Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 June 2019 Philippians 4:11.

Philippians 4:11.    ​Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.
 

After the rain comes the sun, so since yesterday was another very ‘riney’ day, today ought to be blessed with loads of sunshine! And it does seem to have begun that way. But what’s with the rain this season eh? I think the Lord’s trying to tell us something. What? I really don’t know. Perhaps a warning of some sort. But obviously we’re not paying attention, so we keep having more rain than sunshine. 

And the workingman is totally perplexed and annoyed at the situation. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! The slave master drive we hard this week and ah real tired now. Just hoping for a nice warm sunshiny weekend, to just lay out on the deck in mih hammock, catch some rays, sip a few, and just relax. But it seems like it going to be a blooming rainy weekend! What it is with this rain thing this year eh? 

Brother! We having more rainy days than sunny ones, and the weather not even getting real warm yet, the middle of June and we still have heat coming on in the house because the children cold! Steups! I don’t know what it is nuh – if the Lord trying to tell we something. But since is the weekend, and the only time I have to do my own thing, I’m going to enjoy it as best as I can – eat, drink and be merry, even if I have to do it inside! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes…even when it cold and rainy!’  

Ah mih people, that’s the beauty of the workingman; he accepts his circumstances, even though he dislikes them, and works around them to keep himself contented. But we sophisticated Christians simply gripe and complain and thus don’t enjoy what the Lord’s granted us. Remember we’re supposed to be happy and contented in whatever situation we find ourselves. But we can’t do that unless and until we actually take the bull by the horns and become contented – with God’s help of course! 

And we’ll begin doing that by chanting our Friday Chant which is different to the workingman’s song because our Lord and Saviour, Our Leader, Jesus Christ desires that we have some boundaries and borders to keep us safe from enemy attacks. So let’s chant it now, like we really mean it nuh. 

As one strong and sincere voice: ‘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 fellow believers, we need to be a tad more careful about our doings, our goings and our comings, because we have a heavenly purpose to fulfill, and we can’t do that properly if we’re wishy-washy, and doh-care, else the enemy will just destroy us and our witness for Christ. And we definitely can’t allow that to happen, so let’s tighten up, and strengthen up our lives in appropriate fashion nuh. 

And one of the ways we all need to do that is by being contented with what we have at any particular time in life. Yes, I know that’s not always easy to do, especially when in our circumstances there is much less than the optimal amount of whatever we need. But the fact is that we need to cry out to and hold on to God for help to become like Bruh Paul said, in regards to the gift he received from the church at Philippi. 

‘Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased (live humbly), and I know how to abound (live in prosperity): every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.’ (Phil. 4:11-12) 

Oh friends, is that ever something we believers need to learn and quickly too in this world that now lives by the motto of always wanting more and wanting it quicker than the last time. We’re definitely not a contented society in spite of the abundance we possess. But remember we’re supposed to be in the world, but not of it, so we’re not supposed to follow it’s selfish and greedy and discontented mores. 

And please note that contentment in whatever situation is a LEARNED behaviour. It doesn’t just come about like magic or a miracle; it’s something we have to earn and learn, not in a classroom, but by experiencing hard times as well as good times, by facing life like Portia. (smile) But unfortunately our current society is famous for wanting to be great without putting in the necessary effort that it takes to be great. 

Everybody nowadays is a superstar! That’s why our standards have fallen so low, and what used to be an ‘F’ is now a ‘C’, or even a ‘B’. But friends, please note that falling standards in a society only means one thing, that society is on its way down, and if its standards continue to fall, then it will soon become a lesser society, or even an extinct one. 

History bears out that contention. Just look at all the great societies we’ve had, how they prospered when their standards were high, they worked hard, made the necessary sacrifices to grow. But when they reached the top, they got fat and lazy and just wallowed in their prosperity until everything toppled down, and some other nation who was hungry and productive took over their crown. 

