Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 January 2019 Matthew 7:14.

Matthew 7:14.  ​ Because strait (how narrow) is the gate, and narrow (confined or difficult) is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
 
Wow…and more Wow! What a lot of thanks and praise is floating up to heaven today because it’s Friday, and the impending weekend that will give our tired souls and bodies a break from the daily grind and common task, after the first full week of work in this new year of 2019! No more traffic jams and crowds of people for two whole, big days…that is unless we want it. Glory be! 

Ah friends, our bodies and minds are not as strong and able as they use to be even one generation ago. That’s because we’ve become accustomed to an easy style of living in our technologically advanced society that doesn’t require a whole lot of hard, physical work. Not like back in the days when agriculture was king and technology was just coming into its own. 

Now technology is indeed useful, if we use it to our advantage. But unfortunately these days we’re allowing technology to use us, run our lives, do almost everything besides discharge our bodily secretions. And soon it might even be able to do that too! (smile) 

Seriously though friends, technology is killing our society at the same time it is providing us with some interesting perks. We’re thinking less and doing less for ourselves, and if we continue this way, our minds and bodies will eventually atrophy, lose their effectiveness, shrivel up and become vegetative because of lack of use. 

Please notice that every great society in our history began to fail and fall the day they became overly prosperous. That’s because too much prosperity leads to laziness, and therefore lack of productivity and ingenuity, which keep a society growing. 

Now tell me, how did I get on this track eh? (smile) Some days I just don’t know nuh…although it makes sense. However, it’s Friday, and everybody is waiting to hear the workingman sing his song. And though he’s tired, he still finds the energy to belt it out: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday…and the weekend looming large! Brother, what a week that was! Ah can’t remember when last ah work five full days in a row nuh. But that is surely slavery yes! 

Why should a man have to work five straight days out of seven eh, especially with we big technological society now eh? Whatever happen to the four-day workweek that they promise we eh? It nowhere in sight! Steups! Should have known that the capitalist slave master doh keep promises. But anyway, the weekend here and ah have time to rest some…but also to party some! Hn, hn! Can’t let the whole weekend go by and doh party…that is a sin before God! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’  

Ah mih people, even in the midst of tiredness, Bacchus, the god of bacchanal, still raises his ugly head. That’s how our society has been programmed. But thankfully not all of us though. We believers know the value of rest and of play, and when to indulge in either, that’s why our Friday Chant is not as extreme as the workingman’s song. So let’s chant it now with much verve and chutzpah nuh. (smile) 

As one: ‘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!’ 

We seriously give thanks and praise to God, not the flippant attitude that the workingman displays, and we stay on track most of the time, or at least try to, while the workingman goes running hither, thither and yon, without any sense of direction.

That’s why our august Leader, Jesus Christ warned: ‘Enter ye in at the strait (narrow) gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait (how narrow) is the gate, and narrow (confined or difficult) is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’ (Matt.7:13-14) 

Yes friends, the way to hell and damnation is broad, wide and easy to find. But the path that leads to salvation and eternal life is narrow and hard to find. And why is that eh? Because it all goes through Jesus; both the gate and the way! As He so emphatically said unto his doubting disciple, Thomas: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6) 

Yeh mih people, there are only two options in this life, the wide destructive path that Satan offers, or the straight and narrow one that leads through Jesus to our heavenly Father. The billion-dollar question is, which path will each of us take? I implore us to take the latter that goes through Jesus! Yes it is the more difficult path, but ultimately it is indeed the more beneficial. Much LOVE!

…two paths to eternity…the one to heaven…and the one to hell…which one will you choose…hopefully…the former… 

P.S. Ah friends, the enemy is alive and well, and can come at us from any direction at any time. Would you believe that just as I was going to type in Jesus’ directive to Thomas, I paused to take a sip of water, and darkness suddenly filled the room? Just for a second though. So I had to reboot and wait for everything to come back. It’s a good thing that I’ve learned from earlier mistakes and save stuff as I go along. So please be on your p’s and q’s! Much LOVE!

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 September 2018 Ephesians 6:11.

And once again it’s Sunday friends: our day of rest from mortal toil. A day where we are expected to spend time in worship and fellowship with other believers in the house of God, so that our souls and spirits can be renewed and refreshed and our Creator praised and exalted. 

