Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 March 2019 Matthew 4:1.

Matthew 4:1.    

Then Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.

 

And then it was Friday, the beginning of the March break, so I can imagine that all the airports are full and running over with the amount of people just dying to get away from the lengthy spell of cold weather that’s recently held us in its iron grip! 

Yeh, wish I was one of those crowding the airport terminals too, but my day will come, so I’m not worried, and I know too that whatever the Lord allows to come against me, He will give me the grace and strength to face it victoriously! Glory to our great and wonderful and generous and merciful, forgiving and magnanimous God my people! 

Now we have lots to cover today, so let’s get on with it; let’s hear what the workingman has to say for himself today! And as always, he’s very vocal: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui; March break Friday and the children and them don’t have no school for a whole week. Steups! That means they underfoot all blooming week. Got to see if I can’t send them by their uncle up in the North Country for at least a few days. 

It would be good if I could take some time off and go somewhere with them, but the slave driver only give we holidays in the summer when he place shut down to retool…plus I don’t have enough money to carry all of us overseas to the warm climates right now anyway! So we’ll just have to make the best of a bad situation right here in cold Toronto…Hn, hn, hn! 

And ah talking as if that ever stop we before! We still going to eat and drink and party hearty this weekend. So bring it on! Let the fun and games begin, as we get into another free from work weekend! Thank God for Fridays and weekend yes! Don’t know what I would have done without them to break up the monotony and harsh reality of work nuh!’ 

Yeh friends, plenty of us believers also fall into the same category as the workingman, can’t get time off and don’t have enough money to take the family on a holiday to a warm place, but we too will manage, because we have the Holy Spirit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ indwelling us, and He gives us the wherewithal to withstand anything that comes against us! Glory to God!

So let’s chant our weekend song, our Friday Chant, with the same, if not more enthusiasm than the workingman did in his song, since we have plenty more to be thankful for. 

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!’ 

That was good friends! We could feel that deep down in our souls and our God was happy to hear us rejoice and be thankful in our relationship with Him. (smile) Now let’s turn to our Bit, those stirring words that foreshadowed some of the awful stuff that our Saviour Christ Jesus suffered on our behalf. ‘Then Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.’ 

Ah mih people, I don’t think that any of us would have made it successfully through forty days and nights of fasting then serious temptation by the evil one himself. But Jesus did. Give Him the glory! And today we’ll look at the third major temptation. 

The Good Book says: ‘Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence (away with you), Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold angels came and ministered unto him.’ (Matt.4:8-11) 

Oh friends, the devil is very persistent, and we have to be very strong in our reproach and rebuke too. In this last temptation Jesus rebuked Satan with a combination of words from Deut.6:13, 10:20 and Josh.24:14.

We also need to know the proper scripture to rebuke the enemy when he comes a calling, which means we have to read and study and meditate on God’s Word. I can’t overstate the importance of knowing the Word to help us in ALL aspects of our lives! 

Now here is some pertinent info on the last temptation from the scholars. ‘4:8. The third temptation takes place on an exceeding high mountain. The mountain is clearly real in the text, though its exact location is unidentified. Despite the grandeur of the temptation, nothing in the passage itself indicates that these temptations were only in the mind of Christ.

Clearly, they are depicted as real experiences that actually occurred in the human life of the Messiah. That Satan, the usurper, would attempt to give the kingdoms of the world to Jesus, the Messiah, the rightful King, is the height of absurdity!’ 

Yeh friends, that’s how boldface Satan is, offering us stuff that already belongs to us! How boldface can some people get eh! And then this other offering from the scholars. ‘4:9-11. For Christ to fall down and worship Satan would have been to acknowledge the Devil’s lordship over Him. 

In His direct rebuke Get thee hence, Satan, Jesus clearly asserts His lordship over the old serpent whose head He will soon crush. Matthew’s statement that Satan leaveth him shows that his order of temptations is the chronological one. (cf. Luke 4:1-13).’ (Luke has the mountain temptation second and the temple pinnacle last). 

Well that brings us to the end of today’s Bit, but please, please remember my people, that though Jesus rebuked Satan and crushed him, the ole devil is still out there roaring a toothless roar; (smile) he’s all bark and no bite, and has no power to overcome us, unless we fall for his deception and allow him into our lives!

So this Lenten season, let’s get serious in our decision to get closer to God nuh, study His awesome Word and put it into practice in our lives! That’s wisdom at its zenith! Much LOVE!

…God gave us His Word… as a guidebook for our earthly lives…let’s be wise and use it nuh…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 May 2015 Psalm 16:11‏

Psalm 16:11    Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Aye Friends, can you believe that it’s already Wednesday, the middle of the workweek? Brother! The days they are moving along like greased lightning. Truly though, the days aren’t really any faster than normal nuh, it’s just our perception. We live in such a busy and fast paced society that everything just seems speeded up.

