Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 September 2020 Deuteronomy 33:27

Deuteronomy 33:27.     ​The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.

Welcome to Sunday friends, the day when we take serious time to worship our great God in fellowship with other believers. And yes, our churches are now open for business, though with strict regulations as to the cleaning and social distancing and number of people allowed to attend… and I think they have even reduced the number this weekend because of the rise in Covid-19 cases. But even with all those restrictions, it’s still better than no physical gathering at all. So let’s get to worship, to some singing of God’s praises without further ado nuh. 

And today’s hymn is an old favourite and very appropriate in today’s anxious and distressful circumstances. It’s titled: ‘Leaning On the Everlasting Arms of God.’ And believe me, there’s no better place in this universe to lean than on the arms of the mighty One that created us and despite our less than stellar behaviour, still LOVES us with a LOVE so strong and unconditional that NOTHING can break the special bond between us. Glory be mih people! 

But before we get into the singing, here’s some info on the origin of the song from the website Godtube. ‘Leaning on the Everlasting Arms is a hymn published in 1887 with music by Anthony J. Showalter and lyrics by Showalter and Elisha Hoffman. Showalter had received letters from two of his former pupils informing him their wives had died and were seeking consolation. When writing them back, he was inspired by the phrase in the Book of Deuteronomy 33:27 “The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.” 

But after thinking of the verse furthermore, he decided those words would make a great theme for a hymn. He then wrote the words for the refrain and music for the hymn “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.” But he needed help with the stanzas, so he went to see Elisha Hoffman author of over 2000 gospel hymns. Hoffman provided the stanzas while Showalter created the refrain and music to this hymn. One of the greatest hymns for times of solace as he encouraged “leaning on the everlasting arms” of God when seeking comfort.’ 

And is that ever the glorious truth! Now let’s sing the hymn and do what the website Hymnary.org tells us to do. ‘As the hymn is sung, contemplate what it means to find refuge in our heavenly Father’s arms in times of fear and trial, and to allow His joy and peace to replace our loneliness and anxiety.’ Mama oh Mama! Let’s get to it nuh friends; in strong, soulful harmony, with sincerity just oozing out of our hearts and souls! 

‘What a fellowship, what a joy divine, leaning on the everlasting arms; what a blessedness, what a peace is mine, leaning on the everlasting arms. (Refrain: Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms; leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms.) O how sweet to walk in this pilgrim’s way, leaning on the everlasting arms; O how bright the path grows from day to day, leaning on the everlasting arms. 

[Refrain]What have I to dread, what have I to fear, leaning on the everlasting arms? I have blessed peace with my Lord so near, leaning on the everlasting arms. Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms; leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms, Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms; leaning on the everlasting arms of Jesus…leaning on the everlasting arms of Christ my Saviour…’ 

Yes my fellow saints in Christ, that’s exactly where ALL believers ought to be leaning full on in these perilous times: on the everlasting arms of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour! If we’re not leaning there, then He’s not truly our Saviour or our Lord, because that’s what Saviours and Lords are for! 

Just check out the lyrics in the hymn nuh; the sweetness and appropriateness. Words like ‘what a fellowship, what a joy divine.’ Remember our joy comes from His strength. (Neh. 8:10) And ‘how bright the path grows from day to day…so what have I to fear, what have I to dread,’ when I’m leaning on Christ’s everlasting arms eh? Absolutely nothing! With Him so near, we ‘have blessed peace, safe and secure from all alarms.’ Wow precious people, what else do we need but Jesus eh? Again, the answer is a loud and proud‘NOTHING!’For He is ourEVERYTHING, wrapped up all in One! 

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to the psalmist spell it out. ‘He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver me from the snare of the fowler (bird trapper), and from the noisome (perilous, deadly) pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust (take refuge): his truth shall be thy shield and buckler (small shield).’ (Ps. 91:1-4) And it goes on promising security my people, for the Lord is the greatest power in the universe He created. 

And yes, Satan does get in a few licks in this evil world, but we all know that eventually the Lord’s purpose will prevail, per His promises. Jesus said, that when we stand up for Him, we’ll have problems, even be put to death ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my sake. But there shall not a hair of your head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls.’ (Luke 21:17-19) 

And that rolls us into these two immortal promises: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom. 8:28) Then Bruh Paul further elucidates: (smile) ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? …(NOTHING!) shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom. 8:35)

And it means exactly what it says my fellow believers; if you sincerely stand up for God, through Jesus Christ, then He will eventually make everything right for you. Working for Christ isn’t easy, but the eventual rewards are literally out of this world. (smile) So let’s go out and earn some out of this world rewards nuh. Much LOVE! 

…true wisdom is working for God…depending on Him…and LOVING Him with all you have…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 July 2020 1 John 2:15.

1 John 2:15.     LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in Him. 
 

And the glorious summer days of 2020 keep rolling along like the tumbling tumbleweed! We could certainly use a li’l rain though to cool the parched ground… and even more, some respite from the ever-present pandemic and the strife and protests that are stirring up our world into a maelstrom of bitterness, hate, resentment and violence. Ah Lord eh people, when the history of this summer – well not only of the summer, but the entire year of 2020 is written, it will consist of nothing but disturbing events – and we still have the important U.S. presidential election to come later this year. 

Bubba! Can you imagine how that will resonate around the world, regardless of how it ends up! Ah Lord eh…! Will mankind ever learn? Or do we have to wait until Jesus comes back? It certainly seems like the last proposition is the correct one! (smile) And that brings us to this most appropriate poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s titled ‘Divided Heart.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘Lord I am so often tormented By my lack of direction – So often disturbed By my divided heart. I am like a little child Who wants to rock her doll And jump rope at the same time. I want to obey You in part If I can choose the area of obedience. I want to be real except at those moments When compromise is more appealing. 

