Today’s Scrip-Bit   10 October 2021 Matthew 25:13.

Matthew 25:13.     Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

One more time friends, one more time, to celebrate the Lord’s day with praise and worship! It doesn’t matter how or where, because prayer and praise are spiritually lifted up to our heavenly Father. So our physical positions are not all that important, be it in the sanctuary together, or home alone, joined by technology. The most important thing then, is that we agree on our purpose for coming together; that is to give the Lord thanks and praise for His wonderful kindness to the children of men. 

And as always, we begin our proceedings with a song of praise. Today’s song is a favourite old Christian ditty that has provided yeoman’s service to believers down through the years, and has been a useful tool for teaching children about Christ. It’s titled ‘Give Me Oil in My Lamp.’ I don’t know who wrote it, but it sure gets my spirit going, makes me want to offer up sacrificial praise. So let’s sing it from the heart nuh, in a bright, up-tempo riddim, because it’s a song of joy and reassurance. 

‘Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning. Give me oil in my lamp, I pray. Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning. Keep me burning till the break of day. (Refrain: Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King of kings! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King!) Give me love in my heart, keep me sharing. Give me love in my heart, I pray. Give me love in my heart, keep me sharing. Keep me sharing till the break of day. (Refrain) 

Give me joy in my heart, keep me singing. Give me joy in my heart, I pray. Give me joy in my heart, keep me singing. Keep me singing till the break of day. (Refrain) Give me faith in my heart, keep me praying. Give me faith in my heart, I pray. Give me faith in my heart, keep me praying. Keep me praying till the break of day. (Refrain: Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King of kings! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King!).’ 

Awright friends, that was awesome! You could feel it coming straight from our hearts! And it had to be good, when all of heaven joined in the singing and dancing with us. (smile) They say it’s based on, or alludes to the parable of the ten virgins going to the bridal feast that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 25:1-13. Five were wise and five were foolish. The first ones took extra oil, just in case the bridegroom was late, but the latter five took none. 

So, as is often the case, the bridegroom was late and the lamps of the last five ran out of oil, and obviously the wise five refused to share theirs. That meant the foolish five had to go and get oil for their lamps, but by the time they returned, the bridegroom had come and the doors were closed and they were refused entry. And the corollary to all that were these simple words from Jesus. ‘Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.’ (Matt. 25:13) 

Yes my people, it’s a serious warning that we are to be on constant watch for the bridegroom of the church – Jesus Christ, for He can come at any time. And if He doesn’t find us ready and waiting to come to the bridal feast, then we’ll be left out of all the festivities, headed for eternal separation from the bridegroom, the Saviour. And I can’t emphasize strongly enough how sad such a fate will be. It therefore behooves us to get our act together, right now, to get extra oil for our lamps, that we can wait in the light and not in darkness, and be there ready and waiting, full of joy when our Saviour returns, as He has faithfully promised to do. 

And I like how Jerry L. Ogles, the Presiding Bishop of the Anglican Orthodox Church Worldwide Communion, breaks down the verses in an article on their website. For instance, re the first verse, ‘Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning…’ he says: ‘Certainly, we must ask for the right fuel to light our lamps. Lamps filled with water will avail nothing – it must be the kind of oil that BURNS. 

That oil, to the Christian, is the Holy Spirit. He, the Holy Spirit, is like that oil of the widow woman in 1 Kings 17 whose oil and meal never ran out. We need light for our path, and we have no light if we have no Spirit to guide our feet. Our Lamps must not only contain oil for fuel, but be lit with the fire of faith. The break of day comes with the Sun of Righteousness rising for our final victory in the Lord.’ Glory be my fellow saints! I could not put it any better. 

