Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 November 2019 John 14:2.

John 14:2.    ​In my Father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
 

Yes mih people…we’ve been granted one more day of God’s tender mercies and inexhaustible compassions! And though we may not know why, we can be assured that there’s an important reason, because the Lord does have a plan and a purpose for every life He creates and leaves breathing here on earth. 

So let’s accept His largesse with a good attitude nuh, and joyfully declare like the psalmist did so long: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps.118:24) And that is wisdom personified, for as the ole people would say, you can’t look a gift horse in the mouth, and we all know that our God would never grant us bad stuff. So let’s get out there and enjoy the day, be it rain, sun, sleet, or shine! 

And you’ll also notice that although it’s Saturday, the ole fella is up rather early. Chuh! I went to bed late but got up a couple hours later and could not go back to sleep, so after turning and tossing for about forty-five minutes, I decided to just get up and begin enjoying the day. (smile) And a part of that is reviewing the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better and brighter tomorrow. 

Listen to this first one: ‘Life changes very quickly, in a very positive way, if you let it.’ Now I accept the first part without reservations, but not the second, because like many of us, I’ve learned from personal experience, that if you leave life to do its own thing, then it will more often take you downhill than up. And that’s because life in this fallen world is basically a negative implication rather than a positive one. Simply notice how hard you have to try and formulate and keep positive thoughts and actions, whereas the negative aspects come in droves, completely unbidden. And if the evil and negative Satan is the prince of this world, then that’s to be expected! 

But hear this: ‘Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open.’ Now that I have to chuckle at, because I’ve found that happiness more often sneaks out of the door you’ve left open than it sneaks in. In the first place, happiness is such an ephemeral and intangible thing that it’s here today and gone tomorrow. And when you’re happy, you tend to leave doors open, rather than close them, because life is so wonderful…and that’s when happiness escapes, like a thief in the night! 

And that leads us to this quote: ‘Happiness is not by chance, but by choice.’ Now that’s more like the truth! You certainly can’t leave happiness to the whim of chance, or it will have you up and down like a yo-yo! You have to grab happiness by the horns and keep it under heavy manners, because as soon as you’re not looking, it’s liable to slip away unnoticed. So happiness is a state of mind you consciously acknowledge that you will embrace. 

And this next one tells us: ‘We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.’ And is that ever true my faithful brethren! That’s because, as we said at the beginning, God has a plan and a purpose for every life He creates, and usually that doesn’t mesh with the one we desire to have. And I can personally testify to that. 

Yuh think the Bit you’re reading now is my idea? Definitely not! I never envisioned myself as a writer of scriptural stuff, but apparently that was the Lord’s plan, and though I fought it, He eventually won the battle. And here’s a li’l secret; He’ll always win, if He really desires to. 

So please, don’t do like I did. When He comes to you with some idea that you don’t like, don’t laugh because you consider it implausible, or fight it too hard, because He won’t give up, but will make life so miserable and unbearable that you will eventually give in. But the wonderful thing about our God is that He’s faithful to a fault. Anything He asks you to do, He WILL enable you to do it. Just look at my example; when I began writing the Bit, I didn’t know anything, now I know too much. (smile) 

And I always try to leave the best for last. ‘Some people look for a beautiful place. Others make a place beautiful.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth! That’s also how it ought to be with followers of Christ? And there’s no more beautiful promise in the scripture than that found in these wonderful words of Jesus. ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.’ (John 14:1-3) 

Jesus was there comforting His disciples, assuring them that all He said would come to pass, and He would be back to take them with Him some day to a beautiful place, an eternal home, He called heaven. Now hear the scholars’ thoughts on that marvellous place: ‘14:2. Heaven is a place and the eternal hope of the saved. Scripture describes it as a beautiful city where the redeemed will live for eternity. The activities in heaven include singing (Rev.15:3), worship (Rev.5:9), serving (Rev.2:17), ruling (2 Tim.2:12; Rev.22:5), fellowship with others (Matt.17:3), and eating (Rev.2:17). 

