Today’s Scrip-Bit   17 January 2023 Luke 18:1.

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

Ah well, they say good things never last forever, and who am I to doubt them eh? (smile) It seems like the dry and brilliant sunlit scene we’ve been experiencing for the last few days is now over. Sadly, we’ve gone back to the wet, gloomy, cloudy days of yore. (smile) But we won’t allow it to kill our spirits, because we have the Master of all goodness and encouragement living within us, His august and holy name is Jesus Christ! The name that’s above every other name, and to which every knee will eventually bow. And the sooner we believe and bow, the better off we’ll be. 

Now, as I was sitting here wondering what to write, while skimming through the Good Library, I came upon this most apropos passage of scriptures, where Bruh Paul is praying for the Ephesians not to worry about him and his tribulations. ‘Wherefore I desire (ask) that ye faint not (not lose heart) at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.’ (Eph. 3:13) 

Now only Bruh Paul could pen a verse like that. And the scholars tell us it means that ‘God will use Paul’s tribulations and sufferings in the ministry to spiritually benefit his recipients. Such edification will then bring about glory on their part in that they praise and honour God.’ Yes friends, that’s the benefit of the testimony of other saints; it teaches and encourages us. 

Thus, all the suffering and tribulation that Bruh Paul went through for Christ’s sake should be an eye-opening education and enlightenment also to us in these exceedingly tough and ungodly times. Just like he plowed through the ungodly times in which he lived, we too should be plowing through our times, using him as an example. But what I really want to highlight today, is Bruh Paul’s actual prayer for the church. 

He says: ‘For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in LOVE, May be able to comprehend (understand) with all saints what is the breadth (width), and length, and depth, and height; And to know the LOVE of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.’ (Eph. 3:14-19) 

Wow! What an empowering and heart felt prayer. It’s not about material riches, but rather spiritual enlightenment and understanding! Let’s check it our verse by verse nuh, so we can better understand it. In verse 14, Bruh Paul is resuming his prayer begun in verse one, but delayed by all the other stuff in verses 2-12. Meanwhile verse 15 illuminates us to the fact that ALL the saints, both past and present are named by God, in other words, they, and subsequently us, derive our spiritual life from God. 

Then In verses 16-19, Bruh Paul prays for three things. (1) ‘That they would be strengthened with might by his Spirit; that is, they be divinely enabled to successfully live the Christian life. (2) That the readers be able to comprehend…the LOVE of Christ; that is, to better understand the enormous LOVE Christ has for them, (as well as for us). And (3) that they might be filled with all the fullness of God; that is, that the life, character and virtues of God Himself may be fully developed in them.’ 

Ah my brethren, that’s the kind of prayer Bruh Paul made for most of the churches that he wrote to; for spiritual enlightenment rather than material advancement. And it’s something we should also consider doing, because it falls into line with Jesus’ command: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:34) Yes my people, when we are spiritually inspired, our material wants then naturally fall into place, through God’s grace and mercy, we don’t have to strive to achieve them. 

But wait, Bruh Paul’s not done with his prayer as yet. He continues: ‘Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.’ (Eph. 3:20-21) 

And that’s possibly the most important part of the prayer. Why? The scholars tell us that ‘in making the three petitions above in vs. 16-19, Paul has not asked for too much. For he prays unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that he can ask or think.’ Yes, he’s praying to Almighty God, the One who can do any and everything! So it’s not an empty, futile prayer to a deity that cannot fulfill it, but to the God who created the universe and still controls it! 

And on the point of prayer, I do believe that our lives lack the proper stimulation because we don’t pray enough, and when we do pray, we don’t ask for the right things, things that are in God’s will. Remember this oh so important Bible verse. ‘And he (Jesus) spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (lose heart).’ (Luke 18:1) Then James tells us: ‘Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts (desires for pleasure).’ (James 4:3) 

And that’s the gospel truth! Most of the time we go to God in prayer is to ask for stuff, stuff that doesn’t fall into His will, stuff that is mainly for our carnal pleasure. So obviously we won’t get it. Then we get displeased with God and foolishly declare that He doesn’t answer prayer. But it’s the same way when our children come to us for things that we don’t think they should have, we tell them no. I guess though, it’s all right for us to say no to them, but not for God to say no to us. (smile) That’s our typical selfish human behaviour, so wonderfully encapsulated in the cliché: ‘do as I say, not as I do.’ 

Anyway, we’ve said enough for today, (smile) so let’s go home now declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. In strong and sincere voice: ‘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 my immediate neighbours, as well as with the whole wide world! Glory be!’ 

