Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 January 2018 2 Timothy 1:7.

2 Timothy 1:7.   For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.

And then it was Saturday…somewhat late in the day though, and many of you won’t notice, because like the ole fella you also slept in some. (smile) But what’s life eh, if once in a while you can’t sleep in and not be run ragged by the busyness of this insane world? The Lord’s LOVE, mercy, grace and forgiveness will still be there when we get up. 

Oh how wonderful is the God we serve and worship my brethren! He is always thinking about our welfare, so we need to be very thankful and grateful as we walk arm in arm with Him. And remember too, that NO ONE can separate us from Him, but us. And such a move on our part would be rather foolish. Nuff said. 

Let’s see what our friend Anselm has to say on this bleak and gloomy Saturday morning. First off, he tells us that ‘Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.’ 

I have serious doubts about that yes, because in this society there are oodles of people right now with lots of formal education, who can’t even get a job, much less earn a living. And if and when they do get one, the wage is definitely not in line with their standard of education. It’s surprising that in this supposed first-world economy, the number of university grads who are making minimum wage. 

And in my province of Ontario, at the beginning of the year, the government raised the minimum wage from eleven something to fourteen something, and as expected all the business people are up in arms, threatening all sorts of retribution. 

Some Tim Horton’s franchises have already cut back paid breaks, tips and stuff, taking away what little the employees already had, in their greedy desire to keep their profit margins high. So who knows, self-education might just be the answer. 

And I like this next quote. ‘If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.’ That’s oh so true my fellow believers. I’m sure most of us have had that experience at some time(s) in our lives. 

Times when we actually buckled down and did stuff we had to do, and was surprised at the quality and quantity of work we accomplished because we had set our minds to it. Many of us never reach our full capability, because we’re either not challenged to, or we just settle for average results. 

That leads us to this quote. ‘Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.’ And there’s much truth in that advice, especially in these modern times, where a lot of supposed successful people add li’l or no value to the society. Check out the celebrity culture that currently rules the world. 

How many of them add anything worthwhile to the society eh? Not many. That’s a big reason why the world is in such a mess. So friends, in our lives, please let’s concentrate on adding value to our lives and our society. Value usually means success in the real world, but not necessarily the other way around. 

And finally Anselm tells us that ‘Fearlessness is like a muscle. I know from my own life that the more I exercise it, the more natural it becomes to not let my fears run me.’ There is indeed substance to that remark, because the more we practice not being afraid, the more we will learn to conquer fear. 

But the basic foundation for conquering fear comes from our association with Jesus Christ. That’s who gives us the strength and wisdom to conquer fear. Oh friends, throughout the Good Book there are numerous warnings about fear. And one of the most powerful is that found in our Bit; Bruh Paul’s admonition to Timothy. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ 

And that’s gospel truth friends! Our wonderful God has not given us a fearful spirit, we allow the enemy to put fear into our hearts. And all I want to do today is highlight a few scriptures where God warned us not to be afraid. And one of my favourites is the one He commanded Joshua, when He made him leader of the Israelites after Moses’ death. 

Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.’ (Josh.1:9) Ah mih people, the Lord could not have been more explicit. 

Then in Isaiah, re the final restoration of Israel, He warns His people the same way. ‘Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be thou not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.’ (Is.41:10) 

Now hear one of the first ‘fear not’ instructions; that from Moses when the Israelites were preparing to leave Egypt. ‘And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation (deliverance) of the Lord, which he will show to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace (be quiet).’ (Ex.14:13-14) 

And so said, so was it done. The Lord drowned the Egyptians in the closing of the Red sea. And we’ll end with these words of Jesus as He talked about care and anxiety and seeking God’s kingdom above all else. ‘Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’ (Luke 12:32) 

And it is indeed the Lord’s desire to give us the kingdom, if we seek Him above all else. So friends, there is no need to fear man nor beast once we are walking hand in hand with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Please, let’s therefore rid ourselves of all the unwanted and unnecessary fear that is secreted in our hearts, by giving it to God. That’s wisdom of untold proportions! Much LOVE!

