Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 January 2020 John 8:12.

John 9:12.    ​I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
 
Well it’s begun as a somewhat grey and unappealing Thursday morning, but let’s hope that it will eventually turn into a bright sunshiny day like yesterday, although it was a tad on the chilly side. Yes friends, there’s something to be said for sunshine, even when it’s freezing cold! (smile) It just lifts the spirits…don’t know if it’s because of the light and our spirits were made to enjoy light, not darkness, but it certainly does help to see a nice, bright day filled with sunshine, especially when things are not going too well. 

But yuh know what? We believers don’t really need to depend so much on the physical sunlight because we have the one who made that sunlight, who is also that sunlight, dwelling deep down inside of us! And consequently, when the physical sunlight is not apparent, we can faithfully call on the spiritual light of Jesus to brighten up our days…and also our nights! Wow! That’s why He could make this awesome, but oh so true statement: ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ 

Ah friends, what a blessing it is to have the Light of the world in our lives; dwelling securely and faithfully in the souls and spirits of each believer! (chuh!) Give Him much thanks and praise for He is certainly deserving of them! Now hear how John characterizes Him nuh: ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.’ (John 1:1-4) 

Yes my people, Jesus was there from the very beginning: He was the Word; the awesome Word that God spoke to create the universe! ‘Let there be light…and there was light.’ (Gen. 1:3) He was also ‘the life’, which was the light of men, meaning when we have Jesus, we have both life and light! Glory be! And as the scholars explain: ‘1:4-5. Life…light: See also 8:12; 9:5; 11:25; 14:6. In John’s writings, life represents salvation and deliverance through Christ, and light denotes Jesus’ revelation of God which calls men to accountability.’ 

That’s why it’s so sad and unfortunate when John continues: ‘And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness comprehended (apprehended) it not.’ (John 1:5) Yes, Jesus came to shine light into a darkened world, but the world did not cotton to His light. Why, you wonder? Because as Jesus said in His famous discourse to Nicodemus: ‘And this is the condemnation of the world, that light (the light) is come into the world, and men LOVED darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.’ (John 3:19) 

No wonder we refused the life and light that was, is, and will always be Jesus! It’s hard for evil man to give up his evil deeds because it’s just an inherent part of his nature. But friends, that evil nature will not get us anywhere except hellfire and damnation, eternal separation from Almighty God, which is the worst thing that can ever happen to a human soul and spirit! That’s why the Father sent Jesus to earth to redeem us and to reconcile us to Him, otherwise come the big judgement day, we’d be left on the outside looking in. And believe me friends, whatever that might entail in reality, it certainly will not be a good thing! 

Now listen to Jesus again on the subject of ‘the light of the world,’ when He was about to heal a man born blind and the disciples asked Him who had sinned that he was born blind? ‘Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest (be revealed) in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the  light of the world.’ 

Yes precious people of God, certain things are made to happen in this evil word so that our God can cause them to be rectified and thus glorify His most blessed and holy name! But the most important part of those statements is the fact that while Jesus was in the world, He was indeed the light of the world, but once He left the world, the duty of being light to a darkened world fell on us, His believers. Like He said back on the Sermon on the Mount after the Beatitudes: ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. …Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:14, 16) 

Ah my fellow believers (yeah!), we are now the reflection of Jesus’ shining light to this evil world, so let’s go out and shine nuh… Oh and don’t forget we’re also the salt of the earth, so we have to be tasty too, otherwise we’ll just be cast out and ground underfoot. (smile)  And the great thing about Jesus is that He never gives us a task to perform unless He gives us the wherewithal, the tools to perform it. And He’s certainly given us the tools to be the salt and light of the earth in our Thursday Blessings, so let’s declare (yeah!) them now nuh, so we can invoke them in our daily routine. 

As one strong and sincere voice: ‘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 and are truly sincere, then we’ll go out now and generously share those blessings with others as Jesus desires of us, and don’t selfishly hoard them for ourselves. Much LOVE!

…oh…what a joy and pleasure it is…to be the salt and light of this evil world…in Jesus’ name…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 November 2019 Matthew 5:19.