Illustration: The quality of existence in heaven is a life of fellowship with God (Rev.22:4), a life of rest (Rev.14:13), a life of service (Rev.22:3), a life of growth (Rev.22:2), and a life of worship (Rev.19:1). Application: The glories of heaven belong only to those who have personally trusted Christ for their salvation. Christians who work to win souls are gathering friends who will spend eternity with them in heaven. (First Ref. Gen.1:1; Primary Ref. Rev.21:1-5; cf. Matt.24:33.)’ 

Oh friends, in light of all that wonderful info, please, let’s make a serious and solemn pact, that we’ll all meet in heaven one day to celebrate with, praise and worship our great and Triune God. Much LOVE!

…only two options in eternity…heaven…or hell…you choose…by whom you believe in…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 September 2019 Ephesians 5:19.

Ephesians 5:19.    ​Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.
 

Well, well, well, if it isn’t that wonderful day called Sunday! The one where we ought to visit the Lord’s sanctuary to give Him thanks and praise and fellowship with other believers, hear His holy Word and receive strength to face another daunting week in this evil and ungodly world. Unfortunately though the ole fella is unable to do that since he’s way out in the wilds of northern South Africa, with no TV or internet. But the Lord knows his heart and will hear whatever prayers I send up to him this day. (smile) 

So, obviously without access to the net, I can’t get words for a song, therefore we’ll just have to sing our own individual songs. (smile) As Bruh Paul says: ‘Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.’  And as James declares: ‘Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray. Is any merry (cheerful)? Let him sing psalms.’ (James 5:13) So since we’re all merry, let’s sing psalms nuh…and we don’t need any internet to do that. (smile) So let’s sing this rather appropriate psalm # 150 – Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. 

In strong voice and sweet harmony: ‘Praise ye the Lord (sing Hallelujah). Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power (his mighty firmament). Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet (cornet): praise him with the psaltery (lute or lyre) and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high-sounding cymbals. Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord (sing Hallelujah!)’ 

Yeh friends, anything, or anybody who draws breath in this crazy world ought to give the Lord God Almighty much thanks and praise just for that fact alone, because it is through His omnipotence and generosity that we are even able to draw breath, much less enjoy all the other benefits! Anyway, my Sunday began with a 5.a.m. wake-up call from our guide Fortune, so we could get to the Lodge for coffee and take off on the morning game drive by five thirty. 

Well there we were heading out in the dark at five thirty in the crisp morning air, hoping to see at least one of the big five we had not yet seen. And the big five are: elephants, rhinos, lions, leopards and hippos. So far we’d seen the first two, but no trace of any of the other three. And believe me, driving out in that Land Cruiser in the darkness, especially as Fortune drives, is something else, because he slashes through and over the thickets with gay abandon. I learned early on, in my co-pilot seat, to keep my hands inside and move towards him when he began slashing through the brambles and numerous thorn trees. (smile) 

Unfortunately, we rode around the rough trails for a while without seeing anything besides some smaller animals, like guinea hens and impalas, or what they call McDonalds, because they have a big black, capital ‘M’ stenciled on their rear ends, that resembles the McDonald’s sign. (smile) What we did see however, was the spectacular rising of the early morning sun, coming up blood red above the eastern horizon, while the big, full moon still stood fairly high in the western sky! And as the Almighty God who made them so wisely planned it, the former eventually rose higher and commanded the day, while the latter decreased in stature and soon disappeared altogether. 

Sometime during that game drive though, the word came out that some lions had been seen, and we journeyed to the spot, joining two other groups of people. Now check out this scene. It’s my favourite of the whole trip. The male lion is lying quietly in the shade, barely discernible because his coat is so much like the brown, dry grass, while the female who seems to be in heat (it’s mating season) prances by him, goes off a li’l way, then lies down. Soon the king of beasts comes, mounts her from the rear, does his thing…and it’s all over in like five seconds. Then he casually strolls off and lies down below a shade tree, while the female moves off a short distance. 

