Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 May 2021 Psalm 119:75.

Psalm 119:75.     I know, O Lord, that thy judgements (laws) are right (righteous), and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.

Well at long last, it seems like we might actually have a rainy day! Thank the Lord! The earth is most grateful for it because the little sprinklings we have had recently did nothing to soothe the parched land. What’s amusing and interesting though, is that every time they call for rain, the skies darken, but then the wind comes and blows away the dark clouds bearing the life-giving precipitation. But today, we finally seem to have the real thing, even my computer that was earlier on saying mostly sunny, is now calling for rain! Glory be! 

Oh, I just heard that it’s not only rain, but freezing rain, for the temperature has dropped to around five degrees Celsius. Imagine that nuh, a few days ago we had temps in the high twenties, now they are closer to freezing. But anyway, on this rainy Friday, in these tough times, we are going to turn to a most appropriate poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, to give us a li’l enlightening and encouragement. It’s titled ‘The Pain of Growth.’ And that is exactly what we are supposed to be doing in these trying times; growing in God! 

So please pray with me. ‘O God Growth is a painful process. I frankly confess I am a coward about pain. I don’t like it, Lord I never pray for it Or get excited over it. In fact, I often resist it: The pain of emotional trauma So overwhelming So baffling and crushing. The deep-cutting pain Of a broken relationship. Physical pain that goes on and on Until my entire body screams. The pain of cruel cutting words. The pain of loneliness, rejection Of financial ruin. The pain of being misunderstood. 

Lord, the very thought of pain Frightens and unnerves me. Yet it is true – Again and again it is true: My greatest spiritual growth Has come through pain. Through heartache And anguish. And very often in my suffering When I sadly thought You were doing absolutely nothing At that very moment You were doing more within me Than I ever dreamed or hoped.’ 

Oh Mama, Mama! How true are those words eh? In the hurting and awful times when we think that God has forsaken us, those are the exact times that He is working most desperately in us, to grow us and increase our faith and trust in Him. And right now, in these most uncomfortable times of worldwide sickness and strife, when life is rough with so many of us, that’s the very thing He is doing; growing us, strengthening our faith, teaching us to wait patiently and expectantly on Him, deepening our trust in His awesome promises. 

But as always, there’s a part that we must do, and that’s hold on sincerely and tightly to His word and the promises found therein, where He has promised never to leave nor forsake us, to be with us right to the very end, to have thoughts of peace and not evil towards us, to give us a future and a hope. However, we have to sincerely accept them before we can see them coming to pass. 

And I know that this is a time when the Lord is challenging us to come up higher, to show that we truly believe in Him and His promises. The world is rejecting Him left, right and centre, but He is trusting that His followers will stand up strong although the times seem perilous, and come forth like pure gold when we are tested in these hot and evil fires. 

And the Bible Promise for our poem today comes from that mighty scripture, Psalm 119, where the psalmist confesses: ‘I know, O Lord, that thy judgements (laws) are right (righteous), and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me. Let I pray thee, thy merciful kindness (unfailing LOVE) be for my comfort, according to thy word (promise) unto thy servant.’ (Ps. 119:75-76) 

Yes friends, that’s how we have to look at it, otherwise we will just drive ourselves crazy with worry and anxiety, fear and dread of the future, unwisely forgetting Jesus’ wise advice: ‘Take therefore no thought for the morrow (don’t worry about tomorrow): for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt. 6:34) 

Oh my people, everyday has its own problems, and wisdom decrees that we should concentrate on the present or current ones, not the ones we think might come tomorrow, which usually never come. So now, with all that wisdom under our belt, safely stored away in our hearts and souls, (smile) it’s time to get ourselves together and come to our great God in humble prayer through our Friday Chant. 

As one strong and sincere voice: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife is causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means we desperately need your help. Oh 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 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, and avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. 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 if we want to receive a positive answer, then it behooves us to change our evil ways and truly be examples of faithful believers. Much LOVE!

…adversity…the greatest spiritual teacher…                                                     

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 March 2019 Matthew 6:33.

