Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 February 2019 Luke 12:32.

Luke 12:32.   ​Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
 

Well it’s the middle of the workweek and most of us are catching our second wind, but we have to be careful because we seem to be playing some sort of weather musical chairs. Remember just last week it was a winter storm, then rain and flood? Well this morning I came down and looked outside and it was white as snow! (smile) It didn’t seem like a whole lot, but if the place is covered all over, then there’s too much snow in my opinion…as though that counts. 

But then I heard some noise like stones hitting the window panes, only to discover freezing rain was also in action! And that’s possibly the worst combination you can have. So for all of you who have to go out today, please, please be careful because the snow is going to hide the ice and falling is definitely not recommended for this time of year. (smile) 

But what’s certainly recommended is walking closer with Jesus, walking in lockstep with Him! For as the Daily Bread Devotional quote so rightly tells us: ‘There is no need to fear where you are going, when Jesus is going with you!’ Oh Glory Be my people! And that’s the living truth! Once Jesus is alongside us there’s no cause to fear because He is the MAN! He is the ONE in total control of ALL that happens in heaven and down here on earth! 

So why should we fear if we have the Big Boss Man walking alongside us eh; securely holding our hands and whispering sweet encouragement? No reason whatsoever! So why are so many of us supposed Christians still so afraid of even our own shadows eh? We’re afraid to go out and confront the heathen, the devil, and whoever comes against us. We don’t want to make waves because somebody might complain, so we either stay quiet or compromise ourselves with some unworthy actions. 

Now just think of what would have happened to us, what our situation would currently be like if Jesus had been afraid to make waves and just compromised with the heathen? We’d all be still headed for Hades, for hell fire and damnation, instead of having heaven as a wonderful and viable option! So what we going to do today is just refresh our memories with some doh fear talk from the Good Book that we all know and LOVE to spout, but when push comes to shove, we fraid to put into action! 

And we going to start right at the beginning, where the Israelites on their way out of bondage in Egypt came upon the impassable Red Sea with Pharaoh and his Egyptian army hot on their heels. ‘And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation (deliverance) of the Lord, which he will show to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace (be quiet).’ (Ex.14:13-14) 

And we all know what happened on that most momentous day; the Lord parted the Red Sea through Moses, and the people walked across on dry land, then He closed back up the Red Sea and drowned Pharaoh and his whole army. One would have thought that the Israelites would never have forgotten such a day. But unfortunately, as soon as they got over the other side and found a li’l rough going, they began to complain and carry on against Moses and God, and thus spent forty years wandering in the wilderness for their lack of belief and foolish complaining. 

But don’t laugh nuh friends, because we’re doing the same thing today; full well knowing the power of our God, but still being afraid of life! But moving on: Here’s another verse we all know and spout, but don’t truly action. This is from Bruh David’s famous psalm -the Lord is my shepherd.’ Remember these words: ‘Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.’ (Ps.23:4) 

Think on that friends…and at the same time on these other words of Bruh David: ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?’ (Ps.27:1) Good question that my brethren! 

And the Lord told Isaiah when He promised that Israel would be restored to Zion: ‘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.’ (Is.35:4) And we all know that He did just that! 

And how many times did Jesus tell His disciples and those around Him to fear not eh? We’ll just mention this one when He was talking about man’s first priority should be seeking the kingdom of God. ‘Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’  And if we don’t know that by now, then our Christian walk is really in jeopardy. 

Then Bruh Paul had these words for the church at Rome: ‘For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.’ (Rom.8:14-15) So friends, if we are the children of God, then what do we have to fear eh? I’ll let you answer that. (smile) 

And we’ll close with this last and oh so popular verse; words of Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of (share with me) the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God.’ (2 Tim.1:7-8) What more can I say eh friends? Bruh Paul said it all! 

But we can definitely go home declaring (right ho) our Wednesday Wail with sincere hearts and minds, letting the world know our position in Christ! In strong voice now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! 

Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And one of these days, when we’re all in heaven, I’ll remind us of how I kept saying that the future with Jesus would be even greater than we can ask or imagine, and you wouldn’t believe me! (smile) Much LOVE!

…doing anything right isn’t easy…but living for Jesus…oh my,my…it brings out of this world benefits…heavenly rewards…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 January 2019 Matthew 22:37-38.

Matthew 22:37-38.   ​Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.

 

‘Winterlicious winter…lots of cold and snow. Winterlicious winter…why don’t you go…back to where you came from and leave us all alone eh?’ Now that’s a question that many of us in my area will be asking this morning as they struggle through the mucho snow left by the major snowstorm yesterday. 

I remember looking out the window after lunch yesterday and there was just the residue from the day before, but by mid afternoon when I looked out again, it was all white, and the flimsy flakes were falling down from heaven like rain! Hn! Hn! But that’s what winter is all about. 

We thought we were getting a nice, snow free winter, but that was just a fantasy, a figment of our imagination. As the repairman in the ad used to say: ‘You can pay me now, or pay me later.’ It’s the same thing with the snow, we can get it early or late, or even in between, but we will get it. End of story! 

Now having said, that here is something to counteract the negative concerns. It’s a quote from Gordon W. Allport (1867-1967) a pioneering American psychologist and Harvard professor. It’s said that ‘He rejected two of the dominant schools of thought in psychology at the time, psychoanalysis and behaviorism, in favor of his own approach that stressed the importance of individual differences and situational variables.’ 

Consequently, he was able to come up with this gem: ‘LOVE received and LOVE given comprise the best form of therapy.’ Mama Mia! What awesome words of wisdom! Friends, there’s nothing better in this land of the living than giving and receiving LOVE! That’s because it’s the greatest emotion in the world, the supreme attribute of our great God, and the one that caused Him to send His Son to die on the cross for us at Calvary to pay our sin debt in full! Glory Be! 

So how could it be anything but great eh, since its effects are ever so wonderful? I know many of us, including believers, shrug off or shirk away from LOVE because we’re afraid of the hurt it can bring and the vulnerability that it imposes on our souls. But just think for a moment, if our heavenly Father had thought about the hurt it would bring Him, do you think He would have sent His Son to die for a bunch of miserable, ungrateful sinners? Definitely not! 

And think again, if Jesus had considered the severe pain and vulnerability His LOVE for the Father and us would bring Him, He would have willingly gone to the cross on our behalf? No way Jose! That’s why, as believers in and followers of Jesus, we ought to embrace that wonderful attribute of LOVE as our watchword and guiding light! 

Remember Jesus’ answer to the hypocrite Pharisee lawyer who tried to trick Him by asking: ‘Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.’ (Matt.22:36-38)

Yes friends, LOVE for God should be…no not should be, but IS our number One priority in this fallen world! And it’s not like the Pharisee didn’t know that, because all Jesus was doing there was quoting from the Old Testament, Deuteronomy 6:5. The foolish Pharisee even got more than he bargained for, because Jesus continued: ‘And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thy self. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:39-40) 

Oh my people, my people, from day one, when the Lord made us, it was all about LOVE! And when He sent Jesus to save us, it was still all about LOVE! And when Jesus comes a second time, to take us home to heaven with Him, it will still be all about LOVE! Some of us claim to abide by the first commandment, LOVE for God, but can’t get our heads around the second; LOVING our neighbours as ourselves. 

But friends, we can’t have one without the other. For as John so rightly says: ‘If a man say, I LOVE God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that LOVETH not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he LOVE God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who LOVETH God LOVE his brother also.’ (1 John 4:20-21) 

That’s as plain as night and day my brethren! Yet we foolishly try to have one without the other. Perhaps it’s because we DON’T LOVE OURSELVES, that we can’t LOVE our brothers! That’s something for us to check up on as soon as possible, because that might just be what’s hindering our LOVE walk. 

