Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 January 2020 Matthew 6:33.

Matthew 6:33.    ​But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
 
And on this first Saturday in the new year, there is a veneer, a patina of snow on the ground. (smile) Oh, it’s not much, but we haven’t seen any for a few days now because the temperature has been around 4 or 5 since New Year’s Eve. But let’s not get too complacent, these are the northern climes in the winter season, and as such, are supposed to receive a fair amount of snow. So though climate change has somewhat disrupted the schedule, don’t worry, we will get our fair share eventually. (smile) 

And with that prognostication – what a way the ole fella using big words this morning! Just hope he’s using them right. (smile) So let’s stay prepared! Anyway, it’s Saturday, that means we need to look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he continues aspiring to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And he’s certainly waxed long and wise this past week. 

Hear this first one: ‘A fantasy noted down with a date turns into an objective. An objective partitioned into ascertained strides turns into an arrangement. An arrangement bolstered by activities makes your fantasies work out as expected. So this New Year, take your fantasies, travel the distance to their goal and make them a reality.’ Now how can I find any fault with that eh, since it calls for sincere belief, endurance and perseverance, three of the most important aspects of a believer’s life. 

My only comment is that I hope our biggest fantasy, well not really a fantasy, but rather a goal, is to walk closer with Jesus this new year of 2020! Now if we do that, then things will be awesome, the Lord will work out everything for good, as He’s so faithfully promised! Glory Be! And following on from that, is this gospel true quote. ‘There are greater things to be achieved in every new year, and each and everyone must prepare themselves to be great, not by words of the mouth, but by a lot of sacrifices.’ 

Now friends, that is an eternal truth we can never escape! All of us want to be great. But too many of us don’t realize that to be a notch or two above the ordinary also takes more sacrifices than it does to be just ordinary. Take a close look at the lives of any great person, and you’ll see the abnormal amount of sacrifices he or she made to reach the level we consider great. Rising up in this life was never, and will never be easy. Look at Jesus. Our Lord and Saviour, the Son of God; His achieved His greatness at considerable sacrifice, the ultimate in sacrifice, His sinless life. 

And as followers of His, we are also called to make sacrifices. Most likely not as much, or as painful as He did, but definitely some that will indeed hurt our flesh. So, if we want to truly follow Jesus this year my brethren, we have to be prepared to make some serious sacrifices, not merely talking a good talk, because walking in His footsteps calls for exactly that! And this next quote is long but wise and very doable, and one we should all try to implement, with Jesus’ help of course. 

Listen up: ‘We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives… not looking for flaws, but for potential. Things to think about for 2020: 1. Talk less; listen more; 2. Remind yourself you are not the General Manager of the Universe; 3. Sit on your ego; 4. Take one day at a time; 5. Separate worries from concerns. If a situation is a concern, find out what God would have you to do and let go of the anxiety. If you can’t do anything about a situation, forget it; 6. Pray. Happy New Year to all my friends and family.’ 

And it’s rather unfortunate, but quite true, that ALL of us can take those six steps to heart this new year and implement them in our lives! But please remember that the most important step is the last one: ‘PRAY!’ Yes friends, prayer is ever so important because it means serious communication with God; the source, the fountainhead of all that we are, of our very being; the holy, immortal and omnipotent One who fashioned us in His celestial image, and breathed His awesome breath of life into our dirt based bodies! 

So having said all of that, here’s the last quote: ‘Cheers to a new year and another chance for you to get it right.’ And what do we mean by that? Well two scriptures stand out in my mind right now. The first is Jesus’ assurance to his disciples, and consequently to us His modern-day followers. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

And so He has my fellow believers. He has defeated hell, death and the grave, and has the keys of both heaven and hell attached to his key ring, so we don’t have to worry about anything, just  receive His awesome peace that passes all the understanding our puny and finite minds can muster, and be cheerful because of all the wonderful things He’s done on our behalf. 

But nonetheless this next scripture is the one that will really cause us to enjoy all the blessings, and endure with strong faith, all the ‘sufferation’ that’s inherent in a believer’s life. Again, the wise advice of Jesus: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ 

Now my people, that’s our first step for this new year. Please, let’s take it, and take it very seriously, so that our greatly disturbed, badly directed, desperate world and all therein, can benefit from God’s goodness! Much LOVE!

