Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 June 2020 Matthew 5:14a.

Matthew 5:14a.     ​Ye are the light of the world… 
 

Yes, we’re disappointed because there’s still no corporate worship on this Sabbath Sunday, but since we’re true and faithful followers of the great, powerful and imaginative Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we will find a way to worship and celebrate the Sabbath while physically distancing! (smile) No doubt about that my people! And we’re not worried, because we know that some day, as soon as the Lord is good and ready, all these present troubles will pass. And all God’s children gave a loud and positive shout of ‘Glory Hallelujah! This too shall end!’ 

But until it does, we have to keep worshipping through technological means, and to tell the truth we still get to do most things, except the physical gathering and touching. But enough talk…we come here to worship not engage in idle chatter. (smile) And as always, we open with a sacrifice of praise, today’s hymn being titled, ‘Give Me Oil in My Lamp.’ And to tell the truth, I didn’t even know that was the correct name until I looked it up yesterday. I always knew it as a local spiritual ditty called, ‘A li’l more Oil in My Lamp,’ sung in some of the more evangelical churches, that got the spirit moving and the feet dancing. 

And so, in honour of that ‘Ole Time Religion,’ we going to sing it that way. I hope you like this one, mih pardner Scotty… hope it brings back memories. (smile) So let’s get the hands a clapping and the feet a dancing and voices in full, harmonious throat, as we sing praises to the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords! 

‘A li’l more oil in my lamp, to keep it burning. A li’l more oil in my lamp, I pray. A li’l more oil in my lamp, to keep it burning. Keep it burning till the break of day. (Refrain: Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King of kings! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King!) A li’l more LOVE in my heart, to keep me sharing. A li’l more LOVE in my heart, I pray. A li’l more LOVE in my heart, to keep me sharing. Keep me sharing till the break of day. (Refrain) 

A li’l more joy in my heart, to keep me singing. A li’l more joy in my heart, I pray. A li’l more joy in my heart, to keep me singing. Keep me singing till the break of day. (Refrain) A li’l more faith in my heart, to keep me praying. A li’l more faith in my heart, I pray. A li’l more faith in my heart, to keep me praying. Keep me praying till the break of day. (Refrain: Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King of kings! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King of kings! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King!)’ 

Ah mih people, that was indeed a rousing rendition. It reminded me of how the Pentecostal Church where I grew up would be humming and jumping when they gave praise. But I guess to each his own, and I don’t think the Lord refuses any kind of praise, once it’s sincere. And I have one person’s view point on the benefit of the song. ‘For the religious, one interpretation is that it signifies a thirst for spiritual food—spiritual food to get one through the darkest of times in hopes of a brighter day, a clearer vision of one’s path or until one gains their salvation.’ 

And believe me friends, it certainly gives us spiritual food for dark and tough times! When we seek to have more, light, LOVE, joy and faith in our hearts and souls, it does inspire us to rise above our earthly problems and also receive divine guidance and wisdom to do the work that Christ desires of us. And right now I’m seeking some of that divine guidance and wisdom to know where to go from here. (smile) And I believe this is where I’m being guided. 

The first place is to the parable of the ten virgins; five who were wise enough to take extra oil for their lamps, and five who were foolish not to do so. We are expected to be like the first five; wise and take oil with us when we go to wait for the bridegroom at the wedding feast, so that our lights don’t go out if He takes a long time to come. Remember, Jesus expects us to be bright, shining beacons to the world: As He clearly says: ‘Ye are the light of the world… Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:14a; 16) 

And to do that in an excellent and diligent manner, as the song says, we need other things; like LOVE. And hear Jesus on the subject: ‘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) Oh friends, that seems clear and straightforward! But does our behaviour tell that story? Not nearly enough as it ought to! 

