Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 June 2019 Hebrews 13:5a.

Hebrews 13:5a.    ​I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
 

Ah mih people, life is as changeable as the weather! Yuh remember yesterday I complained that it was going to be another ‘riney’ day? Well, lo and behold, by mid-day, it had turned into a perfectly beautiful warm and sunshiny day, lots of blue skies and cool breezes! Shorts and shirtsleeves weather! 

Well it’s the same way our lives can change rather abruptly, with no warnings at all. One moment you might be going through a perfect period of peace and calm, then all of a sudden calamity and adversity strike and you feel lost and out of your element. Or the opposite can happen; you’ll be going through a real rough time, and then for no apparent reason, the storm, the winds and the seas just suddenly become calm and you find yourself sailing along in perfect peace! 

Wow! That’s what we call life! Unpredictable, unreliable and unforeseeable! (smile) Consequently, too many of us struggle to maintain our equilibrium in the sudden and scary ups and down of life. But there is a most positive antidote, a positive and productive way to handle life…His name is Jesus! 

Yes friends, Jesus is the ONLY ONE who can help us successfully handle and navigate through the vicissitudes of life! Without Him, we are at the very mercy of life’s ever-changing circumstances. And that’s the gospel truth! But more on that later, because the workingman is just dying to bellow out his song this bright and sunshiny morning. (smile) So let’s give him a listen nuh. 

‘Woyoyo! At long last I can shout TGIF! Thank God is Friday! The weekend, the weekend, it’s here, alive and in blazing sunshine too! Let’s just hope it stays so yes. We’ve been disappointed too often in the last few weeks. And I’m all ready to get out there in mih short shots and tank top and grill a few steaks, dogs and burgers, while sipping some cold brewskis! It’s June now, a week into it, so is high time we could go out there and do that sorta thing without any worries about cold weather! 

Steups! Wuh happen, we living in the North Pole or something, that the weather so blooming cold and miserable? And if yuh check it out, up there right now they must be having long, hot bright days, enjoying a good summer already, while we down here having this expletive deleted kinda weather! 

But is not much we could really do about it nuh, so let me stop complaining and just have a positive mindset and get mih self ready to get out there this evening when ah get home and do mih own thing. Mama Yo! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes, at long last, ah chance to get away from the slave driver and them work…and party hearty too! I’ll be in mih essence then!  

Yeh friends, the workingman surely tells it like he sees it. And generally speaking, nothing’s wrong with that, it’s just sometimes he goes overboard, or crosses over the line that we believers in Christ Jesus can’t afford to cross over, for fear of having the enemy infiltrate our already less than strong and mature souls. (smile) 

And there’s no shame in that, it’s just common sense to shy away from danger before it hits you…and believe me the enemy we’re fighting is pretty dangerous when we give him a chance. On his own, he’s harmless, a toothless tiger, but once we open the door, brother, he’s all over us with his evil self like white on rice! (smile) That’s why our Friday Chant is not as expansive and expressive as the workingman’s song. So let’s chant it now nuh, in full voice and 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.’ 

Yes brothers and sisters in Christ, ours is a dedicated life that requires some borders and fences so that we don’t cross over into enemy territory. But that’s the beauty of living for Jesus…He gives us the wherewithal to handle ALL that comes against us, as well as constantly being by our side. And furthermore, He’s made an everlasting and ever faithful promise: ‘I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.’ 

Wow! What an awesome promise! And we know He’ll keep it, because that’s the kind of Lord and Saviour He is. And it’s not like it’s something He just said the other day; He’s been saying it for ages now! Listen to how He said it to Joshua when He assigned him leadership of the Israelites after Moses’ death. ‘There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Josh.1:5) 

And we know that the Lord kept that promise to Joshua in spades! But even before that, the Lord had made the same promise to the Israelites through Moses, when He brought them out of bondage in Egypt, leading them towards the Promised Land. Hear this encouraging and reassuring part of Moses’ last speech to the Israelites: ‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Deut.31:6) 

So friends, that’s definitely not a new promise, and every time the Lord made it, He kept it, so why should it be any different now with us eh? No reason whatsoever! The Lord our God never changes, so His promises last for a lifetime. That’s why we need to embrace His Son, Jesus Christ RIGHT NOW, and gratefully and humbly accept all that’s He’s already done, as well as all He’s promised to do for us. 