Now my fellow believers, let’s go out and do just that nuh; share the amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…the Spirit-filled life…can bring about the material-filled life…but not vice versa… 

 Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZ    

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 November 2014 Deuteronomy 8:18

Deuteronomy 8:18.  But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish (confirm) his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.
 
And finally, it was Friday…!
 
And sadly there’s that first touch of that feared white precipitate (snow) on the ground in my area. Chuh! Now granted it’s only a light dusting, but snow in any form is deceitful and dangerous, so it’s always wise to keep a watchful and wary eye on it. (smile)
 
Anyway, it’s a warning that it’s now in my neighbourhood, and it’s liable to overwhelm us at any time, oftimes at very inopportune ones.
 
Nonetheless, with the realization that it’s Friday, an unbelievable amount of laughter and joy permeates the work place. Everybody is high-fiving each other and boldly declaring: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! This labouring soon done, and we going to party away the weekend!’
 
Not so fast Friends, not so fast. Remember the weekend is not only for levity, but also for rest, renewal and some serious communication with our heavenly Father! So please back off somewhat on the party scene, because that’s why we’re always tired and miserable on a Monday morning, unable to get up on time to go out to make our living.
 
And to help us with that problem, let’s chant our Friday Chant in loud voice and sincere spirit. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through.
 
Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’
 
Yes mih breddren, as good, ole Jeeves would say, we have to temper our enthusiasm for the weekend with a modicum of circumspection. (smile)
 
But it is certainly true; we do have to dial back a tad on the party scene, and give God a bigger piece of the pie, a greater amount of our attention, for remember, all that we are, and all that we have, comes from Him, not always directly, but He is indeed the source, the fountainhead of ALL our blessings!
 
That brings us to our Bit: ‘But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish (confirm) his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.’ Words of absolute truth, my people!
 
And the scholars corroborate this: ‘8:18. God…he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant: Yahweh alone gave Israel the ability to get wealth, and the blessing the nation enjoyed was the result of His covenant with the people and was the outcome of His promise to their forefathers.’
 
Now Friends, though we fall under the new covenant with Jesus, the source of everything is still the same; Almighty God…Jehovah Jireh – the Lord our Provider. Yes Friends, it is indeed our Creator who enriches us with ALL things!
 
As Cousin Sol says in Proverbs: ‘The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.’ (Prov.10:22) And who should know better than Cousin Sol about wealth and God’s goodness eh, since he is considered the wisest and richest man ever?
 
And if you don’t believe Cousin Sol, then listen to Abraham’s servant to Laban, Rebekah’s brother, when he was sent out to find a wife for Isaac. ‘And he said, I am Abraham’s servant. And the Lord hath blessed my master greatly; and he is become great: and he hath given him flocks, and herds, and silver, and gold, and menservants, and maidservants, and camels, and asses (donkeys).’ (Gen.24:34-35)
 
And there’s no doubt that Abraham was indeed wealthy, both in earthly goods and spiritual enlightenment! And those things could only have come from one source; the great and wonderful God he diligently served and sincerely worshipped!
 
Now here’s another noteworthy example of God’s ability to increase earthly wealth. There came a time when the Lord caused Isaac to dwell in Gerar, the land of the Philistines. But for fear that the men of the place would kill him and take away his beautiful wife Rebekah, he lied and said that she was his sister. Like father like son eh? Brings to mind when Abraham lied that Sarah was his sister. (Gen.12:10-20)
 
But as so often happens our lies are eventually found out, and it’s rather interesting how Isaac’s lie was discovered. One inauspicious day, the king of the Philistines, Abimelech, happened to look out a window of his palace, and lo and behold what does he see? He sees Isaac sporting with (caressing) Rebekah. (Gen.26:6-11)
 
Obviously this caused some contention between Isaac and the king. However, after it was all settled, here’s what the Good Book says: ‘Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received (reaped) in the same year a hundredfold: and the Lord blessed him. And the man waxed (grew) great, and went forward (continued prospering), and grew until he became very great.’ (Gen.26:12-13)
 
Yes my people, in spite of Isaac’s deceit, the Lord blessed him very much because He had a sovereign purpose for him to fulfill, one he could only do from a position of power and wealth. Now please don’t take that as a reason for us to be deceitful. (smile) The Lord might not look down on us so kindly.
 
But be sure if wealth and power are required for us to do the work He’s planned for us, then wealth and power will be granted us, because He IS the ultimate source of ALL good things! I implore us to remember that today, and therefore live to suit. Much LOVE!
 
…constantly meditating on God’s Word…and being obedient to it…is of paramount importance in a believer’s life…for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous…and then thou shalt have good success… (Josh.1:8)

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 September 2014 John 10:10

John 10:10. The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. 

