Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 November 2019 2 Thessalonians 3:3.

2 Thessalonians 3:3.    But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish (establish) you, and keep you from evil (the evil one).
 

Here we go again friends, the beginning of another work week! I know sometimes we shake our heads, sigh, and wonder if they will ever end. (smile) But the sad truth is that they won’t. They will keep cropping up every seven days, until they drive us crazy and we end up in the loony bin, we just get tired and give up, which, as a believer is not a viable option, or we get too old for the work force and they put us out to pasture, or the last option; the Lord calls us home. Until one or all of those things happen my people, most Monday mornings we will have to arise, whether we like it or not, ofttimes in the dark and in the cold, and join the human throng unhappily headed for a place called work. 

And please remember Bruh Paul’s warning to the Thessalonians, that he who doesn’t work, shouldn’t eat? (2 Thess. 3:10) So I don’t know why we don’t try and plan for it properly, so we’re not disgruntled and frustrated come Monday morning. You know the human spirit can rise above anything  if it really wants to, and if you are a sincere follower of Jesus, He will enable you to get over these weekly Monday morning blues. But as always, just in case you stumble, (smile) we’re here to catch you with our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, the perfect antidote for your ailment. So let’s turn to the most powerful tool in the universe, prayer, to help get our day started right. 

All together now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

And yes, precious people of God, before we could even finish praying, the Holy Spirit had already begun working His miracles in our souls and spirits! Wow! What a magnificent and magnanimous God we serve and worship! Please give Him some much deserved thanks and praise because most of us are now ready and able to go out and join the tumultuous fray that’s the working world, on Jesus’ behalf! And the thing we so badly need to remember here friends is that our God is FAITHFUL! Whatever we ask for in sincere belief, He will provide, if it’s within His will or plan for our lives. 

And Bruh Paul reminds us of that most salient and important fact: ‘But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish (establish) you, and keep you from evil (the evil one).’  No doubt whatsoever about that! And we’re just going to wind down with some scriptures on the Lord’s faithfulness. Bruh Paul mentioned it quite a few times. To the Thessalonians, he also said: ‘Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.’ (1 Thess. 5:24) 

Then to the Corinthians: ‘God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (1 Cor. 1:9) And also: “There hath no temptation taken (overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear (endure) it.’ (1 Cor. 10:13) Then to Timothy: ‘If we believe not (are faithless), yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.’ (2 Tim. 2:13) 

And it’s most appropriate to close with this compelling verse from Isaiah, re, Israel, the Lord’s servant. ‘Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, and his (its) Holy One, to him whom man despiseth (the despised of soul), to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princess also shall worship, because of the Lord that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose (has chosen) thee.’ (Is.49:7). That was all about the coming of the Messiah, and we know that it was fulfilled with the coming of Jesus. 

Yes friends, our God is faithful; He will do whatever He’s promised, but in His own time. Look how long it took for the promised Messiah to come, centuries. But He did come…in God’s good time. I know His timing isn’t usually in concert with ours, but I can assure you, from personal experience, He’s NEVER late! Much LOVE!

…without faith…it is impossible to please…a faithful God…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 October 2019 Psalm 36:7.

Psalm 36:7.    ​How excellent (precious) is thy LOVING-kindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.
 

It’s Monday morning friends! That means the workweek is upon us once again. And sadly, that heralds the time for us to get up and get a move on, to get out into the evil world and labour for a living. Yeh, I know it’s an annoying and frustrating ever-revolving cycle, but what to do eh; life as we know it, depends on work. But let’s look at it as going out to work for Jesus nuh. That should make it a little less onerous. (smile) Remember the Good Book says that whatever we do, we ought to do it as unto God, meaning faithfully, diligently and with excellence. So though, to all intents and purposes we’re working for man, God is the end recipient of all that we do. 

And I also know that all of that is easier said than done, that’s why we have our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to help get us in the mood. Therefore, without further ado, let’s sincerely declare it, so that it can get the adrenaline flowing in our souls, bodies, minds and spirits. As one now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs  we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. 

