Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 June 2020 Luke 9:23.

Luke 9:23.    ​If any man will (desires to) come after (follow) me, let him deny himself and take up his cross DAILY, and follow me.
 

Well thank the Lord, some early morning showers of blessings graced the parched earth in my area! And I’m sure the earth was mighty thankful for them because it has been a few dry and hot days since they were last watered. And now the earth looks nice and clean as the reflection of the shining sun sparkles the drops of water on the green leaves and green blades of grass. 

Oh friends, there’s nothing like being cleansed; and that in body, spirit, mind and soul, for it cleans, refreshes and brings a new perspective to our thinking, to our way of life!  That’s why Bruh David pleaded with God in his prayer for cleansing: ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me.’ (Ps. 51:10) 

So let’s all send that prayer heavenward this bright, clean and beautiful Saturday morning nuh, as we take a gander at the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, in his sincere aspiration to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first quote states: ‘Whether it’s forced or invited, change is inevitable.’ And that’s gospel truth my people! There are only three things in this world we’re very sure about; death, taxes and change! And the comforting thing about them all, (smile) is that they all often come at some unforeseen and unbidden times.

 But change is a must, if the human race expects to survive. And we’re going through such a time right now with the double situations of the Covid-virus pandemic and the protests in streets all over the world. Things are going to change before those two babies are put to bed, that’s for sure! And this next quote falls in line with what we’ve just been talking about. I also like its expansiveness. (smile) ‘The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement.’ 

Now that might boggle some of our minds, but it really is true. And right now we’re seeing the perfect example of it; sickness all over the world and protests all over the world. Those things are not relegated to small pockets of our world, but the entire universe, where much change, much improvement is certainly needed! And when it’s all over, the entire earth will have effected some change(s) be they large or small, but hopefully good and necessary. 

Yes, nowadays, the whole world is our playground; it is indeed a global village, where most things affect everybody in every part of it. For example, even the dust from the Sahara Desert, thousands of miles away, is currently affecting the citizens of Jamaica. It’s really a small, small world! 

Now the next quote is especially significant to the Christian believer. ‘Don’t say it cannot be done, rather say, you don’t know how to do it yet.’ And I say that, not only because it’s a useful way to view life, but with Christ as Lord of our lives, there’s nothing we cannot do, since all things are possible with Him, because He is God incarnate. And remember, He strengthens us to do whatever He requires us to do. That leads us to this quote, a rather interesting one, and one that’s also significant to the believer. (smile) 

‘Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.’ And isn’t that the living truth friends? It surely is! And it’s also what Christ expects from His followers; steadfast diligence that nurtures an attitude of excellence. We know that we can’t be perfect, but if keep reaching for high levels, levels of excellence in all that we do, we will get as close to perfection as an imperfect being can get, and that’s what Jesus desires of us. But this last quote is the champion, (smile) and is again especially significant to believers in Christ Jesus. ‘If you believe in a cause, be willing to stand up for that cause with a million people or by yourself.’ 

Yes people, standing up for whatever we believe in is extremely important, whether it’s with a throng of millions, or by ourselves! If we don’t do that, then it says that we don’t truly believe what we profess. And standing up for our beliefs is NEVER easy, not even with millions involved, like the worldwide protests we’re now experiencing.  So you can imagine how difficult it can be when you’re standing up by yourself. But standing up is what we must always do, especially as faithful saints of Christ. 

And in these trying and troubling times it is even more important than ever for us to stand up for what we believe in, namely the gospel, the good news of Christ and His kingdom, which is at hand. This is a significant moment in time when the Lord our God is calling mankind to repent and return to His fold, and we are the workers on whom He is depending to get that job done. Remember Jesus words to His disciples when He saw the multitude that needed saving. ‘The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few: Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.’ (Matt. 9:37) 

Well friends, the good news is that we Christians are the labourers that the Lord is sending forth to reap the harvest of an unsaved and evil world. And no, it’s not easy, but I guess it’s time to remind us of the terms of discipleship which we agreed to. ‘If any man will (desires to) come after (follow) me, let him deny himself and take up his cross DAILY, and follow me.’ Now do you remember agreeing to that? If you consider yourself a follower of Christ, then you either explicitly or implicitly agreed to it. And you can’t complain that you didn’t read the fine print. (smile) Ignorance is no excuse!  