And would you believe that if we truly followed Jesus’ advice, our lives would be filled with that unsurpassable blessing called joy? And not the joy of this world, but Jesus’ special kind. ‘These things have I spoken unto you; that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy may be full.’ (John 13:11) And later on, He again told the disciples: ‘Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.’ (John 16:24) And let’s not forget ‘that the joy of the Lord is our strength.’ (Neh. 8:10) So without it, we’re weak, fragile and unable to do His work properly. 

That brings us to the last piece of the puzzle, but the first one we need to acquire, and the one that keeps us keeping on; faith. That ‘substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Heb.11:1) Yes friends, buoyed by hope, we achieve faith; assurance in the New Testament, and this brings us to a certain and sure conviction in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Obviously we can get deeper into all of those topics, but hopefully this will suffice for now, will serve as a catalyst to keep us strong and steadfast in prayer, with LOVE for each other, like shining lights filled with joy, and doing the best we can in these turbulent times. Much LOVE!

…to know Christ’s joy…and LOVE…and peace…is to accept Him forever…as Lord and Saviour…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 June 2020 John 8:12.

John 8:12.    ​I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
 

Yes…Yes…Yes… It’s Monday! And yuh know what? We coming out fighting! We going out fearless to battle the fearsome and daunting enemy on his own turf – the battlefields of this evil world! And the victory’s already ours, because our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, has already defanged and ‘detoothed’ (smile) the ole lion called Satan, and all he has now is a setta mouth, plenty bark and but no bite! Wow! What a mighty avenger is our Lord; the immortal Lion of Judah! 

But we still need to engage Satan in mortal combat because like he doesn’t know or realize that he’s already lost the war for spiritual superiority and keeps showing up and threatening people with his toothless and defanged self. Thus, to add to Satan’s misery, our Saviour has given us a spirit of fearlessness, awesome power through the Holy Spirit that dwells within us to lead, guide and comfort us, plus His amazing LOVE, that shines so brightly, it dazzles the eyes and lights up the darkness, and last, but definitely not least, His everlasting wisdom, through a sound and disciplined mind! 

So poor Beelzebub, he doesn’t stand a chance against us! Glory Hallelujah! Give our Jesus some thanks and praise for being such an awesome ally and giving us all the tools and help we need to keep our victory secure. And who still doesn’t want to hang their hat on Jesus’ hat rack, that’s their business yes, but for sure, me and mine are going to hang ours there! And all those who think like me, shouted a joyful and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord!’ 

Yes friends, we do need to praise our wonderful God, but we also need to communicate with Him through prayer, the medium that He’s devised for our communication. We need to tell Him our wishes and our woes, because He’s interested in EVERYTHING that concerns us, and sometimes has plans that are different to ours. But since He’s the BOSS, and His thoughts and ways are higher than ours, His desires ALWAYS take priority. And yuh better believe we have a lot to talk to Him about today yes, as we’re faced with double threats of worldwide sickness and worldwide strife and protests. 

So as one strong and sincere voice, let’s call out to Him, invoking our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, asking for His mercy and grace. ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive, and hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. And our anxieties have been recently deepened because some restrictions have been lifted in the lockdown, so more of us are going out to work now without any guarantees of safety. 

Then to complicate matters Father, suddenly, and unexpectedly, worldwide strife and protests have also struck us in this sad time of pandemic, and we don’t have a clue how to handle either situation properly. Mass confusion is currently prevailing in our world, and we desperately need your help to solve both problems, as You are the ONLY One with the power and insight to successfully handle them. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. 

That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction. Please show us how to successfully handle these scourges that are currently plaguing Your beautiful earth. Please help our leaders to wisely quell the strife and protests, and the scientists to find a positive solution, a sure antidote to the virus as quickly as possible. And for those who have already contracted the virus, or been injured in the strife, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. 

Father, please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again we say: Amen!’ 

Yes my people, we’ve done the first part of our bounden duty; go to God in sincere prayer. Now we need to do the other part; show this dark and evil world the awesome LIGHT and LOVE that resides in Jesus and those who sincerely believe in Him. Remember Jesus’ words about the world: ‘And this is the condemnation, that (the) light is come into the world, and men LOVED darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.’ (John 3:19) And two thousand years later my brethren, that is still the case, men still prefer darkness to light because their deeds are still evil and are easily hidden in the darkness. 

