Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 December 2018 Matthew 7:20.

Matthew 7:20.   Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
 
Aye friends, the ole fella is somewhat listless and lethargic this Saturday morning yes! And the aches and pains not helping the situation either nuh. But yuh know what, we not giving in to the feelings today. The aches and pains might slow us down some, but we not stopping. Remember the race is not for the swift but for the sure of foot, and yuh better believe when I plant my big feet down they stay down! (smile) 

Yeh, it’s just one of those days; the weather doesn’t look good, the body doesn’t feel good, but GOD IS GREAT! That’s something we can always count on, for He has said so in the promises of His Word, and His Word does not lie! Give Him some thanks and praise my people! 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week in his noble attempt to aspire us to a better tomorrow. And this one jumps right out at me today: ‘You are never strong enough that you don’t need help.’ Wow! That’s gospel truth! For none of us can do it all ourselves. As they say, no man is an island. The Lord made us to fellowship with each other and to help each other, not to be single and all sufficient in our selves. 

And on that point, hear what the Good Book says: ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves: but our sufficiency is of God.’ (2 Cor.3:5) Now that says it all! 

And this next quote also points directly to God: ‘Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.’ You do have all of that, but only if God is sincerely in your efforts! 

Now listen to this one: ‘It is possible to become discouraged about the injustice we see everywhere. But God did not promise us that the world would be humane and just. He gives us the gift of life and allows us to choose the way we will use our limited time on earth. It is an awesome opportunity.’ 

Yes friends, it is an awesome opportunity we’ve been given to live for Jesus on this earth. And to use that opportunity properly, we need to remember these two scriptures. In the immortal words of Bruh David: ‘O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.’ (Ps.34:8) And also: ‘The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.’ (Ps.145:9) 

It’s all about our heavenly Father my people! And this quote exemplifies that: ‘We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.’ That goes right back to the first quote, we can’t be successful on our own, for success means taking others on that journey with us, both individually and communally! That’s how the Lord designed it! 

And this last quote covers them all: ‘When we are really honest with ourselves we must admit our lives are all that really belong to us. So it is how we use our lives that determines the kind of people we are.’ And today I want to focus on that last line; how we live our lives determines the kind of people we are. 

Yeh friends, we can live our lives like the Pharisees did, outwardly showy and hypocritical, or like Jesus recommended, honest and truly considerate of others. For as He says: ‘Wherefore by their fruit ye shall know them.’ Yes friends, by our deeds we shall be known. And hear some deep insights of Jesus on the subject of how men live their lives. 

First off, He states very clearly: ‘A good tree cannot bring forth evil (bad) fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.’ (Matt.7:18) And that’s not rocket science, just plain, basic logic. Then Jesus lays it out in plain terms: ‘Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.’ (Matt.15:11) 

Oh friends, I hope we understand that. We can’t bear good fruit unless what is in us and what comes out of us is good! What’s in our hearts determines the kind of people we’ll be! 

Hear Jesus again: ‘Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out (eliminated) into the draught (body waste)? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.’ (Matt.15:17-20) 

Yeh friends, that whole argument began when the Pharisees complained that the disciples were eating with unwashed hands, which they considered a big thing. But Jesus, as usual set them right. And in Matthew 23, (please read it) He really lambastes the Pharisees, who looked real good on the outside but were dirty as hell on the inside! 

And we’ll end with this description: ‘Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like unto whited sepulchres (white washed tombs), which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (lawlessness).’ (Matt.23:27-28) 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ’23:27-33. Whited sepulchres: Since contact with a dead body rendered a person unclean according to the Mosaic Law, graves were customarily painted white to make them conspicuous and give the opportunity of avoiding contact with them.’ 

Oh friends, please let us live lives that will not cause those unpleasant comparisons to be said of us nuh. Instead let us be good and uncorrupted trees, so that we can bear good fruit in Jesus’ name and make a productive difference in the lives of those around us. Much LOVE!

