Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 January 2020 Ecclesiastes 12:13.

Ecclesiastes 12:13.    ​Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter; Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
 
Well who says that this life isn’t interesting eh? When I got up about half an hour ago, it only seemed to be a cold, dreary looking kind of day in my neck of the woods. However, on going back upstairs just now to make a cup of caffeine, I happened to look outside again, and boy was our friend, those beautiful looking white flakes ever coming down out there! Yeh! With a vengeance too! Just goes to show how quickly things and times can change – except for ONE all-important fact; the unchangeability, the unchanging nature of our great God, Jehovah! The steadfast and everlasting sameness of His sovereignty and faithfulness! 

And all of God’s children gave out with a loud and grateful shout of ‘Praise the Lord! Bless His holy name!  Praise Him for being the same yesterday, today and forever! Praise Him for being ever-faithful and constantly watching over us like a good shepherd does over his flock! We thank You Lord for giving us this day, and know that despite the difficulties we may face, you are always right there beside us, riding shotgun, through the flood, through the fire and through the storm, ably leading and guiding us! We give you thanks and praise in the most holy and revered name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Ah friends, our God is indeed a great and very interesting deity. It wasn’t my plan to get into that prayer above, but I guess He wanted to hear some sacrifice of praise from us this morning, so He led me there. (smile) And if that’s the case, then I had better do the other thing He seems to want me to do. What’s that you ask? Well yesterday when I opened the Good Book, it opened at this particular scripture, but I ignored it and looked elsewhere for our Bit. However, today, it’s opened at the very same scripture! 

Now would you call that coincidence…or luck…or some such worldly thing? Well it just might be, but I’m not taking the chance to ignore it for another day. I’m going to behave as if it’s a sign from the Almighty, that He wants us to delve into this particular Bit of scripture on this particular, cold and snowy day! Call me cowardly if you want. (smile) So here s that particular Bit of scripture…and it’s a powerful one too! Hold on to your hats and your horses, as Cousin Sol, writing as the Preacher -Ecclesiastes, gives us the benefit of his extensive research. 

‘Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter; Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.’ Yes friends and fellow believers, that is the wisest and most sensible course of action we can ever take in this life. And how did Cousin Sol come to that awesome and auspicious conclusion? Because with his time, money and wisdom, he had embarked on a thorough research project of seeking work, pleasure and all the other vices known to man and had found them to be all less than fulfilling. In his own words, it was all, nothing but vanity; futility. 

And what made him conclude thus? I suppose this certain fact he discovered: ‘For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.’ (Eccl.12:14) And that’s something most of us either don’t know, or forget or just casually ignore. But please listen to these immortal words of Bruh Paul to the Corinthians, re Jesus Christ being the only wise foundation to build on. 

‘Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble (straw); Every man’s work shall be made manifest (become evident): for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try (test) every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide (endures) which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by (through) fire.’ (1 Cor. 3:11-15) Oh my people, those are words of mighty importance to our lives. 

Listen to the scholars explain them. ‘3”13. The day is the day of the judgement seat of Christ (cf. 4:5; 2 Cor. 5:10). Fire is figurative for judgement, more specifically, the absolutely righteous judgement of God. Fire is used here to denote, not enlightening power, but consuming power. Of the six types of material mentioned, three are combustible and three are incombustible. See also Deut.4:24; Malachi 3:2; 2 Thess. 1:8; Heb. 12:29.’  That means our work for Christ has to be solid, not cheap and frivolous, built on gold, silver, or precious stones, not hay, wood and straw, which will be quickly consumed in the judgement day fire. 

‘3:14. Reward (lit. “wages,” cf. 3:8). Of course, even the “wages” mentioned here are entirely a gift of grace (cf. 1 Cor.9:17; 2 John 8; Rev. 11:18).’ Yeh friends, we can get many rewards in this life and the next, but ALL are based on the grace of God, not on our efforts. ‘3:14. Saved: Such a one does not suffer the loss of his salvation, but the loss of reward. The stress in this entire passage is not on a person’s relationship to Christ, but on service to Christ.’ Hope those explanations bring a greater understanding to Bruh Paul’s words. But it’s also important for us to check out the scriptures listed in the explanations of the scholars. You will be surprised how they can enlighten you on a particular topic. 

So having said all of that, we come back to Cousin Sol, who from all he’s seen and experienced, reasons thus: ‘Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely (fitting) for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun (in which he toils) all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion.’ (Eccl. 5:18). Ah my fellow believers, as the scholars explain: ‘5:18-20. Enjoyment is a gift of God, and man should be motivated by the brevity of his own life to experience it.’ 

No wonder Jesus said that He came so that we could have life and have it abundantly. (John 10:10) And He’s certainly given us the tools to do so; our Thursday Blessings. So let’s invoke them now in loud voice and sincere hearts nuh. ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And the same way those blessings were so generously bestowed on us, the same way we have to generously bestow them on others, not selfishly hoard them for ourselves. Much LOVE!

