Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 July 2019 Matthew 25:40.

Matthew 25:40.    ​Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
 

Ah well, another glorious summer Saturday in the year of 2019! So, whenever you rise and shine, please enjoy it as though it was your last day on planet earth, for who knows, it just might well be. (smile) A lot of people who went to bed hale and hearty last night, did not get up this morning, for one reason or another. And the Lord died that we could have joy and peace right down here on this conflicted earth, not wait until we get to heaven. 

So despite our circumstances, let’s all give a shout of joy and declare: ‘All praise and glory be to the Most High God, our heavenly Father, who dearly LOVES us and looks after us like His own beloved children; who has promised never to leave nor forsake us and to see us through whatever troubles come our way in this earthly life!’ Give Him much thanks and praise for His awesome faithfulness, LOVE, mercy, grace and forgiveness my believing brethren! 

Ah friends, when you really get to know our heavenly Father, you’ll be amazed at how wonderful He is! But it takes time and serious commitment to get to that point; things that not too many of us are willing to spend or give, but we still want to receive all of His blessings. It doesn’t work that way though. 

As Moses told the Israelites so long ago: ‘But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.’ (Deut. 4:29) And in all those years, that hasn’t changed one iota my people! So let’s all seek Him sincerely nuh, starting Right Here and Now! 

And enough palavering, (smile) let’s see what words of wisdom our friend Anselm had to share with us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Listen to this first one: ‘Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.’ And that’s ever so true! 

A lot of us sit around and expect others to make us happy, but that’s not very realistic, since all of us have different agendas, and very few of them in this selfish and greedy world are to make others happy. They are more self-centred and concentrate on making I, me and myself happy. So if you want to be happy, you’ve got to get out there and do it for yourself! Nobody’s going to do it for you. 

And then there’s this: ‘Just remember: The people that say, ‘your dreams are impossible’ have already quit on theirs.’ More likely than not yes! Yeh friends, in this world there seem to be many more negative thinking people than positive thinking ones, even amongst our Christian community…

Brother! I can’t spell for hell this morning! I made more spelling mistakes in that last sentence than I’ve made in the rest of the Bit. Even spelled brother wrong! (smile) But moving along. Too many of us tend to discourage others from pursuing their dreams. But what’s a dream eh? Basically something that seems impossible in the naked light of day. Remember though, that with Jesus on our side, any and everything is possible! 

Consequently, ‘There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.’ And is that ever so true! For once you think you’ll fail, you most likely will, because you introduce into your psyche a negative, self-defeating idea, which then tends to manifest itself in your attitude and the level of work you’re willing to put into making the dream a reality. 

Like a li’l mole, it just keeps eating away at your creativity and you end up not putting in the amount of work really need to make the project a success. So don’t listen to the naysayers…listen to Almighty God! That means, the first thing to do is to find out from God, whether the dream fits His will and purpose for your life, for if it doesn’t, then it won’t ever succeed, no matter how much effort and elbow grease you put into it. 

Now here’s this very interesting quote: ‘Are you living out things that will affect your résumé or your eulogy? How would your life change if you lived each day with your eulogy in mind?’ That’s a very good question! One we should all take a moment or two to ponder. It’s basically asking are we living our lives to please man or God; to meet the world’s standards or God’s? 

And it’s strange, but I heard a preacher ask that very question recently, just in a different form: ‘What would we like our eulogy to be: praise for wealth and power, worldly things, or praise for being godly and Christ-like?’ I suggest the latter is the more worthwhile, but it doesn’t happen overnight, it’s a process, which means you have to start living it NOW! 

And the final quote asks very significantly: ‘What needs around you touch your heart? What’s one thing you can do to help others—even if it seems insignificant?’ Right there friends is the heart of our Christian ministry; helping others. Remember Jesus said that He came to seek and to save those who were lost. (Luke 19:10) 

But even more importantly listen to His words re when He comes back to set up His kingdom and He sets the sheep on His right hand and the goats on His left and invite the sheep to live with Him for ever after, while condemning the goats to hellfire and eternal damnation. Why? Because the sheep, true believers, helped those who were sick and suffering, lost and lonely, while the goats did not. 

‘For I was an hungered (hungry), and ye gave me meat (food): I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison and ye came unto me.’ (Matt.25:35-36) And when the righteous ask when they did all of that, He will reply: ‘Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.’  

