Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 July 2018 Matthew 7:1.

Matthew 7:1.   Judge (condemn) not, that ye be not judged (condemned).

And so Saturday opened in my neighbourhood bright and beautiful…and cool! Thank the Lord! But down in southern California their heat wave apparently continues with temps reaching 110 degrees Fahrenheit!  Wow! And that wildfire in Northern California is still burning with a vengeance, causing people to run from their homes. 

Meanwhile, in Japan, the rain is causing havoc, having killed several people over the last couple days. Mama Mia! On one side of the globe is one type of disaster, and on the other is a different kind. 

But not to worry friends, the only way to handle all of that is by keeping our eyes and hearts steadfastly focused on Almighty God; our Creator, Protector and the Controller of ALL things. He has His reasons for allowing all that stuff, and there’s nothing much we can do about it but pray and offer whatever help we can. 

And since it’s Saturday, guess we should turn to the quotes of our friend Anselm for this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Unfortunately, I only received one quote from him this week, but it is an interesting one. 

‘Life experiences can, at times, be quite humbling, but you learn from them. But I like the changes in my life and what kind of person they’ve made me into. I’m very open, not as judgmental as I was in my twenties, and a lot more compassionate.’ 

And I know that’s true of many of us. In our early years we were full of spunk and hot to trot, figuring we knew everything and would show the world what was what. Hn! Hn! But instead the world showed us what was what! Isn’t that always the case when we get too high on our horses, or too big for our britches? 

The world and our God has a way of humbling us, of bringing us back down to earth, and sometimes with a heavy thud, which quickly brings us to our senses. Unfortunately, that scenario usually takes time to materialize, so it’s often not until we’ve lived real life that we see the faults in our approach to it. 

But as our quote says, eventually we become less judgemental and more compassionate. And oh how we badly need to reverse those two aspects of human nature in our mish-mash, evil and ungodly society today. Are we ever judgemental and opinionated about people and things we don’t know anything about. We see people and hear things and right away we jump to judgement, more often than not a negative judgement too. 

But it seems we have forgotten the immortal words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on that particular topic. ‘Judge (condemn) not, that ye be not judged (condemned).’  I couldn’t put it any better or simpler friends. 

And Jesus continues: ‘For with what judgement (condemnation) ye judge, ye shall be judged, and with what measure ye mete (use) it shall be measured to you again.’ (Matt.7:2) That’s just poetic justice friends, the law of God’s society, whatever you sow, you’ll reap; whatever you give out, you’ll get back. It’s like a boomerang; you throw it at someone but it comes right back to you. 

Ah mih people, nobody can expand on a story like Jesus.  Hear how He embellishes this: ‘And why beholdest thou the mote (speck) that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam (plank) that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote (speck) out of thine eye; and behold a beam (plank) is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote (speck) out of thy brother’s eye.’ (Matt.7:3-5) 

Oh, is it ever refreshing to listen to Jesus! You’re always surprised and astonished by His metaphorical comparisons. And the scholars offer these explanations on those verses. ‘7:1-4. Judge not refers to an unfavourable and condemnatory judgement. 

This does not mean that a Christian should never exercise judgement of any kind under any circumstances. The point being made here is that we are not to judge the inner motives of another. We are not to render a verdict based upon prejudiced information. Nor are we to use ourselves as the standard of judgement for with what…ye mete (measure) you shall be judged. 

That ye be not judged refers to the ultimate judgement of God rather than our own judgement. The terms mote (Gr. karphos) and beam (Gr. dokos) are used metaphorically for a small fault and a great fault. A mote is a small speck of sawdust whereas a beam is a rafter used in building. Thus the idea of the text is that one cannot remove the speck from his brother’s eye until he has removed the rafter from his own eye!’ 

That hits the nail right on the head! And the scholars have another good one for verse ‘7:5. Thou hypocrite is the only statement that can be made for this play actor who pretends to be a physician when he himself is sick.’ 

And the sad part is that so many of us play actor doctors in this greedy, selfish and judgemental world are very sick ourselves, but we’re quick to dole out prescriptions to others. In other words, we’re hypocrites to the core! 

Oh my fellow believers, please let us take a good look at ourselves before we go doling out solutions to others nuh, because very often we are doing worse than those we judge and condemn. Much LOVE!