And our God doesn’t want us being so busy with the cares of the world that we don’t have sufficient time to spend with Him. However that’s exactly what happens to many of us; we lead such busy lives, or rather believe we lead such busy lives that we can’t seem to find time to give God His two seconds worth, because that’s just how much time we dedicate to most things.

That attitude is wrong though my people. We need to slow down and enjoy the beauty of God’s world around us, and also spend a fair amount of time in His presence, studying His Word and communicating one on one with Him, for remember the joy of the Lord is our strength. (Neh.8:10) Only as we are filled with His strength can we be truly joyful. Or put the other way; only as we are filled with His joy can we be strong.

Ah mih people, everyday we’re bombarded with some new device that’s faster, and can do more stuff, but do we really need that? I don’t think so. What are we going to do when we reach the point that we can’t go any faster eh? It’s ironic, but the only place that many people slow down is in their daily commute to and from work, in the massive traffic jams that occur every day of the workweek, and even on Saturdays and Sundays nowadays.

The other day I got caught on the highway during the afternoon rush hour and was I ever surprised to see the number of vehicles parked up in the 12 to 16 lanes of highway, going nowhere fast. I don’t know what’s the answer nuh Friends, all I know is that it’s a pox on our society. We lose so much time and money sitting in traffic every day that it’s not funny.

Isn’t it laughable though, that with all our brilliance in other areas of life, we still can’t find a better, more productive and positive way for the basic function of getting to and from the jobs that provide our livelihood. That’s why we’re so stressed out and keep running aimlessly, like chickens with our heads cut off.

There’s no need to worry though Friends, for we have the perfect antidote to all those problems; seek God sincerely and continually and He will give you the necessary parts to handle our crazy society. It’s as simple as that. But for many of us in these modern times that’s just too simple and easy. Unless a solution is complicated, we find it difficult to accept.

But Friends, just listen to the words of our Bit and then tell me why I’d refuse to do what it says eh? ‘Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.’ That’s sounds so wonderful to me, so why would I want to bother with anything else eh?

Oh my people, please, let’s wake up and appreciate the goodness and LOVING-kindness of our magnificent and magnanimous God nuh! Instead of trying to rid our society of Him, let’s bring Him back with a great outpouring of His Word and His marvellous LOVE!

That’s the answer to most of our problems in the world today; reinstating Jehovah God as our guide and overseer.

Sadly though, too many of us are caught up in the frenzied lifestyle of the rich and famous, seeking to copy it in our own lives, or wasting our time by paying too much attention to their follies and sinful, ungodly lifestyles. That’s why all the gossip media is flourishing in these troubled times.

Anyway, enough of my venting, (smile) let’s see what the scriptures have to say about the subject. Listen to Bruh David’s call on God from Psalm 25 – A prayer for guidance and protection. ‘’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.25:4-5)

Oh Friends, are we crying out to God for His guidance and direction, and waiting patiently for Him to answer our prayers? I surely hope so, otherwise we’re losing out big time on His goodness and mercy. For He is the only one who can successfully lead and guide us through this mish-mash society and ungodly world.

Listen to Bruh David again, this time from Psalm 31. ‘In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust (do I take refuge); let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness. Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock (rock of refuge), for a house of defense (fortress) to save me. For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me.’ (Ps.31:1-3)

Yeh Friends, it’s all about our God; about working in tandem with Him! That’s the only way we’ll ever be able to successfully navigate this madhouse that our world’s become.

Now more Bruh David, (smile) this time from Psalm 143: ‘Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.’ (Ps.143:10)

Oh my people, I don’t how else to put it nuh, but that Bruh David knew on which side his bread was buttered. And since this seems to be a Bruh David day, (smile) let’s end with some more of his fine words from Psalm 139- The everlasting presence and power of God.

He tearfully declares: ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts (anxious thoughts): And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’ (Ps.139:23-24)

Oh Friends, oh Friends, that ought to be the soulful, heartfelt cry of every believer this morning!

Let’s seriously and sincerely turn back to God nuh my people, for that’s where all the good answers lie! Let’s wise up and acknowledge His superiority, His supremacy, and the fact that we can do very little without Him. That is indeed wisdom at its zenith! Much LOVE!

…following the world…is like the blind leading the blind…but following Jesus…oh bless my soul…that is like the Good Shepherd leading his sheep…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 December 2014 Hebrews 10:24

Hebrews 10:24.      And let us consider one another to provoke (stir up, encourage) unto LOVE and to good works. 
 

Oh Friends and neighbours, what can I say to us this fateful Wednesday morning eh, the last day of the very troubled and tumultuous year that was 2014?
 
As we said a few days ago, circumstances don’t really change much from one day to the next, but our attitudes and mindsets can. And it’s in that vein I want to address us today.
 