That’s because there’s no one, or nothing else that can give us that kind of reliable, steady and steadfast life, through each and any situation, through calm and storm, through adversity and peace, like Jesus can! He is the ONE and ONLY ONE friends! So please, let’s be wise and come to Him in all sincerity nuh, and then hold on to Him for dear life, because He is indeed the Way, the Truth and the Life…as well as the Light! Much LOVE!

…to LOVE and LIVE for Jesus…Wow!…it’s the most wonderful thing…in God’s great universe…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 May 2019 Luke 16:23.

Luke 16:23.   ​And in hell (Hades) he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
 
Another wet and cloudy morning! But that’s nothing new, and the good news is that the sun does look like it’s going to put up some kind of battle to come out later on. But the best news is that as believers in Jesus Christ we have His bright light surrounding us and living in us all the time! Glory Hallelujah! So, regardless of what the physical day looks like, we are always clothed in His sunshine! Give Him some thanks and praise my people! 

Unfortunately though, one community in the Ottawa Valley is still suffering from the effects of the recent floods, apparently their area has now been made an island with water all around it, and they have to use boats to get around. Hn! Can you imagine that? Please, let’s pray for them to return to normal soon, for all these unforeseen and unexpected difficulties when they drag out for a long time also take a severe toll on people’s humanity. 

But the fact that it’s Friday takes away a li’l of the rain pain, (smile) and the workingman is just dying to broadcast his song. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! And the weekend’s here! But this blooming rain just looking to spoil my weekend activities yes! With the weather getting warmer, I expected to be able to go outside and frolic in just mih shirtsleeves and shorts…possibly even set up the barbecue and have a few while the meat cooking. 

But chuh! This rain becoming a real spoilsport yes! Curtailing all mih outdoor fun! You could only have so much fun inside for just so long, before the wife and children get tired of you. But anyway, thank God is Friday and the weekend oui, no more labouring for the greedy slave master for a couple days! Thank God for that small mercy yes!’ 

Yeh friends, many of us are thankful for the two days off from work, though as believers we don’t get as worked up as the workingman when the rain rains on our parade… ‘Who says so?’ you shoot back? ‘We have the same feelings like the workingman, but we just don’t show them to his extreme!’ Sorry mih people, sorry! And since we’re not that extreme, let’s chant our Friday Chant nuh to show our less extreme feelings. (smile) 

As one now: ‘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 people, we are a li’l more reined in by Jesus’ dictates than the ordinary workingman is by his worldly desires. But please, let’s not resent it, because it’s only for our benefit! It helps to keep us on the straight and narrow path that leads to salvation and eternal life, which we all believe is the best option we have going here on earth. 

You know there are ONLY two options; Satan and Jesus, and as for me and mine we will gladly follow Jesus because he has the best long-term plans and solutions. Satan has a lot of stuff he offers in the here and now, but what happens in the hereafter eh? Nothing but hellfire and damnation! And if you think that’s all a bunch of hogwash, then go ahead and accept the earthly benefits of the devil. But just supposing it’s true eh? What then when you pass into the next world? 

Some of us know the parable of the rich man and Lazarus the beggar, but for those of us who don’t, here is a brief outline. The Good Book says: ‘There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously (lived in luxury) every day. And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores. And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 

And it came to pass that the beggar died, and was carried into Abraham’s bosom (enjoying the messianic banquet in Abraham’s company): the rich man also died, and was buried. And in hell (Hades) he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ (Luke 16:19-24) 

Now friends, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ spoke that parable, and if, as we contend, He cannot lie, why is it so hard to believe the presence of hell eh? And please note the reply the rich man received from Abraham. 

‘But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.’ (Luke 16:25-26) 

Yuh see friends, after our earthly death, there is no second chance. All the second, third, fourth and numerous other chances are present here on earth. And to make matters worse, there’s no mercy available in hell, just here on earth! And if you read the rest of that passage (Luke 16:27-31) you’ll see that in hell you’re still aware of what’s going on, both in heaven and on earth, but you can’t do anything about your situation or your family’s. 

