Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 April 2019 Matthew 27:46.

Matthew 27:46.   And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?
 
Home…Home…Home at last! But home sick! Steups! Ah friends, it’s great to be home, but when you come home from vacation sick with an annoying cold it doesn’t help matters at all. You’re already tired from all the vacationing, (smile) and you just want to rest, to put sickness on top of it isn’t the greatest feeling in the world. 

After the long flight and the hassle to get through the airport, I got home around eleven and expected to have a good night’s rest…Hn! What a pipe dream! I was up several times during the night bringing up stuff, my throat was raw, still is, making swallowing a tad difficult. But if one has to be sick, I guess the best place for that to happen is home. 

Home where the heart is! Home where you’re most comfortable and relaxed, be it a humble hovel or a majestic mansion! Something about home just gives one a li’l more assurance in times of trouble or illness. But enough about my woes, (smile) it’s Friday and the workingman is waiting to sing his song. 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! Good Friday…that means the long Easter weekend! Mama Yo! Party fuh so! And the weather should be good! Good thing that Easter fall so late this year yes, so it happen in springtime and not in winter! So many things to do, and places to go, and people to see! Chuh! Don’t know where to start nuh! But as they say, the best place to start is at the beginning! So ah guess we going to start with some eating and drinking and carousing! 

Brother! Who knows whether we going to be alive come next week Tuesday when we have to go back to the slave master slave labour? One thing ah know though; when we go back, we not killing we self over the work nuh. Leh him fire we, see how long his business going last nuh! But forget he now yes! Is time for me to do my own thing! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Yes mih people, the workingman is a party animal if nothing else! But unfortunately, or should I say fortunately, as believers in Christ Jesus, we can’t afford to let our hair down like he can for fear of allowing the evil enemy to invade our righteous souls. But as I keep saying, that doesn’t preclude us from having a good time, we just don’t go to the extremes that the ordinary workingman does. 

And we have our own Friday Chant, which chronicles our thankfulness and wishes. So please, let’s chant it now nuh, in true sincerity and mucho enthusiasm. ‘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!’ 

Now, to the unbeliever, that might not sound like much, but to us believers, it’s short, sweet and to the point! (smile) And today, Good Friday, our hearts are heavy, filled with sadness as we commemorate the crucifixion of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. And some will ask why call it Good Friday when such a heinous, illegal crime was committed against an innocent person? 

That’s a good question my brethren. But the long and short of the story is that if Jesus had not died in place of us, our sins would not have been paid for, and we would not have been forgiven, redeemed, made clean and washed white as snow! Yes, it was a rough, unjust situation, but from the beginning of time the Father had decreed it to be the Son’s job to die for the abominable sins of His disobedient and rebellious creation called mankind. 

And yuh better believe it was no easy job that! The pain and agony, the ‘sufferation’ He had to endure was immense, seemingly unbearable, but He withstood it, all for our sakes, at the behest of the Father, who LOVED us so much that He didn’t want to lose even one of us to the evil enemy, Satan. 

That’s the most beautiful and compelling picture of LOVE that exists; sacrificing your only Son for a bunch of ingrates! Some people will call it crazy or stupid, but our heavenly Father called it LOVE! And since He’s the eternal Creator, He should know what He’s talking about. 

But I don’t know how Jesus handled all that unjust ‘sufferation’ nuh, without much complaining too. I guess He knew His role, and could not even consider disobedience to the Father’s wishes. As He told Peter on the night of His arrest, after Peter had cut off the high priest’s right ear. ‘Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?’ (John 18:11) Yes friends, I wonder how many of us put such a high priority on being obedient to the Father’s wishes eh? 

And what I greatly admire about Jesus are some statements He made from His painful and agonizing perch on the cross. The first one is ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’ (Luke 23:34) Even on the cross, His modus operandi was LOVE and forgiveness! 

Note His words to the criminal crucified with Him, who saw the light and sincerely pleaded: ‘Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.’ (Luke 23:42-43) 

But the most touching and heart-rending words of Jesus on the cross are contained in this verse. ‘And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ 

Yes friends, what seemed to hurt Jesus the most was not the physical pain inflicted on His body, but the spiritual separation from His Father, the first time that had ever happened. And it had to be so since He was then the sin-bearer of the world, and the Father could not associate with sin. As the scholars explain: ‘Here we have the high cost to Christ of His atonement for our sins, who was accursed of God as our sin-bearer (cf. 2 Cor.5:21; Gal.3:13) and suffered the agony of spiritual death for us.’ 

