Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 November 2019 Mark 7:9.

Mark 7:9.    ​Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
 

Oh friends, looks like it’s going to be another cold, dreary, sunless, cloudy day in my neighbourhood! But the good news is that the harbinger of the weekend, Friday, is here! Glory be! And we do have Jesus Christ dwelling within us, so that makes it doubly good! (smile) Yes, whatever the weather might be, we can, and we will handle it with great aplomb. That’s because, with Christ in us, and we in Him, we have the self assurance and confidence to handle whatever comes against us. He’s faithfully promised that He will never leave nor forsake us, which means we have no need to worry or be overly anxious about anything! And all God’s children gave a grateful and sincere shout of ‘Praise the Lord! Bless His holy name!’ 

Now that’s something believers should always do. Anyway, since it’s Friday, we know the workingman is just dying to sing his song, so let’s listen to him nuh. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! The weekend has come around just in time, cause the foolish winter weather’s been getting me down. Wasn’t prepared for the snow and ice and bundling up in plenty warm clothes just yet. Oh, I know it was coming, but thought I had more time to get acclimatized. But with temperature change and all the other idiosyncrasies happening in the world today, one never knows where one stands, or what’s going to happen. 

It’s certainly not like long time when everything was lined up properly and you didn’t have as many surprises as nowadays. But the long and short of the story is that this is the weekend, and if I let the weather, or anybody spoil it, then that’s my problem. So I’m just going to eat up and drink up and have a good time… Hn, hn, hn! Not like Thanksgiving weekend though, because I still remember that tragic feeling of dying from excessive partying. And the weather can do whatever it wants, just as long as it settles down on Monday, so I can go back to the slave master work without any hassles. Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Oh mih people, too much of anything is no good! I’m glad to hear though that the workingman has learned his lesson. (smile) Yuh know, we never learn from the mistakes of others as quickly as we do from our own mistakes. And he would have kept on overdoing it until one day he actually dropped down from excessive partying. Now that’s why our Leader, Jesus Christ has instituted borders and boundaries in our lives. He doesn’t want us to go out to the thin end of the branch and have it break with us. 

Then we tumble down like Humpty Dumpty and they can’t put us back together again. It’s not to spoil our fun, like so many of us think, but merely a precaution to save us from the devil’s deceitful enticements. Remember the old but oh so true adage: ‘prevention better than cure.’ Now let’s sing our Friday Chant, which shows that we don’t need to go overboard to have fun. 

In full voice…let’s 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!’ 

Oh precious people, all that is for our benefit, so that enemy doesn’t get a foothold in our lives and thus be able to run roughshod over them. But as I said earlier on, too many of us think that Jesus’ rules are just another way to clip our wings and prevent us from having fun. But why would He do that when He explicitly came to save us from our sinful deeds and lives eh? It’s the extra-curricular activities that afflict us. (smile) 

That’s why Christ rebuked the Pharisees an’ them by saying: ‘Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.’ They were putting their traditions before God’s commandments, just like we’re doing today. So many of our traditions run counter to God’s commands, but yet we follow them without blinking an eye. 

And Jesus pointed out one particular case: ‘For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and Whoso curseth Father or mother, let him die the death (be put to death): But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift (dedicated to the temple), by whatsoever thou mightiest be profited by me; he shall be free. And ye suffer (allow) him no more to do aught (anything) for his father or his mother; Making the word of God of none (no) effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered (handed down): and many such like things ye do.’ (Mark 7:10-13) 

And the scholars explain: ‘7:11-12. Jews could evade responsibility to parents by declaring (steups!) their substance Corban, “devoted to God.” Religious leaders evidently condoned this clear circumvention of both the letter and intent of the Old Testament.’ How sad and evil was that friends! But don’t go quickly condemning the religious leaders of old, because we today are doing the same blooming thing! How many parents are left nowadays in the lurch by their children…for whatever they consider good reason…too many! It’s just more convenient for us to ignore them; economically, physically and emotionally. But yet we expect to reap God’s promises of long life. 

Ah mih people, paying for them in a nursing home but not going to visit them is not honouring them in God’s eyes. As the scholars explain verse 13; ‘Jesus quarrel was not with God’s word, but with human misuse of it.’ And there are many examples today where we do the very same thing; misuse God’s Word to serve our selfish purposes. But as they say, you can only lead a horse to water – like I’m trying to do here – but you can’t make it drink. Let’s hope the Word of God will do that. Much LOVE!