Yes friends, our earthly job includes helping the poor, the lost and the unfortunate, just like Jesus did. So let’s get with it nuh, and stop concentrating solely on ourselves and our friends and families, because there is so much unmet need out there in today’s crazy world, that even the most insignificant help we can give will be joyfully looked upon by heaven and in due time, well rewarded. Much LOVE!

…you can’t call yourself a Christian…and don’t help anybody in need…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 January 2019 Matthew 22:37-38.

Matthew 22:37-38.   ​Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.

 

‘Winterlicious winter…lots of cold and snow. Winterlicious winter…why don’t you go…back to where you came from and leave us all alone eh?’ Now that’s a question that many of us in my area will be asking this morning as they struggle through the mucho snow left by the major snowstorm yesterday. 

I remember looking out the window after lunch yesterday and there was just the residue from the day before, but by mid afternoon when I looked out again, it was all white, and the flimsy flakes were falling down from heaven like rain! Hn! Hn! But that’s what winter is all about. 

We thought we were getting a nice, snow free winter, but that was just a fantasy, a figment of our imagination. As the repairman in the ad used to say: ‘You can pay me now, or pay me later.’ It’s the same thing with the snow, we can get it early or late, or even in between, but we will get it. End of story! 

Now having said, that here is something to counteract the negative concerns. It’s a quote from Gordon W. Allport (1867-1967) a pioneering American psychologist and Harvard professor. It’s said that ‘He rejected two of the dominant schools of thought in psychology at the time, psychoanalysis and behaviorism, in favor of his own approach that stressed the importance of individual differences and situational variables.’ 

Consequently, he was able to come up with this gem: ‘LOVE received and LOVE given comprise the best form of therapy.’ Mama Mia! What awesome words of wisdom! Friends, there’s nothing better in this land of the living than giving and receiving LOVE! That’s because it’s the greatest emotion in the world, the supreme attribute of our great God, and the one that caused Him to send His Son to die on the cross for us at Calvary to pay our sin debt in full! Glory Be! 

So how could it be anything but great eh, since its effects are ever so wonderful? I know many of us, including believers, shrug off or shirk away from LOVE because we’re afraid of the hurt it can bring and the vulnerability that it imposes on our souls. But just think for a moment, if our heavenly Father had thought about the hurt it would bring Him, do you think He would have sent His Son to die for a bunch of miserable, ungrateful sinners? Definitely not! 

And think again, if Jesus had considered the severe pain and vulnerability His LOVE for the Father and us would bring Him, He would have willingly gone to the cross on our behalf? No way Jose! That’s why, as believers in and followers of Jesus, we ought to embrace that wonderful attribute of LOVE as our watchword and guiding light! 

Remember Jesus’ answer to the hypocrite Pharisee lawyer who tried to trick Him by asking: ‘Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.’ (Matt.22:36-38)

Yes friends, LOVE for God should be…no not should be, but IS our number One priority in this fallen world! And it’s not like the Pharisee didn’t know that, because all Jesus was doing there was quoting from the Old Testament, Deuteronomy 6:5. The foolish Pharisee even got more than he bargained for, because Jesus continued: ‘And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thy self. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:39-40) 

Oh my people, my people, from day one, when the Lord made us, it was all about LOVE! And when He sent Jesus to save us, it was still all about LOVE! And when Jesus comes a second time, to take us home to heaven with Him, it will still be all about LOVE! Some of us claim to abide by the first commandment, LOVE for God, but can’t get our heads around the second; LOVING our neighbours as ourselves. 

But friends, we can’t have one without the other. For as John so rightly says: ‘If a man say, I LOVE God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that LOVETH not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he LOVE God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who LOVETH God LOVE his brother also.’ (1 John 4:20-21) 

That’s as plain as night and day my brethren! Yet we foolishly try to have one without the other. Perhaps it’s because we DON’T LOVE OURSELVES, that we can’t LOVE our brothers! That’s something for us to check up on as soon as possible, because that might just be what’s hindering our LOVE walk. 

Oh friends, Jesus’ teaching was ALL based on LOVE and so should our lives ALL be based on it. Listen to this heart-opening directive as He wound down His earthly ministry. ‘A new commandment I give unto you. That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you, that ye also LOVE one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another.’ (John 13:34-35) 

Yuh see that friends, the distinctive recognition of our discipleship on Christ’s behalf must be that mankind sees our LOVE for each other! And I won’t even get into a discussion on whether we’re showing that distinctive difference, because we all know that we’re not showing it as much as we ought to. But yuh know what friends, come the judgement day, we’ll each have to answer as to why we did not keep that commandment. So nuff said! 

