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

Matthew 4:1.    

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!’ 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 March 2014 Proverbs 21:17.

Proverbs 21:17.   He that LOVETH pleasure shall be a poor man: he that LOVETH wine and oil shall not be rich

                                                           ASH  WEDNESDAY !

Well Friends, the partying done now! Yes, it’s Ash Wednesday morning, the first day of Lent, so I hope that you exercised and exorcised all your pleasure demons over the last few days of serious partying. (smile) That’s because now is a time to settle down, a time for serious reflection on our relationships, especially between God and us.

Lent is the time to look deep into our souls and examine what we truly believe, and consequently how we live our lives, based on our grounding belief, our foundational faith, for all of us have faith in something, hopefully Jehovah God, and not man or some man-made idol.

Anyway, this season of Lent is a serious time, and we ought to seriously consider how we live our lives, giving the pleasure centres of our bodies and souls a well-deserved break. Hn, hn!

Now that doesn’t mean we ought to stop enjoying life, or eschew all pleasure, but rather not let the pleasures of life be all that important. Instead, let’s contemplate on how Jesus fasted for forty days in the wilderness and how Lucifer tempted Him, tried his very best to get Him to go against God’s will.

And in light of that, let’s see what temptations have been coming against us, and how we’ve been handling them, hopefully with graceful aplomb like Jesus, telling the deceitful fool Lucifer: ‘Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.’ (Matt.4:10)

And we all know my brethren, that that’s truth of the highest order! But that doesn’t stop the ole scoundrel from continually snapping at our heels, especially in one soft and weak area of our sinful nature, that of pleasure.

That’s why Cousin Sol declared so profoundly unto us, the words of our Bit. ‘He that LOVETH pleasure shall be a poor man: he that LOVETH wine and oil shall not be rich.’ 

And unfortunately, I know that Lucifer has a wide grin on his evil, devilish face this Ash Wednesday morning, because over the last few days, he’s managed to get many of us to compromise our godly beliefs in the pursuit of fleeting worldly pleasure.

But please remember that ALL of it can be forgiven, though only some forgotten, and a lot of it will haunt us for the remainder of our lives. There will always be some reminder of our less than stellar performance during that period.

The important thing though is not to beat up ourselves and continually bewail our misery over it, since that portion of our lives cannot be relived, and our mistake(s) be undone. And this wisdom comes from personal experience, not hearsay. We need to come to God in sincere repentance, ask for His merciful and generous forgiveness, then face the problem squarely; stand our bounce.

That’s one thing I’ve always tried to drive into my children’s head from they were young, and try to practice it myself. If you’ve done something wrong, be man or woman enough to take the responsibility for it.

And after all that ‘sermonizing’, (smile) let’s look at some scriptures that uphold the truth of our Bit. And we’ll begin with some instructive words of Bruh Paul to Timothy, re widows. ‘But she that liveth in pleasure (indulgence) is dead while she liveth.’ (1 Tim.5:6)

And the scholars’ note says: ‘5:6. This may be paraphrased, “But the widow who indulges in luxurious living, though physically alive, is spiritually dead.”

And I just want to point out here my people, that that statement also applies to widowers, in fact to all and sundry, because once we’ve allowed earthly indulgences to control our lives, we do become spiritually dead. 

Then in Hebrews 11, that great chapter on faith, in talking about Moses, the author proclaims: ‘By faith, Moses, when he was come to years (came of age), refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures (passing pleasures) of sin for a season;

Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasure in Egypt: for he had respect unto (looked at) the recompense of the reward.’ (Heb.11:24-26)

Yes my brethren, likewise, we are to shun the calling of the pleasures of sin, and esteem the reproach of Christ of greater sanctity and worth than that of the world.

And we’ll let James take us home with his very voluble and valuable warning to the rich. ‘Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted (have rotted), and your garments are moth-eaten.

Your gold and silver is cankered (corroded): and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for (in) the last days.

Behold, the hire (wages) of the labourers who have reaped (mowed) down your fields, which is of you (you kept back) by fraud, crieth (cry out): and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth (Hosts).

Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton (indulgent); ye have nourished (fattened) your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.’ (James 5:1-6)

Yeh Friends, that’s the way it goes! All our riches, garnered on the backs of those unfairly treated will eventually rot and be of no use to us. We who have lived to serve pleasure, will in the end reap displeasure!

So please, as true believers, let’s wake up and see unrestrained pleasure for what it really is nuh – an unwise and foolish means of moving away from Jehovah God to the sinful camp of Beelzebub.

Now is that what we really and truly want to do? I sincerely doubt it. So please, let’s pull up our ‘britches’ (breeches) nuh, and stop allowing the sinful pleasures of our sinful world to control our lives. Now that’s the ultimate in wisdom! Much LOVE!

…Cousin Sol had it all…wisdom, wealth and time…but found no satisfying, gratifying, or long lasting pleasure…in the worldly pleasures his divine blessings afforded him…