Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 November 2019 Proverbs 1:7.

Proverbs 1:7.    The fear (reverential awe) of the Lord is the (principal) beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
 

Well thank the Lord for eyes that opened again this Friday morning unto another new day in God’s great universe! Although I don’t think that many of us found the time to do it for real, since we were, and are still too occupied with the man-made commercial day called Black Friday! Ah Lord eh, another day to spend our money, or rather get into debt foolishly for things we don’t need, another snare of supposed sales to get you into the stores and spend what you don’t have. And it’s become so big over the last few years that even in Canada now it’s taken over, ostensibly to stop the northerners from going south to spend their hard earned cash and credit. 

And sadly, it just shows up man’s wild beast behaviour, as we rush and push and fight, and even kill to be the first into the stores, for the storekeepers are smart enough to only advertise a few items at a true sale price, so that mayhem can erupt at their doors. I don’t know how many Thanksgiving Day parties ended early so the participants could go and line up early for Black Friday Door Crashers! 

But let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say about all of that nuh: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday again oui! That means the weekend is here, and there’s no more work! And please doh tell me no nonsense about Black Friday eh! I work hard enough for my money, ah not going to go and throw it away now and buy stuff I don’t really need. And on top of that, to get out early and rush and push to get the few items on sale. 

No way Jose! Too much violence does go on in that Black Friday business nowadays yes! It just have we behaving like wild animals…even worse than wild animals, the way we fight each other to get in the stores and them. Steups! Let them do their do yes! I not going nowhere no stores today! I’m just going home after work, as usual, and just enjoy mih weekend, making my preparations for the real big and worthwhile celebration…Christmas! Would you believe Christmas just round the corner! Mamacita! Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui people!’ 

And who says the workingman isn’t wise in his own simple way eh? There’s nothing that says you need a lot of education to be wise. In fact, in these foolish and tremulous times, more education seems to equal less wisdom. But thankfully there’s a group that specializes in wisdom, (smile) true believers in Christ Jesus. Although I’m sure many supposed believers are involved in the Black Friday crush. (smile) Nonetheless, let’s chant our Friday Chant so that we can show the world that we’re somewhat different. 

As one strong and sincere voice now: ‘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!’ 

Yeh friends, that’s wisdom personified! If you are sincerely and diligently trying to do the will of Almighty God, then you are certainly numbered among the wise by those in heaven, though not necessarily by those on earth. But heaven is where it truly matters, since this earth will eventually pass away, but heaven, God’s Word and His Will, will not. That’s why Cousin Sol in his Book of Proverbs specified these awesome words of wisdom right at the very beginning: ‘The fear (reverential awe) of the Lord is the (principal) beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.’ 

Oh my people, that is indeed gospel truth! If you believe that the Lord made the universe and all therein it, then to know what the universe is all about, you must first know what’s Creator is all about. I think that’s simple logic. But hear how the scholars explain that verse. ‘1:7. The fear of the Lord means submission to the Lord and His revelation. When one is afraid of something, he either runs from it or submits to it. The latter idea is in view here. It is a healthy fear, like the fear of electricity or the fear of one’s parents, which causes one to act in an appropriate manner. The beginning does not mean that “the fear of the Lord” is left behind in the course of acquiring wisdom, but that it is the controlling principle of wisdom.’ 

Oh friends, how I wish that a much larger portion of this fractious world’s population truly feared, showed a reverential awe of the Lord! Then most of the nonsense that’s now happening would not even exist. And Job said it thus in his discourse on the subject. ‘But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? Man knoweth not the price (value) thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living.’ (Job 28:12-13) 

Then after evaluating the pros and cons of the matter (vs. 14-25) Job finally saw the light and announced: ‘When he (God) made a decree (set a limit) for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder (thunderbolt); Then did he see it (wisdom), and declare it; he prepared it, yea, and searched it out. And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.’ (Job 28:28) How much clearer can it get eh people? Not a whole lot! 