I’d also like to emphasize the point that taking up one’s cross and following Jesus is a DAILY exercise, not a once in a while, an occasional thing, as so many of us supposed Christians believe and do. Every day we need to get up and be counted; like soldiers, be prepared to stand our ground on matters of principle, in unity, on the true foundation of God’s Word which is our guidebook and lifeline. That is the only way Christ’s church will ever be successful! 

So let’s take some time today to ponder our walk with Christ nuh; let’s check out whether we’re really taking up our crosses DAILY and following Him, then, with the Lord’s help, make whatever changes are necessary. Much LOVE!

…stand up, stand up for Jesus…the trumpet calls obey…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 February 2016 John 3:17

John 3:17.   For God sent not his Son into world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Ah mih people, it’s a somewhat rough Saturday morning because when I opened my e-mail this morning I got some info re the funeral service of my old University pardner, Paul Emmanuel Lawrence. Just like I opened my e-mail a couple of weeks ago and found out about his unexpected passing.

But what to do eh friends? Not much really, we just have to move on, while enjoying the memories we made with each other. That’s what memories are for, so please be sure to make some good ones. As Johnny Bristol says in his old song; ‘Memories don’t leave like people do. They always stay with you. Whether they’ve been good or bad. They’re never something that you had.’

And we had plenty good ones, Pablo mih brother; whether it was beating pan, going to lectures, fetes, just hanging out on the campus, or going down to your home in Montego Bay, or going to other places which I can’t mention. (smile). Anyway mih brother, you certainly had a kind and generous heart, and you’re no doubt giving free rein to it now in heaven too. Till we meet again on that great day. Much LOVE!

Yeh friends, it’s not easy when your peers are passing away, because it suddenly makes you think about your own mortality. But that’s the only thing we’re sure about in this life, for sometimes you might be able to get away from taxes, but you can never cheat the grim reaper. So let’s just live life and enjoy it under the shelter of God’s mighty arms.

And I’d now like to apologize for a typographical error on yesterday’s Bit. Hn! That’s just giving it a nice name, but it really stemmed from pure laziness on my part. I don’t know how many of you noticed that the heading of the Bit said the Bible verse was ‘Psalm 40.4’ when the actual Bit came from 1 Peter.

That’s because I simply copied the previous day’s heading and then forgot to change. And somehow I never notice these things until after I send them out. But it only goes to show the ole fella’s humanity and fallibility. (smile)

Ah mih people, life can be rough, but please remember that our God is good! Now here is how I had planned to open today’s Bit until I got those e-mails about Pablo’s funeral. It’s a song that I shared some time last year, and while partying out on my patio last night with the duchess I happened to play it, and got the zeppo that it was time to highlight it again, because the times they are a getting worse and Christ’s people need another wake up call.

So here are the words of Johnny Reid’s marvellous, motivational and inspirational song starting with the chorus ‘Today I’m going to try and change the world. Gonna take it one day at a time. I’ve made my resolution, opened up my eyes. Today I’m going to try and change the world.

I’m gonna say hello to my neighbour, going to greet him with a smile, and shake the hand of a stranger, sit and talk to him for a while. Gonna tell someone I LOVE them, from the bottom of my heart. (chorus) Today I’m gonna try and change the world….

Gonna make sure my children know right from wrong. Never turn my back on those in need, always gonna try to see myself through another’s eyes. Today I’m going to try and change the world. I made my resolution, opened up my eyes. Today I’m going to try and change the world.’

Oh my fellow believers in Christ, that’s just what Christ is calling us to do; to make a serious resolution to change the world with His help, because it desperately needs changing! So please let’s join together today to do that nuh! And all it takes is one day at a time!

