Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 May 2018 John 17:16.

John 17:16.   They are not OF the world, even as I am not OF the world.

Aye friends, it’s a wet one in my area today. And the rain can be so beguiling… Earlier on, for over half an hour, I lay in my bed tossing and turning from side to side, knowing that I was not going back to sleep, especially since my nostrils were all blocked up and my mouth was dry as chip, but yuh think I could get up, as I listened to the gentle rain falling outside? 

No way! There’s just something about the rain that makes you want to stay in bed and curl up under the covers next to your special someone. And don’t forget its potent aphrodisiac properties! (smile) 

And today the Lord pointed me to some stuff I have written here on a piece of paper. I don’t know who or where I got them from, possibly from Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley), but I’m sure we’re not going to like them. They have to do with our behaviour as true and faithful believers in Jesus Christ. 

And they advise: 1. Don’t leap to judgement. 2. Take blame and give credit. 3. Don’t one up people, encourage them. 4. If it hurts say so, but don’t hit back. 5. Pray for your competitors. 

Mamacita! All of that goes against the very grain of our human nature! But that’s the way our Leader and Lord and Saviour wants us to operate in this crazy, selfish and greedy world. That’s how others will know that we’re different from the madding crowd and hopefully come to realize that we have what they’re missing and oh so badly need; the eternal and unconditional LOVE and saving grace of Jesus. 

And as we look back on those five things above, if we’re true to ourselves we will admit that they all play a major part in our lives. We all leap to judgement too quickly, with absolutely no relevant facts at hand. We just see or hear someone and we can spout a litany of things that are wrong with them. 

And when coming to taking blame…Hn! That does not exist in our current society. We’re all about pointing fingers at others and hogging whatever credit there is for ourselves. Oh, and one-upmanship is the name of today’s game. Yuh ever listen to group of people talking about their possessions? 

Each one comes up with something better than the other. And that’s one of the reasons why so many of us are so stressed out and miserable; foolishly, we’re trying too hard to keep up with the Joneses. 

And when it comes to being hurt, we’ll certainly let you know, but the trouble is that we also look for vengeance. But remember the Lord says that vengeance is His, and He will repay. Well I won’t even touch praying for our competitors, because that is definitely out of our behavioural sphere. Oh yes, we’ll pray for them, but for them to go under, not to succeed. 

Oh friends, please remember that we’re supposed to be IN the world but not OF the world; meaning we should not behave as the world does. No wonder Jesus prayed to the Father on our behalf: ‘And now I come to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 

I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil (evil one). They are not OF the world, even as I am not OF the world.’ (John 17:13-16) 

Ah mih people, what more can I say eh? Not a whole lot. Jesus prayed that we would not get involved with the world order even though we lived amongst it. That was necessary so that we could tell others about and show by example the good news He ushered into this world. 

And Bruh Paul reiterated the same sentiments 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) 

Oh my people, we can’t be IN the world, but not OF it, unless we completely renew our minds and bring it into line with the will of God. And the scholars offer this explanation on that subject: Dedication to the will of God. 

‘12:1-2. God’s will refers to His purpose for the life of the believer. It implies His guidance or direction in ALL of life’s decisions. Dedication is an act of surrender or submission to His will for our lives whereby we become a “living sacrifice.” Daily dependence on God results in our transformation into the image of Christ. 

Illustration: When we seek to discern the will of God we must also be committed to doing the will of God as it is revealed in the Word of God. (John 7:17) Application: The believer should evaluate every decision on the basis of biblical principles, knowing that obedience brings God’s blessing. (First Ref. Gen. 22:12; Primary Ref. Rom.12:1).’ 

The long and short of the story my brethren, is that we’re to live the will of God as found in His Word. And the only way we’re going to find out that will is by reading and studying His Word. So let’s get on with it nuh, so that we can all become the ‘living sacrifices’ that our Lord desires. 

