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 24 June 2017 2 Corinthians 9:6.

2 Corinthians 9:6.   But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully (with blessings) shall reap bountifully.

And Saturday has rolled around again… But this time it’s a summer Saturday, hopefully a dry summer Saturday, so that we can get outside and do some fun summer things, not have to stay indoors because of rain, like we had most of yesterday in my area. 

That reminds me that my church has a big used clothing and electronics drive today and tomorrow, so we definitely need two sunny days for that to go off well. I also need to find two strong men to help me lift a couple of big, used TV’s out of my basement. Chuh! What’s the world coming to eh? The ole fella can’t even lift up a TV now. (smile) But as they say, after one time is definitely two yes! 

And since it is Saturday, lazy Saturday, let’s meander into some quotes of this week by our friend Anselm, who sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow.  Hear this first one: ‘Don’t let vague fears hold you back from doing what you want. So I have learned to ask myself this: honestly, what is the worst that could happen?’ 

Yes my people, a lot of times we allow some uncertain, hazy, can’t put our finger on it fear to stop us from moving on up. That’s when we need our faith to step in and give us proper guidance. And that fear can ofttimes lead us into this situation. ‘Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.’ Oh do we ever make mountains out of molehills, especially in this selfish and whining society in which we now live! 

And to stop doing that, we need to ‘Cultivate and live in a positive environment. To be able to stay positive it is essential to have influences in your life that support you and lift you up instead of dragging you down. So carefully consider what you let into your mind.’ And also who you let into your life, because the people in your life can influence your mind. 

But then too, we must ‘Add value and positivity to someone else’s life. What you send out you tend to get back from the world and the people in it.’ Now that’s indisputable truth, because it’s just God’s infallible principle of you reap what you sow. So, if we want to get good things in our lives, we need to sow good things into the lives of others. As simple as that my brethren. 

And this is how Bruh Paul says it to the Corinthians in our Bit. ‘But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully (with blessings) shall reap bountifully.’ It couldn’t get any plainer and more straightforward than that friends. 

As the scholars explain: ‘9:6. One’s return is determined by his investment (cf. Prov.11:24; Luke 6:38; Gal.6:7). The expression ‘ep’ eulogiais’ ordinarily translated “with blessings” here has the sense of “generously.” While it does not suggest indiscriminate giving, it does denote “unrestrained” giving.’ 

Yes friends, we don’t have to give willy-nilly, but when we do give, we must give as generously as we can. Our return depends on the size of our investment. The bigger it is, the bigger our return will be. As Bruh Paul continues after our Bit: ‘Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity (compulsion): for God LOVETH a cheerful giver.’ (2 Cor.9:7) 

Ah mih people, Christians ought to take joy in giving, in sharing the blessings our generous heavenly Father has poured out on us. Let’s remember He did not give us all that we have for our use alone, but to share it with the less fortunate. 

And the scholars explain that verse thus:  ‘9:7. Cheerful giver: The giver is to have a willing heart and a sincere desire to participate in the offering. Paul is not so much interested in their money. Nor is God for that matter, as the passage from Proverbs 22:9 indicates. The Greek term ‘hilaron,’ from which the English “hilarious” derives, is best rendered as the English text suggests, “cheerful.” Giving is not a joke. It is serious business, but it is a delightful experience all the same.’ 

And it surely is precious people of God, for when you give from a cheerful and generous heart, you experience a divine feeling, one of helping, of making the heart of someone else glad, which in turn makes your heart glad. Glory to God!  And I guess we ought to see what Proverbs 22:9 says. ‘He that hath a bountiful (generous) eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor.’ No doubting that my fellow believers! 

Now listen to Jesus, as He adds His two cents worth to the topic. (smile) ‘Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom (pocket). For with the same measure that ye mete (use) withal (with that) it shall be measured to you again.’ (Luke 6:38) 

Yeh friends, whatever measure you use to give, be it a teaspoon, a tablespoon, or a shovel, the same one will be used to give back to you. And please notice I didn’t say that eh; it was Jesus. So if you don’t believe Him, then I don’t know who you’ll believe. Now, from personal experience, I know that the principle is very true. But you will never know for yourself until you try it. Much LOVE!

…as Granny use to say…the more you give…the more you get…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 March 2017 Psalm 118:24.

Psalm 118:24.   This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Oh friends, it was indeed a late beddy-byes time this morning, and the ole body fought me tooth and nail to get up at a half-decent hour, so I’m not necessarily at my Herculean best this Wednesday morning. (smile) 

However, with the gracious help of the Lord God Jehovah, we WILL write something that is worthy of your attention. Hn, hn! And we’ll begin with this interesting and heartfelt prayer from Antoinette, a former resident of Covenant House. 

Covenant House is an institution in Toronto that takes in, cares for and teaches homeless teenagers how to build strong lives. The prayer is titled ‘I’ll be There.’ 

Please pray with me. ‘When you need to talk, I’ll be your friend. When you need to cry, I’ll be by your side. When you need a hand, mine I will lend. When you need to trust in me, you can confide. When you need to be LOVED, I’ll be there. I’ll be there when you need someone. My door is open when you want to come in. Amen.’  