…working diligently for Jesus…doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy life…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 September 2015 Ephesians 2:4

Ephesians 2:4.    But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great LOVE wherewith he LOVED us.

Aye mih Christian breddren, it’s that most wonderful day we call Sunday, when most of us celebrate the Lord’s Sabbath!  It’s supposed to be a day of peace and rest and preparation for the upcoming week. But it also means that we ought to be heading out to the Lord’s sanctuary to meet and greet fellow believers and sing and dance and shout joyfully, and give thanks and praise to our heavenly Father, our Creator and generous Provider!  

It’s called regeneration of our spirit!  So let’s not dilly dally and come up with all sorts of feeble excuses not to go eh. Let’s get ourselves off to church! 

And to buoy that directive, we have a rather pertinent quote from (Henry) Havelock Ellis, (1859-1939), an English physician, writer, progressive intellectual, social reformer and student of human sexuality. Hn! Havelock was really into life sir! (smile) Anyhow, he is reputed to have said that ‘No faith is our own that we have not arduously won.’ 

And that my people has a whole lot of truth in it, because as my One More Day Daily Meditations for People with Chronic Illness points out: ‘Everything that touches our lives influences our level of trust and spirituality.’ 

We are all fragile and emotional humans, so there will obviously be times when our faith rises and falls due to the circumstances that surround us. We all have rough times when doubts tend to creep in, especially when we lose things or people that we always expected to be around. 

But, as my One More Day Daily Meditations further reminds us: ‘We can begin to regain that faith by remembering that our Higher Power is constant, even when our faith is not. We humans fluctuate between doubt and trust, but that doesn’t diminish the care that is always available to us. We need only surrender to that truth, and we find comfort.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth Friends! Our God is totally constant; the same yesterday, today and forever! Like the rock of ages, He’s always there ready to help and comfort us! But we have to come to Him to get that peace and comfort and renewal of faith. And that’s where so many of us fall down, because of foolish pride, self-pity or whatever, we refuse to come to God for succour. 

But here again, the Daily Meditations reminds us that: ‘My faith – in myself and in my Higher Power – is built upon my awareness that I don’t have to struggle alone. I am strengthened when I admit to my spiritual needs.’ 

More indisputable truth Friends! There is absolutely no need for us to struggle alone when we have our heavenly Father always there to comfort and care for us.  

Oh Friends, by refusing to go to God in faith and trust, we are only making our lives much more difficult than is really necessary. When we have a Bit like ours, we’re supposed to be running to God, not away from Him. ‘But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great LOVE wherewith he LOVED us.’  

Yuh hear that mih people, our God is rich in mercy and has such a great LOVE for us! We should be embracing that fact with all our hearts, minds, bodies and souls; just wallowing in His mercy and LOVE, instead of ignoring it, or just being lukewarm towards it. Remember how Jesus promised to spew out the Laodicean church because they were only lukewarm?  (Rev.3:14-16) Well it’s the same thing He’s liable to do with us, if we’re not enthused about Him and all that He stands for. 

Now today I want to look at some scriptures that corroborate our Bit. And we’ll begin with these immortal words of Jesus that every believer ought to know. ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:16-17) 

Tell me people, after hearing those words from Jesus, and then seeing Him fulfill the act of saving us by sacrificing Himself on the cross of Calvary, how could we not believe the Father’s great LOVE eh? I just can’t understand it. 

Now listen to Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. ‘For when we were yet without strength, in due (at the right) time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure (perhaps) for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth (demonstrates) his LOVE toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom.5:6-8) 

Oh Friends, how can we even think about doubting God’s great LOVE for us after all of that eh? Chuh! 

And the scholars’ words on that last verse might bring home the situation to us more forcefully. ‘5:8. Christ died for us: His death was vicarious. That is, He did not die merely for our benefit but in our place. His was a substitutionary sacrifice.’ 

Yeh mih people, we should have been the ones dying, but Christ died in our place. Doesn’t that make you feel grateful and appreciative? It should, because the Good Book says that the wages of sin is death. (Rom.6:23a) That means, we, the abominable sinners, are the ones who should be dying, not Jesus. But in God’s great LOVE for us, He placed all our sins on Jesus and had Him pay our sin debt in full. Oh glory to God! 

So my brethren, if we doubt anything at all, which we shouldn’t, please DON’T EVER DOUBT Jehovah God’s amazing LOVE for us, His most wonderful, but also most ungrateful creation! 

And we’ll end with these powerful and true words of Jesus. ‘Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends’ (John 15:13). Then He went out and laid down His holy and sinless life for His friends. 

What more can I say eh? Not a whole lot. I can only ask, are you Jesus’ Friend?  Much LOVE!

…and Jesus’ definition of friends…ye are my friends…if ye do whatsoever I command you… (John 15:14)