And per the second verse, ‘Give me LOVE in my heart, keep me sharing…’ he comments thus: ‘The legs by which the Holy Spirit moves in our hearts are those of LOVE. LOVE is the most invincible force known on earth. In fact, Paul tells us that there is one thing that survives death complete, and that is LOVE. “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39 (KJV) 

There is only one kind of truly pure LOVE, and that is of God. LOVE unshared dies in the vessel – we must give it out and see how wonderfully it replenishes itself.’ Mama, oh Mama! Isn’t that the gospel truth! There is nothing that replenishes itself like LOVE! 

Then for the third verse, ‘Give me joy in my heart, keep me singing…’ he declares (steups!): ‘One characteristic that distinguishes the Christian from the common of humanity is JOY expressed under every hardship and trial. This mystifies the world, and they cannot comprehend it. Joy comes through LOVE and prayer. One language of joy is that of song. In my most sorrowful moments, I may sing an old hymn of the Church and suddenly, even without realizing it, find myself as happy as can be in a personal revival of the soul. I never see tears in the eye of the singer of hymns unless they are formed in joy.’ That’s ever so true! 

And for the fourth verse, ‘Give me faith in my heart, keep me praying…’ he explains: ‘Though a child’s song, there is strong doctrinal perspective expressed. Faith is a gift of grace from God. It is the engendering nurture of the Holy Spirit that draws us ever closer to our Lord and inspires our Godly actions and thoughts. Faith is given by God. He sustains our physical being as well as our spiritual souls. We do not dictate the rate our hearts beat any more than we, through our own good intentions, cause our faith to build. 

The Light of Christ is a shared Light from Him. If our lamps are extinguished by winds of doubt, we may share a light from another; however, the original fire comes from God. It is good that our young children are taught the beginning principles of the Gospel through song; and we as adults also benefit in the same way from the singing of the biblical and classical hymns of the Church.’ 

More gospel truth friends. And I do hope that as we enjoy our Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend, we will indeed spend some time pondering on the Lord’s Word and His awesome goodness to our undeserving souls, and give real and sincere thanks for all the wonderful things we enjoy in this good land of Canada! Much LOVE!

…a heart filled with God…is one filled with joy and thanksgiving…                                                                                                         

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 March 2021 1 Thessalonians 4:18.

1 Thessalonians 4:18.     ​Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Please wake up my people…and I’m not talking about from physical sleep, but from spiritual apathy, from spiritual laziness, for the day of Christ coming for His church is closer than we think, and every day it draws nearer still. So are you prepared? If the trump of God was to sound right now in the sky and Jesus were to appear in glory, would you be ready to go with Him, or would He be forced to leave you behind? 

We all hope that the first situation will be the one, yet every day we keep putting off our preparedness, believing that we still have a lot of time. That’s a fallacy though friends, a betraying thought of Satan, for remember he wants us to go down into the fiery depths of hell with him and not to the majestic halls of heaven with Christ. 

So today I’m warning us about the fact that on any day, and at any time, we could hear that trump blowing in the wind of high heaven and Christ appearing. Remember too, that even He didn’t know when that marvellous occasion would occur. ‘But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.’ (Matt. 24:36) And thus He warned: ‘Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come…Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.’ (Matt. 24:42, 44) 

Oh friends, we’re sure that Jesus is coming back for us, we just don’t know when. However, it is imperative that we’re ready for whenever He comes, like the five wise virgins who took extra oil for their lamps were ready when the bridegroom eventually showed up. I don’t want us to be like the five foolish ones who didn’t take any extra oil and were shut out when he came. (Matt. 25:1-13) So please, let’s get serious and take this whole Rapture business to heart nuh! 

Remember Bruh Paul’s words to the church at Corinth: ‘Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump (trumpet): for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.’ (1 Cor, 15:51-53) 

Yes my fellow saints, we must become immortal and incorruptible to enter the hallowed halls so heaven. But, unfortunately, that will not happen to everybody; just those who are prepared for that big day. Again, remember Jesus’ words on the subject: ‘Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.’ (Matt. 24:40-41) And there will not be any more chances after that my brethren. That’s why it’s ever so important to get ready, RIGHT NOW! 