…whatsoever is in our heart…will undoubtedly manifest itself in our outward behaviour…that’s why we need a clean heart to live for Jesus…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 August 2014 Psalm 31:20

 Psalm 31:20.   Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence (the secret place) from the pride (plots and plans) of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion (shelter) from the strife of tongues.

And then it was turtle Thursday! Turtle Thursday in the sense that Thursdays always seem to go slowly. We want them to rush on into Friday, but they just seem to take their own sweet time to get there. But remember Friends, patience and perseverance are the things that get us where we really want to go.
 
As they say, the race is not for the swift, but for the sure of foot. That’s why the turtle beat the hare in the race. He was slow and steady, while the hare was in a hurry and somewhat capricious, guided by whims and feelings.
 
And I don’t know whether I’ve shared this bit of wisdom before, but even if I have, I believe it’s worth another go round today. It comes from a small four by five inch card I have sitting at the front of my desk in my study. Ostensibly you should see it as soon you enter the study, but that rarely seems to happen. It did sometime yesterday though, and I had to chuckle when I noticed it.
 
These are the refreshing words it displays. ‘God’s tape measure goes around hearts NOT heads.’
 
And that’s an indisputable fact, my brethren! The Lord doesn’t judge us by the size and cleanliness of our heads, but by the LOVE and right motives in our hearts. God isn’t looking for big heads, but rather big hearts! Hearts that can encompass His LOVE and goodness, then share them with others who are in need of His LOVING-kindness.
 
So my people, I ask you now, which group do you belong to, the big heads, prideful, boasters group, or the big hearts, humble, LOVING-kindness group? I certainly hope you all will instantly jump up and shout: ‘The big hearts, humble, LOVING-kindness group of course!’
 
And that’s the right answer, but for your sake I hope it’s the true one, because you can fool me and those around you, but remember you cannot fool Almighty God, since He doesn’t take your words and outward actions as proof of your genuine character.
 
So I would strongly suggest that today we take a genuine look at our internal attitudes and make sure that we do have a big, godly heart and not a big, proud head.
 
Remember too that ‘a proud look… and a heart that deviseth wicked imaginations (devises wicked plans and schemes)’ are two of the abominations that our wonderful God greatly despises. (Prov.6:16-19)
 
That’s why Bruh David unequivocally declares in Psalm 31, from which our Bit is taken, his certain trust in the Lord. ‘Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!
 
Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence (the secret place) from the pride (plots and plans) of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion (shelter) from the strife of tongues.’ (Ps.31:19-20)
 
Yes my brethren, the ONLY antidote for human pride that’s so prevalent in these prideful, ungodly times, is sincere trust and surrender to Almighty God! For as our Bit says, He shall hide us in a secret place, where the pride and plots of man will not touch us. But before He can do that, we have to give our entire lives over to Him.
 
And just to show how our God dislikes pride, let’s look at few scriptures that point it out. First up is Cousin Sol, who in his marvellous wisdom declares: ‘In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them.’ (Prov.14:3)
 
Now listen to Isaiah as he condemns Ephraim. ‘Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on (at) the head of the fat (verdant) valleys of them that are overcome with wine!
 
Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast (them) down to the earth with the hand.
 
The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden (trampled) underfoot… In that day shall the Lord of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people.’ (Is.28:1-3,5)
 
Then hear Jeremiah in his prophecy concerning Edom. ‘For, lo, I will make thee small among the heathen (nations), and despised among men.
 
Thy terribleness (fierceness) hath deceived thee, and the pride of thine heart, O thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, that holdest the height of the hill: though thou shouldest make thy nest as high as the eagle, I will bring thee down from thence, saith the Lord.
 
Also Edom shall be a desolation (an astonishment): every one that goeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss at all the plagues thereof.’ (Jer.49:15-17)
 
Yes Friends, the Lord doesn’t make joke when it comes to the prideful dealings of man!
 
And we’ll close with some beautiful and very instructive words from 1John. ‘LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in him.
 
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.’ (1 John 2:15-17)
 
Oh my people, truer words were never spoken!
 