Now hear the psalmist: ‘He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.’ (Ps.111:9-10) 

There’s nothing left for me to say nuh friends, since great men of God have already declared the truth of the matter. All I can do now is to implore us to diligently seek the Lord, seek His face, seek His amazing wisdom though a sincere and reverential awe, so that wisdom can be ours, this day…and forever more! Much LOVE!

…you can’t know the created…until you know the Creator…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 October 2019 2 Chronicles 26:5.

2 Chronicles 26:5.    ​And he (Uzziah) sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions (fear) of God: and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper.
 

So today looks like another rainy and cloudy day, but I guess that’s what fall weather is all about. But who knows, with the way things are going these days, by lunchtime it could be pouring down sunshine! (smile) Yeh, the weather patterns are so unpredictable these days that I feel sorry for the weather forecasters. But regardless of if the physical sun is shining or not, we need to remember that we have the One who created the sun dwelling inside of us, and therefore there should always be a bright light, the bright light of Jesus, shining in our souls and spirits. 

Glory to God for that eternal sunshine! That sunshine that keeps us joyful and fresh, and peaceful and righteous and leads us along the strait and narrow path that Almighty God has ordained for us to follow! Give Him much thanks for His unceasing goodness to us, the disobedient children of men. Without His amazing grace and mercy we’d surely be lost in the mire of sinfulness, headed straight for Hades and its ruler, the evil one. And I’ve just encountered an interesting scripture in the Old Testament that is still oh so relevant to our modern times. It deals with the sixteen year old Uzziah succeeding his father Amaziah as king of Judah. It says: ‘And he (Uzziah) sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions (fear) of God: and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper.’ 

What a wonderful scripture for us meditate on and consider this wet and cloudy morning my people, because it is still a happening fact in our time. When you seek God sincerely and constantly, He causes you to prosper. And prosper doesn’t necessarily mean material wealth, but also peace and joy in your life and your surroundings, and the lack of strife and other negative emotions and situations. But before we move on, here are a couple of notices from the scholars. The first is that Uzziah is called Azariah in 2 Kings 14:21; 15:1-7. And the second is that the Zechariah named above is not the same prophet who wrote the prophecy of Zechariah. 

This brings us to another instance where the same basic ideas were floated to a Judean king. Listen to this warning from the prophet Azariah. ‘And the spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded: And he went out to meet (before) Asa, (the king), and said unto him, hear ye me Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; the Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.’ (2 Chr.15:2) Yeh friends, that warning still applies to us today. And I like what Azariah said after reminding them that Israel had been in a rough state for a long time, without a prophet, disobedient to God, and thus suffering much adversity. However he advised: ‘Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.’ (2 Chr.15:7) 

Yeh friends, it still works even to this day! Remember Bruh Paul’s words to the Colossians: ‘And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance (salvation): for ye serve the Lord Christ.’ (Col.3:23-24) It’s like the author of Hebrews said: ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him (God); for he that cometh to God must believe that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ (Heb.11:6) That’s sort of the reverse side of the coin; you can’t come to God sincerely unless you believe that He will reward your diligent seeking of Him. Oh I just went outside to check on a problem and it’s already sunny out there. Yuh see, just like we said earlier on! (smile) Glory to God! 

Now here are James’ words on the subject. ‘Submit yourselves therefore to God: Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded. Be afflicted (lament), and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness (gloom). Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.’ (James 4:7-10) Oh my people, in these evil times, times of so much selfishness and greed, many of us, even Christians, need to humble ourselves before Almighty God, so that He can lift us up. 

Yes, it’s a fact; if we don’t humble ourselves before Him, there will be no lifting up! And once we do that, He will bless us so abundantly, that we won’t know what to do with the blessings. Listen to some of them. We call them our Thursday Blessings. They need to be spoken out loud for them to take effect, so please declare them with me in loud and sincere voices. ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And that’s gospel truth friends! But one important reminder: those blessings are for us to generously share with others, as the Lord has generously shared them with us, not for us to selfishly hoard. Much LOVE!

