Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 March 2020 Isaiah 54:13.

Isaiah 54:13.    ​And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.
 
One more day friends… One more day to experience heaven right here on earth! Wow! That’s why Jesus came and died for us yes – so that we could have life and have it more abundantly. (John 10:10) That means we don’t have to wait until we actually reach heaven to enjoy heaven; we can also get a slice of it right down here on this sinful earth, because of the salvation He died for us to have. We are now children of God; redeemed, reconciled, sanctified and justified by Christ’s death on the cross at Calvary; sealed by the Holy Spirit until forever! 

Wow! Thus, if you’re a born again child of the Most High God, then your life ought to be moving on a higher plane now. Not that you won’t have problems and trials, but because you will be able to overcome them with the awesome help of our wonderful God who has faithfully promised never to leave nor forsake us. (Heb. 13:5) 

And I just espied this wonderful scripture as I opened the Good Book in the writings of Isaiah, where he talks about the Lord’s everlasting LOVE for Israel. ‘And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.’ (Is.54:13-14) Oh my fellow believers, yuh see that? Once again the Lord instills and impresses on us that we MUST TEACH the children about Him and His Word, since that’s the only way they will have peace on this earth. 

And you’ll surely notice that quite a lot of young people nowadays are tied up in uncertainty and don’t know where they’re going and are falling for all sorts of foolish and ungodly stuff, because we the parents have not taught them the Word of God as the Lord requires. Ah friends, the only way the Word of God can survive is if the next generation knows it and keeps passing it on. How do you think we got it eh? Because our parents instilled it in us. As Bruh David says in Psalm 145 – The Lord is gracious – ‘One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.’ (Ps. 145:4) 

Oh my people, did our generation praise the works of the Lord to this current one and declare His mighty acts? Not as much as we ought to, else our children would not be as lost and vulnerable to every whim and fancy of this evil world, as they are today. And I know we don’t like to hear of or take the blame for the current situation, but the truth is a lot of it sits on our shoulders because of our reluctance, for whatever reason, to teach our children the Word of the Lord and tell them about his awesome doings. Just like we were told about them by our parents, we are responsible for telling our children. And unfortunately we have not come up to scratch in that department. 

Remember when you train up the children right, that even when they’re old, they’ll still remember what you taught them. That reminds me of the reggae song ‘August Town’ by Duane Stephenson, where he was a bad boy dealing with evil forces, more into guns and ammunitions and striving with God-fearing people, than following the Lord. That disheartens me some, because in my days in Jamaica, August Town, situated right below the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies was a decent enough place, not filled with the crime and violence Duane sings about. 

But as he says “For all the lives that I’ve taken, They can never be replaced, But still Jah Jah chose to remember my face. Though I never lived like He wanted, I’m still mindful of what he taught me. So now I beg and plead, I’m on my bended knees, Cause Father you rescued me.’  That’s what I’m talking about friends, as a child, he was obviously taught the Word, though He never chose to live it as an adult. But yuh see when life got really tough, when it got dark, because of His early training in the Word, he knew where to turn to for help, ‘the only spark, the light at the end of the road.’ 

And obviously, ever-faithful to His promise the Father rescued him. So though it might be a tad late for teaching our children about God, but certainly don’t stop trying with them, we should possibly concentrate more on our grandchildren; getting the Word into their hearts and souls as early as possible. Now Moses told the children of Israel that from the very beginning. ‘And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.’ (Deut. 6:6-7) 

Yuh see friends, not only should we teach the children, and teach them diligently, but the Word should always be in our mouths and hearts and minds. That way we have them to quickly draw upon whenever we need them, which is almost constantly in these evil times. End of sermon! (smile) Now let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Thursday Blessings, generously given to us so that we can also generously share them with others while doing God’s work. All together now in strong voice with sincere hearts. 

‘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!’ 

Yes friends, let’s get it together nuh, and show the heathen world what true Christians are really like! They are just dying to see us like we ought to be, so they have a good example to follow! Much LOVE!

…we can only teach what we know…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 February 2020 Luke 14:33.

Luke 14:33.    ​So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that the hath, he cannot be my disciple.
 
