Today’s Scrip-Bit   11 May 2022 Psalm 125:2.

Psalm 125:2.      As the mountains are round about (surround) Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people from henceforth even for ever. 

Well, lovely days seem to be here again friends! Glory Hallelujah! But unfortunately, the dandelions, who don’t miss a trick, (smile) are also pushing their weedy yellow heads up through the new green spring grass, causing much dissatisfaction to lawn owners. But although they are considered weeds, I like them, like the bright yellow colour they provide to the fresh spring atmosphere. 

But best of all, with these warmer days arriving, I will now be able to sit on my porch in the afternoons and watch the world go by, as well as sit there in the quiet of the early morning hours and commune with my wonderful Maker. And it’s an interesting communication, because we don’t talk much, we just let the silence wash over us, and the beauty of nature fill our souls with a peaceful joy. 

That’s one thing I miss a lot during the many cold and dreary winter months. And why shouldn’t we just sit in quiet and peaceful companionship eh, when as the song says, ‘All my hope is in Jesus. Thank God my yesterday’s gone, All my sins are forgiven, And I’ve been washed by the blood.’ 

Mama Mia! Life couldn’t get any better than that my people! And that’s what we all get when we accept Christ as Lord and Saviour; forgiven sins and a soul washed and cleansed in His Holy blood. We also receive His awesome peace and joy, and the promise of salvation and eternal life with Him in heaven or wherever He chooses to reside (smile). 

So why do so many of us refuse to accept His invitation to come to Him and lay all our burdens and heavy loads at His feet and receive the rest for both our bodies and souls that He alone can provide? The overwhelming refusal of His Great Invitation just boggles my imagination, for the enemy has nothing to compare with what Jesus’ offers. ‘For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ Satan’s yoke and burden are exactly the opposite of Jesus’ – hard and heavy. So why are so many of us still fighting ourselves and each other to live under Satan’s hard yoke and heavy burden eh? I wish I knew, then I might be able to convince us of the folly of that decision. 

Remember, whatever Satan enables us to have down here, like earthly wealth and power, we cannot take when we depart this life, and we’ll just end up in the fiery halls of hell with him. But the things that we get from Jesus, like peace, joy, LOVE and salvation, we carry them into eternal life with us, to dwell with Him right down through eternity. There’s nothing to compare with that friends! But I guess that our sinful nature is so strong within us that we like to dabble in it, enjoy its fleshly lusts, it’s pride and greed, it’s strife and resentment, as the evil one feeds our minds with his iniquitous thoughts and schemes. 

And yes, we all know that it’s not easy to live a righteous life in this sinful world, constantly bombarded by the enemy’s devious and evil machinations, but if we sincerely turn to Jesus, He will surely help us with those problems. That’s His faithful promise. Bruh Paul wrote it thus to the church at Corinth. ‘There hath no temptation taken (overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able, but with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear (endure) it.’ (1 Cor. 10:13) 

Yes my fellow believers, in simple terms, we all fall under the burden of temptation, but our caring and compassionate God will not allow us to bear more temptation than we can handle. He will either find a way for us to escape it, or give us the necessary tools to endure it. In any case, no temptation will overwhelm us if we put our faith and trust in Jesus. He will give us the wherewithal to handle them all. And these words of encouragement from Psalm 125 – God surrounds his people – just add to our faith and strength in Christ Jesus. 

Please read with me. ‘’They that trust in the Lord shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed (moved), but abideth for ever. As the mountains are round about (surround) Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people from henceforth even for ever. For the rod of the wicked (the sceptre of wickedness) shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous (the land allotted to the righteous); lest the righteous put forth (reach out) their hands unto iniquity.’ (Ps. 125:1-3) 

That’s gospel truth my people! And please remember what Cousin Sol says about iniquity workers. ‘He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity (trouble): and the rod (sceptre) of his wrath (anger) shall fail.’ (Prov. 22:8) It’s for certain sure that the iniquity workers will eventually be destroyed when the Lord thinks it’s time. So mih bredin, how much more do we need before we believe eh, before we surrender completely to Jesus, our Maker, our God, Creator, Provider, Saviour and Friend? He even went so far as to come to earth as a man and selflessly sacrificed His sinless life so that we could be forgiven, made righteous, be reconciled to the Father and have the option of salvation. 