And finally, the Good Book tells us: ‘And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost (breathed his last).’ (Luke 23:46) And the scholars explain: ‘He cried with a loud voice, as a shout of triumph, and yielded up His Spirit. In other words, having borne the wrath of God’s judgement against sin, He knew He had triumphed over Satan and the curse of sin.’ 

Oh what a blessed day that was for us my people, as Jesus gave us such a wonderful example to follow, showing LOVE and compassion and obedience even in His last agonizing moments on that old wooden cross on Calvary! Please, please, I implore us to do a better job, to improve in our own showing of LOVE, compassion and obedience, because that’s all He asks of us! Much LOVE!

…Good Friday…the darkest hour…just before the breathtaking dawn…of Easter Sunday…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 15 April 2019 Psalm 107:8.

Psalm 107:8.   Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
 

Monday, O Monday! We LOVE you dearly, but please go away and come again some other day nuh! Now that would indeed be nice, but it’s just a tad impractical, for whatever you call the first day of the work week, we will have problems with it. It’s just the nature of the beast. I’m talking about us, not the day. (smile) 

But thankfully, as believers in Jesus Christ, we have something that can cure whatever first day of the working week blues we have. It’s called prayer, the most powerful force on God’s great earth! Through prayer, we communicate with our Maker and Provider and He satisfies our needs. And today’s prayer is most appropriately titled, our ‘Monday Morning Battle Hymn!’ So let’s get to it without any further dilly dallying nuh. 

All together now in strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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, I can feel the Holy Spirit of God moving in me now, raising the level of my enthusiasm and conviction…and I’m sure you can feel it too! That’s the omnipotence, the amazing power of our awesome God to transcend reality, and have His Spirit move in our lives. And with that increase in power, and faith, we can now go out and transcend the world by doing wonderful stuff in Jesus’ name! 

Oh glory to our great God my brethren! Give him much thanks and praise for His amazing goodness, grace and mercy to the undeserving children of rebellious and disobedient man! That’s why the psalmist so adamantly proclaimed: Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men! 

For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness. Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron (prisoners); Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned (despised) the counsel of the Most High: Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help. 

Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder (broke their chains in pieces). Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men!’ (Ps.107:8-15) 

Yes friends, we can’t ask for a more wonderful Deity than the One we already have! Which other supposed god gives us second, third, fourth…and such numerous chances to change our rebellious nature and thus come out of the bondage of sin that that rebellion imparts on us eh? None other than the One True God, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! 

He’s so wonderful, that regardless of how long we’ve been in rebellion towards His holy counsel, when we do call on Him with sincere hearts, even in our darkest times, times when we’re under the shadow of death, He responds with LOVING-kindness? And furthermore, even though we rebel against Him, He’s faithfully promised: ‘I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Heb.13:5) 

What more can we ask for eh friends? Not much, for that’s the ultimate in promises! And we know that if nothing else, our God is faithful to keep His promises, for they are not given idly, like the promises of men! And the psalmist felt our Bit so keenly that he introduces it four times in the psalm. (vs.8,15, 21, 31). 

Now hear how Bruh David adds his two cents worth to the equation nuh, (smile) from Psalm 108 – Israel looks to God for help. ‘O God, my heart is fixed (steadfast); I will sing and give praise, even with my glory. Awake, psaltery (lute or lyre) and harp: I myself will awake early (awaken the dawn). I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: and I will sing praises unto thee among the nations. 

For thy mercy (LOVING-kindness) is great above the heavens (skies): and thy truth reacheth unto the clouds. Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: and thy glory above all the earth.’ (Ps.108:1-5) 

And that’s exactly how our great God should be praised and exalted my fellow believers! Unfortunately though, in these very evil and ungodly times we’re not even coming close to the standard of praise and exaltation truly needed.

So please friends, I’m imploring us to truly sit up and take notice of how good God treats us, especially with the free gift of salvation and eternal life through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ! Let’s be truly thankful nuh, because we have so much to be thankful for! Much LOVE!

…you can’t just talk thanks…like LOVE…you’ve got to show it…

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 15 March 2019 Habakkuk 3:18.