It’s said that they have to copulate every twenty minutes, but I don’t think the lady waited that long, then she came back to the gentleman lying quietly below the tree, pranced around him, rubbed her rear end on him, and made all kinds of entreaties. But the ole boy was having none of it. He just lay their stoically, head held high in the air, till the lady got tired of not so subtlety making her intentions known and walked away to lie down on an incline where he could see her, and prostrate herself in all her glory. And I had to laugh, because a couple of minutes later, the ole boy just put down his head and apparently went to sleep, completely ignoring the lady. 

This just goes to prove the falsehood of the oh so prevalent and prevailing theory that a man never refuses a woman, that he will undoubtedly fall for all of her sensuous wiles and tricks! Let that be a lesson to you women! (smile) Man is not always as foolish and gullible as he seems! We left the scene shortly after the ole fellow put down his head, indicating that no further action was going to happen for a while, and eventually got back home around minutes to nine, had breakfast then went to sleep. We even told them not to prepare lunch because we were all so tired and filled with food. We’d come for high tea at four, before going out for another drive at four thirty. 

Unfortunately, we didn’t see much on that drive besides what we’d already seen. We went driving along the river, over and through the brambles and thickets, with Fortune’s dexterity, looking for hippos or leopards, but failed to see any. Then it was back to the lodge in time for supper. Oh, can you imagine I fell asleep on the way home driving through those rough roads with all the noise, with Fortune driving one handed while shining his spotlight from side to side with the other. I was surely surprised by that. Just goes to show how tired the ole fella was. Tomorrow’s another day though! Much LOVE!

…giving thanks and praise…for simply drawing breath…should be a top priority…..

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 December 2018 Luke 1:34.

Luke 1:34.   Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man (I am a virgin)?
 
So it’s a tad wet, and cloudy and still a li’l snowy from yesterday…so what? What’s the big deal eh? It’s Friday, that’s all we’re concerned about! And Friday in the Christmas season to boot! That means plenty shopping, baking, cooking, singing Christmas songs, plenty lights on trees and all over the place, hugs and kisses a plenty, plus a whole lot of pleasant greetings like: ‘Merry Christmas!’ and ‘Happy Holidays!’ etc. etc. 

But hopefully friends, underneath all that joyfulness, let’s hope the real reason for Christmas, the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ surfaces and makes a true difference, not only in outward affection, but also through sincere internal appreciation and true godliness. Amen! 

And there’s nobody singing louder and more joyfully than the ordinary workingman! He’s been on his soapbox from the beginning! ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday in the Christmastime! Blow me down! Christmas is just around the corner! And I don’t care about the shopping and the gifts nuh…cause I have no money to buy any! But who want to put themselves in debt…let them go right ahead yes! 

Me, I only concerned about the food and drink, and the nice time when we playing music, singing and dancing! I might even go to church for the Christmas…if I sober enough. Hn, hn, hn! But putting all joke aside, Christmas is the best time of the year oui: yuh see all yuh friends and family who you ent see for ages…and yuh nice to even the ones and them yuh doh like! Heh, heh! 

Wish it could be Christmas all year round yes! And this year it going to have plenty holidays too, because Christmas and Boxing Day on a Tuesday and Wednesday. Mama Yo! Ah can’t wait to celebrate them two days off from the massa work nuh, where he have to pay we for not working! He face going to be sour like a lime! But thank God for Fridays, weekends and Christmas time oui!’ 

Ah mih people, the workingman does have a way with words and thoughts yes. But he does have a couple of good points, like we even nice to people we don’t like, and oh…if the atmosphere, not necessarily the festive aspect, but the peace and good tidings could be present in our awful society all year round…what a wonderful world this would be! But I guess that’s just wishful thinking. No reason though why we can’t hope for it and have faith that Jesus one day will provide it. 

