Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 December 2018 John 10:10.

John 10:10.   The thief cometh  not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
 

Well it’s Saturday, that great sleep in day! And believe me, I tried to do so but I just couldn’t, got too many things to do today! Hn! How many I’ll do though is left to the Lord. I’ve got to go to an Ironman’s Breakfast at church for 9.30, which means I have to finish this before then. 

The Ironmen is a church group of manly men who get together every so often to do good deeds and feed our faces. The great thing about it is that I doubt anyone who comes regularly is under the age of sixty. Hn! Hn! And some are even over seventy! So I guess the ‘iron’ moniker is appropriate because of the length of time we’ve lived. (smile) 

Anyhow, we old Ironmen always have a good time whenever we get together. But since it’s Saturday, I guess we should look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And here is the first one: ‘Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.’ 

Now that’s not totally true. You need to want to do it, but you can’t do it in your own strength, otherwise many of us would be living much better lives. That’s because only God, through His Son, our Lord and Saviour can really make any effective and long-lasting changes in our lives. Remember that! To change, we need to enlist God’s help!  

And the next three quotes basically allude to the same thing; enjoyment of life. ‘Smile in the mirror. Do that every morning and you’ll start to see a big difference in your life.’ That’s a perfectly good exercise to perform friends. It helps you to start liking and LOVING yourself, because the second big commandment says: ‘LOVE your neighbour as yourself,’ and if you don’t like or LOVE yourself, then you’ll never do the same for your neighbour. 

Now please note this is not an exercise in narcissism; you don’t have to go overboard with it and get so swollen up with pride that you’re even worse than before, LOVING yourself too much! (smile) 

Then there’s this one: ‘Lighten up, just enjoy life, smile more, laugh more, and don’t get so worked up about things.’ Gospel truth that my people! Laughter and an easygoing life are the best remedies for the stress and strain that’s so much a part of this too busy life. They say that laughter is the cheapest medicine you can buy, because it’s free. No lie! 

But to all of that I’d like to add, also peruse the word of God on a regular basis, and you won’t have to go to any shrink or mind doctor and pay a whole set of money for advice and medication that you can get for free in God’s free Health clinic! 

And all God’s people declared a loud and proud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord, for His goodness and mercy to the undeserving children of men!’ Yes friends, the Good Book, and Dr. Jesus are mostly what you need in this life to combat a lot of your illnesses. He might send you to the human doctor for the diagnosis and medication, but Dr. Jesus is where we should always begin. 

And this last quote tells us: ‘Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it’s at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.’ 

Ah mih people, too many of us waste our short time here on earth waiting for stuff to happen before we can get happy and enjoy our lives. But that’s a fool’s wisdom! We have to stop allowing circumstances to make us happy. In fact just forget the word ‘happy’ and think more in terms of being joyful, which means that you’re peaceful and contented under whatever circumstances come against you. 

But then we need to have Jesus in our lives to do that. In particular we need to admit and take hold of this passage of scripture. ‘The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ 

Oh friends what an important passage of scripture! Jesus came that we might have life; both physically and spiritually, and that we might enjoy them despite the negative tendencies of the enemy, and we need to embrace that with all our hearts, minds, bodies and souls if we intend to live a victorious life down here on earth. 

He didn’t only die to pay for our sins, but also that we might enjoy our earthly life, begin enjoying some of the lesser pleasures down here, so that we can truly appreciate the great ones that await us in heaven! But friends, we have to walk and live with the Lord to enjoy that kind of comfort! 

Now here are a couple of scriptures that I think might help us in the matter of enjoying our everyday lives. First listen to Moses in Psalm 90: ‘For all our days are passed away in thy wrath; we spend our years as a tale that is told (a sigh). The days of our years (lives) are threescore years and ten (70); and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength (their boast only) labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away… So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom (gain a heart of wisdom). (Ps.90:9-10,12)

Yeh friends, our lives are very short when taken into the totality of time. That’s why we have to be wise and live it in a joyful manner. And finally this gem from Bruh Paul to the Philippians in appreciation for their gift: 

‘Not that I speak in respect of want (regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased (live humbly), and I know how to abound (live in prosperity): every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ (Phil.4:11-13) 

Yeh friends, only when we can attest to those things will be truly able to enjoy our earthly lives! Much LOVE!