Matthew 6:33.   ​But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
 

And then it was Friday; the day so many of us look forward to because it signals the end of our hardy workweek in these rather trying times of humanity, where prosperity abounds in general, but poverty, sickness, strife and homelessness are more the order of the day. 

And to help us combat the greed and evil and selfishness that’s currently so prevalent in our world, listen to these winsome and wonderful words from a poem by one of Canada’s first female writers and composers; Eva Rose York (nee Fitch), composer, organist, editor, teacher (born 22 December 1858 in Norwich, Ontario; died 6 February in Toronto, Ontario.) 

In the third verse of her epic poem ‘I shall not pass this way again,’ she summarily declares (right ho) in a beautiful, humane, and very timely message to all humanity: ‘I shall not pass this way again; Then let me now relieve some pain, Remove some barrier from the road, Or brighten someone’s heavy load. A helping hand to this one lend, Then turn some other to befriend.’ 

Yes friends, it’s our duty to help each other, both as members of the human race and the Christian organization; the church of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!  He set the glorious example for all mankind to follow when He selflessly sacrificed His life on that old rugged cross at Calvary for sinful man. 

It behooves us therefore to carry on His work in our time by helping the less fortunate, of which there are so many in our current society, although this is one of the most prosperous and advanced periods in man’s history! And if we’d only put out a li’l effort to do that, then Christ’s church, and our world, would take on a much different hue, a much more enlightened and godly complexion. End of sermon! (smile) 

Yes my brethren, that’s what the Lord put in my to heart share with you this cold, winter’s Friday, the first day of March 2019. However, I know that since this Friday, many of you are more interested in hearing the workingman’s Friday song, as it tends more to our sinful and lustful nature. (smile) Well, I won’t disappoint you. Here’s what he’s singing this morning: 

 ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! But like this blooming cold weather not planning to go away anytime soon nuh! Brother! But wasn’t that a stellar snowfall earlier this week eh? I couldn’t even walk properly in the so many inches of snow…fell down in it numerous times…but just had to laugh and roll over and remember how we would play in it as young children growing up in the poor areas of Toronto! 

Yes, them was good days! We didn’t have a care in the world! Had food and everything ready for me by mother and father! Didn’t know where it came from, or how hard it was to earn it. Hn! But now I am mother and father and have to get out there everyday, come rain, snow or shine, and earn a pittance to support my brood…

And I’m doing it…without too much complaints too… But believe me, nothing, or nobody is going to take away my party time come Fridays and the weekends. I give all I have during the week, but the weekend is mine! And who doh like it, yuh know what they could do with it yes! Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

Yes, the workingman was in full voice, but he certainly surprised us this morning nuh. (smile) It wasn’t all about partying, but more sensible stuff which all of us need to take very seriously in today’s crazy and misguided world. And to add to the seriousness of the workingman’s song, let’s chant our Friday Chant that’s somewhat more restrictive, but does not stop us from having fun and enjoying good times with friends and family. 

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!’ 

Yeh friends, instead of concentrating on the partying aspect of our lives, as believers we focus on the furthering of God’s kingdom! Glory to our great God! As Jesus so straightforwardly put it in the Sermon on the Mount: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow (do not worry about tomorrow): for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt.6:33-34) 

There it is right in a nutshell friends and fellow believers! God must be our NUMBER ONE PRIORITY! And if we do that, then things will be fine with us, we won’t lack anything, the Lord will take of all our earthly needs. Now listen to some explanations from the scholars: 

‘The disciples who have pledged their allegiance to the King must continue seeking the kingdom and it’s righteousness…The contrast between the spiritual and material is again emphasized. The believer is to seek first the righteousness that is characteristic of God’s kingdom and then all these things (material things) shall be added to him. When our priority is spiritual, God will take care of the material, for where God guides, He provides. (Now that’s gospel truth!) 

We need not even worry about tomorrow, for sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. This means that each day has its own troubles and challenges to be responsibly handled, without worrying about the hypothetical problems that could arise tomorrow.’ 

So friends, having now heard this message for the umpteenth time (smile) let’s go out and see if we can’t put it into better action than we’ve done so far nuh? For Jesus’ sake nuh? And with God’s help we can certainly do it! Much LOVE!