 Anyway, let’s sing our weekend song nuh, our Friday Chant. It might not be as colourful and imaginative as the workingman’s but it does suit our Christ-like purposes admirably. 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!’ 

Yes my Christian brethren, we need to remember that even in our joyful times not to go too far out on the limb, to stay within the borders of rationality, so that we don’t open up ourselves to attacks from the enemy; physical, spiritual and emotional, because he’s just waiting like a beast of prey to attack us on any level he can.

But enough of all of that, let’s get back to one of the most wonderful stories ever told; that of the angel Gabriel informing Mary, Jesus’ future mother, of what was going to happen. 

Remember yesterday Gabriel gave her the whole spiel about; ‘she’d found favour with God,’ she’d have a son. ‘His name would be JESUS,’ ‘called the Son of the Highest,’ ‘given the throne of his father David,’ ‘reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.’ (Luke 1:30-33) 

Now how would any of us good, strong, mature Christian folk, in these modern times, react to that information eh? Either by laughing or being scared to death. But Mary didn’t even bat an eyelid. She merely asked a simple but very practical question to all that info: Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man (I am a virgin)?’  

Yeh friends, a very sensible and mature answer and question from a teenage girl in a backwater town in very ancient times! How could she get pregnant and bear a child without knowing a man eh? And though her faith seemed strong, she obviously hadn’t expected to be dealing with the Creator of the universe. 

And in like fashion, the angel Gabriel gave Mary a simple and straightforward answer to her million…no billion-dollar question. That’s how expensive and controversial the situation would have been back then. 

‘And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest (Most High) shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing (one) which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And behold, thy cousin (relative) Elisabeth (John the Baptist’s mother), she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.’ (Luke 1:35-37) 

Now friends, a lot of us spout that line, but how many of us really believe it and try to action it eh? Not very many! But hear Mary’s response to the whole contrary, mixed up situation: ‘And Mary said, Behold the handmaid (maidservant) of the Lord: be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.’ (Luke 1:38) 

Now that’s why I LOVE Mary! After Jesus, she’s my most favourite character in the Good Book. From the get go she was mature and faithful about the very preposterous situation. She didn’t hem and haw like so many of us would have done…even those of supposedly great faith. Even knowing the horrific situation those things would cause in her life, she said bring it on without a fuss. 

Oh my people, my people, I sure hope we can use Mary as a shining example when the Lord calls us to do something that seems difficult and overwhelming. Remember He NEVER gives us more than we can bear, and ALWAYS helps us to complete the task. So there’s no need to be afraid or worried whenever He calls! Much LOVE!

…when the Lord says jump…it’s best to say…how high Lord…the very first time…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 October 2018 Zephaniah 3:17.

Zephaniah 3:17. The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest (quiet you) in his LOVE, he will joy over thee with singing.

 

And Saturday dawned bright and sparkling…but there had to be a fly in the ointment. Chuh! At eight o’clock in the morning I went out on the balcony to do some quiet reading, but lo and behold a man was out there mowing the lawn next to my building, making a terrible racket. Didn’t he realize that people liked to sleep in on Saturdays, and 8 o’clock was just too early to be making so much noise around the buildings? 

Obviously not! I took it for a little while then had to come back inside to the A.C. Like lawn mowers are the bane of my existence wherever I go! (smile) However, like all things do, it eventually came to an end, and we were able to open the balcony door again and allow some of the cool sea air to filter into the room. 

And since today is that blessed day of relaxation – Saturday -, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Listen to this first one: ‘The most important thing is to enjoy your life—to be happy—it’s all that matters.’ 

Now the first part I can live with, because it is important to enjoy your life and be happy, since that’s why Jesus gave up His, and as He says, came so that we might have life more abundantly. (John 10:10) But the part that says being happy is all that matters is totally wrong, for what really matters is living a godly, righteous and obedient life before God: LOVING God and LOVING our neighbours and brothers! 