Oh Friends, it’s been a Willie Shakespeare kind of night, in the sense of when he says in one of his plays – don’t remember which one – to go to bed late is to be up early. Hn, Hn! Well I was up very early because I went to bed very late, around 3:30 a.m. (smile)
 
Anyway mih people, what I want to say is that the last couple of days can be numbered amongst some of the best of my life. That’s because it’s the first time my brother and I have spent so much time continually together.
 
We were always Friends, but never hung out much together, and the thirty years I spent away from Tobago, in exile in the North Country, obviously reduced those opportunities.
 
However mih breddren, the Good Lord, our Creator and sure Provider, in His usual mysterious way, in His unending wisdom and overflowing grace, thirty odd years later has provided a surprise get together. Mama Mia! All thanks and praise to Him!
 
One day, a couple weeks ago, right out of the blue, I received an e-mail from my niece saying that her parents were coming to Canada. And they’ve been here with us the last two days, and oh my people, it’s been such a blast!
 
There hasn’t been that much laughter, merriment and family togetherness in the house for a while, because in this busy society everybody is usually off doing their own thing. But yuh know what Friends?
 
These last couple of days have shown me what Jesus truly means when He says in our Bit: ‘The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy; I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’
 
It’s family life Friends, family togetherness He was talking about. That’s basically it. When family and friends and fellow believers get together and enjoy each other’s company under the overwhelming influence of Jesus, then life truly is graced and gifted with abundance.
 
I don’t believe Jesus was referring so much to the abundance of physical treasure and pleasures, but more to the abundance of soulful and spiritual enlightenment. And again we see Jesus emphasizing togetherness, when He says: ‘For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.’ (Matt.18:20)
 
And what we often forget, especially in this current selfish, cut-throat, greedy society, is that God’s greatest desire is that ALL should come to salvation; that we should live as ONE, in LOVE, joy and tenderness towards each other, as a part of His one, big, collective family. Otherwise He wouldn’t have sacrificed His One Son Jesus, to pay the price for our abominable sins.
 
And believe me people, Jesus did pay and enormous, a terribly high price to free us from the bondage of sin. Every time I consider what He went through to save us unworthy, ungrateful wretches, the very thought of His immense ‘sufferation’ hurts my heart.
 
But then, on the other side of the equation, I’m oh so thankful and grateful that He paid that exacting price, because it shows that the Father and Him truly LOVED, and still LOVES me!
 
This brings to mind Jesus’ directive: ‘This is my commandment, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you. Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.’ (John 12-14) 
 
Then He went out and did exactly that – sacrificed Himself on the cross for us. Bless His Holy Name!
 
But please remember that one proviso: “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.’ So if we’re not obedient to the will of Jesus, then we’re not His friends.
 
And sadly, that means a great proportion of mankind are not friends of Jesus, since we have so rudely and foolishly removed Him from all areas of our lives; at home, at work, at school and at play.
 
But Friends, Jesus is the eternal optimist. He believed in the saying that if you build it, they will come. So He died to give us the wonderful opportunity to come to Him in LOVE and togetherness.
 
And staying with that theme of togetherness and abundant life, let’s look at a scripture that appropriately describes it. It deals with Bruh Paul at Troas. ‘And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached (spoke) unto them, ready to depart on the morrow (the next day); and continued his speech (message) until midnight.’ (Acts 20:7)
 
Again, it was a coming together of the disciples to celebrate the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ!
 
Oh my fellow believers, there can be no greater joy than when Jesus is amongst, reigns supreme in the lives of a group of people! That’s when the abundant life truly kicks in, and why we need to take togetherness more seriously than we currently do, both as family and fellow believers.
 
Oh my people, being obedient to Jesus so that you can be numbered amongst His friends, is not always easy. In fact it can be very rough at times, when the Lord chooses to test us. But remember that He’s promised to ALWAYS work things out for our good.
 
And I can tell you from personal experience, that if you sincerely try to live obedient to God, then you WILL certainly lead an interesting, adventurous and exciting life, filled with wonder and amazement!
 
And how can we not eh, when our lives are constantly connected to: God’s Faith, God’s Grace, God’s Favour, God’s Blessings, God’s Mercy, God’s Forgiveness, and God’s undying LOVE!
 
So please my brethren, let’s get our acts together, and COME TOGETHER IN LOVE AND OBEDIENCE TO JESUS! That’s the wisdom of all the ages! Much LOVE!
 
