Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 February 2021 1 Thessalonians 5:6.

1 Thessalonians 5:6.     ​Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober (self-controlled).

Well it’s another new day, another Wednesday, with lots of new mercies and compassion for which we are eternally grateful! Therefore we will give the Lord much thanks and praise and enjoy the day as we sincerely, diligently and efficiently do His holy will! And His children’s voices were raised in a loud, grateful and spontaneous ‘Amen!’ 

Today is also Ash Wednesday, the day in our religious calendar that begins our season of Lent. And what is Lent, you ask? Basically it’s a time of fasting and praying, of reflection and thanksgiving, of abstinence and self-denial, of desiring to get more intimate with our God, of giving up some of the things that we enjoy, but which keep us from giving our all to Him. It corresponds to the forty days that Christ spent in the wilderness fasting, being tempted by the devil, while preparing Himself for His upcoming earthly ministry. (Matt. 4:1-11) 

Likewise, every so often, not necessarily in the Lenten season alone, we ought to empty ourselves, get serious and talk as intimately as possible with our great and wonderful God; go to Him with life changing and puzzling questions and await His faithful answers. Oh friends, it’s only as we sincerely seek God that we can ever get answers. For as Jesus said so plainly: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33). 

That’s why we should always endeavour to keep God in first place in our lives, for without Him in that Number One position, we will not be beneficiaries of all the wonderful and immeasurable benefits that He has prepared for us. And one of those immeasurable benefits is life – both earthly and eternal! 

Ah mih people, it’s so good when you can wake up another day and don’t see your name listed in the obits. (smile) Yes, heaven might be wonderful and all that, but I’m sure that most of us are not quite ready to go there. There’s something about earthly living; could be the enticing promises of sinful living, (smile) or better yet, the desire to do God’s work here on earth. But whatever it is, in most of our hearts and souls, we’re not ready just yet to give up this tempestuous, troubled, evil, dangerous and uncertain earthly life. (smile) 

I pray though, that we’re all ready, just in case the Grim Reaper shows up unexpectedly and calls our name, or Jesus happens to come again to receive His own unto himself. That is all important friends; the preparation, the readiness for heaven whenever it calls. We cannot be found wanting when Christ calls us to come home, whether it be in death or His Second Coming. When either of those times arrive, He must be our Lord and Saviour, or else we will not spend eternity with Him, and that will indeed be a crying shame, with much weeping and gnashing of teeth, but then it will be too late. 

As Jesus clearly stated; when He shall return, and when we shall be called home, no man knows it. ‘But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only…Watch therefore; for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.’ (Matt. 24:36, 42) And since ALL options will be off the board when either of those situations occur, it’s of the utmost importance to always be in a state of readiness for either occasion. 

‘Be prepared; be ready,’ should be our watchwords and motto in this earthly life, for we don’t want to miss out on the eternal and heavenly one with Jesus. The only other option; hell, eternal darkness and the lake of fire with Satan is unthinkable! So let’s just concentrate on being with Jesus nuh, which means putting Him first place in our lives, and doing whatever He requires of us. 

And Bruh Paul spelled it out quite clearly in his first epistle to the Thessalonians. ‘For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night…But ye, brethren are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children (sons) of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober (self-controlled). 

For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and LOVE; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.’ (1 Thess. 5:2, 4-10) 

Yes my brethren, that’s exactly why we do what we do; so that we can live together with Jesus forever! And one of the ways to ensure that in this evil world, comes from Bruh Paul’s last command. ‘Wherefore comfort yourselves together (encourage each other), and edify (build up) one another, even as also ye do (are now doing).’ (1 Thess. 5:11) 

Oh my people, it’s ever so important for the saints of Christ to encourage, teach and build up each other, especially in these times of rampant sickness, evil, loneliness, depression and inhumanity. So like now, when isolation is the norm, let’s try and stay in touch with each other nuh. We have the means and the technology to do it, but we need to dig down deep and find the will, for it’s what Jesus desires of us. 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. As one strong and sincere voice: ‘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 let’s not forget that if we endure to the end, that future will be even more glorious than our puny minds can even contemplate. Much LOVE!

…when the roll is called up yonder…will you be there…that’s the most important question… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 February 2013 Luke 6:9

Luke 6:9.     Then Jesus said unto them, I will ask you one thing: Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it?

