Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 October 2020 James 1:2.

James 1:2.     ​My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials);

Ah Lord eh people! Steups! The ole people was right yes: in this life, when is not one thing, is a blooming other yes! Chuh man! The devil get mih early this morning. I was coming downstairs a while ago, early to boot, (smile) to start writing the Bit when I had an unfortunate accident. Steups! So I had to waste valuable time, spend over half an hour cleaning up the spill and myself. Obviously I was annoyed, especially when I had argued in a lost cause for staying longer in bed. I guess the Lord really wanted to wake me up in a big way. (smile) 

And I had such a grand opening planned for today: And then it was Saturday; a day unlike the other days! One that does not follow the rules and regulations like the others. It’s a law unto itself; of the lazy, laidback, do it if and when you want it breed. No stuffy rules and regulations for Saturday. And I should have taken advantage of that lazy, laidback nature and stayed in bed! (smile) 

But we know that the Lord has a purpose for everything He allows to come our way, I just don’t know, or can’t see His purpose for allowing that accident this morning. But like the good believer I am, I’m just going to grin and bear it, and keep on keeping on. Someday I might know the reason…or I might just never. But that’s okay too, for the Lord is a good God and whatever He allows is always for my benefit, in my best interest. Sermon done! 

Now let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspired to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Listen to this first one, which is ever so appropriate for our world today. ‘Complacency is the forerunner of mediocrity. You can never work too hard on attitudes, effort and technique.’ And that’s the awesome truth. You can never work too hard on your life skills. But the most significant sign of a declining person and a society is its level of complacency, the level of its overall standards. When we stop building and just decide to relax on our fat fannies, dwell on our laurels or past achievements, that’s when our standards and everything else begin to fall. 

Life is a constant cycle; it’s always moving, and if you’re not moving along with it, to a reasonable extent, you’ll get left in its dust. And that’s why our society is now in freefall mode; our complacency is dragging us down; our standards are falling lower and lower every day. And that’s not me speaking, that’s history. Just look at all the old, great societies. Once they got fat and prosperous, they laid down and became complacent, and it was only a matter of time before they died. 

That’s why the next quote is important. ‘I don’t worry about maintaining the quality of my life, because every day I work on improving it.’ Yes friends, we need to constantly work on improving the quality of our lives, our standards. Now that doesn’t mean just running after material things and wealth of this world, but more about enjoying everyday life, having it more abundantly like what Jesus promised. (John 10:10) Please note one universal truth: if you run behind the material things of life, without judicial and godly wisdom, without common sense, then you’ll certainly pile them up, but you won’t be able to enjoy them, since you will always be too busy trying to attain more. 

So what’s the point of piling them up if you can’t enjoy them eh? None whatsoever! No wonder Bruh Paul advised us to use moderation in all things. (Phil. 4:5) The scholars’ term it ‘graciousness’ or ‘sweet reasonableness.’ I term it simple common sense! (smile) 

That brings us to this quote: ‘I’m never satisfied with what I do. I always think I can do a lot better.’ Now that can either be a bane or a blessing in our lives. We can either overdo it, by never being satisfied with what we’ve done, or we can be satisfied when we know we’ve done our best. 

Oh, we must always try to be excellent in whatever we do, for that’s what Christ expects of His followers, but at the same time He doesn’t want us to go overboard and be overly fussy. None of us is perfect, and some are just better at certain things because of the divine gifts they’ve been given. So please don’t compare yourself with others, that’s the surest way to bring unnecessary sorrow to your life. Just do your best and be satisfied. The Lord knows and sees your heart. 

Now there’s also the other side to that story, as this quote explains. ‘Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.’ And that’s the living truth. Fear, or the devil’s work is too big a part in too many of our lives. So much so that we can’t get around to working on our dreams. Remember some of Jesus’ favourite words were:‘FEAR NOT!’ 

And that pertains to both the physical fear of danger and the spiritual and emotional fear of not being able to work on the dreams and desires of our hearts that the Lord bestowed on us. Again, that invokes godly wisdom and common sense, which can only be truly found when we put out trust in Jesus, read His Word and believe His promises. Remember, faith is the opposite of fear. And as they say, when fear knocks on your door, the best response is to send faith to answer that knock. 

So finally, we come to this last quote, which sort of encapsulates them all. ‘Pause and remember – Every single event in your life, especially the difficult lessons, have made you smarter, stronger, and wiser than you were yesterday. Be thankful!’ And all of God’s people said a loud and proud: ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ Yes, I’m being a li’l facetious there, because most of us don’t want to experience difficult times. But the truth is they do make us wiser and stronger than before we experienced them. 