Let’s go home now declaring (got it right) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are – even though we’re not as good as we ought to be. (smile) As one voice, in all sincerity and truth: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

And if we are sincere about that, then let’s indeed go out and spread the friendship and LOVE of Jesus with the world! Much LOVE!

…it’s so sad…that the evil emotion of hate…is so much easier to come by in this world…than the godly attribute of…LOVE…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 November 2018 Deuteronomy 4:29.

Deuteronomy 4:29.   ​But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.​
 
Oh brother! What is it eh? I’ve been back from sunny Jamaica for a week now and so far I’ve only awakened to one bright and sun-filled day! I believe that was Sunday. Man o man! That sure doesn’t do wonders for the spirit nuh. But nonetheless, I am thankful that I can say that I’ve awakened…Glory be! 

Every time I read the obits and don’t see my name, I send up a grateful, ‘Thank You Lord!’ Oh, I know that one day I will read it there, but just not yet.’ (smile) 

And to help us on this cold, dark, wet and cloudy day, I’ve been led to share this poem from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional, titled, ‘Learn to Know God.’ So let’s do just that nuh. 

Please pray with me: ‘Dear Jesus, I’ve got to get to know You better. Please help me! I can feel my spiritual and emotional walls crack. I can hear old chains break. I can feel my heart opening like a heavy door whose ancient seals have just begun to break. I can sense the footsteps of Jesus walking into my life. I am beginning to experience the joy of a soul that is being saved, a life that is being born again. Thank You Lord! Life’s not fair, but God is good. Amen.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth: ‘Life’s not fair, but God IS good!’ Ah friends, whenever we come to God, sincerely cry out to Him for help in time of need, we can be sure that He will hear our plea and respond positively to it! That’s’ His promise, and He’s a faithful keeper of ALL His promises! But we first have to seek Him, to get to know Him. 

And every great man of faith has made that admonishment, as we will see as we go through the Good Book. We’ll begin with out Bit; Moses’ wise and true advice to the Israelites: ‘But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.​’ 

Yes friends, whenever we seek the Lord with a sincere heart, we shall find Him. It doesn’t matter what we were doing before. And we have perfect examples of that in the many times the Israelites turned from God and suffered, but when they came to their senses and returned to Him, He welcomed them back with opened arms. 

Likewise, in these evil and sinful times, if we turn back to God, seek Him with all our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, He will hear us and relieve the trials and tribulations, which we are suffering from disobedience to His holy will. And doh fool yuh fat nuh, we are undergoing adversity and calamity because of our sinful, ungodly way of life. But enough of my preaching, (smile) let’s see what some other great men of faith said on the subject. 

Hear Bruh David now, as he admonishes Cousin Sol on the matter. ‘And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart, and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.’ (1 Chr.28:9) And that my brethren holds good for all of us, be we prince or pauper! 

And on an even more important note, how many of us parents admonish our children with that information eh? Too few! Otherwise we would not have raised such an ungodly, narcissistic and nihilistic (rejection of beliefs in religion and morals) generation. Our parents taught us about seeking God, possibly more than we liked, but our generation have certainly not taught this current one enough about seeking their Maker. 

Come the judgement day, we will have a lot to answer for in that regard. But moving right along, listen to Bruh David again, this time from Psalm 9. ‘The Lord also will be a refuge (stronghold) for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.’ (Ps.9:9-10) 

And all God’s people broke out in a loud and grateful cheer: ‘Praise the Lord for His undeserved goodness to the children of men!’ Yes my brethren, we all know that the Lord NEVER turns His back on any one who comes to Him with a sincere and humble heart! 

Now hear that lamenting prophet, Jeremiah. (smile) ‘Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto (listen to) you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.’ (Jer.29:12-13) It couldn’t get any more forthright than that! 

Now listen to the Master tell it like it truly ought to be. This is His response to a foolish Pharisee lawyer trying to provoke Him, by asking which is the greatest commandment? ‘Jesus saw through the ruse and simply quoted the Old Testament words to him, (Deut.6:5) which as a leader of the people, he ought to have known. ‘Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.’ (Matt.22:37-38) 

And as a (langniappe, or brawta) a little extra thrown in for good measure, Jesus then informed him. ‘And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt.22:39-40) And that was only a reiteration of Leviticus 19:18, which the Pharisee lawyer also would have known. 

