Today​’s Scrip-Bit 14 March 2019 John 5:24.

John 5:24.   ​Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation (judgement); but is passed from death into life.
 
It’s a grey, cloudy looking kind of day in my neighbourhood, with the promise of unwanted precipitation, though thankfully the precipitation will most likely be rain and not snow since the temperature is above freezing. Not much, but enough to bring rain and not the white stuff. 

However, despite all of those physical, negative possibilities, the saints of Jesus are nonetheless declaring (steups! wrong again) that ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ And moreover, ‘The Lord will provide all our needs through His riches in glory in Christ Jesus!’ 

And they boost their spirits even more with words like ‘I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me! And as for me and my house, we WILL follow the Lord, make no mistake about it!’ That means, ‘If God be for me who can be against me eh? NOBODY!’ Yeh friends, that’s one of the remarkable things of being a follower of Jesus Christ; we can boost our spirits with spoken words, promises that He’s declared over our lives! No other faith can do that! 

And that brings us to these inspirational words attributed to Orison Swett Marden (1848-1924), ‘an American inspirational author who wrote about achieving success in life and founded Success Magazine in 1897.’ Marden claims: ‘The hopeful man sees success where others see failure, sunshine where others see shadows and storm.’ 

He’s talking about us there friends, believers in the positive philosophy and promises of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! All thanks and praise be to our Lord and Saviour for the wonderful and abundant life that He died to give us! We now need to hold on to His promises, and His hand tightly and let Him guide us safely and positively through these trying times in this evil and ungodly world! That’s the only way we will ever be successful my people! 

Jesus warned early on: ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation (judgement); but is passed from death into life.’ Yes friends, Jesus is the ONLY WAY to achieve life after death! When we believe in Him and the Father who sent Him then our bodies will die, but our spirits wont. They shall reign forever with the heavenly Triune! 

And Jesus confirms it all by saying: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.’ (John 14:6) And we know He does not lie! So it only makes mucho sense to hitch our carts to His superior horse! And if you want even more encouragement, then check out these fabulous, though hard to put into action words of Jesus. ‘These things have I 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) 

Aren’t those wonderful words friends…and words of truth too? They certainly are! Jesus did His part, but now we have to do ours, by using our faith in Him to stand strong and steadfast when Satan and his evil cronies are fighting us tooth and nail for world control. We are the only ones who are fighting on the basis of LOVE, justice and equality, the rest are all infused with greed, lust for power and selfishness! 

And from where do we get that fighting spirit for the good things? From possibly the most important words in the Good Book; Jesus’ immortal declaration: ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:16-17) 

There you have it in black and white my fellow believers; Jesus’ purpose for coming to earth…to save us, from ourselves and from the horrors of sin! So the ongoing logic and reasoning are very simple: If you want to be saved and live an everlasting life, then you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. If you don’t want to live and see life eternal, but prefer to be on the outside looking in with the evil one, then you simply continue in your evil ways and don’t accept Jesus. 

Those are the only two options we have my brethren! And believe me, the last option might look good and pleasurable in the here and now, but in the hereafter it will be terrible! The Lord promised it, and we know He doesn’t make idle promises! So please, I implore us to take the first option; wisdom dictates it. It might be somewhat difficult now, but the rewards you’ll reap later will be oh so worth that difficulty! 

Now for those of us who truly believe, let’s go home declaring (wrong again) our Thursday Blessings, which the Lord have poured down on us in His awesome generosity. All together now, in sincere and strong 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!’ 

Yuh see what happens when you live for Jesus! But a word of caution here; those blessings are not for us to hoard but to share with the less fortunate in our unjust society. So let’s go out and do just that nuh, and thus warm the cockles of Jesus’ heart! Much LOVE!

…Jesus is the ONLY ONE…who will take you just as you are…and make you what He wants you to be…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 August 2018 Psalm 33:12.

Psalm 33:12.   Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.

Wednesday, glorious Wednesday! Let’s hope it’s not as hot as yesterday though. Brother! That was really a scorching one in my area! And I had to go out in it twice and do stuff that I had been putting off, but could not afford to put off any longer. That just teaches you to stop procrastinating and adhere to the saying, ‘Don’t put off for tomorrow, what you can do today.’ 