And we’ll let this awesome truth He spoke linger in our hearts as we wind down today. ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ (John 15:13) And He called us friends before He went to His death on the cross on our behalf.  I don’t know what else to say to convince us that Jesus is real and His promises are ever-faithful. As Jesus also said: ‘He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.’ (Matt. 11:15) Words of eternal wisdom from our Saviour. 

Now for those of us who believe and are sincerely trying to live for Jesus, let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. As one strong and confident voice: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Now don’t forget that if we endure with Jesus to the end, then that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine. So please, please, let’s endure nuh mih people! Much LOVE!

…God has faithfully promised…never to leave nor forsake us…and He keeps all of His promises… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   20 April 2022 Psalm 62:1.

Psalm 62:1.      Truly my soul waiteth (waits silently) upon God: from him cometh my salvation.

Come then friends, let’s celebrate this new day of life, the first Wednesday after Easter, as we ought to. Who knows, this might just be the last one, so let’s go out in a blaze of glory! And if by the Lord’s grace it isn’t, then we can keep on going on out every day in a blaze of joy, because every day is a day that God has made for us to enjoy, despite the problems and difficulties we might face. And as the Good Book so astutely reminds us: ‘The joy of the Lord is our strength.’ (Neh. 8:10) 

So there we have it: joy and strength from our Lord God Jehovah! We can’t ask for much more than that. But it doesn’t come automatically, we have to do our part to receive and live it. And that’s where so many of us are falling down. We expect that joy to come automatically, so we just sit around and wait for it, instead of working to make it a reality. But not even the free gifts of salvation and God’s amazing LOVE come automatically, we have to step out in faith and receive them. 

Remember we’re in a partnership with God, and partnerships mean that each partner has a specific job to do. Well, the Lord’s done His, providing us with salvation and forgiveness of sins, but it’s then left for us to receive it. The Lord can’t receive it for us. And I believe this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin provides a good insight into how our souls and spirit ought to respond to God’s goodness. It’s simply titled ‘At Last.’ 

Please pray with me. ‘At last there is One With whom I am perfectly safe. One who knows thoroughly All the rubbled ruins of my heart. At last I see that all that is Riddled and distorted in me Can still find God-planned fulfillment. At last I need no longer explore The deep, dark forest of my thoughts For there is One who understands me Far better than I understand myself. 

One who stands with me In the thick of battle One who supports me On the slippery ice-created paths. At last I have entrusted myself To One who guarantees my wholeness Someone whose LOVE is immeasurable. In all the world He alone can LOVE me As I need to be LOVED. At last there is One – My Lord and My God!’ 

Oh my people, all of that is the God-awesome truth! But until we come to that reality, the reality of realizing and accepting that the Lord LOVES us so truly and powerfully, we won’t be able to give ourselves to Him, the way we should. Just imagine the powerful LOVE He must have borne us to send His Only Son to die on the cross of Calvary, so that our sins could be forgiven. I don’t think there could be any greater show of LOVE than that! Jesus said it to the disciples: ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ (John 15:13) 

And that’s the gospel truth! Laying down one’s life for another is the greatest outpouring of LOVE any being can show; be they human, animal, or God! And that’s exactly what Jesus did; lay down His life for us, on the strong recommendation of the Father. So how, in all wisdom, truth and gratitude, can we not turn to Christ and sincerely devote our lives to Him, who died to give us the greatest gifts of all, true salvation and life eternal? And the Bible Promise for today’s poem is also our Bit for today. Now, first I’ll share the NIV (New International Version) used in the Book of Bible Promises, then the real Mccoy (smile) the King James Version (KJV). 