But friends, just like how they were not living those two great commandments back in the times of Jesus, likewise we are not living them in these end times. That’s why our world is such an evil mess. And it’s only if we believers improve our LOVING, both for God and man, will it ever improve. It’s as simple as that. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. In strong voice and sincere hearts now: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Our next move then is to go out and share that LOVE! Much LOVE!

…only as you seek the Lord…and with a sincere heart too…will you find Him…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 September 2018 James 4:8a

James 4:8a.   Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you.

Well it’s that special time again friends; time to visit the house of God and give Him thanks through sincere praise and worship, in the company of fellow believers. It’s always a great time, both here on earth and in heaven when believers get together to sing the Lord’s praises, hear His Word and have their spirits renewed and refreshed. 

The celebration is remarkable, as all heaven gets together too, to watch and participate in their own way! And you know we always like to begin the proceedings with a song of praise to get us in the mood and soften up our hard hearts. Today’s song is the well-known hymn, ‘Just a closer walk with thee.’ It’s strange, but there doesn’t seem to be any agreement on who wrote the song or where it first originated.  

But it’s a very appropriate song for believer’s needs, as one commentator says: ‘In this song, we acknowledge our human inability to live righteously, but we also express awareness of the grace and strength that God gives us in our daily walk. Even an esteemed saint as the apostle Paul acknowledged his need for this grace: “But he (God) said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”…For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor.12:9a, 10b) 

And is that ever so true, for without God’s grace and guidance our lives would not be worth even the proverbial ‘plugged nickel!’ So let’s open out hearts and mouths, and lift our hands and eyes to heaven and entreat our Lord and Saviour to generously and compassionately offer us a closer walk with Him, for without Him at our side we’re simply bound for Hades and eternal damnation. 

Altogether now my people, let’s raise the roof of the sanctuary with our sweet voices, and let our prayerful requests rise to heaven in song. ‘I am weak, but Thou art strong, Jesus, keep me from all wrong; I’ll be satisfied as long As I walk, let me walk close to Thee. (Refrain: Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.) 

Through this world of toil and snares, If I falter, Lord, who cares? Who with me my burden shares? None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee. (Refrain: Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.) When my feeble life is o’er, Time for me will be no more; Guide me gently, safely o’er To Thy kingdom shore, to Thy shore. (Refrain: Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, Daily walking close to Thee, Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.).’ 

Oh friends, that sure was powerful, but also very sincere! And I’m positive that our requests reached the listening ear of Jesus and He immediately instructed the angels to do exactly as we asked. And they have done it, because I can feel the Holy Spirit of our Lord and Saviour moving dramatically in me, strengthening me and reassuring me that everything will be okay, because He’s always near and will never leave nor forsake me. 

And I’m sure that you my fellow believers have also received the same message, because I can see the light of Christ shining in your eyes, with a Moses-like glow on your faces, and your bodies are now standing straight and strong. Ah mih people, that’s the wonderful effect God’s power, through His Spirit, will have on us when we reach out in all sincerity to Him. 

They say that the title and lyrics of this song allude to the Biblical passage from 2 Cor.5:7 which states, “We walk by faith and not by sight,” which we talked about a couple days ago. And also to our Bit for today: ‘Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth! Throughout the Good Book our God repeatedly tells us to come to Him, for succour, and comfort. We see it early on when Moses tells the Israelites about turning from their evil ways if they ever become idol worshippers. ‘But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.’ (Deut.4:29) 

Ah friends, that’s the real crux of the matter; not only seeking God, but also doing so with true sincerity. For remember God judges us by the state of our hearts, not by our outward show. And Bruh David tells us in no uncertain terms: ‘And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.’ (Ps.9:10) And friends, He NEVER WILL! 

And Bruh David practiced what he preached.’ When thou saidst, seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.’ (Ps.27:8) Meanwhile through the prophet Jeremiah, the Lord said to the Israelites about their return from captivity in Babylon: ‘Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken (listen) unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.’ (Jer.29:12-13) 

There again my fellow believers, that proviso of seeking God with all your heart, if you want to find Him. You can seek Him in any state, He’ll take you just as you are, but your heart must be right, be truly repentant. And let’s not forget Azariah’s warning to king Asa. ‘The Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.’ (2 Chr.15:2) That says it all friends! So please, let’s be wise and heed all those warnings nuh! Much LOVE!