It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Ah friends, that prayer is so heartwarming and spirit changing! I’m sure we’re all starting to feel somewhat more enthused about getting into the workweek fray. That’s because the Lord answered our prayer by having the Holy Spirit work His blessedness in us, fill us with mercy and grace, thus enabling and empowering us with a different and better attitude to the day that before was looming so dreadfully ahead of us. What a wonderful God we serve my people! It never fails to thrill and amaze me when I get into certain situations that I’m not prepared for, and a mere few sincere, heartfelt words to Him – sometimes just ‘Help me Lord!’ are enough to have Him enable me. 

And that’s why Bruh David could confidently declare in Psalm 36 – The steadfast LOVE of God. ‘How excellent (precious) is thy LOVING-kindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.’ And is that ever wisdom of enormous proportions my people! Why, you ask? Hear Bruh David’s reasoning. ‘They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness (fullness) of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.’ (Ps.36:8-9) 

Oh friends, oh friends, which other supposed God has ever promised or made available such amazing stuff to their followers eh, and had the power to make them come true? None other than the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! That’s why we’d be very foolish to turn to any other god, for they are all false and powerless, especially when the One we now have is showering us with abundant satisfaction in the fullness of His house, and having us drink from His river of pleasures. And the thing is that the Lord’s stuff not only tastes better than the worldly stuff that Beelzebub tries to inveigle us with, but they are also long lasting, for they are of heaven. (smile) 

But the most important thing though friends is the gospel fact that our great God is the fountain of life! Yes people, ALL life emanates from Him! Remember He spoke the world and all therein into existence, then He moulded mankind from the dirt of the earth and breathed His spirit of life into him. And by the same token, He can also remove the breath of His spirit from us. No wonder Jesus warned us: ‘And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.’ (Matt.10:28) Yes precious people, only our heavenly Father can kill both body and soul, ‘and who can bring both to eternal condemnation in hell.’ 

Therefore, there is no need for a rocket science education to figure out how one can best live – both this current earthly life, and the heavenly one to come. All it takes is a li’l common sense, once you’ve heard the Word. (smile) So this Monday morning, since we know the Word, let’s get out there and use our common sense nuh! Much LOVE!

…why worship anyone else…than the One who gave us life eh…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 October 2019 2 Thessalonians 3:10.

Thessalonians 3:10.    ​For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
 

 

Okay friends, up and out! It’s time to get busy with Jesus’ work this Monday morning. You know there is no time for lollygagging, dawdling and wasting time, when there’s important and urgent work to be done for the kingdom. Yeh, I know some of us wish there was no work at all, (smile) but how would we live if nobody, or only a few people worked eh? And as Christians, believers in Christ Jesus, we are expected to work, work with our hands, heads, bodies and hearts. So even if we’re not up to scratch this morning, let’s put forth the effort nuh.

Remember, it’s all for Jesus. And we’re here to help you by declaring with you, our antidote for whatever ails you, this Monday morning. We call it our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. So altogether now, with true sincerity and whatever enthusiasm you can all up.

‘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 people, I know It’s working already! God is answering our prayer through the power of His Holy Spirit and a new sense of enthusiasm and energy are filling our bodies and souls, making us want to go out and do Jesus’ work. Glory Hallelujah my faithful brethren! 

And today we’re going to take a biblical look at what we term the work ethic. Now that term is fading fast away from our society, if it hasn’t already faded away completely. Unfortunately, work is not something we take pride in any longer, for even the supposed professionals nowadays do shoddy jobs and try to get away with it. And many of our young people don’t even want to work, but they do want to live high on the hog. If we’re not careful, we might just have to do like Bruh Paul advised the Thessalonians. When he lived amongst them, he laboured, worked hard at his own tent making job because he didn’t want to be a burden to anyone. Hn! These days, very few of us think like that. 

‘Not  because we have not power (authority), but to make ourselves an example unto you to follow us. For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.’ (2 Thess.3:9-12)

That’s not difficult to understand is it? As the scholars explain: 3:10-12. Paul expounds his simple and straightforward work ethic; If a person will not work, he should not eat! The Thessalonians’ diversion encouraged their meddlesome ways, demonstrating that “idle hands are the Devil’s workshop.” 