Yeah! It’s the first day… the first day of the week my brethren. It’s Sunday…all day! And you know what that means, the church doors are open ready to welcome whosoever wants to come, but hoping that everybody will come. Yeh friends, that’s the hope of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, that all will come to salvation and thus become a member of His earthly organization called the church, and, on a regular basis, show their faces at the physical structures created for those blessed members to come and celebrate, give thanks and praise and receive heavenly succour, so that we can go about His business the upcoming week with vim and vigour, zest and godly energy! 

And for those of us who have accepted that glorious invitation, let’s begin the proceedings as we always do, with a song, a song of worship and thanksgiving, praise and gratitude. And today’s song is a popular hymn with lyrics by Judson Van De Venter and music by Winfield Weeden, published in 1896, and appropriately titled: ‘All to Jesus I Surrender.’ And do we ever need to do that…totally and completely, if we want to enjoy the good and abundant life He has planned for us. So let’s tell Him so now nuh, with sincere hearts and voices raised in praiseful sacrifice. 

As one soulful and harmonious choir: ‘All to Jesus I surrender, All to Him I freely give; I will ever LOVE and trust Him, In His presence daily live. (Refrain: I surrender all, I surrender all; All to Thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all.) All to Jesus I surrender, Humbly at His feet I bow Worldly pleasures all forsaken, Take me, Jesus, take me now. (Refrain: I surrender all…) All to Jesus I surrender, Make me, Savior, wholly Thine; Let me feel the Holy Spirit, Truly know that Thou art mine. 

(Refrain: I surrender all…) All to Jesus I surrender, Lord, I give myself to Thee; Fill me with Thy LOVE and power, Let Thy blessing fall on me. (Refrain: I surrender all…) All to Jesus I surrender, Now I feel the sacred flame; Oh, the joy of full salvation! Glory, glory, to His Name! (Refrain: I surrender all, I surrender all; All to Thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all… I surrender all, I surrender all; All to Thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all…’ 

Ah friends, I do hope we were all sincere in that sacrifice of praise because the Lord is going to look at our hearts and check our motives, and if we weren’t sincere then we’ll have to answer why and not be blessed as we desired. And the whole thing is simply about surrender my people, surrender to the one who gave His sinless life to atone for our sins and made us right with God, gave us the wonderful option of eternal salvation by His resurrection, and is still advocating for us with the Father. It’s a normal requirement my brethren, if we want to enjoy the fruits of His efforts. 

Look at how we give our allegiance to earthly organizations, many of whom don’t do a blooming thing for us! Why then should it be so difficult to give our all to Jesus, who gave His all for us eh? We’re just being selfish and greedy and carnal. But Jesus made it quite clear when He spoke about counting the cost of discipleship. The Good Book says: ‘And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned and said to them, If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren (brothers), and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.’ (Luke 14:25-27) 

Wow friends, it sure looks like being a disciple of Jesus is not for the sorrowful or fainthearted! (smile) And Jesus certainly doesn’t want us to hate out families, because He is all about LOVE. He’s just saying that Him and His business must come first. Hear the scholars with some explanations. ‘14:25. Jesus had gained a wide hearing. Here was the temptation to water down the demands that discipleship entail. Yet in the following verses Jesus clearly does just the opposite.’ 

‘14:26. In comparison to one’s devotion to Christ, one’s family ties must be secondary. This does not set aside Jesus’ other teachings to LOVE one’s enemies, to honour father and mother, and the like. It does highlight that absolute loyalty to Christ is paramount, even though in many societies, including the one in which Jesus taught, as well as many today, following Him involves precisely the either/or that this verse sets up.’ Then Jesus in His inimitable style goes on to talk about building a tower and contemplating war, where the costs of both have to be considered before any serious commitments are made. (Luke 14:28-32)  

And the scholars say those verses are only found in Luke. And Jesus pinpoints the major lesson of the two stories in verse 33, which states: ‘So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that the hath, he cannot be my disciple.’ Yeh friends, to truly follow Jesus, one ought to count the cost. It’s not an easy row to hoe, but with His awesome help we can all handle it if we seriously commit our lives to Him. We have to be ready to give up a lot of stuff on His behalf. 