…unless you sow…what’s in God’s Word…you won’t reap His promises…

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 1 November 2019 Psalm 138:7.

Psalm 138:7.    ​Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.

Well my wish has finally been granted…the rain’s stopped! And the sun is even trying to push out against the darkness in the eastern horizon. But the wind is still causing a ruckus as it’s done since I don’t remember how long. And in spite of the seriously inclement weather, can you believe that children were still out there trick or treating last evening! But who am I to say anything eh, it’s not in my generational makeup? (smile) But the workingman might have something to say about it. Let’s hear him nuh. 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday…the weekend is finally here…and the rain stop! Brother, is almost two days of straight wind and rain! And it definitely kill Halloween for me. The children were disappointed, but no way was I going out in that foul weather to collect a few pieces of candy! Steups! And the children still too young to go out by themselves. And even if they were older I still wasn’t allowing them to go out there in that kinda weather. Chuh shoot! Can you imagine it still had children come knocking on my door, by themselves to boot! 

What is wrong with parents nowadays eh? Have they lost their minds? Many of them were probably home eating and drinking and partying, while deh children out on the street facing what kinda danger, nobody knows. And they like to talk about safety and child protection and all that stuff, but they still sending them out in such bad weather to get a few candy and expose them to the serious predators out there. And yuh know what? My children not going to be hard up for candy, because they have all the candy that I’d bought to give out and nobody came around to collect. So we have a win win situation! Wow! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, the ordinary workingman might step out far on the fragile limb sometimes, but he still does have his wits about him when it comes to the safety of his children. Now how many of us supposed believers either went out with our children in that bad weather last night, or sent them by themselves eh, all for the sake of a foolish, evil and ungodly tradition? That’s between you and God. (smile) Anyway, let’s raise our Friday Chant to heaven nuh, invoking our wonderful God’s care and concern. 

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!’ 

Yes my people, ours is a more structured environment, because our Lord and Saviour doesn’t encourage us to go way out on the fragile part of the branch for fear that the slender branch will break, and we fall off into the waiting arms of the enemy. Yuh know he’s constantly lurking and looking around for believers to make a mistake, so he can jump in and create havoc. 

Oh friends, what a wonderful God we serve and worship! For although He has set boundaries and borders for us, when we foolishly step out of them and endanger ourselves, or life just comes against us, as it ofttimes will, He will still step in and look after us, because we are His beloved children! That’s why Bruh David could proclaim with such certainty in Psalm 138: ‘Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.’ 

Glory be, my faithful saints in Christ! That’s exactly what our great and faithful God will do. And very few of us will have a difficult and dangerous life like Bruh David did, but the Lord saved him from his enemies, despite his many mistakes, because he never gave up on the God of his forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! And the Lord will do exactly the same for us, despite our many mistakes, if we just have true faith in Him and surrender our souls, our lives to His everlasting wisdom, grace and LOVING-kindness! 

And even if we don’t know, or are unfamiliar with the words of our Bit, we do know the immortal and momentous words of Bruh David from Psalm 23, that convey the same sentiments. ‘He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.’ (Ps.23:3-4)

Ah friends, just like the shepherd David protected his sheep with his rod and staff, likewise the Lord, our shepherd, will protect us with His invincible rod and staff! O praise his mighty and glorious name my fellow believers! 

And our God is so great and wonderful and brazen, (smile) here’s the staggering, the awesome limit to which He will take our divine replenishment. ‘Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest me head with oil; my cup runneth over.’ (Ps.23:5) Wow people! That’s the power and the boldness of our God!  He can feed and anoint us in the presence of our enemies!

And since we are the sheep of His pasture, it’s His duty to look after us as best He can. And we can be very sure that He will NEVER renege on His promise or duty, that’s why like Bruh David, we can profoundly believe and proudly and confidently say: ‘Surely goodness and mercy (LOVING-kindness) shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.’ (Ps.23:6) 

All praise and glory to our great God! So let’s rejoice and be glad in all the wonderful things we have going for us today in Jesus Christ my fellow saints! Much LOVE!

…if God be for us…who can be against us eh…NOBODY…not a single soul…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 October 2019 Ecclesiastes 3:1.