But please do not forget Jesus’ awesome proclamation to the Jewish Leaders: ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ Now those Jewish leaders didn’t believe Him, because they considered Him to be boasting on Himself, tooting His own horn. But we believe Him! Glory to God! And the logical and natural corollary to all that is when Jesus ascended back to heaven, He left His faithful believers to be light in this dark world. 

Please note His decree to us: ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket), but on a candlestick (lampstand); and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:14:16) 

There we have it friends! If you are a true and sincere believer in and follower of Jesus Christ, then it is expected that you will reflect, show the bright LIGHT that He’s placed in you to this dark and evil world, so we can envelop unbelievers in His light, and thus bring them to salvation. That’s it in a nutshell friends! So what are we waiting for eh? Let’s go out today and be like that city on the hill, show the dark world the LIGHT and LOVE of Jesus! Much LOVE!

…oh that many more of us…were truly salt of the earth…and lights of the world…so that in Jesus’ name…the Father would be truly glorified…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 December 2019 Matthew 5:14.

Matthew 5:14.    ​Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.
 

Well hello there my beautiful Scrip-Bit friends and family! Oh… you’re shining bright and beautiful like the morning sun outside my window! Now that’s the way our Lord and Saviour likes to see His people blooming and blossoming in this evil world! Yes, I know you’re thinking that B.S, does indeed baffle brains, but why couldn’t what I’ve just said all be true eh? That’s exactly how followers of Christ ought to be! And a lot of us are…just not enough! 

But we won’t belabour the point, I’ll just share this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, which shows exactly how believers are when Christ is in the house. And it’s titled, quite appropriately, ‘You Cannot Be Hid.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘Lord, I’ve discovered it’s never a secret When You live in a home For You simply cannot be hid. The neighbours soon know You are there Even strangers learn of Your presence. When You are the Great First in a home There is a radiance that speaks of joy There is gentleness, kindness Laughter and LOVE. There is a commotion mixed with contentment There are problems mixed with prayer. Lord, Your own Word says it so vividly: “It was known that He was in the house.” 

Oh Mama Mia people! That says it all so wonderfully! When Jesus is truly in the yard, it must show! If it doesn’t, then He’s not there! And this Christmas season when we celebrate Christ’s birth, let’s make sure that others can clearly see Him in our homes and lives nuh, because that’s the biggest advertising and selling point we could ever have: the light of Jesus shining in our lives. And Jesus Himself said it in the promise for our poem: ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.’ 

Wow! What a gospel truth, from the very mouth of our Lord and Saviour! That means, as true believers our lives ought to be exemplary, not wishy-washy and full of compromises. Oh don’t worry, Jesus knows that we’re not perfect, and never will be, but what He desires is the sincere effort on our part. As He further enables and reassures us by these reassuring words. ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ (John 8:12) What more assurance can we ask for or need eh friends? 

Please let’s not be like the Pharisees disputing His authority because He witnessed to Himself. Who else could He witness to or by eh, when he was God, the Creator, the Highest of all beings? As the Lord said so emphatically in Isaiah concerning salvation. ‘Look (turn) unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return. That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue swear (take an oath). (Is. 45:22-23) Yes my fellow believers, the Lord could not be more emphatic than that re His sovereignty and overall position in the cosmos! 

So since we are His disciples, His ambassadors in this ungodly and wicked world, our lives ought also to be bright and shining like His was. For, as He continues in Matthew after our Bit: ‘Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket), but on a candlestick (lampstand); and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.’ (Matt. 5:15) More gospel truth that friends! We don’t light lights then hide the light, so why are we trying to hide the light of Jesus that dwells in us and wants to be set free in the darkness of this world eh? 

