Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 January 2020 Matthew 18:20.

Matthew 18:20.    ​For where two or three are gathered together in my name; there am I in the midst of them.
 
Can you believe it friends, we’re already into the third day of this new year of 2020! The days surely are running fast. As the duchess tells me when I complain about how the day ends so quickly: ‘Sit down there and think the day waiting on you nuh!’ It certainly isn’t my people, that’s why we got to get up and make hay while the sun shines, and not put off for tomorrow what we can do today. Another of the duchess’ sayings to me when I tend to procrastinate. (smile) But thankfully it’s Friday, and a lot of us are giving thanks for that fact because we’re still tired and bombed out from the hectic Christmas and New Year’s Eve activities. 

And I guess the workingman is too, so let’s hear what he has to say. ‘Oh mercy me! TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! I haven’t looked forward to a Friday like this one in a long time. Brother am I ever tired! Having not worked for the Christmas week, and then partied so much for the New Year’s, I was definitely out of sync and not up to snuff these last couple days in doing the slave master’s work. Steups! I should really have taken the two weeks off. Next year I’ll know better. 

But it was a good Christmas and New Year’s. The family got closer together as we did stuff that we hadn’t done in ages, and I promised mihself to keep on doing that, not kill mihself out in the slave driver work, like I did last year. Ah getting older, ah not a spring chicken any more, so the work getting harder, because it entail plenty physical labour. And the wife needs some help with the children too, she not getting any younger either. So hopefully this will be a year when everything comes together, falls into place for us. Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

Yes friends, I guess all of us are hoping that for 2020 we’ll turn over a new leaf in our lives, round a serious corner and discover the good life. (smile) And it’s always possible once you have Jesus as the Guiding Light of our lives. But please remember, it’s not going to be easy. It wasn’t easy for Jesus, and won’t be for His followers. But it surely will be interesting, adventurous and worthwhile, because that’s the kind of Leader we have. Now the workingman had some good sentiments in his song, but our weekend song is somewhat different, with checks and balances, as required by our Lord and Saviour to prevent the enemy from getting a foothold in our lives. 

So let’s give out with our Friday Chant nuh, in strong voice with a sincere sense of purpose. 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!’ 

Oh my people, is it ever important for us to get our souls, bodies, minds and spirits renewed and refreshed every week, so that we can do Jesus’ work at a high standard, with the diligence and excellence He expects of us. That’s why gathering to fellowship with other believers, on a Sunday, or whenever, is a must! We were made for fellowship, not to be independents or loners. Remember the saying, no man is an island. We can’t do it all on our lonesome. In fellowship there is great joy and togetherness, such that cannot be found on our own. 

Why yuh think Jesus said: ‘For where two or three are gathered together in my name; there am I in the midst of them.’ Because He knew the great benefits that accrued from fellowship. Not that He isn’t with us when we’re alone, but the Father made us specifically to dwell together in harmony, and when we forget our foolish pride and do just that, then all heaven cries out with delight and joy. Yuh think heaven’s happy now with the way we supposed believers living – divided by petty squabbles, full of resentment, bitterness, hatred and anger towards each other? 

Not on your life! Jesus came to break down the barriers that existed between Jews and Gentiles, and form ONE unified church! But we, in our worldly wisdom, have made a mockery of Jesus’ plan, for there’s no other organization or institution that’s as divided as the church in these turbulent end times! It’s ever so sad that when we need to come together the most, we’re drifting even further apart by the enemy’s successful drive to divide and conquer us. Oh my fellow believers, can’t we see that we’re only harming ourselves by all the foolishness that’s happening in Christ’s church? 

We’re only giving Satan a bigger and stronger foothold in our lives and demeaning the sacrifice and work of Christ! Do we need the many denominations and sects, numbered in the thousands, that are supposedly a part of the unified church? Definitely not! Especially when all are preaching something different. And Bruh Paul saw it coming when he warned Timothy about the apostasy (renunciation and doubt of formerly held beliefs) that would eventually appear. 