But yuh know what? Let’s enjoy the day yes, even if it’s another scorcher, because come next week, after Labour Day and the cold front comes in, we’re going to be complaining about the cold weather. Hn, hn! But I guess that’s the nature of the human animal, especially when it’s comfortable in its surroundings. And as John Maxwell tell us: ‘Circumstances don’t make you what you are, they reveal who you are.’ And isn’t that the awesome truth. 

Just imagine if we were living through the enormous hardship of most of the world’s population, and not in the cozy, comfortable and well-fed confines of Western Society? Can you imagine how we’d cry out and complain? Hn! Just look at how we behave now when some li’l, petty thing goes wrong, and how we behave towards those who don’t have very much in our prosperous, but ever so unequal society. Steups! 

The top 1% owns 90 something percent of the wealth and power, while the remaining 99% have to get by on the measly portion that’s left. But that’s our lifestyle, and we nicely term it capitalism. But it’s simply pure selfishness. And selfishness seems to be so deeply ingrained in our lifestyle, that we can’t even recognize it for what it truly is. 

Ah friends, I don’t know how to do it nuh, but we definitely need to find a more egalitarian, more people friendly and sharing kind of society if we want to keep it buoyant and prosperous. Just look at the sudden rise of charitable organizations, food banks and soup kitchens in these prosperous times nuh, of working families that can’t make ends meet!  

Those were things you only heard about during the tough times of depression and war. But unfortunately, today they are a major part of our society. Ah Lord eh! As the man says, our circumstances certainly reveal who we are. And the revelation is that our society is not a very nice, sharing, generous or godly one. End of Sermon! 

And would you believe, when I began, I didn’t know what I was going to write about! (smile) Thank You Lord!  And you know why our society is so topsy turvy, confusing and strife-filled? Because we have forsaken the Lord God of hosts! We are trying to drive Him out of our boundaries and out of our lives. But is that ever so foolish my brethren! Just listen to what the Lord Himself had to say on that matter. 

First of all, through Moses, He said to the Israelites when He so miraculously brought them out of bondage in Egypt. ‘Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure (personal property) unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine.’ (Ex.19:5) Please note that last phrase friends, for all the earth and everything therein is indeed the Lord’s because He made it and keeps it going. 

And note this even more important passage that Moses tried to drum into the stubborn heads of the Israelites. ‘But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God, for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day. And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the Lord thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish.’ (Deut.8:18-19) 

Yes my brethren, it was the Lord God Himself that gave Israel the ability to get wealth. And you’ll notice that each time they turned away from Him their society suffered serious mishap. But when they turned back again, He forgave them and renewed their prosperity. 

Friends, the same thing is happening in our society today. When we were mostly a God-fearing people, He enabled us to become overwhelmingly prosperous. But now that we’ve gotten too big for our breeches and think we no longer need Him, our society is quickly and sadly going downhill, falling into a horrible pit, into the miry clay and the only way for us to rescue it is to repent and once again become a God-fearing nation. 

As our Bit so wisely states: ‘Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.’ Yes friends, that’s gospel truth! We’ve seen that not only with Israel, but all down through history, where great nations crumbled when they felt they no longer needed God to survive and be prosperous. And unfortunately the same thing is happening to us today. 

Please, I implore us to not allow history to repeat itself where we are concerned. Let’s not forget the Lord our God! But for that to happen, we believers have to get up NOW, and do whatever it takes to cause Jesus’ LOVE Revolution to once more proliferate in our society, instead of Lucifer’s evil and hate based organization! That’s the only way we will be saved from God’s upcoming destruction! Nuff said! 

Now for those of us who are actively working on the LOVE Revolution, let’s go home letting the world know our position in Christ, by enthusiastically declaring our Wednesday Wail. In strong voice: ‘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 is that future ever going to be glorious! More than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…without Almighty God in our lives…we have no meaningful life…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 July 2018 Proverbs 3:35.

Proverbs 3:35.   The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion (the legacy) of fools.