…2020…must be the year…we sincerely talk the talk…and even more importantly…walk the walk…in Jesus’ name… Amen!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 January 2020 Psalm 146:2.

Psalm 146:2.    ​While I live will I praise the Lord: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.
 

HAPPY  NEW  YEAR !

Well we’re wishing all and sundry a Happy 2020 indeed! Yes 2019 was sort of rough for many of us, but we’re definitely going to keep keeping on in 2020, fighting the good fight, hoping for, and by our strong faith, eagerly expecting the best! Our God is a good God, so why shouldn’t we expect the best from Him eh? No reason whatsoever! And I hope that you all had a wonderful New Year’s Eve celebration last night, but didn’t give the evil Lucifer any room to raise his ugly head in your affairs. My celebrations were minimal, but I did get to bed rather late, hence the tardiness of the Bit. (smile) 

But most of all, I hope that we ALL made the significant resolution to walk with Jesus even closer in this new year, this new decade! Why? Because it’s the most significant and productive resolve we can ever have in this life. If He’s truly the Way, the Truth and the Life, then who else can you follow and be successful eh? NOBODY! So let’s wake up and smell the roses, the coffee, whatever will put sense and wisdom in our heads, and help us to get as tight as possible with Jesus this year my people. 

Remember, He is the great ‘butterer’ of our bread, the one who enables us to get true wealth and success! He is also a maker and keeper of wonderful promises, the giver of second chances and new beginnings. So on this first day of this new year of 2020, let’s celebrate all of God’s goodness with this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, appropriately titled ‘HAPPY NEW YEAR!’ 

Please pray with me: ‘This very first day Of the fresh new year I sing a new song – A joyful, exalted song! With Israel’s sweet singer I exclaim: “How good it is to sing God’s praise How delightful and how right.” The volume increases The tempo accelerates. With glorious anticipation I shout a rousing welcome To the up-and-coming days. The future cannot daunt me Every inscrutable mystery Becomes a consolation of joy For with You in control, dear God The worst may happen but the best is yet to come.’  

And isn’t that the God awesome truth my faithful brethren! The Best is yet to come for all true believers in Christ Jesus! Wow! What a way to begin this new year with high and glorious expectations and a rousing shout of joy, knowing that our Most Venerable Father God is still on the throne, running things, with His most able assistant and right hand man Jesus in the wings watching over our every move and step, providing heavenly and angelic hands to guide us and keep us from falling. And all God’s people gave a loud and proud and grateful cheer of: ‘Hallelujah! The Lord is great! Great and most worthy to be praised in all the earth and heavens! Amen!’ 

And thus our Bit for today is the same as the Bible Promise for our poem; the magnificent words of the psalmist as he declares (yeah!) the blessedness of  trusting God. So please sing with me in loud and sincere voice: ‘Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah). Praise the Lord, O my soul. While I live will I praise the Lord: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.’ (Ps.146:1-2) Yes my people, praising our great God is indeed wisdom of the highest order! 

And that’s not all, the psalmist continues his wise advice: ‘Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man (a human being), in whom there is no help (no salvation). His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.’ (Ps.146:3-4) What gospel truth my brethren! Mankind really doesn’t have much to offer because he was made from the dirt and that’s where he eventually returns when the Lord recovers his breath of life. 

But hear the ultimate wisdom nuh: ‘Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God.’ (Ps.146:5) Mamma Mia! What an awesome bit of advice and everlasting truth! The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the ONLY ONE worthy of worship! 

Why? Because Hs is the ONE ‘Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever: Which executeth judgement (justice) for the oppressed: which giveth food to the hungry. The Lord looseth (gives freedom to) the prisoners: The Lord openeth the eyes of the blind: the Lord raiseth them that are bowed down: the Lord LOVETH the righteous: The Lord preserveth (watches over) the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down (makes crooked).’ (Ps.146:6:9) 

Now friends, if you can show me another deity who does all of that, plus give us Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, then I’ll certainly bow down and worship him. But until then, I’ll stick with the One I know, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, because there simply is not another capable of His mighty deeds, amazing compassion and unconditional LOVE, neither is there any other who can provide salvation. End of story! 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeah!) our Wednesday Wail, with much gusto and sincerity, letting the world know in no uncertain terms our awesome position in Christ. As one now: ‘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 my people, what a truly glorious future that will be if we persevere and endure in strong faith till the end. Much LOVE!

