Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 December 2019 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.    ​Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus.
 

Well we didn’t get it for Christmas day, but it looks like we getting it for New Year’s! We talking about that beautiful looking but ever dangerous thing called snow. (smile) Yes, outside is covered in white, not deep, but still covered, and who knows we might get some more before the day is done. And it is indeed one of the biggest days in our social calendar: New Year’s Eve, or as we call it down south, Old Year’s Night! Yeh, the partying will be over the top, but please my fellow believers, let’s keep Granny’s warning in the back of our minds nuh. ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, ah begging yuh, please mind yuh business!’ 

Oh my fellow believers, if we ever need that warning, it’s certainly on this New Year’s Eve night, when even those without hair let it down, (smile) when the waters flow like a river in flood, yeh, the alkie abuse is tremendous and the bacchanal stupendous! It’s a night that the ole fool Satan just has a continual grin on his ugly face and licks his chops ever so sweetly, because there’s so much fodder out there for his evil deeds. But remember, we going to party, party hearty too, but not give him any opportunity whatsoever to get into our business. 

And, as seems to have recently become the norm, the duchess and I will be partying right here in we yard! What a way life changes eh! As the ole people would say, after one time is certainly two yes! I remember the days when every New Year’s Eve night we’d be on the road, come rain or snow, going to some rollicking party. But over the last few years we’ve come to feel like homebodies; the parties too far away…and there’s too much snow to drive in…and yuh have to pay so much close attention to how much yuh drink, because Babylon always on the lookout for impaired drivers. 

The bother has become too much. So we just stay at home and have our own private party! (smile) Don’t have to worry about any of those outside influences. And as for resolutions… Chuh! I don’t know why we even bother to make them nuh, because in a week or two, we’re right back to our old selves. Ah friends, there’s only ONE New Year’s resolution that we really need to make yes; that of following Christ more closely in the upcoming year of 2020! And once we do that, everything else will be taken care of. The Lord in His infinite wisdom will, as we say but don’t truly believe, work everything out for the good of those who LOVE Him and want to do His will. (Rom. 8:28) 

Yes, if your heart and soul are set on Jesus, then you will exercise and eat properly and thus lose the weight you need to lose. Your financial arrangements and other glaring needs will be looked after because God has promised to satisfy all our needs according to His riches in glory through Christ Jesus! (Phil. 4:19) And let’s remember to follow these few, but ever so important guidelines for Christian living nuh, as penned by Bruh Paul to the Thessalonians: ‘See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves (believers), and to all men. Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus.’ (1 Thess. 5:15-18). 

Oh my people, those are not difficult things to do, if Christ truly dwells within us. But so many of us follow the dictates of the world so much, that when we hear those things they seem to be oh so difficult and life changing. Yes, they are life-changing, but not difficult, if you truly believe. So for this upcoming year of 2020, let’s promise ourselves…and Jesus too, to follow Him much more closely than we’ve done this past year of 2019. And let’s put some sincere effort into it nuh, not just a lot of talk, for the world is looking towards us to be its salt and light in the pervasive darkness and tastelessness that currently has it in grip. End of sermon! (smile) 

Now let’s end the year on a most uplifting and appropriate note with some refreshing and energizing words from Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller). These are his last thoughts and words for the end of the year, from his Hour of Power Devotional, which he’s titled: ‘To Feel the Presence of God.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘As a great wave rises from the deep to wash away the scratches on the sand, come, O God, to dissolve forever in your sea of peace my cares, my fears, my worries, and my anxieties. As the blessed blackness of a quiet night comes to blanket from my sight the cluttered collection of billboards, buildings and power poles until my eyes see only bright stars, so come, O God, and blot out this day’s dreary and weary accumulation of daily irritations, hurts. dents, and disappointments until I see only your goodness shining in the shadows. 

