Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 January 2020 1 Peter 5:8.

1 Peter 5:8.    ​Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
 
And then it was Friday…and there was lots of shouting and jumping for joy! Hn! More of us were happy to see Friday, and the end of the work week, than to celebrate being alive and kicking in God’s great universe and being a BELOVED and saved child of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! 

Now what’s wrong with that picture eh? Does it mean we’re putting the world before God? Maybe! And if so, then it’s a very unwise move, because when we celebrate God, with His awesome help, we are able to handle whatever the world throws at us. But following the dictates of the world, only makes life harder, for there is no help but our own, and we all know that there isn’t a lot we can do on our own. 

Remember, Jesus said that we ought to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and then all the worldly things will be added to us, we won’t have to sweat and strain and break our backs to acquire them, because the Father knows we need them. (Matt. 6:32-33) So please, let’s check out our lives today nuh, and see what’s our priority; God’s kingdom and His righteousness, or the things of the world, because it’s ever so important to get our priorities right! 

And as you’d expect, the ordinary workingman is hovering in the background, eagerly and expectantly waiting to sing his song, so let’s bring him on stage nuh. (smile) And as always, he crows: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! And the chains of the slave master will be unshackled for a couple of days! 

Wow! What freedom! And yuh better believe I’m going to use that freedom to the hilt; do whatever I want, whenever I want…providing the other snake in the grass, the weather allows me to! Chuh! The weather’s been so contrary these days that you can’t make any serious plans, because it changes from one minute to the next! And yet they tell me that climate change ain’t real! Pure heifer dust yes! But if I can’t go out and do whatever I want to, then I’ll certainly do it in mih own yard, where I’m king of the castle…

Hn, hn, hn! King of which castle eh? When the wife and children protest my behaviour, then I have to modify it. So even in mih own yard, ah not really the boss nuh! But what yuh going to do eh? Nothing but grin and bear it, because nobody ever send or call me to have wife and children, is I with mih fresh self, went and look for them, so now I have to put up with whatever they bring. 

Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE them dearly, and wouldn’t want to be without them, but yuh know, sometimes…sometimes they just cramp yuh style! (smile) And the truth of the matter is that I’m still ever so thankful for Fridays and weekends, regardless of the drawbacks!’ 

Ah friends, yuh see even when God is not your first priority, you still have barriers and boundaries to your behaviour. And as a serious and practicing child of God, we have more boundaries than most since we don’t want the enemy to compromise our lives and our living for Jesus. Consequently, our Friday Chant is somewhat different to the ordinary workingman’s song. So let’s chant it now nuh, in full voice with sincere hearts – yes our hearts must always be right when we come to the Father, otherwise He won’t acknowledge us. 

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!’ 

Now, though we have some boundaries as believers, it doesn’t mean we have to be constantly looking over our shoulder for the devil and his evil cohorts, but we do have to be careful that we don’t go too far out on the thin limbs of life. That’s why we have to constantly remember these poignant words of Peter. ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:’ 

And that’s the gospel truth friends, the enemy is always on the prowl, always looking for some way to compromise us. And not because he’s a toothless lion with more bark than bite (smile) since Jesus defeated him and now has the keys to hell death and the grave, he still can cause immense trouble in our lives if we give him the slightest opening. It’s up to us to keep our doors and windows and crevices closed so he can’t get in. 

And continuing with Peter’s advice: ‘Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (being experienced by) your brethren that are in your world.’ (1 Pet. 5:9). Oh, I know when the devil comes a calling, it doesn’t help all that much to know that other believers are suffering temptations too, but nonetheless, we must resist him through our faith in Jesus, because he’s a liar and cheat and deceiver and only wants to turn us away from God. 

Yuh see how smoothly and efficiently he made our forefathers Adam and Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit? He hasn’t changed, possibly gotten smarter and has more tools at his behest. So it’s of the utmost importance that we stand strong against him. And Peter ends with this assurance. ‘But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you.’ (1 Pet. 5:10) 

Ah friends, some temptation and affliction is necessary in the lives of all believers, because that’s how we get strong, how our faith grows. But be aware that the Lord will never give you more than you can bear, and with every temptation, He will either carry you through it, or make a way for you to go through it. That’s his ever faithful promise! So let’s stand strong and steadfast in the faith! Much LOVE!

