Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 May 2019 Luke 16:23.

Luke 16:23.   ​And in hell (Hades) he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
 
Another wet and cloudy morning! But that’s nothing new, and the good news is that the sun does look like it’s going to put up some kind of battle to come out later on. But the best news is that as believers in Jesus Christ we have His bright light surrounding us and living in us all the time! Glory Hallelujah! So, regardless of what the physical day looks like, we are always clothed in His sunshine! Give Him some thanks and praise my people! 

Unfortunately though, one community in the Ottawa Valley is still suffering from the effects of the recent floods, apparently their area has now been made an island with water all around it, and they have to use boats to get around. Hn! Can you imagine that? Please, let’s pray for them to return to normal soon, for all these unforeseen and unexpected difficulties when they drag out for a long time also take a severe toll on people’s humanity. 

But the fact that it’s Friday takes away a li’l of the rain pain, (smile) and the workingman is just dying to broadcast his song. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! And the weekend’s here! But this blooming rain just looking to spoil my weekend activities yes! With the weather getting warmer, I expected to be able to go outside and frolic in just mih shirtsleeves and shorts…possibly even set up the barbecue and have a few while the meat cooking. 

But chuh! This rain becoming a real spoilsport yes! Curtailing all mih outdoor fun! You could only have so much fun inside for just so long, before the wife and children get tired of you. But anyway, thank God is Friday and the weekend oui, no more labouring for the greedy slave master for a couple days! Thank God for that small mercy yes!’ 

Yeh friends, many of us are thankful for the two days off from work, though as believers we don’t get as worked up as the workingman when the rain rains on our parade… ‘Who says so?’ you shoot back? ‘We have the same feelings like the workingman, but we just don’t show them to his extreme!’ Sorry mih people, sorry! And since we’re not that extreme, let’s chant our Friday Chant nuh to show our less extreme feelings. (smile) 

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!’ 

Ah mih people, we are a li’l more reined in by Jesus’ dictates than the ordinary workingman is by his worldly desires. But please, let’s not resent it, because it’s only for our benefit! It helps to keep us on the straight and narrow path that leads to salvation and eternal life, which we all believe is the best option we have going here on earth. 

You know there are ONLY two options; Satan and Jesus, and as for me and mine we will gladly follow Jesus because he has the best long-term plans and solutions. Satan has a lot of stuff he offers in the here and now, but what happens in the hereafter eh? Nothing but hellfire and damnation! And if you think that’s all a bunch of hogwash, then go ahead and accept the earthly benefits of the devil. But just supposing it’s true eh? What then when you pass into the next world? 

Some of us know the parable of the rich man and Lazarus the beggar, but for those of us who don’t, here is a brief outline. The Good Book says: ‘There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously (lived in luxury) every day. And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores. And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 

And it came to pass that the beggar died, and was carried into Abraham’s bosom (enjoying the messianic banquet in Abraham’s company): the rich man also died, and was buried. And in hell (Hades) he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ (Luke 16:19-24) 

Now friends, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ spoke that parable, and if, as we contend, He cannot lie, why is it so hard to believe the presence of hell eh? And please note the reply the rich man received from Abraham. 

‘But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.’ (Luke 16:25-26) 

Yuh see friends, after our earthly death, there is no second chance. All the second, third, fourth and numerous other chances are present here on earth. And to make matters worse, there’s no mercy available in hell, just here on earth! And if you read the rest of that passage (Luke 16:27-31) you’ll see that in hell you’re still aware of what’s going on, both in heaven and on earth, but you can’t do anything about your situation or your family’s. 

As Abraham told the rich man when he asked for him to send someone to talk to his family about the terrible situation he was in. ‘And he (Abraham) said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.’ (Luke 16:31) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ’16:31. If here carries the weight of “since.” They were not paying attention to the light they already had. Hard-heartedness is not necessarily overcome by miraculous signs.’  

So friends, it just comes back to prove that we need to make the right decision before we die, and since we don’t know when that will be, it’s best to decide for Jesus RIGHT NOW, so that your salvation and eternal life can be secured, your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and yuh not lost somewhere down in the burning fires of hell, tormented like crazy, going through ‘sufferation’ that you couldn’t even imagine in earthly life, crying out, pleading for mercy, begging for just a drop of water to wet yuh flaming tongue! Much LOVE!