And that’s a sure fact! And a lot of people wouldn’t be eating if we ever brought in that system of ‘no work, no eat.’ It certainly seems that the work ethic was an important aspect of Bruh Paul’s ministering, because he also mentioned it to the Ephesian elders when he was about to leave them, as well as in his epistle to them later on.

Listen to him on the first occasion. ‘I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel. Yea, ye yourselves know that these hands have ministered unto (provided for) my necessities, and to them that were with me. I have showed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all.’ (Acts 20:33-36)

Now the scholars offer an interesting statement on that verse. ‘20:35. Here alone is a quotation from Christ that is not recorded in the Gospels.’ I can’t make any definitive comment on that, but I always thought, He had said it somewhere in the Gospels. Anyway, as they say, the more you live, the more you learn. (smile) 

Now let’s end with Bruh Paul’s warning, re the work ethic, in the epistle to the Ephesians. In expounding on the new life in Christ, he warns: ‘Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.’ (Eph.4:28)

And please note that Bruh Paul’s main reason for that, seems to be more that the ole thief (smile) could have sufficient to give to the needy, more than have for his own purposes. Does that resonate with any of us? Hope it does. Now let’s spend some of our day contemplating the state of the work ethic in our society, and with God’s help, how we can improve it. Much LOVE!

…sincere work…never kill anybody yet… (smile)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 October 2019 Psalm 119:116.

Psalm 119:116.   Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope.

 

And yes friends, we’ve been granted life and breath to see another day on God’s great earth! What a joy and a pleasure, that’s why we ought to give great thanks and enjoy it! And we’re doing just that today in Canada on our official Thanksgiving Day; giving lots of thanks for the numerous blessings we enjoy up there in that wonderful country and enjoying the fruits of our labour as the Lord would have us do. Sorry I’m not up there to share it with you my Canadian Scrip-Bit family, but I’m down in J.A. giving plenty thanks too, especially for the sunshine and warm weather, (smile) although some rain fell earlier this morning.

Oh, yes, today is also Monday, that means the start of a new work week for most people, except we Canadians, (smile) who mostly have the day off to give thanks and praise and celebrate. But just remember Granny’s warning: drunk or sober mind yuh business, and don’t give the devil an opportunity to get into yuh business, because yuh know how he destructive and deceitful, and just wants to muck up our lives and get us off the path of righteousness as set by Jesus.

Now I believe it’s just a holiday in Canada, which means lots of others still have to go to work, and many might just be jealous of us having the day off, so their spirits are low, (smile) but we’re here to assure them of our encouragement with that wonder-working prayer we call our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, which is designed to get us up and moving. So let’s declare it together now nuh, let’s call upon our mighty and magnanimous God for His awesome help, wonderful grace and mercy, which enable us to do His work.

All together now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. 

We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Oh mih people, don’t you just LOVE how those sincere words of prayer automatically raises our spirits and strengthens our entrails, causing us to get the gumption to go out and do Jesus’ work! That’s the endearing work of the Holy Spirit that indwells us for that very purpose! Give our wonderful God some thanks for the way He looks after us, how He has provided for our every need! 

And that’s what some of us, the Graduating Class of 1969, have been doing for the last few days; giving thanks and praise, reminiscing, fellowshipping, partying, and making new memories to add to the old ones we made some fifty years ago on the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies, that august institution that spawned so many leaders in so many fields all around the world! 

Sadly, that good time is now over, it ended yesterday with a church service and a brunch in Mary Seacole Hall of Residence for some of us, but some of the medical fraternity continued it up in the hills above Kingston by one of their colleagues. The Saturday night events were good too. It reminded the Economic Students especially, of the wonderful days in the Students Union where the parties happened back then. And the old tunes brought back vivid memories of those fun-filled times. And I LOVED the D.J because whatever old tune you asked for, he just dialled it up, and the music never stopped…

Oh by the way, we had the famed Jamaican musician Boris Gardiner with us that evening, and he crooned a few of his old hits, which we also  danced to – especially the rent-a tile ones. (smile) And I’m reaping the consequences of so much partying because my ole hip is aching like crazy. (smile) But it was worth it! All in all it was a most entertaining and worthwhile time; the camaraderie and togetherness were exceptional…just hope we can do it another fifty years from now. (smile) 

That brings us to today’s scripture taken from the great Psalm 119. ‘Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope. Hold thou me up (uphold me), and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto (observe) thy statutes continually.’ (Ps.119:116-117) Ah friends, without the Lord’s mighty hands holding us up and looking after us, we’d be lost, adrift in this evil and ungodly world, merely playthings for the evil one! 