I want to be half-motivated And half-satisfied with things as they are. I want to walk a straight path If now and then I can enjoy A few side trips into the far country. I don’t want to be a miserable sinner But neither do I feel excited About being a stoic saint. I want to be partly Yours And partly my own. But in the secret chamber Of my divided heart I am so often disquieted By the pointed question “Why do you so foolishly Mix weeds with seed?” 

And yuh know what my friends, we all do just that! We want to sit on the fence and do a li’l to please God and a li’l to please ourselves. But the problem with that situation is that God doesn’t want our leftovers, or what we so generously choose to give Him. He wants ALL of us or NOTHING at all! Remember Jesus’ words as part of our discipleship: ‘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?’ (Matt. 16:26) Those are very good questions that we should all consider my people! 

And Remember Jesus’ earlier advice: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) Yeh friends, if we seek God and His righteousness first, He will give us all the worldly things we need to make it comfortably in this world. Believe me, there are quite a lot of well off, even filthy rich Christians in this world, so it’s not like God isn’t generous when we try our best to walk the straight and narrow path and not sit churlishly on the fence. 

And remember also when Jesus prayed for the disciples… ‘I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them… They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them (set them apart) through thy truth: thy word is truth.’ (John 17: 9-10; 16-17) Yes friends, Jesus was very plain and straightforward about it. He knew we had to live in the world to do His will, but He did not want us to be a part of it. Instead, He desired of the Father that we be set apart for godly purposes! 

But because of our naturally sinful nature, we are so enamoured of the world and all its sinful things, so easily fooled by their pretty but false, empty and deceitful facades. Oh, I know it’s not easy to bypass all those outwardly beautiful things that the world favours, but as true followers of Jesus we must do our best to stay on the straight and narrow road. That’s why John in his first epistle seriously warns us. 

‘LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in Him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.’ (1 John 2: 15-17) 

Oh my people, it couldn’t be put any clearer than that nuh! The world and all its supposedly beautiful things are run by the enemy and he wants nothing better than to get us saints of Christ, so bemused and in LOVE with his stuff that we forsake the things of God and thus besmirch or tarnish our godly reputation and testimony. But my people we need to be strong and ignore all the empty and false advances of the enemy. 

And to help us, hear this explanation of the scholars re Temptation. ‘2:16. Though all people are tempted differently according to their individual weaknesses, temptations follow patterns. They appeal to three fundamental areas of life: (1) the lust of the flesh (physical desires); (2) the lust of the eyes (personal desires); and (3) the pride of life (self-interests). 

Illustration: when Satan caused the fall of the race, he appealed to each of these areas of weakness (Gen. 3:6). He also appealed to them when he tempted Christ (Matt. 4:1-11), who defied Satan’s temptations by relying on the authority of the Scriptures. Application: The Christian today should also depend on the Scriptures to defeat temptation. (First Ref. Gen. 3:1-6; Primary Ref. 1 John 2:15-17; cf. Rom. 5:12.)’ 

And we all have been thus tempted, and it’s not always easy to refute or refuse them, but let’s hear our Lord and Saviour one more time. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Wow! What assurance my brethren! That means we can go home today in such good spirits declaring (steups!) our Tuesday Mantra. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

So what we waiting for eh? Let’s go and do just that nuh! Much LOVE!

…for where your treasure is…there will be your heart also… (Matt. 6:21) 

P.S. Don’t pay attention to the lateness, just check out the great substance! (smile) Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 June 2020 John 14:27.

John 14:27.     ​Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
 

Top O the morn my people! A cool and crazy wind is blowing through my area this morning, making it feel more spring-like than the summer time it’s supposed to be. But that’s the current reality of the weather in these dangerous and contrary times! More importantly though my friends, today I’ve been asked to inform us, to remind us of three of the most salient facts in this our earthly lives. 

And these cardinal truths are: ‘There is only ONE Power and ONE Presence here – God the Good Omnipotent! And the next essential truth decrees: ‘The Bible is God’s Word to us! Furthermore, it is still fresh, exciting and relevant. It has been thus down through all the ages and will continue to perform it’s God given function till the end of time. No ifs and buts about that! And if we read, study and meditate on it, we WILL find God’s wisdom on its pages. And the third maxim, or fundamental principle is this: ONE Truth from the Bible is worth more than all the wisdom of man!’ 

Glory be mih bredrin! Now I don’t want to preach, (smile) but I’m sure that if we sincerely embraced those three truths our earthly lives would be oh so much better than they currently are. And I am willing to bet that a lot of our ‘sufferation’ stems directly from our lack of adherence to those three great, fundamental and foundational truths. 

And as I look at a page of that same Bible, God’s mighty Word to us, that’s open in front of me, my eyes confront this amazing and oh so true statement from the wisest man who ever lived; Cousin Sol. And it says: ‘The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion (legacy) of fools.’ (Prov. 3:35) Oh friends, never were truer words spoken! 

And just for argument sake, (smile) let’s consider who made Cousin Sol, not only the wisest but the richest man ever; the ONE and ONLY, TRUE, LIVING GOD of his ancestors, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! What does that tell us eh? That the God we worship, the God who gave us the Bible, is indeed a powerful, magnanimous and magnificent Being! There is none other like Him in all the world, in all creation! And until we, finite fools that He created in His own image and gave breath and life to through the inbreathing of His Spirit, take those facts seriously and bow down and worship and obey Him the way He deserves, our lives will be filled with unnecessary pain and hardship. 

That’s not to say if we humble ourselves and live the way He desires, that there will be no pain and troubles, because in this world of evil and sin, those things come automatically, as Jesus said: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) And that, basically, is why it’s so sensible, so wise to sincerely believe in Jesus. Despite all the troubles and torment of this world, through Him we are able to stay peaceful and joyful and deal positively with whatever situations come against us. 

But because so many of us think that believing in Jesus will curtail our sinful behaviour and opportunities – and it will to a certain extent – we shy away from embracing Him as our Lord and Saviour. But friends, as, I believe it’s Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) I heard say: ‘The worst day with Jesus is better than the best one without Him!’ And that’s gospel truth my brethren! Supposedly good days without Jesus just don’t compare favourably with any kind of day in His fold. 