‘This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous (money lovers), boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers (irreconcilable), false accusers (slanderers), incontinent (without self-control), fierce (brutal), despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady (reckless), high-minded (haughty), lovers of pleasures more than (rather than) lovers of God: Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.’ (2 Tim. 3:1-5) 

Oh my people, we’ve always had some of this in our world, but right now it’s the worse it’s ever been! The false teachers and preachers, the antichrist, as John calls them, are holding too much sway. Too many are preaching that form of godliness; ‘mere religion without power or spiritual life.’ From those we must stay away. But we can only do that successfully when we know the Word. 

That means, this year, more than ever, we need to delve into God’s Word with a vengeance, so that we can know the false teachers and preachers, the antichrist, and stay away from them. Our world is depending on us friends, so let’s put some serious effort into raising our spiritual level, our faith, so that we can be strong, vibrant witnesses for Christ, and thus turn back the enemy. Much LOVE!

…the Word will set you free…but you can’t be free…until you know the Word…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 July 2019 Isaiah 30:21.

Isaiah 30:21:    ​And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
 

Brother! At long last we’ve finally gotten here! Yeh friends, me and my stubborn desktop computer have been fighting for the past forty minutes to get it to boot up properly. I don’t know what’s wrong with it, but most days it boots up wonderfully, then on days like these, it just decides to freeze, as though it’s going through a winter cycle. (smile) But it doesn’t seem to realize that man was made before machines, and we’re usually the winners in any battles between the two. 

And I was just as stubborn, I refused to give up and go and use my laptop upstairs, because I much prefer to write on my old, but trusty desktop – except when it starts to act up on me. So please accept the lateness of the Bit, it’s not all my fault. And now that I’ve made all my excuses, let’s get right on with the programme this wonderful Thursday morning, the penultimate day of our workweek! 

And for your edification, I’ve had the required Bible verse for our Bit long ago. While the computer was acting up, I decided to open the Good Book and see what the Lord had to offer today. And lo and behold the Good Book opened unto this excellent verse: ‘And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, especially in these dangerous and distasteful times, we all need to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit that dwells within us, our lead and guide on Christ’s behalf. Our Bit is part of a passage in Isaiah that’s an appeal to the Lord for help. And do we ever need help in these troubled times my brethren; and not only natural help, but more so supernatural help from Almighty God. But just like the Israelites did back then, we seem to be refusing God’s help. 

When Isaiah declared to them: ‘For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest (repentance and faith) shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not. But ye said, No; for we will flee upon horses; therefore shall ye flee: and, We will ride upon the swift; therefore shall they that pursue you be swift. One thousand shall flee at the rebuke (threat) of one; and the rebuke (threat) of five shall ye flee: till ye be left as a beacon (pole) upon the top of a mountain, and an ensign (a banner) on a hill.’ (Is.30:15-17) 

And, unfortunately, we are doing the very same thing today; refusing the wonderful help of Almighty God, and thus our world and societies are full of anger, strife and warfare!  Listen to what the Lord told Isaiah after the Israelites refused to hear about the futility of relying on Egypt for help. ‘For the Egyptians shall help in vain, and to no purpose: therefore have I cried concerning this, (have called her Rahab-hem-shebeth), Their strength is to sit still (Rahab sits still). 

Now go, write it before them in a table (on a tablet), and note it in a book (on a scroll), that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever. That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord: which say to the seers, see not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.’ (Is.30:7-11) 

Ah mih people, what foolishness! Now hear these explanations of the scholars: ‘30:8-17. The prophet is commanded by God to write His message in a table (tablet) and a book (scroll). He is to write down God’s message for the time to come (or for succeeding generations to read). He is to note that the people of Judah are a rebellious people, who are telling the prophets See not…Prophesy not. 

They have refused the truth and would rather hear smooth things and deceits. Their rebellion and reprobation are so deep that they want the prophets to cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us. While the nation was busy sending out emissaries of peace they had failed to make peace with God. Returning and rest refer to repentance and faith, which are necessary to true salvation.’ 

Oh my brethren, my brethren, we have fallen into the same trap: not wanting to hear the truth of God’s Word, but more desirous than ever of removing Him completely from our society. But that will NEVER happen! For the Lord God Jehovah is the creator and ruler of the universe, and if we try, like the foolish Lucifer, to overthrow Him, we will end up the same way; cast out into hell fire and damnation. We’re looking all about for help, except where true help is to be found, in Jehovah God! 