For as James so wisely says, when talking about Christian living, faith and humility.‘My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials);Knowing this, that the trying (testing) of your faith, worketh (produces) patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire (complete), wanting (lacking) nothing,’ (James 1:2-4) 

And the scholars offer this interesting explanation. ‘1:2-3.In this epistle on Christian living, James opens with a most crucial topic: the trials of life. These verses describe the various testings – whether from the world and Satan, or from God – into which godly Christians fall (Gr. peripipto). These “negative” experiences are to be accepted with great joy, not for the sake of the trial itself but because of the positive work God can accomplish through the testing…’ 

Yes, I know it sounds somewhat harsh and unreasonable, but the truth of the matter is that we don’t grow unless we go through adversity. It’s only in the rough times that we grow and mature, both spiritually and emotionally, so if we want to grow, we have to learn to face adversity mano a- mano. And the scholars wisely add: ‘1:4.The natural response to adversity is to escape it. But God uses trouble to mature His people.’ 

And that’s the honest truth! So if you really want to grow in godliness, you just have to bite the bullet and find joy in your trials. Remember though, that the Lord has promised never to leave nor forsake us, and that He’ll work everything out for our good. That means He will ALWAYS be beside us in whatever trial we’re going through, holding our hands to bring us out safely and stronger on the other side. But in those trying times, like now, we have to remember the immortal words of Jesus; ‘FEAR NOT!’ Just relax in His awesome presence and allow Him to lead the way! That’s true wisdom! Much LOVE!

…fear can only be overcome…through trust and faith in Jesus… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 March 2016 Philippians 1:29

Philippians 1:29.    For unto you it is given in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.

Oh friends, spring has finally sprung in this watershed year of 2016!  Yes, Mother Nature is on the verge of refreshing and renewing herself with new bulbs, leaves, flowers etc! 

And on this Monday morning of Holy Week, I believe that it will be in our best interests if we all did likewise. Let’s spring up today and get back in the fray of godly living with excitement and joy and faith in the good things that God has promised to bless us with. 

Let’s do like Mother Nature, who has no guarantees, but at this time of the year she arises from her dormant state refreshed and reinvigorated, and decides to take the bull by the horns and grow, spring forth in all her greenery, come what may. 

Now that is the attitude we Christians need to adopt; come hell or high water, enthusiastically moving forward with Jesus as He desires of us. Remember, He has promised never to leave or forsake us, to always be with us, and to work everything out for our good, meaning that we have more guarantees than Mother Nature. 

So let’s run this earthly race then without fear and doubts nuh, but with the supreme confidence instilled in us by the Holy Spirit, that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us each and every day of our lives. And to help us do that today, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with that confidence and zest derived from the Holy Spirit. 

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

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’  

Now that was good friends, though not as spectacular as last week’s rendition, but it did bring a smile to Jesus’ face, and that’s the number one criteria for judging. (smile) 

That brings us to our Bit, which I believe many of you might not like, but it is an integral part of working and living for Jesus. Before we get to it though, let’s try to put it in its proper context. Here Bruh Paul is exhorting the Philippians to steadfastness. 

‘Only let your conversation be as it becometh (conduct be worthy of) the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind, striving together for the faith of the gospel. 

And in nothing (no way) terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token (proof) of perdition (destruction), but to you of salvation, and that of God. For unto you it is given in behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake. Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.’ (Phil.1:27-30) 

Ah my people, it’s not an easy life being a sincere Christian, but as I keep on saying it’s worth it. Nothing is as rewarding as living and working for Jesus! 

And all God’s children shouted a loud and a proud ‘Glory Hallelujah! All praise and glory be to Jesus!’ 

Now let’s see if we can simplify some of that scripture with this info from the scholars. ‘1:27. Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel means “only conduct yourselves worthily of the gospel” That ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind: That is, the church was to look and act as though she possessed but “one mind” and one way of thinking. To achieve this the assembly must put away their many petty grievances, jealousies, and disunity. 

The manner in which the Philippians are to stand fast in one spirit is by their striving together for the faith, that is, by their standing up for the Christian faith. Like Paul, they too are to expend their lives for the good of the gospel. But proper conduct on their part and unity in the church are essential if they are to benefit the gospel.’ 

And I’m sadly chuckling my brethren as I write that, and the truth of the matter is brought home to me; meaning that in these dreadful and difficult times, we are not working together as Bruh Paul deems necessary for the true furtherance of the Gospel. Instead the petty grievances, jealousies, fears, anxieties and disunity abound in today’s church, no wonder the relative godlessness in our society. 

Oh friends, I don’t how else to say it so that it can make a serious impact, or how often I must say it, but until Christians begin living a true Christ-like lifestyle, show a truly godly example, the world will continue to be run by the powers of darkness, and Christ’s church will take a back seat to it. 