Habakkuk 3:18.   Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
 
Oh friends, let me apologize right at the beginning for the late start to the Bit, but I went to bed late last night and then the early morning sleep was so sweet and satisfying that I just could not resist the tempting offer of it’s siren’s call: ‘Sleep one more round…just sleep one more round…before you get up!’ 

Yeh friends, the ole fella was a sucker for that appealing temptation! (smile) But remember he’s only human and can’t be expected to resist everything that comes against him. And I know that you’ll understand and forgive me, because you are also subject to just such temptations. Praise the Lord! (smile) 

But it’s Friday and the workingman is there chomping at the bit to declare (phew…wrong again) his clarion call, so let’s hear him nuh. ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and the weekend’s looming large on the horizon! The March Break also finish, and everybody who went away packing up now to come back home to school and work! 

Steups! Don’t know why they make such a big to do over it nuh, because is just one lousy week, and as soon as yuh get where yuh going, yuh have to pack up and come back again! But it wasn’t a bad week here, the temp wasn’t that cold and I went out a few times with the children, so that kept them happy. 

But the backbreaking work still continuing…the slave driver not letting up at all, especially since business picking up now. Brother! He just hungry and greedy and dying to get as much work done as possible! He even offering overtime on the weekends…

But that is his problem yes! I work hard enough during the week, the weekend is for me to party and spend li’l time with mih family. If the slave driver value money over his free time and family, then later for him yes! I’m going to thank God for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

And isn’t that the living truth my people; many of us value money over spending time with our families and resting ourselves. But that’s not always wise because it breaks down everything; your family relationships as well as your own health.

So please, let’s not run down the dollars and cents, as so many of us are still doing, to the detriment of our families and ourselves. If the ordinary workingman can see and understand that principle, why can’t we believers, supposedly of wiser intellect see it too eh? 

But anyway let’s chant our reply to the workingman’s song, which wasn’t as far out on the limb today as it usually is. Our Friday Chant is still more conservative and sensible and in line with Jesus’ desires. So all together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

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

Yes friends, we need to remember that we have certain borders and stop points that we ought not to go over unless we want the ever lurking enemy to get a foothold in our business and mess it up even more than it’s already messed up. (smile) We need to be always on our ‘p’s and q’s, because he is always on his. 

And he’s no more voracious than in this Lenten season when he knows that we’re all seeking spiritual upliftment with fasting and praying and meditating a bigger slice of our lives than normal. There’ nothing he would like better than to get us off course on our spiritual journey. That’s why my fellow believers we have to do like the prophet Habakkuk says in his song. Even though times are very rough and trying: ‘Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.’  

Wow friends! A few simple but powerful words can make a lot of difference to our spiritual selves! And why was Habakkuk intent on being so joyful even though his situation might be less than satisfactory?

Because: ‘The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds (deer’s) feet, and will make me to walk upon mine high places.’ (Hab.3:19) And yes friends, that’s as good a reason as any, and better than many, to put one’s everlasting and sincere trust in the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel! 

 Hear how Isaiah puts it when he declares (wrong again – going to have to stop using it) his good tidings of salvation to Zion. ‘I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with jewels.

For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.’ (Is.61:10-11) 

And friends, if you are indeed a true believer in Christ, you won’t need any other promise than that to convince you to stick with Jesus ALL THE WAY TO ETERNITY! No other supposed deity can even dream of making such a promise, much less of keeping it like Jesus will!

So let’s be courageous and steadfast and run the race that God has planned for us nuh. If we stick together and look to Him, we WILL WIN in the end! Much LOVE!

…though the storms of life billow around us…we’re sure of one thing…that Jesus is right in the middle of them with us…Praise His Holy Name…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 January 2019 Matthew 28:19.

Matthew 28:19.   ​Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
 
And then it was the first Friday in the new year; a day every working person was just dying to see, because it was a harbinger of the weekend and they so badly wanted to rest their tired bones, flesh and spirits after all the New Year’s celebrations! Ah mih people, the doctor’s appointments business in the big city have begun again yes. But I’m not sure that I’m keeping this one this morning nuh…

Chuh! The ole fella didn’t sleep well last night and is walking around this morning like an ole fogey. (smile) Easy mih first born easy…(smile) She’s already warned me not to cancel any appointments, but she’s not the one feeling the feelings, nor has to trek umpteen miles in the cold and traffic to hear a doctor say: ‘Oh, everything’s healing well. Just keep on doing what you’re doing!’ And I don’t believe that the duchess is too thrilled having to drive me either. But we’ll see how it shakes out after I’m done with the Bit. 