Now it’s time to go home letting the world know who and whose we are by declaring our Tuesday Mantra. All together now, in full voice and complete sincerity: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

And the corollary to that: let’s go out and generously share what Jesus has given us. Much LOVE!

…God’s basic wish for us all…to become Christ-like clones…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 February 2018 Matthew 21:22.

Matthew 21:22.   And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask for in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

Ah friends, my most humble apologies for the lateness of today’s Bit. I have absolutely no idea what happened, except that when I was supposed to get up, I was still somewhere far away in dream land. (smile) 

And it’s not like I did anything exhaustive yesterday, or went to bed later than normal. In fact yesterday was designated a day of rest, as I watched the snow fall, and then listened to the snow ploughs and dump trucks cart it away later in the evening. So my only conclusion is that I was simply tired from excessive rest! (smile) 

But on a serious note, I’m asking us, especially our St. Francis people, to offer up sincere prayers for one of our church members, Abbi, who recently had to trek down to Indianapolis to help look after her very sick mother in the hospital. Some of you might not know her, because she usually comes to the 8.30 a.m service. 

Her father doesn’t seem to be doing too well either, as he appears to be stressed out over his wife’s illness. And to complicate matters even further, Abbi is also 6.5 months pregnant, so she also has to look after herself and her unborn child. That means she has to walk a very narrow and careful path in this tremulous situation. There’s not much we can do for the family except pray. So please do that. They would very much appreciate your prayers. 

Now here is something appropriate that I just found on one of the many pieces of paper that sit next to my computer. It’s a quote from Corville Peters, host of the Christian call in programme, ‘At the Cross.’ He says: ‘Prayer is not about trying to overcome God’s reluctance, but laying hold of His willingness on your behalf.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth! Prayer is not about trying to twist God’s arms to help us, but to activate His waiting and His willingness to help. I guess it’s something like our 911 Emergency Number. When you call it, you don’t have to beg them to come and help you, because that’s exactly what they are there for. 

It’s the same thing with our omnipotent God; He is there to always help us when we call, not hem and haw as to whether He should, or should not. And don’t ever forget friends, that prayer is the most powerful tool or weapon in our human arsenal! Otherwise, Jesus would not have said in our Bit: ‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask for in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’  

And it’s very true. But please note the most important word in that sentence: ‘believing.’ Yeh mih people, we have to believe that we will get what we pray for. You’ll notice, that with Jesus, everything is about believing, about having hope and faith, about seeing it when it’s nowhere in sight. 

Look at how we believe that Jesus died for us and LOVES us and all those good things, although we never met Him in the flesh. That’s what our faith is all about: when you believe, then you’ll see! And what better example is there than when Peter was imprisoned by Herod. 

The Good Book tells us: ‘Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for Him.’ (Acts 12:5) And what happened after that. An angel came and let Peter out of the prison like he was in a trance. (Acts 12:6-10)  

The Good Book continues: ‘And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety (for certain), that the Lord had sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.’ (Acts 12:11) 

And we all know how when he knocked at the door of Mary’s house, the mother of John Mark, even though they were praying for him, nobody would believe that he was out there, saying nonsense like, ‘It is his angel.’ He had to keep on knocking before they would let him in. (Acts 12:12-17) 

So you see friends, even though we pray sincerely, we still lack that ever-important aspect of belief. As Jesus said so plainly before our Bit: ‘Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain; be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.’ (Matt.21:21) 

It’s all about faith, and trust and belief in Jesus and His awesome power and promises my brethren! Please, let’s not lose or lessen our faith, but rather build it up, so that we can move to higher heights, become more Christ-like, as the Father desires. And in keeping with all that, let’s go home now, proudly and sincerely declaring out Thursday Blessings. 

In strong voice 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!’ 

And if we truly believe it all, then our next step is to go out and share it with others, as Jesus intends for us to do. Much LOVE!

…prayer…that wonderful…and oh so powerful…method of communication with our great God…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 November 2015 Matthew 24:3

Matthew 24:3.   And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world (age)?