Hear the wonderful sentiments nuh: say hello to our neighbour, greet him with a smile. That’s not difficult to do, and a simple hello and a smile can ofttimes mean so much to others. Then shake a stranger’s hand and exchange a few words with him or her. Wow! What a Christ-like act! And remember friends, our God has a welcoming heart for strangers as we see all through the Bible. That means we too must have a welcoming heart towards strangers.

Oh, then tell someone we LOVE them from the bottom of our hearts! Mama Mia! What can be more Christ-like and endearing than that eh my brethren? Nothing really, if our greeting is sincere! And I just LOVE this next sentiment: make sure my children know right from wrong!

Oh my people, that is the basic panacea for what ails our world! We’ve not done a very good job on that front at all, otherwise our children would not be so lost and fragile that they can fall for all the nonsense the evil world has to offer. And it’s not too late my people. Remember while there is life there is ALWAYS hope, hope in Jesus, who can do ALL things!

And hear this other strong point of Jesus nuh; never turn my back on those in need! Oh fellow believers in Christ, that’s exactly what He did when He came down here from heaven to save us from the fiery halls of Hades; He offered us help in our time of need! Now it’s only appropriate that we should do the same for our fellow man.

And this last sentiment will help us to do all of them; try to see ourselves through the eyes of another person. Oh Glory to God my people!

When we can truly do that, and let it control our actions and emotions, then we are indeed being truly Christ-like! For we never truly know what others are going through and why they behave the way they do. So let’s stop being as judgmental as we now are nuh, because it’s the mark of a true Christian!

Oh friends, it’s obvious that the passion is flowing through the ole fella this morning, (smile) so please, I implore us, let’s not allow it to go to waste nuh, because it will also be a sad waste of Jesus’ sacrifice. As our Bit so wonderfully proclaims, in Jesus’ own words: ‘For God sent not his Son into world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’

Oh my people, if God sacrificed His Son to save us, why can’t we sacrifice a little of ourselves to help save our children, our neighbours, our friends, our families and our badly suffering world eh? That is just simple common sense in a heart beating for Christ! Much LOVE!

…let’s open up our eyes…and make that resolution…to try and change the world…one day at a time…TODAY…


 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 April 2013 Matthew 22:21

Matthew 22:21.    They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.