And why is that you ask? It’s simple. As Bruh Paul explained to the church at Ephesus: ‘For he (He Himself) is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition (division) between us. Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make (create) in himself of twain (the two) one new man, so making peace.’ (Eph. 2:14-15) 

And the scholars offer this insightful explanation: ‘2:14-15. Who hath made both one: Jesus has formed the two antagonistic groups of Jew and Gentile into a single new party, the Christian Church. He did this by removing the middle wall of partition, that is the Mosaic Law. The law was meant to protect Jews from pagan corruptions, but by misconstruing the purpose of the law, the Jews felt superior to Gentiles, who were incensed at this arrogance. So Jesus abolished this enmity (hatred), caused by an abuse of the law, by making the law invalid for His church. Of twain one new man: As above, Christian Jews and Christian Gentiles now compose this “one new man” or Christian church.’ 

Ah friends and fellow believers, we can never repay the debt, the sacrifice that Jesus made on our behalf. And He doesn’t want or expect us to. He made the sacrifices so we can sincerely follow Him, if like so many of us claim, we want to live in peace and have eternal life. For He is our peace; NO ONE and NOTHING ELSE serves that wonderful purpose! Listen to him nuh, as He reassures us: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) 

Oh friends, how can those sincere sentiments not grip your heart eh? His peace is not peace like the world offers, but an eternal, everlasting peace which the world doesn’t know, and will never know until and unless they accept Him as Lord and Saviour! That’s why He is called ‘THE PRINCE OF PEACE!’ And having established all those truths this morning, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail, telling the world of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus! 

As one strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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!’ 

Oh my fellow saints in Christ, in these turbulent and troubled times, we need more than ever to manifest, to show the world true Christian behaviour, because that’s the ONLY thing that will truly bring our world together! Much LOVE!

…right now… Christians need to stand up and be counted… be the true salt of the earth…and light of the world…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 May 2020 Luke 9:62.

Luke 9:62.    ​No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of heaven.

Well there’s a fierce battle going on outside between the bright morning sun and a huge dark cloud for supremacy over the day! Who’s going to win eh? Well that’s anyone’s guess! But whoever does, and our day continues with either rain or shine, it will undoubtedly be with our great God Jehovah still at its helm, still ruling the roost! And all God’s children said a loud, proud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord!’ And we also have to be thankful that our friend Anselm has apparently risen from the dead, because he’s sent us a full slate of quotes this week, though some rather short and pithy (brief, concise) ones. (smile) 

So let’s look at them together nuh. Here’s the first one: ‘Dream it. Wish it. Do it.’ Yeah friends, in general, that’s how we ought to operate. You dream the dream…then wish upon it, hoping and believing that God and man will support you…then you go out and put that dream plan into action with the help of God and man! Oh, it does seem so simple and easy eh. But in reality, it very seldom is because according to this next quote: ‘Success doesn’t just find you. You have to go out and get it.’ 

And that’s for certain sure! Success doesn’t usually come a looking for you, you have to get up off your fanny and go looking for it, seeking it wherever it may be hidden. And all of this assumes that you are doing it with the help of the Good Lord, for if you aren’t, success is even more difficult to locate and make your own. That’s why Cousin Sol wisely advised us to: ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths (make them straight).’ (Prov. 3:5-6) 

Now, considering all the problems, trials and tribulations we will face in this world – even Jesus acknowledged that in John 16:33 – those are incredibly wise and wonderful words of advice. And it leads us to the following quote: ‘Great things never come from comfort zones.’ Now that’s another certain sure thing! (smile) We never move on, move up, or achieve anything worthwhile in life without getting out of our comfort zones. It’s basic logic. How can anything be great if you don’t make an extra effort, extend yourself, put some elbow grease into it eh? 

If you just snap your fingers and it happens, then it doesn’t usually fall into the category of great. Many of us can sit on our fat fannies and make things happen, but the real great and worthwhile ones always require that we get motivated and get up off our rear ends, and go that extra mile that Jesus advised us to go. And you know what? It’s strange but true, as this next quote correlates: ‘The harder you work for something, the greater you’ll feel when you achieve it.’ Mamacita! Now isn’t that the gospel truth! It surely is! 

The more elbow grease, the more blood, sweat and tears we put into a project, the greater the enjoyment we experience when it comes to successful fruition! And that’s why we work so hard to make projects successful! As we were saying above; li’l elbow grease means li’l satisfaction. As Jesus says: ‘and with what measure ye mete (use), it shall be measured to you again.’ (Matt. 7:2b). Granted, He was referring there specifically to justice, but my people, that principle works in almost every arena of life. Our rewards are usually measured by the effort we put into our plans. 

And then we come to this last and most important quote for this week: ‘Sometimes later becomes never.’ And isn’t that the living truth! Most of us can testify to that in spades. We say we’ll do something later, but that later so often turns out to be never. That’s where laziness and procrastination and negative emotions come into play. The duchess reminds me of it almost every day. I keep saying I’m going to do this or that, but always keep putting it off. Meanwhile, if she has something to do, even if she isn’t feeling well, she wants to get up and do it. 

And as I look around me right now in the office, I can think of numerous things I want to and have to do down here. And though they are too many for me to do all at once, if I would only get up off my fat fanny – well it’s not really fat – (smile) and do more than I’m currently doing, I would feel much better, get more satisfaction from my efforts. But I keep saying, tomorrow, tomorrow… but tomorrow never seems to come…and I remain displeased with myself. So please learn from my procrastination. 

And that’s why Jesus said to the man who wanted to follow him, but first wanted to go and say goodbye to his family: ‘No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of heaven.’ Oh my people, when we begin a project, dream a dream, come to Jesus, or simply desire to succeed in some walk of life, we cannot afford to procrastinate, to tarry too long…or look back. Once we make a commitment to something or someone, we need to stick to it and do our best, keep looking and moving forward, with Jesus’ help of course. And yes, I’ve gotten the message: ‘Doctor, heal thyself!’ (smile) Much LOVE!