And then it was Thursday, the penultimate day of the workweek, and consequently all thoughts are turning to the weekend; considering the summer frolic it will bring. And nothing’s wrong with that, it’s all a basic part of life, but friends, I have an even more important announcement to share this morning; one that will bring enormous positive changes to your life if you embrace it in the spirit it was meant to be taken. 

Please remember this: ‘The Bible is God’s Word to us, still fresh through ALL the ages! And if we read it, we WILL find God’s wisdom on its pages!’ That’s indisputable truth my brethren! So please let’s do the sensible thing and read God’s word so that we can find His wisdom and apply it to our lives nuh. That’s why He spent so much time inspiring the prophets and them to write it; so that we could have a Guidebook for successful earthly living. 

And if you don’t believe me, just look at the messy, disgusting, evil and foolish lives we are currently living nuh. If we were truly reading and studying God’s word and putting it into practice our world would never be in such a state of anger, hatred, strife, power hunger, greed, poverty, economic deprivation and sickness. 

But unfortunately, too many of us, including supposed believers are heeding the wicked and lustful ways of the world and not seeking God and His righteousness first in our lives. Remember Jesus said that if we sought God and His righteousness FIRST, all the things of the world that we NEED would be given to us. (Matt.6:33) 

But our actions prove that we don’t believe it. We still attempt to work for them in our own strength and that’s never going to work properly my people! That brings us to our Bit, immortal words of wisdom from Cousin Sol. ‘The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion (the legacy) of fools.’ 

And that’s gospel truth my fellow believers! The problem though is that once you go down that foolish road and discover what will be your end, it will be too late to turn back then. That’s why you need to embrace the wisdom of the Good Book and the wonderful things it offers NOW! 

Let’s take a look at a few scriptures to prove our point. We’ll begin with Job’s question as he acknowledges God’s justice. I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just with God (can a man be righteous before God)? If he will contend (if one wished to argue) with him, he cannot answer him one (one time out) of a thousand. He (God) is wise in heart, and mighty in strength: who hath hardened himself against him, and hath prospered?’ (Job 9:2-4) 

And the sure answer to that is ‘NOBODY has done it, and NOBODY ever will!’ Glory be my brethren! For an infinite God, our Maker and Controller, who’s ways and thoughts are so much higher than ours, is the epitome of wisdom and justice! And there’s no better passage in the Bible that speaks to the importance of the acquisition of wisdom than the situation between God and Cousin Sol in his early days as Israel’s king. 

One day Cousin Sol went to Gibeon to sacrifice to the Lord, and the Lord appeared to him in a dream by night: ‘and God said. Ask what I shall give thee.’ (1Kin.3:5) And we all know Sol’s response. ‘Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?’ (1 Kin.3:9) 

Oh my people, my people, is that the kind of thing we ask for when God asks what we desire of Him? Very seldom! Most of the time we ask for things of the world. 

And I like how the Good Book puts it: ‘And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon has asked this thing. And God said unto him. Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgement (justice); 

Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches and honour: so that there shall not be any (anyone) among the kings like unto thee all thy days.’ (1 Kin.3:10-13) 

Yes friends, that’s how magnanimous and generous our God can be when we ask for the right things; not stuff in pursuit of greed or selfishness. And let’s note the corollary to God’s goodness to Cousin Sol. ‘And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.’ (1 Kin.3:14) 

What more can I say eh friends? Nothing but to implore us to seek the face of God and His wisdom; to read His word and apply it to our lives, so that we may dwell in the peace and joy that accompany His promises. Now let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings which the Lord has generously bestowed on us. 

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!’ 

And the next step is to go out and share it all with the less fortunate. God blessed us so that we could bless others. Much LOVE!

…wisdom is the principal thing…therefore get wisdom…and with all thy getting…get understanding… (Prov.4:7)

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 July 2018 Lamentations 3:22-23.

Lamentations 3:22-23.   It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Well top o’ the morn to all you Scrip-Bit friends and family…and top of the afternoon to those of you faithful readers on the other side of the world! (smile) It’s just another brilliant, sunshiny day in the land of the living, with all of God’s manna, mercies and whatever brand new! 