But let’s go back to Bruh Paul’s words to the Corinthians, on which the scholars have an interesting explanation. ‘15:52. At the last trump: This is not the last trumpet of Revelation 11:15, but the last trumpet of 1 Thessalonians 4:16. It is so designated because it signals the end of the present age. Two groups are distinguished. The dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. The term dead refers to those who have died in Christ. The term we refers to those who are still living at the time of the Rapture.’ 

So you see friends, this is indeed serious business, and will determine where you spend eternity, which is a long, long time. Now, there are only two options, heaven with Jesus, or eternal damnation with Satan. It’s your choice. But I’m warning us that if Jesus comes back and you’re not ready, then the automatic choice will be eternal damnation. That’s all I’m saying. 

So let’s turn now to Bruh Paul’s words to the Thessalonians, re the coming of the Lord. ‘But I would not have you be ignorant brethren (I have something to tell you), concerning them which are asleep (dead), that ye sorrow not (you will not continue to grieve), even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent (precede) them which are asleep (dead). 

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever (always) be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.’ (1 Thess. 4:13 -18) Oh my people, we surely can take comfort from those words, but we still must be ready for whenever that day comes, otherwise crapaud smoke we pipe! 

Now let’s check out some scholarly explanations.‘4:13. That ye sorrow not is in the present tense: “So you will not continue to grieve.” Apparently these believers were concerned about their LOVED ones who had died in the Lord, especially in view of Christ’s promised second coming. (cf. vs. 14-15).Hope (Gr. elpis) means “certain expectation.” Glory be! That’s what we believers have…and lots of it! 

‘4:14. Jesus died and rose again: The certainty of the believer’s hope is based on the resurrection of Jesus Christ (cf. 1 Cor. 15:20-23). Bring: This supposes that those who sleep in Jesus are with Him, and when He comes they will come with him.’ 4:15. Prevent(Gr. phthano “precede”): The Greek emphasizes that the living will have no advantage over the dead when Christ returns.’ 

‘4:16-17.The order of events of Christ’s coming is clearly given: (1) The Lord will descend with a shout, accompanied by the voice of the archangel, and the trump of God (cf. 1 Cor. 15:52); (2) the dead in Christ will be resurrected; and (3) then those remaining will be caught up with them in the clouds. Dead in Christ is a technical expression for believers of the church age. Caught up (Gr. harpazo, “to seize or snatch”): The Latin word for carry off is raptus. From which we get rapture. The doctrine of the Rapture of the church is given its clearest expression in this verse.’ 

‘4:18. Comfort :The Christian’s hope of the resurrection brings solace in the face of death – in contrast to the hopelessness of the heathen.’ And that’s exceedingly good news friends! Just imagine that because we believe in Christ we will live through eternity with Him, and furthermore be comforted by the fact that our LOVED ones will also be there with us! Wow! Nothing can be better than that! Both for this life and the one to come! 

Now for those of us who are convinced of those immortal, immovable and unchangeable facts, (smile) let’s go home declaring (awright!) our Thursday Blessings, which the Lord has generously bestowed on us to do His earthly work. Altogether now: ‘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 every day! Amen!’ 

Now it’s our divine responsibility to go and share those blessings with others, just as generously as the Lord shared them with us! Much LOVE!

…please be prepared…for that fateful day…is coming sooner than we expect… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 January 2021 Proverbs 3:35.

Proverbs 3:35.     The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion (legacy) of fools.

Let’s get with it nuh friends, for we are now one day older and thus one day closer to death, when we can’t make any changes in our eternal destination! 

Yes, death is staring each of us in the face every single moment of every day, and since we know not when our time will be up, doesn’t it make a whole lotta sense to ensure that our eternal destination will be heaven with Christ and not hell and damnation with Satan! It certainly does! 

But oh, I forgot that we have free choice and can do whatever we wish, when we want to…but not this immortal and most important decision. That has to be made while we’re still alive and kicking! 