Ecclesiastes 3:1.    To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
 

Oh man, it seems like I’ve gotten up too early (smile) because it’s still dark outside, and therefore no indication of what the weather will be like. But at least it’s not wet. That’s a good start to this Friday morning. Yeh working people, it’s the day we all look forward to with such eagerness because it signals the end of our work week and the beginning of our weekend! Wow! And short though our weekend might be, we still value and look forward to it like a child does to toys at Christmas. (smile) And nobody looks forward to it like the ordinary workingman. 

Hear him joyfully declare: ‘Oh boy, oh boy, TGIF! Thank the Lord is Friday yes! The weekend is here at long last! Time to party again… No, no, no! Hold down on that party scene yes! I still remember last week, at Thanksgiving, when I partied so much, I was sick like a dog the next day! Steups! Got to have a li’l more common sense and doh hit the food and drinks so hard nuh, because I definitely can’t handle another sick like that one.

That was possibly the worse hangover and overeating scene that I’ve ever experienced. Ah Lord eh! I guess that’s why the ole people say to take a little and live long. I certainly wouldn’t be living long if I continue imbibing food and waters like that nuh. Yeh, this weekend go be a quiet one oui. Leave out all that unnecessary stuff…spend some quiet time with the wife and children…that is if they have time for me. (smile) Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’

 Oh friends, I’m chuckling here because there’s nothing to bring us to our senses like an unpleasant experience! Yeh, I’ve had a few of them in my time, like many of us have, but I eventually learned my lesson, and I don’t over imbibe or over eat anymore because it’s a terribly uncomfortable feeling, one that has you feeling so lousy, sometimes you even want to die.

And that’s why our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ instituted borders in our lives. Unlike what the evil one says, about them being there to cut short our fun, they’re there to keep us safe, to ensure that we don’t go overboard and hurt or destroy ourselves. And that’s why our Friday Chant is not as permissive and loose as the workingman’s song. So let’s chant it now nuh, sombrely remembering the workingman’s predicament. (smile) 

As one, in true 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.’ Ah mih Christian breddren, that is not meant to curtail our fun, but to ensure that it’s clean, safe and godly, consequently not giving the devil a chance to get into our business and stir up strife and trouble as is his won’t. 

That brings us to our Bit for today, some immortal words of Cousin Sol, writing as the Preacher in Ecclesiastes. ‘To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.’ Now isn’t that an everlasting truth? It certainly is! And Cousin Sol breaks it down for our small minds to understand. (smile) ‘A time to be born (to bear children), and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get (gain), and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend (tear apart), and a time to sew (come together); a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to LOVE, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.’ (Eccl.3:2-8) 

Yes friends, there is a time for everything in this life. And I like how the scholars put it. ‘3:1-8. As Solomon reflects on all of life, he expresses in a beautiful poem of 14 pairs of opposite events that God has a sovereign design behind all events (cf. Rom.8:28). To gather stones (v 5) refers to the process of clearing land for planting or building. To hate (v 8) means to withdraw from intimacy and should not always be taken in an absolute sense (cf. Mal.1:2-3).’ It all goes to show that our great and wonderful God didn’t create the world in a reckless or foolish manner, but gave serious thought to it. 

That’s why Bruh Paul could say with such confidence: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom. 8:28) If there wasn’t a time and purpose for everything, we would not be able to say that. And we’ll end with Cousin Sol’s take on life itself. ‘Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.’ (Eccl.12:13-14) 

And if you’re a true believer, there’s no way you can refute that conclusion, because that’s what the Good Book says. So now let’s go out and live that kind of life nuh; reverence God, and keep His commandments, for that’s wisdom of the highest level. Much LOVE!

…all things have their time…be they good or bad…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 October 2019 Proverbs 16:32.

Proverbs 16:32.   ​He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.

 

Yeah, it’s Friday! And though the sun is struggling to get out from under the cloud cover, there is joy in the land, simply because it’s Friday and the workweek is ending! Thus, there are many ‘Praise the Lord’s!’ both sincere and insincere, (smile) ringing out from all parts of the world. And there’s none louder than that of the ordinary workingman, who never shies away from expressing his true feelings. 

And today, he shouts: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! What a week it’s been! I ate and drank and partied so much this past Thanksgiving weekend, that I was truly sick come Tuesday and couldn’t go to the slave master’s work. Obviously he tried to give me a hard time when I showed up on Wednesday, but I just ignored him, because I have my sick time rights and this one was certainly legitimate. He feels that nobody should ever book off sick, because he loses money when they do. 