…no matter the roadblocks…be of good cheer…Jesus is always with you… 

P.S. What a way the Bit short today! (smile) Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 March 2020 Hebrews 5:8.

Hebrews 5:8.    ​Though he were a Son, yet  learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.
 
Awright mih bredrin, it’s Saturday, so let’s get busy! And I hear a hoarse groan and sad chuckle, as they ask: ‘Busy doing what eh? The same boring things we’ve been doing for the last how long?’ And I have to answer: ‘I guess so. What else yuh going to do eh? Go out the street and walk around, go to work, go to the park or the supermarket? Yes and no to all of them!’ (smile) Ah friends, it’s indeed a sad time, but also a rather important time of learning; of learning to get along with ourselves, our families and the world around us. 

This time of isolation isn’t just for helping us to stay healthy, but also for learning the Lord’s most important attribute; that of LOVE! For it’s LOVE that truly keeps us going: LOVE for ourselves, our friends and families, the world, and most importantly for God! And I believe our LOVE tank was very near empty, especially in our reverence for God, that’s why we’ve found ourselves in this untenable situation. Anyway, it’s Saturday, so let’s proceed to consider the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And the first one is certainly interesting: ‘If God gives you something you can do, why in God’s name wouldn’t you do it?’ Now that’s a very good question. And I’m being the devil’s advocate here, understanding the operative words to be ‘can do.’ (smile) If you are a believer and God gives you something you can do, why not do it eh? And I guess most of us have no real, sincere, justified answer. We might have a lot of excuses, but no good reason to not do His will. It’s not like He’s given you something that seems impossible. And even then, please remember that our wise and wonderful God, NEVER gives us anything to do without the wherewithal to do it. Matter fix! 

And this next quote is tied into the first: ‘You can’t fulfill your calling in your comfort zone!’ And that’s a fact! For our calling always requires us to get up off of our fat fannies and do something that takes some effort. You can’t just lie back and expect to do what is expected without some blood, sweat and tears. Please remember these reassuring, but also galvanizing words from Jesus: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Now when you add those marvellous words of our Lord and Saviour to the facts above, that God never gives us something to do without giving us the tools to do them through the awesome power of His Holy Spirit, then we should have no hesitation in getting up and doing what we’re called to do, since we have the assurance and strength of our omnipotent Triune Deity! That leads us into this next quote: ‘If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.’ That’s gospel truth my people! 

And we not talking about Jesus’ comment that what you put in you won’t defile you, but what comes out of you. (Matt. 15:17-20) But we’re referring to the dreams and desires and plans that the Lord has put in your personal portfolio. Yes, the Lord has a special and separate plan for each life He creates, and unless we fulfill that plan, we’re doomed to an unfulfilled life that could eventually include spiritual destruction and hellfire. That’s why it’s oh so important to know, and to hold on tightly to these words spoken through the prophet Jeremiah: ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer. 29:11) 

Oh friends, if we don’t know that scripture and believe it with every fibre of our being, then we have nothing to really serve as a proper foundation and give us the hope and faith to carry on regardless of whatever happens. And in effect, our lives would have been worthless. But when we accept the Lord promises and all that he has to offer then our lives blossom and good fruit is produced for His kingdom. For as the next quote tells us: ‘I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me.’ 

And that’s more awesome gospel truth my believing brethren! We can only conquer this evil world when the fire in us burns brighter and hotter and longer than that of the world! And remember Jesus said that the world is full of tribulation but in Him we can find peace since he’s overcome hell death and the grave… And all His followers declared a loud and proud: ‘Thank You Jesus!’ And John reassures us of this fact when he reminds us: ‘Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them (the spirits of the antichrist): because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.’ (1 John 4:4) 

Mama Mia! That’s why the fire inside believers burns brighter than that that’s in the world: our Lord and Saviour, through his Holy Spirit dwells within us and He’s a million times stronger and hotter than Beelzebub who rules over the world! Thus we come to this last quote: ‘Grow through what you go through.’ And that’s the motto for the true believer. You can only grow when you go through something that flexes your muscles; physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally. Without a testing of our strength and endurance, there is NO GROWTH! 

So for those of us who want to grow in faith and do great things for Christ without going through some rough and struggling times, forget it. Even Jesus, though he was the Son of God went through serious ‘sufferation.’ As Hebrews so plainly puts it: ‘Though he were a Son, yet  learned he obedience by the things which he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.’ (Heb. 5:8-9) Yes my people, we can only learn obedience by going through things that challenge our sinful fleshly nature. 

And remember that Jesus though God, was also fully man, so His man side had to learn by going through tough times. And that’s why now, since He knows and has experienced the same things we experience, He is fit and capable to sit beside the Father’s throne and advocate on our behalf. Yes, living a life for Jesus is not easy, but following His obedient example and with His strength and power, we can become good and solid Christians and make this evil world a better place! Much LOVE!

…only a few of us will suffer like Jesus…but ALL of us will suffer some…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 March 2020 Matthew 28:18.

Matthew 28:18.    And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
 

It was a very good day, but an extremely rough night! Chuh! We accompanied the newly wedded couple into the country yesterday afternoon, the backwoods of Hanover Parish, up in the mountains…and we talking real mountain here. Hn! After driving up the rough, hill incline for a couple miles, we finally had to park and walk almost a quarter mile further up the hill to get to our cousins’ property right at the top. 

And it was only a rough, uneven, stony path, always climbing upward. When you got to a bend, you’d think ‘Well this is it.’ But there was always another stretch around that bend. But the duchess/first lady and the ole fella handled it quite nicely. Just took our time and did our thing. Along the way there were all sorts of flora on either side with some big palms trees gracing the hillside, as well as a few houses. 

