Today’s Scrip-Bit   20 November 2021 Proverbs 13:20.

Proverbs 13:20.     He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.

Okay friends, it’s Saturday morning, and like the last few days, we can’t tell whether it’s going to be cloudy or sunshiny because it keeps changing from one to the other. You’d wake up and look outside, like I did this morning, and see bright sunshine and give thanks for a sunshiny day, but a little while later when you again look out, it’s become cloudy. 

Chuh! The day can’t seem to make up its mind, but we don’t have any trouble doing that with Jesus in our lives. So let’s give thanks for our first blessing of the day nuh; that is, we woke up this morning. Praise the Lord! Our heavenly Father was graceful and merciful enough to allow His breath of life to keep flowing through our bodies, and for that we ought to be ever thankful, because from that flows everything else. Without breath we can’t do anything. Consequently, let’s say thank you Lord for waking me this morning, and ask that you stay with me throughout the entire day since I can’t get through it successfully without your help. Thank You Lord! Amen! 

And now that we’ve given sincere thanks, (smile) let’s turn to the ordinary matters of the day, like checking out the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one declares: ‘It’s not what we have in life, but who we have in our life that matters.’ That’s the indisputable truth! It’s the people around you that make you and your life successful and worthwhile, or not. 

You can have all the wealth and possessions in the world and still be unhappy because you don’t have true and decent people around you. But then, with the right people around you and not a penny in your pocket, you can have a joyful life. Possessions don’t make the man, it’s the people around him. 

That’s why this next quote strongly advises: ‘Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.” And do we ever need that kind of companion in these turbulent and deceitful times my brethren. For as Cousin Sol warns in Proverbs: ‘He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.’ (Prov. 13:20) That’s because both wisdom and folly can be transferred by association, so you need to associate with those who are higher up the ladder than you, who can teach you something worthwhile and lift you up to their level, not people who will drag you down to theirs. 

And therein is the reason Bruh Paul warned in his first epistle to the church at Corinth: ‘Be not deceived; evil communications corrupt (bad company corrupts) good manners (habits).’ (1 Cor. 13:33) Or as one translation puts it: ‘Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”  And Cousin Sol tells us on that subject; ‘A man that hath friends must show himself friendly (or may come to ruin): and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.’ (Prov. 18:24) In other words a man with a lot of unreliable friends usually comes to ruin, while a few worthy friends are ofttimes worth more than a brother. 

We see that writ larger than life in all the hangers ons found in the entourages of today’s celebrities. When they are on top of the world, they have numerous people hanging around them calling themselves friends, but as soon as their sun wanes, the so-called friends, drift away, because there’s no more free life left to be had. And in all of that is the implied advice that you need Christian people around you, people who pray, who have the same basic objectives and beliefs like you. 

No wonder Bruh Paul advised the Thessalonians: ‘Wherefore comfort yourselves together (encourage each other), and edify (build up) one another, even as also ye do (are already doing). (1 Thess. 5:11) So in plain today language, he’s saying: ‘Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing right now.’ And we also see the results of prayer in friendships, for after Job prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. (Job 42:10)

 Meanwhile, the next quote says: ‘Friendship is when people know all about you but like you anyway.’ More awesome truth there my fellow saints! That’s the backbone of true friendship, liking each other despite our faults and foibles. We all have weaknesses and idiosyncrasies, so if we turn away as soon as we espy some difference, something we don’t particularly like in another, then we won’t have any friends or friendships at all. That’s why it’s ever so important to limit the number of your friends, and also to know them as intimately as possible, and make sure you all are on the same basic page. 

Cousin Sol, in his inimitable, unique manner, describes friendship thus: ‘Ointment and perfume rejoice (delight) the heart; so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel (counsel of the soul).’ (Prov. 27:9) Or as one translation puts it: ‘Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.’ Or more succinctly, ‘A sweet friendship refreshes the soul’ And there’s no doubting the awesome truth of those words, because that’s the whole basis of friendship, to help, encourage and look out for each other. 

And the following quote shows up that contention in spades. ‘You find out who your real friends are when you’re involved in a scandal.’ Now that one takes the cake…because it’s oh so true! We see it blown up in the media every day in the lives of the politicians, the celebrities, the wealthy and the powerful. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t also happen in the lives of the lesser known individuals, it just doesn’t get as much exposure. Right now that kind of stuff is what’s driving the news and social media platforms. 

Those who were supposedly friends before the scandal broke, are now dishing dirt on their earlier relationships, either to extricate themselves from any fallout, or for their own aggrandizement. There’s absolutely no solidarity or having each other’s back in our crazy, angry, deceitful, selfish and totally misled world. And we see that in the exchanges between Job and his supposed friends. They lay grief on him, without knowing the truth of the situation, but he replies. ‘To him that is afflicted (in despair) pity (kindness) should be showed from his friend; but he forsaketh the fear of the Almighty.’ (Job. 6:14) Or, “Anyone who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty.” 