Well mih breddren, it’s that wonderful day which we all LOVE to hate; Monday! (smile) Unfortunately there is not much we can do about it, so let’s band our jaws and get up and get with the programme nuh. 

Obviously, before you get going, you should offer up some praise and thanks for your name and picture not being in the obits today, (smile) and faithfully and sincerely ask for the strength, wisdom and guidance needed to have a successful day. It’s always best to both start and end the day with a thankful conversation with our Maker. That way we begin the day on the right foot and end it with peaceful repose.  

And if we had done like we were supposed to yesterday, rest and fellowship and worship with other believers, we wouldn’t be all stressed out and miserable this morning before we even went through the door. Anyway, as is our custom on a Monday, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with as much energy and enthusiasm as we can manage. Oh, by the way, our choirmaster, Jesus, has fire in His eyes this morning. That means he is expecting an excellent rendition.  

So let’s sing, as one voice, in perfect harmony.  ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Oh yes my people, it was good enough, as the smile on Jesus’ face indicates. So now we should all be ready to go out and face a world gone mad with evil and wickedness, selfishness and greed, and do our part to make a positive difference in Jesus’ name. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit for today: ‘And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world (age)?’ 

Ah Friends, those were certainly mind boggling questions back then, and still are in these tremulous times. And according to Mark’s gospel, it was Peter, James, John and Andrew who inquired of those things from Jesus.  (Mark 13:3) But before we get into Jesus’ answer, let’s see what led up to the questions in the first place.  

Matthew describes it thus: ‘And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to show him the buildings of the temple.’ (Matt.24:1)  

According to the scholars, they were referring to ‘the huge stones of the magnificent temple begun in 20 B.C under Herod the Great and completed some 84 years later.’ 

‘And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? Verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.’ (Matt.24:2) 

And the scholars tell us that ‘Jesus then left the city, crossed the Kidron Valley, and went east of Jerusalem to the Mount of Olives from which He could look down on the temple courtyard. Here His disciples asked Him three questions: (1) when shall these things be? (the destruction of the temple); (2) what shall be the sign of thy coming? (Gr. parousia, technical term for the coming of the King; (3) and of the end of the world? (Gr. aion, “the age”). Therefore, the entire discourse must be looked upon as answering all three of these questions.’  

And Friends, Jesus did get into a lengthy speech up there on the mountain. So now that we’ve set the scene, let’s check out Jesus’ answers to those questions. ‘And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ, and shall deceive many. 

And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers (various) places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.’ (Matt.24:4-8) 

And yuh know what Friends, we are indeed seeing these things happen on a wider and larger scale than ever before. The headline in the Toronto star Newspaper yesterday read in big, bold letters: ‘An act of war,’ referring to the cruel and cowardly killing of so many innocent and unsuspecting people in Paris on Friday evening by the criminal sadists,  we so nicely label terrorists. 

Steups! A cold blooded murderer by any other name is still a cold blooded murderer!  I don’t know why we legitimize their terrible behaviour with that name nuh. Anyway, I won’t get into any talk on that subject, because it will only increase my anger, and I might say something(s) I should not. 

Suffice it to say, that unless retaliation in kind for this totally uncalled for massacre is soon met, this nonsense will continue unabated. If we had had a suitable response for 9/11, this would never have happened.  We’ll continue this tomorrow, God willing. 

Till then, please walk safely with our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus, and do not be troubled, as He advised. Be concerned yes, but not worried or anxious, for everything is unfolding as it should. Much LOVE!

...God’s plans are working as they should… believers ought to stay in faith… because of His awesome promises to us…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 November 2015 Psalm 100:1

Psalm 100:1.   Make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) unto the Lord all ye lands (all the earth). 

