Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 June 2020 1 Samuel 16:7b.

1 Samuel 16:7b.     ​for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
 

Monday, oh Monday…thou day of woe! Poor Monday, it’s been hated, resented and cursed down through the ages for something it has no control over; being the first day of our work week. But yuh know what, any other day, a day by any other name, which hailed the beginning of five days of back breaking labour (smile) would have been met with the same amount of disparagement and scorn that’s been heaped on Monday. Yeh friends, anything that disturbs our peaceful repose is disliked by our soft, lazy, think we’re entitled and inequitable society. 

No doubt many of us are glad that we don’t have to go to work in these dangerous and treacherous times, but then too, we won’t enjoy the fruits of our labour if we don’t labour. Remember Cousin Sol’s words of infinite wisdom: ‘Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely (fitting) for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun (in which he toils) all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion… this is the gift of God.’ (Eccl. 5:18; 19b) 

So to keep the motor of the 24-7 society continually running, as it needs must do in these modern times, somebody or bodies must go out and stoke it. We haven’t built a self-stoking engine yet. (smile) Even those fueled by batteries or electricity, have to be occasionally recharged. And sadly, a lot of us who are being hailed as front-line heroes, are not seeing comparative rewards in our paycheques, but instead are losing valuable family time, as well as on the job benefits. Some of our leaders are being two-faced. But what to do eh, it’s the nature of the political beast? 

I’ll tell you what we can do: we can pray for them; pray to our great and mighty God for them, as well as ourselves. It’s what the Lord is waiting for us to do, for He can’t answer our prayers if we don’t pray them. So as one strong voice, with sincere hearts, let’s call out to Him right now nuh, invoking our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, asking for His mercy and grace in the worldwide problems that we’re now facing. 

‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive, and hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. And our anxieties have been recently deepened because some restrictions have been lifted in the lockdown, so more of us are going out to work now without any guarantees of safety. 

Then to complicate matters Father, suddenly, and unexpectedly, just like the virus, worldwide strife and protests have also struck us in this sad time of pandemic, and we don’t have a clue how to handle either situation properly. Mass confusion is currently prevailing in our world, and we desperately need your help to solve both problems, as You are the ONLY One with the power and insight to successfully handle them. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction. 

Please show us how to successfully handle these scourges that are currently plaguing Your beautiful earth. Please help our leaders to wisely quell the strife and protests, and the scientists to find a positive solution, a sure antidote to the virus as quickly as possible. And for those who have already contracted the virus, or been injured in the strife, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. 

Father, please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again we say: Amen!’ 

Oh my people, if enough of us, that means plenty of us, sincerely pray along those lines, as well as repent of our evil ways and do better, our heavenly Father will indeed keep His promise. He did it several times for Israel, so why won’t He do it for us too eh? But remember, the Lord doesn’t only listen to what comes out of our mouths, for like the Pharisees and other leaders of Jesus’ day, what we speak, often doesn’t truly reflect what’s in our hearts. 

That’s why the Lord said to Samuel when He sent him to anoint one of Jesse’s sons as the new king of Israel and the good-looking son Eliab stood before Him and Samuel figured he had to be the one. ‘Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused (rejected ) him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.’ (1 Sam. 16:7) 

Yes friends, until the Lord searches our hearts and sees true repentance and true willingness to change our evil ways, our societies will be forever troubled and in turmoil. Now the Lord saw our need and sacrificed His only Son Jesus Christ to help us, that whomsoever believed in Him would have everlasting life. So He’s done His part. The ball is now in our court. We need to accept Christ and receive His peace, joy and LOVE, and show the world that HE IS THE ANSWER…THE ONLY ANSWER…  Much LOVE!

…if the created is wise…he will turn to the Creator for help…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 July 2017 Psalm 49:20.

Psalm 49:20.   Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.

Well a bright and blessed morn to all you my fine, upstanding, Scrip-Bit friends, families and neighbours! May Almighty God shine down on all our lives this sunny Friday in July and cause us to walk in His righteousness. 

And all God’s children declared a loud and proud: ‘Thanks and praise to our heavenly Father who meets all our earthly wants and needs from His abundant store of grace and mercy through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Yeh friends, we indeed have to be thankful for all that our most generous God has blessed us with, since for whatever reason, He hasn’t done so to lots of others. And this has been a short workweek for North Americans, so they will either go to the cottage to rest, or to rack up the summer partying season that’s just begun. 