Remember the supposedly wise man in Jesus’ parable of the rich fool? He had plenty, and thought he was going to live for a long time, so he planned to build bigger and better, saying: ‘And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.’ (Luke 12:19) 

Oh my people, a lot of us are behaving like that rich fool, acquiring earthly treasure and storing it up so we can eventually lead the easy life, but what about our treasure in heaven where so many of us hope to spend eternity eh? Just like we put away money in the bank for a rainy day, likewise we need to put up treasure in heaven for that bright and sunny day when we get there. 

And we all know what happened to that rich fool: ‘But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?’ (Luke 12:20) Now that’s a very good question, one we should all ask ourselves. 

Yeh friends, the Grim Reaper came calling for him that same night. Now what would happen if the Lord came calling for us sometime today eh, would we be prepared, or would we be caught napping like that rich fool? Would God make this statement towards us as He did towards that rich fool? ‘So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.’ (Luke 12:21) 

Friends, are we rich towards God? Are we storing up treasure in heaven, and not only concerned with what’s happening here on earth? I certainly hope not! For Cousin Sol tells us this:‘The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion (legacy) of fools.’(Prov. 3:35) 

Oh precious people, I know none of us want to leave a legacy of being foolish, so let’s be wise and take time, RIGHT NOW,to make sure our eternal destination is heaven and not hell nuh! 

That means ensuring we have Christ in us, and that we are in Him, we have accepted Him as our Lord and Saviour, and thus are obedient to His way of living, that we are children of God, joint heirs with Christ, have been redeemed, justified, sanctified, reconciled and sealed by the Holy Spirit as God’s own for ever and ever! 

Oh what a wonderful and joyful situation to be in my faithful brethren! And that’s what happens when we invite Jesus into our hearts, our lives and allow Him to take control of our eternal destination. We’re flooded with a joy inconceivable to the unbeliever, for the joy of the Lord is our strength. That’s why the enemy works so hard to keep us miserable and unhappy. He knows that’s where our strength lies. 

And oh, I forgot, there’s one more constraint on our eternal preparations; the Second Coming of Christ! Yes friends, if Christ comes back before the Grim Reaper comes a calling, then all bets are also off the table. The thing about Jesus’ Second Coming is that we don’t know when that will be either. 

As He himself said: ‘But of that day and hour knoweth no man, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.’ (Matt. 24:36-37) Yes mih bredrin, we’ll be eating and drinking and carrying on like they were in Noah’s time, unconcerned about sin and God, when like the flood suddenly came, Jesus will come back, like a thief in the night, unexpectedly. 

‘Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman (master) of the house had known in what watch (hour) the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered (allowed) his house to be broken up (into). Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.’ (Matt. 24:40.44) 

Those weren’t my words friends, they were Jesus’. So if He took the time to warn us, don’t you think it will be wise for us to heed it? I certainly do. And just in case you don’t understand the seriousness of that situation, listen to this explanation from the scholars. 

‘24:39-42.The observation that the people of Noah’s day knew not the severity and suddenness of the coming destruction indicates that the last generation will be totally unprepared for the coming of the Son of man, the return of Christ to judge the world. (See 2 Thess. 1:7-8) The reference to two being in the field or at work at the time of Christ’s return implies the suddenness of His coming to separate the lost and the saved.’ 

What else can I say eh friends, it’s all there in black and white! All I know that if either the Grim Reaper or Christ comes and we’re not ready, there’ll be much weeping and gnashing of teeth. So let’s get it together right now nuh, and avoid that sad and undesirable scenario. And for those of us who are seriously working on it, let’s go home now declaring (ah Lord eh!) our Thursday Blessings, generously bestowed on us to do Christ’s earthly work. 

Altogether now: ‘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 desired consequence of all that, is we go out and share those blessings just as generously with others in need.Much LOVE!