And as always, each Sunday we begin the proceedings with a song of praise and worship, because there’s nothing the Lord likes more than hearing His praises sung, and it also softens our hearts, enabling them to be more receptive to His Word. And the song we’re going to sing is an ole favourite, the American Christian Hymn, ‘Stand up, Stand up for Jesus.’ 

But before we get into it, let’s look at its supposed history, a rather interesting one. Apparently it was written by a Presbyterian Minister, George Duffield Jr. in 1858, who at that time was an associate of one Dudley Atkins Tyng; a Pastor recently ‘removed from his local Episcopalian community for speaking against slavery. Duffield assisted Tyng in supporting an evangelical revival in Pennsylvania. 

In March 1858, Tyng gave a sermon at a YMCA meeting of over 5,000 men on Exodus 10:11, “Go now ye that are men, and serve the Lord”, converting over 1,000 men listening in the crowd. The following month, Tyng was maimed in a farming accident. Before he died a few days after the accident he told his father “Tell my brethren of the ministry, wherever you meet them, to stand up for Jesus.”  

Duffield then wrote the hymn based on those words. At a memorial service for Tyng, Duffield gave a sermon based on Ephesians 6:14, “Stand firm, wearing the whole armour of God”, and ended it by reciting the new hymn he had written as a tribute. After first publication, the hymn was popular and was sung by both the Union and Confederate soldiers in the American Civil War. 

The hymn also became popular among British revivalists and within public schools in England. As a result of the images of Christian militarism in the hymn, some people object to the hymn, and some people do not stand to sing it’  With such a colourful and controversial history, it’s no wonder it’s so popular. 

And furthermore, ‘Several melodies have been written for “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus”. The one used most often now was written by George James Webb, who had originally composed it in 1837 for “Tis Dawn, the Lark is Singing”, a song in a secular musical show performed on a ship travelling across the Atlantic Ocean.’ 

Now let’s belt it out like we truly mean it. ‘Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross! Lift high his royal banner, it must not suffer loss. From victory unto victory his army he shall lead, till every foe is vanquished, and Christ is Lord indeed. Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the solemn watchword hear; if while ye sleep he suffers, away with shame and fear. Where’er ye meet with evil, within you or without, charge for the God of battles, and put the foe to rout. 

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, stand in his strength alone; the arm of flesh will fail you, ye dare not trust your own. Put on the gospel armour, each piece put on with prayer; when duty calls or danger be never wanting there. Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the strife will not be long; this day the noise of battle, the next the victor’s song. To him that overcometh a crown of life shall be; he with the King of glory shall reign eternally.’ 

Yeah friends, that’s exactly what is required of us as followers of Jesus. We’re in a battle against the spiritual forces of evil and we must acquit ourselves as brave, courageous and loyal soldiers of Jesus. And the best words in the Good Book to describe our situation comes from the pen of Bruh Paul in his missive to the church at Ephesus, re putting on the whole armour of God. So let’s read and inwardly digest those fighting words nuh. 

‘Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world (age), against spiritual (spiritual hosts of) wickedness in high places.’ (Eph.6:10-12) 

Oh my people, you might not see our enemy, but believe me, he and his cohorts are real, and they reside in many who hold high office in this realm. And as loyal Christians, we need to battle them to the death, or until Jesus returns. But like any soldier going into battle, we have to take serious precautions: ‘Wherefore take unto you (take up, put on), the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’ (Eph.6:13) 

Fellow believers, only when we’re wearing God’s armour are we able to withstand the powerful foe that will keep on coming against us with evil schemes and demonic attacks. But we need to ‘Stand therefore, having your loins girt about (girded your waist) with truth, (the knowledge of God’s Word), and having on the breastplate of righteousness (holy character and moral conduct). And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace (a sense of eagerness or willingness to advance against the devil and take the fight to him). 