…you can only find God…if you diligently look for Him…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 September 2019 1 Samuel 16:7.

1 Samuel 16:7.    ​But the Lord said unto Samuel, 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.
 

Aloha people! It’s Monday, that means it’s time to rise and shine and join the battle lines where Jesus awaits us! Like any good Field General, He’s the first one at the front surveying and reconnoitering the situation, so He can draw up good battle plans to ensure our victory. Remember, without good, solid, wise plans victory is never possible. 

Consequently, we His soldiers also ought to have good, wise battle plans for our day. And the first one is to arise with enthusiasm, to greet the new day full of vim and vinegar, giving our Lord thanks and praise for allowing us to see another day! Oh, I know that’s not possible for all of us, but don’t worry, we have the secret ingredient to help us get up to par. We call it our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, a simple but most productive prayer, suitable for any ailment you have on a Monday morning. 

So let’s join together in saying it nuh, because we all need prayer regardless of how strong and faithful we are. As one now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Yuh feel it friends? Yuh feel the power of the Holy Spirit just working its way through your soul and spirit? I know you do, because I feel it too! It never ceases to amaze me that whenever we pray that prayer, how my enthusiasm level just rises another notch, even when it’s already high! That’s the giddy answer (smile) of our great God to our genuine and sincere prayer. And believe me, I needed a boost this morning, because it seems I caught some bug on the plane. 

When you’re packed like sardines with so many people hacking and sneezing, with one lady right next to me, it’s not unusual to catch something. Brother! After church yesterday, where I was feeling lousy, with my throat aching, I came home, had breakfast and went straight to bed. Remember I don’t have my I-pad, so I couldn’t play any games first. (smile) And I spent the whole day there, just getting up for supper in the afternoon and going straight back. 

I also spent most of the night there, waking and sleeping, listening to the strong wind that kept blowing all day through the trees. Sometimes it sounded like rain, but when I opened my eyes and looked, it was still just the wind. Sometime in the early morning hours I did get up and say some prayers, not fully conscious though, but I know our wonderful God understood, because my heart was in the right place. 

Oh friends, I can’t begin to tell you what a wonderful God we serve and worship because He doesn’t look at our outward actions but at the motives of our hearts, and if they are true and sincere, He does accept our faults and frailties. In any case, He already knows them better than us. And we see this plainly in the words of the Lord to Samuel when He sent him to anoint one of Jesse’s sons as the next king of Israel. Samuel looked at Eliab, big and strong and handsome and thought ‘This must be the one‘ 

‘But the Lord said unto Samuel, 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.’  But that doesn’t mean that the Lord doesn’t like good-looking people, for it was said of Bruh David: ‘he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look at.’ (1 Kin.16:12) Meaning he had bright eyes and was also good-looking, and he must have been strong too from all those hours out in the wild. (smile) 

Oh my people, unfortunately we can only look on the outward actions of our fellow man, so we can’t tell what is truly in their hearts, but the Lord can. And we see the good motives and intentions of our hearts played out quite plainly in Bruh David. Although he made many mistakes, and the Lord did punish him for them, He never left him, because Bruh David never left Him either. He always stuck to the God of His Fathers. 

Note too, the prayer of Cousin Sol, when the Lord asked him what he wanted. ‘Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people. And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon has asked this thing.’ (1 Kin.3:9-10) ‘And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the seashore.’ (1 Kin.4:29) 

Yes friends, most of what we ask for, if it falls within the Father’s will and our hearts are true, we will get them. But note when Cousin Sol got old and turned to the gods of his many wives, how the Lord blanked him. ‘And the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the Lord God of Israel which had appeared unto him twice. And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the Lord commanded.’ (1 Kin.11:9-10) 

Therefore the Lord told Cousin Sol he would take away the kingdom from him, but not in his days, but in his son’s. And why was the Lord so generous? ‘For David thy father’s sake…for David my servant’s sake, and for Jerusalem’s sake which I have chosen.’ (1 Kin.11:12b,13c) Yuh see mih people, though Bruh David did a whole lot of wrong, his heart never strayed from his God, and that eventually made him a measuring stick for faithfulness in the Old Testament. 

