Today’s Scrip-Bit   9 October 2021 John 3:17.

John 3:17.     For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Oh, what a perfect Saturday morning for sleeping in, at least in my area! We are talking about dark skies on a fairly warm morning for this time of year, and a lulling, drizzle of heavenly blessings. But here I am up early, working. Chuh! That’s because I went to bed early this morning, that’s early by my standards. (smile) 

Anyway, it’s no use griping about it now, because I’m already up and at ‘em. So, like we do every Saturday, let’s check out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week. I pray the Lord will give me the wisdom and understanding to do a good job on them, because it’s all for His glory. 

This first one says: ‘All great changes are preceded by chaos.’ Now I don’t know if it’s absolutely true, but there is a fair amount of truth to it. Just look at all the great changes forced upon the world by the numerous wars and strife that’s happened down through the ages. 

Look at what’s happening right now. Chaos is in our midst, with serious differences over the cause and effect of the Covid 19 pandemic, the strife that’s been injected over the vaccine, the lust for dictatorial power that’s currently running rampant, the greed of the rich, who are getting insanely richer while the world is beset by numerous natural and man-made disasters, poverty and economic misfortune, climate change, racial differences etc. etc. There’s no doubt that when the dust settles, our society will be significantly changed… but who knows how. 

And let’s not forget the chaos and great changes made by the coming of our Lord and Saviour two thousand years ago. Jesus turned His then Jewish society upside down and the world right side up! Remember what He said: ‘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 the world has never been the same since He came…neither will it be, after He comes again! (smile) 

The second quote tells us that: ‘If you are bored with life, if you don’t get up every morning with a burning desire to do things—you don’t have enough goals.’ I don’t know about not having enough goals nuh, but rather of having the wrong goals. For if you even have one goal of sufficient interest and importance to you, then that will have you getting up every morning burning with passion to fulfill it. What’s the point of having goals that aren’t actively cultivating your interest? None whatsoever! 

The problem with today’s society, why we are so easily bored, is that life’s just too easy for too many of us. There are so many amenities now that we can easily get by without hungering and thirsting after anything, so serious goal setting is not as important as it used to be back when things were harder. 

A real goal is something that calls for elbow grease, for getting out of your comfort zone, that causes you to see a light at the far end of the tunnel and drives you towards it. But since so many of us are averse to working hard, or working at all, who wants to do that eh? Consequently, when we do set goals, they are often of the easy, lacklustre kind and obviously don’t fire us up. 

And that’s where this next quote comes in: ‘Dreams are extremely important. You can’t do it unless you can imagine it.’ Yes friends, our dreams, the things we would like to acquire or do, are extremely important, and they are the things that should usually become our goals, because they will inspire us to get up and get a move on. And the second part of the quote does have some truth to it. 

Generally speaking, you must be able to imagine something before you can do it. You don’t always need to see the finished product, but there must be ideas about whatever you want to accomplish continually buzzing about in your head. Otherwise, you won’t have the necessary incentive to keep working on it. 

That’s why the following quote is important. ‘The future belongs to people who see possibilities before they become obvious.’ No doubt about that friends. You just have to look around at all the amazing inventions in our current world to see it. They were created by those who were thinking ahead. They had an idea, a dream, a goal, to make something better, or do something differently, and they kept working at it, despite numerous failures, until they succeeded. A good example of that is the vast and tentacle-like network of social media we have nowadays. Some people saw the possibilities and took advantage of their opportunities. That’s what it takes to be successful in this world. 

And the same thing goes for believers in Christ Jesus. We also need to be forward thinking; seriously gauging possibilities and seeking opportunities to bring others to the knowledge of Christ. That’s our job as His earthly messengers and ambassadors. So don’t think for one moment that Christians don’t also need dreams, goals and successful operations in Jesus’ name. We just have to do them within His framework; that of His holy word. 

His church is His big organization here on earth. But how is that working eh? Not as good as it ought to. It cannot, with all the divisions, disunity, strife, anger and evil that’s currently going on in it. And one would think that in these terrible times, the church of Christ would take the obvious opportunity to be a calming, settling and uniting force, working to bring peace, LOVE and the Spirit of Jesus to the situation. But unfortunately, it is just as divisive and strife filled as the rest of the world. 

What can we as individuals do eh? Not a whole lot, except sincerely show Christ to those around us and pray. And what we call our Serenity Prayer is the last of our quotes for today. So, let’s pray it nuh. ‘God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.’ 