Above all, taking the shield of faith, (trusting God and believing His promises), wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of (dispel all doubts induced by) the wicked (one). And take the helmet of salvation (the assurance of salvation), and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (rhema; selected verses of Scripture): Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:14-18)  

Yes my brethren, we need to have all the accoutrements of war, but without prayer, it’s all in vain. Prayer is indispensable to our cause, and we must be vigilant in praying for all our fellow believers. ‘Spiritual combat is both an individual and corporate matter.’ There you have it friends, a quick discourse, or hopefully, to some of us, a jolting reminder on Spiritual Warfare 101.  Now let’s go out and put it into action! Much LOVE!

…soldiers of Christ…be well armed…stand strong…and pray always…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 June 2018 Psalm 119:105.

Psalm 119:105.   Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Well friends, amongst all the strife, war, hatred, anger and all the other negative stuff that’s taking place in our once beautiful world, I noticed one of the most foolish and insensitive actions take place yesterday. Yuh know the big contention that’s currently going on in the U.S… and some of you are asking which one? (smile) Well I’m talking about the recent major push to separate immigrant children from their parents. 

Now apparently, yesterday, the first lady of the U.S went to visit one of the centres where children are being held and she wore a jacket that had written on the back in big white letters: ‘I don’t really care, do u?’ How how insensitive is that eh? Even if you don’t care, half of the country you represent cares, and that’s only a slap in the face to them. But that’s the state of the U.S. these days. Matter done! 

It’s Friday, and the workingman is out there singing his happy song: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! The working soon finish… and the partying soon start! What a bam bam! It’s going to be party fuh so in this summertime weather! Nobody going to stop we from carrying on anyway we want! 

And who doh like it…Hn! Tough tits yes! Let them try to do something about it nuh. They don’t know how we grateful for the break from all the weekday slavery nuh, both physical and mental. Steups!  Thank God for Fridays and the weekends oui!’ 

Yeh mih people, we Christians are also grateful for Fridays and the weekends, but we just show it in a less bacchanalian way. (smile) We don’t go to the extremes, like the worldly culture around us does. So let’s chant our corresponding Friday Chant and show them how we believers do it nuh. 

As one sincere voice 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 friends, we have a more organized way to spend or use our weekends – while celebrating, still keeping our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ uppermost in our minds and behaviour. And I just spied a quote from a Daily Bread Devotional that highlights it quite nicely. I’ve shared it before, but it’s important enough to share again and again. ‘Commitment to Christ is a daily calling.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my brethren! Everyday we awaken, we need to commit ourselves anew to Christ! That’s the only way we can stay on the tried and true path that leads to the Father. That’s why the psalmist declared in our Bit: ‘Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.’  

Yeh mih breddren, the only way to stay committed to Christ is by constantly reading, meditating and putting His word into action, for the enemy is fighting an ever-constant battle to win our souls. Remember those memorable words of the Lord to Joshua when He appointed him leader of the Israelites after Moses’ death? 

‘This book of the law shall not depart out of (be constantly in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then shalt thou have good success.’ (Josh.1:8) 

Oh friends, that one verse says it all: to be prosperous and have success, one must know the word and practice it! And yet we wonder why so much of us individually, as well as nationally are not having success. But the answer is right there before our very eyes; turn to God and do His will. That’s not rocket science; it’s plain and straightforward. 

And though in some cases it might be somewhat difficult to do, the Lord has faithfully promised us His awesome help all along the way. But like the workingman, many of us seem to prefer Beelzebub’s easy and sinful ways, which only lead to hellfire, death and eternal damnation. 

Yuh see how EVERY TIME, Israel turned away from God how they suffered, and how we are suffering now in our ungodliness? It’s no mistake that our world is currently engulfed in all sorts of negative problems; the hand of God and a touch of His wrath are upon us. Notice I said only a touch of His wrath, because we could never withstand the full force of His anger. 

Oh friends, the Good Book is the inspired Word of our Creator and it does not lie. So why do we think we can go against what it says and be truly successful eh? That’s why I’m imploring us, like the Lord implored Joshua and all the other leaders of the faith, to sincerely meditate on His Word, talk about it to our children and each other, and then put it into action. That’s the ONLY way our desperately struggling world and us will ever know peace and success. Much LOVE!

…how can the blind lead the blind out of darkness eh…only through the light inspiring word of Jesus…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 January 2018 Galatians 5:16.