…be wise…be prepared…   

Epilogue! And you all wonder why I dislike computers and this technological society that is strangling us. Well over an hour ago, I was almost finished writing the Bit when the one-year-old computer broke down on me in the middle of writing. Steups! Try as I could, I was unable to get it to work. So here I am on my trusty laptop, so much older than that new-fangled machine and still going strong! 

And it’s a good thing that I had signed back into OneDrive, only a couple of days ago, else I would have to write over the Bit from start, and would be tearing my hair out and using even more expletive deletes than I am now. (smile) But the Good Lord does move in mysterious ways – give Him all the praise – and we finally finish. Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 December 2020 1 Corinthians 16:13-14.

1 Corinthians 16:13-14.     ​Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you (be brave) like men, be strong. Let all your things be done with charity (LOVE).

Sing it with me people: ‘And after the rain, yes after the rain, then comes the snow…oh yeah…after the rain, then comes the snow, alooking so white and beautiful, just like the good Lord made it to be, just like the good Lord made it to be…’ 

Oh friends, around 4 o’clock this morning, before I went to bed, I dreamed up that li’l ditty…obviously with the Lord’s help, since I could not concoct such profound statements all on my very own. (smile) But it had been raining for most of the day, and when I looked outside then, was I surprised to see the place all covered with that white virginal stuff. 

But yuh know something, once man puts foot in that virginal snow, he sullies it, sullies it good and proper, just like he sullies everything he touches. And just for your info, that white stuff is now falling again out there, coming down in a gazillion droplets, more like rain than snowflakes, but as they say, ‘one one cocoa full basket,’ so every drop that falls adds to, and heightens the level of snow on the ground. (smile) 

And another thing, it wasn’t only the snow that God made to be beautiful, but also mankind. That’s why it so cruelly breaks His soft and tender heart when we turn away from Him, and become the evil fiends our sinful nature adores. 

And remember, yesterday we were talking about the abdominal sinfulness of man, and considering if we had reached the limit yet where God would again destroy us? Well, unfortunately, I received this mind boggling, heartbreaking response from one of our Scrip-Bit family members. In her own words: ‘We have NOT reached the breaking point of sinfulness. The human capacity for evil is unending.’ Now doesn’t that just drive you crazy, to know that we can become even more sinful that we already are? 

Brother! I can’t even contemplate another level of sin for us to ascend to! I guess my mental capacity is just too small to comprehend such a big undertaking. But I prefer it so yes, because then I might just rise to a more sinful level myself. So please, please, just leave me at this level of sinfulness eh! (smile)

And the real sad part in all our sinfulness is not that it’s directed to, or against God nuh, although it works out thus in the long run, but all the evil we perpetrate is basically directed towards our fellow man and our life-giving environment. Man seems to be truly sadistic, destroying what he portends to LOVE, and in the process, his very self. 

And very unfortunately, it seems the olden but golden words of the prophet Jeremiah ring ever so true these days: ‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately (incurable) wicked: who can know it?’ (Jer. 17:9) Now does that mean our hearts can’t be cured of its wickedness? I certainly hope not, else there’s no hope whatsoever for us! 

The good thing though, is that our God and Creator knows the motives and will of all of our hearts. He made them so He knows how to decipher them, and that’s exactly what He does before He answers our prayers. That’s why the Lord said to Samuel, when He sent him to Jesse’s house to anoint a new king for Israel and Samuel thought the first son, Eliab, was the one: ‘Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused (rejected) him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.’ (1 Sam. 16:7) 

Oh my fellow believers, that’s why we need to often cry out to God like Bruh David did in Psalm 51 – A prayer for cleansing. ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me.’ (Ps. 51:10) Yes precious people of God, if our hearts are so wicked, then it’s only the Lord who can cleanse us and renew a right and steadfast spirit within us, so that we can continue to do His work down here on earth, and make it be as it is in heaven. 

