Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 January 2019 James 4:7.

James 4:7.   ​Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
 

Beautiful…white and beautiful…but oh so dangerous…slippery like and eel…and treacherous and deceptive like the serpent who personifies our enemy Satan! That’s the snow covering our neighbourhood this Friday morning! (smile) And sadly, we in the northern climes are bracing ourselves for even more of the white stuff because we’ve been promised a major snowstorm this weekend. 

Let’s hope the duchess and I just have to stay inside and look at it and admire its beauty, but don’t have to venture forth in it, cause remember we’re not as mobile and steady as we once were, we’re not spring chickens any longer…but contrary to popular opinion we’re NOT old, just advanced in years! (smile) So for all of you in the wintry climes, remember, as the man says, if you don’t HAVE to go out, then DON’T go out! 

Now let’s hear what the workingman has to say for himself this winter’s morn. And I like how he’s ever so enthusiastic, regardless of the circumstances: ‘TGIF! Thank God for Friday yes! The weekend, the weekend is here, which means is time to party! And though they calling for plenty snow, yuh think a li’l thing like snow going to stop me from enjoying mih li’l two days off from the slave master work? 

No way Jose! My time is my time, my time to enjoy whatever catches mih fancy! And if ah want to play in the snow, I’ll play in the snow. But if I just want to cuddle up in front of a roaring fire and sip something strong and warm, then that’s what I’ll do! It’s freedom time, come the weekend! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes in this ungodly capitalist society!’ 

Now there’s a wonderful idea for this snowy weekend; cuddle up in front of a roaring fire with a hot toddy and just commune with whoever you’re with and with God! Let the world go by however it wants to, since there’s nothing you can do about it. Just luxuriate in the warmth of your home and the comforting LOVE of your wonderful God! 

And all of God’s children declared (right ho) a loud and proud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord! Praise Him and give Him much thanks for His undeserving goodness and mercy to us!’ Yeh friends, we must NEVER forget the goodness of God in our lives, for it’s the ONLY thing that keeps us from an even more miserable existence. 

Now let’s respond to the workingman’s exuberance with our more controlled Friday Chant. Chanting in unison: ‘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!’ 

Yes mih people, it’s not as exuberant and fun LOVING as the workingman’s song, but it suits our purposes very well, reminding us of our purpose down here on earth, to work for Jesus, and helping us to stay out of the clutches of the ever-hovering enemy. And as true believers, we like it! Glory be! Anything that keeps us out of Satan’s evil grasp is certainly welcome! 

That’s why friends, we have to pay particular attention to James’ warning: ‘Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.’  Yes my brethren, there are two things we need to do to stay out of the enemy’s clutches. The first is submit ourselves to God; then actively resist Satan’s advances! And we know that in this world he’s always lurking around offering lust and pride and other immoral and ungodly ways of life. 

But as James continues: ‘Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded. Be afflicted (lament), and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness (gloom). Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.’ (James 4:8-10) 

And the scholars offer this explanation re the above verses: ‘4:7-10. Therefore: The exhortations that follow logically result from the conditions in verses 1-6 (worldliness and pride). Resist the devil: Do not submit to, fear, or flee from Satan, but stand against him (1 Pet.5:8-10). Satan cannot lead into sin against one’s will. Draw nigh: God will not be unmoved; His welcoming response is always near (cf. Deut. 4:7; Lam.3: 57; Luke 15:20). Hands and hearts: The cleansing of one’s life must involve both outward deeds and inner thoughts (cf. Ps.24:3-4).’ 

Oh friends, please check out those scriptures, for they all show God’s welcoming hand to all who turn to Him. And we’ll close with these inspiring, reassuring and warning words from Peter on the subject. (smile) ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 

Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world. 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. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen!’ (1 Pet.5: 6-11) 

Oh my people, we could not ask for more fervent and reassuring scripture this cold, snowy Friday January morning! So please let’s take it to heart and follow it nuh! That’s wisdom of enormous proportions! Much LOVE!