As an explosion of happy sunshine brings a joyful glow to dark corners, so come, O God, and explode your bright joy into the gloomy corners of my mind. As a great victorious general awakens his battalions with a trumpet blast, and rallies his retreating army with renewing power, so come, O Lord, and awaken me to “rise up, be done with lesser things, to give heart, soul, mind, and strength to serve the King of Kings.” As the spring rain gently, patiently, irresistibly falls to soften the hard crust of frozen ground until it can receive fruit-producing seed, so, O God, may showers of your LOVE soak in to soften the cold corners of my heart, allowing creative new life to break forth. 

As a happy fountain leaps jubilantly and tumbles joyfully, come, O Holy Spirit, to transform my melancholy mood until my heart erupts in joy and happiness. O Father, make my life a melody like that of a great wave, a calm night, a morning sun, a spring rain, a happy fountain! Amen.’ 

Yes friends, let’s see if we can’t end this year and begin the next one on those melodious notes nuh, evermore believing and applying our Tuesday Mantra to the articles of our faith. ‘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!’ Now let’s go out and do just that nuh! Much LOVE!

…let’s allow our victorious General…Jesus…to awaken us this coming year…with a great trumpet blast…of His eternal LOVE… 

P.S. Yes, it’s somewhat long and late, but ever so uplifting and true! (smile) Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 December 2019​ Luke 4:21.

Luke 4:21.    ​This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears (hearing).
 

Ah mih people, I don’t know where or how the weather people come up with their info nuh! Remember yesterday I said it was supposed to be rain with some ice pellets later in the day? Well yuh better believe that by the time I came upstairs from writing the Bit, outside was white, and it wasn’t no ice pellets nuh, but heavily falling snow, and by the evening hours it had turned back to rain again. Chuh! Yuh can’t trust nobody nowadays nuh! No wonder the man calls it all ‘fake news.’ (smile) 

What a good thing we have Jesus yes my people, else I don’t know what we’d do. He’s the Only One who keeps His promises, the Only One faithful to His word these days. And that’s the very reason we’re in His sanctuary today; to give Him thanks and praise for His faithfulness, for His goodness and mercy towards the undeserving children of men.

And as we get into the festive season of Christmas, where we celebrate His earthly birth, His first coming as a babe in swaddling clothes, in the appearance of a man, through His incarnate Birth, let’s remember that that occasion was one of the most  momentous in man’s history, the greatest gift given to mankind after the Lord breathed His breath of life into our mortal souls. 

So let’s celebrate those facts now by opening the proceedings with one of our favourite songs for this special season, titled ‘O Come All Ye Faithful.’ Now it’s an adaptation of the Latin hymn ‘Adeste Fidelis’ meaning ‘Come you faithful ones.’ But there’s no agreement as to who wrote the English version.

However as one web site describes it. ‘This popular Christmas Hymn harkens to the biblical story of the birth of Christ. It is considered a reference to the shepherds, after hearing the angels singing, coming to Bethlehem to adore their new-born savior. Today this hymn signifies and celebrates our coming together in worship to adore the LOVING blessing of Jesus, as He sacrificed Himself for our salvation.’ Wow! It couldn’t be said any better!’ 

So let’s do just that nuh; worship together in song, as we prepare to welcome the birth of our saviour. All together in strong voice, sweet harmony and sincere hearts: ‘O come, all ye faithful, Joyful and triumphant, O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem. Come and behold Him, Born the King of Angels! (Chorus: O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.) God of God, light of light, Lo, he abhors not the Virgin’s womb; True God, begotten, not created: (Chorus)

O Sing, choirs of angels; sing in exultation, O sing, all ye citizens of heav’n above. Give to our Father, Glory in the highest! (Chorus) Yea, Lord, we greet Thee, Born this happy morning; Jesus, to Thee be the glory giv’n; Word of the Father, Now in the flesh appearing, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.’ 

Beautiful friends, just beautiful! True and praise worthy sentiments sung in sincere and praise worthy fashion! And an interesting thought just occurred to me: Does Jesus remember every year at Christmas, the time He came to earth, and does He celebrate His earthly birthday every year in heaven like we do on earth? And the same questions can be asked for such momentous occasions in His earthly life like Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday? Does He sit alone, somewhere quiet and ruminate on those oh so important occasions?