As we saw over the last two days, those are the two most important life principles, and if we follow them, everything else, including, especially happiness and enjoyment will flow from it. Then hear this: ‘I enjoy life when things are happening. I don’t care if it’s good things or bad things. That means you’re alive.’ 

So is it only when things are happening you can feel alive? I don’t think so, since life is never always moving, there are a lot of calm times and doldrums when it feels like nothing is happening. But be apprised that our great God is ALWAYS working behind the scenes, so when you think that nothing is going on, a lot is happening in the background. But it’s also essential to have a good attitude towards life, whether it’s rough or running smoothly. 

And this next quote tells us that: ‘Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.’ And there is a fair amount of truth to it. You can’t stand stationary in life and expect to improve, especially if you’re a serious follower of Jesus, because He expects continual growth from His people. He expects us to become more and more mature every day, as the Good Book says; moving from glory to glory, climbing higher and higher, li’l by li’l, as we mature in our faith and become more Christ-like. 

And the last quote solemnly declares: ‘The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.’ And that’s a fact my brethren. The more you praise your God and celebrate your life the more there will be to celebrate and praise! I can personally testify to that. It doesn’t mean that trials and tribulations, adversity and calamity won’t befall you, but even under those negative circumstances you will find reason to praise God and celebrate life. 

Listen to the advocacy of our Bit, when the prophet Zephaniah declared the ultimate supremacy of Israel so long ago. ‘The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest (quiet you) in his LOVE, he will joy over thee with singing.’ 

Wow mih breddren! Can there be a greater promise than that? Only that pertaining to salvation and eternal life! And since it’s God’s promise, then you know it will be kept, because NONE of His words ever come back to Him void, they ALWAYS perform the purpose they are sent forward to perform. And we can’t refute that the Lord is mighty in our midst, for so He is in the universe He created, and there is NONE as mighty as Him! 

As per ‘he will save…’ Glory Glory mih people, the Lord has indeed saved us by offering His Son, our Lord and Saviour as a sinless sacrifice in atonement for our abominable sins! Praise His holy name! And he is rejoicing over us with unbelievable joy; those who choose to come to Him humbly and reverently through His Son Jesus Christ! 

And if you believe in Christ, then you are put to rest, quieted in His awesome and unconditional LOVE! And the Lord our God is indeed joying over us with singing and glad tidings because we are His, have been sealed by the Holy Spirit as His people until the day of redemption. Mama Mia! What joy comes from believing in Jesus Christ! Nothing else can compare to it. 

And if you don’t believe Zephaniah…or me (smile) then listen to Isaiah talking about the restoration of Zion. ‘For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.’ (Is.62:5) 

And once more from Isaiah, re new heavens and a new earth: ‘And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.’ (Is.65:19) Ah friends, what a momentous and monumental day that will be, when all grief and crying, sorrow and pain will have been banished from our lives! Give the Lord thanks and praise for that promise which we all know will be kept in His time! Much LOVE!

…you have to believe it…through faith…before you see it…that’s the Lord’s way

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 October 2018 2 Timothy 2:3.

2 Timothy 2:3.    Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

 

So where are all roads leading this Sunday morning eh friends: to church or not to church? I sure hope that the road to the Lord’s sanctuary will indeed be the one more travelled by His children.

That’s because we need to refuel our souls and spirits on a weekly basis, and there’s no better place to do so than in God’s house with other believers; singing and praising, worshipping and receiving His tender mercies, forgiveness, assurance and confidence to keep on keeping on in His name. 

And as always, before we receive the Lord’s Word, we like to engage in some praise and worship, to soften our hearts and make them more receptive to the Holy Scripture. And today’s song of praise is one written way back in 1865 by Sabine Baring-Gould.

However it never became popular until 1871 when Arthur Sullivan composed some music he called “St. Gertrude,” after the wife of his Friend Ernest Clay Ker Seymer, at whose country home he composed the tune. In time, the Salvation Army adopted the hymn as its favoured processional.’ 

