Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 January 2021 John 3:3.

John 3:3.     ​Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Well here comes Saturday; that lazy, hazy day! And with the worldwide lockdown, there’s even more reason to have a lazy and hazy Saturday since you can’t go anywhere and do much of anything! (smile) But God is good, and He operates on both the good and bad days, so there’s nothing to fear if we have Him uppermost in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls. Yeh friends, if we want to make it through all in one piece in these treacherous and perilous times, then the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob definitely has to be our rock, our anchor, our place of safe refuge, our Good Shepherd. 

And as we always do on Saturdays, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And thank God it seems like he’s stopped putting that unwieldy preface before each quote! (smile) 

And the first quote says: ‘Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.’ Now there is truth to that statement, although I don’t believe that intelligence is only the ability to adapt to change. It’s also a whole lot of other things. But you do need intelligence if you’re going to successfully adapt to change. You need to first be intelligent to know that you must adapt in some things and places, and then be intelligent enough to know which things and places to adapt to. If you don’t, the world will quickly leave you behind. 

But for heaven’s sake, don’t just adapt for adapting sake, or because everyone else is doing it. You just have to look at the state of social media nowadays and see how it’s sucking so many people into bad habits with its ever expanding tentacles and reach! You have to be intelligent enough to know how far to let it take you. 

And the next quote tells us that ‘Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change.’ Now I think that’s somewhat contradictory. Granted, foolish people might never want to change, but a wise man, because he is wise, ought to know that change is sometimes very necessary, even though we may not want to make it. So personally, I think that part is wrong. And I can say that from personal experience. (smile) I’m not a great believer in change, especially just for change sake, but I do think I’m wise enough to know that at times I do need to change, although I may not want to. 

And that’s where I think wisdom becomes very necessary. Yeah, they used to tell me that I was living in the 18thcentury, but now I’ve moved up to halfway in the 20th. So you see, I was wise enough to recognize the need for some change, though they had to drag me screaming into it! (smile) And change is especially important if you want to be a true believer in Christ. A couple of scriptures will show us that. 

The first comes from Jesus Himself, when Nicodemus came to Him by night, afraid of the wrath of the Pharisees, and asked how to gain salvation.‘Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’(John 3:3) Yeh friends, that’s the first and wisest change we need to make if we want to follow Jesus! 

And it doesn’t mean entering into our mother’s wombs again, but ‘Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.’ (John 3:5-6) And once you’re born again of water and the Spirit, then you need to hear Bruh Paul’s words to the church at Corinth. ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.’ (2 Cor. 5:17) 

Now that’s another time when change is oh so necessary! We have to put away the old, worldly things of our lives and pick up new spiritual practices that fall under Jesus’ guidelines. And I believe that this next quote addresses our problem with all that change very adequately. ‘If you have a purpose which is bigger than you, all your problems will become tiny.’ 

Oh,  all your problems definitely won’t become tiny, but with Jesus as your main man, with His divine help, they will become manageable. But we must have Jesus as our special purpose, a purpose bigger than us, if our problems are to become manageable. That’s just the way life is friends. And if you don’t believe me, then listen to Jesus as He talks about the vine and the branches. ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) And if that isn’t telling it like it is, then I don’t know what is nuh? 

Bruh Paul also corroborated Christ’s statement in his second letter to the Corinthians. ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.’ (2 Cor. 3:5) And if you don’t make that change and start depending on God, then you’re not wise! (smile) 

And the last quote says: ‘The ones who can see the vision when no one else can, and work on it like there is no tomorrow, will succeed. The rest will follow.’ Oh friends, there is much truth in that statement, but the crux of it is the second part. Many of us see visions, know what we ought to do, what the Lord wants us to do, but for whatever reason we refuse or hem and haw until it’s too late to work on it. 

That’s the whole thing about being a Christian my brethren; we not only have a new and different way to live, but we also have to diligently work at it, since we are servants, workers, ambassadors of Christ on this evil earth! He is depending on us to bring about the necessary changes He desires. And truly working at being a Christian is no easy matter since the devil and his evil cronies delight in putting obstacles in our way. That’s why we need to read and know the word of God so that we can put it into use when the enemy comes against us, as he undoubtedly will. 