…don’t offer opinions…unless you know the whole true story…

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 August 2017 Matthew 9:29b.

Matthew 9:29b.   According to your faith be it unto you.

Ah friends, it’s Saturday, it’s Saturday, a day of rest! But I hear some hissing of teeth and grouchy remarks coming back like: ‘What day of rest yuh talking about eh? Saturday is the day to clean the house and go grocery shopping and wash the big load of clothes in the clothes basket upstairs! 

Chuh! I can’t even bring down the basket in one go, cause it so full! And in between I’ve got to look after the children because I can’t depend on my lazy, couch potato husband to do it. So stop talking nonsense about day of rest please. On Saturdays I work harder than during the week at massa work!’ 

Awright, awright, I get the picture! So I’ll cease and desist. (smile) Instead we’ll talk about the quotes I received from our friend Anselm this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Hear this first one. ‘If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.’ 

And that’s the living truth my people. We all figure that we have some of the biggest and worst problems in the world, but if we really saw what others have, we’d rush right back to claim ours because they’d look so small and simple in comparison. 

And the second quote says: ‘Perspective–Choose to See the Whole Elephant.’ Yeh friends, it’s often better to see the big picture, so that we miss seeing the forest for the individual tress. We can usually come up with better solutions when we know the whole story. 

And here is some world-class heavenly advice, especially for some of us wishy-washy Christians. ‘If you want to achieve excellence, you can get there today. As of this second, quit doing less-than-excellent work.’ 

Hear ye, hear ye my people, in Jesus’ organization He expects excellence from EVERYONE! But too many of us supposed believers are not providing that excellence in our faith walk. Instead we’re sloppy and complacent, which doesn’t reflect too well on Jesus and gives Him a bad name. So please, please, let’s get serious and start doing better nuh. 

And this last quote is also good advice. ‘Be Open To Change, But Retain Your Values.’ Ah mih breddren, in this ever changing world we cannot resist change, but we also don’t have to change just for change sake. 

And above all, when we do change, it is of the utmost importance for us to retain our values, especially our Christian values, for those are NEVER to change, no matter how much things around us change. 

So with all this good Christian advice knocking at our hearts and minds, let’s channel it to our Bit, that all-important statement of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ: ‘According to your faith be it unto you.’ 

And that’s just how it is in Jesus’ world! The more you believe, the stronger your faith, then the more you’ll see Him working in your lives. But faith only grows by undergoing adversity; which means oftimes facing harrowing trials and tribulations. 

And the truth is that so many of us try to stay clear of those negative things that our faith never grows. We talk a good talk, but we have no testimony to back it up. And you simply cannot be a person of strong faith if you don’t have some testimony of tough times. 

What did Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) say? ‘Tough times never last, but tough people do.’ Gospel truth my believing brethren! 

We all know that our circumstances change along a continuum; sometimes good, sometimes bad, sometimes in between, but we are supposed to be the stabilizing factor in it all. We are the ones expected to stand strong and face whatever comes against us, for with the help of Jesus we can do any and everything we need to. 

Now let’s hear some of what the Good Book says about faith. And we’ll begin with the words of Jesus, after He cursed the barren fig tree and it withered and died. The disciples were simply amazed at the situation. 

But Jesus said to them: ‘Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.’ (Mark 11:22-24) 

Ah friends, that’s the elementary requirement, the foundation of our Christian organization; faith, belief in one’s heart, not doubting. That’s why we can’t come to God unless we believe that He exists. 

And we’ll end today with the episode of faith concerning the woman who had the issue of blood for twelve years and couldn’t find healing, then when Jesus passed by she pushed her way through the crowd: ‘For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.’ (Matt.9:21) 

And when she touched His garment, she was immediately healed, but Jesus also felt a loss of power and inquired who had touched Him. His disciples questioned how He could figure out who touched him in such a large, jostling crowd? But Jesus persisted, and eventually the lady confessed. 

However, instead of being annoyed, Jesus said to her: ‘Daughter be of good comfort (cheer): thy faith hath made thee whole (well); go in peace.’ (Luke 8:48) 

Ah friends, that just proves the truth and the efficacy of our Bit: ‘According to your faith be it unto you.’ Much LOVE!