…though Jesus rules…the devil still exists…with his evil ways…

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 13 September 2016 Joshua 1:6a.

Joshua 1:6a.   Be strong and of a good courage…

Well friends, it’s Tuesday, the day after Monday. (smile) Hope you had a good Monday, but even if you didn’t, it’s time to let it go into the past where it belongs and greet today with new enthusiasm and faith, by declaring, ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.’ Yes my people, it’s the only way to keep a joyful, positive spirit in these end times. 

Now here is something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that’s ever so timely for many of us Christians, as well as unbelievers. It’s simply titled ‘Seek First.’ 

And it says: ‘O Lord How futile, how foolish To attempt to keep up with the Joneses On the gold-studded ladder of success. Even if we make it (Setting high, competitive goals) We awake one dismal morning To discover the Smiths have bypassed the Joneses So it starts again – the goading competition. 

God, Your objective is far more rewarding. You want us to “keep up” with Your Plan For our individual lives. “Seek first the Kingdom of God” Is Your shining word to us. Forgive us for moments and days (Even months) When our LOVE of money Has exceeded our LOVE for You. 

Please, God Be our Financial Advisor And deliver us from a thousand “if onlys.” May we never be defeated By the lack of money Or captivated by the lure of it.’ 

Oh my brethren, in this ever more greedy, selfish and competitive world, that is the path a lot of us are following; the lure of money and material possessions. But our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ has in no uncertain terms told us: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) 

Yes friends, if we first seek the spiritual realm, then the material will be forthcoming to us. And the Bible promise used for that poem is one we know all too well, but still neglect to follow properly. Listen up to these monumental words of Bruh Paul to Timothy. 

‘And having food and raiment (clothing) let us be therewith content. 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 arrows.’ (1 Tim.6:8-10) 

Oh my people, the world is strewn with the rotting carcasses of so many of us who have made being rich in money and material things our life’s goal. It’s certainly not a goal that’s worth striving after because it causes too much stress and strain and invites too many negatives in our lives. 

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

Yeh friends, as true believers in Christ, that is the path we ought to follow. But unfortunately, the lure of the world, its material possessions, and lustful pleasures are so strong that we can easily get caught up in them. That’s why our Bit is so important in these times of much agitation. ‘Be strong and of a good courage…’ 

It doesn’t have many words, but it says a whole lot in terms of our spiritual life. Without strength and courage we won’t be able to withstand the attacks of the evil one. And that spiritual strength and courage can only be gotten by having the truthful word of God dwelling securely in our souls. 

As Jesus said: ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ (John 8:12) Oh my people, are we walking in the light of Jesus or the darkness of the world? For all our sakes, I sincerely hope it’s the latter, otherwise crapaud smoke we pipe (ours will be a very rough landing). 

Now let’s look at a scripture that encourages us to seek the Lord’s strength. And nobody exemplified that more than Bruh David. Hear him: ‘I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait (in faith) on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait (in faith), I say, on the Lord.’ (Ps.27:13-14) 

Bruh David was anointed king of Israel in his teenaged years, but never got to sit upon the throne until many years later, after going through many trials and tribulations not of his own making. He only succeeded by staying strong in his faith in the God of his forefathers. And that’s the only way we will succeed too my friends. 

Now let’s go home by declaring our Tuesday Mantra with lots of conviction and passion, because, without conviction and passion in our lives we are just like the living dead. 

All together now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

So having said all of that, let’s now go out and behave like the beloved of God and share the LOVE of our friend Jesus with the rest of the world. That’s wisdom of untold dimensions! Much LOVE!

…the only fountain of true strength…is that which is found in Jesus…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 January 2014 Isaiah 2:8

Isaiah 2:8.    Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made.
 
Oh Friends, can you believe it’s already the 2nd of January 2014? (smile) And I’ve made one mistake already. I put 2013 in the big heading above instead of 2014. But the ole fella’s only human, and that kind of error is usual until the new year really gets into our systems. 
 
But my people, on a more serious note, the Christmas season is coming to an end, and I’m pleading with us, please, please, let’s not allow the kindness, mercy, peace, forgiveness and LOVE that we’ve shown throughout this joyous time to die. Let’s not allow it to turn back to the evil, the anger, the hatred, resentment and other negative emotions that we had, and exhibited before Christmas began.
 