Yes my fellow saints, that’s why Cousin Sol advises us through the Good Book that: ‘Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding,’ (Prov. 4:7) It’s absolutely imperative that in in these dangerous, evil and ungodly times that the children of God seek His wisdom and learn what we need to do, by studying His word, talking to Him, and being led by His Holy Spirit. 

This is an opportunity for all true believers to step up to the plate and make a real good and Christ-like difference in the lives of others and in our scarred and scared world. That’s what Jesus is expecting of us. So please, let’s not disappoint Him nuh. Much LOVE!

…when things are getting out of hand…that’s when Christians step up and take control…                                                                                                       

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8             

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 February 2019 John 16:33.

John 16:33.   ​These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
 

Aye friends, I thought Saturday was a day for sleeping in? Then how come I’m not still in bed eh? I woke up around six and thought, no, this is way too early to get up. But the Lord or the enemy seem to have different ideas, so I rolled around in the bed until six thirty, finally realizing that I’d lost the fight to go back to sleep. But them’s the breaks! Just means that you will get the Bit a li’l earlier. (smile) 

And since today is Saturday, let’s get to some of our friend Anselm’s quotes of the week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Here is the first one: ‘A calm mind brings inner strength and self-confidence, so that’s very important for good health.’ You can’t dispute that friends! Calmness of mind is ever so important for making wise decisions as well as boosting health; physical, emotional and mental! 

But then to get that on a regular basis you need to be a follower of Jesus, who is the ONLY person able to give you true peace and stability on a sustained basis. Hear His awesome promise: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) You can’t beat that my faithful brethren! 

And then we have: ‘With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.’ More awesome truth my brethren! But again, the rightness of the strength and thoughts depends on our relationship with Jesus, for as the Good Book notes; Because of His great faithfulness, His mercies, His LOVING-kindness, His compassions are new every morning!  (Lam.3:22-23) So if we’re not in a strong relationship with Jesus, those early morning, every day new strength and thoughts might not be so good. 

Then there is this interesting quote: ‘I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.’ And technically speaking, I suppose that’s usually true, but let me tell you people, if the Lord is in that wind, and wants you to go to a particular place, you can adjust your sails as much as you want, but the only place you’ll end up is where the Lord wants you to. 

That I can tell you from personal experience, and I’m sure many of you have experienced the same thing! In the long run, it’s all about where the Lord wants us. 

And our friend Anselm threw in the Serenity Prayer for good measure this week: ‘God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.’ And friends, in this turbulent and unsettled world, do we ever need to prayer that pray every day…sometimes several times a day… if we wish to retain our sanity and make good, godly decisions. 

And the last quote says: ‘Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.’ And that’s the gospel truth!

Winning doesn’t provide strength, it only makes one lazier than normal, and content to sit on one’s rear end without any get up and go. You get like Rome and all those other big, splendiferous countries that fell to ruin because they became too fat and flaccid from always winning. 

The truth is that constant winning eventually ruins you instead of making you stronger. However, when you struggle, when you fight hardships mano a mano, then you develop strength! It’s just like lifting weights; you can’t develop muscles without constant weightlifting. 

Likewise, you can’t develop real inner strength without going through hardship and struggles. 

And we all know that this evil, ungodly world ruled by the evil enemy certainly is filled with much hardship and struggle, so you will have trials and tribulation cropping up from time to time. 

However friends, when you walk with Jesus, which is also not an easy thing to do in this world, He will help and guide you through those suffocating and troublesome times. He’ll be like your weight trainer; always beside you, offering encouragement and wise advice, even helping you lift the heavy weights that you find difficult lifting on your own! 

Wow! What a wonderful friend and helpmate is our Jesus! There’s NO other like Him in ALL the universe! Give Him much deserved thanks and praise my people! 

And Jesus said it in no uncertain terms: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ 

Ah friends, I know that will be difficult for us to do, but if we believe in Jesus and His promises, then we can do it. Jesus didn’t take an easy step on this earth, and He never promised that it would be all sunshine and roses for us either. But He did say that if we stuck with Him, He will bring us out safely. 

Now listen to these tough but encouraging words from Bruh Paul to the church at Corinth. ‘We are troubled (hard pressed) on every side, yet not distressed (crushed); we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken, cast (struck) down, but not destroyed: Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.’ (2 Cor.4:8-10) 

Yes my people, even though we suffer much tribulation, we WILL NOT give up, because we have the ultimate promise of Jesus, that if we live and die with Him, we will indeed be resurrected to eternal life, like He was! And you can’t beat that promise in this universe! Much LOVE!

…when troubles come…the wise thing to do…ask Jesus to help you handle them…He’ll NEVER refuse your sincere plea…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 February 2018 Proverbs 1:7.

