Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 July 2020 Ephesians 5:1.

Ephesians 5:1. Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
 

Welcome to another beautiful day on God’s great earth my fellow saints in Christ! And grace and mercy and peace to you from our heavenly Father as we spend the day doing His wonderful work, redeemed, sanctified, justified and made righteous by the awesome blood of His Son Jesus Christ! 

Mama Yo! What a bountiful privilege! And all God’s children said a loud, proud and grateful: “Praise the Lord our great and merciful God, who sends us new mercies and compassions every single day! Who looks after the undeserving children of men! Bless His holy name! Amen!’ 

And I know it’s Friday, the day so many of us look forward to, when our weekly tasks will end for two lousy days, but nonetheless it fills us with happiness. (smile) Look at it this way nuh, the Lord worked six days to create the universe, we’re only working five, which means we’re one up, that should lessen our antipathy to the work week. (smile) 

But let’s hear what the ordinary working man has to say for himself on this bright and sunshiny Friday. And he gushes today: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday and that longed for weekend is here! It was the best week for a while now. It wasn’t so hot, and some rain fell and mih body getting used again to the hard, physical labour in the slave master fiery furnace so nicely called a machine shop, so it not hurting so much again! Thank God for that oui, because it not easy to do all the things we need to do, at the speed and consistency we need to do it when every move yuh make hurts like hell! 

I just hope to heaven though that the pandemic and strife business would get settled and be over with, because they still casting a dark cloud over mih life and the world. Yeh, is good to see that they easing the lockdown, but how many people going to pay serious attention to wearing masks and physical distancing when everything gets more open eh? That is the big question, especially since those seem to be the only options we currently have for holding the virus in some sorta check. 

Ah Lord eh! Some of us real dense and stupid yes! We still mouthing off about freedom and trampling of rights, but when we go out there not careful, what yuh think going to happen eh? The same blooming foolishness that happening in the U.S. now! But what do I know eh? I’m just a lowly, ordinary workingman, giving thanks to God for the li’l weekend rest ah going to get come this evening.’ 

Ah friends, the ordinary workingman claims not to know a whole lot, but he does know more than a lot of the so-called upper class and educated people who are not taking our current situation as seriously as they ought to. But that’s where we, the saints of Christ come in; offering prayer and assurance that things will get better, we just don’t know when, and these things will pass, when our God decides it’s time. So let’s go to Him now nuh, corporately, through our Friday Chant, with sincere hearts and plead for His awesome help. 

All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. It’s been pretty rough…some of it from work, as many of us are now back to work in varied ways, but most of our anxiety still comes from all the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus still causing. We not accustomed to that Lord, and it really telling on us. And now, on top of all that, we have racial riots and protests to put up with. Oh Lord, yuh know we can’t handle it on our own and desperately need Your help. 

Yes, heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. It’s also a good opportunity to introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

And now that we’ve prayed with sincere hearts my people, what is our next move eh? To put into action what we said above, re God’s faithful people handling the situation with wisdom and compassion. And how do we do that? Like Bruh Paul told the church at Ephesus when he expounded on 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) 

And how do we do all of that? As Jesus said: ‘But LOVE ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again (in return); and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.’ (Luke 6:35-36) 

And if Jesus words don’t appeal to you, then try these from Peter nuh, as he talks about the call to Christian dedication. ‘Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind (prepare your mind for action), be sober, and hope to the end for grace (rest your mind fully upon the grace) that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;’ (1 Pet. 1:13) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘1:13. The exhortation to set one’s hope involves an inward resolution. Gird up the loins of your mind: The imagery is that of personal discipline and outward conduct. Be sober: (Gr. nephontes): Be free of every sort of mental and spiritual intoxication. The revelation of Jesus Christ is the Second advent when Jesus returns to earth to set up His kingdom.’ 

Consequently, our behaviour should be: ‘As obedient children, not fashioning (conforming) yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance. But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation (conduct); Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.’ (1 Pet. 1:14-16) 

And for our information, that scripture is found in Leviticus 11:44-45; 19:2; and 20:7. Not only one place, but several, which means the Lord was very serious about it. So please, let’s take holiness seriously too, as we go about doing God’s work each and every day! Much LOVE!

