Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 June 2020 Luke 9:23.

Luke 9:23.    ​If any man will (desires to) come after (follow) me, let him deny himself and take up his cross DAILY, and follow me.
 

Well thank the Lord, some early morning showers of blessings graced the parched earth in my area! And I’m sure the earth was mighty thankful for them because it has been a few dry and hot days since they were last watered. And now the earth looks nice and clean as the reflection of the shining sun sparkles the drops of water on the green leaves and green blades of grass. 

Oh friends, there’s nothing like being cleansed; and that in body, spirit, mind and soul, for it cleans, refreshes and brings a new perspective to our thinking, to our way of life!  That’s why Bruh David pleaded with God in his prayer for cleansing: ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me.’ (Ps. 51:10) 

So let’s all send that prayer heavenward this bright, clean and beautiful Saturday morning nuh, as we take a gander at the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, in his sincere aspiration to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first quote states: ‘Whether it’s forced or invited, change is inevitable.’ And that’s gospel truth my people! There are only three things in this world we’re very sure about; death, taxes and change! And the comforting thing about them all, (smile) is that they all often come at some unforeseen and unbidden times.

 But change is a must, if the human race expects to survive. And we’re going through such a time right now with the double situations of the Covid-virus pandemic and the protests in streets all over the world. Things are going to change before those two babies are put to bed, that’s for sure! And this next quote falls in line with what we’ve just been talking about. I also like its expansiveness. (smile) ‘The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement.’ 

Now that might boggle some of our minds, but it really is true. And right now we’re seeing the perfect example of it; sickness all over the world and protests all over the world. Those things are not relegated to small pockets of our world, but the entire universe, where much change, much improvement is certainly needed! And when it’s all over, the entire earth will have effected some change(s) be they large or small, but hopefully good and necessary. 

Yes, nowadays, the whole world is our playground; it is indeed a global village, where most things affect everybody in every part of it. For example, even the dust from the Sahara Desert, thousands of miles away, is currently affecting the citizens of Jamaica. It’s really a small, small world! 

Now the next quote is especially significant to the Christian believer. ‘Don’t say it cannot be done, rather say, you don’t know how to do it yet.’ And I say that, not only because it’s a useful way to view life, but with Christ as Lord of our lives, there’s nothing we cannot do, since all things are possible with Him, because He is God incarnate. And remember, He strengthens us to do whatever He requires us to do. That leads us to this quote, a rather interesting one, and one that’s also significant to the believer. (smile) 

‘Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.’ And isn’t that the living truth friends? It surely is! And it’s also what Christ expects from His followers; steadfast diligence that nurtures an attitude of excellence. We know that we can’t be perfect, but if keep reaching for high levels, levels of excellence in all that we do, we will get as close to perfection as an imperfect being can get, and that’s what Jesus desires of us. But this last quote is the champion, (smile) and is again especially significant to believers in Christ Jesus. ‘If you believe in a cause, be willing to stand up for that cause with a million people or by yourself.’ 

Yes people, standing up for whatever we believe in is extremely important, whether it’s with a throng of millions, or by ourselves! If we don’t do that, then it says that we don’t truly believe what we profess. And standing up for our beliefs is NEVER easy, not even with millions involved, like the worldwide protests we’re now experiencing.  So you can imagine how difficult it can be when you’re standing up by yourself. But standing up is what we must always do, especially as faithful saints of Christ. 

And in these trying and troubling times it is even more important than ever for us to stand up for what we believe in, namely the gospel, the good news of Christ and His kingdom, which is at hand. This is a significant moment in time when the Lord our God is calling mankind to repent and return to His fold, and we are the workers on whom He is depending to get that job done. Remember Jesus words to His disciples when He saw the multitude that needed saving. ‘The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few: Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.’ (Matt. 9:37) 

Well friends, the good news is that we Christians are the labourers that the Lord is sending forth to reap the harvest of an unsaved and evil world. And no, it’s not easy, but I guess it’s time to remind us of the terms of discipleship which we agreed to. ‘If any man will (desires to) come after (follow) me, let him deny himself and take up his cross DAILY, and follow me.’ Now do you remember agreeing to that? If you consider yourself a follower of Christ, then you either explicitly or implicitly agreed to it. And you can’t complain that you didn’t read the fine print. (smile) Ignorance is no excuse!  