Well a hearty good morning to you my Scrip-Bit Friends and family! It’s a somewhat chilly Tuesday morning in my neck of the woods, but that’s the norm for this time of year. And it surely feels good to be alive, especially after inhaling some of that fresh air while doing my garbage man duties. (smile) 

Now, before I forget, the ole fella had a thrilling adventure in the goodly city of Toronto yesterday afternoon… well it wasn’t all that thrilling, but it certainly was interesting. I had a medical appointment in the city and through my young daughter’s encouragement, I parked my car at the nearby Go Station and took the Go Bus into the city. 

That in itself was a first, and from high up, I noticed a lot of stuff that I never notice while driving in my car. Unfortunately though, after reaching the Bus Terminal I had to walk some four or five blocks to my appointment. But glory to God, between Him, my trusty walking stick and I, we made it without too much trouble. The knees held up admirably! 

Oh Friends, Toronto has become the veritable concrete jungle that Bob Marley sang in his song of the same name. All you can see is the sky right above you, as you walk down the streets that resemble canyons between the numerous skyscrapers. And you’d better believe that there are still several buildings in construction around the downtown area. Ah Lord eh, when is it ever going to end? 

Then I had to walk back the same distance to Union Station to catch a train home. I haven’t been in that place for literally donkey’s years, (smile) and with its new and refurbished look it was at first somewhat disconcerting. But again, with the help of God and the service people there I found my way to the train on time. 

Now that too was another eye-opening experience, since I had never ridden the Go-train on that route before. And it’s amazing what you see when you ride the train; all the undesirable and not-so beautiful backside of the city. I never even knew that there were so many stops along that route either. 

And if you think the traffic congestion is bad now, just imagine if the hundreds of cars parked in each Go-station parking lot were also on the road. Mama Mia! But I can now understand what the daily commuters go through; just like little ants scurrying along to get to and from work. 

And I left the city early, before the real rush began. Thank the Lord I don’t have to do that kind of commuting nuh! I can now understand too why the society is so stressed out, miserable and confrontational. Doing that sort of thing twice a day, five times a week is no joking matter. And by the time I got back home, I was as tired as a dog. 

Anyway, enough about my adventures. (smile) Today is Tuesday, so let’s recite our Tuesday Mantra. All together now: ‘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!’ 

Glory to God my people, for being such a wonderful Deity! And as children of the Most High God Jehovah, we have all His considerable and wonderful blessings and mercies set out before us in new batches each and every day! All praise and thanks be to our incomparable heavenly Father! 

Sadly though, I don’t think that we do offer our wonderful and awesome God enough sincere thanks and praise for our blessings, that’s why we’re continuing today with more scripture extolling those facets of our faith. Our Bit from Psalm 100 – A call to praise the Lord – declares it in great fashion. ‘Make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) unto the Lord all ye lands (all the earth).’ 

Now that’s exactly what we ought to be doing my fellow believers! We have so much to be thankful for, especially salvation and eternal life, that we ought to be jumping and shouting for joy, praising and thanking the Light of our lives, our Lord and Saviour, for His endless mercy and LOVING-kindness towards us, when we don’t deserve one iota of it. 

But what do we do? Instead we get sour and churlish, miserable and resentful as soon as some little thing doesn’t go our way. Chuh! That’s selfish and child-like behaviour my brethren, definitely not suitable for true followers of, and believers in Jesus Christ! 

Oh my people, what we truly ought to be doing as sons and daughters of Almighty God, is what the psalmist lays out as he continues: ‘Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.’ (Ps.100:2) 

That is what the elders in heaven are doing; around God’s throne: singing a new song to Christ: ‘Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.’(Rev.4:11) 

So Friends, if the heavenly hosts can sing praise and thanks to the Lord, why can’t we earthly beings do it to eh? No good reason whatsoever my people! 

And it’s not like we don’t know what we’re to do, but we’re just lazy and uninterested in the things of God, paying more attention to the earthly circumstances of our lives and the unprofitable sleek and shining things of this world. 

And though this will make the bit longer than I desired, I believe it’s necessary for us to hear the rest of the psalm. ‘Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. 