If you can’t be kind to a friend, then whom will you be kind to eh? That brings us to this last quote. ‘In the cookie of life, friends are the chocolate chips.’ And you better had believe it! Please note, how a cookie isn’t chocked full of chocolate chips, but only a handful, and the few that it contains are spread around, so that you can taste one with each bite. That’s the way friends and friendships are; few and far between, but sturdy and close enough to make a difference in a time of need. 

So, please my fellow saints, let’s concentrate on making a few, good, close, sturdy, long lasting friendships that will uplift our lives and the lives of those around us, with Jesus as the basic foundation of them all. Much LOVE!

…friendship is like the ice cream on a cone…or like the icing on a cake…they complement each other so well… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 August 2015 Psalm 41:9

Psalm 41:9.  Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me (acted as a traitor against me).

Well Friends, a glorious Tuesday morning to you all! God’s still on His throne and the universe is unfolding as it should. Glory to God! We too are still alive and have the promise of His many new blessings and mercies prepared especially for today to look forward to.

Hn! What a wonderful God we serve and worship eh! One who prepares special blessings and other good stuff for us each and every day. No stale stuff for our God! He LOVES His people so much that He wants to give us something new at every sunrise. 

And then people wonder and ask why we LOVE Him so much? That’s obvious; simply because He sincerely cares and looks after us with a mother’s tenderness and concern, paying serious attention to all our hurts, fears and earthly problems and helping us to resolve them. How can we not LOVE Him then eh?  

The problem for us now is to find people who are of like beliefs as ourselves, meaning believe in Jehovah God, and are willing to stand strong and steadfast in His Name and do what He desires. Unfortunately, in this ungodly world those people are hard to find. 

But we have a couple of recent quotes from our Friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. They came separately, but I have put them both together as they fit nicely that way. 

And Anselm wisely advises: ‘You cannot change the people around you, but you can change the people you choose to be around. Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.’ 

Oh my people, those are indeed words of awesome wisdom! We can’t change the habits of the people around us, but we can definitely change the people that we choose to be around. And following on from that, we need to surround ourselves with people who are going to lift us higher, give us sound and godly advice. 

Yes Friends, in our camps, we desperately need people who are going to encourage and support us in our earthly endeavours in a positive manner, not those who tend to be negative, an attitude that only serves to drag us down. 

That’s why it’s ever so important that we carefully choose those we allow into our inner circle, and not make that inner circle too large and unwieldy either. For a man with too many friends is just begging for destruction. And that’s why Cousin Sol says that ‘A man that hath friends must show himself friendly (may come to ruin): and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.’ (Prov.18:24) 

And the scholars paraphrase that by saying ‘a man must not spread himself too thin among many superficial relationships. Far better it is to have (a few) friends who become like family and LOVE at all times (17:17).’ 

Gospel truth my brethren! That brings us to our Bit. ‘Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me (acted as a traitor against me).’ 

And that’s no lie! For many of us have experienced that same disappointment that Bruh David is talking about. And in this ever more selfish and ungodly world it is becoming real difficult to find true friends. 

Look at Job nuh; instead of truly commiserating with him in his awful tragedy, his supposed friends only came and berated him, accused him of some secret sin as the reason for his downfall. 

And we certainly can’t blame him when he cries out: ‘My kinsfolk have failed, and my familiar (close) friends have forgotten me. They that dwell in mine house, and my maids, count me for a stranger: I am an alien in their sight…All my inward (close) friends abhorred me: and they whom I LOVED are turned against me.’ (Job.19:14-15,19) 

Ah mih people, that is what usually happens when some serious tragedy overtakes us; many of our close associates no longer stand beside us. And you can see that in bright and living colour in a lot of celebrity circles. 

When the celebrity is hot, riding the wave of financial and career prosperity, there are a lot of hangers on, but once their star begins to dim, and their financial ability diminish, they all quickly disappear, like rats abandoning a floundering ship. 

Yes Friends, like Bruh David says later on in Psalm 55 – A cry against deceitful friends. ‘For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne (bear) it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: 

But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide (companion), and mine acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company (in the throng).’ (Ps.55:12-14) 

Ah mih people, what heartache betrayal of close friends brings! And the closer they are to us, the deeper the pain! No wonder the prophet Micah, on denouncing the sins of Israel solemnly declares: ‘Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide (companion): keep (guard) the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom. 

For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house. Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.’ (Mic.7:5-7) 

Ah Friends, sadly a lot of what Micah says is true, for there is a lot of unnecessary feuding between families these days. So if there is much dissatisfaction and resentment amongst the smallest unit of our society, what can we expect from the larger units eh? Nothing but the same, except on a larger scale. 

But I like how Micah continues after bemoaning the untrustworthiness rampant in his day. He staunchly and confidently declares: ‘Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.’ (Mic.7:8) 

And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful, ‘Praise the Lord!’ Yes my brethren, for He is indeed worthy to be praised because He does not ever leave or forsake us, or turn against us. Our wonderful God is forever faithful and true! That’s why we can put our total trust and faith in Him! 

Please my brethren, let’s be wise and look FIRST to God for guidance, direction and every good thing in this life, for man’s faithfulness cannot be trusted. Much LOVE!

…it is better to trust in the Lord…than to put confidence in man… (Ps.118:8)