Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 January 2019 Luke 4:24.

Luke 4:24.   ​And he said unto them, Verily, I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.
 

And it continues, seemingly unabated…Yes friends, I’m talking about the iron grip that the soul, body, spirit and mind numbing cold spell currently has on most of North America! Brother! It’s something like minus 23 degrees Celsius in my area. In one part of Minnesota yesterday they said it was minus forty, not Celsius, but Fahrenheit. 

Can you imagine what walking around in that weather is like? Give you a li’l example; yesterday evening I took my fresh self and went across the street to get the mail from the communal mail boxes, and would you believe that by the time I got back from the say twenty yards walk, two minutes exposure, I was coughing and hacking like nobody’s business. And the message for all you people down in the southland, where it’s always nice and warm, is please stay there! 

I know that plenty of you want to come a foreign because you believe that it’s so wonderful, but it’s not really as wonderful as you believe and your friends and family don’t just go out and pick up money from the street or the trees so that they can afford to send you all the setta money and expensive foolishness that you all ask for. If you don’t have a work down there, you can at least plant something and stay alive. Up here, if you don’t have a job, nobody gives you much of anything. 

And believe me, you have it real good down there yes. For when it rains you can call and tell the boss it raining, so you not coming to work. Up here though, in all the ice and snow yuh can’t call and tell them it snowing or too icy for you to come in, else most likely that’s the last phone call you’ll make to that number. You get my drift? (smile) 

And I recently saw a video that hit the nail on the head. This Jamaican fella, dressed to the hilt in his snow clothes pleading to his people back home not to send and ask for anything before March, and not the beginning of March, but the end, because it so and so cold, and he has to go out and work in it, and it not easy… so please doh send and beg for anything before the end of March! 

And I think that’s a very good idea for us to adopt because it really hard and unfair to the people up here working their tail of in the cold to send back money and stuff for their people lazing and lounging in the sunshine waiting for the big barrel to roll in or the call to go to Western Union! Steups! I guess by now you know my take on the situation; it’s totally ridiculous! I’m blessed I don’t have any family or friends who behave that way. Thank you yes Lord! 

And now that I’ve finished my rant, what’s next eh? (smile) And I think we’re going to talk a li’l about criticism today. Now Cousin Bobby (Bobby Schuller – Hour of Power Programme) says that ‘Criticism is training: a temporary opportunity for a permanent gift.’ And so it is, if you are wise enough to accept the criticism for whatever it’s worth. 

You’ll never get anywhere, be successful at anything without coming under some form of criticism, whether it be good or bad, and you need to develop a sense of resilience to it, if you want to truly succeed. Like someone else said: ‘To avoid criticism: Say nothing, do nothing, be nothing…’ So there you have the two options available; be damned if you do, and also be damned if you don’t! So what’s it going to be eh? 

As believers in Christ we’re expected to do and be damned! In other words roll with the punches, but get the job done. I don’t believe any of us will ever be criticized as much as Jesus was, and yet He persevered. Even His own family rejected His claim of being the Messiah. Look at how they treated Him in His hometown of Nazareth nuh. 

This Sabbath day He got up to read the scriptures in the synagogue there and read Isaiah 49:8-9 where he wrote: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised (oppressed). To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.’ (Luke 4:18-19) Then He told them: ‘This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears (hearing).’ (Luke 4:21) 

And they were all filled with wonder at his wisdom, but then they reasoned: ‘Is not this Joseph’s son?’ (Luke 4:22b) And it all went downhill from there, especially when Jesus declared: ‘Verily, I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.’ And isn’t that the living truth! People of fame and success are much less appreciated in their own homes and hometowns than elsewhere in the world. 

And Jesus made it even worse by telling them about the three years and six months of famine in Israel in Elijah’s time, that though there were many widows in Israel at the time, he was sent to a widow in Sarepta (Zarephath) a city in Sidon, outside of Israel. He also told them about the many lepers in Israel at the time of Elisha, but only Naaman the Syrian was healed. (Luke 4:25-27) 

And the response to Jesus words? The Good Book says: And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath (rage), and rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. But he passing through the midst of them went his way.’ (Luke 4:28-30) Can you imagine it my brethren, Jesus’ own people in His hometown of Nazareth, so enraged by His words, trying to cast Him over the nearby cliffs! 