Remember the rich young ruler that came and wanted to be His disciple? (Matt.19:16-22) Jesus told him to first go and sell all his possessions and give to the poor and thus store up treasure in heaven then come back and follow Him. The young man went away sorrowful, because he had a lot of possession. Jesus didn’t really mean for Him to literally sell everything, but was merely testing His resolve. 

According to the scholars, His outward righteousness seemed fine, but he hadn’t really kept the commandments because his wealth and self-righteousness had blinded him to his real weakness; he LOVED himself more than he LOVED his neighbour, the poor. And he LOVED his possessions more than he LOVED God. This passage teaches the seriousness of true discipleship, but it in no way teaches the average man that he must sell his possessions in order to be Christian. 

So don’t worry my rich and well off friends, you don’t have to go and sell your possessions to be a disciple of Christ. (smile) But you do have to pick up your cross daily and follow Him, as He says early on in Luke. ‘If any man will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ (Luke 9:23) 

Now that’s the crux of the message my people: everyday we have to be willing to stand strong in His name and do whatever it takes to further His kingdom. Are we doing that in a satisfactory manner? I don’t think so, otherwise Christianity would be much stronger and much further ahead. So please, let’s spend some time today pondering our individual situations nuh, and ask the Lord to help us do better, because we all have room for improvement. Much LOVE!

…discipleship…means to be willing to forsake one’s self…every day… for Christ…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 February 2020 1 Chronicles 16:25.

1 Chronicles 16:25.    ​For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised: he also is to be feared (held in reverential awe) above all gods.
 
And by now, on this bright and sunshiny, but somewhat chilly Wednesday winter’s morn, most of us will have gotten accustomed to the tumbling tumbleweed motion of our lives as we go through the challenging workweek. (smile) Ah, but friends, we believers don’t need to worry about that tumbleweed motion of our lives because our most remarkable Maker has it purposefully planned, right down to the last teardrop, the last breath! And nothing is going to interfere with His plans to work everything out for our good as He grows our faith and matures us into beautiful replicas of His wonderful Son, Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour! Yes, that’s the Master Plan! 

Wow! What a blessing and privilege it is to be a replica of Christ! The inherent problem in accomplishing that though, is that such a feat requires a lot of hard slugging, it certainly doesn’t come easy, and we often have to band our jaw and belly, sacrifice a whole lot, cry plenty eyes water just to get a pass mark in the class. (smile) But the wonderful thing about our amazing, magnificent and magnanimous God is that He never asks us to do anything and not give us the tools to do it. 

Thus, in our desire to become like Christ, He gives us His grace, His mercy, LOVE, compassion, forgiveness, strength, assurance, justification, sanctification, confidence, and whatever else we might happen to need to do His will! And He does it all through the power of His Holy Spirit, the third member of our Holy Trinity, our Triune Godhead. Oh my people, we certainly couldn’t ask for anything more! However, sad as it is, we ofttimes ask for more; because we’re too lazy, too afraid, or some such human frailty. In other words, we want God to not only give us the tools to do the job, but also to do it for us. 

But friends, He’s not going to. We have a covenant, a partnership with Him, whereby He does His part and we do ours. End of story! He will certainly help us accomplish our part, but definitely not do it for us. So let’s not hold out any hope in that regard nuh. We’ve got to stand up on our own two feet sometime or the other, whatever it takes! We’re Christ’s ambassadors down here on earth, His hands, feet, eyes and ears, and He’s depending on us to get His work done, to spread the good news of His gospel all over the world. 

Please note the marvellous words of Bruh David in the psalm he gave to Asaph, the cymbals man and band leader, as they celebrated the bringing of the Ark of the covenant to Jerusalem: ‘Sing unto the Lord, all the earth; show forth from day to day his salvation. Declare his glory among the heathen; his marvellous works among all nations. For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised: he also is to be feared (held in reverential awe) above all gods. For all the gods of the people are idols (worthless things): but the Lord made the heavens. Glory and honour are in his presence; strength and gladness are in his place.’ (1 Chr.16:23-27) 

Oh my people, what awesome truth are contained in those words! And until we fully grasp the truth contained therein, we will not fully realize the awesome position we hold in Christ’s company! Now the bringing of the Ark to Jerusalem was a really big do; a most noteworthy event in the annals of the Jewish people, and Bruh David went out all, both in his activities – dancing and playing before the Lord in the company of his subjects, as well as writing some amazing praise music that a whole big band of established musicians played along with him. 

