Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 March 2017 Luke 21:34.

Luke 21:34.   And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged (weighed down) with surfeiting (carousing), and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.

So friends, like we gone back to winter now, with highs in the minus bracket and promises of that fluffy, but everlastingly cold white stuff! (smile) But that doesn’t matter as much to the workingman as the fact that it’s Friday, glorious Friday! 

And he just goes about his merry way rejoicing, while loudly mouthing: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Thank God is Friday and the weekend here at last! No more hard labour for small pay! No more punching a stupid clock! The next whole two days is mine, to do as I please! Oh, thank God for Fridays and the weekend yes!’ 

And who can really blame him eh, since the working world out there is such a sad state; transitioning from good paying permanent jobs with benefits, to poorly paid temporary jobs with no benefits. 

The modern day employer has the employee by the scruff of his neck as it were, with little choice but to accept whatever he begrudgingly hands out. Like we’re going back to the bad old days of employer advantage, where workers had to fight, both physically and emotionally for their rights. 

But be that as it may, that excessive, overly emotional reaction is not the best, especially in these lean, rough and tough times. Our Friday Chant provides a much more rational and sensible approach. So let’s chant it out now nuh, with just as much enthusiasm and sense of purpose, as the workingman did his song. 

Altogether 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.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, that is the kind of response we need to have towards our two days off on the weekend, otherwise we’d just keep digging ourselves further down into the abyss of Hades every week. 

And my people, our God is wonderful in His awesome and mysterious ways, that He pointed out a most fitting Bit for us today.

‘And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged (weighed down) with surfeiting (carousing), and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.’ 

I just had to chuckle when I was led to it, because it defines our weekends so well. Jesus was here talking to His disciples about some of the signs of His Second Coming, warning them to be prepared, to not be deceived by the wiles and taunts and lies of the world. 

The scholars add this explanation about our Bit. ‘21:34. Surfeiting means “to indulge one’s appetites excessively.” No believer is beyond the temptation to fall into sin. Jesus warns against slackness and lack of daily readiness in the Christian walk.’ 

In other words my brethren, we have to be always ready, daily prepared to walk the good daily walk, as well as be prepared for Jesus’ Second Coming, which can happen at anytime. 

And Jesus continues His warning after our Bit. ‘For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.’ (Luke 21:35-36) 

Ah friends, I couldn’t put it any simpler or more straightforward than that! That’s one thing about Jesus; His words are always simple and straightforward. And here He purposely warned us: WATCH and PRAY! 

Consequently, I can’t understand how there’s not much more watching and praying amongst the brethren, instead of the infighting and power struggles, which currently manifest themselves to a large degree in the Lord’s church. 

But yuh know what? Each man will have to answer for his own deeds come the judgement day, and then we won’t be able to say we didn’t know, or point the blame at someone else. It will all fall squarely on our shoulders. So the wisest move for all of us right now, is to get prepared, and stay prepared! 

And we’ll close with this explanation re verse 36, by the scholars. ’21:36. Prayer is the better part of valour when persevering for Christ under pressure. Prayer alone will enable one to stand before the returning Son of Man, when those all around are falling, whether in condemnation before Christ or to temptation to deny Christ under the trials of the hour.’ 

There’s no more left to be said my friends! So please let’s begin seriously watching and praying nuh, for remember what Bruh Paul said to the Thessalonians: ‘For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.’ (1 Thess.5:2) 

So let’s be prepared for when Jesus comes. Let’s not be like the five foolish virgins who ran out of oil when the bridegroom came, because they were not prepared. (Matt.25:1-13). Let godly wisdom reign amongst us my breddren! Much LOVE!

…PRAYER…the most potent and powerful force in God’s universe…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 February 2017 Matthew 26:39.

Matthew 26:39.   And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

Oh friends, can you believe it? My body rebelled against me again to day! Hn, hn! But what can I expect eh, when I keep pushing the envelope? 

What’s it they say about when force meets resistance – one of them has to give? Well I’m the one who’s been giving these last couple days! (smile) 

Meanwhile, the workingman is all excited, loudly declaring: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! The weekend’s here! The weekend’s here at long last! Is our time now! Glory Hallelujah! And we going to use it just as we please; drinking and eating, dancing and romancing! Thank God for Fridays and the weekend!’ 

Ah mih people, I know that after a hard week’s work, that’s the way many of us feel, but that’s not the optimum way to use our short time off. Our Friday chant presents a much better alternative. So let’s chant it out loud and clear, like how the workingman belted out his song of freedom. 

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.’ 

Yes my brethren, it’s all about using our time, talents and energy in the best manner that glorifies our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Our thoughts should constantly be permeated by, ‘will this glorify Jesus?’ for that’s why we were so wonderfully made. 

Just as Jesus was made to glorify His heavenly Father, and did so above all else, as we see from our Bit. ‘And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.’ 

So ought we to consider the Lord’s will before we do anything at all in this earthly life.  

And today we’ll continue looking at the words of some of the saints on the topic. Listen to the author of Hebrews: ‘Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith (hope) without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke (stir up) unto LOVE and to good works: …

Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience (endurance), that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.’ (Heb.10:23-24; 35-36)  

Yes my fellow believers, we have to stand strong in faith, in LOVE and good works and concentrate on doing God’s will, so that we can receive His faithful promise afterwards. If we don’t do His will, there won’t be any rewards later on. It’s as simple as that. 

Now hear Peter as he talks about being good stewards of God’s grace. ‘Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as (to the extent that) ye are partakers of Christ’s suffering; that when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. 