No wonder Bruh David, in Psalm 25, his prayer for guidance and protection, sincerely cried out: ‘O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies’ triumph over me. Yea, let none that wait (in faith) on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress (deal treacherously) without cause. Show me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.’ (Ps.25:3-5) 

Oh people, with sincere words like those reaching up to heaven, yuh think the Lord would ever turn them down? NEVER! Because that’s how He wants us to be; ever trusting and faithful to Him and His Word! And furthermore, no one who believes in the Most High God shall be ashamed of or disappointed in that trust and belief and hope. 

Hear Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. ‘And hope maketh not ashamed (does not disappoint); because the LOVE of God is shed abroad (has been poured out) in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were without strength, in due time (at the right time) Christ died for the ungodly.’ (Rom.5:5-6) Oh friends, what more can we ask or expect eh? Nothing really, because everything has already been provided for us by our wonderful heavenly Father! Give Him much thanks and praise for His grace and mercy to the ungrateful children of men! Much LOVE!

…there’s nothing in this world…as satisfying…as gratifying…as giving thanks and praise to our Creator…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 October 2019 Psalm 145:18.

Psalm 145:18.    ​The Lord is nigh (near) unto all that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.

 

Aw, come on nuh friends, no lagging and foot dragging this morning nuh! Is Monday, and we should be full of vim and vigour, eager to get out into the world and fight the Lord’s battles! What’s this yuh tired and not up top scratch nonsense eh? That means you didn’t go to church yesterday and worship and praise God with other believers, else you’d be up bright and early just dying to get out and fight for Jesus. 

But regardless of your situation, we’re not here to condemn you, but to help you. So please don’t feel too badly, just join us in sending up our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, where we ask the Lord to strengthen and inspire us to go out and do His work. Altogether 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!’ 

And here’s what I like about that particular prayer…before you even finish saying it, you start feeling good; enthused, encouraged, confident and well able to go out and fight a good fight in Christ’s name! Glory be my people! So let’s go out now and do just that nuh. And as we do, let’s remember Bruh David’s fateful and famous words from Psalm 145 – The Lord is gracious. ‘The Lord is nigh (near) unto all that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.’ 

Yeh mih breddren, that’s why we can sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn in humble sincerity and know that He will hear and also answer us! As Bruh David continues: ‘He will fulfill the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them. The Lord preserveth all them that LOVE him: but all the wicked will he destroy.’ (Ps.145:19-20) 

Gospel truth that friends! And we know that Bruh David is talking from personal experience there, not merely hearsay. And many of us have also had the wonderful experience of experiencing God’s mercy and LOVING- kindness, so we too know first hand that those words are absolutely true! So there is no need to fret or worry about whatever comes against us. 

As the psalmist so rightly and wisely says in support of those words: ‘Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God.’ (Ps.146:5) And that elicits a li’l smile and chuckle from me, as I was somewhat late in getting up and was worried that I wouldn’t finish the Bit in time for me to do some other things that need my attention this morning. 

Oh what a wonderful God we serve and worship my people! He never leaves us in the lurch, nor fails to reassure and encourage us! Wow! So how can we not LOVE Him with all of our hearts, souls, bodies and minds eh? We’d be real foolish not to! For listen to the psalmist again: ‘Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite (innumerable, without count). The Lord lifteth up the meek (humble): he casteth the wicked down to the ground.’ (Ps.147:5-6) 

And please note people, it’s not the same psalmist who is saying all those wonderful things about our God, but different ones, so there must be some truth in their assertions. And if that’s so, then we ought to respond thus: ‘Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God: Who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains. 