No, we have to do like He says: ‘Let your light shine so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:16) Now that’s our very raison d’etre, our very purpose for being alive my brethren; to glorify God! That’s why He created us; so that we could worship and glorify Him, praise His holy Name and live just for Him alone! 

But getting back to the heart of the matter, this Christmas season when we’re celebrating Christ’s birthday with lots of lights, please, please, let not the lights be only on the trees and ornaments and buildings, but even more importantly, sincerely shining from our hearts, radiating in our faces and blossoming forth in our LOVING actions! As I said earlier on, the sincere light that shines in our lives is the best testimony we can ever give for Christ! 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Thursday Blessings which our ever magnanimous God has showered down on us so we can do His work, be bright, shining lights in a dark world. Altogether in full voice: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And it pays to remember that those blessings are for us to generously share, like the Lord generously shared them with us, not to selfishly hoard for ourselves. Much LOVE!

…as lights for Christ…we can choose no better time to shine…and shine brightly too…than at Christmas…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 December 2019 John 1:9.

John 1:9.    ​That was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
 

Ah friends, sorry that we’re somewhat late this Tuesday morning, but I had to go out the street to do some early morning blood work, and after I returned, I had to find something to break the long fast required for the bloodwork. (smile) Then I came down here and found a whole pile of e-mails to sort through. Steups! most of them were junk, but I had to check them out, just in case they had some important info to divulge. Chuh! I don’t know why people insist on sending me the same things, even when I say I’m not interested, block them or report them as phishing. But I guess that’s the price we pay for the convenience of the computer. 

Anyway, this Tuesday morning the sun is shining brightly, though it’s cold and icy, and filled with the remnants of the recent snowfall. Oh, I know it won’t contribute much, if anything to the temperature, but it sure does improve the psychological aspect by brightening up our spirits a little with its light. (smile) Don’t laugh though, because it’s been proven that light is oh so important in man’s life, especially in these cold, dark, dreary months of winter. As Cousin Sol says Ecclesiastes: ‘Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun.’ (Eccl.11:7) 

But my fellow believers, the most important light in our lives is that of Jesus, who John correctly refers to: ‘That was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.’ And is that ever wonderful news, because it ‘means that God’s revelation is universally available’ – to those who choose to believe, not ‘universal salvation,’ meaning whether you believe or not. And we can’t quote John there without quoting Isaiah, re the promise to Israel of the Lord’s servant. ‘And he said, it is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end(s) of the earth.’ (Is. 49:6) 

Yeh friends, the light that the Lord promised Israel would also be a light unto the whole world, bringing salvation to all and sundry! And as always, the Lord’s promise was fulfilled; this one by the coming of Jesus to earth in the form of a man and dying for our sins to make us right with the Father once again! Wow! It has always been the Father’s intention, ever since Adam and Eve screwed up, to give us another chance at redemption, another option than that of dying in our darkness and thus having no other choice than to head directly to Hades, but it had to happen in His time. 

And yuh know that His time doesn’t correspond anywhere near to ours. (smile) Remember how Peter puts it: ‘But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.’ (2 Pet. 3:8) So when we think and/or talk about one day, the Lord is seeing and thinking of a thousand years! But getting back to the story of light, all down through the ages, the Lord has always been a major light in the lives of His followers. Let’s see how the scriptures put it. Hear Bruh David: ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?’ (Ps. 27:1) 

Very good questions my brethren! And the answer to both is ‘NOBODY!’ That’s because when we walk in the light of the Lord and in His awesome strength, we clearly see where we’re going, and nobody can mess with us. And Bruh David strengthens his argument in Psalm 36, when he declares: ‘For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.’ (Ps. 36:9) Yes friends, the Lord is indeed the fountain of life, the Creator, the Maker of ALL life, and when we walk in His light we will definitely see light. 