And nobody is more thrilled than the ordinary workingman to see this day as he so enthusiastically informs us: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! I couldn’t work another day even if mih life depended on it! Brother! Them Christmas and New Year’s festivities really drain me yes! Ah guess is time to realize that ah not as young as I used to be…in other words, no spring chicken, so I can’t afford to party as hearty and not feel the resulting rough consequences. Hn, hn! But where there is a will there is a way. 

So watch me, come this year Christmas and New Year’s Eve nuh! Ah going to start getting mihself ready from early o’clock…because who want to miss them fantastic celebrations, sitting down like some ole man in a wheelchair and kyar move and go round the place and eat and drink up other people stuff eh? Not me for sure nuh! So thank God for Fridays and weekends yes, that enable me to renew mih soul and body, so that I could get out and party! Party, party, party…!’ 

Yes mih breddren, it never ceases to amaze me, how we can be so kind and gracious for a couple of weeks, then go right back to the disgusting living we practiced before. But I guess that’s just nature of the human animal. However, since it’s Friday, we need to let our Christian voice be heard in our Friday Chant. It’s not as ebullient and mind chasing as the workingman’s song, but it sure fits our purposes admirably. 

 So altogether now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

Yeh, it’s not spectacular, but it helps keep us out of the enemy’s reach, and doing Jesus’ work. And that’s the most important aspect of our lives, doing Jesus’ bidding! Remember His last words to the disciples, in what we term, ‘the Great Commission’?

‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.’ (Matt. 28:19-20) 

There you have it friends, the imperative from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! Ours is to spread the good news of His Word around the world, to all and sundry. And note, He assured us, that He would be with us all the time we’re doing His will. What an awesome Saviour we have my brethren! Always thinking of us and our welfare! 

And the scholars give us this explanation: ‘28:19. The controlling purpose of the local church is to make disciples of all kinds of people. Those who are evangelized and converted should then be baptized, attesting to their identification with Christ and the local body of believers. The final phase of the Great Commission is to train disciples in Christian knowledge and for effective service. A church cannot choose one aspect of its responsibility and neglect the others. 

The Great Commission is a simple command with three steps – evangelism, baptism, and education. Illustration: The Great Commission is the strategy by which the church at Jerusalem saturated its community with the gospel. Application: Every Christian should determine that his ministry for Christ in the church upholds God’s objectives for that institution. (First Ref. Matt.16:18; Primary Ref. Matt.28:19; cf. Phil.1:27).’ 

Yes friends, our job is to let the heathen know about Christ, and all the wonderful things He has to offer to those who come to Him in humility and sincerity. And each and every Christian has a part to play in this transformation! The question that now faces us, is whether we’re doing what Jesus requires of us, and if we’re doing it to the best of our ability? 

And it’s obvious that as the body of Christ, the church, we’re not doing such a great job, otherwise our world wouldn’t be in such a state of upheaval and evil. So I’d like to invite each of us to sit down and seriously ponder our current role in Christ’s church, and then ask the Lord to help us do better, for we can ALL do better. Much LOVE!

…I must work the works of him who sent me…while it is day…the night cometh…when no man can work… (John 9:4)

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 December 2018 1 Peter 5:8.

1 Peter 5:8.   ​Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.
 
Aye mih beauties, welcome to spring time in December! It’s raining outside, and they say it might go up to as much as ten degrees Celsius today! Brother! Imagine that scene at the end of December nuh! I feel sorry for the purists who did not get their white Christmas and might not even get to ski as they ring in the New Year. But what yuh going to do eh? Everything’s changing, and changing fast too! I remember the days when you could be assured of snow, and plenty too, for Christmas! 

The duchess and I might even have wasted money paying for snow removal, since we can’t do it ourselves any longer, and there hasn’t been any to remove so far. But like my friend Scotty, I’m the eternal optimist! (smile) We will get snow, it’s only a matter of time…and then we’ll get so much, that we’ll all hold our heads and bawl! Matter fix! 

