, sent from one of our Scrip-Bit family members, a doctor down there, asking for immediate prayer, because it appears to be taking a serious toll on the Jamaican population, and prayer is ALWAYS the best, if not the only solution to our woes.
 
Ah mih people, every day something new on the sad and unhealthy scene is raising its ugly head! If it’s not war and strife, then it’s some other natural or even manmade disaster; disease, famine, flood, storm, economic downfall, etc, etc.
 
We just can’t seem to get it right these days. And why is that? Because we have moved away in foolish, stubborn pride from sincerely serving and worshipping Jehovah God, the ONE and ONLY TRUE and LIVING DEITY; the ONE who created the world and all therein!
 
And then we wonder why our world is in such a damned state, one of death and destruction, where the positive enablers of peace, LOVE and joy are sadly lacking!
 
That brings us to the similarity of our current situation to that of Israel, its serious depravity, moral perversion and corruption which the prophet Amos spoke about. And our Bit is simply the end of several punishments that the Lord brought against Israel back then, unfortunately though, without the end He desired.
 
As the prophet wrote: ‘yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord.’ 
 

Can you imagine it Friends? Listen to how Amos begins Chapter 4. ‘Hear this word, ye kine (cows, wives) of Bashan, that are in the mountain of Samaria, which oppress the poor, which crush the needy, which say to their masters (husbands), Bring, and let us drink.
 
The Lord God hath sworn by his holiness, that lo, the days shall come upon you, that he will take you away with hooks, and your posterity with fishhooks. And ye shall go out at the breaches (breaks in the walls), every cow at that which is before her (each one straight ahead of her); and ye shall cast them into the palace (be cast into Harmon), saith the Lord.’ (Amos 4:1-3)
 
Now is that the kind of thing a God should have cause to say to His chosen people? Of course not! But He certainly had occasion to say it to the depraved and corrupt Israelites back then.
 
And unfortunately my people, today, this very day, He’s saying the same thing to us, because we are even more depraved and dissolute than Israel was back then. We just can’t seem to get it into our foolish skulls that a lot of the disaster befalling our world today is the hand of God, executing judgement on an evil, godless, depraved and disgusting society.
 
Hear how the scholars explain those verses. ‘4:1-3. Ye kine of Bashan is an indictment against the women of Samaria. The “cows” of Bashan were noted for being well fed and strong because of the lush pastures of the area.
 
The women of Samaria lived in luxurious wantonness, enjoying their luxury because they oppressed the poor and crushed the needy. When the women of the land sink to such a low moral and degraded state, God’s judgement must fall, for the entire land is degraded.’
 
And that’s exactly what’s happening to day my Friends! Our land is so depraved, depressed, disgruntled, distrustful, demon-filled, perverse, corrupt, beset by such doom and gloom that the true, just and holy God we are supposed to serve, has no other choice but to unleash His wrath, His punishment on us.
 
Anyway my brethren, enough of that negative aspect for today, let’s look now on the positive side of the ledger. Our God, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, is a merciful and forgiving God, who LOVES His children dearly, and is only too glad to relent of His anger and punishment, if and when we return to sincerely worshipping and serving Him, as we’ve seen happen on several occasions with Israel.
 
Yes my people, that’s the answer to all our problems; get out from under the evil darkness of Lucifer, which is currently blanketing our world, and move rejoicing and refreshed into the bright and splendiferous light of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!
 
That’s why He left the cozy and comfortable confines of heaven to come to earth and die in our place. And now, if we don’t accept Him, and all that He stands for, then we’re simply making a mockery of His sacrifice, making it all a huge waste of time.
 
Anyway Friends, let’s hope that calmer and wiser heads will soon prevail, and we will return to worshipping and serving Almighty God with sincere hearts, because that is the zenith of wisdom!
 
Now let’s go home chanting our Friday Chant. Thought I’d forgotten nuh? (smile) 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.’
 
Now may the Good Lord bless and keep us safe from harm. May He make His face, His favour to shine upon us, and give us His extraordinary peace that passes all understanding, as well as the wisdom to make right and good choices today, as we venture forth with courage and confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us! Much LOVE!
 
…what’s a judge to do eh…with a proud, stubborn and foolish re-offender…but to hand down sentence…and execute punishment…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 June 2014 Acts 14:22

Acts 14:22.    Confirming (strengthening) the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

‘Morning Neighbuh, morning! May the great and wonderful God of our fathers be with you this new day, showering you with His ever-flowing mercy and abundant blessings, while keeping you and yours safe from harm.’
 