Proverbs 1:7.   The fear (reverential awe) of the Lord is the beginning (principal beginning) of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

So it looks like it’s going to be a somewhat cloudy day in my neighbourhood, but the important things is that the light of the SON is shining brightly all over the world, wherever there are believers in His holy name! 

And all God’s children declared a loud and grateful, ‘Thanks be to the Father for Jesus, who’s sacrifice of His sinless life paid for all of our abominable sins!’ And was that ever a great and most memorable day in the history of mankind! 

Now listen to something I discovered the other day; the original form of the Serenity Prayer. I never even knew it existed, just knew of the short version that’s popular. But here is the real McCoy. (smile)  

Please pray with me: ‘God give me the grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed. Courage to change the things which should be changed, and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other. Living one day at a time. Enjoying one moment at a time. Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace. 

Taking as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is. Not as I would have it. Trusting that You will make all things right, if I surrender to Your will, so that I may be reasonably happy in this life. And supremely happy with You forever in the next. Amen!’ 

Ah mih people, isn’t that beautiful? It surely is! The short version is okay, but this longer version say it so much better. Oh, if we could only parcel or packet it and give it to each believer to keep deep in their hearts and souls! How much more effective we’d be in this tremulous world. 

Remember, taking it as it is, like Jesus did, and not trying to make it what we want it to be. Having the grace to know what’s what, and then the wisdom and courage to change what’s necessary. And above all, trusting the Lord and surrendering to His will, so that we can be happy here on earth. 

And I sincerely hope you know friends, that the only way we’ll ever be happy on earth is by trusting God and surrendering our will to His. Nothing else will ever work! And that just sets us up for the supreme happiness of being with the Lord in heaven forever! What a magnificent time that will be! 

But first we have to set it up from down here on earth, make the necessary preparations for that great time while we are yet mortal men. That makes it a matter of great urgency, for none of us knows when the grim reaper will come calling. And if he comes before we’ve made the necessary preparations, then crapaud smoke we pipe! 

And it will be very foolish to miss out on the forever joys of heaven, just to enjoy some of world’s now for now, short lasting, deceptive, carnal pleasures. That’s why Cousin Sol solemnly warns in our Bit:  ‘The fear (reverential awe) of the Lord is the beginning (principal beginning) of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.’ 

Yeh friends, we are certainly being foolish if we don’t take stock of Almighty God and all that He brings to the table. Listen to what Cousin Sol says later on in Proverbs. ‘Let a bear robbed of her whelps meet a man, rather than a fool in his folly.’ (Prov.17:12) 

Can you imagine that my brethren? A fool and his folly is so dangerous, that Cousin Sol believes it’s better to encounter a mother bear robbed of her cubs. And we all know how mother bears get very angry when her children are taken away from her. So what does it say about a fool eh, if it’s better to have an encounter with a desperate and angry animal than to be in cahoots with a fool?  

And Bruh David says in Psalms 14 and 53, when he talks about the foolishness of men: ‘The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.’ (Ps.14, 53:1a) Now that certainly is foolishness! How can there be no God eh? There must be some greater Being than man. 

So how was everything made that was made eh? It just evolved from nothing? I very much doubt it. Friends, believe me, there is a God, who looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any that do understand, and that do seek Him. He controls the lives of men and the fortunes of the universe. 

Don’t let anyone try to fool you and tell you otherwise, because they would be playing with your salvation and your future place in heaven. It’s better to be safe than sorry, especially where Almighty God is concerned. Wisdom dictates that we live as though there IS a God, trusting our earthly lives completely to Him. 

And there are so many instances of God’s reality in so many believers’ lives, that it’s totally foolish to think and/or believe otherwise. So please let wisdom have her say. And having put that foolishness to rest, let’s declare our Wednesday Wail, gloriously telling the world of our situation with Jesus. 

In sincerity, truth, and loud voice 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 we all know that that future will indeed be glorious, because Jesus promised it, and His promises are ever-faithful and true!  Much LOVE!

…living for Jesus…is the wisest decision…a man can make…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 September 2014 James 1:5

James 1:5. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not (without reproach); and it shall be given him.

Aye Friends, I don’t know if this early going to bed thing is going to work nuh. Chuh! I tried going to bed even earlier last night, but all to no avail. I just tossed and turned, kept waking up every hour or so, and still got up late …tired too, because it’s only in the late hours of the morning that I fell into a half decent sleep pattern.
 
So don’t say I didn’t try. (smile) At least when I go to bed late, I get a solid few hours of sleep, and not the tossing and turning kind I got last night.
 