Or does He even sit with the Father, who apologizes for having to put Him through the ringer, abuse and forsake Him, because there was absolutely no other way to pay for the abominable sins of mankind? And I’m sure Jesus doesn’t hold it against the Father, but understands the bind that the Father had found Himself in, because that’s the understanding kind of person He is. (smile) Oh friends, it’s impossible not to LOVE Jesus when you truly know Him yes; know His warmth and compassion and care for us lost sheep. And I’m chuckling here. Look how all yuh have me gone off on a tangent here eh, instead of sticking to the script! 

And what is the script you ask? Well, though we might sing about Jesus, it all has to do with the glory of God. That’s what everything is about. As Bruh David said in his psalm – the King of glory: ‘Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.’ (Ps.24:7-8) Yes friends, that’s the King of glory – the Lord God Almighty! And Isaiah puts it thus when he speaks of the servant (Jesus) coming to glorify the Lord. 

‘Thus saith God the Lord, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein. I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of (to) the people, for a light of the Gentiles; To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house. I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. Behold the former things have come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.’ (Is.42:5-9) 

Ah my people, that was God’s promise of His Messiah – a covenant for the Jews, and a light to the Gentiles! And we all know it came to pass in the coming of Jesus. And Luke tells of the prophet Simeon who had been promised life until he saw the Lord’s Christ. When Jesus was presented at the temple, Simeon, through the awesome power of the Holy Spirit knew who he was, took him in his arms and blessed God, and repeated the words of Isaiah: ‘A light to lighten (to bring revelation to) the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.’ (Luke 2:32). 

And when Jesus taught in His hometown of Nazareth, He read Isaiah’s prophecy and promise from Chapter 49, verses 6-9, (Luke 4:18-19) basically the same ones in Chapter 42 above, foretelling the Messiah’s coming. Then He told them: ‘This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears (hearing).’ And when we hear it two thousand years later my people, it’s still blessing us! So let’s be thankful and give God all the glory nuh, for that’s how it ought to be. Much LOVE!

…for of him (God)…and through him…and to him…are ALL things…to whom be glory for ever…Amen… (Rom. 11:36)

 

 


Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 December 2019 Psalm 14:1.

Psalm 14:1.    ​The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable iniquity (works): there is none that doeth good.
 

Oh my people, let me begin by apologizing for the lateness of the Bit. But I was really abed rather late this morning and thus my rising was also rather late. The devil got in my spirit! Chuh! I looked at the clock and thought I saw eight, but it was really nine. (smile) And to upset the apple cart even further, remember yesterday I spoke about missing seeing the snow on the housetops? Well who says there isn’t a dusting of snow on the housetops and the ground this Wednesday morning eh! 

As the ole people would warn, be careful what you wish for, because you might just get it, but then realize it’s not what you really wanted. And I guess that can be a warning for many of us this Christmas season, where we tend to desire so much stuff, half of which we don’t really need, but the season just seems to spawn our feelings of want and greed. Remember too, the old Jamaican saying: ‘wanty wanty nuh get it.’ (smile) I guess the ole fella is in an ole people frame of mind this morning. (smile) 

And keeping all that stuff in mind, the Lord has led me to this rather potent scripture for us to check out this morning; something dealing with the foolishness of men. Oh my people, has mankind ever gotten unbelievably foolish in these trying times! It seems like the more worldly knowledge he acquires, the more foolish he becomes. Listen to Bruh David’s opening statement in his contemplation on the subject. ‘The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable iniquity (works): there is none that doeth good.’ 

And if Bruh David thought that things were bad in his time, he should see them now. He would hold his head and bawl like crazy, such is the ungodliness and sinfulness of man. As I said earlier, it seems like the more prosperous and knowledgeable the Lord allows him to become, the more evil and ungodly he becomes. Yeah, because he thinks that all that increase is his doing. How foolish and short sighted can we be eh my people? How can we ever forget that it’s the Lord God Almighty who created us in the first place and now allows us the opportunity to get wealth and knowledge? 