Here’s what the NIV says: ‘My soul finds rest in God alone: my salvation come from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be alone.’ Chuh! It’s true and all that, but it sounds so listless and lifeless! Now compare it to the KJV. ‘Truly my soul waiteth (waits silently) upon God: from him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defense (strong tower); I shall not be greatly moved (shaken).’ (Ps. 62:1-2) 

Now that seems livelier, to evoke more confidence, more passion. How can you down grade the majestic words and sentiments of Bruh David eh? (smile) I find that some of these new versions water down the Word, make it too simplistic, while others with all their explanations make it more difficult to understand. In the end though, I guess the important thing is that we hear, understand and live the true word in whatever form it’s offered. That take us to these reassuring and reaffirming verses of Psalm 33 titled, ‘Praise to the Lord for his creation.’ 

The psalmist writes: ‘Behold the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear (reverence) him, upon them that hope in his mercy, To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waiteth for the Lord: for he is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.’ (Ps. 33:18-22) 

Yes friends, our God, our Lord, Our Creator is right there always watching out for us…but we need to accept it and believe it, and then live accordingly. Nothing is going to fall in our laps. As Bruh Paul said to the Philippians, we need to ‘work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.’ (Phil. 2:12) That means, everything we need to become mature Christians has already been provided, we now need to do the work necessary to actually grow up and become Christ-like, because that is the ultimate purpose God has for all of us. 

And earlier on in that same letter Bruh Paul assured them of ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you, will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil. 1:6) So there we have it; the Lord has provided all we need to grow to maturity, and He will also keep on helping us to do so until Christ returns. But we need to wake up, get passionate and do our part, if we want to become even a li’l Christ-like! And for those of us who have made that decision, let’s go home now declaring (steups!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our blessed and wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 

As one, loud, proud and grateful voice: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And as always, let’s remember, that if we endure to the end, then that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine. As Jesus said: ‘But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.’ (Matt. 24:13) Much LOVE!

perseverance…persistence…endurance…those are the keys to victorious living…to living for Christ… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 June 2021 John 15:13.

John 15:13.     ​Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Up, up and away friends! It’s Monday, the beginning of a brand new work week! That means there are things to do, places to go and people to see, so please, let’s get a move on, for time waits on no one! Awright, thanks for reminding me that some of you still don’t have jobs, and still can’t go to some of the places you want to go to, like the gym, hair salon and barbershop, despite the lifting of some lockdown restrictions. Yes mih bredrin, life can certainly be rough at times oui! 

But please don’t get discouraged, let’s look at the flip side of the coin instead nuh. We have life, which means there is hope, and most of all we have Jesus…Glory be mih people! That then means we have the awesome benefits of grace, mercy, LOVE and salvation! Wow! What a treasure trove of benefits! And all God’s children gave out a loud shout of gratitude and praise. ‘Thank you Jesus, for saving our sinful souls from hellfire and damnation, through your selfless sacrifice on the cross of Calvary!’ 

Oh my fellow saints, every time I sit down and ponder on Jesus, contemplate His awesome LOVE and selflessness, and the terrible pain and ‘sufferation’ He endured on our account, my heart pains me because I just can’t imagine myself suffering to that degree for someone else. And that selflessness just makes me LOVE and appreciate Him even more. That leads me to consider these heartfelt and life-giving words that He shared with the disciples as His time of sacrifice drew near. 

‘If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto (for) you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath LOVED me, so have I LOVED you: continue (abide) in my LOVE. If ye keep my commandments; ye shall abide in my LOVE; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his LOVE. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. 

This is my commandment, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you. Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. 