Oh friends, Jesus’ teaching was ALL based on LOVE and so should our lives ALL be based on it. Listen to this heart-opening directive as He wound down His earthly ministry. ‘A new commandment I give unto you. That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:34-35) 

Yuh see that friends, the distinctive recognition of our discipleship on Christ’s behalf must be that mankind sees our LOVE for each other! And I won’t even get into a discussion on whether we’re showing that distinctive difference, because we all know that we’re not showing it as much as we ought to. But yuh know what friends, come the judgement day, we’ll each have to answer as to why we did not keep that commandment. So nuff said! 

Let’s go home now declaring (got it right) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are – even though we’re not as good as we ought to be. (smile) As one voice, in all sincerity and truth: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

And if we are sincere about that, then let’s indeed go out and spread the friendship and LOVE of Jesus with the world! Much LOVE!

…it’s so sad…that the evil emotion of hate…is so much easier to come by in this world…than the godly attribute of…LOVE…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 January 2019 Luke 18:1.

Luke 18:1.   ​And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray and not faint (lose heart).

 

And then it was Wednesday, the middle of the work week…and we did get some of the promised snow, not in the afternoon though, but sometime during the early morning hours, and not as much as expected. However, if you have to venture out there, please be careful, because snow is snow; slippery and dangerous, be it plentiful or li’l bit. (smile) But as always, with Jesus riding shotgun with us, there’s not much to worry about! Praise His holy name! 

And looking through the many bits of paper I have next to the computer for something to write about, I came upon this acronym; ‘PUSH!’ And what dies it mean? Simply, PRAY until something happens!’ Yeh friends, we ought to just keep on praying, until we see some results of our prayers, because God doesn’t always say, NO, but sometimes, GO SLOW, or NOT RIGHT NOW! 

So it’s always best to keep on keeping on until you get a definitive answer…and believe me, when the Lord is ready, He will give you one. (smile) And unfortunately, for whatever reason, in these wicked and sinful times, even true and strong believers don’t pray as much as they ought. 

But please remember Jesus’ admonition: ‘And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray and not faint (lose heart).’ And that parable was about the persistent widow who refused to go unjustified by the wicked judge. So too should we pursue justice and pray with all our hearts, minds and souls! 

As the scholars explain, re our Bit: ‘18:1. To faint means “to lose heart.”  Precisely when tempted to give up, men ought to be strong in their resolve to pray.’ And sadly, in this mish mash, judgemental, condemning society, it’s oh so easy to lose heart. But we have to be strong friends, and just pursue our dreams and hopes through prayer. 

And there are so many scriptures that advise and encourage and admonish us to keep on praying, especially since it’s God’s way of communicating with us, and it’s the most powerful element on earth! So let’s look at a few of them nuh, and use them to help us strengthen our resolve to keep on praying. 

And what better verse to begin with than one of my favourites, this one from Mark: ‘And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place, and there prayed.’ (Mark 1:35) Mama Mia! 

Oh friends, that scripture is talking about Jesus’ rising early every day to go out and pray. What a wonderful example He is! He doesn’t just tell us to do things, but leads the way Himself. Before Jesus did anything, He always sought the Father’s wisdom through prayer. And as I keep saying, if the Son of God needed to pray while down here on earth, why should we miserable sinners be any different eh? 

And then we have this wonderful statement from Bruh David: ‘For (in return for) my LOVE they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer.’ (Psalm 109:4) Yeh friends, it’s often best to pray when our enemies come against us, and remember Jesus said we ought also to pray for them. Meanwhile Cousin Sol gets right to the point, no beating around the bush: ‘If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.’ (Prov.24:10) 

No joking friends! As the scholars say: ‘24:10. Strength in the face of adversity is the true test of endurance.’ And one of the reasons why our world is in such sad shape is simply because we supposed believers don’t have enough belly and backbone to stand up to the evil forces of the world! It’s sad but true! We’re too scared of what others might say or do, therefore we just fade off into the sunset and let the wicked do as they please. 