First of all, I want to remind us of a very salient and most important fact, through a prayer from the back of my late mother’s Bible. It says: ‘Father in heaven, we thank You for Your faithfulness during the past year. Help us to remember that Your faithfulness will go with us into the New Year. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.’
 
Yes my people, we need to remember that God’s faithfulness will not change, and hopefully, neither will ours. In fact, it’s a sincere wish that our faithfulness to Almighty God will grow with each passing day, so that we can have a win-win relationship with our Creator and Provider.
 
For no relationship can progress, or even last for any length of time if it is constantly weighted on one side, like our faithfulness to God can often be. We must keep being aware that God doesn’t change. He has no need to.
 
But we, His followers can change, and do need to in many respects. We definitely need to come up higher, to grow and mature in the nature and character of Jesus Christ.
 
That’s why we resolved to have only ONE overriding resolution this past year; to grow closer to Jesus each and every day, in some form and fashion. And we’ll continue to let that be our Number ONE promise to ourselves and each other for the coming year of 2015.
 
Oh my people, I know that all of us grew some this past year, some more than others. But the good news is that if we were truly concentrating on Christ in 2014, we would definitely have improved our relationship with Him. How much, only you and God can tell.
 
By the same token, we all have room for improvement, for growth. So let’s continue to stay the course, difficult though it may sometimes be, remembering that our faithful God has promised to be with us wherever we go, and to bring us out safely, more Christ-like, from whatever situations we’re forced to endure.
 
That brings us to some rather appropriate scripture verses that includes out Bit. The author of Hebrews, whom I sincerely believe is Bruh Paul, timely reminds us: ‘Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
 
And let us consider one another to provoke (stir up, encourage) unto LOVE and to good works. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.’ (Heb.10:23-25)
 
Yes my brethren, if we want to see the full effect of God’s faithfulness, we do have to stand strong and steadfast in our faith, without wavering, without being wishy-washy.
 
But then we also have to stir up, to encourage our fellow believers, promoting LOVE and good works, which are the foundations of our Christian faith! We need to do this through constant assembling, regular fellowship, not a once in awhile attendance at church meetings.
 
Now hear some important explanations from the scholars on those verses above. ’10:24. The word translated provoke (Gr. paroxysmos) usually has a negative sense, as is witnessed by its only other New Testament usage (Acts 15:39).
 
The positive connotation which the word has in the present text means to stir up. It is easy to stir up hatred and godless deeds; it takes much more to stir up another to LOVE and good works.’
 
And isn’t that the gospel, gospel truth my people! It’s ever so much easier for us to do evil and ungodly deeds than to do godly and good ones!
 
Then ‘10:25. Not forsaking the assembling: This admonition involves far more than erratic attendance. It involves the entire worship of Christ and is an outward indication of an inner condition.
 
The assembling of God’s people provides opportunity for reciprocal encouragement, strengthening, and the stirring up that can be gained from one another (cf. Col.3:12-16).
 
It consists of participation in worship and fellowship. The church is a body interacting (1 Cor.12:14-27); it is not merely a dispensary of spiritual food and medicine.’
 
Oh Friends, unfortunately that is often what we refuse to see. The church is supposed to be a totality of all things that pertain to Christ, and consequently to life itself. It’s where believers ought to go for succour and sustenance in whatever circumstance that afflicts us.
 
Anyway, I know you all are busy making your New Year’s preparations, so I won’t keep you any longer. (smile) We’ll end with this rather appropriate poem, an excerpt from an editorial by Ann Daily Goodwin published in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on December 31 1986.
 
‘Peace rises like dawn in the hearts of hope…. Peace reaches from warm and welcoming houses when workers go home. Peace wraps congregations as worship comes to comforting conclusions…. Peace floats like music through cabin windows to porch-sitters outside. Peace shimmers like lake water on star-dashed extravagant nights….
 
Peace blesses the day’s end, in the Dylan Thomas way: “I turned the gas down. I got into bed. I said some words into the close and holy darkness, and then I slept.” And so the last page turns to the new page, and we wish the world a happy new year. In peace.’
 
Oh my beautiful Friends and Scrip-Bit family members, let’s hope and pray that 2015 is not such a tumultuous year as 2014 was! Let’s hope that it is filled with much more peace and LOVE and good deeds!
 
And we can start it off on the right foot by not overdoing it later tonight, by paying serious attention to Granny’s warning: drunk or sober, mind yuh business. That’s truly wisdom at its zenith! Have a happy New Year’s Eve my brethren in Christ. Much much much LOVE!
 
…if we make following Jesus our number ONE priority…then everything else in our lives will fall into place… 
 
P.S. Please don’t expect the Bit too early tomorrow morning. For though my celebrations may be somewhat muted, compared to yours, they will continue late into the night, or early in the morning; your choice.  (smile) Much LOVE!