Can you imagine the scene? It must have been like Carnival Tuesday in T&T; the sun shining hot and bright, the big fancy costumes, the bright dazzling displays of colour, the music jamming loud, and people jumping to high heaven! Mama Yo! Who say they didn’t know how to party in them days eh! (smile)  

Now hear some more awesome truth from Bruh David on the occasion nuh: ‘Give unto the Lord , ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength. Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. Fear (tremble) before him, all the earth: the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved. Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, The Lord reigneth.’ (1 Chr.16:28-31). 

Oh my people, my people, that is exactly what we ought to be saying in these perilous and troubled times! Unless we believers acknowledge the sovereignty of our omnipotent, merciful and gracious God, and behave like it too, how are the unbelievers going to know about Him and the wonderful life that awaits them with Him eh? They won’t. That’s why it’s ever so important that we sing the praises of the Lord and show His true colours to the unbeliever. 

Now here is some interesting info from the scholars on the psalm. ‘16:7. This psalm (with slight variations) is woven into several of the psalms in the Hebrew Psalter (cf. vs. 8-22 with Ps.105:1-15; vs. 23-33 with Ps.96; vs. 34-36 with Ps.106:1, 47-48). It is learned here that those later liturgical adaptations originated with David. The psalm was especially suited for this auspicious occasion. 

This particular psalm exhorts the people to praise Israel’s wonder-working God (vs. 8-11), and encourages its hearers to remember God’s deeds (vs. 12-14), and His unfailing covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (vs. 15-22). David then directs all nations to join Israel in its praise of the holy God to whom all the universe is subservient (vs. 23-33), and closes this song with a section of thanks, petition, and praise (vs.34-36).’  

Let’s do the same nuh: ‘O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory (triumph) in thy praise. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel for ever and ever. And all the people said, Amen, and praised the Lord.’ (1 Chr. 16:34-36) Oh my fellow believers, that’s how it ought to be, every day of our lives! And yes, we’re only humans with a frail and fickle nature, but that’s no excuse for not praising and worshipping and thanking our great God! 

And now, for those of us who sincerely try, let’s go home declaring (chuh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our true position in Christ. As one body, in strong voice with sincere hearts. ‘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!’ 

And will that future ever be glorious…more than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…O…give thanks unto the Lord…for He is good…for His mercy endureth for ever…

P.S. Yes, it’s a tad long…but it’s ever so nice and encouraging…and I enjoyed writing it! (smile) Hope you enjoy reading it… Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 January 2020 Ecclesiastes 7:12.

Ecclesiastes 7:12.    ​For wisdom is a defense (a protective shade, shadow), and money is a defense: but the excellency (advantage) of knowledge is that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.
 
Well hello there my beautiful Scrip-Bit friends and family! How goes it with you today eh, this last day of January? And can you believe that January is already done, one month of the new year is already over? Time sure is flying fast. At least I think so, but the duchess holds the opposite opinion; she thinks that January took a long time to finish, was just crawling along like a turtle in no particular hurry. (smile) But regardless of your opinion on the subject, one thing is certain sure; time is not waiting on us to do it’s thing. It never has, and it never will! 

That means we have to get our acts together and also do our thing, whatever God has called us to do, for when we come before him on the Big Day, and He asks why we didn’t complete our appointed task(s), we can’t tell Him that we didn’t have sufficient time, since He’s the Master Planner and gives us all enough time to do our duty. No friends, simplistic excuses like that won’t cut it on the judgement day! 

And yes it’s Friday, and yes, many of us are crowing like the ordinary workingman: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! Hallelujah! The weekend is here; ripe for the taking, and believe me I’m going to take it! Take it and enjoy it whichever way I can. Forget about the slave master work until Monday morning, because this is my time now! Wow! And January done too, that means spring soon come! Yes, in another two months, the two coldest months of the year! (smile) 

But what’s a man to do eh? He has no choice but to enjoy his days to the best of his ability! And this year of 2020 is one I’m going to remember forever as one that I enjoyed to the fullest! Me and mih li’l family going to indeed have a bright and prosperous new year…well it mightn’t be all that prosperous in terms of money…but it certainly going to be a happy one, because we going to live and LOVE each other like there’s no tomorrow. 

