Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 November 2020 John 15:5b.

John 15:5b.     ​…for without me ye can do nothing.

And then it was Saturday; that lazy crazy day of the week, where we laze around doing nothing for much of it, then in the evening we hit the party trail! But I think that this Covid-19 business has put a spoke in our party wheel, (smile) and it has probably made us even lazier than usual. Yes my people, this 2020 is the year of change; a year of change like no other most of us has ever seen, and I believe 2021 will be just as chaotic and confusing. 

But enough with the predictions, since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And as is his wont these days, he prefaces them with: ‘Positive affirmation you should tell yourself to remind yourself just how awesome you are. I’m calm, happy, and content.’ But let me remind us that we are all those things ONLY if we have Jesus Christ as the mainstay of our lives! And also, we won’t repeat that preface again. 

So here then is the first quote: ‘I have the power to create change.’ And that’s true to some extent, if we’re willing to invest the blood, sweat and tears that it takes to make and create significant change. Now that change can be good or bad, big, or small, we still have to take time to make it, and unfortunately, in this modern era, too many of us want change but are not willing to invest the necessary time and effort to make it happen, because we are a society of whiners, complainers and entitled. 

And furthermore, especially when it comes to changing ourselves, it’s impossible for us to do it alone; we need the divine power of Jesus! Remember His immortal words? ‘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) Now if that doesn’t tell the whole story, then I don’t know what does! (smile) 

And the second quote says: ‘I’m doing my best and that is enough.’ Well we’re certainly glad to hear that! And it is in fact enough, because your best is the best that you can do, and that’s all Jesus asks of us. But I doubt that many of us are indeed doing our best, because if we were, our world would not be in such a terribly evil condition; filled with so much hate, envy, strife, poverty, sickness, inhumanity, economic depression and suppression, etc. etc. 

In a time of so much plenty, sadly, there is so much lack and want. So fellow believers, can we up the ante, and begin doing our best for Jesus, so that our world could be saved, be renewed, because that’s the only way it won’t sink into the mire of hell. 

Now hear this next quote: ‘I’m in charge of my life and no one will dictate my path besides me.’ Wow! What a boast! But generally speaking, it is true. In most cases we are the pilot of our good ship, me, myself and I. The problem though is do we have the right equipment to guide our lives in the right manner? That’s the million-dollar question. And unfortunately, the answer is that most of us don’t have the parts necessary for such a big and bold task. But we think we do…and the enemy, Satan, encourages us to believe we do. 

But let me remind us here of a small verse of scripture that the Lord our Creator and Maker and Provider and Controller, had the prophet Jeremiah say to his people Israel many moons ago when they were in captivity in Babylon. ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer. 29:11) 

Yes friends, our great God has a powerful and great plan for each life He creates. He doesn’t just create vikey-vie, but with a sense of purpose. And the truth is, though He has given us free will to do as we generally please, we will not fulfil the extraordinary plan He has set out for us, before we were even formed in our mother’s womb, unless, and until we turn to Him and His word, and believe in His Son Jesus Christ with all of our hearts, souls, minds and bodies, and follow His commandments to the best of our ability. That is until we make Almighty God our Number ONE Priority! 

So the long and short of the story is that we can indeed do all sorts of things in our own strength, but they will never amount to what we can do with Jesus as the Guide and Leader of our lives. And this last quote proves it even more forcefully. ‘I know exactly what to do to achieve success.’ And the wise ones amongst us indeed do! Here it is in spades, in black and white, straight from the horse’s mouth: 

‘This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then shalt thou have good success.’ (Josh. 1:8) Oh precious people, it couldn’t be any clearer than those immortal words the Lord said to Joshua when He made him Israel’s leader after the death of Moses! 

Reading God’s word, meditating on and studying it, then putting it into practice is the best and only way to achieve lasting success. The world may inveigle you to do other things and give you some of its corruptible wealth and power, which don’t last, and which you cannot take with you when your body returns to the dust from whence it was formed. 

However, the incorruptible wealth you amass when you sincerely follow Jesus Christ and His dictates, those my people, you can take with you to heaven, where you already have more treasure stored up through the goodness, from the magnanimity of our heavenly Father! So let’s remember that without Christ we are nothing, and can do nothing. But with and through Him,ALLthings are possible, and He is the one who causes us to get wealth and true, everlasting success!Much LOVE!

…only a fool…would turn his back…on everlasting life through Jesus… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 October 2014 Psalm 4:1.