Now let’s hear what the workingman is singing this spring-like Friday morning nuh: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! And another long weekend…in cool weather to boot, as New Year’s rolls on in! Wonder what 2019 going to hold for we eh? Most likely the same old slaving for the slave driver…but we going to cross that path when we come to it yes! Right now is celebration time, ringing out the Christmas season and ringing in the New Year! 

And brother, what a Christmas we had; food and drinks and parties galore, though not as much presents under the tree as usual! But everybody was happy and had a good time. So we can say that Christmas 2018 was wonderful, as we thank the Lord for Fridays, weekends and Christmas time!’ 

Ah mih people, I do hope that we all had a good Christmas, and that unlike the workingman, we included Christ in it, because in spite of everything the unbelievers say and do, He is the reason for all this celebration, every year, in the month of December.

Let’s also hope that we didn’t overdo any aspect of the celebrations, kept Granny’s warning in mind: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’ And consequently, did not give the always lurking enemy a chance to get even a toehold in our souls, for we all know that’s his avowed purpose. 

Now let’s sing our weekend song, our Friday Chant. It’s not as colourful as the workingman’s but it serves our purposes admirably. All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through.

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

Yeh friends, our song elicits a modicum of circumspection that’s absent from the workingman’s; we tend to keep narrower borders, so that the enemy isn’t given an open invitation to infiltrate our souls. That’s why Peter steadfastly warns us: ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.’ 

And that’s gospel truth friends! Satan is only interested in stealing our peace and joy found in Christ Jesus! When he has us low down and miserable and doubting then he laughs and believes he’s won. But the truth is he can NEVER WIN unless we allow him to, for Jesus has already won the battle for death, hell and the grave, He has the keys to eternity, and the prince of darkness is a defeated foe! He’s only trying to fool us into thinking that he has some sort of authority and power. But he’s actually a toothless tiger! (smile) 

Nonetheless, we still need to follow Peter’s advice: ‘Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world.’ (1 Pet.5:9) Yeh mih people, all of us experience some kind of affliction in this earthly life, because it’s a fallen world. Jesus said it clearly: ‘In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33b) 

Oh friends, I know that’s easier said than done, but Peter also has some advice for how we can best resist the adversary. Listen up: ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.’ (1 Pet.5:6-7) Oh faithful believers, truer words were never spoken! Our heavenly Father cares for us more than we can ever imagine! 

And He is the ONLY ONE who can help us to steadfastly resist the enemy! But we do need to acknowledge His supremacy, and humbly come to Him asking for His help. And please note, He will NEVER turn away anyone who comes to him sincerely and humbly asking for assistance. That’s his ever-faithful promise! So let’s not be proud and foolish nuh, thinking we can do it on our own, because we can’t. 

But if we seek the Lord diligently, Peter promises: ‘But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen and settle you.’ (1 Pet.5:10) Wow mih brethren, what a wonderful promise! We can’t expect life to be all wine, roses and song, there must be some tough times so that we can grow spiritually, become more Christ-like! 

However, when we’ve valiantly withstood those times, with Christ’s help of course, then our wonderful God will indeed establish and strengthen us in His might and power. That’s why Peter ends thus: ‘To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen!’ (1 Pet.5:11) Oh what a great God we serve and worship my people! Let’s not forget that He is our Alpha and Omega, our First and Last, our Everything! Much LOVE!

…living for Jesus…is the ONLY sensible way…to live this earthly life…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 December 2018 Lamentations 3:22.

Lamentations 3:22.   It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
 
Aye mih people, it’s a brand new day with new mercies, LOVE, forgiveness, blessings and all the other good things that our magnanimous and ever-LOVING God showers down on us each and every single day! Glory be! Give Him much thanks and praise for His enduring goodness and LOVING-kindness to the undeserving children of men! Yes friends, is our God ever good to us! 

And would you believe that with only four days – not four shopping days (smile) to Christmas that we have rain in our area and not the crazy white stuff called snow! I’m surely grateful for that, although the skiers and other snow people won’t be thrilled.

Sorry people, but the Controller of the universe apparently feels for rain right now, not snow, and consequently there’s nothing we can do about it! But have no fear, we will get our fair share of the white stuff…in God’s time, that is! 

And the workingman has not forgotten us in these most celebratory times. Hear him sing his song: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday – the weekend! And only four days till Christmas too! Oh how we going to make merry and celebrate Christmas…but I already doing that yes!