As Abraham told the rich man when he asked for him to send someone to talk to his family about the terrible situation he was in. ‘And he (Abraham) said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.’ (Luke 16:31) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ’16:31. If here carries the weight of “since.” They were not paying attention to the light they already had. Hard-heartedness is not necessarily overcome by miraculous signs.’  

So friends, it just comes back to prove that we need to make the right decision before we die, and since we don’t know when that will be, it’s best to decide for Jesus RIGHT NOW, so that your salvation and eternal life can be secured, your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and yuh not lost somewhere down in the burning fires of hell, tormented like crazy, going through ‘sufferation’ that you couldn’t even imagine in earthly life, crying out, pleading for mercy, begging for just a drop of water to wet yuh flaming tongue! Much LOVE!

…as Jesus said…he who has ears to hear…let him hear…else he will eventually feel…

 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 26 April 2019 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.
 

Ah mih people, is it a curse or a blessing? I’m talking about the immense amount of rain that’s been falling recently, and in concert with melting snow is causing a lot of flooding all over the land! Today’s another rainy day, with more flood warnings being issued by the Weather Advisory Dept. 

Now the rain is generally supposed to be a blessing, helping to nourish the land for spring planting and such, but sometimes I believe the Lord is giving us more than we need to sort of wake us up from our evil and ungodly ways. But how many of us are paying attention to that possibility eh? Not too many. And yes, I know that He promised Noah not to ever destroy the earth by water again, (Gen.9:11,15) but He never said anything about giving warnings by that method. (smile) 

And friends, we’ve become such a wicked and ungodly people that anything is possible right now. I know that the Lord’s heart is breaking because of the rampant evil and rebellion that’s taking place amongst His most treasured and blessed creation. But who’s listening eh, who really cares about the Lord’s heart breaking? Too few of us! 

And to make matters worse, it’s the big day of Friday, so everybody is anxious to hear what the workingman has to say in his song and get on with their weekend activities, as the world dictates. And he opens with his usual semi-godly: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday and the weekend is finally upon us! 

It was a short workweek, but a tough one, what with all the prior Easter celebrations! But we can’t afford to rest too much, because as soon as you turn around the lousy two days off seem to just evaporate and yuh back labouring for massa again! But the trouble is we might’n have much choice because of the blooming rain that’s threatening to spoil the weekend! 

Chuh! Doesn’t the rain know that the weekend is the only time we working people have to do stuff for ourselves, and to get in a li’l partying? Let’s hope that it’s not as bad as the weather people forecast, and that they wrong one more time, as they so often are! Hn, Hn, Hn! But we still thanking God for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

Yes friends, the workingman tells it as he sees it, no beating round the bush, but his boundaries and borders are just too wide and lax for us believers, so our Friday Chant is not as expansive and self-serving as his song. Now let’s chant our song of thanks for the weekend in sincere enthusiasm and strong voice. 

‘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 my fellow believers, we need to be somewhat more circumspect and aware of the evil and ungodly stuff that’s happening around us, so that we don’t fall into any of the many traps that the enemy sets for us. For as Peter so wisely and vividly proclaims: ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.’ 

And I know some of you might be tired hearing that scripture, but it’s no joke friends, it’s the reality of this evil world that we live in. And unless we are careful, that roaring, noisy lion, who is really toothless and thus can’t bite, will nab us in some ungodly and/or evil undertaking. He is powerless after Jesus’ victory over Him at Easter time, that’s why he has to resort to lies and deceit to get us into his traps. He can only get to us if we allow him. 

But the attractions of the world are so numerous and so glitzy and compelling that we have to pay serious attention to what we do, if we seriously want to live for Christ. That’s why Peter continues, re the devil: ‘Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world.’ (1 Pet.5:9) 

Yeh, I hear some of you muttering: ‘So what good is that doing me eh, if others are also being afflicted? I’m solely interested in my affliction, how to fix my business!’ Now that’s not very neighbourly or brotherly my people, for we are all of ONE body in Christ, and therefore we must be all for one and one for all! 

Oh friends, Jesus said that we’d all suffer some in this evil world, especially if we believe in Him, but He also said that we should be joyful and of good cheer because He has overcome the world. (John 16:33) And we saw that in full splendour this past weekend when He rose triumphantly from the grave! 