…Christianity 101…submitting to God…resisting Satan… 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 December 2018 Ezekiel 20:7.

Ezekiel 20:7.   ​Then said I unto them, Cast ye away every man the abomination of his eyes (which are before his eyes), and defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.
 
And then it was Friday…a whole comedy of errors! The sun’s shining brightly, but I’m tired and listless… Why? Because I never truly got to bed until six o’clock this morning. I did something I haven’t done in ages; read a book through the night! Bubba! It was good, though I’m paying for it now. I went to bed around 12.30, woke up about two, and I’ve had this book on my small Kobo e-reader that I usually only use for doctor’s appointments and such, because it’s small and easy to carry around. 

But a few days ago I began this book and it piqued my interest, and I’ve been wanting to finish it ever since. So when I got up around two a.m to go the bathroom and feeling fresh, I just couldn’t resist the lure and the incessant mating call of the book siren. (smile) So I sat on the edge of my bed and just read until it was done. And I wasn’t disappointed either. Imagine my consternation though, when I looked at the clock and saw five fifty five. Hn, hn! 

Then when I got up just now, I thought I saw the clock saying 8 o’clock…so I thought fine. I’m okay. But just after making my coffee, I happened to look at the clock on the stove and saw it saying after nine. Obviously I was taken aback, and had to look at the clock on the microwave to confirm that it was really after nine. So obviously the Bit will be late… And that’s my story… And I’m sticking to it! (smile) 

But out there in the real world all the working people are smiling and jubilant, hugging and kissing and wishing each other Merry Christmas, not Happy Holidays, as they write their Christmas lists or get to the stores to fill them! And there’s none more jubilant than the ordinary workingman as he sings his Friday song: 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday…and Christmas is on the way! The merchants will be smiling as their cash registers go …kaching…kaching! But I’ll be enjoying the best part of the season; eating and drinking and singing carols! Let them spend up the money that they don’t have on gifts and all the other trappings! 

Me, I’ll just be taking it easy, karaying mih body as the sweet Christmas music washes over me, and the waters flow like there was no tomorrow! And the eats! Mama Yo! Christmas holidays have the best eats ever; the black cake and the big Christmas ham and all them other fine West Indian delicacies!  Brother! I’m I ever thankful for Fridays and weekends, especially at Christmas time! That is the bestest!’ 

And I do have to agree with the workingman; Christmas time is the best time in terms of eats as well as celebrations. But please, let’s not forget the real reason for Christmas; the miraculous conception and virgin birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

That’s what Christmas is supposed to be all about, although, like everything else we’ve turned it into one big shopping party and half of us don’t even know or remember the real reason for the supposed Christmas Holiday! Chuh Poole! That’s my own statement of disgust at that untenable situation! 

Anyway, our Friday Chant might not be as frivolous and celebration tinged as the workingman’s song, but it’s what we need to keep us on the straight and narrow. So let’s chant up a storm nuh, just like the workingman did. 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!’ 

And not having a Bit for the day, I just opened the Good Book unto an interesting piece of scripture; the prophet Ezekiel chiding the rebellious people of Israel in the Lord’s name. ‘Then said I unto them, Cast ye away every man the abomination of his eyes (which are before his eyes), and defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.’ 

Oh my people, I believe the Lord is saying the same thing to us today, re all the idols we’re focused upon, especially in this festive Christmas season. Remember, whatever takes our attention away from God is an idol!

And you can’t doubt the fact that at Christmas time when we’re supposed to be wrapped up in the glorious birth of Christ, most of us are more wrapped up in the trappings and gift buying and the holiday time than that most auspicious occasion, the sacred birth of Jesus Christ, God’s greatest gift to man! 

And the sad part is that many of our homes don’t have the aura of Christ floating around as we prepare for this special occasion. Nothing’s wrong with all the celebrations and festivities, but please friends, please, I implore us, let’s put the horse before the cart nuh, let’s make Jesus the centre-piece of our Christmas activity, as it ought to be, so that we don’t incur the Lord’s wrath! 