Wow! It’s like waking up to fresh bread every day! And we should be much more thankful than we are for those blessings. But our God is what we call magnanimous, generous to a fault, so He gives us stuff that we don’t truly deserve. 

And yes, we’ll continue with the same Bit, because there are so many scriptures on compassion, a most important Christian trait in which we current believers are sadly lacking. 

Jeremiah knew exactly what he was talking about when he declared in His Lamentations: ‘It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.’ 

If you are a bonafide (true, sincere) believer, then you certainly cannot argue with that statement or the sentiments contained therein since it’s only through God’s LOVING-kindness that life is not more disastrous than it is. Now let’s check out some scriptures on compassion. 

The first one we’ll look at today is Jesus’ telling of the parable about the two servants who owed money they could not repay. The first owed his master thousands of dollars, and when the master threatened to cast him into debtors’ prison, he begged for mercy, and the master forgave him the entire debt. 

However that same forgiven one, found someone who owed him a measly few dollars, but when he couldn’t pay, he had him and his family cast into prison. Obviously that disgusting news got back to the master, who called the first servant and castigated him. 

‘O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst (begged) me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellow servant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth (angry), and delivered him to the tormentors (torturers) till he should pay all that due unto him.’ (Matt.18:32-34) 

And it’s sad to say friends, that that kind of behaviour is still rampant in this world, amongst Christians too, believe it or not. But listen to the moral of the story as told by Jesus: ‘So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.’ (Matt.18:35) It couldn’t be any clearer than that! 

And John says it thus in his epistle: ‘But whoso hath this world’s good (goods), and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels (heart) of compassion from him, how dwelleth the LOVE of God in him?’ (1 John 3:17) Good question friends? And the answer is that the LOVE of God does not dwell in such a person. 

And to provide a solution to that unchristian behaviour, John therefore recommends: ‘My little children, let us not LOVE in word, neither in tongue (talk); but in deed and in truth.’ (1 John 3:18) 

Oh my people, that is oh so necessary in the calamitous days our world is currently experiencing! We just need to have more LOVING action than just mere talk, as we all are so good at doing. I don’t know if there’s ever been a time that the saying; walk your walk and talk your talk, has been more important. 

And this verse from Acts shows that is exactly what our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ did. ‘How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.’(Acts 10:38) 

Oh my fellow believers, we have also been anointed with the same Holy Ghost and power that Jesus had, so it’s also our bounden duty to go around doing good and helping the less fortunate as much as we can, not keeping, hoarding and/or storing our power and anointing merely for our benefit. That’s what being a Christian means. 

If we are followers of Christ, then we’re supposed to do like Christ did! And unfortunately we’re not doing it as much as we ought. Our compassion level is woefully low, while our greed and selfishness meter is way too high. So let’s hope today’s writing lights a fire, a compassionate fire under us. (smile) 

But it’s time to go home now. And we’ll do so by declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the entire world know our situation in Christ Jesus. As one voice now:  ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

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

And yuh know what friends? Our finite minds can’t even truly imagine how glorious that future will be! Much LOVE!

…true Christianity is sharing…and giving…and LOVING…and sacrificing…and being there in time of need… 

P.S. It’s a tad late because I got held up talking to a friend about the World Cup Soccer Tournament. Some things just can’t wait. (smile) Much LOVE! 


Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 April 2017 Psalm 97:10.

Psalm 97:10.   Ye that LOVE the Lord, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.

So friends, what have you got planned for your Saturday eh; housework and errands, or just lazily floating through the day, doing much of nothing, trying to get your ying and yang back into some kind of sync, after a hard week at work? 

To be honest, I believe the last option is the preferable one, although the first might be the smarter and wiser of the two, since you’ll most likely have to do that housework and run those errands at some later date. But not to worry, rest and relaxation are absolutely necessary to renew your energy, so that you are able to do those household tasks and run the many errands without any problems. (smile) 

Anyway, since it’s Saturday, let’s see if we can’t provoke some thought in our lazy minds by turning to a few quotes from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Listen to this beauty nuh: ‘Welcome every morning with a smile. Look on the new day as another special gift from your Creator, another golden opportunity to complete what you were unable to finish yesterday. Be a self-starter. Let your first hour set the theme of success and positive action that is certain to echo through your entire day. Today will never happen again. Don’t waste it with a false start or no start at all. You were not born to fail.’ 