But when he books off sick is okay though, because he’s the boss… Chuh! Just forget the li’l greedy man yes! And yuh better believe this weekend is going to be strictly rest! I like mih food and drinks, but not to the extent that I want them to get me sick. I surely hope I learn mih lesson this time yes. Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

Ah friends, yuh see what happen when we overdo it? Unwanted consequences usually come back to haunt us. As Uncle Charles (Dr. Charles Stanley) likes to say: ‘You reap what you sow; more than you sow, and later than you sow.’ And that’s the gospel truth! It holds in all situations in life! So let’s turn now to our Friday Chant nuh, which isn’t as verbose and in your face as the workingman’s song, but does do the trick for us believers. 

All together in true sincerity 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, we do need to be careful how we operate, because the enemy, like the roaring, toothless lion that he is, is always lurking around seeking ways to get into our lives and create havoc. And I have a very good testimony on that point to share. This morning as I was getting ready to write the Bit, my trusty desktop computer began playing the fool. It just would not access the Internet after booting up. 

And as the Lord would have it, I opened the Good Book and began flipping pages and just happened to stop in Proverbs 16…no I don’t think that just happened nuh, because the Word that I read plainly said: ‘He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.’  

That was certainly more than mere coincidence, because every time I turned my computer off and on, and got no progress, I could feel the anger rising up in me and I wanted to give it a few good thumps. But with that scripture staring me straight in the face, and knowing that the Lord, or the enemy was testing my resolve, I managed to not thump it, and it did behave properly after the fifth or sixth time of turning it on and off. 

I believe the Lord saved me though, because I’m pretty sure that I would have thumped it if I had had to go through the annoying rigmarole one more time. (smile) So I passed the test…but just barely. And that’s the way this earthly life is my faithful brethren. Life just likes to test us, to muddy our waters and see how we react. 

Sometimes it’s the Lord, other times it’s the enemy. But whoever or whatever causes us to find ourselves between a rock and hard place, we need to be able to bring up scripture written indelibly in our souls, bodies and minds, to help us handle them in a godly and sensible manner. And today we just going to check out a few of those scriptures that we need to have as our bedrock, our fortification against unnecessary anger. 

Hear Cousin Sol earlier on: ‘He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit (impulsive) exalteth folly.’ (Prov.14:29) And that’s certainly no lie, as many of us have found out over the years. And just recently we featured these immortal verses from Bruh Paul to the Ephesians. 

‘Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’ (Eph.4:31-32) Words of eternal wisdom my brethren! 

Meanwhile James adds his two-cents worth thus: ‘Wherefore my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not (does not produce) the righteousness of God.’ (James 1:19-20) And if you’re a true believer, you ought to know that. But listen to the scholars’ explanation anyway. 

‘1:19. This is a key verse because it expresses three topics that James develops later: hearing, verses 19-27; speaking, 3:1-12; and wrath, 4:1-12.’ ‘1:20. Trials require silence and patience because talk inflames anger, and anger inflames talk. Anger also distracts from listening to God.’ I hope we all hear that friends: anger distracts us from listening to God, and when we don’t listen to God, we go astray and end up suffering severe consequences. 

And here are some final words on the subject from Cousin Sol once again. ‘The discretion of a man deferreth his anger (makes him slow to anger); and it is his glory to pass over (overlook) a transgression.’ (Prov.19:11) Awright mih people, there’s the ammunition to fight the battle against anger, let’s go out and put it to good use now nuh! It’s Jesus’ desire for all His followers. Much LOVE!

…be ye angry…and sin not…let not the sun…go down upon your wrath… (Eph.4:26)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 October 2019 Job 19:25.

Job 19:25.    ​For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter (last) day upon the earth.

 

Well how shall we put it this morning eh? It’s not raining…the roads seem fairly dry…and the sun seems to be valiantly fighting to push out above the eastern horizon…but in my area it’s still somewhat cloudy and overcast, which means any number can play! But after two days of steady rain we do deserve a short break from all that heavenly blessing. (smile) 

Nonetheless with the omnipotent Lord God in our corner, we are well able to handle anything that comes against us. As the Good Book so wisely and truthfully says: ‘If God be for us, who can be against us eh? (Rom.8:31) Not a single, solitary soul my faithful brethren! So with that most important bit of information in mind, let’s move on this Friday morning to hear what the ordinary workingman has to say for himself. 