Matthew 5:19.    ​Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal:
 

‘Sunshine makes me feel so happy…Sunshine makes me feel so sad…’ Yeh friends, sunshine has the ability to do both those things. When we see it in the early morning hours, it lifts our spirits, but when it gets too hot, or too cold, as it is now in my neck of the woods, it deflates the spirit somewhat. But let’s be thankful for small mercies nuh, be thankful that there’s a bright sun shining in God’s beautiful sky, instead of any negative precipitation like the rain we’ve been recently having, or the snow that’s in our immediate future. And the ordinary workingman reminds us of just that in his weekend song. 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday, and the weekend is upon us! Boy, is that ever the best time of the week! And the sun’s shining to boot…and no snow not falling…not yet anyway. Wow! As Brother James Brown would say: ‘Get on the good foot baby!’ Yes, I’m certainly going to do that, come rain, snow or shine, cause life’s too short to allow the vagaries of the weather to control it. And who doesn’t want to do that, that’s their business, their loss. They don’t know what a good time they passing up nuh. To some of us, it’s okay to work all week, then don’t enjoy the weekend. Well not me nuh! I’m starting right now to enjoy it oui! Come hell or highwater, my weekend going to be a blast! Yes sir! Thank God for Fridays and weekends!’ 

And so should we all, my precious people of God! Because it’s only through His grace and mercy that we can enjoy the fruits of our labour in fairly peaceful surroundings. Unfortunately, a great proportion of humanity are unable to do that, due to strife and wars and other public upheavals. So let’s give some sincere and heartfelt thanks as we declare our weekend song, our Friday Chant.

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.’ 

And as I like to remind us each week, Christianity is an action oriented, outgoing association, but not one that just runs hither, thither and yon without a sensible sense of purpose. (smile) That is to say, our Leader, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ has instituted borders and boundaries that we should not cross over since they would just allow the ever-lurking enemy to get a foothold in our lives, something we need to avoid at all cost. So, unlike the ordinary workingman, we don’t rush out and do whatever we want, or whatever feels good, we need to examine our actions in the context of Christ’s boundaries before we do stuff. 

Now sometimes that’s difficult, or it seems to detract from what we’d naturally consider a joyful time. But friends, it’s better to be safe than sorry, for once we get into certain activities or circumstances, they will certainly come back to haunt us, possibly for the rest of our lives. Please, please, let’s remember that all that glitters is not gold, especially in the enemy’s camp. His stuff is not even gold plated, just covered with a thin veneer of gold paint, and gets rusty real quickly! (smile) That’s why Jesus went to such great length to warn us in His Sermon on the Mount: ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal:’ What life changing, world beating advice my brethren! 

And it’s not like we don’t know, or have not experienced the theft and/or fraudulent gain of our earthly treasure by others, yet we continue to kill ourselves in order to accumulate earthly wealth and possessions that can be so easily violated. And Jesus doesn’t leave us hanging, He shows us where to store our treasure. ‘But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal.’ (Matt. 6:20) That’s ageless wisdom people! If you have treasure, the best place to store it is where it’s the safest from thieves and rust…and that’s heaven. 

And furthermore, Jesus reminds us: ‘For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ (Matt.6:21) Gospel truth friends! Just think about your earthly valuables right now, wherever you have them stored, your mind is always on them wondering if they are safe; in the bank, or under your mattress, or if they are making you more money, increasing in value, in places like the stock exchange. And in these oh so turbulent times, we’re thinking about our earthly treasure more than ever, since matters totally out of our control can cause us to lose it all. 

Listen to the scholars: ‘6:19-21. The attention of the believer is directed toward treasures in heaven. The term treasures implies the addition or accumulation of things. The two kinds of treasures are conditioned by their place (on earth, or in heaven). The concept of laying up treasures in heaven is not pictured as one of meritorious benefits but rather as rewards for faithful service, as is illustrated elsewhere in the teaching of Jesus.’ Oh friends all the wealth in the world won’t get us into heaven. That doesn’t mean it’s wrong to have earthly wealth, but it’s how we use it. 

Hear Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘Charge (command) them that are rich in this world (present age), that they be not highminded (haughty), nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute (give), willing to communicate (share); Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.’ (1 Tim. 17-19) Yeh friends, once we believe in Christ, we must use our earthly treasures to help others, to further God’s kingdom, thus we will store up rewards, treasures in heaven…and you can’t beat heavenly treasures! Much LOVE!

