Today’s Scrip-Bit   29 July 2022   1 Corinthains 13:11.

1 Corinthians 13:11.      When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 

Well, it’s here at last…so let’s shout it out nuh: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and the long Caribana weekend has begun!’ And this evening I’m going to attend the only function on the calendar that I do nowadays, that’s the Steelband competition. Yes friends, that’s what it’s finally come down to. (smile) As they so truthfully say, after one time is two. But the fact of the matter is that the ole fella can no longer handle the long walking and the pushing and shoving of the young people. 

In my time, we knew how to party, but these days that wisdom seems to have gone by the bye. And the costumes and music are not as nice as before. Like life, and so many other things nowadays, the standards have fallen and it all seems watered down now… at least in my opinion. (smile) So, since I can’t handle it physically and emotionally, I just keep myself to myself, and only check out the pan competition which is always a blast; you see people you haven’t seen in ages, plus you make new friends, and don’t forget the numerous arguments and controversies, especially over the judges’ decisions at the end. 

If you’ve ever been to a Steelband competition, you’ll understand what I’m talking about. (smile) And strangely enough, I find that one occasion satisfies my Caribana weekend. Once upon a time, if I didn’t get down to the Saturday parade early, I’d be rather unmannerly to those who kept me back. My family could certainly tell you about that. (smile) But thankfully, along with age comes that very important thing called reason. That reminds me of the scripture in 1 Corinthians that says it so wisely. ‘When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.’ (1 Cor. 13:11) 

Ah friends, that’s exactly what a lot of us need to do in these uncertain, disastrous and turbulent times; give up our childish behaviour and act like the adults we’re supposed to be. We certainly don’t need all the resentment, strife, evil-doing, back-biting and scandalous behaviour that has become so much a part of our current society. And those ungodly actions are not only running rampant in the outside world but unfortunately also in the church of Christ! Obviously, that’s not welcome behaviour in the body of Christ, but who’s going to change it eh? 

Only we, the supposed believers in and followers of Christ can do that. The problem though, is do we really want to change our unchristian ways? Some of us do, but others don’t. So what’s going to happen eh? Christ’s church obviously cannot be allowed to continue being as sinful and ungodly as the world. And the sad part is that a lot of this behaviour comes from the leaders not from the basic congregations. In fact, some leaders consciously promote that behaviour. It’s obvious that they are not obeying the words of Bruh Paul to Timothy: 

‘This is a true saying, If a man desire (aspires to) the office of a bishop (overseer), he desireth a good work (a noble task). A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant (temperate), sober (sober-minded), of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to (able to) teach. Not given to (addicted to) wine, no striker (not violent), not greedy of filthy lucre (for money); but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity (reverence); For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God? (1 Tim. 3:1-5) 

Now that’s a very good question? If a man cannot run his own house in a godly manner, how then can he run Christ’s church properly eh? And the scholars tell us this about the Pastoral Office. ‘The pastor, who shepherds’ today’s church, also fulfills the New Testament role of elder and bishop (overseer), and is responsible to God for the spiritual welfare of the church (Acts 20:28). When Christ returns, He will judge and reward these pastors (elders) according to their faithfulness in leading the church to accomplish God’s will (1 Pet. 5:4).’ And I do hope that some of those leading Christ’s flock today would read that and understand it and change from their evil ways. 

But let’s look at some deeper explanations of the duties Bruh Paul associated with a godly leader. ‘Blameless means irreproachable, that is, impeccable in reputation. The husband of one wife, faithful to his wife. Vigilant means temperate. This speaks of spiritual sobriety; not intoxicated or controlled by fleshly passions and sensual appetites. To be sober is to be of sound mind; that is, not of frivolous disposition, but serious and possessing good judgement. Of good behaviour means orderly in life, habits, and work. One who is given to hospitality receives strangers warmly and treats guests generously. 

To be apt to teach is to be skillful in teaching Scripture. Not given to wine means not addicted to wine. No striker means not physically violent. Not greedy means not fond of dishonest gain. Patient means not quarrelsome, peaceable; that is does not argue over minor matters or always seeks to have his own way, but defers to the wishes of others when no cardinal doctrine or policy is sacrificed. Not covetous, literally, “not a lover of money.” His main priority is not the acquisition of money. Materialism ill befits one called above to care for the spiritual welfare of souls.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth! However, unfortunately many of our current leaders do display too many of the ungodly traits described above. Now, it must be stated that a lot is expected of them, and since they are mere men like us, they do have human drawbacks and frailties, and will have occasional lapses in godly behaviour, but the unfortunate truth is that too many of our leaders have poor leadership qualities and are thus leading Christ’s church astray, that’s why it’s in such bad shape today. 