And sadly that is what seems to be happening in our current Western society; we’re on the way down because we’ve become fat and lazy and want everything now for now and for nothing, or next to nothing! But as believers my brethren, we are expected to always take the high road, have high standards within this world of low standards, and be contented with whatever we have, knowing that our great and generous, merciful and forgiving God is on our side and will not let us suffer more than we can bear. 

That’s why Bruh Paul could declare his ability to be contented in any situation. And he sums it up thus: ‘I can do ALL things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’  (Phil.4:13) Yes friends, we can only live contentedly if we are living for Christ, who is the enabler of the brethren. He is the one that gives us the wherewithal to be contented in whatever situation we find ourselves. Please, let us never forget that, provided we want to be successful and contented in this earthly life. Much LOVE!

…the joy of contentment…experiencing both good and bad times…with Christ always by our side…enabling us…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 May 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.

 

Oh friends, I’ve been led to begin today’s Bit with these immortal words of William Penn (1644-1718) devout Quaker and advocate for religious freedom, the founder of Philadelphia, and whom the State of Pennsylvania is named after. He reputedly gave us these awesome words of wisdom: ‘I expect to pass through life but once. If, therefore, there can be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow human being, let me do it now.’ 

And that’s basically Christianity 101! That’s all that Jesus desires of us. But obviously we don’t do it enough, don’t truly live it, else our world would not be in such a sad and sorry state of evil and ungodliness! But yuh know what? We all have to live with the consequences of our actions, or lack thereof, from the rich to the poor, the weak to the strong, the godly and ungodly. 

But the problem is that we’re so deeply intertwined in society, through so many different kinds of relationships, that the actions of some will definitely affect others. And the only way to assuage the negative effects is by having many more good things happen in our world, much more kindness and LOVE being spread than evil and ungodliness. 

And I’m not telling us anything new nuh, we just like to do as we please, then complain about the negative consequences. The only way to conquer that is as Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) says: ‘Obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him!’ Otherwise, our unwise, ungodly actions are liable to bring serious consequences we can’t handle, that make us hold our heads and bawl! (smile) 

Anyway, enough sermonizing, let’s hear what the workingman has to say this bright and sunny Friday morning. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! And the weather seems to be holding up so far. At least it going to be fairly warm this weekend. Hopefully the start of a long awaited summer…and summer holidays…take a few days off from the slave master work and go out in the country with the family…provided we don’t get a wet, short and miserable summer, because that’s the way it shaping up. 

But imagine that nuh; the end of May, and the place still chilly when the night come! This climate change business eh! And people saying that it doh have nothing like that! Steups! Pure foolishness yes! The weather certainly change and become more unpredictable than ever in the last ten years or so. 

But what yuh going to do eh? The people who have the power to improve it, doh want to, so ordinary people like me and you, just have to grin and bear it. But God is good, so we going to handle it, however it come up. And we going to continue thanking God for Fridays and weekends when we could do we own thing, however we want to!’ 

Ah friends, the times they are a changing…and not seemingly for the better. But as believers in Jesus Christ, we have a much better perspective on it all. We don’t need to worry because Christ has our back, and once we walk in obedience to Him, we’ll be okay. That’s why our Friday Chant is much different from the workingman’s song. So let’s chant it now with true sincerity and a strong sense of purpose nuh. 

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!’ 

Yeh mih people, we’re on a different wavelength to the unbeliever, but we are indeed charged with bringing them to the awesome wavelength of Jesus, so that they too can enjoy the grace, mercy, forgiveness, salvation and eternal life found under His leadership and guidance! 

That’s why the last thing He told the disciples was to: ‘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.’ (Matt.28:19-20) 

Those words are what we conveniently call the Great Commission, but unfortunately not enough of us are out there teaching the world about Jesus and His wonderful attributes! We are either afraid, or just lazy and doh care. But there’s no excuse for either attitude, if we consider ourselves true believers, true disciples and ambassadors of Christ. 

