Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 July 2019 Mark 16:15.

Mark 16:15.    ​And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
 

And so we come once more to Friday, the day that we all long and wish for, especially in the summer time, when we get to go out and do all those fun things outside. (smile) And believe me the hot days are upon us right now, with temps of 30 and 30 something degrees predominating. And if we don’t get some rain soon, we’ll be complaining about how it too hot! That’s just the nature of the human animal, we just LOVE our comfort and are never satisfied even when we get what we ask for. 

And the 4th of July party is still in full swing down in the U.S. of A. And the workingman feels as though he’s died and gone to heaven. Hear him nuh: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday…and the weekend is finally here! What would we do without the weekend eh? The slave master and them would gladly work out we soul case if we give them the chance, and for next to nothing too, because they so blooming greedy! They preach a good preach about sharing, but is only talk oui. 

But enough about them evil people yes. Is the summer time now and the weekend, we time to get out there and party, party like there was no tomorrow! And who knows whether there will be any tomorrow eh? What they say? You live today and tomorrow you die? Well then lemme live it up today eh? For who knows if I’ll wake up tomorrow? And the weather is fine, the beer’s cold, the grill’s waiting …and the winter soon come back! So lemme enjoy the fruits of mih labour eh, as Solomon says, that’s mih God-given right! So thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Oh friends, we do have to thank the Lord, but not only for Fridays and weekends, but for all that we have, because it all comes from Him! Remember how Bruh David put it: ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with LOVING-kindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.’ (Ps.103:2-5) 

Oh my people, what words of marvellous truth! Our wonderful God does it all for us! Without Him, we’d be absolutely nothing! Jesus said it plainly: ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) So please let’s remember that as we chant our Friday Chant this beautiful summer’s day with a strong sense of purpose and reverence. 

As one now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

And that’s what it’s all about yes my faithful brethren, furthering Christ’s kingdom here on earth, bringing forth fruit in His name! That was His last command to the disciples; what we call the Great Commission. ‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:19-20) 

So that’s our bounden duty: to teach and preach and baptize and spread the good news of Christ’s gospel, bringing unbelievers to the realization that they badly need His free healing and saving grace, so that they can enjoy salvation and eternal life in the beautiful halls of heaven! 

Now here is something that I’ve never noticed before, Mark’s version of the Great Commission, because everyone seems to be fixated on Matthew’s take on the subject. But though Mark’s is somewhat different, it’s just as interesting. ‘And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned (condemned). 

And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils (demons); they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not (never) hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.’ (Mark 16:15-18) 

What magnificent promises my people! But we have to believe and get out there and do the work Jesus commanded us to do before we see them coming to pass. And the last verse of Mark’s gospel tells us what happened after Jesus left them and ascended into heaven. ‘And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following (accompanying signs). Amen.’ (Mark 16:20) 

Yuh see that mih people, when they did as Jesus asked, He did as He promised; being with them as they did His work! And it’s the very same way He will be with us in these evil and ungodly times when we step out in faith to spread His word, whether it be as preachers, evangelists, teachers, etc. or just by being good, ordinary Christian folks, letting our Christ-like lives speak for us. It’s all about staying securely attached to the vine! Much LOVE!

…if you truly believe in Jesus…then you need to work His work…and show good fruit…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 January 2018 Psalm 16:8.

Psalm 16:8.   I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

And another one bites the dust! Yeh people, another of my associates from university days in Mona, Jamaica, has apparently gone home to the Father. Dr. Emmanuel Griffith M.D. passed away yesterday in a nursing home in South Trinidad. He’s been sick, partially paralyzed for a number of years, initially felled by a stroke, and another stroke carried him home. 

One thing’s for sure; Emmanuel Griffith, better known as ‘Griff,’ a Trini South Boy, LOVED life. Tall, dark and full-bodied, with his thick black frame glasses, he was loud and talkative, but friendly, and was always ready for a party or a lime. He was good people. Once he became your friend, he’d do anything for you. Some of you who read the Bit knew Griff, possibly even participated in some of his hijinks, because he also liked his pranks. 

But that’s why it is important to make good memories in your young days. And Griff mih brother, we certainly made some good ones back in those youthful times. I can look back now and chuckle at the many nights you had me walking the dark, back roads of Kingston, after the busses had stopped running, trying to get back to the Mona campus, because I had naively allowed you to talk me into accompanying you to see a lady friend. 

But in hindsight now, it seems that even back then, the Lord’s hand was actively involved in my life, because it’s on one of those night excursions that I initially got involved with the lady who would eventually become my wife. Brother! I can’t believe I’m talking about 50 years, a half century ago. 

I know we lost touch once I left the Mona campus and returned to T&T, and by the time you came back to T&T, I had migrated to Canada. But over the years through a mutual friend, I’d occasionally hear revelations of your still crazy life. But who am I to judge you eh brother? I haven’t been the greatest either. 

And now your body will be returned to the dust from whence it came, free of all the pain and earthly sorrow, but thankfully your spirit will be free to roam the halls of heaven. I know that you will enjoy that! Happy roaming my friend! My condolences go out to your family and friends, left behind to mourn and celebrate your life. 

Yeh people, it’s a fact that as you get older you find your friends slowly dwindling. Over the last few years I can count at least six of my friends going home to be with the Lord. And just this past week an older friend and I were discussing the situation, because he had just come from the funeral of one of his already few friends. 

But that’s life! We’re only here for a short time, and hopefully we’ll all meet up again in the wild blue yonder when Jesus comes back for us. But until then, we just have to grin and bear what ever befalls us on this evil earth. 