Oh friends, I couldn’t give any better advice than that! And the sad part is that a lot of us know that advice quite well, but we simply don’t implement it. That leads to this quote: ‘Being positive or negative, are habits of thoughts that strongly affect your actions and your life.’ More indisputable truth my brethren! 

And that brings up this gem: ‘Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.’ 

That is the positive aspect of life speaking there again, which brings us to this last quote. ‘Positive and negative are directions that lead to different outcomes. Which direction do you choose?’ 

And that’s the all-important question we must ask ourselves this Saturday morning: will we spend our lives being positive or negative, looking ahead with hope and faith, or with fear and despair?  Unfortunately friends, no one can answer that question for us, we have to make a conscious decision for ourselves. 

And I’d just like to add my two cents worth here: choosing the positive aspect of life is much better, especially if you are a believer in, and a follower of Jesus because that’s what His whole ministry is based on; positivity! 

Not fearing, not looking back, trusting and surrendering, being obedient to one’s Creator, having faith in Jesus Himself, since He sacrificed His life on the cross so that you might have the option to be reconciled with the Father and receive the free gift of salvation and eternal life. Glory Be! And all you have to do is get positive and BELIEVE! 

Now let’s look at our Bit, although I’m not sure how much time and space we have to devote to it. But here goes: ‘Ye that LOVE the Lord, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.’ 

Now that’s positivity in spades my brethren! One can’t be more positive than surrendering one’s life to the Lord and putting all one’s trust in Him, based on those words of immortal truth! 

Yesterday we looked at some corroborating scripture for the first section; ‘Ye that LOVE the Lord, hate evil:’ Now I have one more significant scripture to add to those, this from Bruh Paul as he talks to the Romans about the service of LOVE to all. ‘Let LOVE be without dissimulation (hypocrisy). Abhor that which is evil; cleave (cling) to that which is good.’ (Rom.12:9) And that’s exactly how a true Christian ought to behave! 

Hear this explanation from the scholars. ‘12:9. Without dissimulation (lit. “without hypocrisy”). The Christian’s conduct in the local church toward fellow believers is to be a volitional caring for others (making a purposeful decision to do so), LOVING faithfully in spite of the response received. The LOVE is to be genuine and unfeigned.’ 

Hn! I wonder how much genuine and unfeigned LOVE there is in the church today eh?  Definitely not as much as there ought to be, otherwise there wouldn’t be so much disunity, resentment and bad blood amongst Christ’s supposed saints. 

And this statistic is going to floor you, it certainly did when I heard Sister Joyce, (Joyce Meyer) recently declare that she looked up the number of denominations in Christianity and found some 33 thousand. Yes friends, thirty three thousand, broken down in all forms and fashions, and with various doctrines too! And then we wonder why Lucifer and his evil buddies are ruling the world. 

Ah mih breddren, the long and short of the story is that until supposed believers learn to live together in harmony and unity, leaving all selfishness and ego behind, Christ’s church will not be as successful as it needs to be. 

So please, let’s ponder that situation this morning nuh, and let’s all make a serious and binding decision to improve it in whatever way we can. That is, if we truly desire our children’s children to have a half decent life here on earth. Much LOVE!

…no organization can grow successfully and last for any length of time…unless there is unity and harmony amongst its members…

 

 

 

 1 Samuel 30:6b.     ‘…but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.’

And then it was Saturday; the day for household chores and grocery shopping for some, while for others it’s just a lazy, lying around day, doing nothing much of anything. For those blessed to be living in tropical climes, it might be a picnic or some outdoor sport or just lying in a hammock below a shade tree.  

Or if you’re in Tobago, you might just be getting ready to go up Calder Hall and get some of Brother Kirby’s rich, tantalizing and nutritious soups. That would certainly go down well on this chilly Saturday morning. How lucky can some people get eh? (smile) 

But not so in these northern parts, since it’s too cold for the usual outdoor sports and picnics, while it’s not cold enough to go skiing or outdoor skating. But to his each his own; all of us have different agendas and timelines, so let us do whatever we need to do, with God uppermost in our hearts and minds. 