…labour not to be rich…do not overwork…cease from thine own wisdom… (Prov.23:4)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 October 2019 Psalm 119:116.

Psalm 119:116.   Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope.

 

And yes friends, we’ve been granted life and breath to see another day on God’s great earth! What a joy and a pleasure, that’s why we ought to give great thanks and enjoy it! And we’re doing just that today in Canada on our official Thanksgiving Day; giving lots of thanks for the numerous blessings we enjoy up there in that wonderful country and enjoying the fruits of our labour as the Lord would have us do. Sorry I’m not up there to share it with you my Canadian Scrip-Bit family, but I’m down in J.A. giving plenty thanks too, especially for the sunshine and warm weather, (smile) although some rain fell earlier this morning.

Oh, yes, today is also Monday, that means the start of a new work week for most people, except we Canadians, (smile) who mostly have the day off to give thanks and praise and celebrate. But just remember Granny’s warning: drunk or sober mind yuh business, and don’t give the devil an opportunity to get into yuh business, because yuh know how he destructive and deceitful, and just wants to muck up our lives and get us off the path of righteousness as set by Jesus.

Now I believe it’s just a holiday in Canada, which means lots of others still have to go to work, and many might just be jealous of us having the day off, so their spirits are low, (smile) but we’re here to assure them of our encouragement with that wonder-working prayer we call our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, which is designed to get us up and moving. So let’s declare it together now nuh, let’s call upon our mighty and magnanimous God for His awesome help, wonderful grace and mercy, which enable us to do His work.

All together now: ‘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 mih people, don’t you just LOVE how those sincere words of prayer automatically raises our spirits and strengthens our entrails, causing us to get the gumption to go out and do Jesus’ work! That’s the endearing work of the Holy Spirit that indwells us for that very purpose! Give our wonderful God some thanks for the way He looks after us, how He has provided for our every need! 

And that’s what some of us, the Graduating Class of 1969, have been doing for the last few days; giving thanks and praise, reminiscing, fellowshipping, partying, and making new memories to add to the old ones we made some fifty years ago on the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies, that august institution that spawned so many leaders in so many fields all around the world! 

Sadly, that good time is now over, it ended yesterday with a church service and a brunch in Mary Seacole Hall of Residence for some of us, but some of the medical fraternity continued it up in the hills above Kingston by one of their colleagues. The Saturday night events were good too. It reminded the Economic Students especially, of the wonderful days in the Students Union where the parties happened back then. And the old tunes brought back vivid memories of those fun-filled times. And I LOVED the D.J because whatever old tune you asked for, he just dialled it up, and the music never stopped…

Oh by the way, we had the famed Jamaican musician Boris Gardiner with us that evening, and he crooned a few of his old hits, which we also  danced to – especially the rent-a tile ones. (smile) And I’m reaping the consequences of so much partying because my ole hip is aching like crazy. (smile) But it was worth it! All in all it was a most entertaining and worthwhile time; the camaraderie and togetherness were exceptional…just hope we can do it another fifty years from now. (smile) 

That brings us to today’s scripture taken from the great Psalm 119. ‘Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope. Hold thou me up (uphold me), and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto (observe) thy statutes continually.’ (Ps.119:116-117) Ah friends, without the Lord’s mighty hands holding us up and looking after us, we’d be lost, adrift in this evil and ungodly world, merely playthings for the evil one! 

No wonder Bruh David, in Psalm 25, his prayer for guidance and protection, sincerely cried out: ‘O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies’ triumph over me. Yea, let none that wait (in faith) on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress (deal treacherously) without cause. 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.25:3-5) 

Oh people, with sincere words like those reaching up to heaven, yuh think the Lord would ever turn them down? NEVER! Because that’s how He wants us to be; ever trusting and faithful to Him and His Word! And furthermore, no one who believes in the Most High God shall be ashamed of or disappointed in that trust and belief and hope. 

Hear Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. ‘And hope maketh not ashamed (does not disappoint); because the LOVE of God is shed abroad (has been poured out) in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were without strength, in due time (at the right time) Christ died for the ungodly.’ (Rom.5:5-6) Oh friends, what more can we ask or expect eh? Nothing really, because everything has already been provided for us by our wonderful heavenly Father! Give Him much thanks and praise for His grace and mercy to the ungrateful children of men! Much LOVE!