And these prophetic words of Bruh Paul to Timothy re the coming apostasy (abandonment of religious faith and principles) describe our current world to a T. ‘This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be LOVERS of their own selves, covetous (money LOVERS), boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy. 

Without natural affection, trucebreakers (irreconcilable), false accusers (slanderers), incontinent (without self-control), fierce (brutal), despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady (reckless), high-minded (haughty), LOVERS of pleasure, more than (rather than) LOVERS of God: Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.’ (2 Tim.3:1-5) 

And that is exactly what’s happening in our world today friends! It’s a perfect description of our current society! And just like Bruh Paul commanded Timothy to stay away from these false teachers, who have ‘mere religion without power or spiritual life,’ we also have to stay away from them if we know what’s good for us. Anyhow, I know that none of us are involved in that foolishness (smile) so let’s go home declaring (right ho!) our Thursday Blessings out loud, so that the world can know what a mighty and generous God we serve and worship. 

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 please remember that those heavenly blessings are not for us to hoard selfishly, but to go out and share them generously, just like the Lord shared them generously with us! Much LOVE!

…only a fool…or a madman…turns away from…or tries to overthrow… His Creator and Provider…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 November 2018 Galatians 5:22-23.

Galatians 5:22-23.  But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.
 

Another wet morning, without even a hopeful ray of sunshine! Steups! But thankfully, there’s no precipitation currently descending from on high! (smile) Ah friends, the gloom persists, but as believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we have all we need to handle it. And to boot, we can also truthfully declare: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps.118:24) 

And we would indeed be foolish if we did not enjoy this extra day the Lord has granted us on His great earth. And yes, every day we’re here is an extra day, so be wise and enjoy it and live obediently for Christ, do the work God has entrusted to you!

For we each have a purpose and a plan of God for this earthly life. Our God doesn’t move vie-ke-vie; in a careless, unplanned manner, so each day we’re down here means we still have work to do under His awesome, gracious, merciful and LOVING plan. So let’s get to it nuh! 

And it being Saturday, we will take a look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first quote says: ‘The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.’

And that’s oh so true! But unfortunately very few of us ever get to truly live the life of our dreams, because life is such a series of ups and downs, and none of us ever experience any downs in our dream life. (smile) 

The fact is that most of us have unreasonable dreams, and even with the reasonable ones, we’re not willing to work towards them. Now dreams are important in this life, but until we’re willing to action them, they will always remain dreams. 

 And the next quote tells us: ‘Live life to the fullest, and focus on the positive.’ Now that ought to be motto of the Christian believer! Christ said: ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10b) What’s the point of having abundant life and not enjoying it to the fullest eh? It would only make Christ’s sacrifice a waste down. 

But to enjoy our lives, we also have to focus on the positive aspects, especially of Christ’s teaching, because the negative aspects of the world only beat and break us down. 

And the last quote says: ‘Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.’ Now that is gospel truth my brethren! In fact, death is not a loss of life at all, for believers it’s only a journey from one realm to the other, and even more importantly it’s from a short, finite and rough earthly life, to a long and glorious infinite eternal life. So we don’t suffer a loss of life at all, but move up to a higher, spiritual one. 

The problem is the stuff that dies inside of us while we’re living this earthly life. We’re talking about stuff like, hope, faith, joy, LOVE, mercy, forgiveness, empathy, self-control and self-discipline; the attributes of God we need to live a faithful and fruitful life; things we call the fruit of the Spirit.

Thus our Bit: ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.’ 

Yes my believing brethren, those are the things we want alive and well in all of us, so that we can live the life Jesus died for us to have, and to do His work. Unless those things are reigning in our lives we’ll be unable to live good, Christian, fruitful lives like Jesus desires of us.

The Holy Spirit of God dwells in each believer, and is there for the express purpose of leading and guiding us in God-filled lives. That means we have to follow the Spirit’s direction if we want to live successful Christian lives. 

As Bruh Paul so astutely continues: ‘And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts (its passions). If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.’ (Gal.5:24-25) 

Now here are a few explanations from the scholars: ‘5:22-23. The word fruit is significant for three reasons (1) It means the result, product, outcome or effect produced by the Spirit in the believer’s life. (2) Unlike “the gifts of the Spirit” (plural), only some of which are given to a Christian, each believer is to have all nine virtues composing “the fruit of the Spirit” (singular). (3) As fruit on a tree takes time to grow and mature, so the spirit does not cultivate these virtues in the believer’s life overnight. 