And on that note, let me share with you a rather wise offering this past week from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us. Listen up, as he advises: ‘Compare yourself with yourself. Not with others. Comparing what you have and your results to what other people have and have accomplished can really kill your motivation. There are always people ahead of you. Most likely quite a bit of people. And a few of them are miles ahead. So focus on you. On your results. And how you can and have improved them.’ 

Words of absolute wisdom my people! The worse thing we can ever do is compare ourselves with others. We all know about keeping up with the Joneses, which is a real killer in terms of physical wealth and material lifestyle. But it’s even worse when we try to compare our personal accomplishments with those of others, even those in like fields and professions because the playing fields are never level, are never the same. 

Some start out with a gold spoon in their mouths, some with silver, others with brass, and many with no spoon at all. So comparisons are seldom ever oranges with oranges, but oranges with different fruit. It never pays to measure your accomplishment with others, because more often than not we fall short of the other person’s attainment and then get discouraged, jealous and even angry, which doesn’t help us any. 

Then on the odd occasion when our accomplishment is better than others, we’re liable to look down on them with pride, conceit and contempt. That doesn’t help us either friends. The truth is that others will always be both ahead and behind us in accomplishments, and comparisons on either end will only bring us negative results. 

So as Anselm advises, if we so badly want to compare, let’s compare ourselves with our selves; take stock of our own accomplishments as we grow and mature. We have all the right tools at hand to measure ourselves against ourselves, but not against other people.  

That finally brings us to our Bit: ‘but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.’ Oh friends, what a potent piece of scripture in only a few words. 

Hear the story: Bruh David is running from Saul, whose avowed intention is to kill him. On this particular instance he’s living in Philistine territory in a place called Ziklag. The Philistines are preparing to make war against Saul and Israel and Bruh David goes with his rag tag band of men to help. But the Philistine counsellors distrust him, so they send him back to Ziklag. (1 Sam.29) 

Lo and behold though, three days later when they get to Ziklag, they discover that during their absence the Amalekites have invaded the city and burned it to the ground. The really sad part though was that all their families had been taken away captive. The Good Book tells us that ‘Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep.’ (1 Sam.30:4) 

Then, though it didn’t seem possible, things got even worse: ‘And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved (bitter), every man for his sons and for his daughters.’ (1 Sam.30:6a) It didn’t matter to them that Bruh David’s two wives had also been taken captive; they were just concerned about their own families. At those times the innate selfishness of man usually comes to the fore. 

And that’s where our Bit comes in: ‘but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.’ Ah friends, what a moving and powerful scripture. It’s something that we should all remember and keep deep in our hearts, for when circumstances come against us and there’s no man to stand with us, then we need to encourage ourselves in our God, for He has promised never to leave nor forsake us even when things hit rock bottom. 

That brings to mind another instance of the Lord’s providence, this one with Bruh Paul. As he says to Timothy: ‘At my first answer (defense) no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.’ (2 Tim.4:16-17) 

Yes friends, there will be times when everything and everyone will seem to be against us, but that is not the time to give up. Instead, that’s the time for us to encourage ourselves in the Lord, to remember all His promises and the good things He’s done for us in the past and call upon Him with strong, expectant faith and hungry hope, knowing that He will not disappoint us, will never leave us in the lurch. 

Now I know it all sounds fine in theory, and looks good on paper in black and white, but when push really comes to shove, it’s a horse of a different colour. That’s why we need to do our utmost to build our faith in Almighty God, because it’s only with real strong faith can we handle those situations, and not be totally overwhelmed by them. 

More on this tomorrow friends, the Lord in favour. Till then let’s stand strong in our faith and keep looking to Christ for all our needs. He will meet them all. Much LOVE!

…only the powerful arms of Christ…can lift us from the very depths of despair…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 July 2016 Hebrews 12:11

 Hebrews 12:11. Now no chastening (discipline) for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised (trained) thereby.