As Bruh David continues: ‘The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand and seek God.’ (Ps.14:2) Oh friends, don’t you think the Lord is doing the same thing today? Most definitely! And what do you think He’s finding eh? The very same thing Bruh David found in his time; a whole set of ungodliness and unrighteousness, and in greater numbers too. ‘They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy (corrupt): there is none that doeth good, no not one.’ (Ps. 14:3) 

And you don’t have to be a seer, or overflowing with wisdom to know and see the indescribable level of corruption that’s present in our current world. And what makes it even worse, is the blatant, blase, don’t care, ‘unfearing’ way in which it’s been promoted and promulgated! The question God asked through Bruh David back then is also very apropos to our time. ‘Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the Lord.’ (Ps. 14:4) Oh my faithful brethren, I guess the answer to that is a loud ‘NO!’ 

Now check out this info from the scholars. ‘Psalm 14. This psalm could be dedicated to the atheist. With the denial of God’s existence comes the moral decay described in verses 1-6, and which was used by Paul to prove the universal depravity of the human race (Rom. 3:10-12). While the fool may deny that God is, the righteous finds in Him the object of hopeful prayer for deliverance (vs.7).’ And I had to chuckle when I read about the psalm being a possible dedication to the atheist. 

And yuh wouldn’t believe how bold face the atheist and them could be nuh? Recently I heard something about them fighting to be called a church! Steups! If you don’t believe in the existence of any god, how can you have a church eh? But it seems like what they really want is the ability to become a non-profit or charitable organization, so they can reap the tax and other monetary benefits. As usual; it’s all about the money! 

And I don’t know why, but the same psalm is also found in the Psalter as Psalm 53. According to the scholars, it’s been slightly revised. ‘Two major differences are apparent: this psalm (53) substitutes the generic word for God, Elohim, for the personal name of God used in Psalm 14, Yahweh. This was done evidently to give the psalm a wider appeal. Second, verse 5 has been rewritten and has become an encouraging affirmation of God’s protection.’ 

So let’s hear it nuh: ‘There they were in great fear, where no fear was: for God hath scattered the bones of him that encampeth against thee: thou hast put them to shame, because God hath despised them.’ (Ps. 53:5) Oh my fellow believers, our great, powerful and ever-faithful God will do the same thing for us, because He still despises the workers of iniquity and has promised to eradicate them and send them into the realms of eternal darkness, just in His own time. So please hang in there and don’t give up! 

Now let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Wednesday Wail letting the heathen, the atheist, the workers of iniquity know right well our strong and potent position in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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 please be reassured that if we keep that up, we will be rewarded with a future so glorious that our puny, finite minds won’t be able to comprehend it. (smile) That’s how great and wonderful our God is! Much LOVE!

…foolishness is highly contagious…so please stay away from it…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 December 2019 Luke 1:45.

Luke 1:45.    ​And blessed is she that (who) believed: for there shall be a performance (fulfillment) of those things which were told her from the Lord.
 

‘Snow, snow, snow… Canadian snow!’ Yeah friends, yesterday it was just a mere veneer, (smile) and the day turned into a rather nice one. Today though it’s a full blown coat – white everywhere! (smile) And I guess it must have blindsided many commuters when they hit the road this morning, because I went to bed around 3, and there was none of that fresh stuff on the ground then. So please be very careful if you have to go out today. I know I’m not going anywhere! (smile) But since it’s Friday, let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say for himself nuh. 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Yes, Friday has shown up at long last! It’s been a roughish week; what with the children harassing me to get into the Cyber Monday nonsense, some bad weather and the boss in a sour mood…even more sour and snarly than usual, and for some reason I can’t sleep properly when the night come, so all day ah more tired than anything else. Steups! Don’t even have no enthusiasm for Christmas when I am usually a Christmas man, it’s my favourite season of the year. And then the wife been nagging me to put up lights and Christmas tree and what not. 