Yuh know Jesus could have relaxed on His laurels in heaven and leave us down here to face the Father’s music, but no, He chose to come down to earth to suffer on our behalf and save our sinful souls. So the least we can do in return is to do the simple stuff He asks of us: tell others about Him, and live the kind of life that glorifies Him, and not be wishy-washy and ashamed of being His follower. 

Please remember His fateful promise: ‘Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will also deny before my Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt.10:32-33) 

It couldn’t be any plainer than that friends. You can’t be a disciple of Jesus in secret. You must have the parts to shout it out from the housetops to all and sundry! Otherwise you’re not worthy of being called a Christian! So let’s ponder today, how we’re doing in that respect nuh: are we proud to be called a Christian, do we tell people about Christ, do we live the kind of life that glorifies Him? 

Oh, some of us are doing better than some, but all of us are open to improvement. So please, let’s ask the Father to help us so that we can be better witnesses for his wonderful Son nuh, in the ungodly and evil society in which we live. That’s our Christian purpose and bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…living for Christ is not easy…but it’s what we signed up for…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 May 2019 Philippians 1:10.

Philippians 1:10. That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ.

 

Blame it on the rain! Yes friends, we can blame my late arising on the rain…well partly, because I went to bed around 3 a.m and could not fall asleep for a little while. But I was up earlier on…and then I heard the soothing sounds of the rain falling outside, and entranced by it, I rolled over – mind you, just for a minute more, to enjoy its delicious flavour… And wonder of wonders, it lulled me back to sleep! Now that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it! (smile) 

And since we’re already late, let’s get straight to our Saturday theme, looking at quotes our friend Anselm sent us during this past week, as he sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Hear this first one: ‘Well-being can only happen from within you.’ 

That’s a fact! Regardless of our outer circumstances, be they good or bad, that sense of satisfaction, of happiness, if you will, can only come from within us. Just look at all the wealthy and powerful people who lack inner contentment nuh. And then there are so many poor who have it. It’s all because of how we view our circumstances and handle them. And obviously with Jesus as your Guiding Light, you’ll do even better. 

Then there’s this: ‘Are you riding the wave of life or are you being crushed by it?’ Now that’s a very good question my people! Are we handling life like an animal trainer handles unruly animals; with confidence and strength, but also with some compassion? I assure you that if you don’t take a tight hold on the reins of life, it will take a tight hold on you, for life is advantageous, and will never miss a chance to put you down. 

So it’s our responsibility to do like Portia, and stand up strong and face life. And there I’m talking about an old radio drama from way back when, called ‘Portia Faces Life.’ And unless you’re up there in age, and possibly come from T&T, most of you won’t know it, but in the days before television down there, it was real popular, like the soaps we have nowadays, and it just became a cliché for standing up and facing life head on. 

Consequently, ‘If you have a strong purpose in life, you don’t have to be pushed. Your passion will drive you there.’ That’s true to a great extent. Usually your passion will push you forward if it’s in agreement with your purpose. But for many of us, our purpose and passion often don’t gel. Let’s say the Lord calls you to do one thing, but you have a passion for something else. 

And I’m a perfect example of that! My passion was never to write scriptural stuff, to write yes, but not write on the scriptures. However God seems to have made that my purpose and so I had to develop a passion for it. Now it comes almost naturally. We’ve got to get our ying and yang lined up before we can make real progress. 

And let’s not forget those memorable words attributed to Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933), the 30th President of the U.S.A, serving from 1923-1929. He reputedly said: ‘Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.’ Take from that what you will, but it’s gospel truth! (smile) 

And our final quote from our friend Anselm wisely advises us to ‘Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.’ And is that ever so true, especially in this new world, where mediocrity is seen as something so great, where you have so many superstars! We use the word super for every li’l foolishness or person doing really mediocre stuff nowadays. 

The age of celebrity attention is hard upon us, and the sad fact is that most of these supposed celebrities and supposed superstars don’t know their ‘A’ from their ‘E.’ They have no class whatsoever! Yuh see how they dress? Sloppy and dirty! But that’s style! Utter Foolishness! And they don’t know how to behave either. Just look at the sad, uninviting spectacles of so many of their lives! 