Oh my people, so sweet, simple and to the point! And I do hope that there is at least one somebody in our lives that we can say those touching and God-inspired words to, and one somebody who can say them to us. Otherwise, our lives are sadly missing one of the most important things in God’s great universe; a true friend. 

Now Jesus will ALWAYS be our BEST FRIEND, but we do need some other human being to sufficiently value us, and be of sufficient value to us, that we will ALWAYS be there for one another, regardless of the circumstances, regardless of the pitfalls and inconveniences. There is no greater relationship between human beings. 

And it always amuses me at how I come upon these prayers, most of the time hidden under some forgotten paperwork on my desk, like this one I discovered last night, or in some other obscure place. Our wonderful Lord knows just when to bring them to the light of day, so we can share them and boost our spirits and uplift our lives. 

That’s why it’s ever so important to respond to each day that we breathe a God-given breath and see the rising sun in the manner our Bit describes. ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.’ 

Yeh mih people, that’s why the Lord made us to see it, so that we can be glad and rejoice in His mercy, grace and LOVING-kindness, while fulfilling the wonderful plan He has for our lives! 

It doesn’t make sense to just go through this earthly life all sad and dreary, lacking the fullness of God, specially designed to be an integral part of our pilgrim’s journey. So let’s stop behaving as though we are orphans nuh, with no heavenly Father to care for and look after us, for that makes Him look like a bad Father, and that He certainly isn’t! 

Now let’s turn to His holy and inspired Word to see just how much He desires us to be glad and rejoice, even in these rough earthly times. Listen to Bruh David from Psalm 69 – A cry of distress. ‘But I am poor and sorrowful: let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high. 

I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. This also shall please the Lord better than an ox or bullock that hath horns and hoofs. The humble shall see this, and be glad: and your heart shall live that seek God. For the Lord heareth the poor, and despiseth not his prisoners. 

Let the heaven and earth praise him, the seas, and everything that moveth therein. For God will save Zion, and will build the cities of Judah: that they may dwell there, and have it in possession. The seed (descendants) also of his servants shall inherit it: and they that LOVE his name shall dwell therein.’ (Ps.69:30-36) 

Yuh see friends, even in Bruh David’s cry of distress, he realizes that raising his voice in song and thanksgiving and being faithful to the God of his fathers is the wise and sensible thing to do. 

Now hear these immortal words from Cousin Sol, writing as the Preacher in Ecclesiastes. ‘I know that there is no good in them (nothing better for them), but for a man to rejoice, and do good in his life. And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.’ (Eccl.3:12-13) 

Oh my brethren, those are words that many of us know, yet we refuse to follow them! Why eh? Is it that we don’t believe them? As true believers we ought to, and thus live by them. 

Being glad and rejoicing is truly a gift of God, and when we don’t do it, He feels disappointed. And since we don’t want to disappoint our heavenly Father, let’s perk up and live the way He desires nuh. 

Now it’s time to declare our Wednesday Wail with all sincerity and truth. ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And if you truly believe that, then let’s go out and put it into action! Much LOVE!

…faith without action is of no use whatsoever…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 July 2014 Mark 5:36b

Mark 5:36b.        Be not afraid, only believe.
 

Well Friends, it’s Monday once again! Time to be up and at ‘em! Steups! I was up and at ‘em early enough, but just as I was almost finished, a power black out happened, and though I was saving the stuff, I still lost a fair amount of it.
 
And the sad and hurtful part is that I usually write a rough copy, but today I didn’t. Yuh see the method to my madness mih young daughter? She always laughs at me for doing a rough copy.
 
Anyway, my advice to you was to stop complaining and whining and get on with going to work in a fairly pleasant mood. But as the Lord would have it, I was tested before I even got done. Ah Lord eh! I’m laughing now, but believe me, I did moan and groan some back then.
 
However, as I keep telling us, I just have to suck it up, grin and bear it and start over. Hn! So without further ado, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with plenty spunk and harmony, for I surely need something to boost my spirits. (smile) 
 
‘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!’
 
That was wonderful Friends! I was moved. Thanks. And I guess by now you’ve realized that I never finished all the scriptures that I wanted to yesterday, (smile) hence our Bit of Jesus’ few, simple, but powerful words again. ‘Be not afraid, only believe.’
 
And the first scripture I want to deal with comes from John 14, where Jesus is telling His disciples that He is the way, the ONLY WAY to the Father. The chapter opens thus: ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.’ (John 14:1)
 
And the scholars say this about that verse. ’14:1. Let not your heart be troubled refers to Peter, Jesus just having told him of his imminent denial of His Lord (13:38). But the larger reference is to all the apostles, through whom Jesus is going to lay the foundation of the church.
 
His comfort also includes instruction about His departure, the sending of the Holy Spirit, the promise of spiritual power, of answered prayer, and of peace, but especially the promise of His return.’
 
But wouldn’t you know it, there is doubt and disbelief in the camp. Thomas questions Jesus about where He is going, and while trying to enlighten Thomas, about Him being the way the truth and the life, and if He had known Him he would also have known the Father, Philip says to Jesus: ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth (will satisfy) us.’ (John 14:8)
 
Poor Jesus, He must have been so disappointed with them, and goes on to lecture Philip. ‘Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, show us the Father?
 
Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself (my own authority): but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.
 
Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.’ (John 14:9-14)
 
And we’ll end with some important and interesting explanations on those verses from the scholars. ’14:9. Seen me…seen the Father: There are no attributes of deity that the Son does not possess. This statement is most powerful. Everything that is true of God the Father is also true of the Son. The doctrine of the Trinity in the New Testament may be inscrutable (wholly mysterious), but it is also inescapable.
 
14:11. Works’ sake: Jesus reiterates what He had said to the Pharisees (10:38), but here His words fall on receptive ears. The works have evidential value to the unsaved (to convince of the truth), and the saved (to assure of the truth).
 
14:12. Greater works: Greater in quantity, certainly not quality. Christ’s ministry was primarily to Israel. His followers were going to reach the limits of the world.
 
14:13-14. In my name means “as my agent.” The promise of answered prayer is based on the disciple acting as the agent of Jesus’ will (cf. 16:23-26) It is also linked here especially in the accomplishment of the “greater works.” The promise is for unlimited resources to do the works of God.’
 
Oh my people, I do hope that we received and digested all that info from the scholars, because all those promises still stand today for us! Wow! Unlimited resources to do God’s work. Whichever employer ever offers that eh? None!
 
So let’s get it together this Monday morning nuh, let’s be wise and accept all that Jesus offers, so that we can be a powerful force in His name, in this evil and ungodly world. For that my Friends is the epitome of wisdom! Much LOVE!
 
…to believe or not to believe…some find it a difficult question…but the answer is simple and straightforward…BELIEVE…

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 August 2013 Luke 18:14

Luke 18:14.    I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
 
Oh Friends, it’s Monday once again, time to get ready for a new week of work! And though by nature, mankind is lazy and likes to procrastinate, as believers in Jesus Christ, we have the responsibility to get up and get things done in His name.
 
That’s why on Mondays we shouldn’t be miserable and complain about having to go to work, but be happy that we have the opportunity to get out and fight a good fight for Jesus; a fight that will consequently have lost souls falling at His feet in repentance, seeking mercy and salvation.
 
Now let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, in full voice, with purposed hearts, to energize our selves and get us ready to face the wicked and godless world that awaits us.
 
All together 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!’
 
That certainly was a most hearty rendition my people! All heaven was pleased. Now let’s check out our Bit. ‘I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.’
 
Yes my brethren, today we’re again going to look at two major problems in our society, foolish pride and false exaltation. Now the world places great emphasis on our physical attributes, achievements, power and social status, but Jesus teaches the greater benefits to be had from the virtue of humility. That’s because a humble spirit is one of the most important principles in God’s realm. We cannot come before Him without a humble and contrite spirit.
 
Note what Jesus said about the Pharisee and the publican in our Bit. The former, who exhibited a proud and arrogant spirit, would be abased, cast down from his haughty heights, while the latter with a genuinely humble heart, though a corrupt sinner, would be exalted, simply because of his contrition.
 
Ah mih people, it’s the very same lesson that Jesus taught in the parable of the wedding feast. (Luke 14:7-14) There He tells us that when we’re invited to a function with no specific seating arrangements, don’t run up to the front, or the place that is the most visible, where you can be seen by everyone and have them think that you’re so important.
 
But rather, stay in the background, find a seat that’s not so visible, so that when the host or hostess comes and sees you sitting in that lowly position, they will move you up, exalt you to a higher position and chase one of those self-important, social status seekers, who had proudly vaulted himself, down to your position. ‘For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased (humbled); and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.’ (Luke 14:11) And Jesus says the same thing again when He denounces the scribes and Pharisees in Matthew 23:12.
 
Oh my brethren, how many times does Jesus have to repeat that all important principle for us to accept it and actually put it into practice eh? Remember we can’t be straddling the fence, having one foot in the ungodly world and one in the divine realm. It has to be both feet in one or the other.
 
Yes, we do have to be IN the world to see and know what’s happening and help to make it right, but we cannot be OF the world, advancing its immorality, ungodliness and evil practices. And with our sinful human nature, that’s not always easy to do, but with a conscious decision, serious determination, the help of the Holy Spirit and our continued concentration on the things of God, we can do a fantastic job.
 
And we have time and space for one scripture that also reminds us of the immeasurable value of humility in God’s arena. It comes from Job, when his good buddy Eliphaz was lambasting him for his supposed sins. And though Eliphaz was on the wrong track in particular with Job, in general, he had the right idea, as he tells him. ‘When men are cast down, then shalt thou say, There is lifting up (exaltation); and he shall save the humble person.’ (Job 22:29)  
 
Now Friends, that’s eternal wisdom, for wherever and whenever men are abased for their proud, haughty behaviour, they can yet be exalted by our merciful God of second chances with the proper contrition. So please let’s embrace it and go out and fight a good fight in Jesus’ name today, well suited up in our spiritual armour plus all the other necessities of war. Much LOVE!
 
…if we truly LOVE Jesus…then we’ll do our very best to fulfill His desires…