…fear can only be conquered by faith…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 October 2017 Psalm 94:16.

Psalm 94:16.   Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? Or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?

And then it was Thursday, the penultimate day of our workweek! And some people shout ‘Glory to God!’ thankful that the week is almost over. Hn, hn! It’s amusing that we don’t give God glory when the week begins, but are quick to do so when it ends. 

Anyway, though the day has dawned somewhat cloudy, chilly and windy, it’s always nice to know that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is still out there shining as brilliantly as ever, both in our hearts and souls, so that we can be safely guided to do His will and accomplish whatever plans He has for our lives. 

Now that is something for which we should all be shouting ‘Glory to God!’ The wise believers will undoubtedly do so. But let me share a li’l something from Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) that I found in one of her articles in a recent Enjoying Everyday Life Magazine. 

She succinctly states: ‘The distinction between dreams and reality is called action.’ And that’s ever so true friends! Dreams will never turn into reality until we DO something with them. Otherwise, they will simply remain dreams; a glorious vision in our imagination. 

Unfortunately that seems to be something that’s happening a lot in our Christian faith today. We all have dreams, some placed in our hearts by God, and we talk a lot about what we’re going to do for Christ, but nothing much ever happens, because we don’t get behind the talk and action our dreams and desires. 

It’s one reason why the enemy is slowly pushing us back, and moving God out of our society. We’re not being active enough in repelling the evil stuff that’s coming against us. Everybody’s talking about their rights but Christians. And it seems that our rights are the ones that are constantly being trampled upon, and even abrogated or eliminated. 

But we’re not up in arms about it. We talk some, but sit passively by, while others raise a hue and cry and eventually get what they desire. Then we claim they are taking away our rights. Steups! 

That brings us to our Bit, an interesting verse from Psalm 94 – How long shall the wicked triumph? ‘Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? Or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?’ 

The psalmist was there bewailing the rise and prosperity of the wicked, but he did not have the Holy Spirit dwelling in him, as we now do, so he had to look to the Lord totally for help. 

Thus he continues: ‘Unless the Lord had been my help, my soul had almost (would soon have) dwelt in silence. When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O Lord, held me up.’ (Ps.94:17-18) 

And of course friends, when the going gets too rough for us, the Lord’s mercy will hold us up. But until then we have the Holy Spirit indwelling us so that we can do God’s will, make disciples of others, which also means fighting against the workers of iniquity. Otherwise why have the Holy Spirit indwelling us eh? 

The church is Christ’s body, His organization here on earth, and we’re supposed to uphold all that He stands for! Are we doing that? Definitely not as much as we should! 

In the first place we’re too fractured, too divided. Then overall we’re too passive, too compromising, too comfortable living the good life of the world. And remember the Lord did die that we might have life, and have it more abundantly, (John 10:10) but not the way Lucifer and his evil cohorts envision it. 

So what am I saying? Listen to Jesus’ words, for He says it much better than I can. ‘Ye are the salt of the earth” but if the salt have lost his savour (flavour), wherewith (by what) shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. 

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket), but on a candlestick (lampstand); and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt.5:13-16) 

There you have it my fellow believers, the words, the instructions, the desire of our Lord and Saviour, our Leader Jesus Christ. He wants us to be the salt of the earth, add His Christian, Christ-like flavour to the earth. And also shine like bright beacons; like the lighthouses that were once set on hills to guide the passing ships. 

People won’t come to Him unless they see good and favourable examples in us. And sadly, I must say that right now we’re not being either salt or light because too many unbelievers are looking at us and instead of declaring us Christians, they are crying out ‘Hypocrites!’ And I doubt that that sits very well with Christ. 

So let’s try and do better nuh mih people. Remember we have the Lord’s help, and with that we can do ANYTHING, if we so desire. But we must first have the desire.  Now let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings… And friends, with such wonderful blessings being bestowed on us, how can we not have a great desire to serve and worship the Lord eh? 