It’s obvious that we can’t LOVE everybody, every minute of every day, but we definitely don’t have to descend back to the level of dislike, disgust and depravity that we were at in 2013. It’s high time we come up higher for Jesus’ sake!
 
And here’s a word, a reminder, re coming up higher, from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller). He calls it the Possibility Thinker’s Creed. And Possibility Thinking my Friends, is just faith at work, because as believers, we need to see the world through the eyes of faith.
 
So let’s remember and truly believe that: ‘When faced with a mountain, I will not quit! I will keep on striving until I climb over, find a pass through, tunnel underneath, or simply stay and turn the mountain into a gold mine – with God’s help.’ 
 
Yes Friends, let’s start this blessed and prosperous year of 2014, by sowing those seeds of possibility thinking, of faith, deep into the rich and fertile soil of our hearts, souls and minds!
 
Now let’s turn to our very first Bit of this new year. And it’s a very serious Bit my people. ‘Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made.’
 
Oh my brethren, Isaiah could surely have been writing about us, instead of the Israelites of old! Why? Because we too have such a multiplicity of idols in our lives these days, that it’s not funny. Remember too, the definition of an idol; anything we place before God in our lives.
 
And that covers a multitude of things Friends, because we seem to place all the material things of the world, as well as all its evil, obnoxious and vexatious policies before the Creator and Controller of the universe. I don’t know how many times we must be reminded that our God is a very jealous deity and wants us to bow down to no other supposed deity but Him. And surely not those that we’ve made with our own hands!
 
It also seems that we’ve completely and conveniently forgotten Jesus’ promise, that if we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, that all the stuff we need, material, spiritual, emotional and whatever else, will be provided to us by our Heavenly Father! (Matt.5:24-34)
 
Please read that again my fellow believers, so that it can sink into our minds and spirits, and thus be manifested in our conscious actions. It’s the only way we’ll ever remove the idolatry from our lives. 
 
And just to show how all this idolatry could backfire on us, we’ll recall one occasion from the Good Book, where the Lord turned His back on His chosen people, Israel.
 
‘And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim, and Ashtaroth (Baals and Ashtoreths), and the gods of Syria, and the gods of Zidon, and the gods of Moab, and the gods of the children of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines, and forsook the Lord, and served him not.
 
And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hands of the Philistines, and into the hands of the children of Ammon.’ (Judg.10:6-7)
 
Yes Friends, the Lord allowed their enemies to humiliate them.
 
‘And the children of Israel cried unto the Lord, saying, We have sinned against thee, both because we have forsaken our God, and also served Baalim. And the Lord said unto the children of Israel, did not I deliver you from the Egyptians, and from the Amorites, from the children of Ammon, and from the Philistines?
 
The Zidonians also, and the Amalekites, and the Maonites, did oppress you; and ye cried to me, and I delivered you out of their hand. Yet ye have forsaken me, and served other gods: wherefore I will deliver you no more. Go and cry (out) unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation (distress). (Judg.10:10-14)
 
What more is there to say my brethren? Not much. The children of Israel knowingly and wilfully abandoned, turned away from the God of their fathers to worship pagan gods and man-made idols. And the Lord, as promised, punished them severely.
 
Now tell me, why do you think that our individual societies, and our world in general are in such a mess eh?
 
It’s simple Friends; we too have turned away in droves from worshipping the ONE and ONLY TRUE GOD, who created us, who LOVED us so much, that He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to be a propitiation, a human sacrifice for our sins.
 
And now, like foolish sheep, we have all gone astray, forgotten Him, and instead turned to idols of our own making. So what else can we expect but disaster and calamity eh?
 
Please ponder on these things today, my fellow believers, and then let’s make a strong and serious effort to overcome those sinful attitudes that we know displease our God. If we don’t want to do it for our sake, then please do it for the sake of our children and those who come after us.
 
Let us not allow it to be said, that our generation caused it all to fall apart. It’s not too late… if we begin RIGHT NOW! Much LOVE!
 
…when will we ever learn…that disobedience to God’s will…will ALWAYS bring serious consequences…