At one time I told them that I was smelling mannish-water, the Jamaican soup made from goat entrails. What I was smelling though was what they used to make the mannish water; a live ram goat close by in the bushes. I had to laugh because it smelled so authentic. And when we were coming back down I also smelled it. (smile) 

And was the sight at the top ever so lovely; mountains and sea all around, as well as all kinds of fruit trees on the property itself; mango, soursop, sugar apple, caimete, cocoa, pimento, gungo peas etc. Yes, I know that technically speaking those last three aren’t fruits, but the name suits our purposes here. (smile) 

The amusing part is that while going up the rain kept drizzling, and when we got to the top a decent shower came down and we had to shelter in a li’l lean to, as the house on the property had been burned down some years ago. Coming back down was harder than going up, because of the slant of the hill and the uneven, stony ground, but we made it…Praise the Lord! 

And on the way back to Mo Bay, we stopped at the restaurant along the seacoast, Paiche’s, that we’d stopped at last week. And while they had their fish stuff, I had some curry shrimps with fry plantain, fry breadfruit and festival. All in all it was a very interesting day, didn’t get back home until around nine p.m. 

But brother…the night was a different story! Went to be around eleven, got up around two to go to the bathroom, and thereafter it was just horrors! My right hip just kept aching, couldn’t find a comfortable position no which way I tried, but I refused to get up out of the bed. Like a petulant child I just lay there and turned and tossed from side to side. I must have dozed off sometime, because I remember having at least one dream. (smile) 

Oh, somewhere in there I got up and took some Tylenol, but that did not help matters any. And around six thirty, I decided I couldn’t take it anymore and finally got up. Steups! I guess though, as Job said, we have to take the bad with the good, that earthly life won’t be a heavenly trip, though I don’t see why not, since we’d all like it to be. (smile) 

And though the Boss has a different take on the proceedings, He does encourage us with His awesome words and promises. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) Wow! What reassuring words my brethren! 

That means that though my hip is lending me beans, I can keep my peace through my faith in Him, since I know that He has already overcome hell, death and the grave and has all authority on earth and in heaven, meaning NOTHING can keep me from my destiny with Him! 

Please note Jesus words when He appeared to His people and gave them the Great Commission: ‘All power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.’ (Matt.28:18-19) You can’t make such a monumental statement without sure authority and power! 

And I like how the scholars put it: ‘The triumphant, living Lord sends forth His ambassadors to proclaim His gospel throughout all the world. The Great Commission is not just an order but a pronouncement of victory (mundus regium Christi) by the risen Saviour through His disciples. All power or authority (Gr. exousia) is now in the hands of Christ, in heaven and on the earth. On the basis of that authority and power the Christian disciple is to carry out the Great Commission of the church.’ 

Yes friends, we have been commanded to go and teach, and also given the power to do so! So what are waiting for eh? And just to show that the Good Book is not just a wishy-washy, hurriedly put together manuscript, but a purposeful and well thought out tome, listen to this foretelling of Jesus’ power and authority way back in Daniel, as he recounts his vision of the four beasts. 

‘I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people (peoples), nations and languages should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.’ (Dan.7:13-14) 

Yuh see friends, the Lord had a plan from long ago, which He implemented when the time was right, and there’s still more to be implemented. Listen as the scholars explain those verses. ‘7:13. The Son of man who came to the Ancient of days is the Son of God approaching God the Father. Evidently Jesus took the title ‘Son of Man,’ which was His favourite way of referring to Himself in the Gospels from this passage.’ 

‘7:14. The commencement of Christ’s everlasting dominion will take place at His second coming (cf. Matt. 24:30; 25:31; Rev. 11:15).’ So it’s all set in place my fellow believers! Our wise and wonderful God didn’t leave anything to chance, so there’s no need for us to fear. So with all of that in mind, let’s go home declaring (yeah!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting all and sundry know who and whose we are. 

In strong and sincere voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

Mama Mia! What a wonderful Saviour we have my people! Let’s go out and tell the world about Him nuh! Let’s not be selfish and keep Him all to ourselves! Much LOVE!

…are you using Jesus’ power to do His work…or just aimlessly wasting it…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 February 2020 Romans 8:28

Romans 8:28.    ​And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
 
Jamaica! Jamaica! Sweet, sweet Jamaica! Everything’s good in Jamaica! Yeahhhh! Well hello there mih lovelies! The ole fella is hailing out to you all on this bright, hot, sunny, tropical afternoon from the paradise island of sweet Jamaica! Yes! We’ve left the cold and the snow and the bleak dreary days behind! 

The Good Lord has seen it fit, in all His wisdom, goodness, LOVE, kindness, mercy, grace and forgiveness to give the duchess and the ole fella a trip to my third homeland of Jamaica, where I turned man some half century ago! Glory be! 

The foundation of the story though is that we’re here to celebrate the wedding of a cousin and close friend on the upcoming weekend…what better excuse to get away from the cold eh? (smile) So please note, that as usual, when the ole fella is vacationing with the duchess the Bit can arrive at any time – early morning or late night depending on how the duchess and the Lord apportion my time. (smile) But you will get it as long as there is breath in the ole bod! 

Well right now I’m here admiring the palm trees swaying in the cool sea breeze blowing outside my balcony door, with a beautiful view of the ocean reflecting three colours of blue as it gets deeper; from a light blue in the shallows to a deep blue in the depths. Oh, and another plane just flew by to land at Montego Bay Airport. They jut keep coming and going. 

But yesterday was a rather eventful day; getting up at minutes to three so I could write the bit before leaving. Then hustling to the airport in the early morning traffic and going through all the nonsense that travelling entails these days, and getting on the big bird, the Boeing 737 Dreamliner, they changed it from a stodgy Rouge plane, don’t know why. But who knows why airlines do what they do eh? The flight was good; left around 10 am, and got here around 1.30 pm. 

