Today’s Scrip-Bit   22 September 2022   Psalm 118:24.

Psalm 118:24.        This is the day which the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.

And then it was Thursday, the penultimate day of the workweek, with many of us anxiously, hopefully looking forward to that last day tomorrow. But please remember Jesus’ wise advice: ‘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. 6:34). 

Now that’s the overwhelming truth my people! We need to look after, to concentrate on today, which is all we have right now. Tomorrow will look after itself. We don’t know if we’ll even be around to see tomorrow, so why spend so much time concentrating on it eh? Instead, let’s do as the psalmist so wisely proclaimed: ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps. 118:24) 

And that’s wisdom in spades. Today is what we have, so let’s enjoy it, otherwise we’re wasting God’s precious time and blessings, especially the new mercies and compassions that He’s prepared new for us this special day. Yes mih bredrin, every day we spend on this planet earth is a special day which the Lord made so that we can enjoy it and do His will. That’s why He blesses us anew every day. 

Jesus said it very clearly: ‘I am come that they (His flock, His followers) might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10b) Now how can we enjoy a more abundant life if we’re always thinking of tomorrow and not focusing on today, as we ought to eh? That’s defeating Jesus’ very plan for our lives. And I like how James admonishes his readers, and consequently us on the subject of tomorrow. 

Describing unchristian conduct, he writes: ‘Go to now (come now), ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain (make a profit): Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now ye rejoice in your boastings (boast in your arrogance): all such rejoicing is evil. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.’ ((James 4:13-17) 

Oh my people, James covers a whole lot in those few verses. So let’s see what the scholars have to say on them. Re 13-14: ‘This one is a fool, for he thinks he knows something that he doesn’t. He presumes he has the resources to control his destiny. (cf. Prov. 27:1; Luke 12:13-21).’ And those scriptures are excellent references of our unfortunate concentration on tomorrow. In the verse from Proverbs, Cousin Sol does declare very forcefully. ‘Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.’ (Prov. 27:1) 

Meanwhile the passage from Luke is where Jesus tells the parable of the rich fool, who had so much that he had no room to store it. So, in his wisdom, decides to tear down everything and build anew, that he might have space to store all his wealth, and then take things easy: ‘eat, drink and be merry.’  But in his frail and finite wisdom he missed one important thing, he did not factor in God’s will. 

Consequently, when God came along, He said to him. ‘Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.’ (Luke 12:20-21) Yes friends, we are in a partnership with Almighty God and partners are supposed to talk with and cooperate with each other. That means we cannot make plans without including God. 

And going back to the verses from James, the scholars tell us in vs.15: Re ‘This or that. This verse teaches that God does have something for Christians to do and that they should plan accordingly. James only condemns elaborate planning that omits God. (cf. Prov. 16:9)’ Now, since I delight in spoon feeding us, (smile) here is that verse from Proverbs. ‘A man’s heart deviseth (plans) his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.’ (Prov. 16:9) Yes my people, our God is indeed sovereign over our scheming and planning. So it’s His will that usually wins out. 

And moving back once more to James, we discover that in vs. 17: ‘To do good here requires including God in one’s plans. Omitting God is not merely bad planning; it is sin.’ And that’s not rocket science, but simple common sense. If you know what is right to do, and don’t do it, then you’re wrong, and it can therefore be construed as sin. And Jesus, in His telling of the parable of the unfaithful servant, (Luke 12:41-48) says as much. 

‘And that servant, which knew his lord’s (master’s) will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him much shall be required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.’ (Luke 12:47-48) 

Oh friends, right there, Jesus is indirectly talking about us. Servants bear a great responsibility to their masters, and if Jesus is our Lord and Saviour, we as His followers, or His servants, also bear a huge responsibility to Him and His will. We need to remember that at all times. Yes, life is good, is better with Jesus than with anybody else, but that good life doesn’t come gratis or free. There is indeed a price to pay, a responsibility to be shouldered, and if we don’t shoulder our responsibilities, then there are consequences to be suffered for our irresponsibility. 

But our God is so good that He doesn’t just send us out to do His bidding without the necessary tools to accomplish it. That’s why we’ve been endowed with what we call our Thursday Blessings, tools to perform His awesome will. So, let’s activate them right now by declaring (steups!!!) them nuh. 

Altogether now, in strong and sincere voice. ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! 

I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to, will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’ 

And having activated those marvellous blessings, let’s go out now and put them to use in Jesus’ name, as is our bounden duty. Much LOVE!

…can you imagine the mountain of sins…we believers pile up each day…by knowing the good and right things to do…and not doing them… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   19 February 2022 James 4:17.