…faith can move mountains…but only if we…sincerely believe…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 August 2017 Matthew 9:29b.

Matthew 9:29b.   According to you faith be it unto you.

Well friends, it’s  Tuesday. Were any of you lucky enough to see the mercurial eclipse yesterday? I wasn’t. But it seems like the most powerful man in the world thought he was powerful enough to view it without the special glasses recommended. (smile) 

But that’s what he’s all about ego and power. Enough of the tongue in cheek stuff though. Here is something to help us face the day successfully, from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional, titled, ‘A Prayer for Solutions.’ 

Please pray with me. ‘Lord, thanks for assuring me that you’ll solve the problems if I’ll exercise the faith and make the right decision! Forgive me for waiting for all difficulties, real or fanciful, to be resolved before deciding to make my commitment. 

I confess I have too often allowed problems instead of possibilities to take over leadership of my life – to make my decisions – and take command over my destiny. I know, now, what faith is, Lord! It’s making the right decisions before I see solutions to all problems! Increase my faith! Amen.’ 

Now have we been guilty of that kind of thing? I’m sure all of us have at some time or another. And what’s the first right decision we’re always supposed to make? Turning to God with the problem! 

Yeh friends, whether the problem be big or small, hard or simple, the Lord God Almighty IS ALWAYS THE FIRST ONE we should talk to about it, for He is the Master Problem Solver. Have the faith to let Him direct our steps. 

And what did Jesus say unto the two blind men who wanted him to heal them. ‘Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea Lord. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened…’ (Matt.9:28-30) 

Yes my brethren, our Bit says it all! Our power and blessedness will be defined by the maturity and strength of our faith, for Christianity is a faith-based organization. 

What does Hebrews say about the subject? ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ (Heb.11:6) 

And there was nobody who had more faith, or gave us a better example of it, than Jesus, for though He was God in the flesh, He never took credit for anything, but always deferred to the Father. 

Even as a youth, when He strayed from His parents in Jerusalem, when they finally found Him debating with the elders in the temple, His words to them were: ‘How is it that ye sought me? wist (knew) ye not that I must be about my father’s business? And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.’ (Luke 2:49-50) 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘2:49. Wist ye not or “Did you not realize?” There is a certain tension between Jesus’ responsibility to parents on the one hand and to His heavenly Father on the other.’ 

Though He was somewhat rude to His earthly parents with that answer, Jesus clearly showed from early on that His heavenly Father’s business was NUMBER ONE! 

And when the Jews tried to tell Him He had a devil (demon spirit), He bluntly answered. ‘I have not a devil (demon spirit): but I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me.’ (John 8:49) 

And later on when they asked if he was greater than Abraham and the prophets, His answer was: ‘If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me…’ (John 8:54) Yuh see mih breddren, with Jesus, it was all about the Father. And so should it be with us. 

Hear Him once more: ‘For I have not spoken of myself (my own authority), but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore; even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.’ (John 12:49-50) 

And whom did Jesus turn to in His time of greatest sorrow? The Father! That memorable night in the Garden of Gethsemane, where He fell on His face and prayed: ‘O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.’ (Matt.26:39) 

Even in His most fervent prayer, Jesus still acknowledged that His journey would be led by the Father’s will, not His. 

And finally, here is this episode from Mark which really shows Jesus’ strong, steady and faithful connection to His heavenly Father. ‘And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place, and there prayed.’ (Mark 1:35) 

The scholars then tell us: 1:35. Mark emphasizes that it was a great while before day. Showing that Jesus began each day of His earthly ministry with prayer is only the secondary intention of this verse. The primary aim is to show how Jesus made important decisions: by earnest, persistent prayer. 

Here Jesus stands at the crossroads of decision: His first year of public preaching (vs. 9-20) has borne little visible fruit. But His miracles of healing are drawing huge crowds (vs.31-32) and bringing Him recognition (v.28). 

So the question is whether He should continue to put the stress of His ministry on the preaching of the gospel for the healing of man’s diseased soul, or place the stress of His work on the more popular performing of miracles for the healing of man’s body. To make the proper choice, He seeks by prayer the Father’s wisdom.’  