Now that is definitely not what Christ died to make happen, and if we continue the way we’re going, we’ll just make His sacrifice a worthless gesture of LOVE! 

And we’ll end there, because I don’t want to give us too much to ponder on, bearing in mind our short attention spans, especially when it has to do with God. We’ll continue this tomorrow, God in favour. 

Till then, please, please my fellow believers, let’s pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and do better nuh. Remember it’s all for Jesus, whom we claim to LOVE and revere so much. Much LOVE!

…true Christianity means…walking the walk…as well as talking the talk…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 March 2014 Isaiah 55:1

Isaiah 55:1.    Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

Oh Friends, I’ve gotten the message! Yes, you already know that today is Friday, because I can hear your joyful shouts of ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! And thank God that work soon done for another two big days! Bless the Lord, oh my soul, for that short bit of freedom from weary toil and labour!’
 
Ah mih people, I know how hard some of us work to make a few dollars which never seem to be enough in this ever inflationary world. But please don’t despair, for our great God will be with us, if we be with Him, and work everything out for our good.
 
Now that also means not abusing the weekend with strictly riotous living, but also engaging in some fellowship, rest and relaxation to rejuvenate our souls and continue the cycle come Monday morning.
 
Oh, oh! I know that right now many of you don’t even want to hear about Monday, but it’s the reality of our situation, and the sooner we face up to it, the sooner we’ll have peace on the subject. Otherwise we’ll continue to unwisely vacillate, be washed one way, and then the other, like the tide on the beach’s edge.
 
So to help us keep everything in proper focus, let’s chant our Friday Chant, as loudly and gloriously as we were just singing ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday!
 
As one sincere and harmonious body 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, please keep that in mind as you go through the weekend, so that you don’t overdo it, then stumble and fall. And to further help us with all that we’re dealing with, we have this wonderful Bit that we’ve been studying for the last couple days.
 
‘Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.’
 
Oh mih breddren, every time I read that verse of scripture, it just reminds me of how magnificent and magnanimous a God we serve and worship! Wow! There’s NO other being in the universe either able or willing to provide such a marvellous and miraculous service to those in need!
 
But as we’ve been saying, a lot, in fact too many people are forsaking God, foregoing His free gift of grace in all areas of their lives. Why? Only God alone knows for sure! Instead of wisely seeking God’s everlasting favour and LOVING-kindness, they are foolishly turning in droves to the idols and crooks and deceivers of this world.  
 
Yes my brethren, too many of us are still stupidly running behind the material things of this world, spending hard earned money for that which isn’t really important, and labouring to accomplish goals that don’t truly satisfy our spirits.
 
It’s clearly discernible from our basic attitudes, where we already have a whole lot of stuff, but we keep on wanting more and more, even though the increase doesn’t do us any real justice, but that’s the way the world works, so we do the same thing.
 
But please remember Friends, we’re only supposed to be IN the world, NOT a part of it.
 
Jesus even prayed to the Father on the subject on our behalf. ‘I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil (one). They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them (set them apart for Your purposes) through thy truth: thy word is truth.’ (John 17:15-17)
 
Oh my people, what will it take for us to truly wake up and realize that we’re going down the wide and winding road that leads to eternal separation from Jehovah God eh? Look at the sad state of our world nuh!
 
No institution, even Christ’s church is running smoothly. All of them are filled with wickedness, greed, envy, jealousy, resentment, anger, incompetence and corruption!
 
And the sad part is that it’s all done so blatantly these days. Very few of us take the trouble to hide our evil doings, because it has now become more or less the norm around our evil and ungodly world.
 
How Jesus’ heart must pain Him when he sees what we’ve come to! I’m sure He must often regret ever sacrificing His holy, sinless life to pay for our disgusting, abominable sins because we don’t seem to truly appreciate it, the way we’ve upped the sin level of our world.
 
But Friends, please pay close and serious attention to these immortal and true words found in the Book of Revelation. ‘And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst (who thirsts) of the fountain of the water of life freely.
 
He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful (cowardly), and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers (sexually immoral), and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.’ (Rev.21:6-8)
 
Oh mih people, that’s a very serious warning! One which we should all take to heart if we believe that the Good Book is indeed God’s Word, in truth and in deed.
 
If we do, then we need to shape up immediately, else when the hammer falls on judgement day, we’ll be looking at eternal death. And believe me, all the false glitz and glory of this present world are definitely not worth such an ignominious end! Much LOVE!
 
…he who has ears to hear…let him hear…or he will eventually pay…a rather exorbitant price for his disobedience…eternal separation from Almighty God…