Now I don’t think that many of us who want to work for Jesus will face such craziness, but we will face serious criticism from all around, even our friends and families, but like Jesus, please don’t let it stop us. Just imagine our position now nuh, if Jesus had succumbed to the overwhelming criticism that He faced in His three years of ministry! Now we’d be like crapaud done smoke we pipe! So let’s be strong and hang in there and do His work, so that we can be ultimately blessed with our Thursday Blessings. 

In strong voice and plenty faith, let’s declare (right ho) them: ‘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 everyday! Amen!’ 

Now it’s time to go out and share those wonderful blessings with the less fortunate! Much LOVE!

…to successfully work for Jesus…one must have plenty belly and backbone…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 February 2018 Proverbs 30:11.

Proverbs 30:11.    There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother.

One more time friends, one more time, the trump of Jesus is calling us to come out and join the battle for the world in His name! This Monday morning is another precious and purposeful day in our earthly sojourn, where we put our blessings and gifts to work for Jesus. So let’s not grumble and complain because we have to get up and go out to labour nuh. 

Jesus didn’t grumble and complain when He went to the cross and laid down His sinless life for us. It was rough yes, and He pleaded with the Father to mitigate the situation, but to no avail, because that’s the ONLY way we useless sinners would ever be able to communicate with a most holy God. So though things might be rough with us, let’s remember Jesus’ sacrifices on our behalf, and do whatever we can to lift up His name on the earth, without feeling too put out or sorry for ourselves. 

And since we know that getting up on a Monday morning is difficult for many of us (smile) we have that wonderful, energizing prayer, our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to raise our spirits and get us going. Let’s sing it out as one voice now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. 

We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Yeh friends, that just gets the adrenaline flowing, which enables us to staunchly and confidently fight on for Jesus in this evil world. And today we have a rather interesting Bit from Proverbs, but not from Cousin Sol. These are the wise words of Agur, possibly one of the sages of Cousin Sol’s day. And he tells us that ‘There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother.’ 

How sad that is my people, because one of God’s Ten Commandments is: ‘Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.’ (Ex.20:12) And the Good Book goes on to say: ‘And he that curseth his father and mother, shall surely be put to death.’ (Ex.21:17) 

That means a lot of this current generation ought to be put to death, because I believe this generation perfectly fits the bill described in our Bit. Some of the things I’ve personally heard children telling their parents just drives me bonkers. Hn! In my time I’d never dream of being rude to my parents, much less cursing them real curse words; words of the expletive deleted variety. And the sad part is that they get away with it. But that’s we, the parents fault. For whatever reason, we allow them to talk to us how they want, with little or no respect. 

And Cousin Sol’s contribution to the subject is this: ‘Whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure (deep) darkness.’ (Prov.20:20) And so it should be! Now hear these words of Agur after our Bit. ‘There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness. There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! And their eyelids are lifted up (in arrogance). There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.’ (Prov.30:12-14) 

Now those are certainly serious and incriminating charges and unfortunately I believe they can all be laid at the feet of this current generation. They are indeed selfish, arrogant, greedy and ruthless. Other generations have been bad, but I don’t think they can touch this one for their blatant disregard for the niceties of society. 

But again, my contention is that we the parents reared them that way. In trying to make life easy for them, we did them a great disservice, because now they feel the world owes them a living, they are entitled, and they don’t appreciate all that they’ve been so sweetly and easily handed on a golden platter. And the human animal in general only seems to appreciate stuff when he/she personally has to work or suffer to acquire it.

However my faithful brethren, all is not lost. As we say, while there is life there is indeed hope, and that ALL things are possible with Jesus. That means we can still bring about some changes, if not in our children, certainly in our grandchildren. But we need to get serious and begin doing it NOW! So please, for Jesus’ sake, let’s get a move on with it nuh. Much LOVE!