…there’s nothing in this world…as satisfying…as gratifying…as giving thanks and praise to our Creator…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 May 2019 Philippians 2:5.

Philippians 2:5.   ​Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
 

Well hello there you beautiful people; my Scrip-Bit family and fellow saints of Jesus Christ! Oh, isn’t it great to be alive, especially on such a sunny morning? It surely is! There’s just something special about waking up to bright sunshine… How did John Denver describe it in his popular song, of the same name written by himself and Barry Manilow? 

‘Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry Sunshine on the water looks so lovely Sunshine almost always makes me high!’ And isn’t that the awesome truth! Sunshine just has a wonderful and positive effect on us, like the light of Jesus when it shines upon us and brings us out of the darkness! 

Oh what a wonderful Being is our Jesus! Without Him we’re nothing! And the sooner we realize that tremendous truth, the better off we’ll all be! And that fact is most important in this Easter Season as we celebrate His death and then His triumphant resurrection from the grave, conquering the evil one in the process! For it’s that action that assures us of forgiveness, reconciliation and a family relationship with out heavenly Father, both now and forever more! 

Before that we were all useless sinners, headed for damnation and hellfire, but when Christ paid for our sins with the shedding of His holy blood and sacrifice of His sinless life on the cross of Calvary, then a whole new world suddenly opened to us! No wonder we sing and shout: ‘Glory Hallelujah! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Yes friends, that momentous occasion is possibly the most important aspect of our faith, because without it, all the good stuff now available to us would never have been. That’s why we ought to be so thankful and grateful to Jesus for His awesome and selfless sacrifice. He did not have to do it, but it was the Father’s wish, and He never wanted to do anything but what the Father desired. Wish that we could be so obedient…or even half so obedient! (smile) 

Jesus in His time on earth continually made it known that He was here to do the Father’s will, and that everything He did was what the Father wanted. Listen to some of His sayings on that subject. In speaking to the Jews about them being the children of Abraham: ‘Then answered the Jews and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil (demon)? Jesus answered, I have not a devil (demon); but I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me. And I seek not mine own glory: there is ONE that seeketh and judgeth.’ (John 8:48-50)  

And again He said, ‘I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.’ (John 9:4) And again He told them: ‘Many good works have I showed you from the Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?’ (John 10:32) And furthermore: ‘If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.’ (John 10:37-38) 

Yes friends, Jesus never did anything in his honour, but always the Father’s. No wonder Bruh Paul could say to the Philippians: ‘Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made (coming) in the likeness of men: 

And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth. And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil. 25:5-11) 

Oh my fellow believers, why can’t we see the great premium that our heavenly Father places on obedience to His holy will eh, and just obediently do what He desires of us! Look at how He exalted Jesus for being obedient to His will! It’s the same way He will exalt us for doing what He asks of us! 

But no, we claim to be believers, but constantly shy away from, and oftimes blatantly refuse to do God’s bidding. How does that endear us to him eh? How does that encourage Him to lift us up? It doesn’t at all. But we all desperately want to be lifted up… Ah mih people, our God is wonderful and all that, but He is also a stickler for obedience, and if we don’t obey, then we won’t enjoy all the blessings He’s got stored up for us. 

So please, let’s stop talking about obedience to God, and just do it nuh! We all know what we’re supposed to do, so please, let’s just do it. Let’s make what we say in our Wednesday Wail a reality and not simply lip service! All together now, let’s tell the world our position in Christ. ‘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 if we’re obedient and sincere, then that future will indeed be rather glorious…more than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…there’s nothing the Father LOVES more…than an obedient child…

 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 29 March 2019 1 Peter 5:8.

1 Peter 5:8.   Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.
 

Oh friends, please give God the glory! Yes, give him much thanks and praise for bringing the ole fella home to sweet Tobago…the land of salt water and sunshine…togetherness and LOVE! Yeh, the ole fella is in Paradise, God’s li’l acre! 