Yuh see how Kobe Bryant with all his money and power and privilege just take off without a word of warning… with his big daughter to boot, the one who was supposed to carry on his legacy…Well I going to make sure that if that ever happen to me, my family going to know that I treasured them and LOVED them as best as I could! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

And who says the ordinary workingman isn’t wise eh? He might not have a lot of education, but he does have plenty common sense, something that seems to generally be in short supply in these strife-filled and contentious days! We supposed believers (yeah!) would certainly be wise if we took a page from his book and began seriously enjoying life with our friends and families, letting them know in no uncertain terms that we truly LOVE and value them, because the breath of life can be taken away from any and all of us so unexpectedly. 

So let’s think seriously on that nuh, as we declare (yeah!) our Friday Chant in strong voice with sincere hearts. Remember friends, the sincerity, the rightness of the heart is what counts with the Lord. 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!’ 

And yes friends, as I keep saying, our God is indeed a great and faithful Deity, for just now, as I was perusing the Good Book, seeking words to justify our contentions above (smile), He eventually led me to these most appropriate words of Cousin Sol, speaking as the Preacher in Ecclesiastes. ‘Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools. 

Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? For thou dost not inquire wisely concerning this. Wisdom is good with an inheritance: and by it there is profit to them that see the sun. For wisdom is a defense (a protective shade, shadow), and money is a defense: but the excellency (advantage) of knowledge is that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.’  (Eccl.7:6-12) 

Oh friends, we cannot dispute the almighty value of wisdom over the other things of the world! Look at how many rich, unhappy fools there are, and how many money poor but spiritually prosperous wise men! Yes, it’s nice to have wisdom and money too, but too many of us opt for the money and not the wisdom, that’s why the saying, a fool and his money is soon parted is gospel truth! (smile) 

And Cousin Sol continues his awesome truth: ‘Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked? In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over the other (surely has appointed the one as well as the other), to the end that man should find nothing after him (nothing that will happen after him).’ (Eccl. 7:13-14) 

Ah mih people, as the scholars advise, ‘to talk about the former days (v.10), or the “good old days,” is not wise. Both good and bad days are the work of God and are used, apart from our ability to understand them, in God’s sovereign plan (vs. 13-14).’ Yeh, God said it all in Isaiah, that His thoughts and ways are higher than ours, so we can’t deign to understand His reasoning and plans. (Is. 55:8-9) 

So please, let’s stop trying to understand what God is all about nuh, because we simply don’t have the mental capacity to do so. Instead let’s just run with what He’s given us and be thankful for His ever-faithful LOVE, His magnificent and unbeatable offer of salvation, plus His enduring grace and mercy! Much LOVE!

…it’s not ours to reason why… but both good and evil…serve the sovereign plan of God…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 January 2020 John 8:12.

John 9:12.    ​I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
 
Well it’s begun as a somewhat grey and unappealing Thursday morning, but let’s hope that it will eventually turn into a bright sunshiny day like yesterday, although it was a tad on the chilly side. Yes friends, there’s something to be said for sunshine, even when it’s freezing cold! (smile) It just lifts the spirits…don’t know if it’s because of the light and our spirits were made to enjoy light, not darkness, but it certainly does help to see a nice, bright day filled with sunshine, especially when things are not going too well. 

But yuh know what? We believers don’t really need to depend so much on the physical sunlight because we have the one who made that sunlight, who is also that sunlight, dwelling deep down inside of us! And consequently, when the physical sunlight is not apparent, we can faithfully call on the spiritual light of Jesus to brighten up our days…and also our nights! Wow! That’s why He could make this awesome, but oh so true statement: ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ 

Ah friends, what a blessing it is to have the Light of the world in our lives; dwelling securely and faithfully in the souls and spirits of each believer! (chuh!) Give Him much thanks and praise for He is certainly deserving of them! Now hear how John characterizes Him nuh: ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.’ (John 1:1-4) 

Yes my people, Jesus was there from the very beginning: He was the Word; the awesome Word that God spoke to create the universe! ‘Let there be light…and there was light.’ (Gen. 1:3) He was also ‘the life’, which was the light of men, meaning when we have Jesus, we have both life and light! Glory be! And as the scholars explain: ‘1:4-5. Life…light: See also 8:12; 9:5; 11:25; 14:6. In John’s writings, life represents salvation and deliverance through Christ, and light denotes Jesus’ revelation of God which calls men to accountability.’ 