LOVE is the willing, sacrificial giving of oneself for the benefit of another without thought of return. Joy is gladness of heart. Peace is tranquility of mind, freeing one from worry and fear. Long-suffering is patience with others, the opposite of a short temper, a disposition quietly bearing injury.

Gentleness is kindness. Goodness is generosity. Faith here is dependability. Meekness is gentleness, that is, courtesy and consideration in one’s relations with others. Temperance is self-control, that is, the ability to harness and control one’s passions and lusts.’ 

And there you have it friends, ‘the Fruit of the Spirit Lecture 101!’ (smile) Yes, I know it’s not easy to cultivate all those wonderful attributes, especially with the world on our back to do differently, but with the help of the Holy Spirit we can certainly work towards them and be fairly successful if we set our minds to it. 

Remember, as believers in Christ, we are done with carnal fleshly matters, and are supposed to live by the Spirit of Christ imbued in us. So let’s do that nuh, and consequently fulfill Bruh Paul’s desire: ‘Let us not be desirous of vain glory (conceited), provoking one another, envying one another.’ (Gal.5:26). Much LOVE!

…to grow good fruit…we have to sow good seed…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 September 2018 1 Timothy 6:12.

1 Timothy 6:12. ​   Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast pro​fessed (confessed) a good profession (confession) before many witnesses.

 

One more time unto the breach, dear friends, one more time! Yeh, I’ve got another medical appointment this morning, that’s why the Bit is so early again. The good thing though is that I don’t have to go into Toronto, it’s just some diagnostic testing not too far down the street from me. 

But I do have to fast for it, and fasting, or rather forced fasting and I are not the best of friends. The ole stomach is here growling away on me, calling for food, but I still have a few hours to go until I can grant it its request. (smile) But as they say, it’s all for my benefit. So just suck it up, grin and bear it! 

That brings us to this bit of good advice attributed to James J Corbett (1866-1933), the American Heavyweight fighter, better known as ‘Gentleman Jim.’ He advises: ‘Fight one more round. When your feet are so tired you have to shuffle back to the centre of the ring, fight one more round.’ And that from someone who knows what He’s talking about through personal experience! 

Yes my brethren, that’s what we Christians are called to do; fight one more round, even though we feel at the point of exertion, be it physical, mental or emotional. Oh, I know many of us are tired, what with all our personal problems, including health, wealth and friendship matters, but as believers, we’re not supposed to give up. Giving up doesn’t exist in Jesus’ vocabulary. 

And further still, they say that the darkest hour is the one just before the dawn, so if you’re seeing what you consider a very dark hour, please believe that relief is right around the corner. Remember the mind is the most powerful tool in the world, and what we believe we can achieve. We have to use what resources we possess to our best advantage and keep on keeping on. 

As Bruh Paul cautioned Timothy in his first missive: ‘But thou, O man of God, flee these things (LOVE of money, hurtful lusts, material wealth.); and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, LOVE, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast pro​fessed (confessed) a good profession (confession) before many witnesses.’ 

And as the scholars say of our Bit: ‘6:12. The good fight concerns the daily struggle with sin in the Christian life, and the hardships and adversities in the ministry. A genuine believer demonstrates the reality of his faith by being engaged in this warfare. Lay hold on eternal life does not negate the fact that a believer now possess spiritual life (John 3:36); rather, it speaks of fully realizing or appropriating salvation as the believer matures.’ 

Ah mih breddren being a true believer in Jesus Christ is not easy, but since we have declared ourselves to be true believers, we have to just keep on keeping on. And it’s not like we don’t have ample resources and encouragement, assurance and help to fight our earthly battle. We do! Namely all the resources granted to us as believers in Jesus Christ; the biggest and most important ones being salvation and eternal life. 

As the Good Book declares: ‘He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth (remains) on him.’ (John 3:36) Oh friends, that provision alone ought to be enough to encourage us to stand strong and live and defend our faith. Which other faith has that sure promise eh…with the sacrifice, and resurrection of Christ to back it up eh? NONE! 