Psalm 4:1.  Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged (relieved) me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me (be gracious to me), and hear my prayer.

 Ah Friends, once again it’s Friday…! And as usual there are loud and joyful shouts of ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! Thank God for bringing us safely through another week of work! Praise His Holy Name!’ 
 
Yes my people, we do indeed need to thank our heavenly Father for allowing us to successfully complete another week of life, both in the general world and in our particular place of work.
 
Many people can’t say that at all, so please let’s learn to appreciate the wonderful blessings we have, by giving some thanks and praise to our Creator and Provider, for without Him, we’d be all alone out on some lonely back street, languishing in abject poverty, as numerous others are unfortunately doing today.
 
And I don’t know why, but I got up a while ago humming the chorus to our old and dear hymn, ‘What a Friend we have in Jesus.’ And just in case it was a sign (smile) I decided to include it in our discourse today.
 
Please sing the first verse with me. ‘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.’
 
Yeh mih breddren, we have such a wonderful Lord and Saviour, such a wonderful High Priest and Advocate, to whom we can carry all our cares and problems for sure help, yet we foolishly decline to do so. Thus we suffer, endure so many unnecessary burdens and cares. That’s not very wise my people.
 
Jesus is inviting us to bring ALL our troubles to Him (Matt.11:28-30), so that He can ease our sorrows and relieve our pains. So please, let’s be wise and gratefully accept His most generous invitation nuh. We’re only hurting and depriving ourselves of wonderful opportunities to live that abundant life which Jesus died to provide for us.
 
We quickly turn to fickle and fallible man for help, when our omnipotent God should ALWAYS be our FIRST source of help. Let’s try and rectify that unfortunate situation today nuh. Let’s focus on taking our prayers to God, like Bruh David does in this evening prayer of trust in God – Psalm 4.
 
He opens it with the sincere and endearing request of our Bit: ‘Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged (relieved) me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me (be gracious to me), and hear my prayer.’
 
Friends, it’s simple and to the point. There’s no denying what he desires. And that’s all it takes to go to God; a sincere heart with a heartfelt plea. The Lord knows all our problems, but He requires us to come to Him to help us solve them. It’s true that He could solve them all with a simple snap of His fingers or a word from His lips, but that would make Him our lackey, rather than our Lord and God.
 
Please remember that we are in covenant with Him, and we need to perform our part in the covenant relationship, else the covenant becomes null and void. And today, since that’s the direction it seems our Lord wants us to go, we’ll look at a few instances where the importance and power of prayer are highlighted in the Bible, God’s divine Word to us.
 
And the greatest and best example of participating in prayer is obviously Jesus! The Good Book declares it thus: ‘And it came to pass in those days, that he (Jesus) went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.’ (Luke 6:12)
 
Ah Friends, if Jesus, the Son of God, God incarnate Himself, still felt the need for prayer, who are we then, mere sinful mortals to think that we don’t eh?
 
And again, we turn to Jesus, this time as He positively promotes the act of prayer. ‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’ (Matt.21:22)
 
Oh my people, our Lord and Saviour, Redeemer and Atonement for our abominable sins said it, so it must be true!
 
And way back when, Isaiah declared this word from our God on the subject. ‘Even them (those who take hold of my covenant) will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called a house of prayer for ALL people.’ (Is.56:7)
 
Oh my fellow believers, our God couldn’t be any clearer and simpler than that! His invitation is open to all those who are willing to accept it. So why don’t we do so today eh? Now that’s the million-dollar question! It’s not an idle or false and deceitful invitation like so many of man’s entreaties and advertisements.
 
We have oodles of examples, from Genesis to Revelation, where all the true servants of God prayed fervently to Him and received answers and benefits. So why are we so stubborn, so adamant in refraining from something that can only benefit us eh? I really don’t know nuh.
 
But in accordance with all we’ve written, we’ll go home with our own prayer today, our Friday Chant. No I didn’t forget, (smile) just thought it would be more appropriate today at the end rather than at the beginning.
 
So as one loud, grateful and prayerful voice, let’s chant: ‘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, it’s short and simple, but as James so wisely and truthfully tells us: ‘Confess your faults (trespasses, sins) one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual (effective) fervent prayer (supplication) of a righteous man availeth much.’ (James 5:16)
 
And when we follow that heavenly wisdom my people, we certainly won’t go wrong. Much LOVE!
 
…to pray…to pray…and yet to pray…that is the pilgrim’s role…
 
 

 

 

 
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 August 2013 Acts 9:16

Acts 9:16.   For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.
 