And as always, he puts it plainly. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday and the weekend is on the horizon. Hallelujah! But rain, rain, rain, please go away to Spain – or wherever you come from nuh…give us a break…and come back some other time when we badly need you! As they say, too much of anything is good for nothing! 

And…Chuh man! Though it’s been fairly warm, these past few days has just been too much rain, which meant I couldn’t go outside and do anything, and even worse, it kept the children in the house and underfoot all the bloody time! 

Let’s hope though that this stoppage is for real, and we’ll get a rain free weekend, because after being cooped up in work and the house whole week, I want to get outside for my free time and do things with my buddies, and the children also need to get out too, else they’ll soon drive their mother bonkers. Thank you Lord for Fridays and weekends, and please, keep it warm, but make this weekend rain free!’ 

I’m sure that many of us believers also share the sentiments of the ordinary workingman, but we know that we have to keep a good attitude, for Jesus’ sake, re anything that comes against us. So it could rain everlasting, or be dry, warm and sunny, we still need to handle it all with a certain aplomb; that’s self-confidence, coolness, poise, and unwavering stability. (smile) Yeh, it’s not easy to not react like the world does, but that’s why we have the Holy Spirit of Christ dwelling in us – to raise us up to His level of strength and obedience. Glory be mih people! 

Now let’s turn to our weekend song, our Friday Chant, which isn’t as worldly as the workingman’s, but it does suit our needs admirably. Let’s 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!’ 

Ah mih people, I know it’s somewhat frustrating to always be on the lookout for the enemy, but that’s what we signed up for when we accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. He didn’t have it easy, and neither shall we. He promised tribulation in the world, but that we should also be of good cheer, because He has overcome the world. (John 16:33) That’s not easy to do either, but if we sincerely believe, we will be able to do it, with His help. 

Then we can calmly, steadfastly and truthfully declare like Job did, in spite of his overwhelming calamity: ‘For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter (last) day upon the earth.’ And all God’s children gave a loud shout of thanks and praise: ‘Bless His Holy Name! Bless the name of Jesus Christ! That name that’s above every other name in the universe!’ 

Yeh friends, we need to do that, because that’s exactly what Jesus promised; to be with us to the very end, to include us in His latter day kingdom, to rule and reign with Him! What could be better eh? AbsolutelyNOTHING! And listen to how Job continues with absolute certainty in God’s deliverance and LOVING-kindness: ‘And though, after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God. Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me (how my heart yearns). (Job 19:26-27) 

And to boost that vision of Job, listen to John from his first epistle. ‘Beloved, now are we the sons (children) of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.’ (1 John 3:2) So we can be assured that when Jesus returns, in whatever form, we shall see Him and be like Him. All praise and glory to God my people! Jesus also promised that the pure in heart shall see God. (Matt.5:8) So it’s not a matter of if, but when? 

Now here is a paraphrased version of the scholars’ explanation of Job’s speech and problems.‘19:23-27. Although God has humiliated Job, and his friends and relatives have abandoned him, so he’s reduced to pleading for pity, still, from the very depths of degradation he expresses the confidence that if his case could only be recorded for posterity, future generations would judge him favourably.’ And it has been recorded, and we have judged him favourably. 

‘Furthermore, he knows confidently that he has a Redeemer, (Heb. go’el) One who will champion his cause and vindicate him. The Redeemer is more than an arbiter (9:33) or a witness (16:19) but a Kinsman-Redeemer who will avenge him. Clearly Job viewed God Himself as the Redeemer, and the Hebrew word is in fact used often of God (Ps.19:14; Is.41:14) 

In my flesh (vs.26) speaks of a resurrected body . Though it may also be translated “apart from my flesh,” as a spirit being, the emphasis of the original means “from the standpoint of my flesh,” in my resurrected body. Here then is clear evidence of the Old Testament belief in the resurrection of the human body.’ 

Ah friends, everyday we learn something new – at least we’re supposed to.  (smile) And all who have been saved know one thing for certain sure: that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has redeemed us, paid for our sins through His sacrificial death on the cross at Calvary, thus gloriously reconciling us to the Lord God Almighty, and we are now His justified, sanctified and righteous children! Glory Hallelujah! Much LOVE!

…let the words of my mouth…and the meditation of my heart…be acceptable in thy sight…O Lord…my strength…and my redeemer… (Ps.19:14) 

P.S. Sorry it’s somewhat long and late, but I got up late, then I had several important e-mails to answer before I could get started. Hope it’s informative, and you like it. Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 September 2019 1 Peter 5:10.

