Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 May 2020 Romans 7:15.

Romans 7:15.    For that which I do I allow (understand) not: for what I would  (want to do), that do I not: but what I hate, that do I.
 
And would you believe it, snow has been forecasted for this weekend in certain areas, where spring should just be blooming along nicely? Let’s hope none falls in my area. But that just goes to show the temperamental kind of climate we have nowadays; snow in almost the middle of May, on Mother’s Day weekend to boot! But we’re already locked down so a li’l snow won’t make much of a difference. (smile) And what else is new eh? Life nowadays is just completely zig zag, contrary, up in the air, and confusion reigns! 

But there’s no confusion with our friend Anselm though, he’s still sent us a full slate of quotes as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And like he was on a self-improvement kick this past week. Hn! And this first quote speaks directly to that situation. ‘Never neglect an opportunity for self-improvement.’ Now that’s a mighty truth and rather wise advice my people, especially in these oh so discombobulating times! Self -improvement ought to be an ongoing regime we all take very seriously, for if we don’t keep improving, we’ll die a slow and uninteresting death while we’re still alive. (smile) 

That brings us to this next quote: ‘Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings so that you shall come easily by what others have laboured hard for.’ Now that’s also wise advice, and we should always endeavour to learn from others, but the way it’s put, it doesn’t sound too ethical, like you’re stealing what others worked so hard for. But it’s like I always told my children, the best way to learn is from other people’s mistakes. That will prevent you from making the same ones they made. 

However, we all have our own bag of mistakes to make, and learning from others won’t stop you from making your own personal bundle, but it will certainly cut down on the overall total of mistakes in your life. If you learn from others, you might just make fifty instead of a hundred and fifty! (smile) Then there’s this: ‘Work on yourself more than you do on your job.’ Well that one I really don’t know about nuh. It seems somewhat unethical as well as unchristian. (smile) Jesus tells us we ought to work very diligently at our jobs, but this tells us we must work harder on ourselves than we do on our jobs. 

Now we certainly must work hard at improving ourselves, but it seems that if we work harder on ourselves than we do on our jobs, we’re short-changing our employer, because we’re not giving of our best on the job. So what am I to say eh? Too much seemingly ethical stuff to deal with this morning. (smile) So let’s just say that we must work hard at improving ourselves and also give our best on our jobs! Matter fix! 

And now we come to this oh so important quote: ‘Be the type of person you want to meet.’ Yes friends, that’s the awesome truth in spades! If you want to have friends, then you must show yourself to be friendly! You can’t be constantly miserable and grouchy and expect others to befriend you. Likewise, if you want to be around interesting and learned folks, you have to also show some of those qualities. 

It’s true that you ought to try and associate with those of higher intellect and aspirations than yours, so that you can learn from them, but you also have to bring something to the table, you can’t just come and expect to grab everything and not contribute anything. Although that’s the way of the world nowadays; we’re all just grabby-grabby and greedy, selfish as the day is long! The first person pronoun ‘Me, myself and I’ seem to be the most important  words in our vocabulary these day. 

Then we come to this last quote. The kick-tail one: ‘There is no challenge more challenging than the challenge to improve yourself.’ And anyone who has seriously tried to improve themselves will certainly know and readily agree with that. We all try to improve ourselves, but for one reason or another, most of the time we fall short. We lose our passion, get lazy, other more important things intrude, we get busy and run out of time, we make excuses when we find out how hard it is to truly improve, whatever. But self-improvement never comes easily or goes along without difficulties and interruptions. 

And I think a good scriptural example of that is Bruh Paul’s dilemma in his epistle to the Romans. ‘For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal (fleshly), sold under sin. For that which I do I allow (understand) not: for what I would  (want to do), that do I not: but what I hate, that do I.’ (Rom. 7:14-15) Don’t we all  occasionally find ourselves in that dilemma? Most certainly! Bruh Paul was trying to improve his spiritual life, but like us, he struggled with his two natures; the easy and extremely attractive law and lust of our flesh, and the much more difficult and less enticing path, that of walking in the Spirit of God. 