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.’ (Ps.100:3-5) 

Please my people, let’s allow that scripture to be written indelibly into our souls nuh, for it is the gospel truth! And as we ponder upon it today, let’s ask our heavenly Father, who refuses us nothing that’s within His will, to help us put it all into worthwhile action. That my Friends, is the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!

…praise Him, praise Him…Glory Hallelujah…for He is LOVE…He is LOVE…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 July 2015 2 Corinthians 1:3

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

Oh Friends, was yesterday ever an interesting day! Not only was it interesting nuh, but also rather humbling. Would you believe that on the hottest day of the year so far, about 30 C – I had to go into the goodly city of Toronto to check out a medic re my arthritically challenged right shoulder. (smile)

But with the Pan Am Games in town, I decided to take the subway into the city instead of fighting the traffic back and forth and running around looking for parking down there. Now it’s been a few years since I last travelled the subway. I believe it was still a dollar and some cents for a one-way ride, but now it’s three dollars. Mama yo!

And the upstairs and downstairs traipsing to the trains weren’t all that easy on the ole knees, but we made it through, with the Lord’s help of course. Going down wasn’t bad because the train wasn’t crowded, but coming back, shortly after four, brother!

The platforms were full of people moving in all different directions and I had to stand up on the train because there were no seats available. And yuh know that wasn’t even the real rush hour, after five is when the real cattle car stuff really happens.

At one stage I looked up at the route map on the wall and counted fifteen stops to where I got off and sincerely hoped that I wouldn’t have to stand up all the way. But the Lord is so good to me that halfway along a seat opened up right next to me. And would you believe that there were several women around who didn’t take the seat? So, finally swallowing my manly pride, I thankfully plopped myself down on it. (smile)

But another thing, with these new trains the seats are so small you can barely fit on them, there’s much more standing room than on the older trains that I was accustomed to. The diversity of the people on the train was certainly amazing too, showing that T.O has become a real cosmopolitan town.

But the behaviour on the train was still the same; people were still serious and into themselves, possible even more now, with everybody on their little phones or whatever, intently absorbed in their own business. 

Me, I didn’t even have my cell phone, because when I turned it on before I left home, I found it dead as a door nail, though I had recently charged it. Apparently the battery isn’t holding the charge and I need to buy a new one.

Finally, to make matters worse, when I did exit the train, I came out the wrong doors and had to walk twice as much to get to my car in the parking lot. But Friends, our God is so wonderful, the ole fella tramped it all with great aplomb, standing strong and tall although the body was aching and the heat was oppressive. All glory be to Jehovah God!

I don’t know how people do it every day nuh, and twice a day to boot! After my first winter, some forty years ago, I promised myself never again to have to take the bus and streetcar and subway everyday to get to work. And it’s a promise that I’ve kept all through the years.

Now by the time I got home, shortly after six, I was so tired and sweaty, I just had to jump in the shower and allow the cold water to reinvigorate the ole aching bones. Ah Friends, we never really appreciate how good we have it until we try to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes nuh.

Believe you me, I am exceedingly thankful for not having to face the rush and the pull and push of public transit commuting everyday. No wonder people are so tired and stressed out and impatient. And yet they refuse to turn to the God of all comfort.

With my somewhat physically challenged self, I certainly could not have done what I did yesterday without a full serving of God’s grace, mercy and comfort. That’s why I implore us Friends, to do like Bruh Paul did in his afflictions, to turn to the Lord.

Our Bit states it so obviously. ‘Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.’

Oh my people, what absolute and indisputable truth! And I speak here from personal experience, as many of you no doubt can also attest to. Our God is the greatest and best comforter in the entire world.

For as Bruh Paul continues after our Bit. ‘Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble (tribulation), by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.’ (2 Cor.1:4)

Now here is some info from the scholars on those verses. ‘1:3-4. Blessed (Gr. eulogetos, “well spoken of”) is used in the New Testament of God (e.g. Eph.1:3). It is a term of adoration and praise.