1 Peter 5:10.    ​But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye had suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you.
 

Welcome to Friday my people; the day we all LOVE to LOVE!  Don’t know if I’m LOVING it all that much nuh, because I’m tired like a dog from all that whirlwind world traveller travelling. (smile) I guess jet lag has finally set in, but I do have to go out the street and do some blood work for a visit to the medic next week. I do hope that it will show that my PSA – prostate cancer level is ZERO, because I really don’t want to go back and do anymore radiation treatments nuh. It’s not hard or painful, but it certainly is inconvenient and disruptive to one’s schedule, and the side effects can be rather invasive and annoying. 

Enough on my problem though, and since it’s Friday, let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! My time to shout and party. But brother, are we having some good summer weather this far into September! Oh don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, I LOVE it! And I think I’m going to bring out the barbecue every day that it stays hot, give the wife a break from the kitchen and indulge the children somewhat with dogs and burgers. And I’m not forgetting myself or any friends that might come over; we will indeed be having our brews out there on the deck to cool us down in this summer weather. What else can a man ask for eh? Not a whole lot. When friends and family get together it is the best! As they say, the family that plays together, stays together! Thank God for Fridays and weekend yes!’ 

Ah mih breddren those are certainly words of wisdom from the ordinary workingman! The family that plays together, does stay together! And that’s what’s lacking a lot in this modern day and age; families no longer seem to be the important part of our social setup. And what a pity that is because when families behave like families ought, our whole society benefits. But with the plenty infighting that is currently going on in modern families, it’s just helping to drive us further apart and reduce the already small amount of familial LOVE that we now have. 

And sadly this lack of familial LOVE isn’t only happening amongst unbelievers, but also amongst believers. That surely is sad, for if believers can’t live in unity with their families, how can we live in unity with others eh…and that’s something to which we are seriously called to do by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! No wonder there’s such little unity and so much division amongst His church. But it’s Friday, and the weekend is upon us, so let’s chant our Friday Chant, though not as colourful as the workingman’s song, but nonetheless it meets our needs as believers admirably. 

So, in strong voice, with sincere hearts, let’s 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, for our sake, it does keep us on out toes. However that doesn’t mean to say that we can’t have fun and good times, but just a li’l more cautiously than the ordinary workingman, who tends to let his hair down without any concern for the possible consequences. 

But we believers need to be aware of the enemy and his great desire to get a foothold, or even a toehold into our souls and thus mess up and cause confusion in our lives. That’s his admitted purpose, and he goes after it with zeal, therefore we also have to be careful not to give him even one li’l opening, because he’s quick to jump into any space we allow him. That’s why, as Peter says, we have to: ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:’ (1 Pet.5:8) 

And that’s the gospel truth my brethren, ole Satan just roams the earth, hungry and angry, looking for those whom he can lead into temptation. But please remember he’s a toothless, defanged lion, made so by the death, resurrection and ascension of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and he has no real power over us unless we allow him to. But as the ole people would say, he has a sweet mouth, could talk nice and be very deceiving; yuh see how he deceived Eve long ago, and still deceiving us today? And Peter again gives us some advice re dealing with the prince of darkness: ‘Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world.’ (1 Pet.5:9) 

Ah mih people, we’re not alone in our temptations, for the evil one tempts all believers, as it’s his most precious and desired goal to turn believers away from God to his evil way of thinking and life. But we all need to use our faith to steadfastly resist him. That’s the only way we can be successful against the tyranny of darkness. It’s not always easy as some of his temptations are strong and seem very desirable, but before we fall for them, we must always consider the consequences, unlike what Adam and Eve did. That’s because there are always consequences for falling into sin, into temptation, and we can pay a very hefty price, sometimes for our entire life by making one sinful mistake. 

But please know this, our great God won’t allow us to suffer temptation on our own. As Peter says: ‘But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye had suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you.’ Yes friends, the Lord will on occasion allow us to go through some rough times, to test us and build our faith, because it’s only in rough times that faith is built and /or strengthened, but be assured that He will eventually make a way for us to handle the temptation. Therefore: ‘To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.’ (1 Pet.5:11) 

Oh, my fellow believers, do we ever need to praise and exalt His holy name for being so kind and generous to the undeserving children of men! Much LOVE!

…the consequences of sin…is death…but belief in Christ Jesus…brings everlasting life…

 

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