And yes, it’s not easy to be always on your p’s and q’s, however, as Peter concludes: ‘But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered awhile, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you.’ (1 Pet.5:10) 

Glory be my people! Our great God will not allow us to undergo continual suffering or more than we can handle! Therefore: ‘To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen!’ (1 Pet.5:11) It’s all gospel truth friends, so let’s hunker down this rainy Friday morning and do our best, with God’s help obviously, to stay out of the devil’s evil clutches! That’s wisdom of eternal proportions! Much LOVE!

…you can’t want all the idols of the world…as well as the God of heaven…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 March 2019 Matthew 6:33.

Matthew 6:33.   ​But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
 

And then it was Friday; the day so many of us look forward to because it signals the end of our hardy workweek in these rather trying times of humanity, where prosperity abounds in general, but poverty, sickness, strife and homelessness are more the order of the day. 

And to help us combat the greed and evil and selfishness that’s currently so prevalent in our world, listen to these winsome and wonderful words from a poem by one of Canada’s first female writers and composers; Eva Rose York (nee Fitch), composer, organist, editor, teacher (born 22 December 1858 in Norwich, Ontario; died 6 February in Toronto, Ontario.) 

In the third verse of her epic poem ‘I shall not pass this way again,’ she summarily declares (right ho) in a beautiful, humane, and very timely message to all humanity: ‘I shall not pass this way again; Then let me now relieve some pain, Remove some barrier from the road, Or brighten someone’s heavy load. A helping hand to this one lend, Then turn some other to befriend.’ 

Yes friends, it’s our duty to help each other, both as members of the human race and the Christian organization; the church of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!  He set the glorious example for all mankind to follow when He selflessly sacrificed His life on that old rugged cross at Calvary for sinful man. 

It behooves us therefore to carry on His work in our time by helping the less fortunate, of which there are so many in our current society, although this is one of the most prosperous and advanced periods in man’s history! And if we’d only put out a li’l effort to do that, then Christ’s church, and our world, would take on a much different hue, a much more enlightened and godly complexion. End of sermon! (smile) 

Yes my brethren, that’s what the Lord put in my to heart share with you this cold, winter’s Friday, the first day of March 2019. However, I know that since this Friday, many of you are more interested in hearing the workingman’s Friday song, as it tends more to our sinful and lustful nature. (smile) Well, I won’t disappoint you. Here’s what he’s singing this morning: 

 ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! But like this blooming cold weather not planning to go away anytime soon nuh! Brother! But wasn’t that a stellar snowfall earlier this week eh? I couldn’t even walk properly in the so many inches of snow…fell down in it numerous times…but just had to laugh and roll over and remember how we would play in it as young children growing up in the poor areas of Toronto! 

Yes, them was good days! We didn’t have a care in the world! Had food and everything ready for me by mother and father! Didn’t know where it came from, or how hard it was to earn it. Hn! But now I am mother and father and have to get out there everyday, come rain, snow or shine, and earn a pittance to support my brood…

And I’m doing it…without too much complaints too… But believe me, nothing, or nobody is going to take away my party time come Fridays and the weekends. I give all I have during the week, but the weekend is mine! And who doh like it, yuh know what they could do with it yes! Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

Yes, the workingman was in full voice, but he certainly surprised us this morning nuh. (smile) It wasn’t all about partying, but more sensible stuff which all of us need to take very seriously in today’s crazy and misguided world. And to add to the seriousness of the workingman’s song, let’s chant our Friday Chant that’s somewhat more restrictive, but does not stop us from having fun and enjoying good times with friends and family. 

All together now: ‘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!’ 

Yeh friends, instead of concentrating on the partying aspect of our lives, as believers we focus on the furthering of God’s kingdom! Glory to our great God! As Jesus so straightforwardly put it 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 (do not worry about tomorrow): for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt.6:33-34) 

There it is right in a nutshell friends and fellow believers! God must be our NUMBER ONE PRIORITY! And if we do that, then things will be fine with us, we won’t lack anything, the Lord will take of all our earthly needs. Now listen to some explanations from the scholars: 

‘The disciples who have pledged their allegiance to the King must continue seeking the kingdom and it’s righteousness…The contrast between the spiritual and material is again emphasized. The believer is to seek first the righteousness that is characteristic of God’s kingdom and then all these things (material things) shall be added to him. When our priority is spiritual, God will take care of the material, for where God guides, He provides. (Now that’s gospel truth!) 