Don’t fool yuh fat nuh, that wrath WILL come eventually, if we keep up the idol worship! The Lord might be long-suffering, but certainly not for ever! Much LOVE!

…remember…Jesus IS  the reason…for the Christmas season…let’s acknowledge it…with plenty pomp and pride nuh…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 October 2018 Ezekiel 20:19.

Ezekiel 20:19.    I am the Lord your God; walk in my statutes, and keep my judgements, and do them.

Aloha one and all! It’s Friday morning in Kingston, J.A! Glory to God! We’re alive and kicking, and very grateful for that fact! Ah mih breddren this will be another holiday of unforgettable memories! Chuh! When I sit in my rocking chair and reminisce, this will be definitely one of my favourite reminiscences.

Yesterday morning I took the Knutsford Express from Mo Bay to Kingston, and after a three and a half hour drive through some lush green and beautiful mountain scenery, amongst which large, beautiful homes nestled, we arrived in the hustle and bustle of Kingston Town. Brother, has it ever grown and gotten busier since my days some fifty years ago! But you can never mistake the unmistakable, unique flavour of Kingston, because it has a flavour all its own.

My sister from my other family (smile) picked us up at the Bus Depot, and after taking us to lunch at a quaint J.A. restaurant, don’t remember its name, she left us in her apartment to rest.  And it’s a good thing that we did rest, because when some of the old U.W.I class of 69 began to show up, it got real hectic real fast! Now we’re all seniors many times over, but just like you couldn’t beat our indefatigable energy back in 1966-69, you still can’t beat it now!

And brother, did the old memories and reminisces fly! Most of us looked vaguely familiar to how we were back then, but there was no mistaking the camaraderie and friendship that three years at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica Campus bred! And the best part is that most of those who showed up were in the Social Sciences Faculty, so we didn’t only share social but also work related experiences.

Oh, by the way, if you added up the years of the dozen or so people that showed up, you’d probably come close to the thousand year figure. (smile) But all of us looked good and prosperous. Now that total would have even higher if several of our classmates hadn’t gone home to be with Lord a li’l bit early.

And I want to thank my big sister Maureen from my heart and soul for putting this amazing gathering together, because I hadn’t seen most of those people since I left the campus a half century ago. Just like how she looked after me in my campus days by writing my notes for the many lectures I missed, gone gallivanting somewhere about the country with friends – and I mean copying the actual notes from her notebook to mine, she’s still looking out for me fifty years later. The Lord bless her wonderful soul!

And as I sit here writing this, looking at her in the kitchen washing stuff from last night’s party, my eyes just flood with tears of joy and thanksgiving because she’s still the same warm, giving, caring and LOVING person she was all those years ago. So how can I say that I’m not amazingly blessed eh, when the Lord has brought such beautiful people into my life? It would be a certain lie, and the Lord would just cut me down to size.

Chuh! I had to stop there for a moment because I got all choked up. And is the ole fella getting choked up a lot on this vacation! (smile) But it’s Friday and we can’t leave out the workingman’s song for two straight weeks. So what’s he singing this bright, sunny, pay day Friday eh?

As usual, he opens with his thanks for Friday: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday…and the weekend here at last. Oh bwoy! Is also payday weekend, so you can imagine how the food and the waters going flow! Hope some of we not foolish enough to blow it all on drinks and pleasure and not pay we rent and we bills and buy food for we pickney them! It good to party and enjoy life when we work hard all week, but we must do what we need to do first. Mama Yo! I done pay mih rent and mih larder full, so is time for me an’ mih friends them to drink up the waters and stuff we face with food, as we thank the Lord for Fridays and weekends!’