That was when the real fun began; having to negotiate Immigration and Customs with it seemed thousands of people arriving at same time. But eventually we got out front and proceeded to wait on a cousin to pick us up. Yuh should see the ole fella, taking off his long-sleeved shirt, leaving on just a T-shirt and outside in the sun catching some much needed rays! Wow! Was that ever cathartic! (smile) 

The cousin finally came and took us to a hotel not far from the airport. We should have known that there would be problems from the less than warm welcome at the reception desk. And knowing who I was dealing with, I insisted on seeing the room allocated to us before we moved anything. And just as well, because they took us to a building far away from the main section, with two sets of stairs to climb, no elevator, and then down to the very end of the corridor. And to make matters worse, the room view opened up on to a patch of overgrown bush and a construction site. 

Naturally that raised the duchess’ ire up, and she refused it. When we got back to the reception desk, they seemed less than energetic to try and find something more suitable. But in the meanwhile they advised us to go over the street to the food hut and eat some jerk pork and chicken, which we did. And don’t get me wrong, the property is nice, but as always, it’s the people who spoil stuff. 

When we got back to the desk they arrogantly informed us that they had nowhere else to put us, so the duchess kindly informed them that under those conditions we would not be staying. I guess those were the magic words, because they then told us to wait and they would see what they could do. A short time later they took us to this room in the main section, on the sixth floor, with an elevator, and a beautiful view of the ocean. 

Well that obviously appeased the duchess. And was I ever glad, because all I wanted to do was to go and get a soak in the salt before the beach closed at six. And ohhhh…was it ever wonderful to walk on warm sand and immerse the ole bod in some salt water; the most therapeutic remedy on God’s great earth! When I got back to the room, the duchess informed me that there was a surprise party with a 70’s theme, to go to for the bride at 7.30. 

So I got dressed and went downstairs to the outside dining area, sat there and listened to a trio of Mento singers regale us with some Jamaican folk songs and other more popular stuff in that idiom. Some forty minutes later, the duchess finally came down and went to the front desk to check on what was happening. A few minutes later she came back and told me that the party was actually a bridal shower for females only. 

Hn! Now I wasn’t too annoyed, because I was tired and there was lots of food and drink available and my bed close by. So I did just that: found me a seat with a couple of other guests, ate some island food, while listening to some good music from the live band and was sipping an exotic blue cocktail when the duchess showed up and dragged me off to the party, which turned out be an all genders party after all. 

That party was good too, up on a Mo Bay hill side in a palatial mansion, with a million dollar view of the other side of the harbour, light’s strung out like a necklace of shining diamonds. It reminded us of Cape Town Harbour in South Africa. And then there were people really dressed like 70’s folks and danced routines to songs from that era too. So all in all a good time was had by all. I never got back to the hotel until after eleven. 

And I guess you’re wondering what all of that has to do with the Bit and Scripture. Well let me give you a few verses. First off, Jesus’ memorable words: ‘I am come that they might have life abundantly.’ (John 10:10) We’re just having life abundantly as He promised. And then, though the Lord inflicts us with adversity, listen to these most reassuring words of Jesus. ‘In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) Just doing what out Leader says, being of good cheer despite all the problems in the world. 

And here is this one: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ Now how can we ever discount that eh, when despite all the harassment we went through yesterday, everything turned out well and all the people LOVE us now! Well that might be taking it a bit far, (smile) but more importantly is that they have been treating us well. 

And hear these immortal words of Bruh David: ‘I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.’ (Ps. 27:13) Yeh friends, what’s the purpose of all those other scriptures if we don’t expect to see God’s goodness down here eh? And the final scripture, and my favourite these days – more immortal words of Bruh David: ‘O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.’ (Ps.34:8) 

Wow mih breddren! Yuh know since I recently discovered the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir on YouTube singing Psalm 34 – Taste and See- it’s resonated with me very powerfully and I find myself singing it often. Going to check it out when I’m finished here. Now let’s go home, declaring (yeah!) our Thursday Blessings in strong voice and sincere hearts. 

‘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!’ 

We must now go out and share those blessings, for as James says, faith without works is dead. (James 2:17) So let’s show them our faith by our works nuh. Much LOVE!

…a slice of heaven is possible…right down here on earth…only trust and believe… 

P.S. Yes, it’s long, because the ole fella’s excited and just wants to share His blessedness with you, so that you can go through whatever you’re going through without losing your hope and faith, knowing that whatever the Lord’s done for me, He will do for you too, if you’re obedient to His will. Hope it’s not boring. (smile) Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 January 2020 Philippians 3:14.

Philippians 3:14.    ​I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
 
And on a rainy, somewhat gloomy looking Saturday morning, the urge to sleep in was irresistible, especially when the beddy-bye time was the wee hours of the morn. (smile) I was up late watching the epic movie ‘Gone with the Wind.’ And it has to be one of the best movies ever made, simply because of it’s scope, grandeur and length; 4 hours. It must have taken a long time to make since they didn’t have all the computer stuff and special effects back in 1939 when it was first released, that we have now. 

And it just shows the utter wastefulness of war; the civil war in the U.S, where the old South is fighting to keep a style of life that has outlived its usefulness, with slavery and the grand families, plantations and mansions of the time as its centre piece. However, by the time I got to the intermission, it was already 4 a.m. so I shut it down until another time. 

Anyway, it’s Saturday, so let’s see what mental goodies our friend Anselm sent us this week nuh, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And I’m in a quandary here, not knowing where to begin and end, as each of the quotes seem to have real truth, substance and body to them. (smile) Ah, the best place to begin is always the beginning! And the first quote tells us: ‘Keep a good attitude and do the right thing even when it’s hard. When you do that you are passing the test. And God promises you your marked moments are on their way.’

 Now that’s ever so true my faithful brethren! It’s exactly what our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ expects from ALL His followers! It’s not easy to do, but with His help we can do it. That’s why He told us to not to indulge in an eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth situation, to go the extra mile, to turn the other cheek, to give away our coat too, and to LOVE our enemies, bless them and pray for them.’ (Matt.5:38) That’s also why Bruh Paul told us not to recompense evil with evil, but to overcome evil with good.’ (Rom. 12:17, 21) 

And that runs right into the next dandy of a quote: ‘There is nothing better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance next time.’ Ah friends, none of us like adversity, but unfortunately that’s the only way we grow in our faith walk and learn from our mistakes. It’s only when we go through rough times that we actually have to use our faith to help us get through them. Otherwise our faith just sits dormant and thus cannot grow. 