Are we faithful, can the Lord use us as a measuring stick for others today? Possibly not, but if we keep striving to be faithful and keep doing our best, one day the Lord might even deign to consider us His friend and a man after His own heart, like He said of Bruh David. I can think of no higher accolade that our great God can pay us. Much LOVE!

…the motives of our heart…must be right…when we come to the Lord in prayer…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 August 2019 Proverbs 2:6.

Proverbs 2:6.    ​For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
 

Aye friends, the ole fella must really be getting old yes, because believe me, the aches and pains and them seem worse today than they did yesterday. And the hard part is all I did yesterday was rest! (smile) However, not to worry, because I have the greatest healer in the world working with and on me, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! And He’s also offered the Greatest Invitation ever offered: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ (Matt.11:28) 

And yuh better believe friends I’m accepting that invitation yes…in fact I’m running as fast as I can towards Him, not even thinking about falling down, because He’s also promised to catch me when I fall, to have angels guard me so that I don’t hurt myself! Wow! What a wonderful Saviour we serve and worship my people! 

And hear this li’l note of advice nuh: I’d highly advise that you run to Him with all haste too, if you have any problems whatsoever burdening you down, because He specializes in that sort of thing: His yoke is easy and His burden light! And we can learn oodles from Him, cause He is meek and gentle and lowly in heart! Glory to our great God mih faithful breddren! 

And even the ordinary workingman who isn’t as schooled in the ways of Almighty God knows that He is mighty and majestic, as he declares in his weekend song: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! The day He release we from jail, from slavery and torture in the slave master work! When He gives us a couple of days rest and relaxation, to do whatever we want; just relax and do nothing, or party as hearty as we want, to eat drink and be merry, just in case tomorrow we die! 

And with August coming to an end, which means summer is also drawing to a close, I just think that this weekend we going to mash up the place, inviting everybody over, partying enough – can you ever party enough though (smile) – just in case we don’t get another chance to do so before the cruel and harsh winter weather sets in! Oh thank God for Fridays and weekend yes!’ 

And don’t you just LOVE the workingman’s optimism and candour? His frankness is like a breath of fresh air in this stale and evil world! Oh yes, he does go overboard somewhat, but he’s not restrained by righteousness as we are. But our Friday Chant is still best for us believers, as it sets some boundaries for us, to help keep the always-lurking enemy out of our souls. 

Let’s chant it now nuh, with sincerity and pride: ‘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!’ 

Yuh see mih people, we too can have rest and relaxation, as well as fun and fellowship! We just have to be careful not to give the ole devil a chance to invade our righteous and godly souls. (smile) That’s called wisdom friends! And we get it by seeking it from Almighty God. 

As Cousin Sol, in the role of a wise father, so wisely says in Proverbs: ‘My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide (treasure) my commandments with thee; So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding: Yea, if thou criest after knowledge (discernment), and liftest up thy voice for understanding; 

If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear (reverential awe) of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.’ (Prov.2:1-6) 

Ah mih people, what words of wisdom! And how yuh think Cousin Sol acquired all that wisdom eh? Because he sought it and searched for it like treasure, and the Lord gave it to Him! He certainly didn’t come by it just so. But had to put some elbow grease in his efforts to acquire it. 

And likewise, so do we have to seek and search for wisdom my brethren, cause it’s essential for living a righteous and godly life, but it’s just not handed out freely, some effort, along with some faith must be put into our search so that we can truly appreciate it. Yuh know how they say we never truly appreciate something unless we work for it. The same goes for wisdom friends! And the only place to get that most valuable commodity is from Almighty God. 