…if we want to have a steady walk with God…then we must have a steady heart for God…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 July 2018 Mark 12:29.

Mark 12:29.   And Jesus answered him, The first (foremost) of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is One Lord:

                                  HAPPY  BIRTHDAY  CANADA !

Yeh friends, today is officially Canada’s 151st birthday, but we’ll talk about it tomorrow, when the Big Bang really happens. (smile) But just remember to follow Granny’s advice: Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business. Words of absolute wisdom my brethren! 

And my humblest apologies for the Bit being this late, but as the old people would say, what ent meet you, ent pass you. (smile) Now thank the Lord, I don’t usually have headaches, but I had a truly disgusting one this morning. I couldn’t even move my head without it feeling like it wanted to explode. I haven’t had anything like that in years. 

Steups! And I definitely didn’t want to venture writing the Bit under those less than positive circumstances. So I just took a couple of extra strength Tylenol and went to lie down. I didn’t even go to church. But I do have a new empathy for those who suffer with constant headaches, especially migraines. I guess the Lord felt I was having things a li’l too easy nuh. (smile) 

Anyway, enough pity party chatter, let’s get on with our Sunday morning, or rather afternoon proceedings. And as usual we’ll open with a song of praise to soften our stone hard hearts and make them more receptive to God’s word. And today’s ditty is taken from the old musical Godspell (1971), supposedly based on the Gospel of Matthew. 

It’s a song composed by Stephen Schwartz, one we’ve heard a thousand times down through the ages, but really haven’t paid much attention to – at least I haven’t, until I heard it this past week on commercial radio and had to check it out to see if the lyrics I heard were truly true. And by gosh, they were! 

That’s why we can now belt out the song ‘Day by Day’ with much gusto and heartfelt sincerity. As one earthly choir, sounding like a heavenly one though, (smile) let’s sing: ‘(Slow) Day by day, Day by day, oh, dear Lord, three things I pray: To see thee more clearly, LOVE thee more dearly, Follow thee more nearly, day by day 

(Chorus (fast) Day by day, day by day Oh, dear Lord, three things I pray: To see thee more clearly, LOVE thee more dearly, Follow thee more nearly, day by day Day by day, day by day, by day, by day. (Slow) Day by day, Day by day, oh, dear Lord, three things I pray: To see thee more clearly, LOVE thee more dearly, Follow thee more nearly, day by day (Chorus (fast)… Day by day, day by day, by day, by day…. Day by day, day by day, by day, by day…’ 

Yes friends, the words aren’t plentiful, and are somewhat repetitive, (smile) but you can’t find a better prayer than that anywhere! We’re only asking for three things: to see the Lord more clearly, LOVE Him more dearly, and follow Him more nearly… Wow! If we could only get those three things, we’d be in seventh heaven, doing exactly the things the Lord desires of us, the things He created us for! Would there ever be great joy and peace on earth! Hn! 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘And Jesus answered him, The first (foremost) of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is One Lord: And thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first (foremost) commandment.’ (Mark 12:29-30)  

Yes my brethren, that was Jesus’ answer to the question one of the scribes asked Him, one day when He was holding forth on the topic of resurrection, trying to trip Him up, and thus find reason to accuse Him of blasphemy or some other foolish crime. 

But Jesus, as usual was too much for those hypocritical fools. If they had believed Him, they would have realized that He wrote the Good Book and thus knew all the answers. But such is man’s foolish pride, that he figures he knows everything, when in actual fact he knows nothing whatsoever! 

And as the scholars explain: ‘12:29. See Deuteronomy 6:4. These are the opening words of the Shema, the Jewish call to worship. They establish the basis of LOVE for God in the fact of God’s being the Lord our God, the God who has covenanted to redeem us to Himself.’ 

Yes my brethren, those were the words Moses spoke unto Israel when he gave them the Great Commandment, warned them that they were to worship ONE absolute God!  Logically speaking, there couldn’t be more than one, Supreme Being, else there would be no absolute, and thus oodles of confusion. 