If ye be reproached (insulted) for the name of Christ, happy (blessed) are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of (blasphemed), but on your part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody (meddler) in other men’s matters. 

Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf (matter). For the time is come that judgement must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? 

And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.’ (1 Pet.4:12-19) 

Ah precious people of God, although our earthly circumstances may be painful and difficult, it’s only in doing God’s will, and with His help, bearing up under the pressure, that we will reap joy when Jesus returns. 

I know it sounds unfair and whatever else, but that’s the way our God operates, and we know that He is a good God, and will work everything out for our benefit in the end. So let’s not lose faith while we wait. 

And we’ll end with this admonition from Peter. ‘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.5:10-11) 

What more can I say eh friends? Not a whole lot. Doing God’s will is just the lot of Christians. Much LOVE!

…if ye suffer with and for Christ…you will rejoice and be glad with Him…when He returns…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 April 2015 Matthew 9:36‏

Matthew 9:36. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted (were weary), and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.

Oh Friends, please be advised that the NHL Hockey Playoffs began last night, with several games on every night. And since I am a fan of the game, it means there will be several late nights, like last night, in the offing. Unfortunately, those late nights will obviously lead to late mornings, like this one.

So please don’t be too peeved and upset with me if the Bits are somewhat late in the next few weeks. (smile) It’s just a fact of life. There isn’t much I watch on the tube, but hockey is one of those things.

And a much better bit of news is that it looks like spring has finally truly sprung. Yesterday was warm, not hot, and beautiful, with loads of brilliant sunshine, and today is forecasted to be more of the same.

The temps are getting up to the mid to high teens, and that’s bringing out the pent-up winter frustration, so the hot rod cars with their loud engines and mufflers are now out on the road, the walkers, runners, cyclists and the ‘motorbikers’ are getting into gear too. So look out for the madness, especially after such a long and harsh winter.

And Friends, on this Thursday morning in mid –April, I want to remind us of some rather important facts as they pertain to our faith. It comes from Gramps Schuller’s (Robert H Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional, but they are the words of the prominent American churchman, Dr. Samuel Shoemaker.

And he reputedly said that: ‘Religion can never be the answer to human problems. All of the religions of the world are inadequate. Christ alone is the Answer. Christ alone understands. Christ alone forgives. Christ alone eliminates your guilt.

Christ alone saves and then assures you that you are God’s child and the most wonderful person possible! Christ alone fills the human heart with LOVE –joy- peace- self-confidence. No wonder a genuine Christian really LOVES himself.’

Oh my people, my people, what wonderful words of utmost truth and wisdom! There is nothing in that passage that can be disputed! So please, please, this morning let’s allow those fateful words of truth to sink into our hearts, minds and spirits, so that they can reinforce, renew and reinvigorate our passion and joy in our faith and in Christ Jesus!

We need that sort of renewal regularly, because in these last days the enemy is fighting mightily, to keep us from believing and acknowledging the wonder and worthiness of our faith.

And I like that last part of Dr. Shoemaker’s statements: ‘No wonder a genuine Christian really LOVES himself.’

Why, you ask? Because if all of the previous statements are true, which they are, we ought to have such LOVE for our God, ourselves and our neighbours, that nothing whatsoever can diminish the light and joy of Jesus in our souls and lives.

That brings us to our Bit. ‘But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted (were weary), and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.’

Oh Friends, can you imagine the sorrow that filled Jesus’ heart when He saw His people so lost and scattered, without any proper guidance, just going astray any which way? Remember Isaiah’s prophecy, re comfort through trust in the Lord?

He said: ‘Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand (in strength), and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work (wage) before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.’ (Is.40:10-11)

And that is exactly what Jesus came to do my people! He was the fulfillment of that prophecy. Read John 10 and you can hear Him expound on the theory of the sheep and the shepherd, as pertains to Himself.

First, He tells them a parable. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter (doorkeeper) openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.

And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.’ (John 10:1-5)

Ah my brethren, all of that is oh so true! Now listen to some useful explanations by the scholars. ‘10:1. Door is the one who stood in the opening of the (stone) fold. (the pen where the sheep were kept at night). The thieves and robbers were the Pharisees. See also verse 8.’

’10:3. Sheep know only their shepherd’s voice. In the Near East several flocks belonging to different shepherds may be in one fold (a fenced in area). But only a shepherd’s own sheep will follow him out of the fold. Cattle can be driven, but sheep must be led.’

Obviously the people listening to Jesus didn’t understand what He was talking about. ‘Then Jesus saith unto them again, verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.

I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. 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.’ (John 10:7-10)

And at the remembrance of that wonderful news, all God’s people gave a mighty and glorious shout of ‘Glory Hallelujah! All praise and thanks be to the awesome shepherd of our flock; our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who came that we might have life, and have it more abundantly!’

So my people, in ending, let me remind us, that if we are the sheep of Jesus’ flock, then it is of the utmost importance that we listen to His voice, and follow Him and Him alone. If not, then we’ll be marked for certain death, as all else are merely thieves and robbers, come to kill, steal and destroy.

So let’s open our ears and quite clearly hear our Master’s voice and follow Him down the straight and narrow, but safe path where He will inevitably lead us. That my brethren, is certainly wisdom and understanding of a heavenly nature! Much LOVE!

…all we like sheep have gone astray…but Jesus in His LOVING-kindness…has found us and brought us safely back to His fold…oh what a joy…