And then we have so many other promises of God, who has a good plan for every life, with a hope and good future. He’s also promised never to leave nor forsake us; to hear our prayers and pleas when we diligently and sincerely seek Him; to bring us out of the fire unscorched; to take us safely through the flood, and most of all grant us a Deliverer, a Messiah, one to sacrifice and atone for our sins, which He did through His only Son Jesus Christ becoming flesh and offering His sinless life upon the cross at Calvary so that our sins could be washed white as snow. 

Glory to God my people! For He has done all that He’s promised, and if we do what we’re supposed to do, then He will do the rest. The Lord will not do it all for us. He requires us to put in an effort on His behalf, since we’re partners in this New Covenant. So though life might be dark, dreary and difficult, we do have all the tools necessary to fight the good fight. 

And hopefully, at the end of our days, we’ll all be able to proudly say like Bruh Paul did to Timothy: ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim.4:7-8) 

Yes mih breddren, what a joyful day that will be! But until then, let’s keep fighting the good fight nuh, and as a promise of our faithful intentions, go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our current position in Christ. All together now, let’s wail: ‘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 the future will be even more glorious than our puny minds can imagine. So think on that nuh! Much LOVE!

…when life gets difficult…consider our rewards in heaven…and the glorious future promised us there…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 April 2018 Proverbs 4:23.

Proverbs 4:23.    Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

May untold blessings befall you and your families this Friday morning my Scrip-Bit friends! May the Lord open the windows of heaven, as He has promised, and shower down his awesome blessings on us all as we walk in His wise and wonderful will for our lives! 

What a magnificent and magnanimous God we serve my brethren! Please don’t ever forget that. Even the workingman in his own way acknowledges that as he proclaims in his song.

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! This week was a rough week, what with all the Easter partying and carryings ons! We really had to come up strong, because massa was in a nasty mood…too much paid time off and all that nuh. 

But now that the weekend reach, we can feel the party spirit rise to the forefront once again. And believe you me, we going to party as hearty as we can for the next two days. Thank God for Fridays and weekends, because it was meant for partying!’ 

Ah friends, the workingman’s heart is in the right place, but he’s somewhat misguided; the weekend wasn’t just meant for licentiousness and flagrant worldly behaviour, but more so for rest and relaxation and renewing of our spirits, hence our Friday Chant. 

‘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 my people, it’s all about building, about furthering God’s kingdom here on earth; that’s our mission, and we can’t do it properly if we’re too taken up with the lustful ways of our flesh and the world.

So though, deep down we might want to party hearty like the workingman, we realize that that is not permissible in Jesus’ economy, we must have some boundaries to keep the enemy out of our lives, live them always with an ounce of circumspection. 

That’s why Cousin Sol warns us in our Bit today: Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.’ Words of awesome truth my people! And why is that you ask? 

Hear the scholars’ explanation. ‘4:23. The Old Testament word ‘heart’ often refers to the physical organ of the circulatory system. Both Testaments also see the heart figuratively as the centre of the personality or spiritual life.

The heart is the seat of the intellect, emotions, will, and moral consciousness. It is the personality which has that extraordinary ability to perceive itself. The heart is presented as the seat of conscious life and the fountainhead of life. 

Illustration: Jesus taught that sin came out of the heart of people, thus defining them (Mark 7:21-23). Yet after conversion, one of the characteristics of Christians is that they have the law of God written in their hearts. (Heb.8:8-12).

Application: Christians should LOVE the Lord with all their hearts (Matt.22:37). (First Ref. Gen.6:5; Primary Ref. Prov.4:23; cf. Rom.2:15).’ 

Yeh friends, our hearts are figuratively the controlling device of our souls. Listen to Jesus on the subject. ‘O generations (brood, or offspring) of vipers, how can ye being evil, speak good things?

For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth for evil things.’ (Matt.12:34-35) 

Ah my fellow believers, it’s what inside of us that colours us, not what’s on the outside. It’s like whatever you put in a clear plastic bag, the colour of the contents will manifest itself though the plastic.

Likewise, we can look all clean and rosy on the outside but are truly dirty and evil on the inside, and it’s that dirty and evil stuff that will eventually come out into the open. You can only hide it for so long. 

Now hear Jesus as He admonishes the disciples, when they asked for an explanation of His remarks about the blind leading the blind. ‘Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out (eliminated) into the draught? 