So today, let’s sincerely check our hearts and souls and see whether there be any pride and worldly lusts therein nuh. Then, as usual, let’s call out to our mighty, merciful and forgiving God for help to cleanse them. That, my Friends, is heavenly wisdom! Much LOVE!
 
…pride goes before a fall…and the haughty shall surely feel the wrath of God…

 

 

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…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 August 2012 Ecclesiastes 9:11

Ecclesiastes 9:11.    I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill: but time and chance happeneth to them all.

Oh Friends, it’s Friday, and I hear you calling out in delirious pleasure: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! And I have another little gem to share today. (smile) But before we do that, let’s chant our Friday Chant with as much enthusiasm and sincerity as we can muster. ‘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 having tried to put the weekend in its proper perspective, let me share that wonderful gem. Yesterday I bought some Chinese food and in the fortune cookie I found this saying: ‘It’s okay to slow down and smell the roses.’ Well Friends, I must say that’s the God-given truth! And most of know it, but we still refuse to live up to it. Instead we engage in the rat-race we so nicely term the busy life. Oh Friends, if we don’t slow down every so often, sometimes even stop completely, and take stock of what’s really and truly going on around us, we’re going to go crazy, both literally and figuratively. Believe it my people, man was not made to live at the frantic pace we’re currently living at. This non-stop, continuously go, go pace the powers that be are trying to force on us is NO GOOD! It has very negative effects on us, physically, mentally and emotionally. Just consider the high incidence of stress amongst even the young people of our society, who have grown up with this fast lifestyle. They are dropping off and out like flies at a much too tender age because they can’t keep up with the torrid pace the world’s setting. So you can imagine what’s happening to the older folks who are not accustomed to that stressful lifestyle. All this multi-tasking and doing several jobs, just to keep up, is slowly but surely killing us. It’s normal now to claim that we’re so busy, we don’t have time for our friends, families, God or ourselves. What are we so busy doing eh? And what do we have time for then my people? No wonder Cousin Sol, in his experimenting, discovered that wisdom was much better than strength. Listen to him declare it in our Bit: ‘I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill: but time and chance happeneth to them all.’ And that’s an indisputable fact Friends! So whether we’re fast, strong, rich or skilful, there’s no guarantee we’ll survive and/ or prosper because of our attributes, since unforeseen things happen to us all, regardless of our station in life. That’s why it’s not so wise to go running after the things the world considers important. Wisdom, understanding, peace of mind and a strong faith in Almighty God are what we need, especially in these very confused and troubled times. As Jeremiah so rightly declares, re the knowledge of God is man’s glory: ‘Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise LOVING-kindness, judgement (justice) and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.’ (Jer.9:23-24) Oh Friends, the Lord made His wishes quite clear to us many, many moons ago, but yet we still insist on following the direction set by the world, which is in the death grip of greedy, evil, ungodly men. How can we then live the life God planned for us if we don’t follow what He says in His Guide Book eh? Obviously we can’t! Oh my brethren, I know that some of you will take umbrage at what I’m saying, claiming I don’t know your personal situation, but that’s too bad. If you don’t want to accept the gospel truth from the Good Book there’s nothing I can do about that. We each have to make our own choices, then live with them here on earth and later answer to God about them. However, unless we all slow down a tad and enjoy the things we work so hard and long for, as well as the people close to us, we’ll be missing out on the true value and meaning of life. Please my people, please stop and take a look at your situation, look at all the stuff you figured you must have, so you worked your butt off to get them. Then ask yourself when last, or if ever, you have truly enjoyed them? Include in that, the nice houses that we so desperately wanted, and we now have. Do we have or take the time to truly enjoy them? Not at all, because we’re too busy working to meet the mortgage payments. My brethren, I implore us to wake up, then stop a minute and smell the beautiful aroma, the ‘unclonable’ perfume of the roses God made to enrich our sense of smell, because we’re missing out on a whole lot of God’s grace and bounty, when we try to keep up with, or run faster than the world. That’s true wisdom! Much LOVE!…he who has ears to hear…let him hear…or he’ll eventually feel…