Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 November 2020 2 Corinthians 1:3.

2 Corinthians 1:3.     ​Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort,

Aye mih people in my area, I think the time has finally come for us to begin experiencing that small white, cold, fluffy substance called snow! (smile) Yes, it’s all a part of living in the northern climes, but yet still when we see it for the first time in a year, it still astonishes us, although we’ve been expecting it all along. So I saw some of the wet stuff yesterday on my way out the street, and this morning I saw some flakes gently dawdling down from the cloudy sky. Don’t think there’s any risk of the real hard stuff falling right now, but just giving us a heads up, because it will come hard and fast eventually. (smile) 

But yuh know what? When it comes we don’t have to worry because we have been assured by our heavenly Father of His awesome comfort and mercy in whatever adversity comes against us. Wow! What a magnificent and magnanimous Deity we serve my brethren! Hear how Bruh Paul puts it to the church at Corinth nuh. 

‘Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort, Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble (tribulation), by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.’ (2 Cor, 1:3-4) Oh my fellow saints in Christ, isn’t our God wonderful? He surely is! Comforting us in our troubles so that we can comfort others in theirs. 

And I just want to add a note from the scholars. ‘1:3-4. Blessed (Gr. eulogetos, “well spoken of”) is used in the New Testament of God, (e.g., Eph. 1:3). It is a term of adoration and praise. The Father of mercies: The mercies in view here include everything from deliverance from the world, sin, and Satan, to participation in sonship, light, and life. But the force is even more than this. The stress is that the Father is characterized by mercy (cf. Ps. 86:5: Dan. 9:9, Mic. 7:18).’ 

Oh friends, until we fully realize that one of our God’s greatest attributes is His merciful character, we will never fully understand and appreciate how great a God He is! It all begins with His unconditional LOVE, where He simply cannot disregard His most wonderful creation. That then leads Him to be merciful unto us, with forgiveness and redemption and reconciliation through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, all of it is a free gift through His awesome grace! Now after all of that mercy and grace, undeserved goodness and favour, how can we not bless, adore and praise Him eh? 

Hear how Bruh David says it in Psalm 86 – Teach me thy way, O Lord. ‘For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto them that call upon thee. (Ps. 86:5) But it’s all important that we acknowledge the last aspect of Bruh David’s words there: ‘them that call upon thee.’ We do need to sincerely call upon God to receive His blessings and mercies. 

And as Bruh Paul said to the church at Ephesus: ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.’ (Eph. 1:3) Yes friends, our Lord is indeed worthy of much praise because He has bestowed so many heavenly blessings on us through Christ. Things like our citizenship (Phil. 3:20), our high priest (Heb. 4:14), our hope (Col. 1:5), our inheritance (1 Pet. 1:4) our treasure (Matt. 6:20-21). So there is much to be thankful for through Christ. 

But getting back to our major point of comfort from God, let’s hear some relevant scriptures nuh. And the prophet Isaiah had a lot to say about it. In talking about the comfort of the faithful, he says on God’s behalf: ‘I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die (a mortal man), and of the son of man which shall be made as grass; And forgetteh the Lord thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundation of the earth; and hast feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready (as when preparing) to destroy? and where is the fury of the oppressor?’ (Is. 51:12-13) 

Yes my people, down through the ages we have indeed feared man rather than God, but please remember these momentous words of Jesus: ‘And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.’ And the only person who can do that is God Almighty, so it’s about time we learn to fear Him, rather than mankind which shall perish as the grass in the noonday sun. 

And now this last word on comfort from our Lord God, as spoken through His prophet, Isaiah on the future hope of Zion: ‘As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem. And when ye see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb (grass): and the hand of the Lord shall be known toward (to) his servants, and his indignation toward (to) his enemies.’ (Is. 66:13-14) 

Oh precious people of God, our heavenly Father has done so much to relieve us of fear, anxiety and tension through the fulfilled promises of His word, I don’t see how we can still be so fearful and anxious about life nuh. From the day He created the world and its life, right through to the day He promises to destroy it, He has ensured safety for those who belief in and look to Him for help and succour. He even sacrificed His only son Jesus for us, so I don’t know what more He needs to or can do to make us believe in Him. 