…let’s up the ante in 2020…by walking closer to, and with God…each and every day…it’s true wisdom…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 December 2018 1 Chronicles 16:8.

1 Chronicles 16:8.   Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.
 
Well mih people, it’s the day that so many of us have waited for with baited breath; New Year’s Eve, or as we use to call it down south Old Year’s Day! But as they say, a rose by any other name is still a rose, and whether we refer to it as an intro to the New Year or as a goodbye to the Old Year, it’s till the same khaki pants! (smile) 

And I know that many of us are making excited preparations to ring out the old year and ring in the new one, getting out we fancy dan-dan to go out and party, and practicing puckering up we lips for that great midnight kiss, (smile) while making sumptuous plans and resolutions for the New Year. 

And believe me, I don’t want to burst yuh bubble nuh, but here’s a li’l secret; it all won’t make one iota of difference unless we change the way we think, and cleanse our hearts and spirits by getting closer to Jesus! Once the newness and its excitement wears off, we’ll, like the animals of comfort and complacency we are, simply return to our old ways of life. 

That’s why I keep saying the ONLY resolution we need to make is to sincerely promise ourselves to walk closer and more faithfully with Jesus this coming year of 2019! And friends, once we do that, everything else will fall into place; we’ll lose the necessary weight, drop the addictions, improve our financial picture, have a more caring and compassionate self and family, etc. etc. 

For remember, it’s the Lord who helps us to get wealth and all the other good things in life! Like Jesus said, seek first His kingdom and righteousness, then all that you need will be added unto you. And believe me friends, that’s not an empty promise. But you won’t experience it, until you try it! End of sermon! 

And since it’s Monday and many of us have to go to work and are in a crotchety mood, because work is interfering with our New Year’s Eve plans, let’s turn to our heavenly Father and declare our heartfelt plea, in our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, which has the awesome power to lift our spirits and faith in our awesome God. All together now, with as much enthusiasm as we can muster: 

‘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!’ Yes friends, let’s do whatever we have to do, as though we doing it for Jesus and we’ll find it all goes down so much easier! 

That’s the secret of living this earthly life in good form and shape; truly believe we’re doing it for our wonderful Lord and Saviour, who LOVED us so much that He chose to selflessly sacrifice His sinless life, taking our sins on His burly shoulders, so that we could receive the free grace of salvation and eternal life! Wow! 

And the Good Book opened this morning at a most appropriate place; at Bruh David’s psalm of thanksgiving after he successfully brought the Ark of the Covenant up to Jerusalem. And having praised the Lord, offered the necessary sacrifices, given everyone meat and wine, and appointed singers and musicians to fill the air with thankful words and music, the Good Book declares: 

‘Then on that day David delivered first this psalm to thank the Lord into the hand of Asaph and his brethren. Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works. Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord. Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually. 

Remember his marvellous works that he hath done, his wonders, and the judgements of his mouth; O ye seed of Israel his servant, ye children of Jacob, his chosen ones. He is the Lord our God; his judgements are in all the earth. Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.’ (1 Chr.16:7-15) 

Ah friends, on this last day of this rather disastrous and controversial year of 2018, I implore us to read those words prayerfully, and let’s action them in 2019 nuh, because it’s all for our benefit. And I’m sure none of us wants to go through another tough and trying year like 2018. However, we can only be assured of that if we sincerely and diligently seek the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob like we’ve never done before! Much LOVE!

…when sincere thanks and praise rise up to heaven…it’s doors open wide…and untold blessings pour down upon the earth…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 December 2016 Matthew 6:33.

Matthew 6:33.    But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. 

Well friends, the big day of New Year’s Eve is finally here! The partying will be sensational, the food will be to die for and the alco will be flowing like water! And everybody will hug and kiss at midnight and wish everyone a Happy New Year. Our society will be overflowing with good feelings for at least one time in the year. Glory to God! 