I eating mih home made bread with ham flavoured with chow chow an’ pepper sauce! Brother does that ever taste good! Nice heavy bread with substance, not them light fluffy chupidness they sell in the bakery an’ call them bread! 

Then ah washing it down with sweet sorrel or ginger beer…an’ black cake and ice cream for dessert. Yuh smell how the alco strong in the cake? If yuh eat too much it soon black yuh up yes! (smile) And all we doing is going round to other people’s houses, singing carols and sweet parang music, an’ eating and drinking up all their Christmas goodies! Oh Christmas is such a wonderful time! Thank God for Fridays, weekends and Christmas oui!’ 

Yeh friends, Christmas is indeed a wonderful time, and all the celebrating is good, but it should not be paramount in our lives. The birth of our Lord and Saviour is what should hold first place in our lives this Christmas season, for it’s the very reason for the season! Without the birth of Christ, there’d be no Christmas! 

So why have we allowed that fact to be obscured by the foolishness of the man made festivities eh, where shopping and other bacchanalian activities seem to be honoured above the birth of our Saviour? Yuh can’t even say ‘Merry Christmas’ to some people! All they want to hear is the foolishness bout ‘Happy Holidays!’ What holiday is it eh? CHRISTMAS! So say it loud and proud: ‘MERRY CHRISTMAS!’ 

And forget the nonsensical watering down of the time when our God gave us His greatest gift ever: that of the birth of His only Son Jesus Christ, so that He would grow and show us the Father, and eventually die on the cross at Calvary to atone for our heinous and abominable sins! Brother! How can we not celebrate and give oodles of sincere thanks for such wonderful occurrences eh? 

My Christian brethren, please let’s not fall into the enemy’s trap of considering Christmas as more of a worldly time than it is eh. It’s ALL ABOUT CHRIST! So please let’s keep the CHRIST in CHRISTMAS! Keep it first place, like we ought to keep God first place in our overall lives! End of sermon! (smile) 

And I’ve talked so much about keeping Christ in Christmas that I almost forgot about our Friday Chant. Hn! So please let’s chant it up now with the same enthusiasm that the workingman placed in his song. Altogether now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

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

Ah friends, it’s not as worldly as the workingman’s song, but it serves our purposes rather admirably; keeping us away from the excesses of the world, and more in line with the straight and narrow path that’s Christ desire for His people. That finally brings us to our Bit; a most wonderful piece of encouraging and reassuring scripture: ‘It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.’ 

And is that the gospel truth or what my faithful brethren! If it wasn’t for the Lord’s compassionate heart and intense care for us, we’d be long burnt up like the noonday sun burns up the dry grass! That’s why we need to take our Christian faith more seriously than many of us are doing. But hear how poor Jeremiah continues as he laments over his trials and tribulations nuh. 

‘They (the Lord’s mercies) are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.’ (Lam.3:23-26) 

Oh my people, those are indeed words of eternal wisdom! If we sincerely believe in God, then we have to HOPE and WAIT for His timing and dispensation! Nothing else makes any sense. And if you don’t believe me, then listen to the scholars’ explanation of that last section. ‘3:26. Jeremiah’s observation resembles those of other saints who have expressed great grief of soul (Hab. 2:20; 3:17-19; cf. Job 40:3-5; Ps.37:7; 73:23-27; Is.26:3; 2 Cor.1:7; 2 Thess.3:5).’ 

Yuh see friends, even though the great saints suffered trials and tribulations, and more than most of us do nowadays too, they all felt the assurance of hoping in and waiting for God. And I just looked up all those scriptures the scholars noted, and they are indeed interesting and inspiring stuff. So please look them up yourselves so that you too can be enthused and reassured! That’s the only sensible way to live this life my people! Much LOVE!

…ONLY because of Christ’s birth…is there Christmas…let’s remember that…and act accordingly…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 December 2018 Luke 1:34.

Luke 1:34.   Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man (I am a virgin)?
 
So it’s a tad wet, and cloudy and still a li’l snowy from yesterday…so what? What’s the big deal eh? It’s Friday, that’s all we’re concerned about! And Friday in the Christmas season to boot! That means plenty shopping, baking, cooking, singing Christmas songs, plenty lights on trees and all over the place, hugs and kisses a plenty, plus a whole lot of pleasant greetings like: ‘Merry Christmas!’ and ‘Happy Holidays!’ etc. etc. 