Yes mih people, it’s all right to have fun after you have taken care of your immediate responsibilities. But still the workingman allows too much freedom for the enemy to infiltrate his soul. That’s why we believers have a different weekend song, we call our Friday Chant which keeps us rooted and grounded in the straight and narrow way.

So let’s chant up the usual storm, in unison 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!’ 

Yes friends, we need to keep up our diligence in the spiritual battle against the evil enemy. And the Lord has sent us this reminder this October morning. ‘I am the Lord your God; walk in my statutes, and keep my judgements, and do them. And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God.’ (Ezek.20:19-20)

Ah friends, the Lord is crying out to us in heart felt sorrow to come back to Him, to give up our evil ways and the worldly idols we’re now worshipping. Remember when He warned the nations long ago, they did receive punishment when they refused to listen. So I don’t know why we think it would be different with us. The Lord is LOVING and gracious and merciful and forgiving… but only for a time. When you continue in willful disobedience, you will pay a harsh price.

Unoo see all the natural disasters that happening in the world today? So let’s wake up and smell the caffeine nuh, and return to where we came from nuh, when life was so good; the LOVING arms of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Please friends, please let wisdom prevail! Much LOVE!

…as Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) is wont to say…obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him…words to live by…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 June 2018 Psalm 36:7.

Psalm 36:7.   How excellent (precious) is thy LOVING-kindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.

‘One more night…thank You Lord for one more night of breathing through my nose…’ 

You can chuckle all you want yes friends and family, but I know whereof I am thankful. You won’t realize how important breathing through your nostrils is, until you can’t do it for an extended period. And I’m so comfortable now that I can’t even get up in the mornings. (smile) 

And can you believe that today is already the first day of June, and summer is not officially due for another three weeks, but we’ve already been having serious summer like weather for the past two weeks. Hn! We’ll soon start complaining that it’s too hot. Can’t keep the human animal happy for long. (smile) 

But seriously though, that volcano on the Big Island in Hawaii is still acting up and apparently causing more problems that evacuation has been mandated for the area around it. It’s been playing a teasing game for the past month and who knows when it’s going to blast off big time. Better to be safe than sorry. Please keep them in our prayers. 

But it’s Friday and the workingman is happily singing his totally overboard song. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday and no more work for a couple days! It’s the weekend! Time to enjoy we self like we couldn’t do all week! And who don’t like it, too bad for them. 

Why yuh think the Lord give us a break from the slave master eh? Is to eat, drink and be merry today, cause tomorrow we might die. Look people, just lively up yuhselves and enjoy the fruit of your labour yes! Thank the Lord for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

And there is truth to the workingman’s contentions, but as always, he tends to go too far out on the limb of licentiousness, a place that we believers are not supposed to go. And that’s why our Friday Chant is so much different to his song. Let’s chant it now with enthusiasm and sincerity. 

‘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.’ 

Yes friends, we are also entitled to enjoyment and fun, but not to take it to the extreme limit that the workingman does. We always have to be cognizant of the enemy’s movements and nip them in the bud, as well as keep working for Jesus; a twenty four/seven, lifetime job that has awesome benefits, both now and in the hereafter. And we’d indeed be foolish to throw them away for a little fleshly pleasure in the here and now that’s ever so fleeting. 

That’s why Bruh David could so assuredly declare in our Bit, from Psalm 36 – The steadfast LOVE of God: ‘How excellent (precious) is thy LOVING-kindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.’ 

Ah my fellow believers, that’s the wisest and safest place to place our trust, for the Lord is both our Maker and Caretaker. And as Bruh David continues: ‘They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness (fullness) of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.’ (Ps.36:8-9) 

Oh my brethren, what sincere and beautiful assurance of living and working for the Lord. And please note the superlatives of those promises: abundantly satisfied with all that He has to offer, and drink of the river of His pleasures. Wow! We’d be satiated with the Lord’s goodness! 

And the next verse is ever so true: ‘with thee is the fountain of life.’ It truly is, because it’s the Lord who breathed His breath of life into our lifeless bodies so that we could worship and fellowship with Him. And if our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ is the Light of the world, then it’s only logical that we, His followers shall not only see light, but be light too. 

