Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 July 2019 John 15:11.

John 15:11.   ​These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
 

What a lousy, miserable, pain filled night! Yes mih first born, the ole fella complaining! (smile) And I’m sure if you had a night like I had, you’d complain too! Can’t find a comfortable position in which to sleep, because everyone I try, some ole broken down joint cried out in anguish. Then having to get up every couple hours to go to the bathroom, courtesy of the radiation treatment. 

Steups! Is a good thing this radiation nonsense finish this week yes! Couldn’t handle no more of it nuh. Is since May I’ve been going down to the hospital every blooming day for the treatment. Now is July, time for it to done oui! And the sad part is that I try to stay away from the pain killers, since I’m already a walking pharmacy (smile) but this morning I had no choice, had to get some of father’s li’l helpers to keep the ole bod moving sprightly. And that’s my rant for this morning! (smile) 

Now here is what we should all be having…JOY! Yes friends, that’s the watchword for today – JOY! And we’ll check it out from a poem of the same name from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. Please pray with me: ‘JOY! My favourite word. Circumstances may determine my happiness But, Lord, You determine my joy. Joy is sweetly honest. No wonder the minister said: “You can’t hide joy if you have it – You can’t fake it if you don’t.” Who can manufacture it, Lord? Joy is Your creation. Who may have it? Anyone who asks. Thank You, Lord For JOY!’ 

Yes mih people, JOY is of the Lord! And as the poem says, anyone one who wants it can have it, they just have to ask for it! Now are we asking the Lord for joy? Or are we merely living with happiness determined by our earthly circumstances? I certainly hope we are doing the former because that is what Christians ought to have; it’s what Christ died for us to have. 

Hear these immortal words of our Lord and Saviour nuh, while talking to the disciples about Him being the vine and they the branches, who need to stay connected to Him, if they expect to grow and thrive. ‘If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my LOVE; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his LOVE. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.’ (John 15:10-11) 

Oh friends, you can’t beat that! The joy of Christ in us enables us to handle any situation that comes against us with wisdom and steadfastness. We don’t get wishy-washy because of our circumstances. Now hear some more of Jesus talking to the disciples on the subject of joy. At one stage He told them this li’l riddle: ‘A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.’ (John 16:16) 

Obviously the disciples were confused and muttered amongst themselves over what His words meant. And Jesus, sensing their confusion, explained it to them. ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. A woman when she is in travail (labour) hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of (has given birth to) the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man (human being) is born into the world. 

And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you. And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.’ (John 16:20-24) 

Ah mih people, words of true wisdom and enlightenment from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Words that have stood the test of time and are still applicable to these evil and troubled days! Just knowing that with Jesus in us, and we in Him, and being sure that He will come again to take us home, to be with Him in paradise forever, ought to be such a great motivator for us to live and die for Him. 

And when you add that last piece about asking for anything in His name and the Father will grant it…Hn! Our lives ought to be overflowing with joy everlasting! For no other faith, religion, or whatever you choose to call it, offers that kind of assurance and satisfaction. Now obviously Jesus is not referring to asking for selfish, ungodly stuff, but things that fall under the Father’s will. 

Too many of us though use those words to ask for selfish, ungodly stuff, and when we don’t get it, rail against God and His word. But please remember that God is not sitting in heaven like a doting grandfather to just give us any and everything we want. He has a universe to run, and doesn’t have time for our selfish, childish, petulant needs. We have a serious part to play in this world, so please friends, let’s play it nuh. 

And as the Bible verse attached to our poem says: ‘Don’t be dejected or sad, for the JOY of the Lord is your strength.’ (Neh.8:10) And that’s the gospel truth friends! That’s why the enemy always targets our joy in his attacks. He knows that if he can take away our joy, then we’ll become weakened, like Samson, when Delilah cut off his hair. (smile) 

And with all of that encouragement and assurance running through our souls, spirits and bodies, let’s go home now, joyfully declaring (right ho!) our Tuesday mantra, gladly telling the world who and whose we are. As one strong 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!’ 

Oh friends, what joy our sharing Jesus’ LOVE and friendship with the world will bring both to us down here on earth, and to those in heaven above! So let’s get out there and share it nuh! Much LOVE!

…though living for Jesus…can be sometimes difficult…we still experience joy…unbelievable joy in doing it…

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 February 2015 Matthew 15:11

Matthew 15:11. Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.

Ah Friends, it’s Wednesday – Ash Wednesday – and all the bacchanal done! Yes Carnival is over for another year, and we now move into the season of Lent; forty days of prayer, fasting, cleansing, getting and keeping in close touch with God.

A time when we remember and seriously consider Jesus being led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by Lucifer, where He fasted for forty days, to build up His faith, His resistance to Lucifer and acknowledge in deed through prayer, His heavenly Father’s caring and provision for Him.