Look at all the great people of faith, they all went through tough times, especially Jesus! Yuh think He really wanted to go though all the rejection and ‘sufferation’ He endured? Not really, but it was all a learning curve, so that He could be strong enough to endure the cross! And please remember His most reassuring and encouraging words: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) Precious people of Christ, those are words we should have written deep in our souls so that we can use them when adversity comes a calling, as it invariably will during our earthly sojourn. 

Then there are also these awesome words of wisdom: ‘Don’t be in a hurry to condemn because he doesn’t do what you do or think as you think or as fast. There was a time when you didn’t know what you know today.’ Yes friends, none of us began our lives as wise as we now are. That’s because true wisdom comes with age and experience. So we don’t need to knock the young as much or as hard as we sometimes do, for hopefully they too will get wise with age and experience. 

Remember Jesus words: ‘Judge (condemn) not, that ye be not judged (condemned). For with what judgement (condemnation) ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete (use), it shall be measured to you again’ (Matt.7:1-2) Oh my people, if our current, oh so quick to judge and judgemental world would only adopt that teaching eh! Unfortunately it doesn’t like that’s going to happen at any time soon, because we’re all so engrossed on judging each other; just look at the foolishness that’s going unhindered on the social media platforms nuh. Some of us with the biggest planks in our eyes are daring to judge those with mere specks in theirs!  (Matt.7:3-5) 

Now here’s the piece de resistance (smile): ‘Let go of yesterday. Let today be a new beginning and be the best that you can, and you’ll get to where God wants you to be.’ And we all know that as gospel truth because we serve a God of new beginnings, new chances and starting over as often as is necessary. That’s why Bruh Paul admitted to the church at Philippi: ‘Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended (reached where I want to be, the ultimate pinnacle): but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 3:13-14) 

Yes friends, Bruh Paul didn’t think he was a hot shot, although he could boast about many things, his religious credentials and past Christian achievements. As the scholars say: ‘In ever pursuing his goal to know Christ (v.10), he refuses to let past guilt pull him down, or to rest on past laurels. Either could spell spiritual disaster. Those things which are before refers to his goal of knowing Christ, with all that implies: experiencing His power and participating in His suffering, becoming more like Him in death (v.10), and experiencing the resurrected life (v.11).’ 

And so should we be evermore focused on what’s coming up and not what’s gone before. Hear the scholars: ‘3:14. The mark is the objective of verses 10 and 11 (i.e. knowing Christ). The prize is the joyful personal satisfaction of having attained it, as well as the divine commendation and reward to be granted in heaven for having reached this goal on earth. The high calling of God is the divine summons extended to the believer for salvation.’ 

Oh my people, my people, this Saturday morning I sincerely implore us to be wise and diligently seek that mark, that objective of knowing Christ and the power of His resurrection, so that we can all eventually receive the wonderful heavenly prize given to those who have received and accepted the divine summons of salvation! Now that’s surely a Bruh Paulian sentence! (smile) And we can then declare like Bruh Paul: ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith.’ (2 Tim.4:7)  Much LOVE!

…Christians should always be looking forward to the ultimate prize…that of being with Christ in heaven…for eternity…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 January 2020 1 Peter 3:11.

1 Peter 3:11.    ​Let him eschew (turn away from) evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue (pursue) it.
 
And as the day opens, a whole lot of people around the world emit sighs of relief because it’s that magical day called Friday, when their outside labour will end for a couple of days and they won’t have to face snarled, slow-moving traffic twice a day, and engage in mindless chit-chat with selfish, ignorant co-workers whom they thoroughly dislike! (smile) 

Ah friends, what an evil and deceitful world we live in! And the sad part is that it’s getting worse daily. All the negative stuff that’s currently happening in our world is just creating more tension, anxiety and strife between hitherto comfortable people. But all that us true believers in Christ can basically do is pray for world peace and then do our best to pursue it in our families, friends and neighbourhoods! 

And since it’s Friday, we ought to hear what the ordinary workingman has to say for himself. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! And am I ever grateful for the two days off! I forgot how hard work could really be. Yeh, now that the new year has truly gotten rolling, the work is pouring in and the slave driving task master we have is flashing the whip often because the more work we do means more money for him. And yes, we do get a little more too, but nothing like what he gets, and certainly not in proper proportion to the amount of work we do to create the extra money… 

But I guess them’s the breaks! It’s how the greedy massa and them build the society – the people who do all the back breaking work, get the smallest amount of the harvest. And to tell the truth, in all the different systems we have in the world, one thing stands out…the handful of people who run the show, always get the best part of the pie! Regardless of how much revolution yuh have, it always end up like that. And right now, I too old to fight it anymore, so I’ll just put mih gear in cruise, and just bide mih time till I retire, and until then keep saying, ‘Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

Now that’s the unfortunate reaction of a great number of people in our down-pressed world today, and sometimes you can’t give them wrong because they do seem to be fighting a losing battle. However, as true believers in Christ Jesus we don’t have to accept that defeatist philosophy, because in Christ there’s NO giving up. In fact, He has already won the victory and all we now have to do is walk it through in diligent faith and preordained works. That’s why our Friday Chant is so different from the workingman’s song. 

So let’s chant it now nuh, in strong voice and sincere hearts, so that we can be encouraged this Friday morning. ‘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!’ 

You see my faithful brethren, whatever it looks like, and however life turns out, we believers need to keep on keeping on, fixated on the promises and sacrificial work of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, always looking forward to His wonderful  coming in glory, sometime soon, any day now! In the meantime though, one thing we should all be seeking is that very real, but very elusive thing called peace, because it is a very important part of Christ’s kingdom. 