And He certainly received the right answer: place the stress on healing our sinful souls! All praise and thanks to God for filling Him with that heavenly wisdom! Otherwise our bodies would have been healed, but our souls would still have been bound for Hades. 

Now let’s go home, safe and secure in the knowledge of our Tuesday Mantra, as we declare it loudly, proudly and sincerely. ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

And if you truly believe it, then let’s go out and do it nuh! Much LOVE!

…if Jesus made it a point to first talk to the Father…then why shouldn’t we lesser mortals do the same eh…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 August 2017 2 Chronicles 15:7.

 2 Chronicles 15:7.   Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded. 

It’s another new morning…somewhat cloudy, chilly and windy though! (smile) But we’re alive, and God is working diligently within us to bring us up to Christ’s standards. 

All glory and thanks be to our heavenly Father who takes such a wonderful interest in each and every one of His children, made so intimately in His very image! 

Well today is the big day; the day of the Caribana, sorry, Toronto Caribbean Festival Parade. Hn! Let’s hope that they have better luck than we did yesterday with the Pan Competition. 

Ah Lord eh! Would you believe that the day was going along quite well until around four p.m, when the skies suddenly darkened, then the heavens opened, and the rained poured down steadily for over an hour! 

Chuh! I was just about to leave home to go and meet my panman friend down the street by Leila’s Roti Shop. The plan was to get a couple of Leila’s nice, big, shrimp rotis, with a couple of banana Solos (T&T pop – the best drink to wash down a roti) then head down to T.O for an evening of beautiful and intense pan. 

I left home in the downpour because I knew my friend didn’t have a cell phone and he would be waiting there expectantly for me. But lo and behold, when I got to Leila’s the rain was still pouring down and the skies looked dark like night. 

We hung around Leila’s for a while – I ate half my roti and drank half my Solo (smile) but the rain didn’t look like stopping, and I certainly didn’t feel like driving into T.O in that downpour, with all the Friday evening traffic, to go and sit on the hard concrete steps of an open-air Lamport Stadium. 

So we decided to shelve the Pan Competition idea, and go home and spend some quality time with our families, because with that kind of weather it might have to be cancelled. And so in the still pouring rain, I dropped him home, then came home myself. 

But would you believe, that when I was almost home the ‘so and so’ rain stopped falling! Steups! And after that the evening was clear and beautiful. But by then I definitely wasn’t going back out. In any case my family and I had a good evening together. So it wasn’t too bad after all. 

Don’t even know if they still held the Pan Competition. And that was how my one evening of Caribana involvement passed. (smile) But it’s Saturday, so let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm shared this past week. 

It seems like he was in a positive frame of mind, since all of them dealt with positivity. Here is the first one: ‘Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.’ And that’s a verified fact! 

Now this next quote builds on the first: ‘Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.’ How could it not eh? 

Then: ‘In order to carry out a positive action we must develop here a positive vision.’ That’s only logical, since you can’t have action of any kind without some kind of vision. 

And this one is the biggie: ‘Positive thinking is more than just a tagline. It changes the way we behave. And I firmly believe that when I am positive, it not only makes me better, but it also makes those around me better.’ 

And is that ever so true my brethren! That’s why we’re constantly told to surround ourselves with positive people, because it rubs off, just like the negativity of negative people does. 

And the final quote: ‘Focus 90% of your time on solutions and only 10% of your time on problems.’ Now that’s advice of mythical proportions! (smile) Too many of us spend too much time belabouring and bewailing our problems, when we should be more focused on solving them. 

And there’s no better way to do all of that than by holding on tightly and sincerely to the encouraging and assuring words of our Bit. ‘Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.’ 

Now true believers should never have cause to doubt that statement, for the promises of our ever-faithful God are infallible. And we’ll close this series of messages with a couple of interesting and important scriptures. 

The first is from Peter, re being good stewards of God’s grace. ‘Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 

But rejoice, inasmuch as (to the extent that) ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. 

If ye be reproached (insulted) for the name of Christ, happy (blessed) are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of (blasphemed), but on your part he is glorified.’ (1 Pet.4:12-14) 

Finally, listen to these words of absolute wisdom from Bruh Paul to the Colossians. ‘And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men, Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance (salvation): for ye serve the Lord Christ.’ (Col.3:23-24) 

Yeh friends, in ALL that we do, it is best to consider that we are serving Christ rather than men, since serving men can surely lead us down the path of unrighteousness. And who wants to tread that unwise path eh?  Much LOVE!