I’m sure it breaks Jesus’ heart every time one of His supposed followers behaves thus. And if we’re believers, then in the words of Bruh Paul to the Corinthians: ‘Therefore, seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not (lose heart).’ (2 Cor.4:1) Oh my people, we have received the same mercy that Bruh Paul did, therefore, we ought also not to faint, not to lose heart! Friends, the worst thing we can ever do as a believer is to give up, to faint, to lose heart! Why? Because that attitude doesn’t exist in Jesus’ playbook! 

And as believers, it should not exist in ours either! And one of the ways we can keep it at bay is by listening and following this solid and oh so wise advice from Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.’ (1 Tim.2:8) And though Bruh Paul was there speaking about males only, expecting females to pray silently, in these modern times, it is extremely necessary that both men and women pray, every where; be it loudly or silently! 

And this last scripture is one we all know and quote, but don’t put it into proper action. ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.’ (Phil.4:6) Please remember that my people; we don’t only go to God to ask and ask for what we want, but we must also give thanks for what we already have, and whatever we’re asking for, believing and receiving it by faith, and not by sight. 

‘And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:7) What more can I say eh friends? I can only present the evidence, you have to make the individual decisions! (smile) Now let’s go home declaring (right ho) our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our wonderful position in Christ Jesus! 

All together now, in loud voice, with sincere hearts and strong sense of purpose: ‘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 if you truly believe, then you know that that future will be even brighter and more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…when one truly knows Jesus…you can’t help but LOVE Him…with all your heart, mind, body and soul…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 January 2019 Luke 11:13.

Luke 11:13.   ​If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
 

Ah Friends, it’s still white and somewhat beautiful, but possibly even more dangerous, deceptive and slippery because it’s also deeper! Yeh, not a single snowplough nor sand truck has come by to work on my neighbourhood since the first snowfall on Friday, and it’s been snowing some everyday since! I wonder where the people whom we paid so much money a couple months ago to clean our drive way are eh? 

And I’m sure the crooked councilors on the City Council are soon going to write me raising my property taxes, citing the increased cost of snow removal, when they’re removing less and less snow every year! Chuh! And the worst part of it all is that I’d planned to resume driving today, and celebrating by driving to church, planning to boast about how I had the best shotgun rider, Jesus Christ riding shotgun with me! (smile) 

But the powers that be seem to have had other ideas. I don’t even know how deep the snow is in my driveway, and there aren’t even any tire tracks in the lane. Added to that, I’ve never driven this car in so much snow yet, because I only got it in the summer, so I don’t know exactly how it will react. 

And I definitely don’t want to go out there and screw up my shoulder fighting with the steering and whatever else might happen. I even tried to contact my pastor to find out what was happening but could not get him either. So I decided to err on the path of caution, and stay home. So having said all of that to say nothing, (smile) let’s have church! 

And today we’re going to be opening the celebrations with those wonderful words of John Newton that we all know and LOVE so much, ‘Amazing Grace.’ And as the GodTube website tells us: ‘This song isn’t a song of theology—it’s John Newton’s own heartfelt expression of gratitude to God, who helped him turn from his profane and wicked life and eventually fight against the ills he practiced. Later in life, Newton became a supporter and inspiration to William Wilberforce who lead the fight to pass the British Slave Trade Act in 1807, which abolished the slave trade in that empire.’ 

Ah my people, our great God works in such wonderful and miraculous ways, that if He could save a die-hard heathen like Newton, He can save any of us. So let’s sing those awesome words with true heartfelt gratitude, giving all praise and thanks to a most merciful and gracious God. 

‘Amazing grace! How sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found; Was blind, but now I see. Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come; ’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home. The Lord has promised good to me, His Word my hope secures; He will my Shield and Portion be, As long as life endures. 

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail, And mortal life shall cease, I shall possess, within the veil, A life of joy and peace. The earth shall soon dissolve like snow, The sun forbear to shine; But God, who called me here below, Will be forever mine. When we’ve been there ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun, We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise Than when we’d first begun.’ 

Ah mih breddren, can you imagine those words being written by a drunken, profligate sailor involved in the slave trade eh? But the story goes that on March 21, 1748, Newton’s ship was being battered by a major storm and he was lashed to the helm to try and keep the ship on course. He was there from one o’clock till midnight. 