‘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 the corollary to that is to go out and share our blessings with others. Much LOVE!

…we have ALL we need…to be the salt of the earth…and the light of the world…except possibly the desire…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 October 2017 Psalm 37:7a.

Psalm 37:7a.   Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: 

Well another wet and cloudy day seems to be our lot this Saturday morning friends. Good sleeping-in weather for those who desire to do so. I tried some sleeping-in, only to get up with my usual aching back, the sad result of what seems to be too much lying down. (smile) 

Ah Lord eh! How to beat it? They say that rest is so essential, but in my case there seems to be a caveat of ‘not too much at once.’ Hn, hn! But as the man says, ‘That’s life!’ We just have to grin and bear the quirks of life and move on with God’s available help. 

And the trees are doing that right now, because their leaves are finally turning to different shades of brown, yellow and gold, in admittance that fall is finally here. They held out for a long while with the good weather, but like us, they know that their time has come at last. 

No more trying to stretch out the longevity of their beautiful green leaves as the God designed cycle of seasons brings about their downfall for another year. And so, we as Christians need to accept whatever God has designed and placed in our lives, for He is the Maker and Creator of all that exists. 

Trying to fight His plans are a waste of time. But enough palavering (smile), let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm offered us this past week, in his noble attempt to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Listen to this first one:‘A star wants to see himself rise to the top. A leader wants to see those around him rise to the top.’ 

And that’s the way it’s supposed to be, since stars seek a more self-interested path, are more interested in their own aggrandizement, while leaders theoretically raise the level of their followers in whatever context in which they are leading. 

And this next quote sort of upgrades the last one. ‘A leader must be inspired by the people before a leader can inspire the people.’ I guess a true leader will not want to lead those who don’t inspire him to do so. 

Why bother eh, if there is no inspiration coming from those whom you want or hope to lead? For like everyone else, a leader also needs inspiration to do his or her job, and that doesn’t just come out of thin air. 

Now hear this one: ‘When you compete against everyone else, no one wants to help you. But when you compete against yourself, everyone wants to help you.’ I believe this means when you’re up in arms against everybody, you’ll get little or no help from anyone. But if you’re not fighting everybody, some of those you’re not fighting will consider helping you, which makes perfect sense.

And as always, I try to save the best quote for last. ‘Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress: Working hard for something we LOVE is called passion!’ Ah mih people, there is plenty truth in that statement! When we do things dear to our hearts we usually don’t feel stressed out. 

So in light of that, I want to take that statement to a different level. Does our apathy and lethargy and stress-like behaviour in doing our Christian work, signify we don’t LOVE Jesus? 

From a mere onlooker’s viewpoint, it would certainly seem so, because there is NO REAL PASSION in our Christian walk! But the evildoers are getting together and passionately doing their evil deeds, while we supposed Christians just seem to laze along, trying desperately not to stir the pot. 

But friends, that is exactly why Jesus came to earth; to stir the pot! Back then, the status quo was unacceptable, just like it is today. I guess we blasé Christians don’t inspire our leaders, so our leaders don’t get the necessary inspiration to inspire us. Hn! 

And I certainly hope that our lacklustre work on Christ’s behalf does not stem from the words of our Bit. ‘Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him:’ 

Oh yes friends, it does mean not to get ahead of God, not to try and make things happen in our own strength, to wait for the Lord’s guidance. But while we are waiting, we must continue to be diligent and passionate in what we can do, for there is always stuff for us to do in our wonderful partnership with Christ. 

Remember a partnership means the involvement of at least two entities in a mutual agreement, and usually more than one job to get done. And that’s how it is with Jesus and us. He has His part to do, and we have ours. Now sometimes we can’t do our part until He does His, but we still need to keep on working at what we can. 

Some of us can’t wait and speed ahead and spoil things, while others wait too much and get nothing done. We need balance my people, and that can only be found by being in sincere and constant communication with Almighty God, and having a passion for doing His work. 

Remember, ALL that God is doing is not for Himself nuh, but for OUR benefit! God needs NOTHING, for He already has EVERYTHING. 

