Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 June 2018 1 John 2:15.

1 John 2:15.   LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in him.

Oh friends, like Job so famously said, we can’t expect to receive good all the time and no bad. That means we can’t expect glorious sunshine every day, there must be some rain too. And really, the rain’s not bad nuh, it’s just the opposite of sunshine, and it is in fact very good itself, for if we had no rain there’d be no food crops or beautiful nature to admire, just a dry, brown inhospitable desert. 

Hn! And all of that just to say it’s a rainy day in my neighbourhood today. (smile) Now here’s a poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. Don’t know if I’ve shared it before, but when I read it yesterday, it reminded me so much of our behaviour, that I just had to share it. It’s titled ‘Divided Heart,’ like ours are so much of the time. 

Please pray with me. ‘Lord I am so often tormented By my lack of clear direction – So often disturbed By my divided heart. I am like a little child Who wants to rock her doll And jump rope at the same time. I want to obey You in part If I can choose the area of obedience. I want to be real except at those moments When compromise is more appealing. I want to be half-motivated And half-satisfied with things as they are. 

I want to walk a straight path If now and then I can enjoy A few side trips into the far country. I don’t want to be a miserable sinner but neither do I feel excited About being a stoic saint. I want to be partly Yours And partly my own. But in the secret chamber Of my divided heart I am so often disquieted By the pointed question: “Why do you so foolishly Mix weeds with seeds?” 

Now isn’t that a very good question my brethren? We all do it at some time or the other, because we find it difficult to surrender our ALL to Christ. And oh, do we ever want to choose our areas of obedience to God! But God wants it ALL! And isn’t it a good thing, that when we foolishly take a side trip into the far country, like the prodigal son did, He welcomes us back with open arms when we come to our senses! 

And yuh know what friends, there’s no reason to be a miserable sinner or a stoic saint, because we’ve become a new creation in Christ, which puts us on firm and solid ground, makes us able to go to the Father with confidence and ask for whatever we need, with Jesus right there advocating on our behalf. So there’s no need to compromise; just take it ALL to the Father in prayer! 

And the Bible Promise for that prayer is also our Bit for today; those famous words of John in his first epistle. ‘LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in him.’ Yes my people, it’s that simple. As Jesus said, you can’t serve two masters at the same time; you can’t serve God and mammon (earthly wealth) too. (Matt.6:24) 

And John continues: ‘For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.’ (1 John 2:16-17) 

That puts it so plainly and simply my people; all the evil things of the world will one day disappear, go up in smoke, but those obedient to God’s will, will live forever Now it’s your decision to make; whether you’ll go up in smoke, or live forever.  

And the scholars tell us: ‘2:16. World for John signifies the evil desire and sin so much a part of human existence.’  Therefore we are to sincerely pledge our loyalty and devotion to God first and foremost. Like Jesus said: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things (worldly needs) shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) 

And we’re going to add Bruh Paul’s voice to it all, as he wrote to the church at Rome. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ (Rom.12:2) 

Yeh friends, again we’re reminded that it all takes place FIRST in our minds; that’s where the change needs to be made before it can me manifested anywhere else. Unless we bring our minds into true acceptance and conformity with God, His will and His word, we’ll continue to follow the unhealthy and ungodly value systems and evil conduct of the world. Nuff said! 

Now for those of us who have made the right decision and are truly trying to be righteous, (smile) let’s go home sincerely acclaiming to the world, our position in Christ, by declaring our Wednesday Wail. Altogether in strong voice now: ‘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 what a glorious future that will be! Our puny minds can’t even imagine it. But we know that it will be great, because Jesus promised it! Much LOVE!

…truly living for Jesus…is the wisest decision a human being can ever make…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 October 2016 Isaiah 53:7.

Isaiah 53:7.    He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought (was led) as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. 

‘Oh friends, I, I am blessed, Yes, I want to tell the world that I, I am blessed!’ Sing it with me: ‘Oh we. We are blessed! Let’s tell the world, that we, we are blessed!’

And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! For as children of the Most High God Jehovah, followers of Jesus Christ, and fertile soil in which the Holy Spirit dwells, then we must be blessed! Only thing is that a lot of the time, many of us don’t behave as though we are blessed. Instead, we moan and groan and complain about insignificant stuff. 