And please notice the meaning of the word ‘Shema’, the first word in Hebrew: ‘HEAR!’ That’s what Moses was trying to drive home to the people when he gave them that message. And it’s what I am trying to drive home to us today my faithful followers of Christ: ‘Hear! Listen!’ so that we too can obey it, as well as the continuation of Moses’ message. 

‘And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.’ (Deut.6:6-9) 

And NOTHING has changed since then friends and fellow believers: we are still supposed to do all those things…as well as the Second Great Commandment that Jesus added: ‘And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.’ (Mark 12:31) 

And to tell the truth, that wasn’t even Jesus invention at that time, because Moses had already told the Israelites in Leviticus: ‘Thou shalt not avenge (take vengeance), nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.’ (Lev.19:18) 

What more can I say eh friends…nothing really. It’s all spelt out there for us. We must now use wisdom and accept and action it. Much LOVE!

…only two things are really asked of us in this earthly life…LOVE the Lord our God…and our neighbours as ourselves…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 August 2016 Deuteronomy 4:29.

Deuteronomy 4:29.    But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.

Aye friends, that wonderful day called Monday, has rolled around again! Wow! 

Are you excited enough to joyfully declare: ‘TGIM! Thank God it’s Monday! Thank God that I will be able to get out of this drudgery of housework, or of just lazing around and doing nothing constructive, and instead go out and meet people, and help bring them to Jesus and His saving grace!’

Oh my people, if you can truthfully declare that prayer this Monday morning, then you’re amongst a very few blessed souls.  And may the Lord bless you and give you your heart’s desire. That’s because most of us will be moaning and groaning and cussing and complaining about how we so tired, and how the weekend finish so quick, and we just might call in sick. 

But don’t worry my brethren, we have an antidote for the Monday Morning Blues, it’s called our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. So without further ado, let’s get right into it so our spirits can be lifted and our attitudes become more Christ like. (smile) 

Altogether 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 that was good friends; better than average! It even brought a trace of a smile to Jesus, our choirmaster’s face. Now let’s keep our adrenaline fuelled motors running and get out there and live our lives for Jesus. That’s all He asks of us. 

And to help us do that, let’s turn to our current Bit for the last time. ‘But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.’ 

Oh my fellow believers what a wonderful promise of Almighty God to lay before unbelievers when we witness to them! They can be assured that whatever their sins might be – a li’l white lie or genocide – if they seek God with sincere confession and repentance their iniquity will be washed away. 

Bruh David puts it thus in Psalm 103 – Thanksgiving for God’s mercy. ‘The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous (abounding) in mercy (LOVING-kindness). He will not always chide (strive): neither will he keep his anger forever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. 

For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy (LOVING-kindness) toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.’ (Ps.103:8-12)  

And all God’s people declared a loud and proud:’ Glory to God for His LOVING-kindness to the undeserving children of men!’ And that He certainly is my brethren! 

Now let’s turn to a couple of other scriptures which corroborate our Bit. Listen to Nehemiah when he hears that Jerusalem is a waste land. He fasts, prays, confesses the sins of his people, and asks for guidance. 

‘We have dealt (acted) very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, not the judgements (ordinances), which thou commandedst thy servant Moses. Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress (are unfaithful), I will scatter you abroad among the nations. 

But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though they were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there (as a dwelling for my name).’ (Neh.1:7-9) 

Yes friends, that’s the beauty of worshipping our great and awesome God; we can remind Him of His promises when we fulfill the requirements! And we’ll end with these glorious words of Hosea – Israel’s reply to God’s admonishment. 

‘Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten (stricken), and he will bind (bandage) us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. 

Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord (let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord): his going forth is prepared (established) as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.’ (Hos.6:1-3) 

Yes my faithful brethren, regardless of the nature of our sins, sincere confession and repentance will bring forgiveness. Just remember that the Lord looks at our hearts, so mere words will not fool Him. Much LOVE!

…heartfelt confession…plus sincere repentance…equals graceful and merciful forgiveness…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 August 2016 Deuteronomy 4:29.

Deuteronomy 4:29.    But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.

Well mih people, it’s Saturday! What’s on the agenda for today eh? Hope it includes some fun, rest, and relaxation and not too many household chores. I don’t know about you all nuh, but I wish I could be in Tobago, enjoying the early morning refreshing sea breeze, biding my time to go up Calder Hall Road and get some of the soup from those three big iron (dutch) pots. (smile) 

Oh friends, I still can’t get over the size of those iron pots nuh! Hn! I’ve never seen any as big before that, or since. But some pigeon (gungo) peas soup, or cowfoot, or even callaloo soup would certainly go down good this Saturday morning, even here in good ole Toronto. 