He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry. He delighteth not in the strength of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man. The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy (LOVING-kindness). Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem; praise thy God, O Zion.’ (Ps.147:7-12) 

Yes my people, the Lord is indeed worthy to be praised! There’s absolutely no doubt about it! So on this chilly autumn morn, as we go out to do His bidding, let’s praise Him nuh! Let’s glorify Him, let’s extol His wonderful attributes and exalt His mighty name, for there’s nothing our God likes better than hearing His praises being sung! Much LOVE!

…praise Him…praise Him…all you His saints in glory…praise Him with loud voice…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 September 2019 Hosea 8:7.

Hosea 8:7.     ​For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind; it hath no stalk (the stalk has no bud): the bud shall yield no meal (it shall never produce meal): if so be it yield (if it should produce), the strangers (aliens) shall swallow it up.
 

(Scottish brogue please): ‘It was a drizzily day…a drizzily, drizzily day!’ (smile) Let’s hope today is not the same nuh, spoiling the Labour Day holiday. Yes, we can always move the celebrations inside, but it just doesn’t seem right when this is our last long weekend of the summer. We ought to be celebrating labour’s partial freedom in the bright sunshine outside. And yes, we’re only partially free because the employer has wrested back many of the benefits our forefathers won on the picket lines and serious physical clashes with the goons of the advantageous power-brokers. 

And they are still doing their best to take us back to those long-ago days when they could do whatever they wanted and we had no voice or say in the matter. Please don’t allow them to do it, else our grand- children will find themselves right back where we were a few generations back. It won’t be easy since the employer has most of the leverage, but they had it back then too, and we were able to break their advantageous hold because we stuck together and fought together through thick and thin. And that’s what it will take to best them again! So let’s stand strong together nuh and put up a good fight like our forefathers did, although those who control the means of production are doing their best to divide and conquer us. 

And now, our society has become so big and commercially inclined that even on Public Holidays we can’t afford to shut it down completely, which means some of us have to go to work on this Labour Day holiday Monday, and that is never easy when everybody else is at home having a good time. So it’s understandable when those unfortunates grimace and complain about the unfairness of life. (smile) Anyway, let’s help them by leading them in prayer, our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, which drives away all the doubts and fears and whatever is ailing us on a Monday morning. 

In strong, sincere voice now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

And as always, the voices of those not going to work are the loudest and most gravelly, ostensibly from all the celebrating they’ve been doing over the last couple of days. But please remember Granny’s advice: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, ah beg yuh, please mind yuh business!’ And that’s exactly what I’m asking us to do; celebrate, but watch your p’s and q’s as the enemy is excitedly lurking around for us to give him just a toehold of opportunity so he can jump into our souls and begin creating the havoc for which he is famous. 

That’s why friends in these last days, these utterly troublesome and difficult times, it is ever so important for us to carefully watch the way we live, both as individuals and as a society as a whole. We cannot afford to be like Israel, who, back in the days of the prophet Hosea, had forgotten where their bread was buttered, and had gone a whoring after other gods. But the One, True and Living God will not be played for a fool my people. Hear His response to the Israelites folly. ‘For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind; it hath no stalk (the stalk has no bud): the bud shall yield no meal (it shall never produce meal): if so be it yield (if it should produce), the strangers (aliens) shall swallow it up.’  

And the scholars explain it thus: ‘8:7. They have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: They have sown the wind (Heb. ruach), but they will reap a hurricane (Heb. supah). They will be swept away in the judgement of God, and any benefits that they desired would fall to the hands of strangers to whom God would deliver them.’ And it happened to the Israelites several times friends. Each time they turned away from the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, they suffered serious calamity. But they didn’t seem to learn. Please, please, I implore us not to be like them, although that’s the direction in which our evil and ungodly world is currently headed. 

Oh yes, our God is patient and longsuffering, but only up to a point, and if we continue to ignore Him and push Him out of our lives, don’t think He won’t retaliate. And believe me, we don’t ever want to feel God’s wrath, because we simply could not handle it. As Cousin Sol so wisely informs us: ‘He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity (trouble): and the rod of his anger (wrath) shall fail (perish)’ (Prov.22:8) 

So today let’s contemplate our lives seriously nuh and see if we’re sowing the wind, sowing iniquity, and if so, wisely and quickly come before the Lord in sincere repentance, asking for forgiveness, so that we don’t reap the whirlwind. That’s wisdom of the highest order! Much LOVE!