Galatians 5:16.   This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

Well friends, at last it’s Friday!  Glory be! Now what it is about that work that we dislike so much eh, even when we have so many modern amenities that makes it so much easier? (smile)  Our forefathers couldn’t even imagine or dream about the stuff we have now, and they willingly went to work. 

That’s possibly because they knew for sure that if they didn’t work, they wouldn’t eat. But nowadays we have so many layabouts who eat and live well without even raising a finger. Could it be that’s the fault of our over indulgent society? Well that’s something to ponder on later. (smile) 

But right now the ordinary but ever so proud workingman is singing his Friday song. ‘TGIF! Thank God it is Friday and labouring finish for another week. And yuh know, I thought hard work was done with long time now. But apparently I was wrong, for all that missing from slavery time is the whip and the dogs, they still have the guns and them! 

Everything else is still the same. Deh trying to enslave we mind now though, rather than we body with iron shackles. But tell them for me, that that won’t work either. The same way we escape from the physical shackles, we going to escape from the mental chains. And we going to start doing that right now, by enjoying the weekend as if there was no tomorrow! 

Brother, come what may, we going to party and carouse, and carry on fuh so. And if we too sick and tired to go to work on Monday, then let massa fire we nuh. He still ain’t going to get he slave work done! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes! Because if the massa had he way, we’d work seven days straight every week without a break!’ 

Ah mih people, it’s always sad to realize that a lot of what the ordinary workingman says is so true. Our modern day economies are going backwards rather than forwards in terms of employee satisfaction, employees are not being treated as well as they should be. 

The problem though is that the ordinary workingman is taking the wrong road in trying to solve the problem. Instead of carousing and catering to his carnal will, he ought to turn to Jesus and do His will, like we try to do. It’s all about purpose and the right way my brethren. 

So let’s chant our Friday Chant, which shows a marked difference from the workingman’s song. In sincerity and truth 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, the big difference is that we don’t go overboard in our carnality, and thus lose control of our senses. Instead, we turn to Jesus to rejuvenate us, so we can continue doing good work in His name, for that’s what this life is all about. 

Ah mih people, it’s good to enjoy some aspects of fleshly living, that’s why God gave them to us, but we have to know where and when to draw the line, so that we don’t allow the enemy to encroach on Jesus’ territory in our hearts and souls. That’s why Bruh Paul admonished the Galatians so strongly, when he said in our Bit. ‘This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.’ 

And what does that mean? Hear the scholars: ‘5:16. Walk in the Spirit (i.e.; “live by the Spirit”): Christians are to live with the Spirit’s help. How does one “live by the Spirit”? (1) The Christian must believe that the Spirit is with him, having been sent by God into his heart (4:6). (2) In every spiritual confrontation the believer must yield to the Spirit, that is, submit his own desires to those of the Spirit.

(3) One must depend on the Spirit for help, enabling him to live a God-pleasing life (v.5). (4) The believer should anticipate the effects of the Spirit’s help in his daily life. The believer who “lives by the Spirit” will not fulfill (accomplish, carry out) the lust (strong desires) of the flesh (sinful nature).’ 

There you have it friends, a general explanation of how to walk in the Spirit. The Holy Spirit that dwells within us is supposed to lead and guide us in ALL of our activities. That’s why the Lord gave Him to us. As Bruh Paul says earlier on: ‘And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.’ (Gal. 4:6-7) 

Yeh mih people, as soon as God adopts us, He sends the Holy Spirit into our hearts, to give us an awareness of Himself. And having been granted such a wonderful station in life, sons of God, heir of God, through Christ, it now behooves us to behave in a son-like and heir-like manner. 

So please let’s take a minute today and ponder if we are indeed behaving son-like, heir-like and Christ-like, as we should, then ask the Lord to help us improve in whatever area(s) we need improvement. He will NEVER turn down such a request. Much LOVE!

…walking in the Spirit…is like walking in the Garden of Eden…just demanding more attention…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 August 2016 Isaiah 35:4.

Isaiah 35:4.    Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense: he will come and save you.

And then it was Friday, the favourite day of the working class! Thus the ringing out of declarations such as this, all over the world. 

‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! At last that wonderful day is here! The start of the weekend and all the wonderful things we going to do during that time; like feasting, like partying hard…and whatever else comes to mind! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends oui; for this short escape from the new-fangled slavery! At last it’s Friday! Glory Be!’ 

Ah mih people, the weekend is the only li’l free time we have nowadays, so we obviously tend to, or try to pack so many different things into those couple of days off. 

Consequently, we end up giddy and/or weary at the end of it, instead of rested, enthused and rejuvenated for another week of same old, same old. That’s why there has to be balance and circumspection in our weekend actions. 

Now let’s chant our Friday Chant which gives us a better perspective on how to use our weekly free time. Chanting: ‘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 friends, it’s that fine balance of rest, fellowship and partying that we need to make the weekend truly a time of renewal. So let’s just pay better attention to our weekend activities nuh, and make sure we’re getting the essential things we need to glorify God in the new workweek. 

Now here’s an interesting quote from my ‘P.S. I LOVE YOU! Poster.’ It says, ‘We can’t do much about our appearance, but we have total control over the kind of person we become.’ 

Now once upon a time the first part of that quote was oh so true, but now with the advances in plastic surgery and otherwise, it is possible for us to change our appearance if we desperately want to. However, the second part of the quote still holds true; we can totally control the kind of person we become. 

The problem here though, is do we want to accept responsibility for the kind of person we are or have become? In this age of irresponsibility, we just like to blame others for everything that happens to us, while accepting little or no responsibility for our own actions. 

But friends, this is not the way our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ operates in His kingdom. In Jesus’ world, everyone is held responsible and accountable for their own behaviour and actions. So if you’re a believer, you had better smarten up and begin taking responsibility, otherwise you’re liable to pay a substantial price for that irresponsibility. 

Anyway, it’s time to turn to our Bit, that most encouraging and reassuring scripture. ‘Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense: he will come and save you.’ 

And that’s no lie my brethren! Our God has sincerely and faithfully promised to save us and to recompense us for our heartaches and sorrows. What a mighty and wonderful God we serve my fellow believers! 

Now let’s hear some scripture that emphasize that promise. First up is this wonderful passage from Zechariah: ‘Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold thy King cometh unto thee: he is just (righteous), and having salvation; lowly (humble), and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.’ (Zech.9:9) 

Oh friends, we all know that wonderful promise was fulfilled when Jesus rode triumphantly through the streets of Jerusalem on a donkey, an animal of peace, on Palm Sunday! 

And all God’s people loudly and gratefully declared: ‘All praise and honour and glory be to our great and awesome God for faithfully keeping His promise of the Messiah’s coming!’ 

Now hear Isaiah at the end of the chapter describing salvation for those who trust in God. ‘For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us.’ (Is.33:22) 

And for sure he will do that my people! In fact he has already done it by sending Jesus to sacrifice His sinless and holy life to pay for our disgusting sins! Oh glory to God for His goodness and LOVING-kindness to the children of men! 

And we’ll go home to these wondrous and reassuring words of the psalmist, Ethan the Ezrahite from Psalm 89 – God’s sure promises to Bruh David. 

‘Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord in the light of thy countenance. In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted. For thou art the glory of their strength: and in thy favour our horn (strength) shall be exalted. For the Lord is our defense; and the Holy One of Israel is our king.’ (Ps.89:15-18) 

Oh my fellow believers in Christ, please, let’s never forget all of that, for our lives are based on it! Now let’s go forth and rejoice today, knowing that we are made strong and free through the righteousness and sacrifice of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Much LOVE!

…if you don’t know Jesus…then your life is being wasted…it’s definitely not being fulfilled as it should be…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 June 2016 1 Corinthians 16:13

1 Corinthians 16:13.    Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you (be brave) like men; be strong. 

Oh friends, let’s begin this Sunday morning’s proceedings with a most appropriate moment of worship, as we sing the old standard, ‘Stand up for Jesus.’ 

Please sing with me: ‘Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross; Lift high His royal banner, it must not suffer loss. From victory unto victory His army shall He lead, Till every foe is vanquished and Christ is Lord indeed. 

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the solemn watchword hear; If while ye sleep He suffers, away with shame and fear; Where’er ye meet with evil, within you or without, Charge for the God of battles, and put the foe to rout. 