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained (appointed) you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. These things I command you, that ye LOVE one another.’ (John 15:7-17) 

Oh friends, just look at all the important statements in those few verses nuh. But please note they are all based on one condition: obedience to His commandments. The scholars characterize them thus: ‘abiding in His LOVE (vs.10), full joy (vs.11), LOVE for one another (vs. 12-13, 17; cf. 13:34-35), friends, not servants (vs.14-15), fruit remains (vs.16), and answered prayer (vs.16) Not forgetting that it was Christ who chose them. ‘It was by His appointment, not by their choice they were taken out of the world (vs.19) and sent out to bear fruit.’ 

But the verse I am especially interested in today is our Bit. ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ How beautiful is Christ eh, that after calling us friends, and making that statement, that’s exactly what He went out and did; lay down, sacrifice His sinless life for us, sinners, whom He considered friends, disciples, ambassadors and earthly representatives. 

No wonder Bruh Paul wrote these powerful words in his missive to the church at Ephesus, re the ways of the believer. ‘Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in LOVE, as Christ also hath LOVED us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God, for a sweet-smelling savour (aroma).’ (Eph. 5:1-2) You can’t argue with that sentiment friends, for it’s the indisputable truth! 

Furthermore, listen to John in his first epistle as he talks about LOVING each other. ‘Hereby perceive we the LOVE of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world’s good (goods), and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion (his heart) from him, how dwelleth the LOVE of God in him? My little children, let us not LOVE in word, neither in tongue (mere word); but in deed and in truth.’ (1 John 3:16-18) 

There’s nothing to argue with in those verses either my people. What we need to do, especially in these tough times of sickness, poverty and strife is put them into action; help each other, LOVE each other, the way Christ LOVED and helped us. That’s when we show the world and Christ that we are His true disciples! Now, let’s go talk to the Lord in prayer, pour out our troubles and woes to Him, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

Altogether now: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

Now let’s remember the number one reason for divine help and blessings: OBEDIENCE! Much LOVE!

…plenty talk…with no action…is useless…it helps no one…                                                                        

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 November 2015 Psalm 95:1

Psalm 95:1. O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) to the rock of our salvation.

Welcome to a wet and woolly Wednesday Friends! (smile) I guess you can say we’ve been enjoying a touch of British weather. I’ve never experienced it personally, but I understand that it can be damp and drizzly for extended periods of time. 

Well that’s the kind of weather we’ve been having in my neighbourhood since yesterday afternoon. It also means that it might put a damper on some of the Remembrance Day Celebrations. 

Yes Friends, it is Remembrance Day, when we remember those who gave their lives for us in the wars all over the world, particularly World War 1, where so many brave young men and women died needlessly. But that’s the nature of war. 

We must never forget them because they are the ones who allowed us to have the freedoms that we now enjoy. It’s one of those things we ought also to teach our children, so that future generations will also remember the greatest gift possible of a man to his fellow beings. 

As Jesus said to His disciples. ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ (John 15:13) 

Yes my people, a whole lot of friends, and families laid down their lives for us in those wars, so please let’s take a moment to reflect on it and appreciate their gift of LOVE. And because of that, some of us also have the day off from work, so please use it wisely, not in unholy debauchery. (smile) 

Now the sun is actually trying to push its way through the clouds, but without too much success. However, although we can’t see it, we know for a fact that it’s somewhere out there rolling along on its own sweet, merry way, just shining brightly as it was programmed to do by its Maker. 

Contrary to that though my brethren, the brilliant LIGHT of the SON is always shining brightly on us. Because He lives within us, He is ALWAYS with us. No clouds can block His radiant light from us! Glory Hallelujah! 

And it’s something NO ONE can ever take from us, for once we are filled with the Holy Spirit, sealed as a child of God, and our name’s written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, we are His FOREVER! Glory to God! 

So though the physical outlook on life this morning might be somewhat grey and dreary, the spiritual light of Jesus is just blazing away, leading us down paths of righteousness. Paths we don’t need the sun for, because we already have the SON! 

And since it’s Wednesday, we also need to declare our Wednesday Wail. All together now, let’s wail! 

‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. 