And to help us with all that we’re currently going through, I read an interesting exhortation from Bruh Paul last night that seems very apropos to our situation. In his first missive to the church at Corinth, he exhorts them thus: ‘Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you (be brave) like men, be strong. Let all your things be done with charity (LOVE).’ (1 Cor. 16:13-14) Now that seems to be very good advice for all believers, or even better yet, ALL mankind, considering the turbulent, controversial and uncertain situation in which our world is currently entangled. 

And now just a few scriptures to reinforce that directive. First some more prayer and exhortation from Bruh Paul. To the Ephesians, he desired: ‘That he (the Lord) would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man.’ (Eph. 3:16) Yes friends, we do need divine enablement to help us successfully live the Christian life. 

And in exhorting the Philippians to steadfastness, he prayed. ‘Only let your conversation be as it becometh (let your conduct be worthy of) the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel. And in nothing (no way) terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token (a proof) of perdition (destruction), but to you of salvation, and that of God.’ (Phil. 2:27-28) 

That means my brethren, we need to stand strong together, in one spirit, in unity, spreading the gospel of Christ in LOVE, and not being afraid of those who come against us. For if our great God is for us, who can be against us eh, especially since He’s so faithfully promised that no weapon formed against us will prosper or harm us. (Is. 54:17) 

And last, but certainly not least, these momentous words from Christ Jesus as to when divine intervention would come, be it good or bad. ‘Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come… Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.’ (Matt. 24: 42, 44) And if we believe in Jesus, then we ought to adhere to His words – watch and pray…and be ready. 

So for those of us who sincerely try to do so, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting all and sundry know who and whose we are. In strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

So precious saints of Christ, it now behooves us to stand strong and steadfast in unity and share Jesus’ LOVE and friendship with ALL humanity! That’s our bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…and now abideth faith, hope, LOVE…these three… but the greatest of these is…LOVE… (1 Cor. 13:13) 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 July 2015 Matthew 5:14‏

Matthew 5:14.    Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.

Ah Friends, after one time is really two yes! Yesterday this time I felt so light and airy and pain free that I could have flown away. Hn! Today I’d have to be a helicopter to lift off the ground, because I can hardly walk, at least not pain free.

Ah Lord eh! Our God does move in mysterious ways that we humans definitely can’t understand nuh. Yesterday evening I went into my bathroom and simply put my left foot up on the bathtub level, intending to go up there, but brother, by the time I placed the weight on it, a sudden and entirely unexpected pain ran through my left knee, and it’s been bugging me ever since.

No rhyme or reason whatsoever for it. And my knees have been the least of my worries for the longest while, merely the occasional pain, but nothing that lasts as long and as excruciating as this.

A while ago I went outside to greet the day and say good morning, it seems like another beautiful one, and as I stepped back inside, the pain unexpectedly ricocheted through my soul and sent my cries reverberating through the house. I doubt anybody heard though, because they are all still asleep.

Chuh Steups! And the sad part is that today is the Caribana Steelband Competition, the only Caribana event that I still go to regularly. But I can’t go if I can walk without excruciating pain, because it does entail some walking, and even worse, climbing steps to get a good view of the celebration.

And believe me, I won’t be a happy camper if I don’t get to go. But yuh know what Friends, we’re supposed to be people of faith, of strong faith, so I’m just going to put that faith to work. If the pain could rear up its ugly head so unexpectedly, the same way it can disappear just as suddenly. Oh glory to God!

Now let’s deal with more important matters, today being Friday…

‘Thank God for that yes!’ the shouts reverberate around me. ‘Oh TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday, Caribana Friday to boot, and a long weekend too. Mama Mia! It’s party time!’

Awright Friends, that’s all true, but let’s just remember that ole crook Beelzebub, waiting patiently in the weeds to jump and latch on to any faux pas or ungodly behaviour that we might unwisely engage in. So please be careful and keep our wits about us, this Caribana weekend, for there will be plenty of opportunity to fall prey to the enemy.

And to help us with that, let’s chant our Friday Chant with great gusto.  ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through.