And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful ‘Praise the Lord! Amen.’
 
Oh Friends, I guess I’ll never be a good weather forecaster, because I said that yesterday was going to be a rainy day Tuesday. Hn! But which rain fell eh? None! For by the time the sun rose the rain abated, and it turned out to be a hot, windy day Tuesday instead. I even had to turn on the A/C. Note, just to see if it was working after the long, harsh winter it endured. (smile)
 
What a life eh! A couple weeks ago we badly wanted heat, but now that we’re getting some of the natural stuff, we’re already crying out for cooler weather. Chuh! I guess though that that’s the nature of the human animal – when we have one thing we want something else, and vice versa.
 
But my people, I’m here to tell us that this earthly life is not a bed of roses… or rather, it is a bed of roses! That’s because one of the most beautiful of all God’s creation, the rose, grows at the end of a long, thorn riddled stalk, and to get to one, you have to carefully navigate the thorns on its stem.
 
Life is just like that my brethren. To get to the top of the ladder, or to the most beautiful parts of life, you have to carefully navigate through thorny paths, covered with brambles and all sorts of other obstruction. There is no clear, unobstructed path to our glorious destination of heaven and eternal life with Jesus Christ.
 
As our Bit tells it, in the immortal words of Bruh Paul to his protégé Timothy: ‘Confirming (strengthening) the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.’
 
And that’s no lie Friends, for all sorts of obstacles and stumbling blocks will crop up in a believer’s life, and it’s only with God’s help are we able to successfully navigate them. And we’re going to end this series of messages with a couple of scriptures pertaining to both the first and last parts of our Bit.
 
As to the first part; ‘Confirming (strengthening) the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith,’ let’s look at Acts 11, regarding the church in Antioch, where believers were first referred to as Christians.
 
After Stephen was stoned to death in Jerusalem, the disciples were scattered all over, teaching the gospel, but to Jews only. However, some of them, when they came to Antioch, began preaching the Lord Jesus also to the Gentiles.
 
The Good Book tells us: ‘And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord. Then tidings (news) of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.
 
Who, when he came and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted (encouraged) them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto (continue with) the Lord. For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.’ (Acts 11:21-24)
 
Yeh Friends, we all need help and encouragement to keep on keeping on in our walk of faith, because it is not an easy row to hoe. And that fact is borne out later on when Barnabas brings Bruh Paul back to Antioch, where envious Jews did not want the gospel taught to the Gentiles.
 
‘And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought (begged) that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes (Gentile converts to Judaism) followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.’ (Acts 13:42-42)
 
But the opposition never ceased. ‘And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against (opposed) those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.
 
Then Paul and Barnabas waxed (grew) bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you (reject it), and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.
 
And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.
 
But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable (prominent) women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts (region). But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.’(Acts 13:44-52)
 
Glory be! Ah mih people, what a beautiful example of when opposition comes against us, that we nonetheless stand strong in preaching the Word, and we will be strengthened and filled with the joy of the Lord and His Holy Spirit! That’s because the Word contains power, the greatest power on earth!
 
But jealousy and envy can move us to do evil, if we’re not very careful. The Jews at first didn’t want to hear about Jesus, and then they didn’t want the Gentiles to hear about Him either, so they stirred up false info to the powers that be, and had them run Barnabas and Bruh Paul out of town.
 
And unfortunately many Christians are behaving the same way, though not through jealousy, but through apathy, fear and simply not caring enough to share the good news of the gospel with others. Remember though my people, that that’s our Great Commission; to spread the good news of Jesus all over the globe. (Matt.28:19-20)
 
But it wasn’t easy back in those first days, and it certainly isn’t easy either in these last days. But with perseverance, strong faith, trust and surrender to our helpful and ever-LOVING God, we CAN, and we WILL proselytize the ENTIRE WORLD, just as Jesus commanded.
 
Oh Friends, I got so caught up in the first part of our Bit, (smile) that I went on longer than I expected. So like we’ll just have to leave the other stuff till tomorrow, God in favour.
 
Till then, please stand strong in the faith, and fearlessly and unashamedly spread the good news of Jesus to all and sundry, because that is indeed wisdom of the highest order! Much LOVE!
 
…in the world ye shall have tribulation…but be of good cheer…I have overcome the world…  (John 16:33)