We need not even worry about tomorrow, for sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. This means that each day has its own troubles and challenges to be responsibly handled, without worrying about the hypothetical problems that could arise tomorrow.’ 

So friends, having now heard this message for the umpteenth time (smile) let’s go out and see if we can’t put it into better action than we’ve done so far nuh? For Jesus’ sake nuh? And with God’s help we can certainly do it! Much LOVE!

…just think about what Jesus did for us…how then can we not want to do for others eh…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 February 2019 Matthew 7:14.

Matthew 7:14.   ​​Because strait (how narrow) is the gate, and narrow (difficult, confined) is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
 

And then it was Friday…another gloomy winter’s day? Most likely! But who knows…and who cares eh? Not us believing Christians! We have Christ Jesus our Lord and Saviour constantly looking over us, so we don’t let li’l things like the weather bother us, or keep us from doing His will! We get up and decide, whatever the weather or our circumstances: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ Wow! What confidence we have in our Saviour! 

And if that doesn’t do the trick, then we continue: ‘The Lord will provide all my needs through His riches in glory!’ And furthermore: ‘If God be for me, who can be against me eh?’ Not a single soul! And since we are overcomers, the head and not the tail, above and not beneath, through Christ who gives us the strength to do all that He calls us to do, then we can be steadfast and strong, and conclude that ‘As for me and my house, we WILL follow the Lord!’ 

Oh friends, if you all didn’t need that li’l pick me up this morning, good for you, but the ole fella certainly needed it! But with the Lord’s help, we back on track now…praise His holy name! 

So let’s hear what the workingman has to say this gloomy Friday morning. And I just LOVE his undaunted enthusiasm! ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday…La la la la la la! It might be winter…and cold and miserable, but why should that make me miserable too eh? Especially when is Friday and the weekend upon me…when is my time to do as I please. I’d be real chupid to let a li’l bad weather stop me from enjoying the couple days off I have from the slave driver’s work yes! 

So who want to let that bother them or stop them from eating and drinking and partying, that is their business, but it not going to stop me, because I just live for the weekend and the li’l chance to karay mih body to some sweet music, and full mih belly with good food and drink, especially in them kinda cold weather here! I need strength, energy and enthusiasm to handle them oui! So thank God for Fridays and the weekends and them yes!’ 

Yes mih people, the workingman is certainly off and running today. And I know that plenty of us supposed Christians think like him, and would like to behave leggo beast like him, but Jesus doesn’t like that kinda behaviour in His organization, so we cool it down, and instead chant we Friday Chant, a somewhat more controlled song, with narrower boundaries. So let’s chant up a storm now nuh! 

As one chanter: ‘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, a li’l restraint never hurt nobody yet nuh, but when you let it all hang out, yuh liable to get bite, as the long time calypso did say. (smile) And that’s all Jesus is trying to do yes with His narrow way; preventing us from getting bite! It’s all for our benefit, because yuh know how the enemy always lurking in the background ready to snap and bite at any chance we give him, so he could get a foothold in we souls and just spoil everything. 

Remember, it does only take one bad apple to spoil the whole basket! And Jesus doesn’t want that to happen to us, that’s why He advocates the narrow, less travelled way. ‘Enter ye in at the strait (narrow) gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait (how narrow) is the gate, and narrow (difficult, confined) is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’ (Matt.7:13-14) 

And that’s the gospel truth friends! But we don’t even need Jesus us to tell us that, because logically speaking, the wider or broader your field of vision or your endeavours, the more problems you’re liable to have, just because so much more is involved. 

But getting back to Jesus, who wants to suffer destruction by being eternally separated from Him eh? Nobody in their right minds! So if we’re wise and sensible, although I know common sense isn’t in vogue these days (smile) we will choose the strait and narrow way which is through Jesus as He so sweetly and graciously enlightens us: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but my me.’ (John 14:6) End of story friends! 

If you want to get to the Father, then you have to go through His Son Jesus! That’s all there is to it! It’s just like our earthly set up; to get to the boss, you have to go through His secretary. (smile) So just consider Jesus the Father’s Administrative Assistant, and if you don’t deal with Him, you won’t get a chance to deal with the Father! Clear as noonday my brethren! 