And sadly these are the very people that we have our very culpable children looking up to as heroes and mentors! Steups! And then we wonder why our children turn out so wishy washy and spineless! Ask any of them about any of the new fads on social media, or about social media itself, and they can answer you in an instant! But ask them anything about God, and they don’t have a clue! 

And who’s to blame? We the parents because we have given up our God-given responsibility to train up our children in a godly atmosphere and have allowed the world and all its evil perpetrators to bring them up instead. And then we wonder why we have so many li’l demons and devils on our hands! And if you don’t believe me, then go take a look in the mirror! (smile) 

But this sad state of affairs is very near and dear to my soul, and it just hurts my heart to see the way our society, our young people are falling lower and lower in everything. What use to be a ‘C’ mark in our days, is now and ‘A’, so how can our society be improving eh, if our standards keep falling eh? 

However, when we sincerely decide to partner with Jesus, then our behaviour, etc, etc, has to be excellent, because that’s all He deals in! Listen to what Bruh Paul told the Philippians in talking to them about thanksgiving and prayer. ‘That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ. Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.’ (Phil.1:10-11) 

Yeh friends, as true believers we have to pay serious attention to things that really matter, the vital and worthwhile things in Jesus’ realm, not the trivial things of the world! That means we need to have diligence and excellence as our goals, because that’s what Jesus expects of us! 

Hear how Cousin Sol puts it nuh as he calls us to wisdom. ‘O ye simple, understand wisdom (prudence): and, ye fools, be of an understanding heart. Hear; for I speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things. For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips. All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing forward (crooked) or perverse in them.’ (Prov.8: 5-8) 

Now, if the wisest man ever said that, who are we to doubt him eh? (smile) Oh my people, there is much truth in the saying that while there is life, there is always hope, so please, I implore us, let’s never give up trying to right our wrong world nuh! We’ve already made a mess of it, but we can’t afford to let it fall any further into the mire of evil and despair. So with Jesus’ help, let’s stand up strong and do some cleaning up nuh! It will benefit everybody! Much LOVE!

…it warms the cockles of Jesus’ heart…when He sees us…exhibiting diligence and excellence…in His name…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 3 April 2019 Revelation 1:8.

Revelation 1:8.   I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
 

Greetings my faithful Scrip-Bit friends and family from this earthly Paradise so aptly named Tobago! (smile) I can’t believe that I’ve been here already for a week! And the strange thing is although I’ve been out the street every day, I haven’t journeyed to the capital, the big city of Scarborough as yet! But time will take care of that. 

Sorry but I did not get back down to that gas station yesterday, went to another one close by, so I couldn’t get that quote for you. I did have a nice li’l swim in Grange Beach, in the early dark evening hours. Obviously I was the only one in the water, while the duchess and some of my Tobago family sat on the sea wall chatting and laughing. 

They were dubious about me going for a swim at that time, but I was adamant that I wanted some salt water on my skin, I’d already missed one day, wanted to miss none really! Well why should I eh, when the salt water was one of my main reasons for coming to Paradise? I’ve been known to boast about its therapeutic properties, so I need to have some true testimony about it, otherwise I’m just talking from hearsay, which isn’t good! (smile) 

And for your information, it’s been a cloudy and rainy kind of morning – the rain’s actually falling now, not the li’l 10 seconds thing it likes to do, but a good shower. Earlier on we had a small windstorm along with a shower. The dry earth desperately needs some heavenly blessing! 

But yuh know what, to my left the skies look dark and somewhat foreboding, but to my right the sun seems to be coming out again. And that just struck me as an interesting contrast between darkness and light, between hope and hopelessness. That brings us to this quote attributed to the great English cleric John Wesley (1703-1791), one of the leaders of the early and formative Methodist Church. He reputedly said: ‘The world hopes for the best, but the Lord offers the best hope!’ 