 

Oh friends, another glorious summer’s day seems to be in the offing! Let’s give thanks and praise for it and ask for guidance to do our best, as we walk the straight and narrow path that leads to Jesus! 

Sometimes though, the road just gets frustrating and annoying, especially when you are just an innocent victim, as I was yesterday with all the new changes in Outlook. 

Yuh know, as I told some of you last night, after finally figuring out how to do my thing, I then went to send out the Bit, but I got all sorts of horrors in trying to do that. They kept telling me that there was an error message and the Bit couldn’t be sent, to try later. 

Well the later trying didn’t do anything and I eventually had to send them out in smaller groups. Now all they had to tell me was the groups were two large. Steups! But that was too simple for the simple-minded geeks who run the show. 

Chuh! So last night I spent a whole lot of time making my groups small enough to fit their new scheme. And they didn’t even make that easy to do. 

However, it’s a new day, with new mercies and promises and grace and forgiveness, and all the other good things our wonderful God has planned for us, so I won’t let Microsoft Outlook steal my joy, as I allowed them to do yesterday! (smile) 

And I have the perfect antidote for that in a quote from my ‘I LOVE YOU’ Poster, which says: ‘Carrying a grudge is like a run in a stocking – it can only get worse. Forgiveness is the answer.’ Gospel truth friends, gospel truth! 

So, regardless of the troubles they cause me, I’ll just forgive Microsoft Outlook (smile) and continue to enjoy this glorious day the Lord has blessed me to see. And all God’s children declared a loud and grateful ‘Amen!’ 

And since today is Wednesday, it’s only appropriate that we declare our Wednesday Wail. So with expectant faith, hungry hope and a strong sense of purpose, let’s wail. ‘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!’ 

Ah mih people, there’s not a day that goes by that I’m not thankful for that beautiful breath of God that courses through my ole bod! I surely hope that you feel the same way, because in truth, that’s the ONLY way for God’s redeemed and sanctified children to feel! Glory to God! 

It’s so great to be alive, despite the numerous trials and tribulations that come against us! And we can say that with the utmost confidence and truth because our hands are securely on the plough and we’re looking forward to the glorious future that Jesus has planned for us! Oh what a future that will be my believing brethren! 

But at the same time, since we’re only human and thus liable to make serious errors and mistakes, we also need to be able to accept God’s discipline without too much whining and complaining. Our God LOVES us, there’s no doubt about that, but like a LOVING Father, He also disciplines us when we go astray. 

Unfortunately though, as our Bit so rightly points out, discipline makes us unhappy in the short term, but in the long run, it works significantly on our behalf. ‘Now no chastening (discipline) for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised (trained) thereby.’ Yeh friends, chastening has never been a well-liked human characteristic. 

And most of us old fogies can remember those days of some serious chastening when we re growing up. Plenty of us ran and hid when we knew that it was in the offing, but oftimes that made no difference. We still got it whenever we showed up. 

But you know what friends, that chastening, that sense of discipline, usually benefited us in the long run. It made us the fine, godly people we are today. Sadly though, too many of us, as parents refused to administer any chastening and discipline to our children, that’s why they are the undisciplined way they are today. 

Now we didn’t need to go to some of the lengths that our parents did, but by going to the other extreme, we did them a great disservice. Because, if there’s one thing a society needs to grow peacefully it’s discipline, otherwise anarchy, a free for all and total selfishness is what we get, something like what we have today. 

Enough preaching though, let’s look at some scriptures that corroborate our sentiments. First up are these words of wisdom from Cousin Sol. ‘For whom the Lord LOVETH he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.’ (Prov.3:12)  

More Cousin Sol: ‘He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that LOVETH him chasteneth him betimes (promptly).’ (Prov.13:24) 

And we’ll end with this one from Jesus in the Revelation of John. It’s contained in the message to the church at Laodicea. ‘As many as I LOVE, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.’ (Rev.3:19) 

Yes friends, it’s all there in black and white in the Good Book! Please let’s take it to heart and do our best not to complain too much when we are rightfully chastened of anybody, especially Almighty God. That’s wisdom of the highest heights! Much LOVE!

…obedience to God…is the highest form of discipline…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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