So let’s take a few moments today and ponder which road we’re currently travelling on nuh, because it’s so easy to get sidetracked in this evil, ungodly world, that we need to constantly be on our p’s and q’s so we stay on the straight and narrow with Jesus. Much LOVE!

…only two options available…the strait and narrow with Jesus…and enjoy eternal life…or the broad and busy highway…and end up on the outside looking in…dead to Jesus…be wise…choose life…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 January 2019 James 4:7.

James 4:7.   ​Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
 

Beautiful…white and beautiful…but oh so dangerous…slippery like and eel…and treacherous and deceptive like the serpent who personifies our enemy Satan! That’s the snow covering our neighbourhood this Friday morning! (smile) And sadly, we in the northern climes are bracing ourselves for even more of the white stuff because we’ve been promised a major snowstorm this weekend. 

Let’s hope the duchess and I just have to stay inside and look at it and admire its beauty, but don’t have to venture forth in it, cause remember we’re not as mobile and steady as we once were, we’re not spring chickens any longer…but contrary to popular opinion we’re NOT old, just advanced in years! (smile) So for all of you in the wintry climes, remember, as the man says, if you don’t HAVE to go out, then DON’T go out! 

Now let’s hear what the workingman has to say for himself this winter’s morn. And I like how he’s ever so enthusiastic, regardless of the circumstances: ‘TGIF! Thank God for Friday yes! The weekend, the weekend is here, which means is time to party! And though they calling for plenty snow, yuh think a li’l thing like snow going to stop me from enjoying mih li’l two days off from the slave master work? 

No way Jose! My time is my time, my time to enjoy whatever catches mih fancy! And if ah want to play in the snow, I’ll play in the snow. But if I just want to cuddle up in front of a roaring fire and sip something strong and warm, then that’s what I’ll do! It’s freedom time, come the weekend! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes in this ungodly capitalist society!’ 

Now there’s a wonderful idea for this snowy weekend; cuddle up in front of a roaring fire with a hot toddy and just commune with whoever you’re with and with God! Let the world go by however it wants to, since there’s nothing you can do about it. Just luxuriate in the warmth of your home and the comforting LOVE of your wonderful God! 

And all of God’s children declared (right ho) a loud and proud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord! Praise Him and give Him much thanks for His undeserving goodness and mercy to us!’ Yeh friends, we must NEVER forget the goodness of God in our lives, for it’s the ONLY thing that keeps us from an even more miserable existence. 

Now let’s respond to the workingman’s exuberance with our more controlled Friday Chant. Chanting in unison: ‘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 mih people, it’s not as exuberant and fun LOVING as the workingman’s song, but it suits our purposes very well, reminding us of our purpose down here on earth, to work for Jesus, and helping us to stay out of the clutches of the ever-hovering enemy. And as true believers, we like it! Glory be! Anything that keeps us out of Satan’s evil grasp is certainly welcome! 

That’s why friends, we have to pay particular attention to James’ warning: ‘Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.’  Yes my brethren, there are two things we need to do to stay out of the enemy’s clutches. The first is submit ourselves to God; then actively resist Satan’s advances! And we know that in this world he’s always lurking around offering lust and pride and other immoral and ungodly ways of life. 

But as James continues: ‘Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded. Be afflicted (lament), and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness (gloom). Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.’ (James 4:8-10) 

And the scholars offer this explanation re the above verses: ‘4:7-10. Therefore: The exhortations that follow logically result from the conditions in verses 1-6 (worldliness and pride). Resist the devil: Do not submit to, fear, or flee from Satan, but stand against him (1 Pet.5:8-10). Satan cannot lead into sin against one’s will. Draw nigh: God will not be unmoved; His welcoming response is always near (cf. Deut. 4:7; Lam.3: 57; Luke 15:20). Hands and hearts: The cleansing of one’s life must involve both outward deeds and inner thoughts (cf. Ps.24:3-4).’ 

Oh friends, please check out those scriptures, for they all show God’s welcoming hand to all who turn to Him. And we’ll close with these inspiring, reassuring and warning words from Peter on the subject. (smile) ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 

Whom 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: 6-11) 

Oh my people, we could not ask for more fervent and reassuring scripture this cold, snowy Friday January morning! So please let’s take it to heart and follow it nuh! That’s wisdom of enormous proportions! Much LOVE!