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’

Yeh Friends, we have to remember what lies ahead after the partying is over, the daily grind and common task once again, and include it in our deliberations on how to spend the weekend. Oh, and don’t forget Granny’s wise advice: ‘Sonny boy, please, ah beg yuh, remember, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’ (smile)

Oh my people, we couldn’t get any better advice than that in such a small nutshell, in such few words. Now let’s go out and practice it along with the overall duty set out in our Bit by our Lord, Leader and Saviour Jesus Christ. ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.’

Oh my fellow believers, it is indeed our bounden duty to bring the light of Jesus to this darkened and ungodly world. It is a truly big and difficult task, but only we who have seen the blessed light can accomplish it.

Luke in his gospel, when Jesus is talking about seeking the kingdom of God before anything else, quotes Him as saying: ‘Let your loins (waist) be girded about, and your lights burning.’ (Luke 12:35)

And the scholars explain it thus. ’12:35-48. Jesus recommends constant readiness in light of the approaching Judgement Day.’

’12:35. Loins be girded: One’s outer robe had to be tucked into a belt before working, running, doing battle, or the like. Jesus is saying, “Be alert!”

And that we certainly need to be my brethren, for we know not when our Lord will return in all His glory, but when he does return, He expects his people to be ready and waiting.

Jesus spells this out on several occasions. One of them is right there in Luke 12:36-40,when talking about the lord returning from a wedding and the servants waiting up to greet him. And ending with this admonishment. ‘Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.’ (Luke 12:40)

He also talks about having our lights burning and waiting patiently in the parable of the ten virgins who went out to meet the bridegroom. (Matt.25:1-13) Five of them were wise and took extra oil for their lamps, just in case the bridegroom took longer than expected, while the other five were foolish and took no extra oil with them.

The long and short of the story is that the bridegroom came later than expected and the five foolish virgins who had to go and get oil, were eventually locked out of the party. This all has to do with the church being the bride of Christ and we being attendants at the wedding.

So please let’s all try to be wise and keep extra oil for our lamps, and keep them burning continuously, (1) so that others will be able to see the figurative light of Jesus shining through us, and thus want to know and surrender their miserable lives to Him.

And (2) whenever Jesus returns, we won’t be found wanting, we will be ready, with our lamps burning ever so brightly and waiting with bated breath and heavenly excitement to sit and sup with Him! Now that’s wisdom at its zenith my people! Much LOVE!

…watch therefore…for ye know neither the day nor the hour…wherein the Son of man cometh… (Matt.25:13)

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 October 2014 1 Thessalonians 5:2.

1 Thessalonians 5:2.  For yourselves know perfectly that the day of our Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 

Oh Friends, it’s a beautiful, though rainy Tuesday morning! Wow! We’re alive! And even more importantly we’re filled with the Holy Spirit; filled with the passion of Jesus Christ! Glory Hallelujah! All praise and thanks be to our merciful and magnanimous God!
 
Consequently, there ought to be a joy, an unspeakable, indescribable joy in our souls! The LOVE of Jesus, and LOVE in general ought to be pouring out of our hearts, souls, minds and bodies!
 
And if sadly it isn’t, then something’s seriously wrong my people! We need to rectify that most undesirable situation RIGHT AWAY, through prayer, communication and obedience to Almighty God!
 
Now here is an interesting quote attributed to Ethel Barrymore ((1879-1959) the renowned America actress, member of the renowned Barrymore family of actors. She says: ‘The more things you LOVE, the more you are interested in, the more you enjoy, the more you have left when anything happens.’
 
And that’s logic and truth personified my people! The wider the variety of our interests, the greater the enjoyment, and ability to handle loss or difficult times.
 
As the One More Day Devotional tells us: ‘Now is a good time for us to pursue our interests and to nurture both new and old relationships. We understand so well how easily and quickly our circumstances can change.’
 
And that sudden loss, the unexpected tragic ending was brought home to us so forcefully and graphically last week by the senseless violence that took place in this our fair country of Canada.
 