So the ball is in our court; each of us has to make that fateful decision; to believe, or not to believe. And just a li’l tip, the smart money is on believing. Now for those of us who have chosen the wise way, let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know of our most wonderful position in Almighty God and His most wonderful Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

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 remember, we’re guaranteed that if we endure until the end, our future will be even more glorious than we can ask or imagine!Much LOVE!

…the comfort of man…begins in the bosom of God… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 May 2020 Psalm 143:10.

Psalm 143:10.    Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness. 
 

Well that promise of snow finally came through yesterday morning to disrupt the early morning commute. Good thing there weren’t as many travellers on the road as in normal times. And it was only wet snow too, although some big flakes fell and remained on the ground for a while. By mid-morning though, it was all over. Just goes to show that anything’s possible in this modern world! (smile) And today we’ll look to our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin for some words of sincere encouragement; they’re titled ‘Three Discoveries.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘I have made three overwhelming discoveries regarding God’s reliable faithfulness: The first: God will never let us go – NEVER! We may fall flat on our faces. We may resist until we feel exhausted, but nothing can separate us from His matchless LOVE. (Rom. 8:39) The second: God will never let us down – NEVER! He is forever faithful, even when we are faithless. He cannot deny Himself. He will never leave us nor forsake us. (2 Tim. 2:13) (Heb. 13:5) 

The third: He will never let us off – NEVER! Whenever we give in to temptation, when we determine to have our own way – He says with all the LOVE of His Father-heart, “I LOVE you too much to excuse disobedience.” Whom He LOVES, He chastens.’ (Heb. 12:6) You could say that again! Yeh, whom He LOVES, He definitely chastens! (smile) No doubt about that, as many of us can attest to. 

Anyway, the poem continues: ‘God is determined to bless us. He is eager to show us His kindness. He is glad to teach us the proper paths; but He must have access to our hearts. He will allow our guilt to become a burden until conviction comes, then confession, and finally renewed commitment! May David’s prayer be our prayer.’ And what prayer is that you ask? Psalm 143 – Teach me to do thy will. 

Yeh faithful saints of Christ, like Bruh David, we too can pray: ‘Hear my prayer, O Lord, give ear to my supplications: in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness. And enter not into judgement with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no living man be justified (righteous).’ (Ps. 143:1-2) And is that ever so true friends! None of us can ever come to righteousness on our own; it’s only attained through belief in the finished work of Christ. 

And Bruh David continues: ‘For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath smitten (crushed) my life down to the ground; he hath made me to dwell in darkness (dark places), as those that have been long dead. Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate.’ (Ps. 143:3-4) And I know my people that many of us are currently feeling that way, especially in these unprecedented and uncertain times. But we should not give up hope, instead let us remember and do like Bruh David did: 

‘I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse (ponder) on the work of thy hands. I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land.   Selah.’ (Ps, 143:5-6) Yes mih bredrin, in tough times, instead of losing faith, that’s when we need to build it up more than ever! And we do that by remembering all that God has done for us in the past, plus His numerous promises for the future, meditate on His works and words, work up a sincere and mighty thirst for Him and seek Him with a renewed passion! Wow! 

And cry out to Him in all honesty and sincerity: ‘Hear (answer) me speedily, O Lord; my spirit faileth: hide not thy face from me, lest I be (become) like unto them that go down into the pit. Cause me to hear thy LOVING-kindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk: for I lift up my soul unto thee. Deliver me, O Lord, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me (take cover under thee). 

Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness. Quicken (revive) me O Lord, for thy name’s sake: for thy righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble. And of thy mercy cut off (put an end to) mine enemies, and destroy all them that afflict my soul: for I am thy servant.’ (Ps. 143:7-12) 

Yes friends, in times of trouble, we need to desperately call out to the Lord for help, for He is indeed our guide, our help and our refuge, as Bruh David rightly declares in Psalm 25 – A prayer for guidance and protection. ‘Show me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.’ (Ps. 25:4-5) 

Now there are two things I want to point out friends. The first is that last clause from Ps. 143: ‘for I am thy servant.’ I just want to remind us that we can’t go crying that out to God unless we try to make it true in ordinary life. And the second thing deals with the last clause from Ps. 25:5: ‘on thee do I wait all the day.’ With that we need to remember that God’s timing is not like ours, thus we should not expect an answer right away, unless it’s a real emergency. Waiting on God is one of the joys of this life! (smile) I can assure us though that just as God is faithful and always near, He is NEVER late! To that I can testify! 

So please, today, when all the world’s problems assail us, let us not forget who is our Maker, Our Guide, Our Hope, Our Trust and Our Refuge – Almighty God, in whom we live and die and have our very being. And having reignited our passion, let’s go home declaring (Steups!) our Tuesday Mantra letting the whole world know who and whose we are. 

In strong voice with sincere hearts. ‘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 the natural response is for us to now go out… sorry, to physical distance and use technology (smile) and do just that! Much LOVE!

…thy word…is a lamp unto my feet…and a light…unto my path… (Ps. 119:105)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 May 2020 Romans 7:15.

Romans 7:15.    For that which I do I allow (understand) not: for what I would  (want to do), that do I not: but what I hate, that do I.
 
And would you believe it, snow has been forecasted for this weekend in certain areas, where spring should just be blooming along nicely? Let’s hope none falls in my area. But that just goes to show the temperamental kind of climate we have nowadays; snow in almost the middle of May, on Mother’s Day weekend to boot! But we’re already locked down so a li’l snow won’t make much of a difference. (smile) And what else is new eh? Life nowadays is just completely zig zag, contrary, up in the air, and confusion reigns! 

But there’s no confusion with our friend Anselm though, he’s still sent us a full slate of quotes as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And like he was on a self-improvement kick this past week. Hn! And this first quote speaks directly to that situation. ‘Never neglect an opportunity for self-improvement.’ Now that’s a mighty truth and rather wise advice my people, especially in these oh so discombobulating times! Self -improvement ought to be an ongoing regime we all take very seriously, for if we don’t keep improving, we’ll die a slow and uninteresting death while we’re still alive. (smile) 

That brings us to this next quote: ‘Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings so that you shall come easily by what others have laboured hard for.’ Now that’s also wise advice, and we should always endeavour to learn from others, but the way it’s put, it doesn’t sound too ethical, like you’re stealing what others worked so hard for. But it’s like I always told my children, the best way to learn is from other people’s mistakes. That will prevent you from making the same ones they made. 

However, we all have our own bag of mistakes to make, and learning from others won’t stop you from making your own personal bundle, but it will certainly cut down on the overall total of mistakes in your life. If you learn from others, you might just make fifty instead of a hundred and fifty! (smile) Then there’s this: ‘Work on yourself more than you do on your job.’ Well that one I really don’t know about nuh. It seems somewhat unethical as well as unchristian. (smile) Jesus tells us we ought to work very diligently at our jobs, but this tells us we must work harder on ourselves than we do on our jobs. 

Now we certainly must work hard at improving ourselves, but it seems that if we work harder on ourselves than we do on our jobs, we’re short-changing our employer, because we’re not giving of our best on the job. So what am I to say eh? Too much seemingly ethical stuff to deal with this morning. (smile) So let’s just say that we must work hard at improving ourselves and also give our best on our jobs! Matter fix! 

And now we come to this oh so important quote: ‘Be the type of person you want to meet.’ Yes friends, that’s the awesome truth in spades! If you want to have friends, then you must show yourself to be friendly! You can’t be constantly miserable and grouchy and expect others to befriend you. Likewise, if you want to be around interesting and learned folks, you have to also show some of those qualities. 