But it was never clear sailing for ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’ because some religious people considered it too militant and militaristic.  But as all good tunes do, it has weathered the storms of controversy, and is now one of our favourite processional hymns.

So let’s blast it out now nuh, in full voice and sincere hearts. Let out song rise to heaven so mightily and sincerely that it will have them up there marching and singing with us.

‘Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before! Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe; forward into battle, see His banner go! (Refrain: Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before!)

At the sign of triumph Satan’s host doth flee: On, then, Christian soldiers, onto victory! Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise; Brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise! (Refrain) 

Like a mighty army moves the church of God; Brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod. We are not divided; all one body we, One in hope and doctrine, one in charity. (Refrain)

Onward, then, ye people, join our happy throng, Blend with ours your voices in the triumph song; Glory, laud, and honour, unto Christ the King; This thro’ countless ages men and angels sing. (Refrain: Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before… (Repeat).’ 

Yeh friends, what better way to describe Christ’s followers than as a victorious army marching forward, subduing all the evil world before it! Unfortunately though, I don’t think Jesus would look at His church right now as a conquering army, but more like a divided, lazy, compromising, bunch of misfits, for all the progress we’re making. 

On our current watch, more people seem to be turning away from God than are turning to Him. So how does that make us victorious eh? Hell’s foundations aren’t quivering, neither is Satan’s host fleeing because our efforts on Christ’s behalf are not powerful or compelling enough to do either. 

My heart hurts when I sing the line, ‘We are not divided; all one body we, One in hope and doctrine, one in charity.’ That’s just not true, because the church of Christ is more divided than it’s ever been, and mostly over petty stuff, that’s why the evil one and his evil minions are having such a heyday in today’s world. 

The theme of the song is apparently based on Bruh Paul’s encouragement to Timothy regarding the Christian being a soldier for Christ. ‘Thou therefore endure hardness (hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.’ 

And remember my fellow believers, it’s not a physical but spiritual war we’re fighting. Thus Bruh Paul continues to Timothy: ‘No man that warreth entangles himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.’ (2 Tim.2:4) 

And Jesus is the one who has chosen us to lead His LOVE Revolution in these combative and perilous times, so we ought to be about His business more seriously and diligently than we are. I guess what we need is a refresher course in what it takes to be a true soldier in Christ’s army.

Hear Bruh Paul spell it out to the Ephesians, and consequently to us. ‘Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. (Let yourselves be constantly strengthened by His mighty power.)  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes) of the devil. 

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world (age), against spiritual (hosts of) wickedness (wicked spiritual beings) in high places. Wherefore take unto you (take up) the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’ (Eph.6:10-13) 

Yes mih people, the first rule in being a good soldier is to put on protection, in this case God’s armour. And what’s that? ‘Stand therefore, having your loins girt (girded) about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked (one). And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:’ (Eph.6:14-17) 

Yuh see friends, just like a soldier has armour, protection to fight a physical war, we believers in Christ’s spiritual army also have protective armour; truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation and God’s word.

But you know that still isn’t enough, Bruh Paul then concludes: ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:18) That’s right my brethren, with all that armour, prayer is still a necessity for us to win the fight, and prayer for all of God’s children too. 

So now that we’ve had that refresher course in spiritual soldiering, (smile) let’s buckle down and do better nuh. Look at all Christ has done for us, can’t we just stand up strong for Him? Aw shucks friends, we ought to be ashamed of ourselves with the miserly effort we’re putting forth on His behalf! Much LOVE!

…the word of God is quick (living)…sharper than any two edged sword…piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 August 2018 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.

Ah friends, one never knows what each passing moment of each day will bring nuh! Here I was planning to come down and write about the bright and stunning day that was happening in my neighbourhood and the upcoming long Labour Day weekend. But as it recently seems to be too often the case, I open my e-mail and find news of an obituary. Steups! 