As Bruh Paul said to Timothy: ‘Fight the good fight of faith…’ (1 Tim. 6:12) As believers, we all have to daily fight the hardships and adversity that comes with the Christian life, show the true nature of our faith, as we daily grow and mature in it, until we can accomplish that balance between faith and works that James talks about. ‘Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.’ (James 2:17-18) 

Oh precious people, it’s great to have faith, but faith is useless if it isn’t put to work. Jesus didn’t come to earth to just have faith, He came to do works, and we are called to do likewise, in His name. So let’s get to it seriously nuh, the world is anxiously waiting for us to show it our true and lasting faith by our sincere works! Much LOVE!

…a believer must be responsive to change…but wisely… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 October 2017 Psalm 119:75.

Psalm 119:75.   I know, O Lord, that thy judgements (laws) are right (righteous), and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.

And all over God’s great universe, this morning the general cry is, was, and will be: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday and work soon finish for two whole lousy days! Steups! But we going to get in as much fun, as much partying as we can in those two days though! That’s for sure! 

Man wasn’t made to work like an animal all them days, one after the other. That’s how massa gets his pound of flesh, But we going to get our pound of flesh by partying down the place, by eating and drinking as though it was our last day here on earth. Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, when are ever going to learn that pay back never really works. Yuh think massa really cares that his workers party all weekend? To a certain extent yes, but generally speaking, no! Not unless their dissipation interferes with his work schedule. 

And if it does, he can just fire them, deprive them of their livelihood. So who loses then eh? Certainly not massa! That’s why we Christians have a different attitude towards the weekend, which is borne out in our Friday Chant. 

Let’s chant it in strong voice and sincere sense of purpose like the workingman chants his song nuh. ‘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.’ 

Ah mih people, the working life is not easy, but remember with God’s help, we can do anything at all! That’s why our song differs from the ordinary workingman’s. We know we can’t abuse our bodies or anything else and continue to do God’s work in a proper manner. 

That’s why we have boundaries and limitations to how far we can go; otherwise we’d just go overboard like the workingman and be of no use to Jesus. So please let’s be sensible and stay within those boundaries this weekend nuh. 

We have enough other stuff to worry about, as our Bit indicates. I know, O Lord, that thy judgements (laws) are right (righteous), and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.’ 

Yeh friends, we have tests and trials that our Lord is putting us through to grow and mature us, so we can’t waste our time in partying, and simply enjoying the good life as the world sees it. 

We need to be strong and diligent and run our earthly race with vim and vigour, wisdom and understanding, if at the end of our days here on earth, we want Him to greet us in heaven with a crown of glory and words to the effect: ‘Welcome thou good and faithful servant!’ 

My people, that’s the best welcome we can ever, or will ever get! So please let’s work seriously towards it nuh, and start by not complaining too much about the things that come against us through God’s testing. 

I can tell you from personal experience that it’s not a delightful experience when He has you on His potter’s wheel, working diligently on you, to bring you ever closer to the image of His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

But our God is so wonderful that even as He is remoulding and reforming you, He will also give you the wherewithal to endure your afflictions. He’s promised never to give us more than we can bear or carry. And if that ever happens, He will carry us Himself or bear our load for us. 

That’s what Jesus did for us: He bore our sins, so that we could be set free from the bondage of sin. And we don’t want to fall back into it, by refusing His free gift of grace, through salvation and eternal life. 

But if we’re going to be truly successful, we must also learn to accept the good times as well as the rough times without cursing God or turning away from Him as Job’s wife encouraged him to do. (Job 2:9-10) 

And the author of Hebrews puts it all in New Testament language for us, beginning with Cousin Sol’s words. ‘And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children (sons), My son, despise not thou the chastening (discipline) of the Lord, nor faint (be discouraged) when thou art rebuked of him: 

For whom the Lord LOVETH he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom his father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards (illegitimate), and not sons. 

Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which have corrected us, and we gave them reverence (respect): shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure (as seemed best to them); but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 

Now no chastening (discipline) for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised (trained) thereby.’ (Heb.12:5-11) 

That says it all friends! If we want to be considered a son by our heavenly Father, then we must undergo His discipline, just like we do for our earthly fathers. No ifs, ands, or buts about it! Much LOVE!