The Father of mercies: The mercies in view here include everything from deliverance from the world, sin, and Satan, to participation in sonship, light, and life. But the force is even more than this. The stress is that the Father is characterized by mercy (cf. Ps.86:5; Dan.9:9; Mic.7:18).’ Please check out those scriptures Friends, I just did, and they are rather interesting.

So my brethren, as with every blessing that God pours upon us, He intends for us to share His comfort with others too. When He comforts us, He expects us to use that same comfort to comfort others who are undergoing tough and rough times. That’s how Christians ought to operate; spreading God’s blessings around to all in need.

However though, in this modern age of untold selfishness and greed, that is not happening as much as it ought to. We instead try to hoard, to keep all that God has given us to share, for ourselves. That’s why there is so much want and deprivation in the world today.

Those with a lot are not sharing sufficiently with those who are in need and want. And until that attitude undergoes a godly change, our world will not improve, but most likely become even worse.

That means, we believers have to fight to turn things around. We cannot afford to be simply complacent in our own blessed lives, but are duty bound as believers in Christ to help those in need. So let’s try and concentrate on that today nuh; helping those in need, for as the saying goes, there is always someone out there who is in a worse situation than us.

And please remember that Jesus came to earth so that we might have life, and have it more abundantly, and He greatly desires that we share that abundance with others. Much LOVE!

…blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings…in heavenly places…in Christ…  (Eph.1:3)

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 May 2015 Psalm 16:11‏

Psalm 16:11    Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Aye Friends, can you believe that it’s already Wednesday, the middle of the workweek? Brother! The days they are moving along like greased lightning. Truly though, the days aren’t really any faster than normal nuh, it’s just our perception. We live in such a busy and fast paced society that everything just seems speeded up.

And our God doesn’t want us being so busy with the cares of the world that we don’t have sufficient time to spend with Him. However that’s exactly what happens to many of us; we lead such busy lives, or rather believe we lead such busy lives that we can’t seem to find time to give God His two seconds worth, because that’s just how much time we dedicate to most things.

That attitude is wrong though my people. We need to slow down and enjoy the beauty of God’s world around us, and also spend a fair amount of time in His presence, studying His Word and communicating one on one with Him, for remember the joy of the Lord is our strength. (Neh.8:10) Only as we are filled with His strength can we be truly joyful. Or put the other way; only as we are filled with His joy can we be strong.

Ah mih people, everyday we’re bombarded with some new device that’s faster, and can do more stuff, but do we really need that? I don’t think so. What are we going to do when we reach the point that we can’t go any faster eh? It’s ironic, but the only place that many people slow down is in their daily commute to and from work, in the massive traffic jams that occur every day of the workweek, and even on Saturdays and Sundays nowadays.

The other day I got caught on the highway during the afternoon rush hour and was I ever surprised to see the number of vehicles parked up in the 12 to 16 lanes of highway, going nowhere fast. I don’t know what’s the answer nuh Friends, all I know is that it’s a pox on our society. We lose so much time and money sitting in traffic every day that it’s not funny.

Isn’t it laughable though, that with all our brilliance in other areas of life, we still can’t find a better, more productive and positive way for the basic function of getting to and from the jobs that provide our livelihood. That’s why we’re so stressed out and keep running aimlessly, like chickens with our heads cut off.

There’s no need to worry though Friends, for we have the perfect antidote to all those problems; seek God sincerely and continually and He will give you the necessary parts to handle our crazy society. It’s as simple as that. But for many of us in these modern times that’s just too simple and easy. Unless a solution is complicated, we find it difficult to accept.

But Friends, just listen to the words of our Bit and then tell me why I’d refuse to do what it says eh? ‘Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.’ That’s sounds so wonderful to me, so why would I want to bother with anything else eh?

Oh my people, please, let’s wake up and appreciate the goodness and LOVING-kindness of our magnificent and magnanimous God nuh! Instead of trying to rid our society of Him, let’s bring Him back with a great outpouring of His Word and His marvellous LOVE!

That’s the answer to most of our problems in the world today; reinstating Jehovah God as our guide and overseer.