The scholars offer this explanation. ‘7:14. The law is spiritual: The law has the characteristics of the Spirit and is consistent with the character of God. I am carnal: What follows is autobiographical and designed to reveal the real struggle the apostle experienced in the flesh. His experience is also exemplary, for it shows the problems all believers experience in their battle with sin.’ 

Yes friends, Bruh Paul was a man like us with struggles like us. As he further argues: ‘If then I do that which I would not (don’t want to do), I consent (agree) unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would (want to do) I do not: but the evil which I would not  (don’t want to do), that I do.’ (Rom. 7:16-19) 

Oh my people, challenges will always come along when we try to improve ourselves, especially in the Christian faith. In fact, life itself is a challenge, and trying to live it successfully is possibly our biggest challenge. (smile) It lead Bruh Paul to frustratingly declare: ‘O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?’ (Rom. 7:24) 

And the scholars explain thus: ‘7:24. O wretched man: The reference here is to Paul’s tragic condition of defeat and frustration with sin. The body of this death is not the physical body, but the inherited sin nature received from Adam. It is that in him which is continually inclined toward thoughts and deeds that yield only (spiritual) death.’  

But in the end, he certainly knew where to find solace from his struggles: ‘I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.’ (Rom. 7:25) Yes my faithful brethren, in Christ, we find the answer to ALL of our struggles! Much LOVE!

…come unto me…all you who labour…and are heavy burdened…and I will give you rest…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 May 2019 Isaiah 1:18.

Isaiah 1:18.   ​Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; and though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
 
No rain! No rain! Glory be! But the skies on the eastern horizon do look a tad dark for this hour of the morning. (smile) And just to let you know that by lunchtime yesterday, rainy day Tuesday had turned into dry and sunny day Tuesday!

Oh the weather system is so tricky and unreliable these days. But thank God our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is the most reliable Being in God’s great universe, so we don’t have anything much to worry about, just our own unnecessary worries. (smile) 

And when I read this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin yesterday, it just spoke to me, saying ‘You’ve got to share me!’ So here it is. It’s titled ‘God’s Searchlight.’  Please pray with me: ‘O God If suddenly You were to reveal To my family, my friends, my neighbours Every real thought behind my courteous words If you were to point to my clenched fists While my other hand is openly extended 

If you were to bring to light Every masked motive, every selfish act I would cringe with remorse And beg You to remove Your light of revelation. Yet, Lord, when the searchlight of the Holy Spirit Begins to reveal me to myself I so often close my eyes and turn my back In a frantic but impossible effort To escape Your penetrating gaze. 

What a staggering contradiction, Lord what appalling hypocrisy. Apart from your grace I am utterly shattered. I ask you to sweep through me Purify me, cleanse me completely. From the depth of my penitent heart I thank You for Your continual assurance As I turn toward Your splintered cross. Because of Your LOVE I became Your child Because of Your GRACE I remain Your child.’ 

Oh friends, oh friends, that is all so true! We try to be tried and true believers, but that sinful aspect of our nature too often raises its ugly head and makes us behave very hypocritically! And don’t fool your fat, we’re all a bunch of ole hypocrites, just some to a higher or lower degree than others, because we all dislike things and people and otherwise for which we have no good grounds, and behave in ways that are very unchristian. 

However when the Holy Spirit convicts us, hopefully we turn to the cross of Jesus and cry out for the help we so badly need! And those last two lines say it all: By God’s unconditional and awesome LOVE, we became His children, and by His amazing GRACE, we remain His children! Yes friends, it’s all because of our wonderful God that we’re saved from a life of sin, shame and eternal damnation! 

And I like the scripture verse that Ruth uses for this poem ‘Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; and though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.’ 

Oh my people, which other supposed deity is willing to sit down and reason with His sinful disobedient subjects eh? Only the Lord God Jehovah, because He is sure and secure enough in His own omnipotence and omniscience to do so! But please note, that though He is willing to sit down and talk, He is still the one laying down the basic groundwork for our relationships. 