But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart, and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.’ (Matt.15:17-20) 

Oh friends, let’s seriously ponder those fateful words of our Lord and Saviour this Friday nuh, and truly see what’s in our hearts. Let’s look deeply and sincerely, and not fool ourselves, and then bring our problems to God for His awesome and always available help. That is indeed wisdom of untold proportions. Much LOVE!

…white-washing the outside…doesn’t mean the inside is clean…if it was dirty before…it’s still dirty afterwards…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 December 2017 Psalm 36:9.

Psalm 36:9.   For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.

And then it was six… and counting! Yeh friends, six more days to the big one of Christmas! And I do hope that the celebrations are being ramped up, and all the preparations are falling nicely into place at your homes. 

It’s not looking too bad at my place. The outside lights are the best in the neighbourhood. (smile) So I’m somewhat biased, but they do look good. And I came home last night to find the Christmas tree being decorated. That looks good too…as always…! 

And brother, was I thrilled when I opened the door and was greeted, or rather assaulted, by a wonderful smell of baking Christmas cake in the air. And for a while the aroma just wafted through the house, adding to the air of Christmas cheer and peace and goodwill that existed. 

But all of that though friends should be secondary to the overwhelming presence of the Spirit of Jesus in our homes. For He, His miraculous birth, is the entire reason for all this celebration! And we need to keep that uppermost in our minds. 

And talking about birth, today I want to share a passage from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional titled ‘Nourishment from Above.’ And he says: ‘Wait on the Lord, and He will renew your strength! Prayer is the umbilical cord that allows you – with your embryonic ideas – to draw nourishment from a source that you, like an unborn infant, can neither see nor fully know or comprehend – God our heavenly Father! 

Prayer is the power that pulls everything together successfully. With this prayerful attitude tackle your problem today. Turn it over to God. Take out a sheet of paper. Pick up a pencil. And get ready for the ideas that he will drop into your mind.’ 

(And as you do that, you can pray something like this:) ‘Father, I have a strong sensation that you brought me to this moment of prayer because you have a plan to share with me insights to solve my problems. So I will go out and face the sunlight of a new day and a new week crammed with undiscovered possibilities. I am encouraged! I am enthused! I am more hopeful than I have been in a long time! Amen.’ 

Oh friends, do we Christians ever need to be more enthused, encouraged and hopeful than ever before because of the evil and ungodly world in which we’re living. And that uplifting will ONLY come when we establish a tight relationship, keep in constant communication with our heavenly Father through prayer, for He is indeed the source of all life and all good things. 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.’ Oh my people, our God is indeed the fountain of life: it’s through Him that we were granted physical life, and it’s ONLY through Him is eternal spiritual life available! Jesus made this fact clear so often that I don’t see how we can ever forget or neglect it. 

Listen to Him talking to the Samaritan woman at the well. ‘Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again. But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well (fountain) of water springing up into everlasting life.’ (John 4:13-14) What an inspiring and encouraging scripture friends! 

Now hear Jesus after His listeners told Him about the Lord giving their forefathers bread (manna) from heaven in the wilderness. ‘Verily, verily I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. 

Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.’ (John 6:32-35) 

Glory to God my brethren! For how can we ever beat that promise eh? Jesus IS the bread that gives life; all kinds, although there He is referring in particular to spiritual and eternal life. 

And if you still have doubts and misgivings about the true source of life, then listen to Jesus one more time. ‘In the last day, that great day of the feast (feast of tabernacles), Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly (heart) shall flow rivers of living water.’ (John 7:37-38) 

Oh precious people, Jesus is indeed the fountain of life, the bread of life, the giver of living water (the indwelling Holy Spirit), the giver of physical life, spiritual life, eternal life – whatever kind of good life you’re looking for, the source, the head spring, is to be found in Jesus! Please remember that and act accordingly. 

Now let’s go home declaring loudly and proudly to this evil and ungodly world, who and whose we are in our Tuesday Mantra. ‘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 now, in this Christmas season, the time of Christ’s birth, let’s go out and truly share that wonderful LOVE of our awesome friend Jesus! It’s ever so appropriate. Much LOVE!

…as for me and mine…we will follow Jesus…the fountain of ALL life…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 December 2016 2 Timothy 4:7.