And the shout all over town will be something like: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! That means the weekend, the long awaited weekend is finally here and we can get into our cups with gay abandon! Wow! What a time we going to have this early summer weekend! Thank God for summer, for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

And we’re all truly grateful for the summer weather and weekends, but we just celebrate them differently. The believer has a more subdued outlook, as stated in our Friday Chant, to lessen the possibility of his getting into all sorts of wrongdoing.  

Please declare it with me. ‘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.’ 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.’ 

Yes my people, the Lord made us in His image and gave us authority over all the other living things on earth. (Gen.1:26) He also gave us the power to get wisdom and understanding. And when we don’t use that power wisely, and don’t appreciate the gifts of God, we become just like the lowest beast of the field. 

Hear how Cousin Sol puts it in his experiment in Ecclesiastes to ‘seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven.’ (Eccl.1:13) 

Now remember that Cousin Sol was rich and had the time and wherewithal to conduct such an experiment. He says: ‘And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly: for what can the man do after the king? even that which hath been already done. Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as the light excelleth darkness. 

The wise man’s eyes are in his head: but the fool walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event (death) happeneth to them all. Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity (futility). 

For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool for ever; seeing that which now is in the days to come shall all be forgotten. And how dieth the wise man? as the fool.’ (Eccl.2:12-16) 

Oh friends, as the scholars tell us: ‘2:12-16. Wisdom is better than folly (vs.12-14), but both are useless when one comes to death.’ 

However friends, I would like to add an addendum to that statement. (smile) In these end times, the wisdom of following Jesus Christ, of having Him as your Lord and Saviour when one comes to death, is clearly superior to the folly of not having a wonderful, life-saving relationship with Him. 

For therein lies the path your spirit will take after death; either eternal life with Christ in heaven, or everlasting separation from Almighty God with Lucifer in Hades. And I wouldn’t wish the latter on my worst enemy. 

Then Cousin Sol continues: ‘Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity (futility) and vexation of spirit (a grasping for the wind). Yea, I hated all my labour which I had taken (toiled) under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me. 

And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool? yet shall he have rule over all my labour wherein I have laboured, and wherein I have showed myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity (futility) Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labour which I took (toiled) under the sun. (Eccl.2:17-20) 

And the scholars explain: ‘2:17-20. Part of the futility of trying to find fulfillment in material accomplishment is the fact that one must leave the fruit of his work to another who may well waste the accrued benefits. I hated life (v.17) is translated correctly and should not be misunderstood as “I hate life.” It is clearly the temporary conclusion about Solomon’s historical experiment.’ 

Ah friends, it’s a tricky situation: we need to work and store up something for rainy days, but we cannot let that be the end all and be all of our existence, because we won’t have the time to enjoy our own lives, and then might leave our vast wealth to some wastrel who doesn’t appreciate it.

So the sensible thing is to find a balance between work, enjoyment and storing up, and that can only be done properly with the help and guidance of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. End of story! Much LOVE!

…all work and no play…makes Jack a dull boy…but all play and no work…sends the fool to hell…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 July 2016 Ecclesiastes 6:1

Ecclesiastes 6:1.   There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is common among men.

Oh friends and fellow believers, today is a great day to be alive! And why is that you ask? Because today is not like any other day. It’s filled with wonderful promises and beautiful things to look forward to, like no work, since it’s Saturday… 

And I hear some of you ‘steupsing’ and grumbling in the background, for although there is no outside work to go to, there is a lot of stuff to be done around the house; stuff to clean up from the past week and more to get ready for next week. 

But that doesn’t mean we have to be sour and miserable. Just being alive is a great joy in itself, especially in our privileged circumstances. 

I wonder how we’d react if we didn’t have any money, a roof over our heads, food on our table, a job to go to and no decent clothes to wear? And believe me, there a great many people in our universe, and right in our own backyards too, who are undergoing such desperate and unfortunate circumstances. 

So please don’t bitch and complain because you have some cleaning and laundry and grocery shopping to do. Just stop for a moment and consider what your life would have been like if the good Lord in His mercy and LOVING-kindness had not smiled down on you with abundance and prosperity eh.   Selah. 