…just think about what Jesus did for us…how then can we not want to do for others eh…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 May 2018 Matthew 6:34.

Matthew 6:34.    Take therefore no thought for the morrow (therefore do not worry about tomorrow): for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.

Oh friends, it’s a glorious Saturday in my neck of the woods! And I have to chuckle as I say that because yesterday was somewhat of a nightmare. Early in the afternoon the weather cleared up, but a wicked windstorm then kicked up its heels, lasting until early evening. I believe that a hurricane force wind is around 110 – 120 km per hour… well this one was at least around 90 km per hour. 

I lay in my bed listening to it caterwaul through the neighbourhood, and it brought to mind the east wind that the Lord stirred up when He gave the Israelites quail because they were tired of angel food; manna. (smile) At some stages I thought it might blow away my roof, so much noise it was making up there. But thankfully, the only damage I’ve seen so far is a piece of my wooden fence blown down into the neighbour’s backyard. Thank You Lord! 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s take a look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, in his sincere efforts to inspire us for a better tomorrow. First up is this insightful quote. ‘Surround yourself with people who get you.’ 

And is that ever important my breddren! The only way to succeed is to have people around you who know what you are about, and are willing to work with you to achieve your ends. We can’t succeed by ourselves, neither with people working against us. That’s why it’s essential to build your inner circle ever so carefully. 

And the second quote says: ‘You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry, don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.’ That’s true too. It reminds me of our Tuesday Mantra. Technically speaking, earth is not our home, we’re only here for a short time, pilgrims passing through. 

Heaven is our real home, where we’ll spend eternity, so that’s where we ought to concentrate a fair amount of our efforts. And besides, how much control do we have over earthly things anyway? Not a whole lot. So why worry and hurry eh? 

And as usual, we’ve saved the best for last. ‘Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.’ And all God’s people said a loud and positive ‘Amen!’ 

Hn, hn! But we still bring forward the crappy stuff we did yesterday, as though it’s an accounting procedure. No friends, to a certain extent we ought to let yesterday rest in peace. It’s come and gone, and there is nothing we can do about it. So only the very important, ongoing stuff should ever be opened on a new day, as we bring a new and fresh level of enthusiasm and perspective to it. 

Jesus warned us: ‘Take therefore no thought for the morrow (therefore do not worry about tomorrow): for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ What wise words from our Lord and Saviour! 

In the same manner, we should not worry about what went on yesterday. Everyday will have enough problems of its own for us to handle, so why add unnecessary stuff eh? That doesn’t mean we should not to be concerned about important, life changing or rearranging things, but generally speaking we upset ourselves with way too much unimportant stuff. 

If we sit down and truly analyze a day’s proceedings, I’m sure we’ll find that half of what we agonized over when it was happening, did not deserve that level of concern. The best way to consistent living is to try and live in the here and now as much as possible. Deal with what’s currently on your plate. 

Have plans, but plans can change like…like…the weather. You know what I really wanted to say, but don’t need the hassle from my female associates. (smile). Consult the past, but mostly to learn from it, not to live in it. Treat each new day, like exactly what it is; a NEW DAY! That way, you’ll bring new insights and attitudes to it. 

Oh friends, earthly living is not easy, but as believers in, and followers of Jesus Christ, we have been given a blessed blueprint to make it as successful as possible; it’s called the Word of the Lord, the BIBLE! If we sincerely follow its statutes and ordinances, we will be successful. If we don’t, we won’t be successful. It’s as simple as that. 

And there’s no better paraphrase to all of that, than these wise words of Jesus. ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) 

Yes my brethren, Jesus has no cause to lie or be unfaithful in His promises, so if He says the best way to live this earthly life is by first seeking God and his righteousness, then you know that’s so. Matter finish! Much LOVE!

…bring to each day…just what is necessary to keep it righteous…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 July 2014 Matthew 24:13

Matthew 24:13.     But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Oh Friends, wonder of wonders, we’ve been granted another wonderful opportunity to serve Almighty God with the gift of life today! Glory Hallelujah!
 
And my people, please realize that today is today; not yesterday or tomorrow, but simply TODAY; the present time; a present from our heavenly Father! So let’s concentrate on it and no other nuh.
 