As Cousin Sol says earlier on: ‘The fear (reverential awe) of the Lord is the (principal) beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.’ (Prov.1:7) Yes friends, knowing and recognizing the ‘amazingness’ of God is the beginning of ALL wisdom! 

However fools, and those who foolishly associate with Beelzebub, despise it, since they have to abide by certain rules and regulations. But no organization, society, or whatever have you, can last for any length of time without some basic rules and regulations, otherwise there’d be simply anarchy, with everybody doing as they please, especially in this greedy and selfish world. 

So in closing, I’m asking us, pleading with us to be wise. Do like the scholars suggest: ‘2:1-22: The conditions for obtaining wisdom are given first: one must earnestly seek it, as a prospector would search for gold (vs. 1-4). It is not an undirected search, however, since the parent’s instruction is the basis. The consequences of obtaining wisdom are then listed (vs.5-22): knowledge of God (vs.5-8) and right conduct (vs.9-22).’ 

Yes friends, let’s go out today and prospect for wisdom nuh, armed with the fear and knowledge of God and right conduct. And we’ll surely find it if we’re sincere and persevering in our search! Much LOVE!

…one cannot be wise without knowing Jehovah God…for it’s from Him…that ALL true wisdom comes…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 July 2019 1 Corinthians 3:11.

1 Corinthians 3:11.    ​For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
 

Sunday morning coming down friends…coming down hard and strong, leading to the place of worship and fellowship, where we’ll meet each other and glorify and exalt our great God, give Him much praise and thanksgiving in song and prayer, for being so faithful and merciful and gracious to us! And it’s such a privilege to get together with other believers and hear His Word, and have it fill our hearts with peace, joy, understanding and confidence; confidence in our ability to defeat our enemies and raise Christ’s banner of victory! 

And today’s song offering is a popular old hymn, ‘The Church’s One Foundation.’ And it seems to have a colourful history, coming about through something that’s very prevalent in Christendom, dissension within the church. Here is what supposedly caused it to be written. “The Church’s One Foundation” is a Christian hymn written in the 1860s by Samuel John Stone, with music provided by Samuel Sebastian Wesley. This hymn describes the church’s relationship to its “foundation” being Jesus Christ. The church is represented as the collective Christian fellowship of the earth as it is wholly united by its Saviour, the Son of God. 

“The Church’s One Foundation” was composed as a primary answer to the division within the Church of South Africa generated by John William Colenso, first Bishop of Natal, who denounced much of the Bible as untrue. This issue is referenced to within the fourth verse of the lyrics “Though with a scornful wonder men see her sore oppressed, by schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed.” When Bishop Colenso was dismissed for his teachings, he pleaded to the higher religious authorities in England. It was then that Samuel Stone became included in the discussion. It sparked him to draft a set of hymns based on the Apostles’ Creed in 1866. He titled it, Lyra Fidelium; Twelve Hymns on the Twelve Articles of the Apostles’ Creed. “The Church’s One Foundation” is based on the ninth article, The holy Catholic Church; The Communion of Saints.” 

Ah Lord eh friends, the upheaval and dissension that Christ’s Church has seen during its two thousand years of existence! Most other organisations with that kind of upheaval would have ceased to exist long ago, but Christ’s church is built on solid rock, with Him as its true foundation, that’s why it’s still standing and going strong despite the many disputes and fragmentation it has suffered down through the ages. So let’s sing it now nuh, in full voice and sweet harmony, with a strong sense of purpose and confidence that it will last and be meaningful until Christ returns. 