We have NOTHING, which means we need EVERYTHING. And since EVERYTHING comes from God, then we certainly NEED God! Let’s remember that and wisely put it all into the right perspective. Much LOVE!

…where there is no action…means there is no real passion…since passion…induces action…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 July 2016 Hebrews 12:11

Hebrews 12:11.    Now no chastening (discipline) for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised (trained) thereby.

And all over God’s great earth, on this blessed Friday morning in July 2016, the joyful cry of the working class rises like a touching, soulful song to heaven! 

‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and the workweek is almost over! Thank God that the weekend is upon us, bringing freedom from mental and physical slavery for two big days! We can do whatever we want to do without massa looking over our shoulders! Thank God for Fridays and the weekend!’ 

Yes friends, it is a viable cry, but we must still be careful about doing what we want over the weekend. We can’t just behave like leggo beast and give the enemy a chance to invade our souls. We need to always be wary of his deceitful tactics to gain entrance to our souls and his evil intent, to wreak havoc there. 

Instead, let’s chant our Friday Chant that gives us a better perspective on the use of the weekend. All together 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.’ 

Ah mih people, the way we handle the weekend sets the tempo and standard for our new workweek. Unless we are fresh and reinvigorated, we won’t be able to do a good job for Jesus when the time comes. So please be careful and handle the next couple of days in appropriate godly fashion. (smile) 

Now here’s a beautiful quote attributed to one George Elliston (1883-1946), a female American journalist and editor who bequeathed a large sum of money to the University of Cincinnati to open a chair in poetry. At some stage of her life, she reputedly proclaimed: ‘How beautiful a day can be when kindness touches it.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my brethren! When kindness touches a day, there’s nothing left but for it to indeed be beautiful, because kindness comes from the heart of God! Oh how our world is dying from unkindness and desperately waiting and desiring to experience much more kindness amongst God’s greatest creation, mankind. And until we achieve that experience, our world will continue to be topsy-turvy, dangerous and deceitful. 

But my people, thankfully there’s a saving grace, if you can call it that, displayed in the words of our Bit. ‘Now no chastening (discipline) for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised (trained) thereby.’ 

Yes friends, we can count on our heavenly Father to chasten, to discipline us when we step out of line and follow our own devious devices and plans. Oh, I know from personal experience that it’s not a welcome decision, but it seems to be necessary for our eventual growth and maturity in Christ Jesus. 

Anyway, there’s not much we can do about it, except try to give the Lord as few instances as possible to chasten and discipline us. Now let’s continue looking at some scriptural examples of how important chastening is to God. And nobody spoke on it more often than Cousin Sol. 

Listen to him. ‘Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with a rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.’ (Prov.23:13-14) 

Now I know some of you will be up in arms over those statements, but I’m only quoting the Good Book. And as much as you might dislike punishing your children, yuh better believe that God will punish us, like children, for disobedience. Not necessarily with a rod of correction, but in some manner that He deems suitable. 

Now hear what the Lord said to Bruh David when He made His covenant with him. ‘And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. 

I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes (strokes) of the children of men: But my mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I put away before thee.’ (2 Sam.7:12-15) 

Yes friends the Lord was speaking there about the rise of Cousin Sol. And please note the serious warning about chastening for disobedience, because it hasn’t changed one iota since then. 

So my fellow believers, in closing, I just want to remind us that although we don’t like chastening by God, because in the short term it seems a bit on the rough side, be assured that in the long run it will be to our benefit. Our God does NOTHING in our lives that’s not for our benefit. 

Now let’s go out and see if we can do as little as possible to deserve His chastening, for that’s wisdom of enormous proportions! Much LOVE!

…to walk this earth successfully…a disciplined life is essential…  

P.S. I think I’ve finally gotten the hang of this new Outlook setup. Glory Hallelujah! Much LOVE!

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 June 2015 Psalm 103:8

Psalm 103:8. The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous (abounding) in mercy (LOVING-kindness).