And John puts it so nicely and simply in his first epistle. This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not in (practice) the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin.’ (1 John 1:5-7) 

Yeh friends, God is light, holy and sinless, and if we want to walk with Him in the light, then we have to be free of the bondage of sin which keeps us in darkness. And the ONLY way to do that is to embrace Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, whose blood, shed on the cross of Calvary is the ONLY atonement for sin and the ONLY cleansing power from sin. 

So let’s be wise and walk in the light nuh mih breddren. We have so much to lose, and so much to gain! Much LOVE!

…for whom the Son sets free…is free indeed…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 April 2018 Joshua 1:9.

Joshua 1:9.    Have not I commanded thee? be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. 

Well a good morning to you my friends and Scrip-Bit family! Today is the Big Day! Yes, today the ole fella is going down to St. Michael’s Hospital, in Toronto, at long last, to have the tumour growing on his Pituitary Gland removed. Glory Be! And that’s why the Bit is so early. 

The tumour’s been hanging around for so long now that I’ve become accustomed to it, and after it’s removed, I’ll have to adjust to a new normal. But I can handle that. (smile) So all I’m asking is for you faithful fellow believers to bombard heaven with prayers for the success of the operation. (smile) Ask the Lord to guide the hands and hearts and heads of the medical team to do their best work, and to keep me strong and faithful. 

Now today is also Friday, so we have to consider the workingman’s song of freedom from unfair labour. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Our best friend, the weekend is here again! Time to let our hair down again and enjoy ourselves as much as we can, with whatever the crazy world has to offer; say, sex, drugs and rock and roll! Whatever is out there is ours for the taking. And yuh better believe we going to take it in these two short days off. Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui!’  

Ah mih people, the workingman surely goes out on a limb, but we believers in Jesus Christ can’t afford to do the same. We’re not allowed to be that lustful and licentious because our Lord and Saviour has set up boundaries of proper standards for us to adhere to. That’s why our Friday Chant is so much different from the ordinary workingman’s song. 

So let’s chant our Friday Chant with as much enthusiasm as the workingman sang his song nuh. As one 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, our song is much more reserved, excluding the extremes that the workingman seems to favour. And as we come to our Bit, I have to chuckle because I came down here just now wondering what I was going to write about, but the Lord beat me to it. I usually put some bookmarks in my Bible between the pages of scripture I’m interested in using that day. 

Now apparently when I used something from the first chapter of Joshua recently, I left a bookmark there, so the Bible naturally opened there this morning, and the first words to greet my eyes were those of our Bit. ‘Have not I commanded thee? be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.’ 

Obviously the Lord was telling me that was my duty for today; to stand up strong and courageous, don’t be afraid of what I was about to go through. In other words reassuring me of His continual presence and His LOVING-kindness, and His promise to bring me through all adversity in better shape than before. 

Glory to our great and wonderful God my brethren! How can I not trust and be faithful to Him under those conditions eh? And in all my messages, that’s all I’m trying to get through to us: if you trust the Lord He will be faithful to you. As Bruh David so stoutly and proudly declares in the opening verse of Psalm 27: ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?’ (Ps.37:1) 

Ah my people, when you have the Lord as your ally, you need to fear no one or nothing at all, for He is always with you, wherever you go, looking out for you in all situations. And this is most appropriately set out in Psalm 91 – God is a refuge and fortress. ‘Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation (dwelling place); There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. 

For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear (lift) thee up in their hands, lest thou dash (strike) thy foot against a stone. Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder (cobra); the young lion and the dragon (serpent) shalt thou trample under feet’ (Ps.91:9-13) 

Oh friends, what glorious promises! And that’s not all. Hear the Lord’s declaration: ‘Because he has set his LOVE upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.’ (Ps.91:14-16) 

Wow people, wow! I don’t remember if I featured this scripture in my recent messages on the promises of God, but if I didn’t, it certainly deserved to be amongst them. And if I did, we can certainly be reminded of it, so that we can stay faithful and courageous in the strength and joy of our God. 