It’s true that you ought to try and associate with those of higher intellect and aspirations than yours, so that you can learn from them, but you also have to bring something to the table, you can’t just come and expect to grab everything and not contribute anything. Although that’s the way of the world nowadays; we’re all just grabby-grabby and greedy, selfish as the day is long! The first person pronoun ‘Me, myself and I’ seem to be the most important  words in our vocabulary these day. 

Then we come to this last quote. The kick-tail one: ‘There is no challenge more challenging than the challenge to improve yourself.’ And anyone who has seriously tried to improve themselves will certainly know and readily agree with that. We all try to improve ourselves, but for one reason or another, most of the time we fall short. We lose our passion, get lazy, other more important things intrude, we get busy and run out of time, we make excuses when we find out how hard it is to truly improve, whatever. But self-improvement never comes easily or goes along without difficulties and interruptions. 

And I think a good scriptural example of that is Bruh Paul’s dilemma in his epistle to the Romans. ‘For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal (fleshly), sold under sin. For that which I do I allow (understand) not: for what I would  (want to do), that do I not: but what I hate, that do I.’ (Rom. 7:14-15) Don’t we all  occasionally find ourselves in that dilemma? Most certainly! Bruh Paul was trying to improve his spiritual life, but like us, he struggled with his two natures; the easy and extremely attractive law and lust of our flesh, and the much more difficult and less enticing path, that of walking in the Spirit of God. 

The scholars offer this explanation. ‘7:14. The law is spiritual: The law has the characteristics of the Spirit and is consistent with the character of God. I am carnal: What follows is autobiographical and designed to reveal the real struggle the apostle experienced in the flesh. His experience is also exemplary, for it shows the problems all believers experience in their battle with sin.’ 

Yes friends, Bruh Paul was a man like us with struggles like us. As he further argues: ‘If then I do that which I would not (don’t want to do), I consent (agree) unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would (want to do) I do not: but the evil which I would not  (don’t want to do), that I do.’ (Rom. 7:16-19) 

Oh my people, challenges will always come along when we try to improve ourselves, especially in the Christian faith. In fact, life itself is a challenge, and trying to live it successfully is possibly our biggest challenge. (smile) It lead Bruh Paul to frustratingly declare: ‘O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?’ (Rom. 7:24) 

And the scholars explain thus: ‘7:24. O wretched man: The reference here is to Paul’s tragic condition of defeat and frustration with sin. The body of this death is not the physical body, but the inherited sin nature received from Adam. It is that in him which is continually inclined toward thoughts and deeds that yield only (spiritual) death.’  

But in the end, he certainly knew where to find solace from his struggles: ‘I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.’ (Rom. 7:25) Yes my faithful brethren, in Christ, we find the answer to ALL of our struggles! Much LOVE!

…come unto me…all you who labour…and are heavy burdened…and I will give you rest…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 February 2020 Psalm 119:103.

Psalm 119:103.    ​How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth.
 
And the snow flew during the night…and the snow is flying again now…making it all a pretty white picture! (smile) Ah friends, we have a mid-winter tradition about certain ground hogs, or woodchucks coming out of their lair on a certain day, and if they see their shadow or not, spring will either be here shortly, or it will take a while to come. 

Now I’m not sure which situation means what, (smile) but whatever the recent reaction was, meant that spring would soon be a coming. However, they didn’t say what kind of weather we’d have in between. Now that’s the cut-tail question. (smile) Spring might soon come, but we can have all sorts of bad weather before it comes. So the promise of an early spring doesn’t mean a blooming thing!  

But here’s what we ought to be more interested in…the Word of our wonderful God which helps us to successfully handle whatever situations or circumstances that come against us! As the psalmist so poignantly and truthfully says: ‘How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth.’ 

Wow mih people! Isn’t that something? Who would have ‘thunked’ it eh? (smile) Not many people. But it certainly is true. And why is that? The psalmist explains: ‘Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.’ (Ps.119:104-105) 

Mama Mia! The rules and guidelines of God give us understanding and wisdom in living this earthly life, so clearly, that His Word appears to be like a lamp and a light guiding us on our everyday journey. What more can we ask for eh friends? Not a whole lot. 