All together now: ‘The Church’s one foundation Is Jesus Christ her Lord, She is His new creation By water and the Word: From Heav’n He came and sought her To be His holy bride, With His own blood He bought her And for her life He died. – She is from every nation, Yet one o’er all the earth; Her charter of salvation, One Lord, one faith, one birth; One holy name she blesses, Partakes one holy food, And to one hope she presses, With every grace endued. -The Church shall never perish! Her dear Lord to defend, To guide, sustain, and cherish, Is with her to the end: 

Though there be those who hate her, And false sons in her pale, Against both foe and traitor She ever shall prevail. – Though with a scornful wonder Men see her sore oppressed, By schisms rent asunder, By heresies distressed: Yet saints their watch are keeping, Their cry goes up, How long? And soon the night of weeping Shall be the morn of song! – Mid toil and tribulation, And tumult of her war, She waits the consummation Of peace forevermore; Till, with the vision glorious, Her longing eyes are blest, And the great Church victorious Shall be the Church at rest! – 

Yet she on earth hath union With God the Three in One, And mystic sweet communion With those whose rest is won, With all her sons and daughters Who, by the Master’s hand Led through the deathly waters, Repose in Eden land. O happy ones and holy! Lord, give us grace that we Like them, the meek and lowly, On high may dwell with Thee: There, past the border mountains, Where in sweet vales the Bride With Thee by living fountains Forever shall abide!’ 

Oh my people, what fabulous words and sentiments! And they are all true. Christ came and bought the church with His precious blood that was shed on the cross of Calvary and regardless of all the isms and schisms, and the many enemies that come against her, she shall never perish because He is her protector right to the very end. And I particularly like: ‘Her charter of salvation, One Lord, one faith, one birth; One holy name she blesses, Partakes one holy food, and to one hope she presses…’ Yeh friends, the church is all ONE, in Jesus name! He’s brought ALL nations under the ONE banner, with Himself as the chief cornerstone.  

Let’s look at some scripture now that corroborate all this nuh, beginning with this pronouncement by Jesus to the disciples after Peter acknowledged that He was indeed the Messiah. ‘And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter (a stone), and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’ (Matt.16:18) Now this does not mean that Christ intended to build his church on Peter, but it was just a word play, since Peter’s name also meant a rock or stone. What He actually meant is what Bruh Paul explained to the Ephesians when talking about the unity, the oneness of all believers. 

‘For through him (Christ) we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone: In who, all the building fitly framed (being joined) together groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord. In whom ye also are builded together (being built) for a habitation (a dwelling place) of God through the Spirit.’ (Eph.2:18-22) 

So, as the scholars explain: ‘The church’s foundation is composed of the apostles and prophets, its chief corner stone is Christ, and its superstructure is composed of Christians. Oriental architecture placed greater importance on the cornerstone than the foundation, for it connected the walls and concentrated the weight of the building on itself, thus bonding and holding together the whole structure. Fitly framed together is translated above as “being carefully and harmoniously joined together.” This implies the harmonious blending of the Jewish and Gentile believers in the church. Christians are viewed as a habitation or dwelling place in whom God lives through His Holy Spirit.’ 

Christ has adroitly and adeptly brought it all together as one, under His umbrella, so much so that when the Corinthians were fighting over whom to follow, Bruh Paul or  Apollos, he ended up telling them that Christians are co-labourers, one man can plant and another water, but it’s God and God alone who gives the increase. (1 Cor.3:5-10) However they had to be very careful re the foundation of their work: ‘For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.’ 

Yes friends, believers can build whatever they want on that foundation of Christ, but not on any other foundation, for He is the mainstay, the chief corner stone of our faith. Let’s remember that and build accordingly nuh! Much LOVE!

…Christ…the corner stone that connects His church…through the Holy Spirit…as One body…unto the glory of God the Father

 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 13 April 2019 Psalm 107:25,29.

Psalm 107:25,29.   ​For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof…He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.
 