Now I don’t know what shape I will be in tomorrow, so I can’t say exactly when the Bit will come out, but the Lord willing, it WILL come out at some time. So please remember me in your prayers, and talk to you some time tomorrow, the Lord in favour. 

And I don’t see why the Lord won’t be in favour, since I haven’t really accomplished the desires He’s put in my heart to exalt and glorify Him. So if He took me home now, then He’d be wasting all those desires. And if there’s one thing I know, our God is wise, He doesn’t waste his desires. (smile) Much LOVE!

…trust in the Lord with all your heart…and lean not unto thine own understanding…  (Prov.3:5)

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 April 2018 John 17:15.

John 17:15.    I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil (one).

And as one working day morphs into the next, we suddenly discover that it’s Friday…but another Friday with a twist; Friday the 13th, considered by many as an unlucky day, where all sorts of disasters happen. Hn! 

For a society that prides itself on being so advanced in our thinking, we surely don’t seem so forward thinking when we consider the many superstitions we still live under, like believing that 13 is an unlucky number, and Friday the 13th is a day unleashed from hell itself. 

And the sad part is that no one really knows where most of these superstitions originated from, but they do abound in the most advanced society of mankind’s long history. But that particular superstition seems lost on the ordinary workingman as he sings his Friday Song. 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday…and we don’t care if is Friday the 13th or whatever you want to call it. As far as we concern, Friday is the beginning of our party time, freedom from the bondage of work. So you can do what you want with your superstitions and them, but they won’t stop our having a good time come Friday. Wow! The weekend is here at last! Party animals get ready! As we thank God for Fridays and the weekend!’ 

Ah mih people, what a crazy world we live in, one where almost anything goes, as in the workingman’s song. But as followers of Jesus, we Christians cannot afford to be so footloose and fancy free. Yes, we are allowed to party and have fun, but with some rules and restrictions, where the workingman has none whatsoever. 

We’re in a spiritual battle for our eternal lives, and if we cater to the hedonism and licentiousness of the world we can get ourselves in serious trouble by allowing the enemy to breech our walls. That’s why Jesus set some boundaries for His followers. And consequently, our Friday Chant differs substantially from the workingman’s song. Let’s chant it now nuh with heartfelt gratitude. 

‘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.’ 

Oh my believing brethren, we can never be reminded too often of the necessity to keep ourselves out of the evil clutches of Lucifer’s world, because he and his cronies are always looking for a way to inveigle us into something that doesn’t fit our status and standard as believers.

That’s why Jesus prayed in our Bit: ‘I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil (one). 

Yeh friends, Jesus doesn’t want us to be taken out of the world, because we can only spread the good news of His gospel by being IN the world, but we should not be OF the world. In other words, a part of the evil world system, for how can we change it, if we are a part of it eh? Not very likely. So precious people of God, we need to live IN the world, but not do as the world does. 

As Bruh Paul wrote to the church at Rome: ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind; that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.’ (Rom.12:2) 

Oh my people, please remember that the battle for supremacy is basically waged in the mind, so whatever the mind holds worthy, that is what we will do. That’s why, when we are born again we have to transform our minds, change our way of thinking from that of the world, to that of Christ, so that we can do God’s perfect will. 

And James puts it thus: ‘Pure religion and undefiled before God the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.’ (James 1:27) 

Oh friends, it is indeed difficult to keep ourselves unspotted from the world since it is so all-pervasive, abounding in every aspect of our lives. But if we are sincere and try our best, with God’s help, we certainly can. Now let’s close with these beautiful and encouraging words of John from His first epistle. 

‘LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.’ (1 John 2:15-17) 

How very true all of that is my fellow believers! All the stuff that the world holds dear will eventually be destroyed, but God’s will won’t.