And that is: ‘If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.’ (Is.1:19-20) 

And for some reason or other we don’t tend to take the Lord’s promises as seriously as we should. The Israelites didn’t several times, and felt the wrath He promised. Now we’re doing likewise, and so many of us are falling by the sword and numerous old and new diseases, and we still aren’t paying attention to God’s Word! How unwise my people! 

Now listen to the scholars’ explanation of those verses. ‘1:18-20. The prophet’s appeal to come and reason together reveals God’s gracious invitation to ALL men. It literally means to be “reasonable” by repenting and turning to God. Their sin is described as scarlet and red like crimson, referring to their bloodguiltiness before God. 

The term ‘crimson’ also means “worm,” referring to the colourfast red dye of the scarlet worm. The eradication of this stain turns it snowy white and is symbolic of the life-changing grace of God, which delivers men from the guilt and condemnation of sin. Thus the prophet reminds his readers that God stands ready to cleanse and forgive all who will turn to Him.’ 

All praise and glory to our wonderful God! And it’s not the only time the Lord calls His people to talk with Him about their sins. Listen to Him again, later on in Isaiah: ‘I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. Put me in remembrance: let us plead (contend) together: declare thou (thy case), that thou mayest be justified.’ (Is.43:2-26) 

Oh friends, what more can we ask for eh? We have such a wonderful God, who is willing and able to cast aside and forget our sins if we repent and become obedient to His Word. And that’s why the Lord LOVED Bruh David; he wasn’t afraid to confess his sins, even the most abominable ones. 

Listen to him from Psalm 51, when Nathan drapes him up with his sin with Bathsheba. ‘Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities, Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me.’ (Ps.51:7-10) 

Yeh mih people, though Bruh David looked good on the outside, He was suffering mightily with the immense guilt on his heart, but when he repented, that guilt lifted because the Lord forgave him, though he paid a serious price for his sin later on in life, a sin which brought serious disrepute to God’s cause. The same thing goes for us today; we can ALL be forgiven through sincere repentance, but more likely than not, there will be consequences to pay for our sins. 

So fully knowing and acknowledging that, let’s go home declaring (yes!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the whole world know our wonderful and illustrious position in Christ. As one now: ‘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 yes my breddren, let’s keep on keeping on strong and steadfast, and that future will be indeed more than we can ask or ever imagine! Much LOVE! 

As Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) so rightly says…the best way to live this life is to…simply obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 February 2015 Mark 6:34‏‏

Mark 6:34  And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people (a great multitude), and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.

And then it was Thursday! Thankful Thursday! Wow! Is it really Thursday already? That means a week of my vacation on God’s Little Acre has come and gone by… so quickly too. And I haven’t really done anything yet! Chuh! But I’m not going to complain because that’s obviously the Lord’s plan, and I’m trying my best to trust and wait on His timing.

So Instead I’ll say a simple ‘Thank You Lord for giving me Your breath of life to see another wonderful day in this wonderful garden of nature called Tobago! Thank You for helping me to get better with each passing day. I LOVE You and praise and glorify Your Holy Name. Amen.’

Yeh Friends, the best we can do is send up sincere prayers of thanks and gratitude to our heavenly Father, for complaining and grousing doesn’t net us any benefits and blessings.

And talking about prayer, here is a beautiful quote from Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-1781) a German writer, philosopher, dramatist, publicist and art critic, and one of the most outstanding representatives of the Enlightenment era. He tells us that ‘A simple grateful thought raised to heaven is the most perfect prayer.’

And isn’t that the gospel truth my people! The Lord’s not interested in our long repetitive, involved prayers, but the simple, genuine and heartfelt words that we send up to Him. That’s when we touch His heart and cause blessings, mercies, etc. to flow down to us. So regardless of the complexity of our problems, let’s try to keep our prayers simple and genuine nuh, for then I believe we will see better results.