I’d also like to emphasize the point that taking up one’s cross and following Jesus is a DAILY exercise, not a once in a while, an occasional thing, as so many of us supposed Christians believe and do. Every day we need to get up and be counted; like soldiers, be prepared to stand our ground on matters of principle, in unity, on the true foundation of God’s Word which is our guidebook and lifeline. That is the only way Christ’s church will ever be successful! 

So let’s take some time today to ponder our walk with Christ nuh; let’s check out whether we’re really taking up our crosses DAILY and following Him, then, with the Lord’s help, make whatever changes are necessary. Much LOVE!

…stand up, stand up for Jesus…the trumpet calls obey…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 September 2015 Matthew 9:37

Matthew 9:37.   Then saith he (Jesus) unto his disciples, the harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few.

Aye Friends, as they say, after one time is two yes…and sometimes even three. (smile) What brought up that saying is my not remembering that today is Labour Day and thus a long weekend. That means I also forgot to give you Granny’s spiel about; ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober please mind your business.’ (smile) 

Ah mih people, life and times certainly do change yes, as in my earlier years I never forgot two seminal days, Caribana Saturday and Labour Day. But I guess as my physical self deteriorated and I was no longer able to participate as physically as I would like, I just stopped paying any attention to them. 

At one stage every Labour Day I would be in New York, checking out the Pan Competition with my Uncle John and Auntie Anne, and trawling the Eastern Parkway from top to bottom, but no longer, those days are simply memories, good ones. 

In any case the festivals are not as good as they used to be. Everything is now watered down; the costumes and the music are mere shadows of their earlier years. However, please be careful as you ramp up the celebrations this Labour Day weekend, and remember Granny’s wonderful advice. 

And to make matters even more interesting, today is also Election Day in T&T. I wonder how many people have left to go to New York for Labour Day, instead of staying and fulfilling their societal obligations? Whatever happens though, I just hope that we elect a responsible government, because it’s time to cut out all the crime and corruption and get our beautiful twin islands back to a state of godliness and thus prosperity. 

Now, to help those who have to go to work on this Labour Day, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with much energy and enthusiasm. 

As one soulful 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 was truly energetic and enthusiastic but somewhat hoarse and scratchy, like an old vinyl record on a turntable. I guess many of you have been into celebration mode long ago, and your voices were the loudest because you don’t have to work today. But just remember to be careful, because Beelzebub is out there prowling like a hungry wolf amongst a flock of sheep, just waiting for one of us to go astray, so that he can pounce on us. And we definitely can’t allow that to happen. 

And isn’t it upsetting, disturbing and disappointing that on this Labour Day of 2015 there is a dearth of labour for the many labourers? It brings to mind our Bit. ‘Then saith he (Jesus) unto his disciples, the harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few.’ Only now the tables are turned; the harvest is scanty and the labourers are plentiful. 

Yes Friends there is indeed a scarcity of jobs for an extremely large labour force. Even people with higher education have to take menial jobs for which they are over qualified. And the sad fact is that the captains of industry don’t care about the social cost of joblessness to the society, they are only interested in the bottom line and their fat, undeserved remuneration, with golden and platinum parachutes et al. 

There is no reason in God’s world why a captain of industry should be making three to four hundred times that of a lowly shop floor worker. But unfortunately that is today’s norm. And when they want to cut costs, the first place they cut is the workforce. Ah Lord eh! 

And they wonder why there is so much dissatisfaction and angst, anger and rebellion across the whole world. And then the seething strife and numerous wars that are currently dominating the earth don’t help matters either, for they just cause more unnecessary calamity and provoke refugee situations like we’re now experiencing. 

But what annoys me most about the situation is that everybody is so concerned about finding somewhere for the refugees to go, when the best solution would be to end the strife and war in the countries from which they are fleeing. That’s where our efforts should be concentrated so there would not be such a big influx of refugees. 

Anyway Friends, that’s just my humble take on the situation, which brings us back to our Bit. Before Jesus said it, the Good Book tells us: ‘But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted (were weary), and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.’ (Matt.9:36) 

And sadly, that is exactly what’s happening in our world today, both with the refugee situation as well as in many countries, third and also first world. And it certainly seems that we Christians are the only ones who have the compassionate hearts to help stem the roaring tide of ‘sufferation.’ That’s why we need to do as Jesus says afterward. ‘Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.’ (Matt.9:38) 

Yes Friends,  the only way that we comparatively few Christians can make a substantial difference in this troubled and severely hurting world, is with the Lord’s august help. So please, let’s sincerely pray for His help and guidance and wisdom to enable us to make a worthwhile difference and thus glorify His Holy Name. Much LOVE!