Oh Friends, do you realize it’s already April 6? The month of March, like its name implies, has just marched on by. And remember we promised to check our response to our New Year’s resolution monthly, rather than waiting till year’s end, when no time’s left to do anything about it. This way we can more accurately gauge our compliance, or lack thereof. So how are we doing with that ONE resolution we agreed that was the most important eh? And for those of you who don’t remember, we vowed to raise our level of awareness in Jesus, to seek His righteous kingdom more than that of man, to mature in our Christian faith. So today, please, let’s all look at the progress we’ve made thus far. And if it’s fairly decent, then give the Lord thanks for all His help, cause we couldn’t have done it without Him, and keep pressing on with our part towards the goal. Now, if we’ve sort of fallen by the wayside, please don’t lose hope or give up, but instead go to Jesus and ask for His help in making us more diligent, in bringing us back to the path that He wants us to tread. Yuh see Friends, one way or the other, whether we’re doing good or poorly, we always have to come right back to Jesus, because He’s our Provider, Helper, Comforter, Advocate, our Chief Cook and Bottle Washer, our EVERYTHING! Yes my people, our entire life revolves around the Lord and Saviour of mankind. Now turning to our Bit. ‘They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.’ And that’s the way it ought to be, because that’s the way the Lord set it up. Yesterday we looked at how the situation described in our Bit came about. Today, let’s check out some examples in the scriptures relating to that principle. First of all, here’s the perfect example of Jesus practicing what He preaches, re the principle of tribute money or taxes, in Matthew 17, after His transfiguration. The Good Book says: ‘And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money (the temple tax) came to Peter and said, Doth not your master pay tribute (the temple tax)? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented (anticipated) him, saying, What thinkest thou Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute (taxes)? of their own children (people), or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children (their own people) free. Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast a hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money (the exact temple tax for two): that take, and give unto them for me and thee.’ (Matt.17:24-27) Yeh Friends, though Jesus, being God owned it all, He still paid taxes to the earthly powers because it was thus stipulated. Now here’s some info on that scripture from the scholars. ‘Jesus, the glorified Son of God, is greater than demons and also the temple itself. The two incidents following the Transfiguration (healing an epileptic child, when His disciples could not, and the miracle of the tribute money in the fish) clearly reassert His supremacy. Tribute money (lit. “two drachmae”) is a technical term for the tax of half a shekel which every Jew over 20 was expected to contribute to the upkeep of the temple. Of strangers: The subject races were taxed first and most heavily. The children, the kings own race, were free. Jesus Christ was the Lord and owner of the temple, and therefore it was not for Him to pay the tax. However, our Lord would not give offence by seeming to be a lawbreaker. A piece of money (Gr. stater), the silver tetra-drachma, was the equivalent to the shekel and therefore the exact amount of the tax for two persons.’ That should give us a better understanding of how it was back then. Now listen to Bruh Paul as he preaches on honouring authority in his missive to the Roman church. ‘Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers (governing authorities). For there is no power (authority) but of God: the powers (authorities) that be are ordained of (appointed by) God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power (authority), resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation (judgement). For the rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid (do you want to be unafraid) of the power (authority)? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same. For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger (an avenger) to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for (because of) wrath, but also for conscience sake. For this cause pay ye tribute (taxes) also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render (pay) therefore to all their dues: tribute (tax) to whom tribute (tax) is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.’ (Rom.13:1-7) Ah mih breddren, you can certainly count on Bruh Paul to spell it all out for you in spades! And the scholars provide this info that I think will be beneficial to us all. ‘Let every soul be subject: Subjection to the government is the obligation of all mankind, not just Christians. It is not optional, but an absolute necessity. The higher powers are established by God. See Titus 3:1; Peter 2:13;. But see also Acts 5:29. Damnation (Gr. krima, “judgement”): This is not a reference to eternal judgement, but is still a judgement by God, because God has delegated authority to human government. The minister of God to thee for good: The purpose of human government is to uphold the good and punish the evil. Right and wrong is determined by the state. The Christian citizen is to fear and obey the government, as long as the government does not demand citizens to violate God’s Word. Government officials hold office by virtue of God’s appointment and are primarily servants of God in their offices. The political leader is to actively uphold the good. The sword is a symbol representing the authority given to government to protect its citizens by punishing those who do what it has determined is wrong. It is important for Christians to be actively involved in government so that the government’s values are consistent with the Word of God.’ Hallelujah my people! Please note that last line; believers are to get very involved in government so that their values remain based on God’s Word. Unfortunately though not enough of us are seriously doing that, that’s why the evil leaders we now have can get away with removing prayer and other godly stuff from our everyday lives and passing laws that violate God’s Word. Anyway Friends, I’m chuckling here as I just noticed the appropriateness of this message, seeing that it’s Tax Return time, when we’re all supposed to live up to our responsibilities tax-wise. So instead of having the worldly view of  paying as little or no tax at all, let’s espouse the heavenly view of paying what we legally owe. For remember, if we don’t pay them, we’re going against God’s will, against Jesus’ command. More on this tomorrow, God in favour. Till then, let’s concentrate on truly LOVING our God, genuinely LIVING our Faith and faithfully SPREADING His word. Much LOVE!…there are only two unavoidable things in this life…death …and taxes…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 April 2012 Psalm 41:1

Psalm 41:1      Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. 
 