So please, let’s stop kowtowing to the things of the world nuh; stop engaging in the lustful aspects of our sinful human frailty, stop allowing our flesh, our eyes and our pride to make us a part of the world. That’s wisdom at its highest level! Much LOVE!

…only by following God’s will…can believers be IN the world…but not OF the world…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 April 2018 Proverbs 4:23.

Proverbs 4:23.    Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

May untold blessings befall you and your families this Friday morning my Scrip-Bit friends! May the Lord open the windows of heaven, as He has promised, and shower down his awesome blessings on us all as we walk in His wise and wonderful will for our lives! 

What a magnificent and magnanimous God we serve my brethren! Please don’t ever forget that. Even the workingman in his own way acknowledges that as he proclaims in his song.

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! This week was a rough week, what with all the Easter partying and carryings ons! We really had to come up strong, because massa was in a nasty mood…too much paid time off and all that nuh. 

But now that the weekend reach, we can feel the party spirit rise to the forefront once again. And believe you me, we going to party as hearty as we can for the next two days. Thank God for Fridays and weekends, because it was meant for partying!’ 

Ah friends, the workingman’s heart is in the right place, but he’s somewhat misguided; the weekend wasn’t just meant for licentiousness and flagrant worldly behaviour, but more so for rest and relaxation and renewing of our spirits, hence our Friday Chant. 

‘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.’ 

Yes my people, it’s all about building, about furthering God’s kingdom here on earth; that’s our mission, and we can’t do it properly if we’re too taken up with the lustful ways of our flesh and the world.

So though, deep down we might want to party hearty like the workingman, we realize that that is not permissible in Jesus’ economy, we must have some boundaries to keep the enemy out of our lives, live them always with an ounce of circumspection. 

That’s why Cousin Sol warns us in our Bit today: Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.’ Words of awesome truth my people! And why is that you ask? 

Hear the scholars’ explanation. ‘4:23. The Old Testament word ‘heart’ often refers to the physical organ of the circulatory system. Both Testaments also see the heart figuratively as the centre of the personality or spiritual life.

The heart is the seat of the intellect, emotions, will, and moral consciousness. It is the personality which has that extraordinary ability to perceive itself. The heart is presented as the seat of conscious life and the fountainhead of life. 

Illustration: Jesus taught that sin came out of the heart of people, thus defining them (Mark 7:21-23). Yet after conversion, one of the characteristics of Christians is that they have the law of God written in their hearts. (Heb.8:8-12).

Application: Christians should LOVE the Lord with all their hearts (Matt.22:37). (First Ref. Gen.6:5; Primary Ref. Prov.4:23; cf. Rom.2:15).’ 

Yeh friends, our hearts are figuratively the controlling device of our souls. Listen to Jesus on the subject. ‘O generations (brood, or offspring) of vipers, how can ye being evil, speak good things?

For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth for evil things.’ (Matt.12:34-35) 

Ah my fellow believers, it’s what inside of us that colours us, not what’s on the outside. It’s like whatever you put in a clear plastic bag, the colour of the contents will manifest itself though the plastic.

Likewise, we can look all clean and rosy on the outside but are truly dirty and evil on the inside, and it’s that dirty and evil stuff that will eventually come out into the open. You can only hide it for so long. 

Now hear Jesus as He admonishes the disciples, when they asked for an explanation of His remarks about the blind leading the blind. ‘Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out (eliminated) into the draught? 

But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart, and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.’ (Matt.15:17-20) 

Oh friends, let’s seriously ponder those fateful words of our Lord and Saviour this Friday nuh, and truly see what’s in our hearts. Let’s look deeply and sincerely, and not fool ourselves, and then bring our problems to God for His awesome and always available help. That is indeed wisdom of untold proportions. Much LOVE!

…white-washing the outside…doesn’t mean the inside is clean…if it was dirty before…it’s still dirty afterwards…

 

 

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