My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Oh Friends, what a wonderful feeling it is to be alive and active in the ministry of Christ! There is no better way to live this earthly pilgrimage than in consort with Jesus, the One who selflessly sacrificed His holy, sinless life on the cross at Calvary, so that we could be made into the righteous children of God. 

He took all of our sins on Himself and gave us His holiness and righteousness. Oh glory to the Lamb of God, who is most worthy to receive all our praise and adoration! For without Him, hn…! 

I don’t even want to contemplate that situation… for we would all be headed for death and damnation in the fold of Lucifer and his evil minions, but through Jesus’ sacrifice, we’ve been given a second chance. 

Oh my people, please let’s use that new chance wisely and turn in repentance, with all sincerity and truth to our wonderful heavenly Father, who LOVED us so much that he gave His only SON that we might be saved from the evil clutches of sin. 

That’s why we are continuing this series of message of praise and thanksgiving, because we don’t pay enough reverence to our heavenly Father. We should be doing much more of what our Bit tells us. ‘O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) to the rock of our salvation.’ 

Oh my people, what can be better than giving praise and thanks to our awesome God eh? Nothing at all! For it is in those acts of faithfulness that our souls are renewed and refreshed, our faith is strengthened, we are once more invigorated to go out and live a good and true life in Jesus’ name. 

As the psalmist continues in Psalm 95 – A psalm of praise to the great God: ‘Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise (shout joyfully) unto him with psalms (songs). 

For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all Gods. In his hand (possession) are the deep places of the earth: the strength (the heights) of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.’ (Ps.95:2-5) Words of indisputable truth Friends! 

So today, on this Remembrance Day of 2015, as we reflect on all the wars and lives lost in them, please, let us also consider the most important life that’s ever been lost, well not lost, but given on our behalf, that of Jesus Christ, and let it cause us to be ever so thankful for the gracious opportunity to have the options of salvation and eternal life that His death provided. For that my people is wisdom everlasting. Much LOVE!

…lest we forget…let us remember…all those who have given the greatest gift a man can give…their lives on our behalf…especially Jesus…

P.S. Please excuse the lateness of the Bit. It was just one of those days, or rather nights that the ole fella was up pretty late, thus necessitating  a late awakening. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 October 2014 John 15:13

John 15:13.   Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

One more day Friends, one more day! Wow! We’ve been granted life anew for another day, so let’s use it wisely please. Let’s use it like the present God desires it to be, with all the new mercies, blessings, forgiveness and LOVE that He’s showering down on us.
 
Let’s keep our focus on God: praise and serve Him diligently and sincerely, and do the works He desires of us. He has given us all we need to accomplish the tasks on our task sheets, so there should be no serious problems involved.
 
But if perchance, one does crop up, we have the freedom, or rather we’re expected to call on Him for assistance, which He’ll never refuse, once we’re sincere. For as Jesus says in His Great Invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
 
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek (gentle) and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30)
 
So my fellow believers, with those words of comfort and encouragement bubbling in our souls, let’s not allow anything or anyone to cause us anxiety, fear or worry today. Let’s stand strong in the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour, and try our very best to make a positive difference in this crazy, troubled world in which we now live.
 
That’s what Jesus desires of us! And remember that He is indeed our be all and end all! He is our Healer, our Helper, our Redeemer and our Friend! What more can we ask eh? Nothing really.
 
So let’s look at our Bit: ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’
 
And it’s worth repeating and remembering that after He spoke those purposeful words, He went out and died for us at Calvary… as Friends, not servants.
 
And we’ll continue looking at the interplay of ‘friends and friendships’ as found in the Good Book. Then there was Job and his supposed friends. They ostensibly came to comfort him in his sorrow and grief, but unfortunately ended up beating him down emotionally, claiming that his hidden sins had caused his disastrous experience.
 