 2 Timothy 4:7.   I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith.

Ah mih people, at long last a semi-serious snowfall has hit my area. Chuh! And the time was going by so nicely! But that’s the nature of this good country Canada; wintertime means snow is very likely to disrupt the situation. (smile) 

However, it wasn’t too bad a snowstorm, and hopefully by now the roads would have been cleared and salted. But still, please be careful if you have to drive because there is liable to be some icy sections out there. 

And you’d think that the snow would dampen the weekend enthusiasm…not on yuh life! The shouting of  ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday, and the weekend is upon us!’ still rings out. ‘A li’l snow can’t stop the party. We’ll just have to stay inside and keep warm, while the drinks and whatnot flow! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends oui!’ 

Now that’s the song of the heathen, let’s sing that of the righteous; our Friday Chant, with as much, if not more verve and enthusiasm than the heathen. 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.’ 

Yeh friends, that’s a much better way of handling the weekend, than simply giving into the lusts of the flesh and celebrating with gay abandon. 

Anyway, let’s turn to our Bit; Bruh Paul’s immortal words, for the last time. ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith.’ 

Oh precious people of God, it is essential that we believers in Jesus Christ, fight a good fight against the evil of this world! The world will not simply allow us to live our lives according to God’s will, because it doesn’t fit into their programme of sin and iniquity. 

That means, at each and every chance they get, they will try to dissuade us from following the righteous path with lustful and fleshly temptations. But we have to learn to resist it. 

As we saw Bruh Paul tell the Corinthians yesterday: ‘But I keep under (discipline) my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway (disqualified).’ (1 Cor.9:27) 

And I worked that verse in there because I want to share a very interesting explanation of the scholars on it. ‘9:27. I keep under my body (i.e. discipline my body): The expression I keep under loses much of the original sense. It has the idea of to “give one a black eye,” “buffet,” or “bruise.” 

Paul’s readers knew that in the Isthmian Games, the boxers wore gloves consisting of ox-hide hands covered with knots and nails, and loaded with lead and iron. To prepare for such an event, a man would have to brace himself to endure all forms of physical abuse. 

Lest that by any means …I myself should be a castaway (lit. “So that …I myself should not be disqualified”): Paul was afraid of losing his salvation: his subject is still Christian liberty. The point is that the believer must discipline himself to avert both being disqualified from Christian ministry, and forfeiting the rewards for such service.’ 

Oh friends, can you imagine the bloodied bodies of the boxers in those olden times. One would have to be very brave and single minded to take part in such a carnal sport. But that’s the kind of mentality we need to have to fight off the temptations of this world and eventually win the victor’s crown. 

We can’t afford to be disqualified from Christ’s ministry and also lose the rewards earned through doing it. Now hear what Bruh Paul told Timothy in his first message re the good fight of faith. 

‘But thou, O man of God, flee these things: and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, LOVE, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed (confessed) a good profession (confession) before many witnesses.’ (1 Tim.6:11-12) 

And the scholars explain: ‘6:11. Flee these things means shun a LOVE for money (v.10) and the striving for material wealth (v.9) with all its resulting woes. Follow after means pursue. Righteousness is practical correctness, conforming to God’s will in one’s thinking and acting. 

Godliness is proper reverence for, and obedience to God. Faith is a trust in God that grows stronger. LOVE is a maturing affection for God and man. Patience is perseverance or steadfastness in life and service. Meekness is gentleness.’  

‘6:12. The good fight concerns the daily struggle with sin in the Christian life, and the hardships and adversities in the ministry. A genuine believer demonstrates the reality of his faith by being engaged in this warfare. 

Lay hold on eternal life does not negate the fact that a believer now possesses spiritual life (John 3:36); rather, it speaks of fully realizing or appropriating salvation as the believer matures.’ 

Ah friends, the life of a true believer is not an easy one. As Jesus told the disciples, we’d be persecuted just for believing in Him: ‘but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.’ (Matt.10:22) 

So it’s up to us to keep persevering, keep fighting the good fight, keep maturing, obviously with God’s help, until we reach the end and are presented with the victor’s crown. 

Wow mih people! What a day that will be! It will certainly be worth all the trials and tribulations endured in this earthly pilgrimage! Much LOVE!

…to fight the good fight successfully…one must have plenty belly and backbone…

 

 

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