That’s plenty time to think when one’s life seems to be slipping away. And apparently it was during that time the Lord knocked loudly on the door of his heart, and he never forgot it, writing:  “On that day the Lord sent from on high and delivered me out of deep waters.” 

How many of us has God delivered out of deep waters eh my people, and not necessarily deep waters literally, but figuratively? Oh people, I am one of those He delivered out of deep waters literally on Lake Ontario many years ago, and whenever I remember that traumatic experience I surely give Him thanks and praise. 

And, “Many years later, as an old man, Newton wrote in his diary of March 21, 1805: “Not well able to write; but I endeavor to observe the return of this day with humiliation, prayer, and praise.” Only God’s amazing grace could and would take a rude, profane, slave-trading sailor and transform him into a child of God. Newton never ceased to stand in awe of God’s work in his life.” 

And neither should we, my believing brethren. It’s also been said that Newton, though he realized the folly of his life, still felt that he was beyond saving, even if the Good Book was true; that is until he read the reassuring words of Jesus in our Bit. ‘If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?’  

Now that’s a very good question my brethren! One we should truly ponder ourselves, like Newton apparently did. And while doing that, we should also consider these most appropriate verses from James. ‘Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness (variation), neither shadow of turning. Of his own will he begat us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.’ (James 1:17-18) 

Yeh friends, God is the Creator of Everything, and Giver of ALL good things! He’s ONLY and ALWAYS GOOD! He ‘s immutable, DOESN’T change! And all those who have been redeemed are His firstfruits; the first step in His redemption plan for ALL creation! 

So let’s consider all of that today nuh, and hope and pray and ask Him to help us come up higher in our faith walk and our undying LOVE for Him! That’s all we can do as mere mortals. But the right motives of our hearts do make a big difference with our heavenly Father! Much LOVE!

…the GRACE of God…the most powerful MOVER and SHAKER in His universe… 

P.S. The quotes above come from the GodTube website and John Newton Discovered Amazing Grace @Christianity.com. 

P.P.S. And would you believe, just as I’m about to send out the Bit, I hear them cleaning my drive way! Steups! Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 January 2019 James 4:7.

James 4:7.   ​Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
 

Beautiful…white and beautiful…but oh so dangerous…slippery like and eel…and treacherous and deceptive like the serpent who personifies our enemy Satan! That’s the snow covering our neighbourhood this Friday morning! (smile) And sadly, we in the northern climes are bracing ourselves for even more of the white stuff because we’ve been promised a major snowstorm this weekend. 

Let’s hope the duchess and I just have to stay inside and look at it and admire its beauty, but don’t have to venture forth in it, cause remember we’re not as mobile and steady as we once were, we’re not spring chickens any longer…but contrary to popular opinion we’re NOT old, just advanced in years! (smile) So for all of you in the wintry climes, remember, as the man says, if you don’t HAVE to go out, then DON’T go out! 

Now let’s hear what the workingman has to say for himself this winter’s morn. And I like how he’s ever so enthusiastic, regardless of the circumstances: ‘TGIF! Thank God for Friday yes! The weekend, the weekend is here, which means is time to party! And though they calling for plenty snow, yuh think a li’l thing like snow going to stop me from enjoying mih li’l two days off from the slave master work? 

No way Jose! My time is my time, my time to enjoy whatever catches mih fancy! And if ah want to play in the snow, I’ll play in the snow. But if I just want to cuddle up in front of a roaring fire and sip something strong and warm, then that’s what I’ll do! It’s freedom time, come the weekend! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes in this ungodly capitalist society!’ 

Now there’s a wonderful idea for this snowy weekend; cuddle up in front of a roaring fire with a hot toddy and just commune with whoever you’re with and with God! Let the world go by however it wants to, since there’s nothing you can do about it. Just luxuriate in the warmth of your home and the comforting LOVE of your wonderful God! 