And the wisest way to do that is by leaning on Jesus, as Bruh David says so eloquently in our Bit, while seeking preservation and blessing. ‘I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.’ And that my friends is not only the absolute truth, but also indisputable wisdom! Glory to God! 

Whenever we sincerely look to, partner with Almighty God, we place ourselves in the very best position to have an abundant and joyful life, despite the adversity and calamity that will inevitably crop up on occasion. Nobody faced more adversity than Bruh David, but when he placed his sincere trust in God, after our Bit, he was able to say with great conviction: 

‘Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest (dwell securely) in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer (allow) thine Holy One (Jesus Christ) to see corruption. Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.’ (Ps.16:9-11) 

What absolute confidence and trust in Almighty God, Bruh David shows there my fellow believers! That’s the kind of trust and surrender and confidence each and every Christian ought to have. And I think I’ll just order the reading of Palm 16, as today’s homework, (smile) so you can understand the scholar’s explanations thereof. 

‘Psalm 16. The attitude of the righteous man is described in life (vs.1-8) and death (vs.9-11). In life, his attitude is one of trust (v.1), gratefulness for God’s goodness (v.2), delight in God’s people, (v.3), separation from idolatrous worship (v.4; cf. Ex.23:13; Deut. 12:3), satisfaction in God’s gracious provisions (vs.5-6), praise for the Lord’s counsel (v.7), and steadfastness in spiritual devotion (v.8). 

In facing death, the righteous man rejoices and is hopeful (v.9). He is confident that God will preserve him from the decay of death and that death will not result in his corruption (v.10). Rather, he will travel down the path of life, that is, the path leading to life, which will terminate in God’s joyful presence (v.11). David’s confidence in his ultimate destiny is valid for him (and for all believers) only because Christ has travelled down that path and paved the way for all who believe in him (Acts 2:25-28).’ 

Oh friends, it could not be said any better. So if we’re wise, we’ll try and live that lifestyle, as it’s the optimum one available here on earth. And by the way, Acts 2:25-28 is only Peter’s paraphrasing of vs.9-11 in his big sermon on Pentecost day. Now let’s go home declaring our stellar position with Christ Jesus. 

In all sincerity and truth now: ‘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 if we truly believe, then we know that there is indeed a glorious future ahead with Jesus Christ for all those who believe in and obey Him! Much LOVE!

…to know, know, know Him…is to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Him…  

P.S. Yeh, it’s long and late, but nonetheless very worthwhile! (smile) 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 September 2015 Psalm 31:24

Psalm 31:24.  Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.

Arise O people of God and put on your battle armour! Don’t you hear the trumpet sounding the call to arms? It’s Monday morning and there’s no time to waste, for the enemy is already lined up in battle formation and our fearless Leader, Jesus Christ is also out at the front surveying and reconnoitring the situation. 

So get thee up and about, arm thyself with helmet, breastplate, belt, shoes, shield and sword, and having asked protection of heaven, join in the fray with enthusiasm, strength, wisdom and expectations of victory! 

Yes Friends, it’s our favourite day Monday; the one we LOVE to hate, but one that we need to put to good use, if we want the rest of the week to go smoothly. That’s because Monday takes its cue from Sunday, and the remainder of the week from Monday. 

Have you ever noticed that when you have a rough Monday, the rest of the week usually goes the same way? That’s why I keep on encouraging us to come out strong and vibrant, just rearing to go on Mondays.  

Now let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with zest, urgency and sense of purpose. As one harmonious choir now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Oh Friends, that rendition wasn’t bad at all! You could see traces of a smile forming on Jesus, our choirmaster’s face, but nowhere good enough for a standing ‘O’ from the halls of heaven. (smile) Anyway we’ve gotten the message, our adrenalin is running, so let’s get out in the evil, deceitful and strife-filled world and spread some LOVE and cheer, mercy, forgiveness, compassion and good news, Jesus style nuh. 

And to help us do that with strong faith and sincere trust, listen to the encouraging and uplifting words of our Bit from the pen of Bruh David. ‘Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, when we come to the Lord with hungry hope and expectant faith, He will strengthen us and give us the wherewithal to do His will. So be not afraid to get out there and face the heathen, once you are dressed in your spiritual armour, backed up by prayer and the Lord’s power is running through your veins.  

Now let’s back that up with earlier testimony from Bruh David in Psalm 27 – The Lord is my light and my salvation. ‘I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait (in faith) on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.’ (Ps.27:13-14) 

Yes my brethren, if we don’t expect to see and receive God’s goodness and blessings down here on Mother Earth, then we might as well be dead. But when we expect the Lord’s grace and mercy to flow down on us, then in faith and with patience, we wait for it. He has promised to bless us if we are obedient to His Word, and we all know that He is faithful to keep his promises. So there’s no need to worry once we’re doing our best to follow His leading and guiding. 

And this can all be reinforced by the words of Isaiah in the song of praise by the redeemed. ‘And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord, we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.’ (Is.25:9)  And yuh know Friends, that is exactly what happened. The Father sent the Son, Jesus Christ to save us, to be our salvation… Oh glory to God! 

Listen to Jesus talk about His role. ‘For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.’ (Matt.18:11) And again: ‘For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.’ (Luke 9:56) Then: ‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:17) And finally: ‘And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.’ (John 12:47) 

Oh my people, Jesus couldn’t be any clearer about His main purpose in coming to earth…to save its inhabitants. He laid it all on the line for us, including His sinless life, so I don’t know what else we expect from Him. He threw down the gauntlet to us, now it only remains to see if we have the parts and the wisdom to accept the challenge. Only time and time alone will tell! Much LOVE!

…O LOVE the Lord…all ye his saints…for the Lord preserveth the faithful…and plentifully rewardeth (fully repays) the proud doer…  (Ps.31:23)