Chuh! Usually, she don’t have to badger or bully me to do that. But this year ah just not in the mood for all the Christmas stuff. Don’t know if I’m just getting old and tired, or I need a long vacation in a hot climate, with sea, salt, sand and rum! Now there’s an interesting idea! It’s really sparked my interest. How wonderful it would be to get away from this cold, snowy weather for a while eh! But right now that’s just a pipe dream because I can’t afford to take the whole family away, and I can’t just go by mihself. So I’ll just have to come back down to earth and say, Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui, hoping that I can get some proper sleep during the weekend, and that my normal enthusiasm for Christmas will return after that!’ 

Ah friends, the vagaries of life and the weather eh! We never know when whatever will hit us and just change our mood and attitude, but once we hold on tightly to Jesus, no mater what we go through, we know we will come out of it okay; no burning in the fire, or drowning in the flood. None of us are immune from such situations, but we at least have a more positive song to sing come the weekend, what we call our Friday Chant. So let’s chant it now nuh with sincere thanks and strong sense of purpose. 

As one voice: ‘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!’ At least when we’re down in the dumps, we have a great God, Helper and Comforter to cry out to. 

And I think it’s necessary for us to continue with Mary’s story to see just how the Lord administers His faithfulness to those who faithfully do His work. Remember yesterday we saw where Mary accepted the Lord’s will without a hassle. But then the Good Book tells us: ‘And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Judah; and entered into the house of Zechariah, and saluted (greeted) Elisabeth. And it came to pass, that when Elisabeth heard the salutation (greeting) of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me (why is it) that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation (greeting) sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.’ (Luke 1:39-44) 

Oh friends, what a great dramatist is our God! Knowing that Mary would need human help and confidence and support in the unenviable task He had given her, He sent her to her cousin Elisabeth, who, in her own lesser way, was tasked with God’s holy will. For, hitherto barren, she was then carrying John the Baptist, the forerunner of Mary’s child, Jesus. And the Master Dramatist set it up so skillfully through the Holy Ghost, that when Mary greeted Elisabeth, her eyes were opened to God’s proposed doing, and the unborn John the Baptist leaped for joy in her womb, cause he also felt the godly connection. 

And who says our wonderful God doesn’t move in strange, mysterious and awesome ways eh! But they always have a useful purpose. Now hear these interesting words that God also put into Elisabeth’s mouth for Mary’s encouragement. ‘And blessed is she that (who) believed: for there shall be a performance (fulfillment) of those things which were told her from the Lord.’ Oh my fellow believers, how wonderful is our God eh! From Mary’s acceptance of her task, He began encouraging her and building her faith even more. Thus after hearing Elisabeth’s prophecy, she was able to declare the awesome words of faith we know as ‘The Magnificat!’ 

‘And Mary said, My soul doth magnify (exalt) the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate (lowly state) of his handmaiden (maidservant): for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed…’ (Luke 1:46-48) Unfortunately friends, we don’t have space or time to record all of Mary’s words on that most auspicious occasion, but you can read them in Luke 1:46-55. Then the Good Book adds this important info: ‘And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.’ (Luke 1:56) 

So the Lord allowed Mary to spend a good while with Elisabeth so that she could be further encouraged. And He does that with all who work sincerely for Him my brethren. I can tell you that from personal experience. Without His awesome help and encouragement I could not write this Bit everyday. So whatever God has given you to do, please don’t despair, call out to Him for help, if needs be, and He will faithfully offer it. You can better your bottom dollar on it! (smile) Much LOVE!

…working for the Lord…might be hard…but it’s certainly adventurous and awe-inspiring…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 November 2019 Matthew 5:19.