Words of immortal truth my people! Where then should we place our hope eh? In the world, or in our Creator? In our Creator obviously, because it’s impossible for the world to make a better offer than it’s Creator! The created can never be better than the Creator! And that’s what this world refuses to believe and to accept in its mad journey into decline, decay, destruction and death! 

There is some hope in the world and the things it offers, but they are all transitory and without real substance. The only hope that provides real substance and lifelong continuity is that which comes from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ – the First, the Last and Everything in between! He made that quite clear in His vision to John: ‘I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.’ 

It couldn’t be any plainer that that my brethren! Jesus Christ is indeed the First and the Last of this universe! He was here before it was created, and He’ll be here long after it’s destroyed! The scholars offer this explanation: ‘1:8. Alpha and Omega, the first and last words of the Greek Alphabet, refer here to God’s eternality and sovereignty, and possibly to the fullness of God’s self-revelation.’ 

So in light of such convincing evidence, (smile) where then should we, as wise and true believers place our hope eh? Nowhere else but in the hands of the Living and Risen God! In His nail pierced hands lie the hope of this evil world! He bore the pain and paid the price for our sins, so who then should we look to but Him eh? 

Hear how He said it to John later on in the vision, or the revelation. John says: ‘And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell (hades) and of death. Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter.’ (Rev.1:17-19) 

What more can I say eh friends? Not a whole lot. When John saw the vision, he was initially fearful, but Jesus told Him, as He had said on earth so often, ‘fear not.’ Christ died and rose again, thus defeating hell, death and the grave, so He is in fact the mighty conqueror over the powers of darkness and evil! They cannot prevail against Him, because He was raised to the highest level by the Father for His selfless sacrifice on the cross; to be the name above ALL other names, and to whom ALL knees will eventually bow! 

So who else are you going to look to eh? Who yuh going to call when things get rough and tough eh? Not Ghostbusters! (smile) But Jesus! That’s the only wise and sensible name to call out to for hope and help in this life my people. But you can’t be wishy-washy about it. You can’t be doubleminded and try to sit on the fence in the hope of getting the best both sides have to offer, because you’ll end up with nothing from either. 

And remember too, that only Jesus has good things to offer after this earthly life is over. All the enemy has is darkness, death, destruction and the hellfire of hades! And you know who conquered all of that nuh? Jesus of course! So please be wise and hitch your wagon to His horse, and He’ll lead and guide you aright. 

Now for those of us who have done so, let’s go home declaring (right ho!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our true and sincere position in Christ! All together now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And I need to keep reminding us, that the future planned for Christ’s saints, will be even bigger and better than we can ever imagine! So please stand strong and run a good race, because you don’t want to miss that eternal party! Much LOVE!

…only those in Christ will be rejoicing…at the end of the ages…

 

Today​’s Scrip-Bit 22 March 2019 Matthew 13:8-9.

Matthew 13:8-9.   ​But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some a hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. He who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
 
Well at last it’s Friday! And many tired but grateful sighs emanate from many tired lungs and bodies, especially those who returned right at the last minute from the March Break and had no time to rest before heading back out to work on Monday. It’s a cruel world friends, a mighty cruel world, especially if you don’t have Jesus as your Lord and Leader. 

Yeh, Christians have it hard too, but they have the internal peace and LOVE that Jesus brings to the hearts and souls of His followers, and thus we are able to handle the cruel world with much more sense and sensibility (smile) than the unbeliever. So if you want to be able to handle this cruel world with greater confidence, then the answer is JESUS! Give Him some much deserved thanks and praise my fellow believers! 

But since it’s Friday, the workingman is also waiting in the wings to sing his Friday song. So let’s hear what gems of wisdom on life, that he has to offer us today. And he shouts out his usual opening: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! It’s been a busy week…but the weather’s not been bad! And yes, it’s finally spring! So we’ll soon be outside in shirtsleeves and such, barbecuing, lolling on the deck drinking something cold and waiting for the burgers and steaks to cook on the grill! 