Well Friends, the pre-Lenten celebrations and festivities are now over for another year! Praise the Lord! Hn, hn! Now it’s time for us to buckle down to a Lenten season of prayer, meditation and fasting. Time to renew serious communication with our God and forget some of the frivolities of the world. Time to try and get into character with Jesus during the forty days He spent fasting in the wilderness. And the wonderful thing about this serious time of Christian reflection is that right after it, we have the most joyous celebration of all Christian events; Easter, where Christ sacrificed His holy life on the cross of Calvary, was buried, but valiantly conquered death and majestically rose again on the third day, so that we could also be raised and have eternal life. And all God’s people declared a mighty shout of ‘Glory Hallelujah! Blessed is the Lamb that was slain for us, but rose to bring eternal life to all who believe in Him!’ Yes Friends, it’s time for us to truly get serious about our Christian walk if we really desire to make a positive difference in this messed up world. That’s what our Leader Jesus desires of us. So why are we so reluctant to truly get involved at all levels of our society eh? We can’t make any positive changes by merely standing on the outside looking in. We need to get on the inside where all the action is taking place and be a positive force for peace, justice and LOVE! Otherwise we’re just wasting time, mouthing useless words. We need to get involved like Jesus does in our Bit. ‘Then Jesus said unto them, I will ask you one thing: Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it.’ Jesus knew full well that His actions would cause controversy, but He didn’t care, because He was right. That’s how we have to behave too my brethren. Don’t let the naysayers and evildoers turn us off or scare us with their threats or whatever, from doing what we know is right. The last time we saw Jesus, He told the man with the withered hand to stand up, and when he did, Jesus asked the Pharisees the question in our Bit. I guess He was greeted by silence. ‘And looking round about them all, he said unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other.’ (Luke 6:10) Oh my people, doesn’t that just make you real proud of our Saviour and Leader? It ought to. For with all the religious hypocrites gathered around Him, He had the gumption to do the right thing, though they thought it was wrong. Now listen to the scholar’s comment on our Bit: ‘Jesus illustrates the principle lying behind 6:5. If it was in one’s power to do good to someone in dire need, it would be wrong not to do so, whatever the day of the week. The Sabbath was not designed to make man suffer. The Pharisees seem to have lost sight of this.’ And isn’t that a fact! Sadly though, many of us are still holding on to rigid, man-made traditions that ignore the plight of others in dire need. Oh Friends, if we truly want to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, then we have to stop doing that. Now hear the reaction of the hypocrites and them to the healing. ‘And they were filled with madness (rage); and communed one with another (discussed) what they might do to Jesus.’ (Luke 6:11) So they got good and angry because of Jesus’ actions, but that had no effect on Jesus. And my brethren, please remember what Jesus said about the Sabbath before all that confusion, as reported in Mark. ‘And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath. Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.’ (Mark 2:27-28) And the scholars have a good explanation of it all. ‘Jesus’ reasoning is that divine institutions on earth are to have a God-honouring, noble, and liberating function. Sabbath laws had for some degenerated into a mockery of God’s intent. Jesus, the Son of man and Lord…of the sabbath, having power to forgive sin, can also teach rightly regarding proper observance of the Jewish Sabbath. Jesus here touches a raw nerve, as the next incident shows.’ That’s the same one we’re talking about, the healing of the man on the Sabbath. And we’ll close with some more fateful words of Jesus on the topic of the Sabbath from the gospel of John, re the clash between healing and circumcision. ‘Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man. If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit (completely) whole on the sabbath day? Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgement.’ (John 7:22-24) Oh Friends, those last words of Jesus ought to resonate very loudly with us, because we still judge by appearances way too much to be very effective Christians. So today, let’s look at our individual lives and see if we’re making a mockery of any of God’s institutions, by holding on to the traditions of man. And if so, let’s correct them nuh, for it’s only with serious self-examination can we really find or figure out if we’re on the right path to salvation and eternal life with Jesus, which is the zenith of wisdom for all mankind. And luckily for us, this Lenten season is the best time for serious introspection. So let’s do it nuh. Much LOVE!…only by having the strength and faith…to do what’s right…can we ever make this world a better place…in Jesus’ name…Amen…