…the very word Christian…implies being strong and positive…like Christ…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 July 2017 Psalm 41:13.

Psalm 41:13.   Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen.

‘Oh what a beautiful morning…Oh what a beautiful day! Oh what a beautiful morning…Everything’s going my way!’ 

Yes friends, it is indeed a glorious morning in my neighbourhood! Both the Sun and the Son are shining brightly. And you know when that happens all of heaven is excited. 

I just wish I could get my body to respond with the same level of excitement that my soul and spirit currently enjoy. (smile) And I know a lot of you feel the same way. 

But as the song says,’ two out of three ain’t bad.’ Let’s be thankful, for many others are batting zero for three…if you get my drift. (smile) 

But it’s Saturday, and we’re either doing housework or shopping, or simply lazing around the house, if we’re lucky, or getting ready for a picnic or barbecue or some such outside entertainment. 

And we had better get in as much as we can because this is the last Saturday in July, which means the summer is almost done; just August to go now…then it’s September – Labour Day, the cooler weather, and back to school! 

Wow! Can you believe that the summer’s just whisked by like a fleeting thought? And we haven’t even had any real hot days…Even today is cooler than it usually is. But yuh know what, most of us will take this kind of weather over the cold, white stuff any day! Glory be! 

Now let’s see what our friend Anselm had to say this week, as he aspired to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And here is the first one: ‘Persistence and resilience only come from having been given the chance to work through difficult problems.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth friends? We only learn persistence and resilience when we’re confronted by tough problems, then we stand strong, work persistently on them, and finally conquer them. 

And this next quote, though it might be the proverbial truth, it surely isn’t widespread in practice today. ‘Good management is the art of making problems so interesting and their solutions so constructive that everyone wants to get to work and deal with them.’ 

Hn, hn! In which companies today do we see people excited to deal with problems eh, especially with all the downsizing and doubling up of work on those left behind? 

Then we have: ‘The game of life is a lot like football. You have to tackle your problems, block your fears, and score your points when you get the opportunity.’ 

That surely is in the realm of truth in this crazy, strife filled world. Life is certainly full of blocks and tackles and attempting to score points, as we try to manoeuvre through its wild and jungle-like atmosphere on a daily basis. 

But I’ve left the best for last. ‘It’s good to be able to laugh at yourself and the problems you face in life. A sense of humour can save you.’ Now that has oodles of truth percolating through it. 

Without a sense of humour we’re just sad, sourpusses, painstakingly trudging along on our pilgrim’s journey. But a sense of humour relieves the tension and frustration and helps us bear the burdens much better. Remember laughter is the best free medicine one can buy. 

And I believe it’s Winston Churchill himself who said that the best ability one could have was the ability to laugh at oneself, for it keeps us solidly grounded and not overly proud like a peacock. (smile) By the way, that last part was mine, not Winston’s. 

And since today is such a glorious day, and we’re so joyful, I’ve been led to keep it simple and thankful, thus our Bit; words of Bruh David from Psalm 41 – Abuse and assurance. ‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen.’ 

Oh precious saints of Jehovah God, we couldn’t do any better than to praise His holy name, for that’s why we were so fabulously made. And in a Bit earlier on in the week, we saw how the living creatures and elders in heaven continually praised and worshipped their Creator. So how could we do any less eh? 

Now we’re just going to wind down by checking out some joyful scripture along the lines of our Bit. Hear the psalmist from Psalm 106 – Israel sins against God’s LOVE. ‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say, Amen. (Hallelujah) Praise ye the Lord.’ (Ps.106:48) 

And Listen to Cousin Sol from the first of the only two psalms he authored. The other is Psalm 127. ‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things. And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen, and Amen. The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended.’ (Ps.72:18-20) 

And according to the scholars that psalm closes the Second Book of the Psalter – The Exodus Book – Concerning Israel as a Nation. And we’ll end appropriately with these glorious words of Psalm 150 – Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. 