But the problem is to get that wisdom and understanding we have to read, study and meditate on the Lord’s Word, so that we can have it indelibly instilled in our souls and spirits, and thus available to give us the guidance we need to go gratefully and confidently through this evil and ungodly world. 

Hear how Bruh David puts it in Psalm 34, after escaping from Saul and running to the Philistines for succour. ‘O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear (reverence) the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want (lack) to them that (reverence) fear him.’ (Ps. 34:8-9) 

And Bruh David ought to know about trusting and reverencing God, since that’s what kept him alive for so long, both from Saul’s murdering intentions and the many other enemies he had. So why do we doubt, or not pay serious attention to his words eh? Because we in this supposed modern age think we know more than the sages of olden times.

Yes,these are the modern times, so we must embrace modern things. Steups! But friends, that’s a fool’s wisdom. The Lord our God doesn’t change, neither does his Word. So if it was good three thousand years or however far back, that means it’s still good today! 

Hear Bruh David again, this time from Psalm 19 – The creation and covenants of God. ‘The law of the Lord is perfect, converting (restoring) the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. 

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgements of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honey comb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.’ (Ps. 19:7-11) 

Oh my people, precious people of God…what more will it take for us to get to LOVE and sincerely practice the Word of God eh? Look at what it does for us nuh: restores our souls, makes the simple wise, rejoices our hearts, enlightens our eyes, endures for ever, it’s true and righteous, it’s even more desirous than the best quality gold to be found, it’s sweeter than the honey from the honeycomb, plus it warns us, and oh boy, oh boy, we get great rewards when we keep it! 

Now tell me, is there anything else in this great wide, modern, technological and far reaching world of social media that can do ALL of those things? Not on your life! Only the Word of God has that awesome power because that’s why it was specifically created; to give us guidance and understanding and teach us how to handle each and every situation that we encounter on our earthly pilgrimage! 

So friends, let’s do what we know to be right nuh, and stop embracing and following the foolishness of this world. Remember, Satan was once the high angel Lucifer, so he knows more about heaven and how it works than we do, that’s why He expends so much energy in keeping us away from the Good Book and all that it entails. But thankfully we know his deceitful ways and won’t fall for his lies and evil schemes. 

So let’s go home now declaring (yeah!) our Thursday Blessings, wherein the Lord has generously blessed us with all that we need to do His work successfully down here on His great earth. All together now: ‘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!’ 

Now don’t allow Satan to throw us off and not go out and generously share those many blessings with the less fortunate, for that’s why we were granted them. Much LOVE!

…there’s nothing more powerful…and more beneficial…on God’s earth…than God’s Word…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 January 2020 Philippians 4:19.

Philippians 4:19.    ​But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Jesus Christ.
 
And the snow did fall…in copious quantities too, but thankfully my information was wrong, we were only going to get 15 cm of snow, not the 50 I wrote about yesterday. However, the east coast province of Newfoundland and Labrador did receive a solid walloping over the weekend culminating in some 70 cm of the white stuff. Obviously everything was shut down under such a blanket of snow, with power outages and other necessities sadly lacking. 

Apparently even the snow trucks had to be taken off the road, since the blizzard was so bad that visibility was impossible. Friends, please, let’s pray for them and offer any other help that we can, because we never know when it will be our turn to be in such a despairing and disastrous situation. 

So closer to home now, the snow is finished falling but we had some freezing rain overnight and with the drop in temperature, it’s possibly slick and icy out there. So please be careful if you’re venturing out. And please don’t use the weather conditions as a convenient excuse not to go to church, (smile) although some of us will find it extremely difficult, even impossible to get out and about. 

And having said all of that, let’s turn to our multi-purpose in the Lord’s sanctuary today; to worship our great God, give Him much thanks and praise from sincere and overflowing hearts of gratitude, to enjoy sweet and encouraging fellowship with other believers, to hear the awesome Word of God which refreshes and renews us and gives us oodles of confidence and reassurance to face the fallen world in which we live! 