Now this one isn’t for a personal friend of mine, but someone who played an important part in my life some fifty years ago…boy some of us are sure getting long in the tooth. (smile) The gentleman I’m talking about is H.E. Cedric Lanyon Harper, St. Kitts and Nevis High Commissioner to Jamaica (1930-2018). 

My association with him took place when he was the Warden of Irvine Hall, the Hall I was associated with on the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies in Jamaica. He was a big man, both in girt and height, and good be gruff at times. His bristling moustache also lent an air of intimidation to his naturally serious demeanour. A lot of the students, including me, didn’t like him and his rules for the Hall. 

But you know what? When push came to shove, he turned out to be white knight in shining armour. Hn! I’m talking about when I could not pay my tuition fees in my last year, which meant I couldn’t take my final exam, he lent me the money from the Hall’s coffers. And for that I will be eternally grateful, so should you all be too, because then you might have never known me. (smile) 

Ah mih people, just another example to show that we should not judge the book by its cover. My condolences go out to all of Mr. Harper’s family and friends as they mourn his passing, but hopefully celebrate his apparently generous and giving life as a teacher and able representative for his country of St.Kitts and Nevis. 

But the workingman is not going to let us forget that it’s Friday, as he joyfully belts out: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! And a long weekend too – Labour Day! Mama Yo! All the people who labour and work hard will be celebrating the few benefits we have because of the brave resistance of so many who’ve gone before us. Yeh breddren, we have to stand up for we rights, slavery done long time ago, otherwise the greedy and hard hearted slave master going to push we right back into it. 

But he can’t stop we from celebrating how we want to on we time though. So on this last weekend of the summer, we going to throw the biggest party of the summer; nuff food and drink, music, marching and singing songs of freedom! Oh brother! What a party it going to be! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes, especially the long ones and them!’ 

Yeh friends, it is the last long weekend of summer, which means closing up the vacation cottage up north! Come next week it’s back to school and back to work for those who took vacation with their children. And as believers, we too will celebrate the Labour Day long weekend, just not as boisterously and lasciviously as the ordinary workingman. And our Friday Chant is also much more subdued and responsible than his song. 

But that doesn’t mean we can’t get enthusiastic about it, so let’s chant up a storm nuh! All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Yeh friends, when we work and live for Jesus, it just means that we’re a tad more responsible, more heavenly minded than earthly minded, but not so heavenly minded that we’re no earthly good. (smile) We have to be careful not to give the enemy any room to come into our lives and corrupt them. 

That means we always have to be on our p’s and q’s, constantly on the look out for his sly, deceitful and reasoned approaches, like the one he used on Eve in the Garden of Eden. That’s why Peter so forcefully reminds us in our Bit: ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.’ 

And that’s no lie my brethren! The ole crook Lucifer is always on the lookout for any toe or finger hold he can get in our lives. So continuing in the admonition of Peter: ‘Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world.’ (1 Pet.5:9) 

Oh, I know some of us are going to say, knowing that others are also experiencing temptation doesn’t help me any. And that might be true. But hear this: ‘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) 

Yes my fellow believers, that’s exactly what will happen. After a bit of sufferation, to prove and strengthen our faith, the Lord of all grace and mercy will bring us out strong and steadfast. You can bet on it. Therefore: ‘To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.’ (1 Pet.5:11) Much LOVE!

…trials and tribulation…they are simply God’s way…of testing and strengthening our faith…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 October 2017 Psalm 23:3a.

Psalm 23:3a.   He restoreth my soul…

Awright mih breddren, the ole fella is alive and kicking; kicking some serious butt too on this somewhat cloudy Wednesday morning in the fall of 2017! Glory to God! 

Oh my aches and pains are still there, and whatever’s wrong inside is still wrong, but my spirit has been rejuvenated. More glory to God! 

It’s just that lately so many things over which I had no control have been coming against me, that it was only a matter of time before the ole bod, the spirit and soul got tired. 