Wow! Yuh believe it? Springtime is here once again…and then it will be summer! Chuh! Gway with this winter business yes! Time to get the children and them outa the house too, where they lock up whole winter playing foolish video games. Children suppose to be outside playing, be it rain, snow or shine! 

But sadly not these modern-day ones who have so much electronic gadgets to play with. Some of them don’t even know what outside looks like nuh!  But I not going to kill mihself over them nuh, I know what I like to do and I’m going to do it, especially when it comes to the weekend – party, party, party! Mama Yo! That’s my time! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah mih people, the workingman does make some good points in his weekly song, but it’s just that it’s usually too far over the edge, too far out on the limb for us believers in Jesus Christ! The boundary lines are set too wide apart, too much freedom to wander into the evil world, when Jesus desires His people to follow the narrow but safe path that leads to and through Him to eternal life. 

Consequently, our Friday Chant differs a lot from the workingman’s song. So let’s chant our Friday Chant now with just as much enthusiasm as the workingman had in his song nuh. (smile) 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!’ 

Yes friends, believers are also entitled to fun, to a natural enjoyment in Christ, but we cannot let out guards down, for as soon as we do, the enemy will just jump in there and try to create havoc in our lives. Remember that’s his main aim; to disrupt our lives in Jesus! And we can’t afford to let him do that, otherwise we’ll lose all our joy and peace and become even more miserable than the unbeliever. And believe me, there’s nobody as miserable as a miserable believer! (smile) 

That’s why we need to remember Jesus’ parable about the sower and keep it first place in our minds. ‘Behold, a sower went forth to sow; And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up. Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith (immediately) they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: 

And when the sun was up, they were scorched, and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some a hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. He who hath ears to hear, let him hear.’ (Matt.13:3-9) 

Yeh friends, he who has ears to hear let him hear! Let him hear the Word of the Lord, and let it be firmly planted and rooted in his soul, so that neither thorns, nor the sun nor the fowls of the air can uproot or scorch it, and thus it will bear much fruit in their lives. 

Oh how Jesus desires us to bear the fruit of the Spirit in our earthly lives so that we can teach others about Him, but more importantly live the life we preach, that we’re currently so good at talking about but unfortunately living it very hypocritically. 

Ah my fellow believers, if we’d only seriously read, study and meditate on God’s Word, so that it becomes deeply rooted in our hearts, then we’d be more likely to produce things like LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), meekness and temperance (self-control), which make up the basic fruit of the Spirit! (Gal.6:22-23) 

Now that’s what the world needs to see from believers! Not the wishy-washy, compromising, fearful stuff we’re currently showing them! 

Remember though friends, that each of us will have to answer individually for our words and deeds come the judgement day, so please let’s try our best to do what is right, to run a worthy and worthwhile race, so that when that fateful day comes, the Lord will embrace us and joyfully say: ‘Welcome thou good and faithful servant!’ 

Friends, there are no better welcoming words than those, so let’s live the kind of life that will cause the Lord to eventually say them to us nuh. That’s wisdom of untold proportions! Much LOVE!

…only with the Word…deeply rooted in our souls…can we produce…the fruit of the Spirit…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 February 2019 Romans 4:20.

Romans 4:20.   ​He staggered not (did not waver) at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong (strengthened) in faith, giving glory to God.
 

Ah Lord eh! No rest for the righteous! (smile) A body can’t even get a chance to sleep in on a Saturday morning! That’s because I’ve got to attend an Ironmen’s Breakfast at 9.30 this morning. 

The ‘Ironmen’ is a men’s group at our church. But I have to laugh when I consider that very few, if any of the group is under three score, and several are even three score and ten and over. (smile) But nonetheless, we are the Ironmen of St. Francis, committed to good works in the church and in the community we serve! Praise the Lord!  

And since it’s Saturday, let’s check out some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week in his noble attempt to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first one says: ‘The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.’ 

And that’s fairly true! Most of us would much rather like to be heaped with undeserved praise rather than shrouded in deserved criticism. But remember friends, nobody has reached anywhere without some deserved criticism, and it shows how big a person you are when you can acknowledge your faults and foibles. 