Don’t blame me! I was quite prepared to spend the whole winter in the cold climes, but the duchess got fed up with the crazy weather and a sickly, whining husband and decided to bring me here to see if I could get better some! (smile) 

As she said to me this morning when she got up and looked out on her idyllic scene: beautiful tropical flora, blowing in cool breezes flowing off the gently undulating sea as it washes up on the rocky shore – she knew it would make my heart glad…and hers too…and does it ever! And you know I’ll never refuse a trip to sweet Tobago! 

Sorry to leave you all back up there in the cold, but I myself am sick and tired of being sick and tired – never happened to me before – (smile) and I do believe my old bod will do good with the constant sunshine and salt water…just wish it could be for at least six months…but as my wise mama always taught me: ‘Son be thankful for small mercies!’ And yuh better believe I am! 

Anyway, it’s Friday and the workingman is just dying to trill out his weekend song. So let’s allow him to have his say nuh. “TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! Wow! Another weekend already! This one really caught me by surprise! I was so busy working I didn’t even notice the days just flying by! 

But yuh better believe that now is my time! I put in mih required time in the slave master work, now is time for me to enjoy mihself and party and eat and drink and enjoy the fruit of my labour as the wisest man ever, King Solomon said, cause that’s the benefit from our great and generous God! 

And since spring is in the air, although it still chilly when the day come with the cold wind blowing, is now time to get ready for all the stuff that’s going to be soon happening. Mama Yo! Everybody will be sure glad to see the end of this crazy winter! But in the meantime we going to give God thanks for Fridays and weekends, otherwise life woulda been real rough with we yes! Thank you Lord, thank you!’ 

Yes friends, we do have to give much thanks and praise to our heavenly Father for looking after us the way He does…even the ordinary working man realizes and appreciates that, so how much more should we true believers recognize and appreciate it eh? Much much more! And really the basic difference between our Friday Chant and the workingman’s song is that we recognize tighter, narrow boundaries than He does. 

Our Redeemer, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ doesn’t want us hanging off the edge of the limbs, because they might just break and send us plunging headlong into the chasm of hell with the powers of darkness and that would be very unfortunate for us. So to celebrate His ultimate wisdom, let’s chant our Friday Chant nuh, with the enthusiasm and sense of purpose that the workingman showed in his song. 

Altogether 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, as believers we always need to be cognizant of what’s happening around us because the enemy is always lurking around trying to bring us down to his disreputable level, then laugh cowardly at how we have fallen. We must try our best however not to give him that pleasure as Peter advises, by casting all of our care upon God, because He cares very much for us. And then, ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.’ 

Yuh see I wasn’t lying! The devil is always trying to get some toehold or foothold in our business so he can drag us down then cackle at our fall from grace. But as Peter continues, he’s a monster, ‘Whom (we need to) resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished (are experienced) in your brethren that are in the world.’ (1 Pet.5:9) 

Yeh mih people, all of us experience afflictions and trials in this earthly life, but our Redeemer has said that He’s overcome the world and we ought not to let the trials of this world bother us too much, instead we should be more cheerful than fearful, because He has already given us the victory! Praise His Holy Name! 

And Peter, in his reassuring message, puts it this way: ‘But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you.’ (1Pet.5:10) Yes my fellow believers, we have to believe that, otherwise our faith is useless. 

And you can bet your bottom dollar that I am believing it yes; believing that all the sickness and other unfortunate stuff that’s come against me in the last couple of years will be improved with this trip to Tobago, and thus grow my faith, glory by glory! (smile) 

Anyhow, enough for today, lemme go outside and enjoy some of the nice sunshine and hot weather and beautiful surroundings, because that’s what I came here for. (smile) Don’t be jealous – be glad for me, because it will make me a better person! Much LOVE!

… if you claim to be a believer…then you have to truly believe…and let it show in your life…otherwise you’re nothing but a Pharisee…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 February 2019 Romans 4:20.

Romans 4:20.   ​He staggered not (did not waver) at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong (strengthened) in faith, giving glory to God.
 

Ah Lord eh! No rest for the righteous! (smile) A body can’t even get a chance to sleep in on a Saturday morning! That’s because I’ve got to attend an Ironmen’s Breakfast at 9.30 this morning. 