That’s why it’s so sad and unfortunate when John continues: ‘And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness comprehended (apprehended) it not.’ (John 1:5) Yes, Jesus came to shine light into a darkened world, but the world did not cotton to His light. Why, you wonder? Because as Jesus said in His famous discourse to Nicodemus: ‘And this is the condemnation of the world, that light (the light) is come into the world, and men LOVED darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.’ (John 3:19) 

No wonder we refused the life and light that was, is, and will always be Jesus! It’s hard for evil man to give up his evil deeds because it’s just an inherent part of his nature. But friends, that evil nature will not get us anywhere except hellfire and damnation, eternal separation from Almighty God, which is the worst thing that can ever happen to a human soul and spirit! That’s why the Father sent Jesus to earth to redeem us and to reconcile us to Him, otherwise come the big judgement day, we’d be left on the outside looking in. And believe me friends, whatever that might entail in reality, it certainly will not be a good thing! 

Now listen to Jesus again on the subject of ‘the light of the world,’ when He was about to heal a man born blind and the disciples asked Him who had sinned that he was born blind? ‘Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest (be revealed) in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the  light of the world.’ 

Yes precious people of God, certain things are made to happen in this evil word so that our God can cause them to be rectified and thus glorify His most blessed and holy name! But the most important part of those statements is the fact that while Jesus was in the world, He was indeed the light of the world, but once He left the world, the duty of being light to a darkened world fell on us, His believers. Like He said back on the Sermon on the Mount after the Beatitudes: ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. …Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:14, 16) 

Ah my fellow believers (yeah!), we are now the reflection of Jesus’ shining light to this evil world, so let’s go out and shine nuh… Oh and don’t forget we’re also the salt of the earth, so we have to be tasty too, otherwise we’ll just be cast out and ground underfoot. (smile)  And the great thing about Jesus is that He never gives us a task to perform unless He gives us the wherewithal, the tools to perform it. And He’s certainly given us the tools to be the salt and light of the earth in our Thursday Blessings, so let’s declare (yeah!) them now nuh, so we can invoke them in our daily routine. 

As one strong and sincere voice: ‘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 if we truly believe and are truly sincere, then we’ll go out now and generously share those blessings with others as Jesus desires of us, and don’t selfishly hoard them for ourselves. Much LOVE!

…oh…what a joy and pleasure it is…to be the salt and light of this evil world…in Jesus’ name…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 January 2020 Philippians 3:14.

Philippians 3:14.    ​I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
 
And on a rainy, somewhat gloomy looking Saturday morning, the urge to sleep in was irresistible, especially when the beddy-bye time was the wee hours of the morn. (smile) I was up late watching the epic movie ‘Gone with the Wind.’ And it has to be one of the best movies ever made, simply because of it’s scope, grandeur and length; 4 hours. It must have taken a long time to make since they didn’t have all the computer stuff and special effects back in 1939 when it was first released, that we have now. 

And it just shows the utter wastefulness of war; the civil war in the U.S, where the old South is fighting to keep a style of life that has outlived its usefulness, with slavery and the grand families, plantations and mansions of the time as its centre piece. However, by the time I got to the intermission, it was already 4 a.m. so I shut it down until another time. 

Anyway, it’s Saturday, so let’s see what mental goodies our friend Anselm sent us this week nuh, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And I’m in a quandary here, not knowing where to begin and end, as each of the quotes seem to have real truth, substance and body to them. (smile) Ah, the best place to begin is always the beginning! And the first quote tells us: ‘Keep a good attitude and do the right thing even when it’s hard. When you do that you are passing the test. And God promises you your marked moments are on their way.’