And God’s wrath was kindled against them, because they had not spoken rightly of Him as His servant Job had done, and He commanded them to repent and offer burnt offerings.  (Job 42:7-9)
 
But hear this: ‘And the Lord turned (restored) the captivity (losses) of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.’ (Job 42:10)
 
Yes my people, the Lord turned Job’s adversity around when he prayed for his friends, and also worked some serious miracles on his behalf, blessing him with twice as much as he had lost. Oh how good our God is to us!
 
That brings us to this rather important point; the importance of praying for others, even when they’ve done us wrong. I know that’s sometimes pretty hard to do, but it’s required of believers.
 
Jesus said it loud and clear: ‘But I say unto you, LOVE your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully (spitefully) use you, and persecute you; That ye may be children (sons) of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust.’ (Matt.5:44-45)
 
So if you ought to pray for your enemies, it’s logical to assume that you ought to pray for your friends and fellow believers too. (smile)
 
Now let’s look at some wisdom of Cousin Sol, re ‘friends and friendships’ as divined in Proverbs. He declares first of all that: ‘The poor is hated even of (by) his own neighbour: but the rich hath many friends (the LOVERS of the rich are many).’ (Prov.14:20)
 
And isn’t that the gospel truth! The scholars explain it thus: ’14:20-21. Social standing is improved with riches, but the good neighbour will have concern for all, regardless of their status.’ That’s how it ought to be, but sadly in this topsy-turvy world of ours, we still look down on the poor and up at the rich.
 
And here’s a fitting companion to that Proverb. ‘Wealth maketh many friends; but the poor is separated from his neighbour (friend).’ (Prov.19:4) 
 

And we see that everyday. Many of us have also experienced it. When times are good and we are rolling in plenty, we have plenty supposed friends around us, but as soon as the good times stop flowing, they all disappear.
 
Now listen to these Proverbs. ‘A froward (perverse) man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief (the best of) friends.’ (Prov.16:28) Or as the scholars say: ’16:28. Gossip destroys friendships.’ That we all know and have experienced too.
 
Here is a companion to that one. ‘He that covereth a transgression seeketh LOVE; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very (the best of) friends.’ (Prov.17:9) More reflections on gossip.
 
Then we have this bit of wisdom. ‘A man that hath friends must show himself friendly (may come to ruin): and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.’ (Prov.18:24)
 
The scholars explain that this way: ’18:24. A man that hath friends must show himself friendly may also be translated, “A man of many friends comes to ruin.” In other words, a man must not spread himself too thin among many superficial relationships. Far better it is to have genuine friends who become like family and LOVE at all times. (17:17).’
 
And isn’t that the gospel, gospel truth my people! It surely is!
 
And we’ll close with this priceless gem of wisdom from Cousin Sol. ‘Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.’ (Prov.27:17)
 
Mama Mia! Wisdom from heaven Friends!
 
The scholars explain it thus: ’27:17. As the proper tool shapes and sharpens iron for its desired use, so a man sharpens his friend morally and intellectually by their personal friendship.’
 
Now that’s the kind of friends we need to have and need to be! Friends, who encourage, comfort, exhort, educate and uplift each other in as many walks of life as possible.
 
So let’s go out today and be that kind of friend nuh mih people. It could only make our world a better place for our children and us. Much LOVE!
 
…the fewer the friends…the less possibility of strife and troublesome friendships…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 October 2014 John 15:13

John 15:13.    Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
 
And then Friends, it was Sunday, the first day of the week!
 
That means it is supposed to be a restful kind of day, including a trip to the Lord’s sanctuary to worship and fellowship with other believers, give God His praise and thanks that’s so well deserved, and get encouragement and strengthened faith from the gathering to keep on keeping on in Jesus’ name.
 
It also should encompass some quality family and/or friend time; all the while keeping our souls open to Jesus. As I keep reminding us, the way we spend the first day of the week, is usually a harbinger of how the rest of the week will unfold.
 
So if we have a busy, stressful /Sunday, then Monday will no doubt open with stress and fatigue, complaining and whining, as we have to get up and go out to labour, and the week will probably go all downhill from there.
 