And all of God’s children declared (right ho) a loud and proud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord! Praise Him and give Him much thanks for His undeserving goodness and mercy to us!’ Yeh friends, we must NEVER forget the goodness of God in our lives, for it’s the ONLY thing that keeps us from an even more miserable existence. 

Now let’s respond to the workingman’s exuberance with our more controlled Friday Chant. Chanting in unison: ‘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 mih people, it’s not as exuberant and fun LOVING as the workingman’s song, but it suits our purposes very well, reminding us of our purpose down here on earth, to work for Jesus, and helping us to stay out of the clutches of the ever-hovering enemy. And as true believers, we like it! Glory be! Anything that keeps us out of Satan’s evil grasp is certainly welcome! 

That’s why friends, we have to pay particular attention to James’ warning: ‘Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.’  Yes my brethren, there are two things we need to do to stay out of the enemy’s clutches. The first is submit ourselves to God; then actively resist Satan’s advances! And we know that in this world he’s always lurking around offering lust and pride and other immoral and ungodly ways of life. 

But as James continues: ‘Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded. Be afflicted (lament), and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness (gloom). Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.’ (James 4:8-10) 

And the scholars offer this explanation re the above verses: ‘4:7-10. Therefore: The exhortations that follow logically result from the conditions in verses 1-6 (worldliness and pride). Resist the devil: Do not submit to, fear, or flee from Satan, but stand against him (1 Pet.5:8-10). Satan cannot lead into sin against one’s will. Draw nigh: God will not be unmoved; His welcoming response is always near (cf. Deut. 4:7; Lam.3: 57; Luke 15:20). Hands and hearts: The cleansing of one’s life must involve both outward deeds and inner thoughts (cf. Ps.24:3-4).’ 

Oh friends, please check out those scriptures, for they all show God’s welcoming hand to all who turn to Him. And we’ll close with these inspiring, reassuring and warning words from Peter on the subject. (smile) ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 

Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world. 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. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen!’ (1 Pet.5: 6-11) 

Oh my people, we could not ask for more fervent and reassuring scripture this cold, snowy Friday January morning! So please let’s take it to heart and follow it nuh! That’s wisdom of enormous proportions! Much LOVE!

…Christianity 101…submitting to God…resisting Satan… 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 December 2018 Lamentations 3:22.

Lamentations 3:22.   It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
 
Aye mih people, it’s a brand new day with new mercies, LOVE, forgiveness, blessings and all the other good things that our magnanimous and ever-LOVING God showers down on us each and every single day! Glory be! Give Him much thanks and praise for His enduring goodness and LOVING-kindness to the undeserving children of men! Yes friends, is our God ever good to us! 

And would you believe that with only four days – not four shopping days (smile) to Christmas that we have rain in our area and not the crazy white stuff called snow! I’m surely grateful for that, although the skiers and other snow people won’t be thrilled.

Sorry people, but the Controller of the universe apparently feels for rain right now, not snow, and consequently there’s nothing we can do about it! But have no fear, we will get our fair share of the white stuff…in God’s time, that is! 

And the workingman has not forgotten us in these most celebratory times. Hear him sing his song: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday – the weekend! And only four days till Christmas too! Oh how we going to make merry and celebrate Christmas…but I already doing that yes!

I eating mih home made bread with ham flavoured with chow chow an’ pepper sauce! Brother does that ever taste good! Nice heavy bread with substance, not them light fluffy chupidness they sell in the bakery an’ call them bread! 

Then ah washing it down with sweet sorrel or ginger beer…an’ black cake and ice cream for dessert. Yuh smell how the alco strong in the cake? If yuh eat too much it soon black yuh up yes! (smile) And all we doing is going round to other people’s houses, singing carols and sweet parang music, an’ eating and drinking up all their Christmas goodies! Oh Christmas is such a wonderful time! Thank God for Fridays, weekends and Christmas oui!’ 