…but godliness…with contentment…is great gain… (1 Tim.6:6)

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 March 2018 1 Peter 5:8.

1 Peter 5:8.   Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

Well, well, well, if it isn’t Friday, that much looked forward to day! And a grateful sigh can be heard all over the land. Hn, hn! How we do look forward to our couple of days off eh. And no one gets more excited about it than the ordinary workingman, as he sings his song and does his li’l jig. 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! The last day of work for this wretched week! The massa and foreman were both in nasty frame of minds, so they come down on us especially hard this week. Hn! But yuh know what? Is my time, we time now! Nobody to give us orders and talk to us rough and ready, like we foolish. 

For two whole long big days, we going to do exactly as we want. So as the man says…let the good times roll! Roll on good times…roll on! And thank God for Fridays and weekends, that give us a much needed break from the bondage of work!’ 

Yeh friends, some weeks of work are definitely harder than others, but as Christians, with God’s help, we are expected to take them all in stride. Our Lord and Saviour expects much more from us than the ordinary workingman. We have to be a glowing example to them of grace, and mercy, of LOVE and forgiveness. 

That means we have to come up higher, which isn’t always easy. Consequently, our Friday Chant is so much different to the workingman’s song. We can’t let our hair down completely as he can. We need to be more circumspect and conscious of the world around us. 

So let’s chant up a storm now nuh. In unison, with a strong sense of purpose: ‘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.’ 

Ah mih breddren, our faith dictates, that we, as Brother James Brown said so long ago, ‘stay on the good foot!’ (smile) Yes, we need to be on the lookout for anything that will try to turn us away from Jesus. And believe you me, there are indeed lots of things and people in this evil world that will be only too glad to do so. 

But please remember, we are soldiers in the army of Jesus, fighting against the evil spiritual foe, and every soldier is always temperate and cautious, on the lookout for the enemy, especially in the least expected places. That means we can’t go about this life in a willy-nilly fashion, but need to have our wits about us all the time, because the enemy is at work ALL THE TIME! 

Thus the call to remember Peter’s serious warning in our Bit: ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.’ 

Yeh mih people, the ole crook Beelzebub is always on the lookout for even the smallest way to cause trouble in our lives and steal our joy. And as Jesus said: ‘The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy…’ (John 10:10a) And that’s Lucifer’s whole purpose and intent, when he tries to get into our lives. 

However, Jesus continues: ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10b) So whom are you going to trust eh; someone who is only out to cause havoc, or someone who comes bringing joy and abundant life? Wisdom and common sense shout ‘Choose Jesus!’ 

Unfortunately though, a large portion of our world are listening to the evil voices that keep tantalizingly whispering in their ear; ‘Choose Lucifer…and get all the wealth, fame and power in the world!’ But yuh know what friends, those things are fleeting, just like the world is, and they will not last, nor bring you salvation or eternal life. 

So what happens to your spirit, when your body departs this mortal life and returns to the dust from whence it came eh? The ONLY thing possible then will be eternal separation from Almighty God and living in hell fire and damnation with Lucifer, whom you chose above Jesus. 

Let me remind us friends, that our mortal bodies will soon shrivel up and die, but our spirits will live forever. That means we need to make wise provision for eternal living. That’s all I can say. And we’ll end with the continued warning from Peter. 

‘Whom (the devil) resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.’ (1 Pet. 5:9-11) 

Yes my fellow believers, we will ALL suffer some in this world, but if we are serious about Jesus, through His grace we will be able to withstand the evil wiles and taunts of the enemy, and come out victorious. So please, let’s hang in there nuh, don’t lose faith, stand strong and steadfast, and keep Jesus first place in our lives. Much LOVE!

…so whom will you choose…as for me and mine….there’s no contest…we choose JESUS…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 January 2017 Psalm 27:13.

Psalm 27:13.   I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

Oh friends, oh friends, it’s Sunday, the Lord’s Day, so let’s have church like we’re supposed to nuh! And as always, let’s begin with some praise and worship to open up our hearts to receive the word of our magnificent God. 