…spare the rod…spoil the child…that’s God’s Word…

P.S. My sincere apologies for the Bit being so late. I went out to the theatre last night and just never got my act together this morning. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 February 2017 Psalm 139:23-24.

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

And then it was Monday, the day that so many of us workers dread. But technically speaking friends, there’s no need to fear Mondays; that’s if we have used the weekend the right way and gotten enough rest and strength from our weekly fellowship of faith. But if instead we have abused the weekend, then we will be grouchy and miserable and don’t want to get up to go to work. 

Some of us in Canada are lucky, or rather blessed, because we don’t have to go to work today, because it’s a Provincial Holiday. Good ole Canada! 

But for those of you who have to go work, please look at the situation this way nuh. As Bruh Paul told the Thessalonians. ‘For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.’ (2 Thess.3:10) 

So it’s quite okay if you don’t want to work, but just remember that you won’t be eating either, and eventually you won’t have a roof over your head either… or nice threads to wear…  (smile) So what’s your choice eh? 

Hopefully that lights a fire under us this Monday morning and gets us moaning and groaning out of the bed and up and about. And to further encourage us, we have this antidote for the Monday morning blues, it’s called our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, so let’s sing it out with much verve and enthusiasm and thus raise our adrenaline level. 

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

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

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

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

Oh friends, that wasn’t too bad, our choirmaster, Jesus didn’t scowl…but neither did He smile, because He knew that the loudest and most raucous voices were coming from the Canadians who did not have to work today. 

And we Canadians, please, please, as we celebrate Family Day, or whatever it’s called in your Province, remember Granny’s advice: Drunk or sober, please mind yuh business. And don’t give Beelzebub a chance to get a toehold in your affairs, since it’s always so much trouble to get rid of him, and he can do an awful lot of damage in a short space of time. 

But one of the ways to get rid of him is to do as Bruh David does in our Bit, cry out to our God in all sincerity:  ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my (anxious) thoughts. And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, the easiest way to handle any problems at all in our lives, regardless of what they might be, is to go to our heavenly Father with them. But we have to be sincere, for remember He doesn’t just listen to our words, but digs deep into our hearts to discover our real motives. And if they are sincere, He will NEVER turn us away, but tenderly lead and guide us to where He wants us to go. That’s the beauty of our wonderful Father – ever LOVING, kind, compassionate, forgiving and merciful! 

No wonder Bruh David kept going back to Him, time and again, when he found himself in trouble, whether of his own causing or not. Listen to him from Psalm 143 – Teach me to do thy will. He soulfully declares: ‘Deliver me, O Lord, from mine enemies: I flee (take cover) unto thee to hide me. Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness. Quicken (revive) me, O Lord, for thy name’s sake: for thy righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble. And of thy mercy cut off (put an end to) mine enemies, and destroy all them that afflict my soul: for I am thy servant.’ (Ps.143:9-12) 

Oh friends, if our heart is right, how can our merciful and graceful God not respond favourably to such an outpouring of anguish eh? Bruh David knew this principle that’s why he successfully received favour from God. Hear him again from Psalm 26 – Examine me, O Lord, and prove me. 

This time he cries out: ‘Judge (vindicate) me, O Lord; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the Lord; therefore I shall not slide (slip). Examine me, O Lord, and prove (try) me; try my reins (test my mind) and my heart. For thy LOVING-kindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth.’ (Ps.26:1-3) 

Ah mih people, like Job when he was wrongfully accused by his friends, Bruh David seems to have suffered the same fate, and cried out in innocence to his heavenly Father. No reason why we can’t do likewise, provided it’s the truth. Much LOVE!

…in God’s kingdom…the truth will ALWAYS set you free…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 February 2014 Proverbs 21:13

 Proverbs 21:13.   Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard. 
                                           

                                   HAPPY  VALENTINE’S  DAY!
 
Oh Friends, it’s Friday, it’s Friday! Thank God it’s Friday! And the lucky workers around the world, though not always with the best intentions, are thanking God that it’s Friday, and they’re going to have a brief respite from their arduous labours.
 