Well Friends, welcome to a wet and windy Sunday morning in my area of the universe! In fact it’s been wet and windy since yesterday around noon, and will probably remain the same until sometime tomorrow morning. 

So much heavenly blessing is expected that flood warnings have been issued to the low lying areas and those around rivers and creeks. Let’s hope that no serious damage occurs, although it’s always good to be prepared, just in case. However, a little water from heaven should not stop most of us from going to church this morning, though we are always ready to use it as an excuse.

I wonder how we would feel if when we cry out to God for help, He says: “Sorry I can’t offer any help right now nuh because the rain’s falling, or the snow is coming down in a blizzard, and in any case I’m just too busy, lazy or tired to help you right now. Check me back later, I might be able to do something then.’

No doubt we’d all be up in arms, criticizing God, but we feel it’s quite okay for us to make simple-minded excuses to stay away from His sanctuary and miss giving Him the praise, thanks and worship that are His due, as well as fail to receive the spiritual upliftment and encouragement that comes from believers in Jesus fellowshipping together.

Remember Friends, what’s good for the goose is also good for the gander. (smile) We can’t ignore God, then get annoyed and upset if He ignores us. But it’s a marvellous and wonderful thing that we don’t have that kind of God; one with a tit-for-tat personality and attitude, where whatever you mete out to Him, He has to necessarily meet back the same thing to you.

On the contrary my brethren, we have such a forgiving God, that it makes me sit and ponder in awe of His majesty and righteousness. Listen to how Bruh David describes our awesome God in our Bit that comes from Psalm 103 – Thanksgiving for God’s mercy. ‘The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous (abounding) in mercy (LOVING-kindness).’

Wow mih people! Can that be said of any other supposed deity? Obviously not! Because none other than the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are real, true and living gods. And nobody would know that better than Bruh David since he was a constant recipient of God’s LOVING-kindness despite his many wrongdoings.

Now hear how he continues after our Bit. ‘He will not always chide (strive): neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy (LOVING-kindness) toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame (understands our constitution); he remembereth that we are dust. As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more (not remember it). But the mercy (LOVING-kindness) of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children;’ (Ps.103:9-17)

Oh my brethren, how can we not LOVE and revere such a wonderful Deity eh? We’d certainly be very foolish not to do so! He isn’t always chiding us for our mistakes, and His anger doesn’t last for very long. Most importantly, He has not given us our just desserts for the abominable sins we have committed. If He did, none of us would be alive to tell the tale, that’s for sure, since we have all sinned and come short of His glory. (Rom.3:23)

And even better yet, all those abominable transgressions have been removed from us as far as the east is from the west. He even treats those of us who worship and reverence Him like a father. He also knows our fragility, because He’s the one who created us from the dust of the earth and made our days comparatively as short as the flowers and grass that bloom in the fields.

Now why wouldn’t I be glad and rejoice and give thanks and gratefully appreciate all that eh? Hn! Unfortunately though, a lot of us, way too many, don’t believe it, neither do we appreciate God’s goodness to the sinful children of men. How sad and foolish my people.

It is indeed a very unwise move we are making, for we are playing with the eternal destiny of our souls, which could lead to death, damnation and everlasting separation from God. And as I keep reminding us, that is the worst fate that can ever befall a human being.  

Now listen to those same sentiments expressed by the Lord Himself, when He passed before Moses on Mt. Sinai, the second time he went up there to receive the Ten Commandments.

‘And the Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him (Moses) there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,

Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.’ (Ex.34:5-7)

Ah Friends, those were the words of the Lord God Jehovah Himself! And nothing much has changed since then. He is still the same faithful, forgiving, merciful, ever-LOVING, gracious, wise, compassionate and understanding God that He has always been.

Consequently, I urge us all to smarten up, to get our acts together and sincerely and reverently worship, praise, give thanks and glorify the Holy One of Israel; the ONLY TRUE AND LIVING GOD! For that is the ultimate in wisdom! Much LOVE!

…only fools run from the presence… and therefore the blessings of Jehovah God…