But I guess I’ll just have to keep on dreaming about that until hopefully with the good grace of God I go back there next year – unless the duchess, under the Lord’s urging, decides to make some gungo peas soup today. Oh glory to God! 

I know I won’t get any of the other two from her, because those are T&T specials and she is a Jamdown lady.  (smile) I’ll just keep hoping though with a strong Christian faith, for anything is possible where our God is concerned. 

Anyway, since it’s Saturday, I guess we should have a look at one of our friend Anselm’s quotes. He always aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And this week there were several good ones, but this one was definitely the winner! It’s long so we only have space for one today. It’s called: ‘Out With The Old.’ 

And it says: ‘Last Week I threw out WORRYING, It was getting old and in the way.  It kept me from being me; I couldn’t do things my way.  I threw out those inhibitions; they were just crowding me out.  Made room for my New Growth, Got rid of my old dreams and doubts.  I threw out a book on MY PAST (didn’t have time to read it anyway).  Replaced it with New Goals, Started reading it today.  

I threw out childhood toys (remember how I treasured them so)?  Got me a NEW PHILOSOPHY too, threw out the one from long ago.  Brought in some new books too, Called I CAN, I WILL, and I MUST. Threw out I might, I think and I ought. WOW, You should’ve seen the dust.  I ran across an OLD FRIEND, Haven’t seen him in a while. I believe his name is GOD, Yes, I really like His style. He helped me to do some cleaning and added some thing’s Himself. Like PRAYER, HOPE and FAITH, Yes I placed them right on the shelf.  

I picked up this special thing and placed it at the front door.  I FOUND IT – it’s called PEACE. Nothing gets me down anymore.  Yes, I’ve got my house looking nice. Looks good around the place.  For things like Worry and Trouble There just isn’t any place.  It’s good to do a little house cleaning, Get rid of the old things on the shelf.  It sure makes things brighter; maybe you should TRY IT YOURSELF.’ 

Amen, my brethren! Now doesn’t that sound like a very good idea for this Saturday morning? It surely does! A little spiritual housekeeping never hurt anyone. So let’s try it today ourselves nuh. By the way, the boldface type was my idea, not Anselm’s. 

And yuh know what too friends, it jives so nicely with our Bit, like they were just made to run one into the other. (smile) ‘But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.’  Gospel truth my people, pure, unadulterated gospel truth! 

And we do need to kick out some of the old stuff, like a lust for power, material possessions and other things of the world, like worry and trouble, when we sincerely go seeking God, because those things have no place in His realm. Now listen to our God’s conditions for restoration and blessing as spoken by Moses to the children of Israel. 

‘And it shall come to pass, when all those things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind (remember them) among all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath driven thee, And shalt return unto the Lord thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; 

That then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity ( bring you back from captivity), and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee.’ (Deut.30:1-3) 

Oh friends, there’s no rocket science in that statement. If, or rather when the Israelites disobeyed God’s commandments and turned to worshipping idols and other pagan rites, He sent them into captivity all over the world. However, when they remembered His goodness and mercy and decided to return unto Him, He promised to welcome them with open arms. 

My fellow believers, it’s the same thing the Lord our God is saying to us today. It’s not too late. If we stop trying to remove Him from our society and instead turn to Him with sincere confession and repentance, He is more than willing to forgive us. That’s how magnanimous and magnificent is the God we serve! 

But my people it’s become a hard sell to bring others to Jesus, especially when we believers are not setting a consistent and proper example of Christian faith and behaviour. Remember, we are the only group that’s really concerned with the sinful and ungodly state of the world, and if we don’t lead by proper example, we can’t blame others for not wanting to get involved with Jesus’ LOVE Revolution. 

And we’ll end with these immortal words of Bruh David from Psalm 32 – The blessedness of forgiveness. ‘I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.  Selah. For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him.’ (Ps.33:5-7) 

So friends, it’s now left up to us to spread the good news of Jesus all around the world, but in a manner that brings Him glory and honour. Much LOVE!

…God’s word is real…many have lived to tell it…but many more have died in disbelief…

 

 

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