Then there’s this: ‘Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution. If you don’t have any problems, you don’t get any seeds.’ I guess there’s also some truth to that statement, because in many of our problems lie the basic solution to them. If something isn’t working our right, then I guess the best way to find out why is by going back to the beginning and checking all the steps along the way. We’ll usually find the fly somewhere there in the ointment. (smile) 

Now hear this: ‘Four things for success: work and pray, think and believe.’ That’s indisputable! Success does call for at least those four things…and sometimes even more! And then we come to: ‘Stand up to your obstacles and do something about them. You will find that they haven’t half the strength you think they have… every DAY!!!!’ And that’s no lie my brethren! 

When we stand up strong to our problems and not be wishy washy and double-minded, we’ll discover that they are not half as problematic as they first seemed. Problems have this habit of pretending that they are bigger than they really are, and when take them at face value, they tend to intimidate us and make us wary and somewhat unsure of our ability to conquer them. 

But when we come up over them, with the help of God, we discover that they are much more manageable then we originally thought. So perhaps when problems overwhelm us, it might be best to take them each with a grain of salt (smile) before tackling them. 

And the last quote says: ‘Where there is no struggle, there is no strength.’ And that’s gospel truth my brethren, for it’s only when we face difficulties, that we get strong! And that applies to all walks of life. If you want to build physical strength, then you have to lift weights or do something that will cause your muscles to work hard and eventually expand. The same goes for spiritual strength. 

If you want to develop a greater faith in God, then you have to work hard at it, because it doesn’t just come by wishing. You have to go through trials and tribulations because we only grow when we overcome hard times. That’s just a fact of life. I’m sure you’ve noticed than when everything is nice and easy, no growth, be it physical, spiritual or emotional will really take place. 

It’s only when your heart’s been broken that you can appreciate the beneficial value of things like LOVE and romance. You obviously won’t like the broken heart, but because of it, the next time around you’ll certainly be wiser and more appreciative. (smile) 

And I don’t think we can find a better example of growing in faith than Abraham. Look at how at seventy-five the Lord told him to pack up and leave his family and just go, with no idea of where he was going. And every time the Lord told him to do something he did it, oftimes without a clue as to what was happening. And check out his approach to God’s promise of a child in his old age. 

The Good Book says: ‘And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about a hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb.’ (Rom.4;19) Friends, for decades Abraham had been trying to have a child with no success. Can you imagine the disappointment in a society that took children as a reward of God? 

Then the Lord promised him one when he was around a hundred and Sarah about ninety. Abraham must have shaken his head in amazement. But the Good Book continues: ‘He staggered not (did not waver) at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong (strengthened) in faith, giving glory to God. And being fully persuaded (convinced) that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.’ (Rom.4:20-21) 

Yeh friends, it’s only because Abraham had gone through a lot of struggle, wandering all over the place and having one problem after another, but also having God bring him through them that his faith became so strong. Although he lapsed when he took his wife’s Sarah advice to go into her maid Hagar to produce the heir that didn’t seem to be coming from their own loins. (smile) And you know that caused untold problems. 

But look at how he was going to sacrifice the heir Isaac, when the Lord told him to. I’m sure he didn’t know what was happening. How could the Lord ask him to sacrifice the only child whom He had promised would give him more children that the sand of the shore? But in his heart he knew that the Lord would come through in some manner because He had kept ALL of the promises He’d made him over the many years of his nomadic existence. 

Friends, I assure us that the Lord will do the same for us, but I can also guarantee you that it won’t be all wine and roses, because we simply don’t grow unless we face some kind of difficulty in our lives. Remember that and keep the faith like Abraham did. It won’t be easy, but we’ll be well rewarded in the Lord’s time! Much LOVE!

 …you can’t appreciate the sunshine…until you have experienced the darkness…you can’t appreciate prosperity…until you have experienced serious lack…

 

 

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