…in troubled times…the saints of God lead the way…

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 22 March 2017 1 John 1:9.

1 John 1:9.   If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Well friends, the sun is shining brightly this Wednesday morning, but it is a bit on the chilly side. Welcome to spring! 

Sorry Anthony, you can’t stay in Paradise forever. (smile) All good things must come to an end sometime. I’m talking about a friend who was in Tobago taking sea baths in Store Bay for me, but has now returned to the cold weather of New York. Hope you had enough to last both of us for the rest of the year my brother. (smile) 

Anyway, let’s get down to some serious business immediately; a poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings from Ruth Harms Calkin. This one is called ‘The Truant.’ 

And it says: What does God do with a truant who plays hooky from her heavenly Father? What are the options? One thing is sure. He doesn’t pamper her. He knows she needs to stretch her spiritual muscles. 

He doesn’t shout. “Get up, foolish child!’ She’s so covered with mud she can’t move. He doesn’t condemn her, because his promise is “There is therefore now no condemnation.” In the end he does what he always does for any half-demolished child of his: 

He unlocks her handcuffed spirit with his key of infinite LOVE. He checks her fluctuating heart with its spiritual irregularity. He gives her a fleeting glimpse of things as they could be. He accepts her confession. 

He thoroughly cleanses her, then he holds her close to his tender heart. He restores her joy and empowers her to obey. Suddenly she knows with great gladness that her one safe fortress is the centre of her Father’s will. At least so it is with one truant child: me.’ 

Oh friends, doesn’t that sound like how our heavenly Father deals with all of us who go astray from time to time? It surely does! He doesn’t pamper or condemn, just cleans us up, accepts it when we say we’re sorry, and continues LOVING us, showing us that the ONLY true way is doing His will. 

We can try to run and hide and play hooky, but we’ll never truly succeed, because His eyes are always on us, just like they are on the solitary sparrow. What a wonderful Father we have in heaven my people! 

I hope that is also the way we treat our unruly, lawless, earthly children; with parental LOVE and tenderness, not condemnation and shouting and screaming at them. 

And the promise for that poem is also our Bit for today. ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth! Once we come to our heavenly Father confessing our sins, He’ll NEVER turn us away, but forgive us and clean us up, for that’s His awesome promise. 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘1:9. This a restatement of verse 7. We ought not to deny our sins (v.8), but rather to confess them before God. This opens the door for His forgiving and cleansing light to purify our hearts. Unrighteousness is another way of saying “sin.” 

And to help clarify the references to vs.7& 8, I’ll just add them here. ‘But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say, that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.’ (1 John 1:7-8) 

And now hear the scholars’ offering re those verses. ‘1:7. “God is light.” (v.5): To walk in this light, which is to live free from bondage to sin (c.f. Rom.6:18), is to make true communion between believers possible. Jesus’ violent death on the cross, which is what blood signifies, is the initial antidote for and ultimate defense against sin’s presence and power.’ 

‘1:8. Others seem to have been claiming that they had no sin. Jesus taught that those who owned up to their sin could find forgiveness, while those who were blind to their sin would be left mired in it. (c.f. John 9:41).’ 

Yes friends, as Bruh Paul told the Romans in no uncertain terms: ‘For all have sinned, and come (fallen) short of the glory of God.’ (Rom.3:23) 

That brings us to the verse after our Bit. ‘If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.’ (1 John 1:10) 

And the scholars tell us: ‘1”10. To deny one’s sinfulness (v.8) or sins is not just to deceive oneself; it is to make God a liar by denying His Word. Both the Old and New Testaments stress the universality of man’s sin (e.g. Job 4:17; Ps.14:3; Is. 53:6; Rom. 3:10-18,23).’ 

Oh my people, I’m sure that none of us would venture to call our most wonderful God a liar. That means we have all confessed our sins and have been cleansed by Him and once more been declared righteous. 

Consequently we can afford to declare our Wednesday Wail with all truth and sincerity. ‘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 that’s my people! Much LOVE!

…saying that we have no sin…just creates more sin in us…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 September 2014 Hosea 7:13

 Hosea 7:13. Woe unto them! for they have fled from me: destruction unto them! because they have transgressed against me: though I have redeemed them, yet they have spoken lies against me.