Matthew 5:19.    ​Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal:
 

‘Sunshine makes me feel so happy…Sunshine makes me feel so sad…’ Yeh friends, sunshine has the ability to do both those things. When we see it in the early morning hours, it lifts our spirits, but when it gets too hot, or too cold, as it is now in my neck of the woods, it deflates the spirit somewhat. But let’s be thankful for small mercies nuh, be thankful that there’s a bright sun shining in God’s beautiful sky, instead of any negative precipitation like the rain we’ve been recently having, or the snow that’s in our immediate future. And the ordinary workingman reminds us of just that in his weekend song. 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday, and the weekend is upon us! Boy, is that ever the best time of the week! And the sun’s shining to boot…and no snow not falling…not yet anyway. Wow! As Brother James Brown would say: ‘Get on the good foot baby!’ Yes, I’m certainly going to do that, come rain, snow or shine, cause life’s too short to allow the vagaries of the weather to control it. And who doesn’t want to do that, that’s their business, their loss. They don’t know what a good time they passing up nuh. To some of us, it’s okay to work all week, then don’t enjoy the weekend. Well not me nuh! I’m starting right now to enjoy it oui! Come hell or highwater, my weekend going to be a blast! Yes sir! Thank God for Fridays and weekends!’ 

And so should we all, my precious people of God! Because it’s only through His grace and mercy that we can enjoy the fruits of our labour in fairly peaceful surroundings. Unfortunately, a great proportion of humanity are unable to do that, due to strife and wars and other public upheavals. So let’s give some sincere and heartfelt thanks as we declare our weekend song, our Friday Chant.

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.’ 

And as I like to remind us each week, Christianity is an action oriented, outgoing association, but not one that just runs hither, thither and yon without a sensible sense of purpose. (smile) That is to say, our Leader, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ has instituted borders and boundaries that we should not cross over since they would just allow the ever-lurking enemy to get a foothold in our lives, something we need to avoid at all cost. So, unlike the ordinary workingman, we don’t rush out and do whatever we want, or whatever feels good, we need to examine our actions in the context of Christ’s boundaries before we do stuff. 

Now sometimes that’s difficult, or it seems to detract from what we’d naturally consider a joyful time. But friends, it’s better to be safe than sorry, for once we get into certain activities or circumstances, they will certainly come back to haunt us, possibly for the rest of our lives. Please, please, let’s remember that all that glitters is not gold, especially in the enemy’s camp. His stuff is not even gold plated, just covered with a thin veneer of gold paint, and gets rusty real quickly! (smile) That’s why Jesus went to such great length to warn us in His Sermon on the Mount: ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal:’ What life changing, world beating advice my brethren! 

And it’s not like we don’t know, or have not experienced the theft and/or fraudulent gain of our earthly treasure by others, yet we continue to kill ourselves in order to accumulate earthly wealth and possessions that can be so easily violated. And Jesus doesn’t leave us hanging, He shows us where to store our treasure. ‘But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal.’ (Matt. 6:20) That’s ageless wisdom people! If you have treasure, the best place to store it is where it’s the safest from thieves and rust…and that’s heaven. 

And furthermore, Jesus reminds us: ‘For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ (Matt.6:21) Gospel truth friends! Just think about your earthly valuables right now, wherever you have them stored, your mind is always on them wondering if they are safe; in the bank, or under your mattress, or if they are making you more money, increasing in value, in places like the stock exchange. And in these oh so turbulent times, we’re thinking about our earthly treasure more than ever, since matters totally out of our control can cause us to lose it all. 

Listen to the scholars: ‘6:19-21. The attention of the believer is directed toward treasures in heaven. The term treasures implies the addition or accumulation of things. The two kinds of treasures are conditioned by their place (on earth, or in heaven). The concept of laying up treasures in heaven is not pictured as one of meritorious benefits but rather as rewards for faithful service, as is illustrated elsewhere in the teaching of Jesus.’ Oh friends all the wealth in the world won’t get us into heaven. That doesn’t mean it’s wrong to have earthly wealth, but it’s how we use it. 

Hear Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘Charge (command) them that are rich in this world (present age), that they be not highminded (haughty), nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute (give), willing to communicate (share); Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.’ (1 Tim. 17-19) Yeh friends, once we believe in Christ, we must use our earthly treasures to help others, to further God’s kingdom, thus we will store up rewards, treasures in heaven…and you can’t beat heavenly treasures! Much LOVE!

…labour not to be rich…do not overwork…cease from thine own wisdom… (Prov.23:4)

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 1 April 2019 Ephesians 5:20.