…only through hard labour…or ‘sufferation’…do we truly appreciate our rewards…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 February 2015 Psalm 62:12

Psalm 62:12.  Also unto thee O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest (rewardeth) to every man according to his work.

 Well… ‘The party’s over my Friends. It’s time to call it a day…’ Chuh! And as the old saying goes, ‘an end to all fine things must be.’Yeh mih people, the ole fella’s stay on Paradise ends today. How heartbreaking! (smile) But them’s the breaks! It’s time to go back and face the real world now, and leave this fairy tale world behind.

‘But I LOVE this fairy tale world,’ I protest. The Lord answers, ‘Yes I know that, but I have other things for you to do right now.’ And as an obedient child of the Father, I quietly acknowledge, ‘Yes Lord, I know, and I will submit to your will and go back and face the cold with faith and trust in your everlasting wisdom and heavenly guidance.’ What else can I say eh my brethren? Nothing really.

Now here is this timely quote from my One More Day Devotional, Daily Meditations for People with Chronic Illness. It is attributed to Eva Rose York (1858 –after 1935) Canadian composer, organist, teacher and editor. One of the first female composers in Canada.

Eva Rose writes: ‘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.’

Very worthwhile words and sentiments my Friends and fellow believers in Jesus Christ! And that is exactly what we are all called to do; brighten someone’s day, and lighten their load if we can. If it’s only with a smile or a kind word.

And that quote segues very nicely right into our Bit from Psalm 62 – God only is my rock and my salvation, immortal words of praise and thanks from Bruh David to Almighty God. Let’s begin with the verse before our Bit, so that we can get a better idea of the context of the passage.

‘God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God. Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest (rewardeth) to every man according to his work.’

And that’s gospel truth my brethren! We are, and will be rewarded for whatever work we do down here on earth, be it good or bad. And though the Lord is indeed merciful, He will not allow us to get away with continual disobedience, punishment of some kind will be definitely in the offing.

Anyway, I don’t have much time to ramble on this morning, as I have to finish packing, so let’s get straight to some scriptures that uphold the truth of our Bit. (smile) And we’ll begin with the words of Jesus, as He foretells His passion to His disciples.

‘For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.’ (Matt.16:26-27) There you have it Friends, straight from Jesus’ mouth. So if He says so, who are we to doubt it eh?

Now listen to Bruh Paul as he admonishes the church at Rome, as he tells them that to judge others is to condemn oneself. ‘But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds;

To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious (self-seeking), and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile.’ (Rom.2:5-9)

Oh Friends, there it is again in black and white. We will reap what we sow, be greatly rewarded for our good deeds on God’s behalf, and suffer punishment for our unrighteousness. And here are some explanations on those verses from the scholars.

‘2:6. In this parenthetical discourse setting forth the controlling principle of God’s judgment, Paul explains how and why God will judge, and how He can judge both Jew and Gentile and be completely fair in the process. The controlling principle will be according to…deeds because deeds give incontrovertible proof of what is in the heart.’

‘2:7-10. For the regenerate the judgment will result in eternal life; for the unregenerate it will result in indignation and wrath. To the Jew first: Unbelieving Jews will have prominence in condemnation, believing Jews will have prominence in reward.’

And we’ll end with more words of Bruh Paul, this time from his first missive to the Corinthians, who were bickering about whom they should follow, Apollos or Bruh Paul and letting them know instead that Christians are co-labourers.

‘Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his labour. For we are labourers together with God (God’s fellow workers): ye are God’s husbandry (field), ye are God’s building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.’ (1 Cor.3:8-10)

Yes my people, we are all co-workers with God in His ministry of spreading the Word. We might plant and build, but let’s be very careful about why, what and where we plant and build, and above all remember that it is God who grants any increase that we might get. It is not simply of our doing. That is wisdom of the highest order.

So let’s go out today and plant and build in Jesus’ name with the excellence, truth and LOVING-kindness that He expects of His true followers. Much LOVE!

…to work for, and with Jesus…is man’s greatest privilege…and brings forth his greatest joy…