And it’s another Saturday in T&T! Glory be! And under a slight cloud cover, which hopefully will soon be dissipated by the bright, rising sun, the wonderful blue-green expanse of sea still lies before me, dotted with nondescript vessels in the foreground, but in the background, in its vastness, seemingly stretching out to forever over the horizon! Wow! What a mouthful! But I like it, and I do hope it conveys the beauty of the picturesque scene in front of me. (smile) 

Well we didn’t do anything of note yesterday, just hung around the hotel and rested, until in the late afternoon a couple of family members came to visit. They ended up taking us down to Petite Valley to get some roti. But imagine that nuh, nowadays yuh have to drive all the way to Petite Valley to get a decent roti. In my time, you could get a good roti on almost every street corner. But as they say times change and so do ways and people and situations. And for the record, the roti was good! (smile) 

But as we usually do on a Saturday, let’s take a gander at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Listen to this first one: ‘If you spend your life working, sleeping and doing the basics… Congrats! You’ve just wasted your precious life!’ 

Well…that’s somewhat of a toss-up. You need to do the basics of life, including working and sleeping, but just doing barely enough to get by, deprives you of some of the most enjoyable aspects that life can provide. So it’s always necessary to go the extra mile, take a risk, if you truly want to enjoy your life to the fullest. 

And the next quote advises: ‘The big lesson in life is never be scared of anyone or anything. Say what you want to say and do what you always wanted to do. You will never reach your goals if you are always scared of taking the next step.’ There is a fair amount of truth in that statement, and yes we shouldn’t be scared of anything or anyone in this life, because our great and wonderful God has not given us ‘a spirit of fear, but of power, of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ (2 Tim.1:7) 

However, we can’t just go bulldozing through life to get our way. We need to be careful what we say and to whom, for our words will eventually come back to haunt us, like a boomerang comes back to the thrower. Remember, that there is much power in our words, and as true believers in Christ we have the responsibility to be accountable for our words. So don’t be scared to push ahead, but do have a modicum of circumspection! (smile) 

But we got to take a break go for brekkies now. The duchess is ready. Soon come! 

Back some three hours later after a filling breakfast over the road at the Radisson Hotel and a short nap. Must have that nap! (smile) And talking about quotes. Let’s not forget this one: ‘Things change. And friends leave. Life doesn’t stop for anybody. If you hang on to things for too long, you will end up hurting yourself.’ 

Gospel truth that friends! People and things come and go in our lives for a reason or a season, but when their time is up, please don’t try to hold on to them because you will miss the next good thing that God has earmarked for you. And I’ve had to learn that from hard experience. Yeh mih breddren, when God closes a door, don’t try to push it back open, because He won’t open the new one unless you allow the last one to close. 

And the last quote says: ‘Rise above the storm, and you will find the sunshine. Not all storms come to disrupt your life. Some come to clear your path.’ That’s for certain sure friends. Above the storm clouds there is sunshine, and not all storms come to make our lives miserable and difficult, but some do come to clear the way. Remember the saying, there’s always a calm after a storm, and that’s gospel truth, as you would see if you look back at the storms you’ve had in your life. 

But friends, the only way to continually rise above the numerous storms that come against us, sometimes out of the clear blue sky, is by hooking your cart to the storm Maker and storm Calmer, Jesus Christ! No doubt about that people! Listen to what the psalmist says: ‘For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof…’ And when we cry out to Him for succour: ‘He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.’ (Ps.107:25, 29). 

If you believe that God created the universe and all therein and is still in control of it, then you should have no problem in believing His awesome power to create and calm storms, both literally and figuratively! Isaiah puts it thus in his song of praise by the redeemed. ‘Therefore shall the strong people glorify thee, the city of the terrible (ruthless) nations shall fear thee. For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.’ (Is.25:3-4) 

That’s how our awesome God deals with the figurative storms in our lives. And per the literal storms, hear Bruh David: ‘O Lord God of hosts, who is a strong Lord like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee? Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them.’ (Ps.89:8-9) 

And if you want to see that in literal action, check out Matt.8:23-27 where Jesus was crossing the sea in a ship with the disciples and a raging storm arose, so much so that they began to take in water and the men were terribly afraid, but Jesus meanwhile was fast asleep in the back of the boat. When they woke Him up and made such a fuss, He berated them: 

‘Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea: and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!’  (Matt.8:26-27) And so they should, because He created them and controls them! 