Now that is all well and good, but what we do with the brief respite from work is also important. We cannot just waste it on riotous and dissolute living, but need to use it to replenish our strength; mentally, physically and emotionally.
 
So let’s chant our Friday Chant, which gives us the right perspective on how to use our oh so valuable weekend. All together now, in full 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.’
 
Now that’s a much better and wiser way to use our days off! And on another important note Friends, today is not only Friday, but also VALENTINE’S DAY; a day on which we celebrate LOVE!
 
And though it’s been highly commercialized, like almost every other important day, and is more or less viewed as a day for romantic LOVE, it’s still a day when we reach out and touch others.
 
And any day we do that is indeed a great day! For reaching out and touching others, showing some kind of LOVE is so badly needed and in such short supply in our greedy, angry, resentful and ungodly world!
 
And it really doesn’t matter all that much what kind of LOVE we touch others with nuh, once it’s TRUE LOVE, it goes a long way towards bringing peace, justice and equal rights to our unjust, war-like and oppressive times.
 
So today my brethren, when we think of LOVE and giving, let’s not only remember those nearest and dearest to us, with flowers, chocolates and whatever else the commerce peddlers throw at us, but more importantly, let’s stop for a moment and consider our Bit.
 
‘Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.’
 
Oh Friends, that is just another angle of the universal principle on which our just, merciful, gracious, forgiving, LOVING and sovereign God built His universe; whatever you sow, the same shall you reap. That means, generally speaking, whatever we do, will be done back to us.
 
So if the poor cries out to us for help and mercy, and we ignore them, at some future date, when we too cry out for help and mercy, we will not be heard, but also ignored. It’s a simple principle – tit for tat.
 
And our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ made it quite clear to us when He declared: ‘Judge (condemn) not, that ye be not judged (condemned). For with what judgement (condemnation) ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete (use), it shall be measured to you again.’ (Matt.7:1-2)
 
And as the scholars explain: ‘7:1-4. Judge not refers to an unfavourable and condemnatory judgement. This does not mean that a Christian should never exercise judgement of any kind under any circumstances. The point being made here is that we are not to judge the inner motives of another.
 
We are not to render a verdict based on prejudicial information. Nor are we to use ourselves as the standard of judgement for with what…ye mete (measure) you shall be judged. That ye be not judged refers to the ultimate judgement of God rather than our own judgement.’
 
Oh mih breddren, what’s so hard to understand about all that eh? Nothing at all! It’s like we say: it takes two to tango; two hands to clap; one hand can’t wash itself.
 
Yes my fellow believers, one of the most important words in our human vocabulary, regardless of the language, is ‘help.’ And one of the most important phrases is ‘help each other,’ for without somebody’s help, NONE of us can ever hope to prosper and succeed. That’s why the phrase ‘no man is an island,’ has also been coined.
 
The Lord God Jehovah didn’t make this world merely as a bunch of selfish, self-supporting individuals, but as a group of people who are supposed to work together, to help each other along life’s dark, winding and lonely road.
 
Unfortunately though my fellow believers, our world is littered with the poor, needy and oppressed, and it’s our bounden duty to help them however and whenever we can.
 
Remember it was the poor, the needy, the lost, the sick, the suffering and the oppressed that Jesus came to save, and it was those types that He hung out with, much more than the rich and famous. And if we’re to be His true and worthwhile followers, we need to do the same things He did.
 
So today, on Valentine’s Day, this Day of LOVE, I’m asking us all to remember those who are not as fortunate as us. Pray for them, as well as try to help at least ONE unfortunate person. Bless them with something, or in some way that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ can interpret as genuine caring and LOVE.
 
Remember the rich and powerful don’t give two expletives deleted about the poor and downtrodden, so it’s up to us believers to help them out of their misery.
 
Please, let’s make a serious, sincere and generous effort to help someone today. That’s not only godly wisdom, as well as our bounden duty, but also a godly act, which we’ve all committed and promised to make our life’s work.
 
So please, let’s start keeping our promise nuh, for it’s not wise or healthy to make promises and then not keep them. Much LOVE!
 
…therefore all things…whatsoever ye would that men should do to you…do ye even so to them…for this is the law and the prophets… (Matt.7:12)