‘Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah). Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness… Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high-sounding cymbals. Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord (Hallelujah). (Ps.150:1-2, 5-6) 

And that’s how it ought to be my fellow believers! So please let’s go out and do that nuh, let’s do our bounden duty; praise the Lord, shout ‘Hallelujah!’ Much LOVE!

…giving much deserved thanks and praise to our heavenly Father…is one of the best things a believer can do…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 September 2016 Hebrews 11:1.

 Hebrews 11:1.    Now faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.

Welcome my Scrip-Bit friends and family to this glorious Thursday morn; the first day of September 2016! Our God is alive and well in His heaven, faithfully looking over His people here on earth. And all God’s people said a loud and grateful, ‘Thank You Lord!’ 

Now the 1st of September in the northern climes usually means that the summer is technically over; the free paper burn, holidays are over, no more weekends at the cottage, it’s back to school and work, and begin thinking about the winter weather that will be upon us in another couple of months. 

But before we get to that (smile), I want to share ‘A Prayer for Solutions,’ from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. 

Please pray with me. ‘Lord, thanks for assuring me that you’ll solve the problems if I’ll exercise the faith and make the right decision! Forgive me for waiting for all the difficulties, real or fanciful, to be resolved before deciding to make my commitment. 

I confess I have too often allowed problems instead of possibilities to take over leadership of my life – to make my decisions – and take command over my destiny. I know, now, what faith is, Lord! It’s making the right decisions before I see solutions to all the problems! Increase my faith! Amen.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my people? It surely is! We allow the problems, rather than the possibilities to run our lives.  Remember, we live; we walk by faith and not by sight. (2 Cor.5:7) So as our faith goes, so go our lives. 

If our faith is strong, then we walk comfortably with the Lord. If our faith is weak and we have many doubts, then our walk of faith is not as strong and we are liable to take more missteps and make more mistakes than we ought to. 

And I sincerely believe that lack of true faith is one of the Christian’s biggest problems nowadays. With the world and all its evil and lustful pleasures and demand for material possessions coming against us so strongly, it’s very easy to falter, to lose faith and sight in God and succumb to the temptation. 

That’s why faith is so crucial in our everyday lives, something we need to keep at the forefront all the time, since it’s so easy to lose faith when the trials and tribulations beset us. And what is faith you ask? 

Well the Good Book gives us this definition, which is also our Bit for today. ‘Now faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ Yeh friends, technically, it’s about hoping for and believing what we cannot see. 

But here is an excellent explanation on our Bit from the scholars. ’11:1. Verse 1 is not so much a definition of what faith is, as it is a description of what faith does (cf.11:6). Two truths concerning its activity are stated here. First, faith provides substance (Gr. hypostasis). Though broad in its usages, this Greek word normally has the meaning of “assurance” in the New Testament (cf. 3:14, 2 Cor.9:4; 11:17) and this seems to be the best sense here. 

Second, faith provides evidence (Gr. elegchos). It is evidence in the sense of proof that results in conviction. The difference between assurance and evidence would be minimal were it not for the phrase qualifying each: of things hoped for and of things not seen. 

The first involves future hope; the second involves present realities that are unseen. The first includes the hope of the resurrection, the return of Christ, and the glorification of the saints. The second involves unseen realities, such as forgiveness of sin through Christ’s sacrifice and the present intercession of Christ in heaven. Hope is faith relating to the future; conviction is faith relating to the present.’ 

Oh friends, I know that is somewhat convoluted and might prove confusing, but please take your time and reason it out, and it will eventually become clear. Faith is the biggest thing in our Christian walk. It’s what keeps us attached to our awesome God; to the Holy Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Only by faith can we believe it all! 

As the Good Book tells us: ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ (Heb.11:6) 

So my brethren, it’s all about hope and belief. Remember, you can’t have faith if you don’t first have hope, for hope is what stirs the pot of faith and keeps it bubbling up strong and positive. 

Now let’s truly acknowledge our hope and faith by enthusiastically declaring our Thursday Blessings, for a blessing is not a blessing until it’s been spoken. 

Altogether 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!’ 

Wonderful my people! Now let’s go out and put our faith into action nuh, because it’s useless unless and until it is acted upon! Much LOVE!