Sadly though, too many of us are caught up in the frenzied lifestyle of the rich and famous, seeking to copy it in our own lives, or wasting our time by paying too much attention to their follies and sinful, ungodly lifestyles. That’s why all the gossip media is flourishing in these troubled times.

Anyway, enough of my venting, (smile) let’s see what the scriptures have to say about the subject. Listen to Bruh David’s call on God from Psalm 25 – A prayer for guidance and protection. ‘’Show me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.’ (Ps.25:4-5)

Oh Friends, are we crying out to God for His guidance and direction, and waiting patiently for Him to answer our prayers? I surely hope so, otherwise we’re losing out big time on His goodness and mercy. For He is the only one who can successfully lead and guide us through this mish-mash society and ungodly world.

Listen to Bruh David again, this time from Psalm 31. ‘In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust (do I take refuge); let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness. Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock (rock of refuge), for a house of defense (fortress) to save me. For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me.’ (Ps.31:1-3)

Yeh Friends, it’s all about our God; about working in tandem with Him! That’s the only way we’ll ever be able to successfully navigate this madhouse that our world’s become.

Now more Bruh David, (smile) this time from Psalm 143: ‘Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.’ (Ps.143:10)

Oh my people, I don’t how else to put it nuh, but that Bruh David knew on which side his bread was buttered. And since this seems to be a Bruh David day, (smile) let’s end with some more of his fine words from Psalm 139- The everlasting presence and power of God.

He tearfully declares: ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts (anxious thoughts): And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’ (Ps.139:23-24)

Oh Friends, oh Friends, that ought to be the soulful, heartfelt cry of every believer this morning!

Let’s seriously and sincerely turn back to God nuh my people, for that’s where all the good answers lie! Let’s wise up and acknowledge His superiority, His supremacy, and the fact that we can do very little without Him. That is indeed wisdom at its zenith! Much LOVE!

…following the world…is like the blind leading the blind…but following Jesus…oh bless my soul…that is like the Good Shepherd leading his sheep…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 November 2014 2 Peter 1:7

2 Peter 1:7.   And to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness charity (LOVE).
 
Ah Friends, it’s Saturday – the swing day of the week. You’re tired from the week’s work, but you also have lots of stuff to do around the house, and errands to run outside that you could not do during the normal work hours.
 
You want to sleep in late, but you also want to hit the stores and groceries before the crowd, the others in the same boat as you, hit them and make it a maelstrom of swirling, rushing and jostling bodies.
 
Oh, what a stressful life we live in these modern times! And isn’t it strange and laughable, but also very sad, that all our endeavours throughout the earlier generations were to make our modern lives easier, with little or no stress, with more time for relaxation and fun, more time for family and God.
 
Hn! What a joke! Now we’re busier than ever, with much less free time. We work more than ever – when you can find it – and are more stressed out and anxious in peacetime as never before! Ah mih people, we just seem to have everything backwards.
 
And very foolishly, in all the current rush for power and glory, wealth and material riches, we’ve abandoned the Lord God of Israel, when we were admonished and reminded long long ago: ‘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.’ (Deut.8:18)
 
How unwise of us eh Friends; looking for something by turning away from the One who has the power to grant that same something! Only humans would do that you say… And you’re quite correct!
 
Enough on our misguided ways though, let’s turn to our Bit. ‘And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity (LOVE).’
 
And today I want to point out a few instances of kindness in the Good Book, a couple of which eventually led to great rewards. Let’s begin with Rehab the harlot, who helped the two Israelite spies in Jericho. (Joshua 2)
 
Before helping them escape, she said to them: ‘Now therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by thy Lord, since I have shown you kindness, that ye will also show kindness unto my father’s house, and give me a true token (a pledge of faithfulness). (Josh. 2:12)
 
And the men promised: ‘Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by: and thou shalt bring  (gather) thy father and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father’s household unto thee.’ (Josh. 2:18)
 
And the scholars have an interesting note on that last verse. ‘2:18. Rehab’s scarlet thread, bound to the window of her house, made the house easily identifiable by the Israelite troops. The incident is reminiscent of the protection accorded to the Israelites in Egypt at the first Passover (Ex.12:7, 21, 23). The scarlet may also contain an indication of Rehab’s sin, covered by the blood (cf. Is.1:18; 1 Cor.5:7; Heb.9:22).’
 