…Christianity 101…submitting to God…resisting Satan… 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 December 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.
 
Aye mih beauties, welcome to spring time in December! It’s raining outside, and they say it might go up to as much as ten degrees Celsius today! Brother! Imagine that scene at the end of December nuh! I feel sorry for the purists who did not get their white Christmas and might not even get to ski as they ring in the New Year. But what yuh going to do eh? Everything’s changing, and changing fast too! I remember the days when you could be assured of snow, and plenty too, for Christmas! 

The duchess and I might even have wasted money paying for snow removal, since we can’t do it ourselves any longer, and there hasn’t been any to remove so far. But like my friend Scotty, I’m the eternal optimist! (smile) We will get snow, it’s only a matter of time…and then we’ll get so much, that we’ll all hold our heads and bawl! Matter fix! 

Now let’s hear what the workingman is singing this spring-like Friday morning nuh: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! And another long weekend…in cool weather to boot, as New Year’s rolls on in! Wonder what 2019 going to hold for we eh? Most likely the same old slaving for the slave driver…but we going to cross that path when we come to it yes! Right now is celebration time, ringing out the Christmas season and ringing in the New Year! 

And brother, what a Christmas we had; food and drinks and parties galore, though not as much presents under the tree as usual! But everybody was happy and had a good time. So we can say that Christmas 2018 was wonderful, as we thank the Lord for Fridays, weekends and Christmas time!’ 

Ah mih people, I do hope that we all had a good Christmas, and that unlike the workingman, we included Christ in it, because in spite of everything the unbelievers say and do, He is the reason for all this celebration, every year, in the month of December.

Let’s also hope that we didn’t overdo any aspect of the celebrations, kept Granny’s warning in mind: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’ And consequently, did not give the always lurking enemy a chance to get even a toehold in our souls, for we all know that’s his avowed purpose. 

Now let’s sing our weekend song, our Friday Chant. It’s not as colourful as the workingman’s but it serves our purposes admirably. All together now: ‘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!’ 

Yeh friends, our song elicits a modicum of circumspection that’s absent from the workingman’s; we tend to keep narrower borders, so that the enemy isn’t given an open invitation to infiltrate our souls. That’s why Peter steadfastly warns us: ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.’ 

And that’s gospel truth friends! Satan is only interested in stealing our peace and joy found in Christ Jesus! When he has us low down and miserable and doubting then he laughs and believes he’s won. But the truth is he can NEVER WIN unless we allow him to, for Jesus has already won the battle for death, hell and the grave, He has the keys to eternity, and the prince of darkness is a defeated foe! He’s only trying to fool us into thinking that he has some sort of authority and power. But he’s actually a toothless tiger! (smile) 

Nonetheless, we still need to follow Peter’s advice: ‘Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world.’ (1 Pet.5:9) Yeh mih people, all of us experience some kind of affliction in this earthly life, because it’s a fallen world. Jesus said it clearly: ‘In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33b) 

Oh friends, I know that’s easier said than done, but Peter also has some advice for how we can best resist the adversary. Listen up: ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.’ (1 Pet.5:6-7) Oh faithful believers, truer words were never spoken! Our heavenly Father cares for us more than we can ever imagine! 

And He is the ONLY ONE who can help us to steadfastly resist the enemy! But we do need to acknowledge His supremacy, and humbly come to Him asking for His help. And please note, He will NEVER turn away anyone who comes to him sincerely and humbly asking for assistance. That’s his ever-faithful promise! So let’s not be proud and foolish nuh, thinking we can do it on our own, because we can’t. 

But if we seek the Lord diligently, Peter promises: ‘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 and settle you.’ (1 Pet.5:10) Wow mih brethren, what a wonderful promise! We can’t expect life to be all wine, roses and song, there must be some tough times so that we can grow spiritually, become more Christ-like! 

However, when we’ve valiantly withstood those times, with Christ’s help of course, then our wonderful God will indeed establish and strengthen us in His might and power. That’s why Peter ends thus: ‘To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen!’ (1 Pet.5:11) Oh what a great God we serve and worship my people! Let’s not forget that He is our Alpha and Omega, our First and Last, our Everything! Much LOVE!

…living for Jesus…is the ONLY sensible way…to live this earthly life…

 

 

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