…faith calls for works…and works demand faith to do them…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 August 2016 Proverbs 18:21.

Proverbs 18:21.   Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that LOVE it shall eat the fruit thereof.

Ah mih people, on this ‘loverly’ Tuesday morn, as the summer season of 2016 winds down, it is only right and our bounden duty to give thanks to Almighty God for allowing us to see another blessed day on planet Earth! 

So, as the psalmist did, let’s declare with enthusiasm and sincerity: ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps.118:24) And that’s for certain sure my faithful, believing brethren! We’d be extremely foolish if we did not celebrate our life and rejoice in these trying times. 

And we’re only able to do that because Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour has already defeated hell, death and the grave and given us heaven and everlasting life to look forward to! 

And all God’s people said a loud and grateful, ‘Praise the Lord!’  

Now let’s bombard heaven with even more prayer; this from Gramps Schuler’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuler) Hour of Power Devotional, titled ‘A Prayer for Solutions.’ Most likely I’ve shared it before, but that’s immaterial, since prayer never gets stale, is always fresh and welcomed in heaven. 

So please pray with me. ‘Lord, thanks for assuring me that you’ll solve the problems if I’ll exercise the faith and make right decisions! Forgive me for waiting for all difficulties, real or fanciful, to be resolved before deciding to make my commitment. 

I confess I have too often allowed problems instead of possibilities to take over leadership of my life – to make my decisions – and take command over my destiny. I know, now, what faith is, Lord! It’s making the right decisions before I see solutions to all the problems! Increase my faith! Amen.’ 

Yes friends, all of us could do with an increase of faith in these last days. And to help us do that, let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with joy and thanksgiving. 

‘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!’ 

Oh glory to God my precious people! There’s no better designation than being the beloved of God and the friend of Jesus! Wow! Right there we’ve captured the best of all worlds! However, let’s remember that those wonderful rights, also bear significant responsibilities, like LOVING others, like sharing Jesus’ LOVE with the entire world! 

And unlike the current trend of irresponsibility in our present world, Christians are expected to be totally responsible in all aspects of their lives. So let’s not forget to do as we should, otherwise we’d be failing Jesus, and that’s one thing we surely don’t want to do. 

And to help us do that (smile) let’s invoke the awesome words of our Bit. ‘Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that LOVE it shall eat the fruit thereof.’ 

Oh my brethren, when I consider the awesome power of the little tongue, I’m totally amazed. It can spread LOVE, as well as kill it. It can inflame negative things like hate, anger and resentment, and by the same token douse them like water on fire. How does James put it in his spiel on the tongue? 

‘For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:  But the tongue can no man tame: it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 

Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude (likeness) of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.’ (James 3:7-10) 

And that’s gospel truth friends! We ought not to praise God and curse people with the same tongue. But unfortunately we do it, and eventually will pay a hefty price for so doing. Now hear some explanations from the scholars. 

‘3:7. The word tamed (Gr. damazo) occurs in only one other New Testament passage (Mark 5:4), about the maniac of Gadara, which helps us to establish the proper meaning of the word in James. The “taming” has nothing to do with domesticating animals or training them to perform. The meaning is control or dominion. Mankind can control every lesser creature, but no one can control his own tongue.’ 

And is that ever so true!  But unfortunately we do it, though to our detriment. 

‘3:9. James explains that man is made in God’s image (cf. Gen.1:26-27; 5:1), so to curse people and yet bless God is inconsistent. Though the fall of mankind has marred that image or likeness, James teaches that it still exists (as do Gen. 9:6 and 1 Cor. 11:7).’ Please read those scriptures, my friends. 

Now let’s end with further words of James on the plight of the tongue. ‘Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.’ (James 3:11-12)  

And the scholars further explain. ‘3:12. The last clause of verse 12 differs from those that precede it: The former are questions that attempt to illustrate; this one is a statement to teach. As salt water cannot make sweet water, so the person who curses others cannot bless God. The cursing of people truly indicates what lies within a person.’ 

Ah mih breddren, I won’t touch that one (smile) except to say let’s take time to day to ponder how we’re doing individually on that particular problem of cursing people and blessing God. And then, ask God for His ever-available help on the situation, for that’s the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!

…if God wanted us to be double mouthed…He would have given us two mouths…