Now give Him some thanks and praise for your well-being and promise not to complain again – well at least not for today. (smile) 

And here are a couple of quotes from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us. They hit the nail on the head re the worldly lifestyle that’s so prevalent today.  The first quote is called ‘In The Mirror.’ And it tells us that: ‘Someone will always be prettier. Someone will always be smarter. Someone’s house will be bigger. Someone will drive a better car. Someone’s children will do better in school.’ 

And the sad part is that we know all of that, we know it’s gospel truth, but yet we still allow the flimsy, insubstantial and ungodly behaviour of the world to corrupt our hearts, souls, bodies and minds with its proud and lustful foolishness – the keeping up with Joneses nonsense!  

And hear the other hit the nail right on the head, rather appropriate quote from our friend Anselm. ‘Cherish…the virtues you possess. At the end of the day, there will always be trickery and dishonesty. But if you are standing on higher ground, and you believe in honesty and integrity, and all that is good, trying at all times to do your best and nothing less, you will surely reap the rewards of virtuous living.’ 

Oh my people that is Christianity 101! We ought to know that backwards and forwards! That’s why Jesus left His comfortable abode in heaven and came down here to earth and sacrificed His sinless life for us – so that we could be empowered to lead virtuous lives and reap its wonderful rewards – salvation and eternal life! 

But because of our inherent sinful nature, and the bright beckoning lights of the world, we continue to allow its worthless things and ways to hold too much sway over us. Please remember that all that glitters is not gold, especially in this fraudulent and deceptive world! 

That brings us to our Bit. ‘There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is common among men.’ More truth friends on the vanity of riches, this time from Cousin Sol, in his capacity as the Preacher! 

And he continues in the next verse. ‘A man to whom God hath given riches, wealth, and honour, so that he wanteth (lacks) nothing for his soul (himself) of all that he desireth, yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof, but a stranger eateth it: this is vanity (futility),  and it is an evil disease (affliction).’ (Eccl.6:2) 

Yes friends, you can be rich as Cousin Sol himself and not be able to enjoy those riches. As the scholars declare: ‘6:1-2. Prosperity is not necessarily good. Accumulation of wealth does not always result in the use of it.’ 

And just look at how many wealthy people have departed this life without being able to enjoy their wealth nuh, while others, even strangers, who hadn’t laboured for it joyfully partake of it. Not only that, but the sad and sorrowful litigation that takes place when a wealthy person dies is so shameful, that it just sullies the name and reputation of the deceased. 

And look no further than the recent death of Prince in his wealthy prime, who left no will, and now so many people are coming out of the woodwork claiming to be entitled to some of the spoil. In the long run, perfect strangers, the lawyers might just end up getting the most of it. 

It’s a good thing that I don’t have anything for anybody to fight over – at least not yet, but it is possible, since my best days are still ahead of me. (smile) And as I’ve always told my children, the day I see them living like cat and dog, I’m going to come back and haunt them. 

Now listen to the Preacher again. ‘There is a sore (severe) evil which I have seen under the sun, namely, riches kept for the owners to their hurt. But those riches perish by evil travail (misfortune): and he that begetteth a son, and there is nothing in his hand. 

As he came forth of his mother’s womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand. And this also is a sore (severe) evil, that in all points as he came, so shall he go: and what profit hath he that hath laboured for the wind? 

All his days also he eateth in darkness, and he hath much sorrow and wrath with his sickness. Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely (fitting) for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun (in which he toils) all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion (heritage).’ (Eccl.5:13-18) 

And the scholars tell us this re those verses. ‘5:13-17. Wealth is easily lost and is therefore an unsure foundation for life.’ ‘5:18-20. Enjoyment is a gift of God, and man should be motivated by the brevity of his own life to experience it.’ 

Ah friends, Cousin Sol was the richest man in the world, and if he could declare that riches wasn’t the end all and be all, then who are we to say him nay eh? So please, let’s not run down riches, but if it does come, let’s enjoy it, though with a modicum of circumspection, for that’s wisdom at its heavenly best! Much LOVE!

…the only sure bet in this world is…JESUS CHRIST…