…how can men eat…support their families…if they can’t get work eh…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 April 2015 Philippians 4:13‏

Philippians 4:13.   I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Aye Friends, can you believe that on this Thursday morning, the 23rd day of April, that there is a sprinkling of that much detested and dreaded white stuff on the cars and lawns outside? Mama Mia!

Snow at the end of April! Now it’s not much, but just the very idea that snow can be had in late April is ridiculous…and distressing too, especially after the beautiful summerish weather we had just over a week ago, with everybody gearing up for the continuance of such balmy times.

But the reality is that this past week has been cold and blowsy, with daytime temps not even reaching double digits. And in these days of climate change; of abnormal weather and temps at abnormal times, anything is possible. And like all the other stuff that we can’t change, we just have to grin and bear it bravely. (smile)

But on a more serious note Friends, last night on the late edition of the news, they featured a story that intrigued me; ironically, it both saddened and uplifted me, gave me hope. The story was about people seeking happiness. Hn!

Apparently there are now many groups of people around the world getting together to seek ways to be happy. That news saddened me because they are looking for the wrong thing in all the wrong places!

And what I mean by that is people are seeking happiness, which is merely a fleeting, ephemeral feeling that comes around once in a while through fortuitous circumstances, but it never lasts long. Happiness is an up and down situation, like a yo-yo, it revs up, then it revs down.

What they should actually be seeking is JOY, the long term, constant level, always present, upper echelon cousin of happiness. (smile) And sadly, not once did I hear any of those interviewed, or one supposed expert, talk about finding happiness where it is truly to be found, that’s in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

To be technical though, Jesus doesn’t simply provide happiness, a feel good feeling, but He brings JOY, or a constant well-being to His followers.

So in the first place, those seekers of happiness ought to be searching for joy, not happiness. And in the second, they ought to be seeking it in, from and through Jesus Christ, the ONLY person who can truly provide that essential aspect of earthly life.

And the story brought hope to my heart because it showed another avenue, another field that’s open, one that’s just ripe for proselytizing by us faithful Christians. What a wonderful opportunity it gives us my brethren for talking about Jesus and showing those misguided folks the right way and place to find true JOY!

And as Jesus so rightly said a long time ago: ‘The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.’ (Matt.9:37-38)

Oh Friends, we are the labourers of our time, and it is thus our bounden duty to get out there and gladly and joyfully reap the harvest of the lost and unsaved in Jesus’ name!

And we know we can do it, if we set our hearts, minds and souls to the task, because of our Bit, which assures, which guarantees that: ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’

Glory be to our wonderful God my brethren for that assurance, that faithful promise! Yes my people, anything that falls under God’s will, He will enable us to do, if we so desire.

And as Bruh Paul wisely said in his first letter to the church at Corinth. ‘But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.’ (1 Cor.15:10)

Yes Friends, though Bruh Paul was possibly the hardest working missionary, harvester of souls, it was still only through God’s grace that he was successful. Let’s not forget that in our own labours, for whatever we do, regardless of how hard and diligent we work, true success will only come from God’s grace bestowed on us.

And on that poignant note we’ll end today’s message my people. There’s enough in there for us to ponder on, and I certainly don’t want to abuse our short attention spans by giving us too much food to assimilate and digest all at once. (smile)

Ah mih people, in these hard and trying times I know that it is difficult to keep our focus on Jesus and His kingdom, but if we truly want to see eternity, to spend eternal life with Him, we have to make the effort to live the way He desires.

And the wonderful thing about it all is that if our hearts and motives are true and pure, our magnificent and magnanimous God WILL enable us to do it. Let’s NEVER forget that promise! Let’s write it indelibly in our hearts and souls so that we can readily access it in our time of need! Much LOVE!

…what does our God desire of us…to truly LOVE Him…sincerely LIVE our Faith…and to diligently SPREAD His Word…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 April 2015 Matthew 9:36

Matthew 9:36.    But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted (were weary), and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.

Ah Friends, it’s Wednesday, the middle of the workweek, we’re halfway home, so no turning or looking back now, just keep on ploughing straight ahead! And it’s also supposed to be a beautiful, spring like day, with temps in the mid teens and sunshine everlasting. Wow!