Now let’s look at some of the many scriptures in the Good Book that call for the making of peace. The first one is the prophecy of John the Baptist’s father, Zechariah re John’s work. ‘To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.’ (Luke 1:79) And if a big part of John’s work was to guide us in the way of peace, and John was the forerunner of Christ, then it means that peace was also a big part of Christ’s ministry. 

And He made that clear often enough. One of the Beatitudes, those 8 states of mind and heart  that Christ said was absolutely necessary for Christian discipleship in the Sermon on the Mount is: ‘Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.’ (Matt.5:9) Yes friends, blessed are those who seek peace and make peace and are at peace with God and man. And Peter makes it quite clear that if we want to have a good, long life: ‘Let him eschew (turn away from) evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue (pursue) it.’ Yuh see people, we have to make a definite decision and action; pursue peace. It doesn’t just come by desiring it, we have to make it happen! 

And I’m chuckling and a tad confused because I have so many scriptures on peace I don’t know which to share because of our time and space constraints. (smile) But since we can’t ever go wrong with Jesus, listen to Him again. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) Yuh see that, Jesus’ peace is an entirely different kind of peace to what we find in the world. His is the kind that surpasses man’s understanding! (Phil. 4:7) And if we’re smart, we’ll diligently seek for His kind and not the world’s. 

And Hebrews so wisely tells us: ‘Follow (pursue) peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.’ (Heb.12:14) Then James proudly proclaims: ‘And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.’ (James 3:18) Yeh friends, peace is one of the fruits of the Spirit, and you can’t get it unless you sow it. And what better way to end than with one of Jesus’ better known sayings on peace. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Oh friends with those encouraging words ringing in our hearts and minds, let’s go out today and in our own li’l way pursue peace nuh, because that’s the only way our world will ever improve! Much LOVE!

…as much as possible…follow peace with all men…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 January 2020 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 on this first Saturday in the new year, there is a veneer, a patina of snow on the ground. (smile) Oh, it’s not much, but we haven’t seen any for a few days now because the temperature has been around 4 or 5 since New Year’s Eve. But let’s not get too complacent, these are the northern climes in the winter season, and as such, are supposed to receive a fair amount of snow. So though climate change has somewhat disrupted the schedule, don’t worry, we will get our fair share eventually. (smile) 

And with that prognostication – what a way the ole fella using big words this morning! Just hope he’s using them right. (smile) So let’s stay prepared! Anyway, it’s Saturday, that means we need to look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he continues aspiring to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And he’s certainly waxed long and wise this past week. 

Hear this first one: ‘A fantasy noted down with a date turns into an objective. An objective partitioned into ascertained strides turns into an arrangement. An arrangement bolstered by activities makes your fantasies work out as expected. So this New Year, take your fantasies, travel the distance to their goal and make them a reality.’ Now how can I find any fault with that eh, since it calls for sincere belief, endurance and perseverance, three of the most important aspects of a believer’s life. 

My only comment is that I hope our biggest fantasy, well not really a fantasy, but rather a goal, is to walk closer with Jesus this new year of 2020! Now if we do that, then things will be awesome, the Lord will work out everything for good, as He’s so faithfully promised! Glory Be! And following on from that, is this gospel true quote. ‘There are greater things to be achieved in every new year, and each and everyone must prepare themselves to be great, not by words of the mouth, but by a lot of sacrifices.’ 

Now friends, that is an eternal truth we can never escape! All of us want to be great. But too many of us don’t realize that to be a notch or two above the ordinary also takes more sacrifices than it does to be just ordinary. Take a close look at the lives of any great person, and you’ll see the abnormal amount of sacrifices he or she made to reach the level we consider great. Rising up in this life was never, and will never be easy. Look at Jesus. Our Lord and Saviour, the Son of God; His achieved His greatness at considerable sacrifice, the ultimate in sacrifice, His sinless life. 

And as followers of His, we are also called to make sacrifices. Most likely not as much, or as painful as He did, but definitely some that will indeed hurt our flesh. So, if we want to truly follow Jesus this year my brethren, we have to be prepared to make some serious sacrifices, not merely talking a good talk, because walking in His footsteps calls for exactly that! And this next quote is long but wise and very doable, and one we should all try to implement, with Jesus’ help of course. 

Listen up: ‘We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives… not looking for flaws, but for potential. Things to think about for 2020: 1. Talk less; listen more; 2. Remind yourself you are not the General Manager of the Universe; 3. Sit on your ego; 4. Take one day at a time; 5. Separate worries from concerns. If a situation is a concern, find out what God would have you to do and let go of the anxiety. If you can’t do anything about a situation, forget it; 6. Pray. Happy New Year to all my friends and family.’ 

And it’s rather unfortunate, but quite true, that ALL of us can take those six steps to heart this new year and implement them in our lives! But please remember that the most important step is the last one: ‘PRAY!’ Yes friends, prayer is ever so important because it means serious communication with God; the source, the fountainhead of all that we are, of our very being; the holy, immortal and omnipotent One who fashioned us in His celestial image, and breathed His awesome breath of life into our dirt based bodies! 

So having said all of that, here’s the last quote: ‘Cheers to a new year and another chance for you to get it right.’ And what do we mean by that? Well two scriptures stand out in my mind right now. The first is Jesus’ assurance to his disciples, and consequently to us His modern-day followers. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

And so He has my fellow believers. He has defeated hell, death and the grave, and has the keys of both heaven and hell attached to his key ring, so we don’t have to worry about anything, just  receive His awesome peace that passes all the understanding our puny and finite minds can muster, and be cheerful because of all the wonderful things He’s done on our behalf. 

But nonetheless this next scripture is the one that will really cause us to enjoy all the blessings, and endure with strong faith, all the ‘sufferation’ that’s inherent in a believer’s life. Again, the wise advice of Jesus: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ 

Now my people, that’s our first step for this new year. Please, let’s take it, and take it very seriously, so that our greatly disturbed, badly directed, desperate world and all therein, can benefit from God’s goodness! Much LOVE!

…2020…must be the year…we sincerely talk the talk…and even more importantly…walk the walk…in Jesus’ name… Amen!

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