James 4:17.      Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

Oh brother, I’m certainly getting tired of all this whiteness around me yes! I know that white implies clean, but the whiteness I’m talking about isn’t cleanliness but snowiness! (smile) Yes, just when it got warm and some of the snow melted, the temperature dropped and more snow fell. Steups! Not as much as the previous time, but snow fall is snow fall! (smile) But then again, it’s winter in Canada, so what do we expect but snow and cold temperatures? 

However, regardless of how long you live in the snowy climes you never get accustomed or acclimatized to it, or like it, unless you are one of those who participate in winter sports. And I guess that’s because it disrupts your everyday life, by having to clean it up, dress warm and snugly to ward it off and then the serious problems it can cause walking and driving through it. Oh, it certainly looks clean and beautiful when it first falls, no denying that, but its aftermath can be rather frustrating and dangerous. 

But enough of my griping about the snow, let’s do what we do on Saturdays, that’s check out the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this past week. Unfortunately, I’ve only gotten three quotes, and one of them, he’s already sent us. So let’s begin with that one nuh. It says: ‘Integrity is doing the right thing when no one is watching.’  Now we all know that’s true, and it doesn’t hurt, but rather helps to hear it again, so we can write it indelibly in our hearts and souls, since it’s an attitude, a virtue that is so sadly lacking in our society today. 

A lot of people don’t even know the word, much less what it means. How sad eh? But unfortunately, that’s the way of our current world. Wish we could teach that in our schools and universities, but we won’t, because the leaders know that it would just devastate, or ruin their evil and sinful hold over the ungodly society that they have forged. However friends, it’s the job of true believers in Christ, to live a life of integrity and thus teach it to those with whom we come into contact. That’s the only way to mitigate the lack of integrity in our world today. 

Sadly though, a lot of us supposed true believers don’t actually live lives of integrity, but foolishly go along with the greed, lusts and deceits that the world has made more important than godliness and righteousness. But don’t worry, it will all turn around and bite us at some stage of our lives, come back like a boomerang to haunt us, for remember, in God’s economy, we reap what we sow, and according to Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) ‘more than we sow, and later than we sow.’ 

So please, those of us who know that we’re not living lives of integrity, let’s wake up and change our course nuh. Remember it’s doing the right thing. And what does James say about doing the right thing when one knows it. ‘Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.’ (James 4:17) That says it all my people! And leads us right into the next quote, more about integrity, since it seems Anselm is on an integrity kick these days. (smile) Nothing’s wrong with that though. In fact it’s a good thing, since it might just cause some of us to change our less than stellar ways. 

And the quote says: ‘The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.’ Now I don’t think we can find any fault in that quote, because it’s absolutely true! I guess that’s why Jesus told His disciples: ‘It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.’ (Matt. 19:24) That’s because many rich people don’t have any integrity, and are more concerned about themselves and their wealth than in helping their fellow man. 

But let’s remember that it’s the humble and spiritually impoverished that Jesus came to save, not the haughty and wealthy. And the good thing about this life is that we don’t have to be wealthy to have integrity and treat others in a good and positive manner. Whatever our station in life, it behooves us to treat our fellow man decently. For remember the warning in the Good Book. ‘Let brotherly LOVE continue. Be nor forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.’ (Heb. 13:1-2) 

Yeh friends, integrity is simply showing brotherly LOVE and kindness to those around us. And since we never know with whom we’ll interact during our everyday journey, it’s always better to show brotherly LOVE and kindness, than resentment and disdain. 

That brings us to this last quote…a long one too. (smile) And it says: ‘One of the greatest things you have in life is that no one has the authority to tell you what you want to be. You’re the one who’ll decide what you want to be. Respect yourself and respect the integrity of others as well. The greatest thing you have is your self-image, a positive opinion of yourself. You must never let anyone take it from you.’ 

Now, let’s see if we can break that down. As per the first part, theoretically, you have the right to decide what you want to be, but in reality, everyone believes they can tell you…and even force you to be something that you don’t want to be. And that includes our parents, the government, the church, our friends and family, even total strangers. Now sometimes we listen to what others say, and sometimes we don’t. However, if we aren’t kosher with whatever we choose to do, we will not put the necessary energy and passion into it to make it successful. 

That, I believe, is the main thing; doing something that will light up your energy and passion! And in doing what you are passionate about, it’s essential that you keep your self-respect and integrity, as well as not be disrespectful of others around you. For without that positive sense of self, you won’t get anywhere far or worthwhile in God’s eyes, though possibly in the eyes of the world. But who’s opinion is more important to you eh? That’s the crux of the whole matter! 

According to who’s opinion you value the most, that’s the way you will live your life. Let’s hope and pray that we will all value the opinion of our heavenly father so much more than that of the world, for therein lies true wisdom. Much LOVE!

…living right…it’s so much easier and more productive…than living wrong… 

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