Oh Friends, it’s another beautiful day in God’s great world! And all God’s children declared a loud and joyous,’ Praise the Lord, for He is indeed a wonderful and most LOVING God!’ And He surely is brethren, no ifs ands or buts about that!
 
Anyway, to begin, I want to share these words from an introduction to a little booklet called, ‘A Journey of LOVE – Walking with St. Therese of Liseaux.’ That’s the patron Saint of the Society of the Little Flower run by the Carmelites. The intro is written by Fr. John F. Russell, and he says of St. Therese: ‘Her spirituality focuses upon the twofold commandment of the Judaeo- Christian tradition: LOVE for God and LOVE for neighbour.
 
To live out these commandments requires patience, perseverance, sacrifice and self-emptying LOVE in the manner of Jesus Christ. The outcome is holiness of life marked by joy, peace, maturity and courage, all characteristics of opening one’s heart to God’s grace. St. Therese’s story reveals a heart available daily to the LOVE and the call of Jesus Christ.’
 
Oh my people, all those things greatly concern us too, but the million-dollar question is if our hearts are ‘available daily to the LOVE and the call of Jesus Christ?’ Let’s hope so. And if they aren’t, then let’s come humbly before the Lord and sincerely ask for His help to make them so.
 
Now hopefully today will be the last day for this particular Bit. Hn, hn! But I’m not making any promises, (smile) since according to the Good Book it’s better not to promise than to promise and not make good on it. (Eccl. 5:5)
 
At times our Lord can definitely be a hard, but always fair, taskmaster, as He says of Bruh Paul: ‘For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.’
 
And Bruh Paul did undergo a lot of ‘sufferation’ in his most valiant and awesome efforts to spread the good news of Christ’s gospel, as we’ve been seeing over the last few days. Today though, I want us to focus on some of his personal feelings and sentiments towards that ‘sufferation.’ And we’re going to start in 2 Corinthians, where he talks about the thorn in his flesh.
 
‘And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet (beat) me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought (pleaded with) the Lord thrice (three times), that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength (power) is made perfect in weakness.
 
Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities (weaknesses), that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.’ (2 Cor.12:7-10)
 
Mama Mia! Ah my fellow believers, can we echo Bruh Paul’s sentiments there? I don’t think many of us can. I certainly can’t. But I do know about the thorns of the flesh business, because over the years I’ve been plagued by several long term illnesses, like asthma, back and knee problems. And though the severity of each thorn eases up after a while, they don’t ever go away, so I’ve learned to be careful and don’t do certain things to aggravate them, or do them sparingly.
 
Now here are some interesting comments from the scholar’s on Bruh Paul’s problem. ‘Paul’s thorn in the flesh is characterized further as a messenger of Satan. Just what Paul means by this is not clear. Among the views suggested are (1) temptations from the Devil, (2) Paul’s opposition from his adversaries, (3) some intense bodily pain, (4) a recurring physical affliction such as eye trouble, or (5) even some form of mental or psychological distress.
 
Whatever the case, it was a tool of Satan, it was painful (‘thorn’), and it was accompanied by shame or embarrassment to the apostle. A fairly strong argument can be sustained in favour of the view that it was eye trouble (opthalmia). See also Acts 13:9; 23:1; Galatians 4:14-15; 6:11.’
 
Aye Friends, yuh think it easy living for Christ? Not really nuh, but it’s all very possible if we are serious about it and invoke the power of the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us. And by the way, I don’t think my thorns were, or are Satan induced, (smile) but more like the Lord’s doing to keep me under control, away from stuff that would spoil my testimony and show His strength in my weakness. 
 
But my brethren I think we’ll stop here for today, since the rest of what I had planned to say will make the Bit too long, having in mind our busy lives and short attention spans. (smile) In any case we already have enough stuff to chew on, enough food for thought today. So please read, mark, meditate and inwardly digest the info so that we can raise the level of our maturity in Christ. And that is undoubtedly wisdom for all the ages; those past, present and yet to come!
 
It also looks like I was wise not to promise that today would be the last one for this Bit. (smile) So Friends, the Lord in favour, tomorrow we’ll continue with it. Until then, may our magnificent and magnanimous God bless and keep us safely under His protective umbrella, and may He grant us His peace that surpasses all human understanding, till we meet again, here on earth, or in the hereafter. Much LOVE!
 
…though it’s not easy to live for Christ…the fact of the matter is…to know, know, know Him…is to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Him…