The ‘Ironmen’ is a men’s group at our church. But I have to laugh when I consider that very few, if any of the group is under three score, and several are even three score and ten and over. (smile) But nonetheless, we are the Ironmen of St. Francis, committed to good works in the church and in the community we serve! Praise the Lord!  

And since it’s Saturday, let’s check out some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week in his noble attempt to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one says: ‘The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.’ 

And that’s fairly true! Most of us would much rather like to be heaped with undeserved praise rather than shrouded in deserved criticism. But remember friends, nobody has reached anywhere without some deserved criticism, and it shows how big a person you are when you can acknowledge your faults and foibles. 

Then there’s this: ‘Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution. If you don’t have any problems, you don’t get any seeds.’ I guess there’s also some truth to that statement, because in many of our problems lie the basic solution to them. If something isn’t working our right, then I guess the best way to find out why is by going back to the beginning and checking all the steps along the way. We’ll usually find the fly somewhere there in the ointment. (smile) 

Now hear this: ‘Four things for success: work and pray, think and believe.’ That’s indisputable! Success does call for at least those four things…and sometimes even more! And then we come to: ‘Stand up to your obstacles and do something about them. You will find that they haven’t half the strength you think they have… every DAY!!!!’ And that’s no lie my brethren! 

When we stand up strong to our problems and not be wishy washy and double-minded, we’ll discover that they are not half as problematic as they first seemed. Problems have this habit of pretending that they are bigger than they really are, and when take them at face value, they tend to intimidate us and make us wary and somewhat unsure of our ability to conquer them. 

But when we come up over them, with the help of God, we discover that they are much more manageable then we originally thought. So perhaps when problems overwhelm us, it might be best to take them each with a grain of salt (smile) before tackling them. 

And the last quote says: ‘Where there is no struggle, there is no strength.’ And that’s gospel truth my brethren, for it’s only when we face difficulties, that we get strong! And that applies to all walks of life. If you want to build physical strength, then you have to lift weights or do something that will cause your muscles to work hard and eventually expand. The same goes for spiritual strength. 

If you want to develop a greater faith in God, then you have to work hard at it, because it doesn’t just come by wishing. You have to go through trials and tribulations because we only grow when we overcome hard times. That’s just a fact of life. I’m sure you’ve noticed than when everything is nice and easy, no growth, be it physical, spiritual or emotional will really take place. 

It’s only when your heart’s been broken that you can appreciate the beneficial value of things like LOVE and romance. You obviously won’t like the broken heart, but because of it, the next time around you’ll certainly be wiser and more appreciative. (smile) 

And I don’t think we can find a better example of growing in faith than Abraham. Look at how at seventy-five the Lord told him to pack up and leave his family and just go, with no idea of where he was going. And every time the Lord told him to do something he did it, oftimes without a clue as to what was happening. And check out his approach to God’s promise of a child in his old age. 

The Good Book says: ‘And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about a hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb.’ (Rom.4;19) Friends, for decades Abraham had been trying to have a child with no success. Can you imagine the disappointment in a society that took children as a reward of God? 

Then the Lord promised him one when he was around a hundred and Sarah about ninety. Abraham must have shaken his head in amazement. But the Good Book continues: ‘He staggered not (did not waver) at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong (strengthened) in faith, giving glory to God. And being fully persuaded (convinced) that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.’ (Rom.4:20-21) 

Yeh friends, it’s only because Abraham had gone through a lot of struggle, wandering all over the place and having one problem after another, but also having God bring him through them that his faith became so strong. Although he lapsed when he took his wife’s Sarah advice to go into her maid Hagar to produce the heir that didn’t seem to be coming from their own loins. (smile) And you know that caused untold problems. 

But look at how he was going to sacrifice the heir Isaac, when the Lord told him to. I’m sure he didn’t know what was happening. How could the Lord ask him to sacrifice the only child whom He had promised would give him more children that the sand of the shore? But in his heart he knew that the Lord would come through in some manner because He had kept ALL of the promises He’d made him over the many years of his nomadic existence. 

Friends, I assure us that the Lord will do the same for us, but I can also guarantee you that it won’t be all wine and roses, because we simply don’t grow unless we face some kind of difficulty in our lives. Remember that and keep the faith like Abraham did. It won’t be easy, but we’ll be well rewarded in the Lord’s time! Much LOVE!