So in full voice and strong belief, let’s sing, let’s cause our souls and voices to soar heavenward. ‘Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of LOVE; Hearts unfold like flow’rs before Thee, Op’ning to the sun above. Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; Drive the dark of doubt away; Giver of immortal gladness, Fill us with the light of day! 

All Thy works with joy surround Thee, Earth and heav’n reflect Thy rays, Stars and angels sing around Thee, Center of unbroken praise. Field and forest, vale and mountain, Flow’ry meadow, flashing sea, Singing bird and flowing fountain Call us to rejoice in Thee. 

Thou art giving and forgiving, Ever blessing, ever blest, Wellspring of the joy of living, Ocean depth of happy rest! Thou our Father, Christ our Brother, All who live in love are Thine; Teach us how to love each other, Lift us to the joy divine. 

Mortals, join the happy chorus, Which the morning stars began; Father LOVE is reigning o’er us, Brother LOVE binds man to man. Ever singing, march we onward, Victors in the midst of strife, Joyful music leads us Sunward In the triumph song of life.’ 

Now that was certainly a rousing rendition my people, heaven couldn’t help but pay attention! 

And today’s sermon is based on our Bit, which exudes one of God’s great promises. ‘I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.’ 

Yes friends, God’s goodness is a primary function of our earthly existence, else why would He make it as beautiful and provident as He did eh? A lot of us talk about seeing hell on earth, but as the Belinda Carlisle song declares: ‘They say in heaven, LOVE comes first We’ll make heaven a place on earth Ooh, heaven is a place on earth!’ 

And that is exactly what our God intends it to be, else why would He send His Son to earth to die for our sake and say: ‘The thief cometh not but for to (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) 

If we were not meant to have a decent life down here on earth, Jesus’ life, words and death would be meaningless. 

Oh, Jesus certainly did not mean that everything on earth would be hunky dory, but even when it wasn’t we would be okay. Listen to Him: ‘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.’ (John 16:33) 

He couldn’t be any clearer. Life on earth will have its problems, but even then, when we sincerely believe and trust Him, we will be able to handle those problems because He has already overcome the world’s nonsense. 

And yuh know what friends, when those problems confront us and we stand strong in His name, we come through them ever more mature in our Christian faith, for good times don’t increase faith, it’s the rough times that do. 

Just take me now as a good example. A couple weeks ago I figured I was hale and hearty, but all of a sudden I discover that I have heart problems and the whole tenor of my life changes. 

So what should my reaction be eh? Should I bang my head on the wall and blame God? Absolutely not! Because that won’t help my problem, just cause it to get worse. My reaction is to believe that God has a purpose for my problem, and wait and pray and hang in until He is ready to divulge the solution to His plan. 

Now I don’t know when that is going to happen, but in the meantime I’m expected to be faithful and relax in the peace that He gives me. Oh, it’s not easy, but with God’s help, it is possible. 

All I’m trying to say friends, is that though life can be rough down here on it, it can also be a heavenly place. The problem is that we don’t count our blessings, we count our problems and magnify them. However if we put our troubles and blessings side by side, the majority of us will discover that our blessings far outweigh our problems. 

As somebody said: ‘Count your blessings, while others are adding up their troubles.’ It’s basically a problem of attitude. We allow the world system to influence us too much, when the certain and faithful promises of Jesus ought to be our mainstay. 

And we’ll end with some more strategic and encouraging words of our wonderful Lord and Saviour. When He taught the disciples to pray, this is the basic outline He gave them. ‘After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven…’ (Matt.6:9-10)

Yes friends, we ought to seek God’s kingdom and through our prayers and consequently our actions, the will of the Father must also be done here on earth as it is in heaven. 

As the scholars tell us: ‘The recognition of Thy will be done emphasizes the idea that prayer is to bring about the conformity of the will of the believer to the will of God. Prayer is an act of spiritual expression that brings us into conformity to the very nature and purpose of God.’ 

So my fellow believers, let’s stop thinking of our lives as being hell on earth nuh, and instead consider them as the Lord desires – heaven on earth. That’s wisdom at its zenith! Much LOVE!

…Jesus came to earth to set us free…show us a slice of heaven…not to keep us in bondage…which hell is all about… 

P.S. We’re getting a li’l earlier each day. (smile) Much LOVE!