In the Province of Quebec, one disturbed young man ran over two military officers with his car, killing one and seriously wounding the other.
 
A couple days later, an even more ridiculous, scary and unfortunate incident occurred in Ottawa, the country’s capital. There, another disturbed young man shot two soldiers guarding the War Memorial Statue on Parliament Hill. One of those soldiers also died.
 
The young man then drove the short distance to the Parliament buildings, with all our elected representatives ensconced therein, and indiscriminately opened fire in the Hall of Honour of the main Parliament building.
 
Ah Lord eh! What is our world coming to eh Friends? It was somewhat poignant and hilarious to see pictures of our worthy representatives barricaded behind locked doors, cowering with fear under desks etc. I do hope that will serve as a wake up call for them to get serious about running the country properly and stop the nonsense they’re now doing.
 
Unfortunately though, the two perpetrators of the violence died in a hail of gunfire. So we don’t have the opportunity to find out exactly what went was happening with them, what brought on this outrageous and violent behaviour.
 
It’s alleged that the ever-growing Islamist extremist movement had radicalized them. But no one knows anything for sure. And Friends, unfortunately there are so many disturbed young people in our world today, that it makes me wonder about its future.
 
And sadly, the inefficient, crooked and corrupt governments, at all levels, are doing zilch to try and remedy the problem! They talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk. As I said before, I do hope that those incidents provide a wake up call for our leaders and legislators.
 
Ah mih breddren, it all just goes to show how tenuous, how fragile and uncertain our lives and circumstances are, especially in these violent and troubled times. However, it doesn’t mean that we have to cower in fear and anxiety, because we have Jesus, our great Protector, ALWAYS walking hand in hand with us.
 
And thus we can confidently say: ‘Tragedies and hard times will affect me, but I know I have the ability to move on.’ 
 
That brings us to our most appropriate Bit, Bruh Paul’s fateful words to the Thessalonians, which he prefaces with: ‘But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.’ (1 Thess. 5:1-2)
 
Yes my people, our wonderful Lord and Saviour can return at any time! Are we ready? What if He should come TODAY, RIGHT NOW? Are we ready to embrace that fateful moment? For all our sakes, I certainly hope so! For if not, then crapaud smoke we pipe! We’ll be eternally separated from our heavenly Father. And that’s a fate even worse than death!
 
Hear this explanation from the scholars. ‘5:2. The day of the Lord is an all-encompassing term to describe the period that begins with the Great Tribulation, and includes the second coming of Christ and the millennial kingdom. This Old Testament expression is here identified with the ‘parousia,’ (time of reckoning) already introduced. It will begin unexpectedly (cf.Matt.24:37).’
 
Yes Friends, the operative word there is ‘unexpectedly,’ which means we have to be prepared at ALL TIMES!
 
Now listen to Jesus expound on the subject. ‘But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noah were. So shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
 
For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of man be.
 
Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.’ (Matt.24:36-42)
 
That’s indeed wisdom for the ages my fellow believers!
 
And the scholars have this to say about that passage. ’24:39-42. The observation that the people of Noah’s day knew not the severity and suddenness of the coming destruction indicates that this last generation will be totally unprepared for the coming of the Son of man, the return of Christ to judge the world. (See 2 Thess.1:7-8)
 
The reference to two being in the field or at work at the time of Christ’s return implies the suddenness of His coming to separate the lost and the saved.’
 
Ah Friends, the situation couldn’t be stated any plainer than that! So please let’s do the wise thing today nuh, RIGHT NOW; let’s get ourselves together, so that whenever the Lord chooses to return, WE WILL BE READY! Much LOVE!
 
…for those who are found wanting when Jesus comes again…it will indeed be a sorrowful day…so in all wisdom…let’s not be found wanting… 
 
P.S. These late nights and early mornings will be the death of me yes! (smile) But better late than never! Much LOVE!