 …you can’t appreciate the sunshine…until you have experienced the darkness…you can’t appreciate prosperity…until you have experienced serious lack…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 February 2019 John 16:33.

John 16:33.   ​These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
 

Aye friends, I thought Saturday was a day for sleeping in? Then how come I’m not still in bed eh? I woke up around six and thought, no, this is way too early to get up. But the Lord or the enemy seem to have different ideas, so I rolled around in the bed until six thirty, finally realizing that I’d lost the fight to go back to sleep. But them’s the breaks! Just means that you will get the Bit a li’l earlier. (smile) 

And since today is Saturday, let’s get to some of our friend Anselm’s quotes of the week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Here is the first one: ‘A calm mind brings inner strength and self-confidence, so that’s very important for good health.’ You can’t dispute that friends! Calmness of mind is ever so important for making wise decisions as well as boosting health; physical, emotional and mental! 

But then to get that on a regular basis you need to be a follower of Jesus, who is the ONLY person able to give you true peace and stability on a sustained basis. Hear His awesome promise: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) You can’t beat that my faithful brethren! 

And then we have: ‘With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.’ More awesome truth my brethren! But again, the rightness of the strength and thoughts depends on our relationship with Jesus, for as the Good Book notes; Because of His great faithfulness, His mercies, His LOVING-kindness, His compassions are new every morning!  (Lam.3:22-23) So if we’re not in a strong relationship with Jesus, those early morning, every day new strength and thoughts might not be so good. 

Then there is this interesting quote: ‘I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.’ And technically speaking, I suppose that’s usually true, but let me tell you people, if the Lord is in that wind, and wants you to go to a particular place, you can adjust your sails as much as you want, but the only place you’ll end up is where the Lord wants you to. 

That I can tell you from personal experience, and I’m sure many of you have experienced the same thing! In the long run, it’s all about where the Lord wants us. 

And our friend Anselm threw in the Serenity Prayer for good measure this week: ‘God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.’ And friends, in this turbulent and unsettled world, do we ever need to prayer that pray every day…sometimes several times a day… if we wish to retain our sanity and make good, godly decisions. 

And the last quote says: ‘Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.’ And that’s the gospel truth!

Winning doesn’t provide strength, it only makes one lazier than normal, and content to sit on one’s rear end without any get up and go. You get like Rome and all those other big, splendiferous countries that fell to ruin because they became too fat and flaccid from always winning. 

The truth is that constant winning eventually ruins you instead of making you stronger. However, when you struggle, when you fight hardships mano a mano, then you develop strength! It’s just like lifting weights; you can’t develop muscles without constant weightlifting. 

Likewise, you can’t develop real inner strength without going through hardship and struggles. 

And we all know that this evil, ungodly world ruled by the evil enemy certainly is filled with much hardship and struggle, so you will have trials and tribulation cropping up from time to time. 

However friends, when you walk with Jesus, which is also not an easy thing to do in this world, He will help and guide you through those suffocating and troublesome times. He’ll be like your weight trainer; always beside you, offering encouragement and wise advice, even helping you lift the heavy weights that you find difficult lifting on your own! 

Wow! What a wonderful friend and helpmate is our Jesus! There’s NO other like Him in ALL the universe! Give Him much deserved thanks and praise my people! 

And Jesus said it in no uncertain terms: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ 

Ah friends, I know that will be difficult for us to do, but if we believe in Jesus and His promises, then we can do it. Jesus didn’t take an easy step on this earth, and He never promised that it would be all sunshine and roses for us either. But He did say that if we stuck with Him, He will bring us out safely. 

Now listen to these tough but encouraging words from Bruh Paul to the church at Corinth. ‘We are troubled (hard pressed) on every side, yet not distressed (crushed); we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken, cast (struck) down, but not destroyed: Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.’ (2 Cor.4:8-10) 

Yes my people, even though we suffer much tribulation, we WILL NOT give up, because we have the ultimate promise of Jesus, that if we live and die with Him, we will indeed be resurrected to eternal life, like He was! And you can’t beat that promise in this universe! Much LOVE!

…when troubles come…the wise thing to do…ask Jesus to help you handle them…He’ll NEVER refuse your sincere plea…

 

 

 

 

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