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the trumpet call obey; Forth to the mighty conflict, in this His glorious day. Ye that are brave now serve Him against unnumbered foes; Let courage rise with danger, and strength to strength oppose. 

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, stand in His strength alone; The arm of flesh will fail you, ye dare not trust your own. Put on the Gospel armor, each piece put on with prayer; Where duty calls or danger, be never wanting there. 

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, each soldier to his post, Close up the broken column, and shout through all the host: Make good the loss so heavy, in those that still remain, And prove to all around you that death itself is gain. 

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the strife will not be long; This day the noise of battle, the next the victor’s song. To those who vanquish evil a crown of life shall be; They with the King of Glory shall reign eternally.’ 

And my fellow believers do we ever need to stand up for Jesus and all that He stands for in these very trying and difficult times! We’re not only meant to sing these words in church, but even more importantly to put them into action in our daily lives! That’s the only way Jesus’ LOVE Revolution will be victorious! 

And to show how supposed believers are strange and unpredictable, I heard Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) say the other day that one of the many books she’s written is one titled, ‘The LOVE Revolution,’ and would you believe it’s the worst selling of all her books. Hn! 

Why? Not because it was a bad book, because it isn’t, but because believers nowadays just don’t seem to be interested in ‘agape’ LOVE; the kind of LOVE that Jesus espouses, that has us caring about others, even when we are going through rough times. Ah Lord eh my brethren, when we going to wake up, to grow up and learn what real Christianity is eh? 

Anyhow, as I went looking for the lyrics to ‘Stand up for Jesus,’ I discovered some worthwhile information on how it came about. Apparently, the writer, a Presbyterian minister, George Duffield Jr. in 1858 was an associate of the Rev. Dudley Atkins Tyng, who had recently been thrown out of his Episcopalian community for speaking against slavery.  

In March of that year, Tyng preached one of the most successful sermons of modern times to the YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) in the large space known as Jaynes’ Hall. Of the five thousand men that were there at least one thousand, became ‘the slain of the Lord,’ were converted.  His sermon was apparently based on Exodus 10:11 “Go now ye that are men, and serve the Lord.” Pharaoh’s admonishment to Moses. 

The following Wednesday, leaving his study for a moment, he went to the barn floor, where a mule was at work on a horse-power, shelling corn. Patting him on the neck, the sleeve of his silk study gown caught in the cogs of the wheel, and his arm was torn out the roots! 

He died not long after that, but it’s reputed that before he moved on to the other side, he told his father “Tell my brethren of the ministry, wherever you meet them, to stand up for Jesus.”  

At a memorial service for Tyng, Duffield preached a message based on Ephesians 6:14. “Stand firm, wearing the whole armour of God”, and supposedly the hymn was written simply as a concluding exhortation. However, the superintendent of the Christian school printed the hymn on leaflets for the children and one of those copies ended up in a Baptist newspaper…and the rest is history. Stand up for Jesus is now known and LOVED around the world! 

Yuh see mih people how the mysterious hand of our great God works! Tyng gets tossed from his congregation for preaching against the inhumane system of slavery, but ends up saving many souls at the Y. But then through an unfortunate accident, he soon dies, but he’s already spread the seed he was meant to; stand up for Jesus, and his buddy Duffield, writes those verses more or less as a memorial, but the school superintendent prints it on some leaflets for the children, and a Baptist newspaper gets hold of one and publishes it. Only the mighty hand of God could have fashioned such an unlikely story! 

And finally we come to our most appropriate Bit.  ‘Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you (be brave) like men; be strong.’  That’s Bruh Paul’s exhortation to the Corinthians in his first missive. And to sweeten it, he adds: ‘Let all your things be done with charity (LOVE).’ (1 Cor.16:14) 

Ah friends, so much of great importance has been said in those few words of those two verses, that if we follow them, we can never go wrong. And we’ll end with a couple more verses where Bruh Paul is encouraging his readers to stand fast. 

To the Galatians, he declares: ‘Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.’ (Gal.5:1) Wonderful advice my brethren! 