When you suddenly find out that what you thought was improving, wasn’t really improving, while other things were still going wrong, and you’re constantly moving from one doctor’s appointment or medical institution during traffic jam hours, it does make for a difficult time. 

Oh, I’ve been going along quite okay despite the numerous problems, not given up hope and standing strong in faith, but in the face of all that negative stuff, it was inevitable that the spirit would sag some. 

However, after writing yesterday’s Bit, I just decided to refuel my spirit, lift my level of passion for life higher, bring it back to a level that allows me to function with more authority and energy. As the saying goes, doctor heal thyself, with me it was spiritual man, refuel thy spirit. (smile) 

I’ve decided that like Bruh David did, to encourage myself in the Lord some more. Let the aches and pains, and whatever else is wrong, do their thing, I won’t let them stop me from doing mine. They will obviously slow me down, but that’s fine, once they don’t stop me completely. 

I know the Lord’s doing a major renovation in me, and it’s not going to be easy, but I also know that if he begins a good work in me, then He WILL see it through to completion. 

Plus He won’t give me more than I can handle, and will also help me pass through the fire unscathed, so that when I come out on the other side, I’ll be brand new! Glory Hallelujah! 

That brings us to our simple but oh so important Bit from that great psalm of Bruh David, ‘The Lord is my shepherd.’ ‘He restoreth my soul…’ 

Yeh friends, the Lord does just that when we surrender all our aches and pains and whatever is bothering us to Him. But we also need to trust and believe and write God’s promises indelibly in our hearts and souls, so that when life comes against us, we’ll be able to use them to stand steadfast and strong. 

Let’s remember that we’re the head and not the tail; above and not beneath; sure conquerors with Jesus by our sides. In fact, He’s already given us the victory over hell, death, the grave and their evil keeper Lucifer. But it all takes a magnum of faith, especially in these pretty evil and ungodly times. 

However, please remember Bruh Paul’s admonition to the Ephesians: ‘And be not drunk with wine wherein is excess (dissipation); but be filled with the Holy Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (Eph.5:18-20) 

Yeh friends, that’s the only way we can remain strong and grow in the LOVE and knowledge of God. And here is an interesting explanation from the scholars on the ‘Fullness of the Holy Spirit.’ 

‘5:18. The words be filled here mean “be continually filled,” emphasizing that the fullness of the Spirit is a repeated experience for believers. When a person is drunk with an alcoholic beverage, his walk, talk and sight are controlled by alcohol. 

God desires that the minds of Christians be controlled by the Holy Spirit so that they will walk in the Spirit, speak on behalf of God, and understand the things of God. Because people are indwelt by the Holy Spirit at salvation, they do not need to get more of the Holy Spirit, but the filling of the Spirit occurs when the Holy Spirit gets more of the believer. 

Illustration: As we establish our relationship with God through confession of sins (1 John 1:9) and yield to Him (Rom.6:13), we can be filled with the Spirit if that is our desire (Matt.5:6) and prayer (Luke 11:13). Application: Every Christian should be filled with the Spirit in order that he may have God’s power to serve Him. (Acts 1:8) (First Ref. Ex.35:31; Primary Ref. Eph.5:18; cf. 1 John 2:27.)’ 

Ah my people, it’s of the utmost importance that in these last days, we allow the Holy Spirit of God to get more of us! Please check out those references above, they give great insight into the use and power of God’s Spirit. 

And to help us improve in our use and value of the Holy Spirit, let’s go home vociferously declaring our Wednesday Mantra with all truth and sincerity. ‘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 that future WILL indeed be glorious friends! Much LOVE!

…it’s time for God’s Spirit to be lifted up in us… so that we can better do His work and will…

P.S. Please excuse the tardiness of the Bit. I just got up late, and even then thought it was 7.45, when it was 8.45. What to do eh? Aging is a helluva thing! (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

Previous Older Entries