 Now that’s ever so true my faithful brethren! It’s exactly what our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ expects from ALL His followers! It’s not easy to do, but with His help we can do it. That’s why He told us to not to indulge in an eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth situation, to go the extra mile, to turn the other cheek, to give away our coat too, and to LOVE our enemies, bless them and pray for them.’ (Matt.5:38) That’s also why Bruh Paul told us not to recompense evil with evil, but to overcome evil with good.’ (Rom. 12:17, 21) 

And that runs right into the next dandy of a quote: ‘There is nothing better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance next time.’ Ah friends, none of us like adversity, but unfortunately that’s the only way we grow in our faith walk and learn from our mistakes. It’s only when we go through rough times that we actually have to use our faith to help us get through them. Otherwise our faith just sits dormant and thus cannot grow. 

Look at all the great people of faith, they all went through tough times, especially Jesus! Yuh think He really wanted to go though all the rejection and ‘sufferation’ He endured? Not really, but it was all a learning curve, so that He could be strong enough to endure the cross! And please remember His most reassuring and encouraging words: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) Precious people of Christ, those are words we should have written deep in our souls so that we can use them when adversity comes a calling, as it invariably will during our earthly sojourn. 

Then there are also these awesome words of wisdom: ‘Don’t be in a hurry to condemn because he doesn’t do what you do or think as you think or as fast. There was a time when you didn’t know what you know today.’ Yes friends, none of us began our lives as wise as we now are. That’s because true wisdom comes with age and experience. So we don’t need to knock the young as much or as hard as we sometimes do, for hopefully they too will get wise with age and experience. 

Remember Jesus words: ‘Judge (condemn) not, that ye be not judged (condemned). For with what judgement (condemnation) ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete (use), it shall be measured to you again’ (Matt.7:1-2) Oh my people, if our current, oh so quick to judge and judgemental world would only adopt that teaching eh! Unfortunately it doesn’t like that’s going to happen at any time soon, because we’re all so engrossed on judging each other; just look at the foolishness that’s going unhindered on the social media platforms nuh. Some of us with the biggest planks in our eyes are daring to judge those with mere specks in theirs!  (Matt.7:3-5) 

Now here’s the piece de resistance (smile): ‘Let go of yesterday. Let today be a new beginning and be the best that you can, and you’ll get to where God wants you to be.’ And we all know that as gospel truth because we serve a God of new beginnings, new chances and starting over as often as is necessary. That’s why Bruh Paul admitted to the church at Philippi: ‘Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended (reached where I want to be, the ultimate pinnacle): but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 3:13-14) 

Yes friends, Bruh Paul didn’t think he was a hot shot, although he could boast about many things, his religious credentials and past Christian achievements. As the scholars say: ‘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 (v.11).’ 

And so should we be evermore focused on what’s coming up and not what’s gone before. Hear the scholars: ‘3:14. The mark is the objective of verses 10 and 11 (i.e. knowing Christ). The prize is the joyful personal satisfaction of having attained it, as well as the divine commendation and reward to be granted in heaven for having reached this goal on earth. The high calling of God is the divine summons extended to the believer for salvation.’ 

Oh my people, my people, this Saturday morning I sincerely implore us to be wise and diligently seek that mark, that objective of knowing Christ and the power of His resurrection, so that we can all eventually receive the wonderful heavenly prize given to those who have received and accepted the divine summons of salvation! Now that’s surely a Bruh Paulian sentence! (smile) And we can then declare like Bruh Paul: ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith.’ (2 Tim.4:7)  Much LOVE!

…Christians should always be looking forward to the ultimate prize…that of being with Christ in heaven…for eternity…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 January 2020 Romans 8:28.

Romans 8:28.    ​And we know that all things work together for good to those that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
 
Well the weather forecasters did promise us a rather wet and woolly weekend, even to the possibility of flooding in some areas. But thankfully, we have not received that much rain in my area, and though it’s still wet outside, the day doesn’t seem to be shaping up too badly. Glory be! And I don’t know if you’re thirty years old or more, how you can’t believe in climate change nuh, because in those bygone days you wouldn’t be receiving flood warnings in early January but snow storm warnings. But whom am I to dicker with the wicked intelligentsia eh? (smile) 

It’s Saturday, and we’re very thankful for it, so let’s see what interesting quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Hear this first one: ‘Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.’ And that’s the indisputable truth friends! We can’t change everything we encounter, but we will never change anything unless we stand up and face it mano-a-mano! That’s just simple logic: how can you change something if you don’t face it full on? You just can’t! 