Ephesians 5:20.   ​   Giving thanks ALWAYS for ALL things unto God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
 

And so we continue round the merry go round of our work life once again, as Monday has blazoned into our consciousness on this beautiful and sunny day in sweet Tobago! Glory to God! I’m truly sorry to hear that you all had snow in my area in the northern climes yesterday, but them’s the breaks, that’s what the northern climes are all about! (smile) 

Hope you didn’t have to trudge and drive through any snow to get to work this morning while I blessedly sit here writing on the porch, listening to the birds chirp their sweet songs of thanksgiving, admire the beautiful flora and listen to the sea lap gently and playfully on the rocky shore line. No, don’t be jealous! Let your Christian nature take hold and be glad for me, seeing that I have not enjoyed such blessings in a number of years! (smile) 

Oh don’t worry, I know it’s hard not to be envious when one of your associates is enjoying fair weather while you are experiencing the foul kind! But wherever we are in this fine universe of God’s, it’s Monday and we need to get out and labour to provide the necessities of life for our families and ourselves. And regardless of how hard we try, somehow we still always get fouled up by Monday’s. I guess it’s just the nature of the beast. 

But thankfully we have an antidote for all of our Monday morning ailments, called the Monday Morning Battle Hymn, and it just chases away all those dark and cloudy Monday skies. So let’s raise our voices and declare it (chuh- wrong again!) in sincere faith, with as much enthusiasm as we can muster: 

All together 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 friends, what a quick and pleasant change sincere prayer can make in our sad and miserable spirits eh! It’s simply the awesome power of God! The amazing solution that He has developed to right our spirits; those who believe in Him and His Son Jesus Christ! For if you don’t believe in them, then NONE of what we’re talking about will work! 

As this quote from a Daily Bread Devotional so truly declares (right ho!) ‘Grateful praise satisfies us and pleases God!’ Yes my people, both parties are satisfied with words uttered in praise and thanksgiving; it corrects our spirits, and it pleases God, who made us most of all to be a source of vital communication, through praise and thanksgiving. 

No wonder Bruh Paul informed the Ephesian church thus: ‘Giving thanks ALWAYS for ALL things unto God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ And there are no truer words than those to be found in our faith my people! And Bruh Paul said the same basic thing to the Colossians: ‘And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father by him. (Col.3:17) 

 And the scholars have this to say about that verse: ‘3:17. The beneficial influence produced by the indwelling word of Christ is not only to affect public and private worship (vs.16), but it is also to control ALL areas of a Christian’s life.’ Yuh see that friends, thanks and praise and the Word of God are to be the mainstays in a believer’s life! 

You can’t be running around crazily with and longing for the things of the world, ignoring Almighty God, your Creator and Provider and expect to flourish, either in this life or the one to come! And you’ll notice too that even Jesus, the Son of God gave thanks. Check out when He fed the four thousand with seven loaves of bread and a few fishes: ‘And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks…’ (Matt.15:36) 

And He did the same thing when He fed the five thousand men with five loaves of bread and two fishes. ‘Then he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them, and brake, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude.’ (Luke 9:16) Yes friends, Jesus knew where His bread was buttered; in heaven, at the Father’s throne, and the only reason He could do those miracles is because He looked to the Father and also gave thanks! 

And if Jesus needed to do that, then how much more we mere sinful mortals need to come to the throne of grace in humility and thanksgiving eh? Even when Jesus initiated the holy act of communion in His remembrance; ‘He took bread and blessed it…And He took the cup, and gave thanks…’ (Matt.26:26-27) 

Not much more to say friends, except to add Bruh Paul’s directive to the Thessalonians: ‘Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess.5:16-18) Now as obedient children of God, let’s go out and do exactly that today nuh! Much LOVE!

…continue in prayer…and watch in the same…with thanksgiving…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 February 2019 1 Corinthians 10:13.