And yuh know what friends, a lot of the things we consider problems, are things that most of the world would only be too glad to have, along with the many benefits that we take for granted.

We are just too spoiled and complacent, expecting everything to be handed to us on a silver platter. But that’s not real life friends, for in this world serious problems abound, many of which fortunately don’t touch or concern us. 

Most of us have a job, a roof over our heads, food on table and we are reasonably healthy, and if not, we have the opportunity to go to a doctor. Meanwhile, billions of people around the world have none of those amenities, or rather necessities. But yet, we complain about petty stuff. 

Anyway, it’s Saturday, so let’s check out a couple of quotes from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And this week’s quotes are both short and to the point. The first says: ‘Don’t expect people to listen to your advice and ignore your example.’ 

And that’s one of the biggest problems in our Christian faith! We talk a good talk, but don’t walk the necessary walk. Consequently we acquire a reputation as hypocrites, like the Jewish leaders, the Pharisees of Jesus’ day.

Oh mih people, that hypocritical aspect of our earthly pilgrimage is hurting our cause so badly that Jesus’ church has now become something of a laughingstock among unbelievers. Sad but true. And it’s our own fault too. 

My fellow believers, we badly need to clean up our act on that front, otherwise all our efforts to mobilize the heathen to join Jesus’ LOVE Revolution will fall on deaf ears, and we’ll be laughed to scorn.

Now is that the result we desire for Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross? NO WAY! So let’s get serious and start practicing what we preach nuh, if we truly want to represent Jesus in the best manner possible. Remember, actions work more forcibly on the mind than precepts, mere words.  

And the second of Anselm’s quotes declares: ‘Instead of complaining–contribute.’ Now that’s what we were talking about earlier on. We are a society that complains way too much about petty stuff, when we should be contributing to the solutions of the numerous problems we have.

And yuh know mih people, complaining is a sin! Too much complaining doesn’t sit right with our heavenly Father. He wants us to be giving thanks and praise, regardless of our difficult situations. 

Just look at Jesus, whom we are supposed to be the mirror image of. He had real serious problems down here on earth. But He never complained. The Good Book tells us in our Bit: ‘He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought (was led) as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.’ 

And in yesterday’s Bit, we saw where it said that Jesus ‘endured the cross, despising the shame….’ He certainly put up with a lot of affliction and rejection for our sakes without a whole lot of complaining. Now I know that we all can’t be as stoic and uncomplaining as Jesus, but we can surely do much better than we’re currently doing. 

And when we have problems, the best way to resist the temptation to complain and carry on is to help others with their problems. It works wonders friends! It not only takes our minds off of our own troubles, but it also pleases and glorifies our heavenly Father! 

Now here are a couple of situations where Isaiah’s prophecy about Jesus not speaking came to pass. First up is His interrogation before the high priest, where two false witnesses stated. ‘This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days. And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness (testify) against thee? But Jesus held his peace (remained silent). (Matt.26:61-63a) 

However, shortly after, when the high priest said unto Jesus, ‘I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said (it is as you said): nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.’ (Matt. 26:63b-64) 

Possibly Jesus should have kept quiet then too because that only caused the high priest to throw a tantrum, rent his clothes and declare that Jesus’ statement was blasphemous for which the council found Him guilty and began to abuse him, physically and emotionally.  (Matt.26:65-68) 

But I guess Jesus had to say something like that, otherwise they would not have had a case against Him, because it’s that charge of blasphemy for which they finally brought Him before the Roman authorities, seeking His death.  

That brings us to the other time when Jesus remained silent. He was before Pilate the Roman governor. ‘And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing. Then said Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness (testify) against thee? And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly.’ (Matt.27:12-14)

Oh friends, I know it’s difficult, but sometimes it’s best for us too to keep quiet when we are being wrongfully accused. It throws off our accusers, gives us time to think and also time for God to act on our behalf. 

Well enough for us to chew on today. Please take your time, chew slowly, and ponder while you chew. (smile) Much LOVE!

…silence is usually golden in most situations…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 May 2014 Luke 21:19

Luke 21:19.     In your patience possess ye your souls.

Oh Friends, it’s Thursday, the day before the big day, Friday, when we’ll be finally blessed with a couple days off from our labour! So let’s enjoy and celebrate this wonderful day with a shout of thanks and praise to our heavenly Father.
 