But hopefully friends, underneath all that joyfulness, let’s hope the real reason for Christmas, the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ surfaces and makes a true difference, not only in outward affection, but also through sincere internal appreciation and true godliness. Amen! 

And there’s nobody singing louder and more joyfully than the ordinary workingman! He’s been on his soapbox from the beginning! ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday in the Christmastime! Blow me down! Christmas is just around the corner! And I don’t care about the shopping and the gifts nuh…cause I have no money to buy any! But who want to put themselves in debt…let them go right ahead yes! 

Me, I only concerned about the food and drink, and the nice time when we playing music, singing and dancing! I might even go to church for the Christmas…if I sober enough. Hn, hn, hn! But putting all joke aside, Christmas is the best time of the year oui: yuh see all yuh friends and family who you ent see for ages…and yuh nice to even the ones and them yuh doh like! Heh, heh! 

Wish it could be Christmas all year round yes! And this year it going to have plenty holidays too, because Christmas and Boxing Day on a Tuesday and Wednesday. Mama Yo! Ah can’t wait to celebrate them two days off from the massa work nuh, where he have to pay we for not working! He face going to be sour like a lime! But thank God for Fridays, weekends and Christmas time oui!’ 

Ah mih people, the workingman does have a way with words and thoughts yes. But he does have a couple of good points, like we even nice to people we don’t like, and oh…if the atmosphere, not necessarily the festive aspect, but the peace and good tidings could be present in our awful society all year round…what a wonderful world this would be! But I guess that’s just wishful thinking. No reason though why we can’t hope for it and have faith that Jesus one day will provide it. 

 Anyway, let’s sing our weekend song nuh, our Friday Chant. It might not be as colourful and imaginative as the workingman’s but it does suit our Christ-like purposes admirably. As one now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

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

Yes my Christian brethren, we need to remember that even in our joyful times not to go too far out on the limb, to stay within the borders of rationality, so that we don’t open up ourselves to attacks from the enemy; physical, spiritual and emotional, because he’s just waiting like a beast of prey to attack us on any level he can.

But enough of all of that, let’s get back to one of the most wonderful stories ever told; that of the angel Gabriel informing Mary, Jesus’ future mother, of what was going to happen. 

Remember yesterday Gabriel gave her the whole spiel about; ‘she’d found favour with God,’ she’d have a son. ‘His name would be JESUS,’ ‘called the Son of the Highest,’ ‘given the throne of his father David,’ ‘reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.’ (Luke 1:30-33) 

Now how would any of us good, strong, mature Christian folk, in these modern times, react to that information eh? Either by laughing or being scared to death. But Mary didn’t even bat an eyelid. She merely asked a simple but very practical question to all that info: Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man (I am a virgin)?’  

Yeh friends, a very sensible and mature answer and question from a teenage girl in a backwater town in very ancient times! How could she get pregnant and bear a child without knowing a man eh? And though her faith seemed strong, she obviously hadn’t expected to be dealing with the Creator of the universe. 

And in like fashion, the angel Gabriel gave Mary a simple and straightforward answer to her million…no billion-dollar question. That’s how expensive and controversial the situation would have been back then. 

‘And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest (Most High) shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing (one) which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And behold, thy cousin (relative) Elisabeth (John the Baptist’s mother), she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.’ (Luke 1:35-37) 

Now friends, a lot of us spout that line, but how many of us really believe it and try to action it eh? Not very many! But hear Mary’s response to the whole contrary, mixed up situation: ‘And Mary said, Behold the handmaid (maidservant) of the Lord: be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.’ (Luke 1:38) 

Now that’s why I LOVE Mary! After Jesus, she’s my most favourite character in the Good Book. From the get go she was mature and faithful about the very preposterous situation. She didn’t hem and haw like so many of us would have done…even those of supposedly great faith. Even knowing the horrific situation those things would cause in her life, she said bring it on without a fuss. 

Oh my people, my people, I sure hope we can use Mary as a shining example when the Lord calls us to do something that seems difficult and overwhelming. Remember He NEVER gives us more than we can bear, and ALWAYS helps us to complete the task. So there’s no need to be afraid or worried whenever He calls! Much LOVE!

…when the Lord says jump…it’s best to say…how high Lord…the very first time…

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