Now how can we get all of that if we don’t go to church eh, or have a gathering of two or three somewhere convenient? For Christ did say that wherever two or three are gathered together in His name, that He would be right there in the midst of them. (Matt. 18:20) So if only a small gathering is possible, then so be it, but a big gathering would be nicer. (smile) And today’s opening song of worship is indeed very appropriate for these troubled and disastrous times. It’s aptly titled ‘Lord I Need You’ 

And do we ever need Him friends, so let’s raise our voices in sweet harmony as we call out to our Lord and Saviour for the help that only He can give. ‘(Chorus: Lord, I need You, oh, I need You Every hour I need You My one defense, my righteousness Oh God, how I need You) Lord, I come, I confess Bowing here I find my rest Without You I fall apart You’re the One that guides my heart (Chorus: Lord, I need You, oh, I need You Every hour I need You My one defense, my righteousness Oh God, how I need You) 

Where sin runs deep Your grace is more Where grace is found is where You are And where You are, Lord, I am free Holiness is Christ in me (Chorus: Lord, I need You, oh, I need You Every hour I need You My one defense, my righteousness Oh God, how I need You) Teach my song to rise to You When temptation comes my way And when I cannot stand I’ll fall on You Jesus, you’re my hope and stay. Lord, I need You, oh, I need You Every hour I need You My one defense, my righteousness Oh God, how I need You. I need You every hour, Oh Lord how I need You…Oh how I need You. yes Lord, I need You, every hour of every day…That’s how much I need you.’  

Ah mih people, from all of that we should see how desperately we need Jesus Christ and all that He stands for. And what is a need you ask? Here’s something from a website that I forgot the name. But it says: ‘A need is something that is necessary for an organism to live a healthy life. Needs are distinguished from wants in that, in the case of a need, a deficiency causes a clear adverse outcome: a dysfunction or death. In other words, a need is something required for a safe, stable and healthy life (e.g. food, water, shelter) while a want is a desire, wish or aspiration. 

When needs or wants are backed by purchasing power, they have the potential to become economic demands. Basic needs such as water, air, food and protection from environmental dangers are necessary for an organism to live. In addition to basic needs, humans also have needs of a social or societal nature such as the human need to socialize or belong to a family unit or group. Needs can be objective and physical, such as the need for food, or psychological and subjective, such as the need for self-esteem. Needs and wants are a matter of interest in, and form a common substrate for, the fields of philosophy, biology, psychology, social science, economics, marketing and politics.’ 

And yes we need all of those things, but even more importantly we need things like spiritual protection, the ability to confess our sins and know we’re forgiven, a place of rest to lay down our burdens, someone to guide us, to help us with righteousness, to provide grace and mercy, freedom from worry and anxiety, a strong tower to fall back on, not forgetting strength and faith to stand strong against temptation! Yes friends, we do need a lot, and Jesus is the ONLY ONE who can satisfy it ALL! He is indeed our ‘hope and stay!’ 

And there’s no better verse in the Good Book that guarantees our needs than Bruh Paul’s words to the Philippians, after they sacrificed from their little to send him a gift. ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Jesus Christ.’ 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: 4:19. Because the Lord is aware of the sacrifice (v.18) that the Philippians made in meeting Paul’s needs, God will surely supply all their need. God will meet their need (1) according to his riches, that is in proportion to His unlimited resources: (2) in glory, that is, He will meet their need “gloriously” or “in a splendid manner”; and (3) by Christ Jesus.’ 

Ah friends, once we have Jesus, we don’t need anything, or anybody else! Let’s remember that and put our whole faith and trust in Him nuh, because He will see us faithfully through this live unto the next one, and long thereafter. Much LOVE!…

so let us come boldly (confidently)…to the throne of grace…that we may obtain mercy…and find grace…to help…in time of need… (Hebs. 4:16)

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)

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