Let’s try to do our very best on this one special day, for every day that we’ve been granted the awesome privilege of drawing breath is indeed special, and ought to be treated as such. And if we just do that, treat each day as being very special and important, then it will surely satisfy the desires of yesterday, and spur on the growth for tomorrow.
 
Please note that that was what Jesus did during His earthly sojourn. He got up early, had meaningful communication with the Father, mapped out His day in accordance with the Father’s wishes and will, then He went out and worked that plan; healing and doing good.
 
He wasn’t overly concerned with what had happened yesterday, or was going to happen tomorrow, but kept His focus on, concentrated the vast majority of His energy and time on fulfilling His goals for that particular day, which is always, TODAY.
 
Therefore, in accordance with Jesus’ modus operandi, I’m asking us to please put the same perspective in our own lives; simply concentrate on what we can and have to do today.
 
As Jesus warned His listeners in the Sermon on the Mount: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow (therefore do not worry about tomorrow): for tomorrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt.6:33-34)
 
Yes Friends, once we’re seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness today, tomorrow will look after itself. And remember that tomorrow never really comes, it simply becomes today, so we just have to keep on doing the same thing, seeking God and His righteousness every today.
 
And that’s possibly the easiest way for us to adhere to our Bit: ‘But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.’
 
Oh mih people, as we said yesterday, the trait of endurance is a must in the believer’s life! And it’s possibly the hardest thing to do with all the pressures of life, of living, and of the world, being heaped upon us in these very sad and troubled times.
 
That’s why concentrating on just one day at a time, the day ahead of us, is so important. It frees us from all the other concerns that yesterday and tomorrow would have us pay unnecessary attention to. And just like yesterday, we’re going to look at some more of the many scripture passages that have to do with enduring.
 
And we’re going to begin with the words of Jesus, when He warns the disciples of serious persecution in their future. ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.’ (Matt.19:22)
 
Yes my brethren, as the saying goes, ‘the race is not for the swift, but for the sure of foot;’ the one who takes his time to see where he is going and spells himself, so that he can endure; last the entire race.
 
Then we have the author of Hebrews warning us: ‘Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience (endurance), that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.’ (Heb.10:35-36)
 
Again, my people, it is all about staying strong and steadfast in the work of Christ, which we know isn’t always easy, but we’re certain of His generous help when we obey His will.
 
Meanwhile, James says this on the very real and tangible subject of temptation. ‘Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that LOVE him.’ (James 1:12)
 
And I think Friends, that it will be an excellent idea to close with some wise, interesting and important observations from the scholars on that verse.
 
‘1:12. Mankind understandably may look on tragedy as the curse of God, as Job’s friends did. Trials are, however, the means through which God’s blessings can come. One’s endurance in and victory over trials brings God’s blessings. Christians, therefore, are not instructed to seek avenues of escape.
 
God desires that they mature in the situation rather than move from it (cf. Rom.5:3-5; 1 Pet.1:6-7). He does, however, promise to provide an escape if the testing becomes unbearable (1 Cor.10:13).’
 
And I’ll break the scholars words here to show us that scripture, since I know that many of us won’t look it up if I just say to do so, and it’s very important for us to know and understand that scripture verse.
 
‘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 will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear (endure) it.’ (1 Cor.10:13)
 
Yeh Friends, we all run to that verse as soon as trouble shows up, expecting God to quickly deliver us. But that’s not the purpose it serves.
 
For, as the scholars continue: ‘God’s people need to meditate more on James 1:12 than 1 Corinthians 10:13. The reason for this, and why God allows trials in the lives of His people, is revealed in the Mosaic Law: ‘That he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end.’ (Deut.8:16).’
 
Yeh mih breddren, running this race of earthly life is all about ENDURANCE; about standing strong and steadfast in God’s LOVE and plan for each and every one of us.
 
So today, let’s make it our number one priority nuh, for that is indeed the wisdom of Almighty God, and we certainly can’t get any better than that! Much LOVE!
 
…when we make up our minds to endure…rather than simply escape…our heavenly Father is pleased…and gives us even more grace to endure…