And per adventures…what happened yesterday? I went back down to Store Bay, planning on the way to leave the duchess at our friend with the bar, but she wasn’t there, so the duchess ended up going with me to the beach.  And I made sure to stop and get my roti before I went. The lady claimed she had sold out the day before, that’s why she had closed earlier than normal. I ate it later and it tasted wonderful, nice pepper and some mango stuff. (smile)

Well Store Bay was kicking up again, although one of the lifeguards told me that it had been worse in the morning. I wouldn’t have wanted to see it then, because it was bad enough when I got there. 

And does the Lord ever move in mysterious ways! As I got to the top of the steps to go down to the beach, a tall, dark fellow was standing up there and I mentioned the roughness of the sea to him and we got to talking, only to find out that he was someone from my past, whom I had recently asked about.

His family lived in one of the apartments below us up Darrell Spring, when I was going to High School. He was born on Christmas Day so we called him Santa Claus, and he in his early days of talking named me Rando. He was really too young to remember me, but heard about me when he was growing up.

Later on, on the beach, I met a fellow whom I had taught at Fatima High School in Trinidad, some forty odd years ago. Is it ever a small world!

This little bit of excitement happened while I was in the water, out some ways from the shore, before the waves broke. I saw a skinny, older white man come into the water, and soon thereafter a wave washed over him as it broke. I saw him struggling to stand up and thought he was okay. But the lifeguards’ urgent whistle, and three of them running towards him told me differently. They lifted him up out of the water and led him, rather unsteadily to the shore.

Later on, while complimenting one of the lifeguards on their excellent job, he told me that the fellow was drunk, and if it had been in the morning, when the water was really rough, the fellow would have drowned. People don’t believe me when I tell them that Store Bay is not only one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, but when it gets unruly, hn, it’s also one of the most dangerous! And I can testify to that from personal experience.

Nothing much happened after that. On the way home, we stopped at our friends’ bar on the main road, sat with them for a while, then came home and did the usual; eat, read, watch t.v. and went to bed. Oh, oh, I forgot! Later in the evening we went up Bethel and listened to Redemption Sound Steelband practice. That wasn’t for long though. By ten p.m. we were back home.

Another simple, uneventful, but welcome and thankful day in the life, very different from those Jesus had, as outlined in our Bit. ‘And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people (a great multitude), and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.’

Oh Friends, I can’t declare enough the urgent need for us believers to be more compassionate to our fellow man. I was listening to an evangelical minister on the t.v. last night, and he kept stressing that our biggest concern nowadays ought to be compassion; obviously citing Jesus as the best example.

Oh my people, there’s so much strife, anger, hatred, resentment, hunger, poverty and need in our prosperous world, that the only thing to lessen it is compassion. It’s unconscionable, and definitely unchristian to see our brothers and sisters suffering and not help in whatever way we can. And there’s always some way in which we can help, even if it is only through a genuine smile and a kind word.

But unfortunately we’re allowing the greed, the lust for power and other worldly things to take precedence in our lives, rather than the things of God. Listen to this scripture from way back when, at a time when the Israelites were rebelling against God.

‘And Moses spake unto the Lord, saying, Let the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation, Which may go out before them, and which may lead them out, and which may bring them in; that the congregation of the Lord be not as sheep which have no shepherd.’ (Num.27:15-17)

Ah Friends, our current time is exactly like that! We’re rebelling against the commandments of God, and we need good, sincere, godly, compassionate men and women to lead us out of the terrible sinful situation in which we have found ourselves. Without such godly leaders, we’ll just plummet further and further down into the dark and dangerous depths of Hades.

But my brethren, even with good leaders, each of us still has our little part to play in returning our world to a godly stance. So please, today let’s embrace whatever plan the Lord has shown us for our lives. And whatever it is, I’m sure it’s filled with lots of kindness and compassion, so please put them into action. It’s our bounden duty. Much LOVE!

…if our God hadn’t been kind and compassionate towards us…we would never have had Jesus die for us…and thus still be headed for eternal separation from Him… 

P.S. Sorry it’s so late, but earlier on I got tied up in all sorts of unexpected stuff. But better late than never. (smile) And as the song on the radio’s saying, remember to pray for me. Much LOVE!