And my people you’ll be proud of the ole fella and happy to know that yesterday, at long last, I paid my mother Molly her yearly visit at her last resting place here on earth. The duchess and I braved the cloudy skies and travelled to the northeastern part of the Greater Toronto Area to where she’s buried.
 
It was also a good excuse to get out of the house since they were doing some belated maintenance work on the water mains in my area, and thus there was no water between 9 a.m and 5 p.m.
 
We had a good, though short visit, about half an hour, because of the overcast skies. She obviously forgave her wonderful son for not coming to visit her before. But what else did you expect eh? (smile) In death she was just as generous and forgiving as in life.
 
Luckily the weather held until we got back home. But around 5 o’clock the rain began, then the wind started huffing and puffing too. And they both carried on all night long. The rain seems to have eased off now, but the wind is still out there harassing the poor trees.
 
Consequently, in my late night commune on my porch, it definitely wasn’t a calm and peaceful Mother Nature. You couldn’t even hear the insects singing their praise, if they were even singing, and not taking shelter from the stormy weather. But we communed anyway. (smile)
 
In light of all that, I decided that we needed to remember and recite the Serenity Prayer. So please pray with me. ‘Oh gracious God, please grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen.’
 
Yes Friends, in these very trying, confusing and evil times, it is of the utmost importance to have the wisdom to know good from bad, as well as what you can change and what you cannot change, because a lot of us waste precious time trying to change stuff and people that we simply cannot change.
 
That wisdom will certainly enhance our choices and improve our lifestyle. But the only place that kind of wisdom is available is from Almighty God. For as James so wisely says in our Bit: ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not (without reproach); and it shall be given him.’
 
Yes my people, true wisdom is only obtained through communication with our heavenly Father!
 
The scholars though point out: ‘1:5. This verse is not a blanket promise of wisdom for any situation. In the context of life’s trials, it probably speaks of a believer being granted (1) wisdom as to the reason for his trials and (2) wisdom to endure them.’
 
In any case, whenever, and for whatever reason we need true wisdom, it can ONLY be obtained from Almighty God!
 
However, there are some stipulations for obtaining it, as James continues: ‘But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (not doubting). For he that wavereth (doubts) is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.’ (James 1:6-8)
 
Now that is where our faith truly comes in my brethren! We need to have a strong, secure and constant faith and trust in God, not a wish-washy, sometimes on, sometimes off kind of faith, like so many of us have today. One minute we’re driven by lust for the things of the world, then we turn to God, then we turn back to the things of the world, and keep on vacillating without any real or strong anchor.
 
That is not the kind of faith that God answers my Friends! But that, unfortunately, is the state of our world today! We don’t stick with anything for long. As soon as some new fad or toy comes along, we jump on the bandwagon, quickly forgetting what and who had brought us to the party.
 
And sadly my brethren, that’s a big part of the reason why Christianity is so weak and colourless today; we’ve lost our focus and stick-to-itiveness qualities. Nothing is sacred anymore, not even Jehovah God. But my fellow believers, we cannot operate successfully in an already fallen world without proper standards and values, those gleaned from the Word of God.
 
Now let’s look at our Bit. The first part says: ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God…’
 
And we have the perfect example of that in Cousin Sol’s response to God’s offer of what he desired. ‘Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?’ (1 Kin.3:9)
 
Yes Friends, Cousin Sol realized that he needed lots of wisdom to rule such a populous and stubborn, stiff-necked people as Israel. And God was so pleased with his request, that He gave him the wisdom that he’d asked for, as well as wealth and power and majesty like no man before or after him!
 
Wow! That’s the magnanimous kind of God we serve and worship my people! When we come to him in humble confidence, He will grant our wishes, in His own time and manner, provided that they fall into line with His overall plan for our lives. For remember that it is His WILL that must be done, both in heaven and on earth! 
 
And we’ll close today with that very important thought uppermost in our minds, for the rest of stuff I wanted to say will definitely make the Bit too long. (smile)
 
So my people, let’s go forth today with the blessings of God surrounding us, His wisdom and peace permeating our hearts, minds, souls and bodies, and His wonderful, never-ending LOVE shining through us like a beacon on a hill, lighting up our dark and dreary world, as He so eagerly desires. Much LOVE!
 
…let’s truly LOVE our God…sincerely LIVE our Faith…and diligently SPREAD His Word…   
 
P.S. Oh Friends, in our prayers today, let’s remember those who were sacrificed for us in the horrible attack on the World Trade Centre on this day, thirteen years ago. Unfortunately, indiscriminate and senseless killing has now become the modus operandi of the evil powers on the earth. Oh, when will it all end eh? Much LOVE!