And to the Philippians he solemnly advises: ‘Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.’ (Phil.4:1) 

Oh friends, please let’s go out and do likewise today and everyday nuh, for that is wisdom at its zenith! Much LOVE!

…and having done all…stand…now, more than ever…Christians need to stand up steadfastly for what they claim to believe in…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 May 2016 Matthew 5:16.

 Matthew 5:16.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

And then it was Monday… But fortunately, for many people it’s not a work day. In the U.S. it’s the Memorial Day Holiday weekend, where the brave men and women who died while serving their country in the military forces are remembered and honoured. 

Meanwhile in T& T (Trinidad and Tobago) it’s a holiday celebrating Indian Arrival Day. That was the memorable day of May 30th 1845 when the Fath Al Razak docked in the harbor of Port of Spain with two hundred and something adult Indians; the first set of Indentured (contract) Workers from India. 

Slavery had been abolished and it was difficult to find labourers to work in the sugar cane fields, so the Colonial masters turned to a new form of human abuse and degradation. I don’t know if it was any better than the slavery the African people suffered, because it was still back breaking labour and the Massa still held the upper hand. 

If my history memory serves me right, I believe they were contracted for something like seven years and then were free to do their own thing on a plot of land so generously given to them by the plantation owners. Anyway, that’s how the diverse culture of T&T began, and continued down through the years with all sorts of other races coming to settle there. 

That’s why T&T women are also some of the most beautiful in the world – and that’s no lie – (smile) with the progeny of all the different races mixed together. 

Anyway, last weekend we in Canada were showing off with our Victoria Day holiday, now it’s our turn to face the music this Monday morning and go out to labour. And as always, to help us get up to speed, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with plenty gusto and sincerity. 

As one heavenly choir now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Ah mih people, that wasn’t so hot nuh. Chuh! You could tell that the U.S. and T&T people with their hoarse, raspy voices were already into their cups. Hn! Our choirmaster, Jesus, just shook His head and sighed a knowing sigh. 

And I guess I’ll have to take a little of the blame for that since I forgot to offer Granny’s warning per these long holiday weekends. ‘Sonny Boy, please, ah beg yuh; drunk or sober, please mind yuh business!’ 

And as true believers, we definitely have to remember that, because when we get into the celebrations, especially the fire breathing ‘waters’, we lose all sense of responsibility and give the ever lurking enemy a chance to get into our soul and disrupt it. 

And with a disrupted soul we obviously can’t do what Jesus asks of us in our Bit. ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ 

When our brain is all muddled and befuddled our lights definitely are not shining, neither are we doing good works. And we’re definitely not glorifying our heavenly Father, but rather letting Him down, sullying His holy name. 

So all you friends in the U.S and T&T, please be careful, let’s not spoil the good thing we have going, with our wonderful, ever-faithful, ever-LOVING God. 

Now let’s check out what Bruh Paul had to say to his apostolic delegate Titus on the subject. ‘But speak thou the things which become (are proper for) sound doctrine… In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine showing uncorruptness (integrity), gravity (reverence), sincerity (incorruptibility), Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part (an opponent) may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.‘ (Titus 2:1,7-8) 

Yes friends, it’s important that the enemy doesn’t have anything bad to say about us, as Peter talks about per suffering and reward. ‘Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation (conduct) in Christ. 

For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened (made alive) by the Spirit.’ (1 Pet.3:16-18) 

Ah mih people, a Christian’s life can be indeed be difficult and somewhat unfair at times, but overall, believe me, it is very rewarding. And we’ll close with some explanations from the scholars. ‘3:16. A good conscience refers to a clear conscience, that is, one void of offense.’ 

‘3:17. In the will of God we are sometimes called on to suffer for well-doing as a testimony to others.’ ‘3:18. That he might bring us to God means in order that Christ might bring us to, or give us access to God.’  

Oh my brethren, none of us like pain and suffering, but it is the lot of our sinful nature, and if we sincerely turn to God in our times of distress, He will give us the wherewithal to bear it. Please remember that. Now let’s go out and continue the good fight so that Jesus’ LOVE Revolution can be successful! Much LOVE!

…stand up, stand up for Jesus…the trumpet call obey…till every foe is vanquished…and Christ is Lord indeed…

 

 

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