Ah Friends, like spring has finally sprung; all the trees are now budding, and the winds are blowing strong and cold. But one essential element is still missing; rain. Rain had been forecasted for the last couple days, but the only indication of that life giving substance has been a few dark clouds in the sky, eerily reminiscent of Elijah praying for rain. (1 Kin.18:44) (smile) Who knows why the rain isn’t falling, be it our interference with the weather system, or God’s judgement? But we do need the heavenly blessing to fall soon because the earth is dry and thirsty, parched from the lack of moisture. If there’s not enough rain the crops will suffer and the harvest won’t be plentiful. That’s the same way it is with us Friends; if there’s no spiritual rain, no God-sent moisture in our lives, our souls will become parched and dry up. If the Word of God doesn’t dwell richly in us, then our spirit dries up and looks more like a desert than the oasis it should resemble. And when our spirits lack the Word, then we become lustful, flesh followers, turning to the worldly activities and things associated with Lucifer. We become even more selfish, greedy, resentful and self-centred than we already are, and stop doing the things of Christ, like helping those in need, having mercy and compassion on the sick and hurting, ignoring the poor, homeless and hungry. And that’s certainly not the role Jesus called us to play on this earth! At times like those, reading, contemplating and inwardly digesting our Bit helps us to return to the path that Jesus identified for His followers. ‘Blessed is he that considereth the poor (helpless, powerless): the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.’ Oh my people, that verse alone should galvanize us to help the suffering and hurting, because it’s a promise of God, and we know that He keeps all His promises. But even without that promise of compensation, our hearts ought to go out to those that are needy. Please remember where many of us came from. We weren’t all born to the prosperity we have today, and many of us were needy and suffering and helped by others to raise our level of living. So please don’t forget your roots like so many of us tend to do. And the unfortunate fact is that so many people are suffering today, in a time of supposed peace and plenty. So many are homeless; so many are forced to turn to food banks, a war time measure that’s been resurrected in these perilous times, and this in some of the world’s richest countries.  Even the food banks are now running out of food because of their steadily increasing clientele. Why is that eh? Basically because of the inequality of the distribution of wealth. And it’s only going to get worse before it gets better, with the governments crying about deficits, laying off staff and cutting back expenditure in areas that only affect the lower classes and those already bearing the brunt of serious affliction. Man’s inhumanity to man has certainly not disappeared. In fact it seems to be getting worse, for if the rich and powerful have their way, we’d all go back to feudal times. There are calls, even from some rich, for the wealthy to pay more taxes. It’s a crying shame when a billionaire’s secretary pays more taxes than he does! But hey, which government has the parts to raise taxes on the rich eh? It ‘d be like biting the hand that feeds you, for they are all supported by the lobbyists of the rich and greedy who unleash them on the government to seek their best interests. But take heart mih people, this Easter Season of 2012 is a turning point in our fortunes. The passion and zeal which Christ’s death and resurrection have renewed and/or ignited in us, will definitely carry us forth, from strength, to strength, and finally to victory! Remember the Lord’s promised that the wicked will get their comeuppance eventually – death, damnation and eternal separation. Like wise, the righteous will be rewarded, but with salvation and eternal life. So as Bruh Paul encouraged the Galatians with the following words, so let us be also encouraged by them: ‘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 have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.’ (Gal.6:9-10) Yes my brethren, although our resources may not be plentiful, we all have some that we can sacrifice and share with the less fortunate. Remember when you reach out to help someone else, particularly in a sacrificial manner, that’s the Spirit of Jesus working in you, for sacrifice is the backbone of His ministry and helping others is the whole purpose behind our faith. And as Bruh David continues after our Bit: ‘The Lord will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies. The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing (his sick-bed): thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness (restore him in his sick-bed).’ (Ps.41:2-3) Now that’s the living truth Friends! Jesus came to save the lost and helpless, and as His followers, that’s also our earthly purpose. So in these dire times, let’s not be overwhelmed by the world and all its selfish nonsense, but rather, let the true Spirit of Christ shine forth in us, by helping the less fortunate, for in due time we will be richly rewarded. ‘And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.’ (Col.3:23-24) Now that’s the gospel truth! Let us therefore go out and do it nuh! Much LOVE!…our world’s in a state of extreme ‘sufferation’…which will only be reduced by the sincere, Christ-like efforts…of sincere Christ-like believers…