And all God’s people rose up with joy and delightedly proclaimed: ‘This is the day the Lord our great God has made. We SHALL rejoice and be glad in it! Amen!’ And so let it be my people.
 
Ah mih breddren, our God is something else yes. And this small testimony I’m about to offer here, just proves that His Word doesn’t lie.
 
James tells us: ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not (without reproach); and it shall be given to him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (not doubting). For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.’ (James 1:5-6)
 
Well Friends, I got up this morning and there are currently a few negative things happening in my life that I can’t understand why they are happening, for in the natural, everything should be hunky dory.
 
Well since I got up I’ve been talking to the Lord about them, asking for some wisdom and understanding. And lo and behold, just now, when I read yesterday’s Bit, as I usually do before writing today’s, I got the answer in a news flash.
 
Ah Friends, I couldn’t help but laugh as the answer just hit me from the words of the Bit. And I’m still laughing as I write this. And they say the Lord isn’t real, isn’t alive and kicking and moving in mysterious ways? Chuh!
 
Well I’m here to testify that they are oh so wrong. Because our God is indeed alive and kicking, and kicking real hard too, and He does answer prayer in all forms and fashions, as He sees fit!
 
And as I keep saying living for Jesus is not easy, but it certainly is interesting and exciting. I finally discovered that what’s happening is a test of my spiritual maturity. Yuh see, I have to be careful of what I write and/or say, because the Lord oftimes turns right back and tests me on those things.
 
So a word of warning Friends; be very careful in what you say, or ask for, or testify to, for it will no doubt boomerang right back on you. Ah Lord eh! I’m still laughing…
 
But let’s move on to our Bit, the challenging and encouraging words of Christ our Saviour: ‘In your patience possess ye your souls.’
 
Oh Friends, I know I said that yesterday was the last day for this Bit, but unfortunately, or rather fortunately (smile) there was so much stuff to say that I couldn’t get in all the scripture I wanted to. And remember, I don’t want to overburden us with too much stuff to ponder on at once. (smile)
 
And these are also important passages of scripture, so I just didn’t want to waste them, not bring them to your attention. So without further ado, let’s delve deeply and meditatively into them.
 
The first one comes from James, talking about patience in affliction. ‘Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman (farmer) waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
 
Be ye also patient; stablish (establish) your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh (has come near). Grudge (grumble) not one against the other, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door. Take thy brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.
 
Behold, we count them happy (blessed) which endure. Ye have heard of the patience (perseverance) of Job, and have seen the end of (intended by) the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful (compassionate), and of tender mercy.’ (James 5:7-11)
 
Yes my people, our God is indeed compassionate and full of tender mercy to those who wait patiently and endure whatever comes against them in His name!
 
Now here’s a word from the scholars: 5:7-8. The coming of the Lord: Few doctrines concerning Jesus Christ are taught in James. His vicarious (deputed, substitutionary) death and resurrection are omitted, yet Christ’s return is cited to encourage patient endurance. Early and latter rain: Farmers in Palestine absolutely depended on two rainy seasons, late fall and mid-spring, for their crops.’
 
And we’ll end with another awesome passage of scripture on patience, this time from Peter, as he talks about the example of Christ’s suffering. Listen up carefully and closely now my fellow believers.
 
‘For this is thankworthy (commendable), if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongly. For what glory is it, if when ye be buffeted (beaten) for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? But if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with (commendable before) God.
 
For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile (deceit) found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again (in return); when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.
 
Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes (wounds) ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop (Overseer) of souls.’ (1 Pet.2:18-25)
 
Ah my fellow believers, if that doesn’t put a dart of sorrow, repentance and wanting to do better in our hearts, then I don’t know what will. Jesus suffered so much for us, that we ought to be willing to suffer a little to bring His Words, His story to the heathen, ungodly world in which we currently live.
 
Please, as true followers of the risen Christ, let’s attempt today to improve our walk of faith, of LOVE, enduring any suffering, affliction, trials and tribulations that might come our way, with the same stoic, God-granted assurance and confidence that He displayed. For that is the wisdom of the ages! Much LOVE!
 
…of all the necessary attributes for living a truly Christian life…patience might just be the most important and all encompassing…