And for us believers it’s going to be an even brighter day, because along with the physical sunshine we’ll also have the wonderful sunshine of Jesus shining forth from our lives. Glory Hallelujah!

That means it’s going to be a real blessed day my people, for when you add all of God’s mercies, forgiveness and LOVING-kindness that He’s prepared especially to shower down on us today… MamaMia! I don’t know if we can handle it nuh. (smile)

And today we’re going to get going with an interesting, humorous but also true quote of a couple days ago from my friend Anselm. And it says: ‘Life isn’t fair. A fair’s a place where you eat corn dogs and ride the Ferris wheel.’

Now that’s absolutely true my brethren. But the wonderful thing about it all, is that our GOD IS GOOD… GOOD TO THE VERY LAST DROP! And there’s no denying it. So the world not being fair doesn’t cause us much anxiety, since our Good God is the Creator and the Controller of the universe.

We are the children of the all-powerful, ever-present, all-knowing King of the universe. And all God’s people said a most grateful, ‘Praise the Lord!’

And yuh know what too Friends, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ needs us to do His earthly work, to spread the good news message of His sacrificial death and wonderful resurrection that now allows reconciliation with the Father and eternal life for all who believe on Him. Wow! What an awesome job my people.

But as Gramps Schuller (Robert H. Schuller) says in His Hour of Power Devotional: ‘Christ has no hands but our hands to do His work today. He has no feet but our feet to lead us on the way. He has no tongues but our tongues to tell us how He died. He has no help but our help to bring us to His side.’

Oh Friends, that’s absolute truth! So you see how important we are to Christ’s work here on earth? It all depends on us. And after He’s done so much for us, how can we justify not being diligent and persevering in our work efforts on His behalf eh? We simply can’t!

And I’ve shared that message before, but it’s ever so important that I thought it worth sharing again, since we’re not doing Christ’s work as diligently, enthusiastically and truthfully as we should.

Ah mih people, Jesus is depending on us, His earthly body, His church with strong foundation, built on the rock of His powerful Word, to stir up the LOVE Revolution that will unite the entire world in His everlasting, unfathomable and unconditional LOVE! That’s why he gave the Great Commission (Matt.28:19-20) to the disciples, and consequently to us.

That brings us to our rather appropriate Bit: But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted (were weary), and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.’

Yes Friends, our Lord and Saviour was heart broken when He saw so many people going astray; like lost sheep, with no shepherd to guide them. ‘Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.’ (Matt.9:37-38)

Oh Friends, that’s another admonishment for us to go out and reap a plentiful harvest, because the unsaved are still out their in great abundance, possibly more so today than in Jesus’ time. That means He’s still heartbroken to day, and only we, His true and faithful followers can alleviate His pain and sorrow.

And as the scholars tell us: ‘Verses 37 and 38 constitute one of the great missionary passages of the New Testament. Jesus pictures the world as a great spiritual harvest in need of labourers to gather it into the storehouse.’

Yes my brethren, there are many heathens to be harvested, and there’s lots of space in the storehouses of heaven, but sadly, there are not enough reapers, harvesters and diligent workers to do the job satisfactorily. And if you read between the lines, that’s a slight on us, a mark of dissatisfaction with way we’re doing, or rather not doing, our bounden duty here on earth.

Oh Friends, I know that we can’t all be missionaries to the far-flung parts of the globe, but we can help send some there through monetary contributions and sincere prayers. But we can also do the same job, the job we are called to do, right in our own homes and neighbourhoods, where there are oodles of people who still have never heard of Jesus, and thus have never had the opportunity to accept Him as their Lord and Saviour.

Remember Friends, we will all have to stand before Christ, come the judgement day. And when He asks why we didn’t talk to this one, or that one, right in our area, who was ripe to hear the Word, and unfortunately has since been eternally separated from God, what are we going to answer eh? The truth hopefully; that we were too busy with the lustful things of the world? Steups!

That’s certainly not going to cut it my people. So please, let’s get serious nuh, right in our own areas, let’s be diligent and persevering about reaping the plentiful harvest that’s out there to put in Jesus’ storehouse, so that none will be lost, and thus suffer the worst fate a human being can – that of eternal separation from Almighty God!

Remember too Friends, that Jesus has nobody else but us to do it. So let’s show some wisdom and courage, and just do it nuh. Much LOVE!

…after all Jesus has selflessly done for us…His earthly work should not be perceived as being onerous…but rather…joyful and soul satisfying…