And then Anselm writes: ‘Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.’ Now there is much truth to that statement, although I won’t necessarily say that intelligence is solely the ability to adapt to change. Yes, it is an important part, because change is something most of us prefer not to have happen since it can be very disturbing and controversial and cause more problems than we need. But the problem though is that change is one of the few things we are certain of in this life, whether we make it or not. And if we allow life to make it for us, then it can get very hairy indeed! (smile) 

That’s why we all need to intelligently monitor the need for change in our lives, and don’t do as so many of us are currently doing; change for change sake! That is one of the worse mistakes we can ever make. There’s no reason to change just because it is the 21st century and things are more confusing and topsy-turvy than ever! If you have a good grounding and solid foundation of life, then you need change only when it’s absolutely necessary. And don’t get me going on this topic nuh, because I’m one of those fighting against change just for change sake. (smile) 

So because I don’t have or want a cell phone or I-pad, or some such foolish device that’s all the current rage and causing so much contention in our world, both monetarily and socially, does that make me stupid? Well then let me stupid yes! And I got along quite nicely without them for about 4 months last year, when I lost them both. But just for the record, my family has finally talked me into getting a cellphone and an I-pad – which I still hardly use, except to play some games – because they claim they can’t contact me if I don’t have such devices – NONSENSE! 

And yuh better believe, that since I’ve had those most necessary devices, I haven’t had any more communication with them than before. Just goes to prove my point! (smile) Yuh see, all yuh get me off track with the foolishness! But Anselm himself seemed preoccupied with change this week, as his next quote says: ‘Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change.’ Now I’ve looked at that statement a few times, and I still can’t figure out what it means. So I’ll just leave it alone. Wonder which category I fall into though? (smile) 

Here’s another quote that’s got me scratching my head in thought. ‘One day or day one. You decide.’ I guess that means you can either decide that one day you’ll do such and such, or today is day one of doing such and such. That makes sense. And by the way, I just got an insight into the earlier quote. You’re either so wise that you don’t need to change, or you’re so stupid that you don’t know you should change. Still wondering which category I fall into? 

And the last quote quite wisely says: ‘If you have a purpose which is bigger than you, all your problems will become tiny.’ Yes friends, that’s just another facet of simple logic. Anything that’s bigger than you, will indeed make your problems look small by comparison, because your mind will be more on the larger problems of your purpose than on yourself.  And the biggest purpose we can ever have in this life my faithful brethren, is to work diligently and excellently for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as He set out in the Great Commission! (Matt.28:19-20) 

When we consider going out and making disciples of all nations, then we stop focusing on the problems we have in our own lives and instead concentrate on those that will bear much excellent fruit for Jesus. And we don’t have to look further than the lives of Jesus and Bruh Paul to see how those factors played out. Jesus suffered much in His earthly life, but He didn’t let that ‘sufferation’ bother Him too much, because He knew that He had a bigger purpose to achieve; that of saving mankind, and thus He kept his focus on the cross and all that it took to do the job He was sent to do. 

As the Good Book says: ‘And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’ (Phil.2:8) Likewise, Bruh Paul suffered terribly in his work for Christ, but he didn’t let the difficulties stop him from doing the mighty task assigned to Him by Jesus; planting the New Testament Church amongst the Gentiles. Read 2 Corinthians 11:16-33 and see some of the horrible stuff he underwent to do that, never veering, despite it all, from his avowed purpose that was so much bigger than him. 

However, both Jesus and Bruh Paul knew without a doubt the efficacy and truth of this amazing scripture: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to those that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ And if you’re a faithful believer, then you sincerely LOVE God, and are called to His purpose of living for Him and helping others to come to him for hope, peace and salvation. And NEVER fret, He will always enable you to bear any burdens necessary to do that and reward you in the end! Much LOVE!

…to everything there is a season…and a time…to every purpose under the heaven… (Eccl. 3:1)

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