1 Corinthians 10:13.   ​There hath no temptation taken (overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
 

‘It’s coming down, coming down, the snow is coming down! It’s coming down coming down, the snow is coming down!’ Yes friends, that soft white fluffy, pretty looking but ever so dangerous stuff is coming down out there, promising to lay and egg of about 15 cm high! Serious stuff that yes! Lots of schools have already shut down for the day and the roads will be a total mess, especially in the evening commute. 

But what’s a li’l snow when we have Jesus to lead and guide us eh? Nothing really! And I’m talking big here but as the Lord would have it, I have to go into the big city of T.O to check my pacemaker, and believe me I’m going, come hell or high water, because I don’t believe it’s working as it should and I’m tired with this tired, short of breath feeling I’m still getting. It’s not going to be easy slugging, but I’m going! 

Aye mih first born…aren’t you proud of the ole fella, that he’s not canceling this appointment despite the bad weather? I know you are! (smile) And talking about that I just saw an interesting and rather appropriate quote from Uncle Charles (Dr. Charles Stanley) on the subject. He says that ‘A trial is for the purpose of purifying and strengthening us.’ Let’s hope this trial of going into the city today in this ridiculous weather does purify and strengthen me. (smile) 

But on the other hand, Uncle Charles claims that ‘A temptation is for the purpose of enticing us to sin, to pollute us.’ And do temptations ever abound in this sinful and ungodly world. However, we have to note one important thing here; temptation is not sin, it only becomes sin when we fall for the temptation. Remember Jesus was tempted too during His fast of forty days and nights in the wilderness. (Matt.4:1-11) And He kept telling Satan ‘It is written…’ quoting the Good Book for him. 

But He never fell for any of the temptations, therefore He did not sin. And neither will we, if we don’t give into the temptations that constantly buffet and bombard us in this fallen world. And the author of Hebrews tells it to us in plain language: ‘For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (our weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.’ (Heb.4:15) 

Yes my people, Jesus underwent all the stuff we are going through, so He can certainly empathize with the pressures that we experience in our daily lives. That’s what makes Him so great as our High Priest and Intercessor; He has first hand knowledge of the world’s temptations and sinful conniving! 

And the scholars offer an interesting point here: ‘Temptation is greatest in duration and intensity when one does not accept the “easy” way out by sinning. If man’s temptation is greater when he endures it, surely Christ’s was great since He had no alternative, in His humanity, but to endure it.’ 

Yeh friends, Christ had no choice but to endure it, for he could not sin, otherwise the whole plan for payment of our sin debts and salvation would have gone down the drain, since only a sinless soul could pay for us. But we have the option to sin, if we so desire, not that we would desire to do such a foolish thing eh! (smile) 

And what the scholars said earlier on, that temptation lasts longer and is more intense when you resist it, is certainly true. I’m sure you’ve noticed that in your own lives. And the author of Hebrews also offers another gem in the temptation problem, re Jesus. ‘For in that He himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour (aid) them that are tempted.’ (Heb.2:18) Gospel truth that my brethren! We are ale to help others better when we have already experienced their situations. 

But listen to these words of Bruh Paul to the church at Corinth, outlining this glorious promise of our wonderful God, who’s always there to help us. ‘There hath no temptation taken (overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.’ 

 Yes friends, all men are subject to temptation, but we must realize three things here: (1) Our God will never give us more than we can bear. (2) He will always make a way out. Not necessarily escaping the temptation completely, but allowing us to go through it and coming out safely on the other side. (3) He will be right there with us at every step through thick and thin of that temptation! Glory to our wonderful God! 

So please remember that temptations will always assault us, but we don’t have to fall for them, because we have a High Priest who can empathize with us, and also a heavenly Father who’s made provision for us to be able to endure whatever comes against us. We couldn’t ask for more. 

Now let’s go home this Wednesday declaring (wrong again) our Wednesday Wail, letting the whole world know our serious position in Christ. Wailing, as one: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

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

Ah mih people, how wonderful is our Jesus eh! Let’s be wise and embrace Him with all we have nuh! That’s wisdom to the nth degree! Much LOVE!

…with all that Jesus suffered for us…and currently offers us…why would we ever in our right minds…turn Him down eh…

 

 

 

 

Previous Older Entries