…you can only reap what you sow…you can’t plant sin…and expect to reap righteousness…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 August 2019 Psalm 1:1.

Psalm 1:1.    ​Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly (wicked), nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
 

Here we go again friends and neighbours; it’s time to join the rat race we call work, labour, drudgery, or whatever negative connotation it brings to your mind. But yuh know what, if you truly value your job, even just for the money it provides, and you do it unto Jesus, and not unto man, as He so wisely suggests, you’ll have a much easier time getting up and facing the traffic jams, the hurry and scurrying hordes in the concrete jungles where you earn a living. 

Yeh mih people, it’s all about attitude. The attitude we bring to our circumstances will invariably help or hinder our faith walk. The circumstances most likely won’t change, but we will, and those circumstances will no longer affect us as negatively as they did earlier. And yes, I know all of that is much easier said than done, but if you’re a true and serious believer, then you will be able to do it, with the outstanding help of our Helper, the Holy Spirit of course! 

And yes, it does not happen overnight, so until you make that great change, then you are most welcome to join us every Monday morning as we petition the Lord for help to handle whatever ails us. We call it our Monday Morning Battle Hymn! And we like to think of it as the antidote for whatever ails us on a Monday Morning. (smile) So please join with us as we reach out to heaven for succour, for mercy and strength, for grace to do the right thing. 

As one strong voice now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

How can the Lord refuse that poignant plea of His children eh? He just can’t! That’s why we call it our antidote. And I’m sure we’re all feeling better already; the adrenaline’s flowing, our eyes are wide awake and we’re just brimming with energy, stepping high and just dying to get into the battle trenches and fight the good fight for Jesus! That’s the supernatural power of our God working through the Holy Spirit! 

And that brings us to our Bit for today; a wonderful promise of our great and wonderful God. Here’s how the psalmist put it many generations ago: ‘Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly (wicked), nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate (ponder) day and night.’ (Ps.1:1-2) How cool and appropriate that the Psalms should open with such a powerful and positive scripture! 

Yes my people, as true believers in Christ, we ought not to be hobnobbing with the wicked and sinful hordes of this world. Now we have to have some communication with them if we ever hope to bring them to Christ, but our first commitment is to God; to study and ponder and meditate on His Word, His guidebook for earthly living, so that we can learn about Him; how He acts, and how He wants us to act in His service. And when we learn His Word, and also practice it, here’s what happens to us. 

The psalmist says: ‘And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers (channels) of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.’ (Ps.1:3) Now isn’t that a most wonderful promise? Indeed it is! But there are conditions attached: we cannot be involved in evil doings and we need to study and know God’s law and His purpose for our lives. Then and only then will we prosper! 

However: ‘The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgement, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.’ (Ps.1:4-6) There are only two ways to go in God’s world my friends: God’s way, or the highway to hell! 

As the scholars explain: ‘Psalm 1. The key word in the psalm is the word blessed. It serves here as a pronouncement upon a man – but a certain kind of man. In essence the psalm is teaching that the blessed or happy man is the righteous man. The happy man avoids evil influences, deeds, and attitudes (vs.1); he delights in God’s Word (vs.2); therefore, God causes him to prosper (vs.3) On the other hand, the ungodly is worth no more than chaff (vs.4), and his destiny is judgement (vs.5). 

Finally the evaluation by the Lord Himself is described (vs.6). There is an ellipsis (words left out, but understood by the context) which is understood with both clauses in verse 6. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous (and it will be blessed), but (he also knows) the way of the ungodly (and it) shall perish. The psalm forms an appropriate introduction to the Psalter since it sets before the readers the three characters who will figure mostly in the psalms: the righteous, the ungodly, and God,’ 

And there you have it friends, the basics of Christianity 101! (smile) Adhere to it, or pay the consequences. Your choice! Much LOVE!

…best motto for living…obey God…leave all the consequences to Him… (Charles Stanley)

 

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