‘Hot town, summer in the city… Cool cat, looking for a kitty. Gonna look in every corner of the city…!’
 
Oh Friends, in the supposed summer month we couldn’t make the claim of that old song with very much truth, because it wasn’t that hot. But yuh better believe in the last few days, it was undeniably true!
 
For instance, as I was driving up the road yesterday, with my window down and the sun shining in, I had to hide my forearm from its onslaught. (smile)
 
Oh what confusing weather! But note, we’ll never say no to such beautiful Tobago days, that’s for sure! Especially at this time of year, when the weather is usually leaning towards the chilly side.
 
But another confusing thing is that the trees aren’t paying any attention to the great summer weather, they are still turning into their fabulous fall colours and dropping their leaves, in anticipation of winter.
 
Unfortunately, today doesn’t seem as if it’s going to be a Tobago kind of day, but it’s not going to be too bad either. Anyway, we’ll be thankful for anything, once it’s not that cold, white stuff. (Smile)
 
Now let’s turn to our Bit: ‘Woe unto them! for they have fled from me: destruction unto them! because they have transgressed against me: though I have redeemed them, yet they have spoken lies against me.’
 
And today I’m not going to get into any rhetoric about our evil deeds and disobedience. I just want to share a few scripture passages on redemption and being redeemed.
 
Now the word redeem basically means ‘to purchase’, and redemption in the Good Book means Jesus Christ purchasing our sinful souls from the bondage of sin, by the shedding of His holy and sinless blood on the cross of Calvary.
 
In other words, by His sacrificial death, He paid the enormous price required by His holy and just Father to absolve us from our abominable sins, thus paving the way for us to become righteous, justified, sanctified and a member of God’s family.
 
So now we are free from the bondage of sin, but please, NEVER, NEVER forget that it was THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST that paid for our redemption!  We would still be lost sinners, facing the penalty of death and eternal separation from Almighty God, if Jesus had not sacrificed Himself on our behalf.
 
That just goes to show how much He truly LOVED us, and I just can’t understand the rebellion, the disobedience and ungratefulness that we constantly show to such a wonderful act of LOVE!
 
Anyway, as I said earlier, no rhetoric, just scripture. (smile) And we’ll begin with this powerful promise of our omnipotent God to the Israelites right at the very beginning of their fight with Pharaoh to leave their bondage in Egypt.
 
He says to Moses: ‘Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with outstretched arm (with mighty power), and with great judgements.’ (Ex.6:6)
 
And we all know that our ever-faithful God did just as He had promised. Then later on, Isaiah also talks about the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel.
 
‘Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for thou art my servant: I have formed thee; thou art my servant: O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of (by) me. I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.’ (Is.44:21-22)
 
And Hosea continues the prophecy of redemption when he foretells Israel’s destruction. ‘I will ransom them from the power (hand) of the grave (death); I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues (where is your punishment); O grave, I will be thy destruction (where is thy sting): repentance (pity) shall be hid from mine eyes.’ (Hos.13:14)
 
And the scholars have this to say about that verse: ’13:14-16. I will ransom them from the power of the grave: Only God can save Israel from national extinction. After its judgement is complete, Israel will ultimately be redeemed and will bring forth fruits of repentance.
 
This national repentance and restoration will be realized in the Israel of the Millennium. Paul applies verse 14 to the resurrection of Christ, which guarantees the resurrection of all believers in Christ.’
 
When we move on to the New Testament, we have more testimony of redemption. Listen to Zechariah’s prophecy, as his son, John the Baptist is presented to the Lord.
 
‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, And hath raised up a horn of salvation (mighty deliverer) for us in the House of his servant David; As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began (from the ages):
 
That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant. The oath which he sware to our Father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we, being delivered out of the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear,
 
In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our lives. And thou child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission (forgiveness) of their sins,
 
Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring (dawn, Messiah) from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.’ (Luke 1:68-79)
 
Oh my people, we know that prophecy was fulfilled by John the Baptist going before Jesus to testify of His coming and to call the people to salvation. Jesus came and redeemed us, but that call for salvation is still going out. Today, please hear it and respond wisely. Much LOVE!
 
…today…if you should hear Jesus knocking at the door to your heart…please don’t ignore it…