But we cannot put all the blame and responsibility on our leaders, we the congregation also need to take some of it, for both allowing the leaders to do some of the ungodly stuff they do, and also for following them when we full well know that their actions are wrong and totally ungodly. And the only way for the church to get cleaned up is by both congregation and leaders deciding to clean it up. That’s seriously looking at themselves and doing the things they know that ought to be done. This will have to be an internal cleansing, coming to terms with our misdeeds and deciding to change our ways, with God’s help obviously. 

And there’s no better time to start than right now. So, let’s go to God in prayer, through our Friday Chant, laying our cards sincerely before Him. As one voice: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and our many other problems are causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means we desperately need your help. Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, and avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. 

And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

And now that we’ve pleaded for divine help and made promises, let’s go out and keep those promises, otherwise we won’t receive that divine help. It’s as simple as that. Much LOVE!

…promises are not made to be broken…but to be kept with a sincere and honourable heart… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 May 2015 Matthew 22:37‏

Matthew 22:37.    Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

Well Friends, I don’t need to tell you, (smile) but I will anyway: it’s Friday! And like clockwork, the working masses declare a loud and joyful: ‘Thank God it’s Friday! The weekend’s here! Glory Hallelujah! And what a weekend it will be, with Mother’s Day and the hot weather! Thank God for that yes!’

Yes, the weather’s been pretty good this past week, but still no blessings of rain, and today we’re expecting thirty-degree temps. Wow! Can you imagine the mess it’s going to be with cottages been opened, motorcycles and rag tops (convertibles) out in full swing.

The traffic won’t be any different, and with all the road construction and stuff going on, it’s going to be a real pain in the butt getting anywhere fast. The backyard parties will be a flourishing with barbecues a flaming and drinks and food being guzzled down.

But Friends, please let’s remember to do that all with a modicum of circumspection nuh, and not give the enemy a chance to get a foothold in our lives. For when we celebrate, we tend to let our hair down and thus give him room to deceitfully inveigle himself into our lives.

And as always, to help us gain the right perspective for the weekend, let’s chant our Friday Chant with sincerity, wisdom and overstanding. 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 my people, we’ve got to set some hard and fast boundaries before we get into the celebrations, so that they won’t be marred by the guile and lies of Lucifer and his evil henchmen.

And the best way to do that is by concentrating on the words of our Bit. ‘Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.’

Oh Friends, there is no better way to keep Beelzebub out of lives than by focusing on Almighty God, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob!

And I guess by now you’ve realized that the operative word for today is again that wonderful emotion called LOVE! Ah my people, LOVE is what makes the world go round, not money or power, and it’s also what our world desperately needs right now, if we’re going to stop it from both imploding and exploding.

For sadly, man’s inhumanity to man has reached a very cruel and critical stage. We no longer seem to care if our fellow man lives or dies, once we’re doing okay. But that’s a very shallow and selfish way to look at life my brethren.

Just stop for a moment and think what we’d be like if the Father had said, ‘Oh chuh! Let’s just leave those worthless, ungodly sinners to suffer in their own mess yes.’

We’d be headed for Hades and the torments of hellfire and damnation! But instead, with His ever-LOVING heart, He developed a plan, a tough one too, on Him and His Son, so that we, the same ungodly sinners could be saved, washed white as snow, and be reconciled to Him!

And all God’s people gave a loud and glorious shout of ‘Praise ye the Lord, for His wondrous works and saving grace to the undeserving children of mankind!’

Yes my fellow believers in Jesus Christ we ought to be very, very grateful to our heavenly Father for all that He’s done for us. But enough talk, let’s get to the meat of the session. And since I can’t get some of you to go to your Bible, I’ve decided to bring the Bible to you in all its glorious and living colour.

Let’s hear Bruh Paul speak rather eloquently on the way of LOVE!  Pay serious attention now class. (smile) ‘Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity (LOVE), I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling (clanging) cymbal.

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity (LOVE), I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity (LOVE), it profiteth me nothing.

Charity (LOVE) suffereth long, and is kind; charity (LOVE) envieth not; charity (LOVE) vaunteth not (does not brag on) itself, is not puffed up (arrogant). Doth not behave itself unseemly (rudely), seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil (keeps no accounts of evil); Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Charity (LOVE) never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail (cease); whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away (cease). For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect (complete) is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass (mirror) darkly (dimly); but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope charity (LOVE), these three; but the greatest of these is charity (LOVE).’ (1 Cor. 13:1-13) 

And there you have it brethren, Bruh Paul’s famous treatise on God’s most wonderful attribute! Now let’s allow it all to sink deeply into our consciousness nuh, so that we can become all that God has planned for us to become; strong, steadfast, sincere, faithful and LOVING beings, just like Him.

We talk about becoming Christ-like, well the first step in that transformation is to learn to LOVE! Let’s take it nuh my people. Much LOVE!

…herein is LOVE…not that we LOVED God…but that He LOVED us…and sent His Son…to be the propitiation of our sins… (1 John 4:10)