And everybody will be making resolutions to improve every aspect of their lives. But wait, by a couple of weeks later all those promising resolutions would have unfortunately bitten the dust. Most of us will revert to our former selves and our former caustic, uncaring behaviour, for the New Year’s scene is simply one without any real substance. We create a great clamour as we ring in the New Year, but in truth it only lasts for a short while, since nothing much changes from one day to the next. 

Oh I know some of you might think I’m being pessimistic, but I’m simply being realistic. I’ve seen it happen for so many years of my life, and each year our society becomes more evil and ungodly. Now nothing is wrong with a good party, but when we place so much emphasis on it and we don’t follow through, then it becomes a waste of time. 

Now since it’s Saturday, here are a few quotes, resolutions, from our friend Anselm, who aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Here is the first one. ‘One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this – To rise above the little things.’ And that does make sense, because we should never sweat the little things. 

Then he says: ‘Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better person.’ Now that makes sense too. And the third one declares: ‘Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.’ And the last one is: ‘Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.’ 

Oh my people, all those resolutions are useful in their own way, but we don’t need so many. As I said at the end of last year, there is ONLY ONE RESOLUTION we need to make, and that is a sincere and diligent resolve to walk closer with Jesus, our Lord, Saviour, Friend, Brother, etc. etc. each and every day that His wonderful breath of life courses through our bodies! End of story! 

Walking sincerely with Jesus, and trying to be a more mature Christian encompasses everything else we need or want to do.  Why do you think He went through the trouble in the Sermon on the Mount to tell us our Bit eh? ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.’  Yes my fellow believers, all who have pledged their allegiance to Jesus, must keep on seeking His kingdom and its righteousness without ceasing. 

Then Jesus adds: ‘Take therefore no thought for the morrow (Therefore do not worry about tomorrow): for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt.6:33) 

And the scholars tell us, re those two verses. ‘6:33-34. The present imperative form of the verb (Gr. zeteo) indicates a continual or constant seeking. The contrast between the spiritual and the material is again emphasized. The believer is to seek first the righteousness that is characteristic of God’s kingdom and then all these things (material things) shall be added to him. 

When our priority is spiritual, God will take care of the material, for where God guides, He provides. We need not even worry about tomorrow, for sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. (v.34) This means that each day has its own troubles and challenges to be responsibly handled, without worrying about the hypothetical problems that could arise tomorrow.’  

And the sad part is that many of us Christians are material seekers as well as tomorrow worriers! The things of the world take first place in our lives, and consequently we have to worry about what will happen tomorrow. But if we just concentrate on following Jesus, we won’t have those things to worry about and all our material needs would be met. 

Hear what Bruh Paul told Timothy on the subject. ‘But refuse (reject) profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. 

This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. These things command and teach.’ (1 Tim.4:7-11)  

Now listen to the scholars. ‘4:8. The verse may be paraphrased, “For physical exercise is of limited value, but godliness, the result of spiritual exercise, has unlimited value, since it brings blessings for both now and eternity.’ 

Yeh friends, if we seek God first, things like physical exercise, healthy diets, and all the stuff we feel we need, they will be inculcated into our walk with Him. As we go, Jesus will see what we need and guide us and give us the wherewithal to accomplish them. 

And if you want an example of all that we’ve said, just read about Cousin Sol in 1 Kings 3:3-15, and you’ll see when he asked the Lord for wisdom and understanding to rule his people Israel, instead of riches and honour, the Lord made him both the wisest and richest man who ever lived. 

Friends, He will do the same thing for each of us who sincerely surrenders to and trusts in Him. Now the burning question I have to ask before we close, is did we walk closer with Jesus this year, did we become more mature, more spiritually minded Christians? 

Now only you and Jesus know the answer, and I sincerely hope we did. But just in case we didn’t, I’m pleading with us to make walking closer with Jesus our ONE and ONLY resolution for 2017. Let’s seriously focus in on it nuh. So at the end of 2017, if we’re still around, and I ask that question again, this time I’ll get a joyful shout of ‘Yes, I did!’ Now that’s wisdom at its zenith! Much LOVE!

…dress up in yuh fancy dan-dan…and party hearty…but please remember…that drunk or sober…to mind yuh business…