However, if we spend Sunday in prayerful peace, we at least wake up rested and renewed on Monday. Then, at least we’re starting from the top and going downhill, which is always easier than starting from the bottom and having to trudge up hill.
 
And with those words of wisdom (smile) – hope you adopt them – let’s get to our Bit, the same as yesterday. ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’
 
And again, I will remind us, that not as servants, but as valued Friends, Jesus then went out and died for us on Calvary’s cross!
 
I therefore can’t emphasize enough, how important it is that we recognize and truly appreciate His selfless sacrifice at Calvary, for it was indeed the beginning of all our good fortune, which stemmed exclusively from the great LOVE of our heavenly Father, who desperately wanted us to be brought back in to right standing with Him.
 
It’s just like we bend over backwards sometimes with our wayward children whom we LOVE dearly and want to see get back to the right path and right standing with us.
 
Now today we’ll deal with some scriptures that highlight friendship; what it is supposed to be, and as time permits, also look at some friendships, both good and bad, from the Good Book.
 
And first off is the wisdom of Cousin Sol, telling us from Proverbs, what a friend, and friendship ought to be. Listen up closely my brethren. (smile) ‘A friend LOVETH at all times, and a brother is born of adversity.’ (Prov.17:17)
 
And that’s exactly how it’s supposed to be my people! As the scholars declare: ’17:17. A true friend has unquenchable LOVE that is not diminished by adversity.’
 
But today, unfortunately, as we all know, that kind of true friendship doesn’t exist as much as it used to. Now friends are only friends when times are good. When they are rough and you need support, you’ll usually find yourself alone, because all you really had were good times friends.
 
However my people, let’s look at what a true friendship ought to be like. It begins with Jehovah God’s covenant with Abraham in chapter 17 of Genesis, where He establishes Abraham as the father of His Chosen People.
 
And we all know the story of Abraham’s tumultuous but interesting pilgrimage throughout the land, and how throughout it all, he stayed faithful and true to God, and God also remained faithful and true to him.
 
It was such a great friendship that centuries later, king Jehoshaphat of Judah, when besieged by foreign armies, could cry out to God: ‘Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend forever?’ (2 Chr.20:7)
 
Then Isaiah, in talking of the final restoration of Israel, declares: ‘But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham, my friend.’ (Is.41:8)
 
And later on, James, the half-brother of Jesus, who only believed at the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry, in talking about faith without works, boldly proclaims: ‘But wilt thou know (but do you want to know), O vain (foolish) man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
 
Seest thou how faith wrought with his works (was working), and by works was faith made perfect (complete)? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed (accounted) unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.’ (James 2:20-23)
 
Yes my brethren, that is what a true friendship ought to be like. Abraham is so revered, that even when we speak of God, and we qualify it by saying, the God of Abraham, everyone knows whom we’re talking about.
 
So today my people, as we fellowship and worship, peacefully rest in prayerful meditation, let’s consider the words ‘friend and friendship.’ Let’s ponder what they mean to us, then on that basis, ponder who our true friends might be in this earthly life, as well as who we might be true friends to.
 
And lastly, let’s ask the Lord for his help, so that at the end of our earthly pilgrimage, our faith and works will be of such excellence and integrity, that we too will be called the Friend of God! That’s the zenith of wisdom! Much LOVE!
 
…oh…to be considered…a Friend of the Lord…and a Man after His own heart…that is my greatest desire…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 October 2014 John 15:13

John 15:13.   Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Aye Friends, we are alive and kicking to witness another brand new day, filled with God’s wonderful mercies, blessings and forgiveness! Wow! Isn’t that wonderful? It surely is, even though the weather in my neck of the woods is wet and chilly and miserable.
 
Hn! I guess my brother and his wife must have carried back the wonderful Tobago kind of weather we’ve had for the last couple of weeks while he was here. (smile) Anyway, regardless of the weather, let’s give our great God appropriate praise and thanks for allowing us to see another day.
 