Yeh friends, Christmas is indeed a wonderful time, and all the celebrating is good, but it should not be paramount in our lives. The birth of our Lord and Saviour is what should hold first place in our lives this Christmas season, for it’s the very reason for the season! Without the birth of Christ, there’d be no Christmas! 

So why have we allowed that fact to be obscured by the foolishness of the man made festivities eh, where shopping and other bacchanalian activities seem to be honoured above the birth of our Saviour? Yuh can’t even say ‘Merry Christmas’ to some people! All they want to hear is the foolishness bout ‘Happy Holidays!’ What holiday is it eh? CHRISTMAS! So say it loud and proud: ‘MERRY CHRISTMAS!’ 

And forget the nonsensical watering down of the time when our God gave us His greatest gift ever: that of the birth of His only Son Jesus Christ, so that He would grow and show us the Father, and eventually die on the cross at Calvary to atone for our heinous and abominable sins! Brother! How can we not celebrate and give oodles of sincere thanks for such wonderful occurrences eh? 

My Christian brethren, please let’s not fall into the enemy’s trap of considering Christmas as more of a worldly time than it is eh. It’s ALL ABOUT CHRIST! So please let’s keep the CHRIST in CHRISTMAS! Keep it first place, like we ought to keep God first place in our overall lives! End of sermon! (smile) 

And I’ve talked so much about keeping Christ in Christmas that I almost forgot about our Friday Chant. Hn! So please let’s chant it up now with the same enthusiasm that the workingman placed in his song. Altogether 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 friends, it’s not as worldly as the workingman’s song, but it serves our purposes rather admirably; keeping us away from the excesses of the world, and more in line with the straight and narrow path that’s Christ desire for His people. That finally brings us to our Bit; a most wonderful piece of encouraging and reassuring scripture: ‘It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.’ 

And is that the gospel truth or what my faithful brethren! If it wasn’t for the Lord’s compassionate heart and intense care for us, we’d be long burnt up like the noonday sun burns up the dry grass! That’s why we need to take our Christian faith more seriously than many of us are doing. But hear how poor Jeremiah continues as he laments over his trials and tribulations nuh. 

‘They (the Lord’s mercies) are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.’ (Lam.3:23-26) 

Oh my people, those are indeed words of eternal wisdom! If we sincerely believe in God, then we have to HOPE and WAIT for His timing and dispensation! Nothing else makes any sense. And if you don’t believe me, then listen to the scholars’ explanation of that last section. ‘3:26. Jeremiah’s observation resembles those of other saints who have expressed great grief of soul (Hab. 2:20; 3:17-19; cf. Job 40:3-5; Ps.37:7; 73:23-27; Is.26:3; 2 Cor.1:7; 2 Thess.3:5).’ 

Yuh see friends, even though the great saints suffered trials and tribulations, and more than most of us do nowadays too, they all felt the assurance of hoping in and waiting for God. And I just looked up all those scriptures the scholars noted, and they are indeed interesting and inspiring stuff. So please look them up yourselves so that you too can be enthused and reassured! That’s the only sensible way to live this life my people! Much LOVE!

…ONLY because of Christ’s birth…is there Christmas…let’s remember that…and act accordingly…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 December 2018 Luke 1:27.

Luke 1:27.   To a virgin espoused (engaged, betrothed) to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
 

Aye friends, is Thursday…and we still alive and kicking! Thanks and glory be to our wonderful heavenly Father for that energizing gift of life. Life might be a tad on the rough side, but our God is good, so we don’t have anything to worry about. Bless His Holy Name! 

And outside is white; a decent amount of snow fell during the night. It wasn’t there when I went to bed, at some early hour (smile) but I looked outside around four a.m. and there it was, covering everything, blanketing it all white. And I said yes, today is the perfect day for that poem! 