And that promise was kept when the Israelites captured Jericho. Before they destroyed the city, Joshua sent in the two spies to bring out Rehab and her family.
 
‘And the young men that were spies went in, and brought Rehab, and her father, and her mother, and her brethren, and all that she had; and they brought out all her kindred (relatives), and left them without (outside) the camp of Israel….
 
And Joshua saved Rehab the harlot alive, and her father’s household, and all that she had; and she dwelleth in Israel even unto this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.’ (Josh.6:23, 25)
 
Yeh Friends, kindness usually begets kindness, though not always right away.
 
Now let’s look at the story of Ruth, whose kindness and fidelity to her mother-in-law, Naomi, caused her to be one of only two women – Esther is the other one – to have a Book in the Bible named after them. Please read the Book of Ruth in the Old Testament, if you do not know the story. It’s very short, so it should not take too long.
 
It also caused Ruth to become an ancestor of Jesus Christ, through her marriage to Boaz. That union produced a son named Obed, who then fathered Jesse, Bruh David’s father, to whose line Joseph, Jesus’ father belonged.
 
And remember Friends, that Ruth was a Gentile, which made the union between her and Boaz rather symbolic, as the scholars point out. ‘Thus through the union of Jew and Gentile would ultimately come the Saviour of all men (Acts 4:12). The marriage of Boaz and Ruth may thus serve as a picture of Christ and His church through whom all believers become one (Eph.2:11-22).’
 
Then we have the famous statement of Bruh David. ‘And David said, Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness (covenant faithfulness) for Jonathan’s sake?’ (2 Sam.9:1) Remember the covenant between Jonathan, King Saul’s son, and Bruh David. (1 Sam.20:14-17)
 
And there was found a lame son of Jonathan, Mephibosheth, living in hiding and abject poverty. Bruh David brought him to his house. ‘And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely show thee kindness for Jonathan thy father’s sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually.’ (2 Sam.9:7)
 
Yes my people, kindness, especially amongst friends is a wonderful thing!
 
Now here are a couple of notes from the scholars that will give us a little more insight into the story, and into the benefits of kindness. ‘9:1. The kindness of David related to the covenant bond into which he and Jonathan had entered. (See the note on 1 Sam.20:14-17)  David’s kindly behaviour towards Jonathan’s helpless son in raising him from a lowly state and providing for his every need stands as an illustration of God’s own grace to men in their need (cf. Eph.2:4-7).’
 
And that note on 1 Sam.20:14-17 says: ‘Kindness and LOVE are essential ingredients in the covenant stipulations of the ancient Near East. They speak of a relationship whereby each party treats the other as a full family member, with loyalty, dignity, and devotion.
 
Jonathan continues with recognition of David’s divinely established preeminence (cf. v.8; 18:3-4). The everlasting covenant between Jonathan and David (cf.vs.23, 42) will be remembered by David when he becomes king (cf. 2 Sam.9).’
 
Ah mih people, if only such kindness existed today on a much broader and wider scale, then our world would not be in such an agonizing, antagonistic and resentful mess!
 
But we can definitely improve the situation if we follow these memorable words of Bruh Paul to the Galatians. ‘And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not (do not lose heart). As we therefore have opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.’ (Gal.6:9-10)
 
Oh my fellow believers, please, let’s write those words indelibly in our hearts and minds this morning nuh, then faithfully practice them from henceforth. It’s not only our bounden duty, but also wisdom at its zenith. Much LOVE!
 
…it’s so much easier and wiser…to be kind…than to be cruel…

 

 
 

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