And He successfully accomplished His mission there, chasing the devil by quoting the Word. (Matt.4:4, 7, 10) And when Lucifer saw that he couldn’t get anywhere with Jesus, he left Him alone. As the Good Book describes it: ‘Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered to him.’ (Matt.4:11)

Yes Friends, it’s the same way that the Lord will send His angels to minister to us when we go through strong temptation but hold up strong. And plenty of the masqueraders who were yesterday worshipping at the altar of the idol Bacchus, with his over the top, extremely sinful behaviour, have today gone, or will go to church to receive ashes and repent for their numerous sins of yesterday.

And I guess that’s how it ought to be. Unfortunately I didn’t get to church this morning, as it was scheduled for six o’clock. I was up too early, then went back to bed, and didn’t get up until it was too late. Deep down though, I guess I never really wanted to go and conveniently laid there till it was too late.

But our wonderful God understood my human frailty and has forgiven me. That’s the beauty of our God; though He might not like or approve of our behaviour, He understands, and He forgives… But please remember too, that He also disciplines, so we can’t get away with the same nonsense all the time.

Now this Ash Wednesday morning began as a cool, cloudy, blustery day, with leaves and trees just blowing around. Finally a shower of rain came down. One that actually provided enough water to wet the boards of the deck and make the ground a bit soft. And since then it’s been drizzling off and on. I even got caught in one of the drizzles when I went for my walk along the shoreline of the property. The sun is still fighting to break through the clouds at minutes to nine.

Anyway, yesterday in the afternoon, I went down to the big city of Scarborough (smile) to see some mas. I braved the hot sun and the walk – about a quarter mile from the parking lot to the stands where I’d been the night before, with the duchess boasting when I asked if she could handle the walk, that it was me, not her who had problems walking.

But my people, as always, the Lord didn’t disappoint me. He energized and enabled me to walk without any problems, and later on, when I was too tired to move, He picked me up like a little child and carried me on His strong, caring shoulders. Much thanks and all glory be to our wonderful God, who never gives us or puts us through more than we can handle!

The mas was just starting when we got there shortly after two, and it was decent enough by Tobago standards. There were some relatively intricate and beautiful costumes. But if I ever hear Machel Montano’s song ‘Doing it like a Boss’ again, I’m going to strangle the D.J. or mash up the radio! Brother, that was about the only song they played when the bands paraded in front of the judges, right beside me.

Steups! And it had to be so loud too. At one stage I saw about three youngsters sitting next to me block their ears from the noise. And that foolishness only causes hearing problems for all and sundry. And wonder of wonders, the duchess’ I-phone refused to take pictures. And I don’t know what devil got into me, but I got out my old, cheap phone and began taking pictures.

Hn! I had to laugh, because I’ve never taken more than a couple pictures with it, but I learned how to do it as I went along. And we were lucky too, for after about half an hour in the blazing sun in the stands, the wife went across the street to an establishment to get a drink, but it was closed. However they had a nice wide overhang protecting their verandah, with seats, so we sat there for the rest of the time.

We left about six thirty, somewhat disappointed that I hadn’t seen the much talked about ‘mud mas.’ We bought some Chinese food and ice cream on the walk back to the car, not even bothering to stop at the Pan on D Road that was again taking place at the junction, because it still sounded tired and uninspiring. We got home without incident, ate, watched a little t.v. then went to bed. And that was the sum total of my Carnival Tuesday activities! (smile)

Today though my people, is a day for introspection. We’ve been physically looking outside all through the Carnival season, but now that Lent is here, it’s time to turn our eyes of faith inside and see what’s really in there, and try to clean it up. For remember what Jesus said in our Bit: ‘Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.’

Words of absolute truth my brethren! That means we have to look very closely at what ungodly stuff is simmering within us, and with God’s help get rid of it. And that can only be done through prayer, and sometimes in conjunction with fasting. As Jesus told His disciples when they couldn’t cast out a demon from a young boy. ‘This kind can come forth by nothing but by prayer and fasting.’ (Mark 9:29)

Yes Friends, some things can only be cleansed from our souls by diligent prayer and consistent fasting, but the important thing is to pray for guidance and deliverance! And if necessary, for this Lenten season, give up certain things that are weighing you down and causing you to stray from God, or not get close to Him.

We need to say like Bruh David in Psalm 109 – A prayer for punishment of the wicked. ‘For (in return) for my LOVE they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer.’ (Ps.109:4)

Oh Friends, without prayer, sincere prayer, we’re lost, for it’s our best method of communication with Almighty God, the Creator, and Controller of ALL things and ALL lives! And although we don’t have the spiritual strength of Jesus, we do have enough to resist most temptations, especially when co-joined with His strength. goes

So this Lenten season, let’s make a very special effort to clean up our act, through prayer, fasting, giving up stuff, and whatever else it takes to cleanse our souls and brings us closer to God. That’s true wisdom! Much LOVE!

…Lent…a time for serious cleansing of our heart, minds, bodies and souls…and drawing closer to God…