And today we’ll be talking about Friends. I don’t know exactly how it’s all going to unfold, to pan out, since there is so much scripture dealing with subject, in good, bad and indifferent ways. But I’m going to be wise and simply put my faith in Holy Spirit to guide me into writing something sensible and useful. (smile) He’s been doing it for the last seven years, ever since I began writing the Bit, so why should He stop now eh?
 
I do know that we’ll begin with this poem from one of my favourite preachers, Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) taken from his Hour of Power Devotional. Don’t know if I’ve ever shared it before, but it’s certainly worth sharing again in this context, since it’s appropriately titled, ‘WHAT A FRIEND!’
 
 It boldly and proudly declares: ‘You have never failed, Lord, to be my one, essential, intimate friend. When I was: Lonely in striving – you encouraged me. Lonely in struggling – you lifted me. Lonely in serving – you supported me. Lonely in suffering – you comforted me. Lonely in sinning – you forgave me. Lonely in sinking – you renewed me. Lonely in succeeding – you rejoiced with me. What a FRIEND I have in Jesus! Thank you, Lord. Amen.’
 
Oh my people, I couldn’t have said it any better myself! And I’m sure that all of us can testify to the truth of those words, for we have all been befriended by God in our struggles in our pilgrim’s journey.
 
That brings us to our Bit; the overwhelming and oh so beautiful sentiments of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’
 
Wow! That’s all I can say in reaction that revolutionary statement! And the great thing about it all, my fellow believers, is that after making such a momentous and controversial statement, Jesus actually went out and died for us!
 
And all God’s children gave a joyful and grateful shout of: ‘Thank You Jesus! Thank You for dying for us on the cross at Calvary and paying our sin debt in full!’
 
Oh Friends, that’s a debt we can never repay! And Jesus doesn’t want or expect us to repay it either. All He desires of us is what He says after our Bit: ‘Ye are my friends, if ye do whatever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.’ (John 15:14-15)
 
Yes people, to be Friends of Jesus, all we have to do is believe what He’s told us, all that He’s heard from His Father, and then do what he asks us to do. But unfortunately, in these highly revolutionary and technologically advanced times, those words have fallen on deaf ears, as man boastfully beats his chest and feels superior, like he’s a god himself.
 
And sadly, we just can’t see how foolish that type of prideful behaviour really is, when with all our wealth, power and technological advances, we still cannot control the length of our days on this earth. The One who originally breathed His breath of life into us, still controls how long we spend on His earth.
 
That brings to mind Jesus’ parable of the rich man who had so much goods that he decided to build bigger barns to hold it all, then to ‘take thine ease, eat drink and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?’ (Luke 12:19b-20)
 
Yuh see mih breddren, all the wealth and power couldn’t keep him from dying that night. So doesn’t that make us look silly and stupid when we can’t control the one thing that makes us go, our very lifeblood, but we boast about everything else that flows from it, as though we are so superior?
 
Steups! Sometimes I think that man is God’s dumbest creation , rather than the brightest yes! But that’s another story for another day. (smile)
 
And we’ll close with the first verse of that old hymn that tells us so much about friendship with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Sing it with me please people, because we all know it, though we don’t all put it into actual practice.
 
As one mighty choir now: ‘What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.’
 
Oh Friends, oh Friends, that says it all! Many of our problems exist because we don’t take them to Jesus in prayer. Just imagine the amount of peace we forfeit and unnecessary pain we bear, simply because we don’t do it nuh.
 
So let’s wake up today my people, and take EVERYTHING to our omnipotent and ever-faithful, ever-caring God, because that’s what He desires of us. And furthermore, our problems and pains will definitely be lessened, we’ll also have more peace in our lives, and our God will be pleased! If that isn’t heavenly wisdom, then I don’t know what is! Much LOVE!
 
…why be a martyr…by holding on to unnecessary strife and pain…when relief can be found…simply through words sincerely floated up on high…