Ah friends, unfortunately storms are an essential part of life, and the ONLY way to handle them with suitable aplomb and patience is by having the Lord Jesus Christ as your guide and pilot in this life and the one to come. That’s wisdom and understanding of the most awesome kind! Much LOVE!

…when Christ is our pilot…storms don’t scare us…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 December 2018 Ephesians 4:32.

Ephesians 4:32.   ​And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
 
And so it’s Tuesday, the day before the next Big Day. Steups! Let’s hope it happens as planned now yes, and no more silly postponements! That means friends, many prayers bombarding heaven for the ole fella’s safe and productive surgery tomorrow. Glory be! That is if you want him to be around for a long time writing these interesting and provocative Bits! (smile) 

And I sincerely thank you for all the support I’ve gotten so far, and I know that the effective and fervent prayers of you righteous people will be heard and positively answered in heaven. So I’m not worried, just a li’l skeptical that something might happen to put it off again. Let’s hope that this is now the Lord’s time! Amen! 

And with that, let me share a most appropriate poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. This one’s titled ‘Slow Growth!’ Please pray with me: ‘In my fretful patience I am so often inclined to ask “Why can’t she change?” “Why is he always so slow?” “Will they ever learn from their past mistakes?” 

And then You begin to impress me With my own slow progress upward. I see Your stretched-our patience. I remember how long you’ve waited for me. And I grieve that my attitude Is so often intolerant. O God, keep fresh the imprint Of my own need to grow And make me more flexible More understanding And always more LOVING.’ 

Ah mih people, not one of us can truly say we don’t see ourselves in that picture, because impatience and intolerance with the attendant hypocrisy are big parts of our society today. We all show some of those negative traits at some time or the other because we are human and live in a fallen society. But as sincere Christians, true believers in Christ, we ought to show those negative characteristics on as few occasions as possible. 

Instead my faithful brethren, we ought to let these momentous words of Bruh Paul sink into our consciousness and lead us on a more Christ-like path. Hear him to the Ephesians, re the new life in Christ: ‘And be ye renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. 

Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place (an opportunity) to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. 

And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’ (Eph.4:23-32) 

Oh my people, what a treasure trove of practical ideas for godly and righteous living! If we’d only adopt a few of them, our lives would be oh so much better. And it’s not like they are so difficult to put into practice. Once we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, His Holy Spirit comes to live within us and seals us forever. Consequently our behaviour ought to change, granted, not all at once, but there must be some newness in our behaviour otherwise Jesus is not truly dwelling within us. 

And hear these oh so practical options nuh: No more lying, but truth speaking to everybody, because we are all members of Christ’s body, His church. No keeping of anger after sundown, because it destroys our sleep and we wake up angry the next day. As best we can, don’t give the enemy any opportunities to invade our souls. Like no more stealing, but productive work, so that we can share with the unfortunate. 

No cursing and corrupt communication, but words that can edify and uplift those who hear them. And put away all the negativity of vs. 31, which tend to be Satanic in nature. But instead, we ought to be kind, tenderhearted, forgiving, showing grace and mercy to others, just like our heavenly Father has showered down all that stuff on us. 

Remember these immortal words of Jesus, the basic foundation upon which our faith has been founded and still rests: ‘For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matt.6: 14-15) 

Friends, it couldn’t be any simpler or plainer than that! So please, let’s seriously get ourselves together and begin treating each other the way we ought to nuh. Remember, it’s all for our benefit, not God’s! Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. 

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!’ 

And if we truly believe it, then let’s go out and action it! Much LOVE!

…true Christianity places much more emphasis…on action…than on talk…

 

 

 

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