…as Jesus said…he who has ears to hear…let him hear…else he will eventually feel…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 June 2015 John 14:27

John 14:27.  Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Well mih lovelies, it’s the first day of the week, Sunday!  And would you know that all the church bells are tolling, inviting the faithful to come and sing and praise and worship the Lord, to fellowship with those of like belief, and receive the many blessings which come from engaging in those activities!

Wow! What a mouthful Friends, but nonetheless, very true sentiments. So let’s put on our Sunday best and get us hither to the sanctuary and rejoice with loud voice in our Creator and our God, for it is indeed the wise thing to do.

And speaking of Sunday best clothing, I remember the olden days when everybody dressed up to go to church, some possibly overdressed too.  (smile) You wouldn’t be caught dead in church with shorts and jeans and sloppy attire.

Now it’s true that back then there was possibly too much emphasis on your clothing, and technically speaking, the Lord cares more about the state of our hearts than our dress, but I’m sure He still appreciates and prefers to see a congregation praising and worshipping Him looking good. It does say something about the people’s prosperity and reflects well on the Lord’s largesse.

If you see people gathering to worship a Deity and they are all looking sloppy, poor and downtrodden, why would you want to join them eh? All I’m saying though is that when we go to church we ought to look as decent as we can.

Now yesterday at our church, St. Francis in Meadowvale, we held a celebration for peace around the Peace Pole on the lawn of the property. Or as the bulletin put it: ‘The Diverse Voices in Meadowvale United in One Voice for Peace.’ We prayed for Peace in our World, our Country, in our Community and in our Families.  And then we set free some painted lady butterflies to commemorate the occasion.

We were also graced with the presence of City Councilor Pat Saito celebrating with her annual barbecue and answering the many questions her constituents had. All in all, it was a very pleasant and successful venture.  

Now here is one of the quotes from the peace service bulletin that I never knew, but which took my breath away and captured my heart. It’s attributed to Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) the Indian peace activist and leader of the fight for Indian Independence from Britain. He reputedly said: ‘The day the power of LOVE overrules the LOVE of Power, the world will know peace.’

Mama Mia! I like it! And it’s also very true.  The only problem though, is when will that blessed day come eh? Most likely not before the majestic return of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who spoke the most celebrated words on the somewhat ephemeral and hard to capture or attain subject of  peace.

Listen to our Messiah in today’s Bit. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’

Wow, mih breddren! What encouraging and reassuring words! And please notice the most important words in the promise ‘not as the world giveth…’ Yes Friends, our Leader is not of this world, so the peace He offers is way different to that which the world acclaims. And because His peace is different to that of the world, we don’t need to be worried, anxious or afraid of anything or anyone in the world.

Now how do you like them beans eh? (smile) I LOVE them, and sure hope you do too, because if you don’t, then your life here on earth will be miserable and fearful. And that’s definitely not what our Saviour came to give us. He said: ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10)

Yes my people, our Saviour came that we should enjoy this earthly life, not to live it cowed and broken. That’s why when we are filled with the peace that He offers, we won’t be terrified of life, but will take the bull by the horns and run life, instead of letting life run us.

Oh Friends, like the ole fella’s in fine form this Sunday morning, obviously being led by the Holy Spirit. Glory to God! Now let’s look at some scripture passages that deal with the very elusive term called peace. And we’ll set the scene with the well-known words of Cousin Sol in his role as the Preacher or Teacher in Ecclesiastes.

‘To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven… A time to LOVE, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.’ ((Eccl.3:1, 8) There’s no disputing those facts Friends, the only problem is that the time for peace seems to be taking rather long to come.

Then we have this very wise advice from Bruh David from Psalm 34 – The Lord hears the righteous. ‘Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.’ (Ps.34:14)

Yuh see my brethren, peace is something we ought to actively seek out, to pursue, for it doesn’t just come about automatically. It is a lifestyle that we definitely have to be actively interested in and then get actively involved in. And the peace we’re talking about here is the peace of Jesus, not that of the world.

And we’ll end with the words of Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. He’s talking about Christ being the only judge, therefore we should not judge each other, in this case in the things that we eat. ‘For the kingdom of God is not meat (food) and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost… Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify (build up) another.’ (Rom.14:17, 19) 

Oh Friends, with those wise words and thoughts uppermost in our minds this Sunday morning, let’s ponder them as they pertain to our individual lives nuh, and then make the necessary improvements, of course with the help of our magnanimous, gracious and merciful God. Much LOVE!

…if we have no peace…it is because we have forgotten…that we belong to each other…  (Mother Teresa)