Hn! I’m talking about one I recently read on the wall of my young daughter’s room, something she must have written ages ago when she toyed with the idea of becoming a writer. There is no title attached to the poem, but I’m naming it ‘The Alluring Beauty of Snow.’ Hope that title satisfies you daughter? (smile) 

Now please read with me, ‘The Alluring Beauty of Snow,’ by Lisa O’Brien. ‘I watched the snow drift lazily down from the overcast sky. I marvelled at the breathtaking beauty of the picture being painted right before my eyes: Snowflakes gently caressed the barren branches of the trees, leaving them awash in a dazzling whiteness. Virgin snow carpeted the streets and rooftops…

And if I didn’t know better, I would have sworn that thousands of tiny little diamonds winked out at me that early December morn… like a buried treasure…a fantasy that wasn’t real… that was intangible as the wispy cotton of the clouds! And then I waited…waited with a breathless yet uneasy sense of anticipation, for something to come along and mar this beautiful scene of serenity and perfection.’ 

Yeah mih young D! That was exactly how it looked out there this early December morn! But sadly, as always, mankind eventually comes along and dirties everything he touches. And the snow on the ground is no longer virginal, but has been raped by the cars and the feet and the bikes we use to get us around in this fallen world. 

And for those of you who have never seen virgin snow covering everything in a dim, white darkness, (smile) it does look really beautiful. But trudging and driving through it is a horse of an entirely different colour. But enough about snow, it’s the Christmas season, so let’s deal with the real reason for the season; Jesus! 

Wow friends, what a mighty name that is! Wherever it’s spoken it causes tongues to wag, either in joy, or displeasure. But the name of Jesus is never mouthed without discussion, even to the point of coming to blows. Isn’t that strange, when He is the Prince of Peace? That just goes to show the power that’s inherent in the name! 

Now let’s have a glimpse of how the whole thing began nuh. The Good Book tells us: ‘And in the sixth month (of Elizabeth’s pregnancy; John the Baptist’s mother) the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused (engaged, betrothed) to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.

And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail (Rejoice), thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.’ (Luke 1:26-28) 

Ah friends, sometimes the way our God introduces Himself and His desires can be truly heart stopping. If our hearts aren’t strong we can certainly go under. Just imagine this teenaged Jewish girl nuh, sitting quietly in her house one afternoon and all of a sudden this angel shows up in all His glory and greets her in such a gracious manner. How would you react eh? It would obviously be a rather perplexing situation to us mere mortals! 

But the Good Book continues: ‘And when she (Mary) saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast (considered) in her mind what manner of salutation (greeting) this should be.’ (Luke 1:29)

But our God is so wonderful that whenever He comes a calling with a task, He never leaves us without a decent explanation…according to His standards that is. (smile) We might however not be satisfied with His explanation, because He always leaves it somewhat open-ended, leaving room for our faith to step up and fill the gap. 

‘And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS (Yahweh is Salvation). He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest (Most High): and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.’ (Luke 1:30-33) 

Mama Yo mih breddren! Can you imagine Mary’s consternation when Gabriel lays all that heavy stuff on her? She’s already engaged, but then she shall have a son, apparently out of wedlock. Can you imagine what her small, closed knit, hypocritical society will do to her? She would be the absolute scorn of the whole town! And poor Joseph would be the laughingstock! 

But friends, our God does not put us in situations we, or He can’t handle. Please remember these immortal words of Bruh Paul on the Lord’s behalf, and let our faith be strong and steadfast in whatever He asks us to do. ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.’ (Rom.8:28) 

Yeh friends, if God calls us and we sincerely acknowledge that calling with genuine LOVE for Him, then He will eventually work it all out for our good. That’s His promise! And our ever-faithful God NEVER reneges on a promise! So we can afford to stand strong in any circumstance whatsoever! 

Now let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings, goodness and mercy that the Lord has bestowed on those who LOVE Him and willingly do His work!

In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life!

I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And His raison d’etre (purpose) for granting us so many wonderful blessings, is for us to go out and share them with the less fortunate. So, especially at this Christmas time, when there are so many poor and lonely folks out there, let’s share generously with them nuh, so that they too can enjoy the season of Christ’s birth; God’s greatest gift to man! Much LOVE!

…sharing with others…is Christ-like…and what Christianity is truly all about…

 

 

 

 

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