…and now abideth…faith…hope…LOVE…these three…but the greatest of these is…LOVE… 
 
P.S. Oh Friends, I surely hope that this Bit makes sense yes, stands together as a structural whole. But even if it doesn’t, I know that you all are smart enough to pick sense from nonsense. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 November 2012 Ephesians 5:14

Ephesians 5:14.     Wherefore  he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
Ah Friends, I can’t believe that I’ve already been in Paradise for a whole week! Time sure does fly when you’re having fun! I can’t say that I had much fun  though yesterday, because all I did was write, eat, sleep, talk on the phone, read, eat and sleep again. But that’s good, for sometimes the body does need a day of rest and relaxation. However, too much of that is just as bad as too little. We need to find a happy medium, so we can both rest and rejuvenate our bodies and minds, but also be up and doing God’s work. As our Bit today warns: ‘Wherefore  he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.’ Yes Friends, we’re still on the very important topic of getting out of the Lucifer induced darkness to the brilliant, salvation filled light of Christ. Hear the scholars on our Bit: ‘Since exposing sin is beneficial, God invites the unbeliever (thou that sleepest) to turn from his sin (arise from the dead), with the promise that he will be granted the spiritual enlightenment and help needed (Christ shall give thee light). And is that ever so true! The enemy just delights in keeping us in darkness, so that we can’t see and rejoice in the glorious light of Jesus. But Friends, we need to fight, with all our might, that evil, cloud-like darkness that wants to keep us in subjugation to Beelzebub and his wicked cronies. And though many of us consider the Old Testament to be like its name; old, out of date, and of no use, that’s a terrible fallacy. It’s there to be an important example to us, a reminder of how it used to be. Both Jesus and Bruh Paul quoted the Old Testament extensively. And in today’s Bit, Bruh Paul is referring to Isaiah’s hymn of praise, where he confidently declares: ‘Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.’ (Is.26:19) Bruh Paul was also quoting from Isaiah’s future glory of Zion. ‘Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.’ (Is.60:1-3) And according to the scholars: ‘Isaiah foresees a time when Israel will arise out of her darkness and shine with God’s glory. Then the Gentiles shall come to her light. Thus the sons of strangers described in this chapter will come to Jerusalem to worship the Lord.’ And my people we’ve lived to see that prophecy come to pass with Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection! Yes Friends, we cannot ignore the teachings and prophecies of the Old Testament, but must use it in conjunction with the New Testament, for if you don’t know where you’ve been, or are coming from, you cannot plot a good and wise path for your future. And the Old Testament gives us the rich history of our faith, which in these days we desperately need to build on and keep going. Wherefore, Bruh Paul challenged the Ephesians to; ‘See then that ye walk circumspectly (carefully), not as fools, but as wise.’ (Eph.5:15) Unfortunately though my brethren, too many of us are not walking circumspectly these days, but walking as certain fools, ignoring the rich Word of God, to foolishly embrace the worldly pleasures that Lucifer is tempting us with. However our need to walk carefully is becoming more important every day, especially with the recent explosion of the communications media and the ease with which every Tom, Dick and Harry can put forth their own biased, false and conniving views. We can be so easily led astray in these modern times it’s not funny, but  sadly, many of us are not taking the situation as seriously as it warrants. Fellow believers, I’m imploring us to wake up and smell the roses, see the destruction and disgrace that both the spiritual and physical forces of evil are planning and perpetrating upon our faith and those who embrace it. No wonder Bruh Paul continued by cautioning the Ephesians: ‘Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.’ (Eph.5:16) And I like what the scholars say about that verse: ‘Redeeming the time (or, “making the most of every opportunity”): Contextually, the specific opportunity in view is that of exposing the sins of the lost and being a witness to them. Because the days are evil assigns a reason to seize each opportunity. It is because the sins being committed these days are so evil.’ Oh my people, that’s pure, pure gospel truth! These are some of, if not the most wicked and evil days in the entire history of mankind. In times gone by, we were rough and barbaric and didn’t know any better. Hn! But now…now when we’re claiming to be civilized, we’re even more brutal and evil than before, if that’s at all possible. We just do it in a more underhanded, subtle manner. We’ve turned evil into both an art and a science,  a field that too many are desirous of studying and becoming very accomplished in. Friends, oh Friends, it’s only through the strong, diligent, faithful and continuing efforts of believers that this world will ever see any positive changes. So if we truly desire to see it improve, if we truly desire a better world for our children and theirs, then let’s work together in the name of Jesus nuh, with each one of us, really trying to make some small difference in our own way, beginning in our own neighbourhood. That’s the only way any positive changes will ever come about. Much LOVE!…it’s time for ALL true believers…to stop the fruitless talking…and instead step up to the plate…and make a worthwhile, even though small difference…