Thus the wisdom of the psalmist in Psalm 119: ‘Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.’ (Ps. 119:105) Glory be my people! When we sincerely follow the Lord’s Word, we’re surrounded by His amazing light, and it also displays in bright and living colour, the path we ought to walk! Thus there should be no disputing when Jesus says of us: ‘Ye are the light of the world.’ (Matt. 5:14a) He is there giving us the authority to be shining lights in this dark world, to be people who make a difference, who light up the life of others. Friends, it’s our essential mission! 

And He continues: ‘A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket), but on a candlestick (lampstand); and it giveth light to all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:14b-16) So please, let’s stop hiding our lights nuh, instead let’s make them shine even more brightly around the world, as we do Jesus’ work! 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeah!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know exactly who and whose we are. In one strong and sincere voice: ‘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 now its action time my people! Much LOVE!

…God said…let there be light…and there was light… (Gen.1:3)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 August 2015 Matthew 5:14‏‏‏

Matthew 5:14. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.

Okay all you party people, it’s Sunday, time to get up and get yourselves to church, for this is the day that was ordained by God for His children to gather in His sanctuary every week to worship Him and to revive and refresh our faith and witness. Yes Friends, leaving church makes you feel reinvigorated, renewed, and lifts your spirits.  

And we don’t want any petty excuses like I’m tired because I was out partying till late. You should have thought about that before. When you came home from work or wherever, you were tired too, but that didn’t stop you from going out to party, so please don’t let a little tiredness, plus a lot of apathy and laziness stop you from going to praise and worship and give thanks to your heavenly Creator this Caribana Sunday morning of  2015!

I’m chuckling here Friends, but seriously, that is the exact scenario that’s playing out in many Christian homes this Sunday morning. What is it eh about going to church that makes it feel like pulling teeth, but going out to parties requires a tight hold on our reins?

And yet we still profess to LOVE God so much. But how can you LOVE Him when you don’t want to go to His house and make nice with Him eh? I guess it’s partly because we still have this idea of God being some faraway, ephemeral Being, more like a fairy-tale king, who just sits on His throne in heaven on high and looks down on us mere mortals with only a cursory glance and an occasional nod.

But that’s the furthest thing from the truth Friends, because our wonderful God is always right beside us. In fact He dwells within us through the power of His Holy Spirit and He is very much interested in EVERY thing we do, because He truly LOVES us, with a LOVE so great that He even gave His one and only son Jesus Christ as a sacrifice so that we could be reconciled to Him! Now if that isn’t real true LOVE, I don’t know what is.

Somehow though, we seem to have a real problem reciprocating that LOVE! But if we truly want to spend eternity with Him in heaven, my people we have to get to a point of true LOVE, surrender and obedience to the Father’s will. Another part of our problem is that we’re too much into the things and ways of this wicked world, which are in complete opposition to those of God.

That brings to mind a recent interesting quote from our friend Anselm, who delights in inspiring us for a better tomorrow. And Anselm warns; ‘Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never have enough.’

And that’s gospel truth my brethren! Many of us don’t have enough because we are always concentrating on and complaining about what we don’t have, which only aggravates our spirits and drives us nuts. However, when we’re thankful for whatever we have, we bring a different element, a different emotion to the table; one of contentment, of sufficiency, at least for the time being, instead of constantly being uptight and wanting.

Remember the ole Jamaican saying: ‘Wanty wanty, never get it?’(smile) That’s also indisputable truth! As sincere, practicing Christians though, what we need to do is to set a proper example for the rest of the world, for the infidel, the heathen, to follow.

As Jesus so wisely puts it our Bit: ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.’ And we all know that to be true, that’s why lighthouses were always built on hilly ground, so that their light could be seen from far and wide and give good guidance to the travellers seeking it.

That’s our mission on this earth people; to be guiding lights in a world of darkness. Not necessarily as overblown as a light house, but certainly at least as a large lamp. 

As Bruh Paul advised the Ephesians when talking about the ways of the believer: ‘For ye were sometimes (once) darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light.’ (Eph.5:8) Yes my people, that’s certainly Jesus’ expectation of His followers.

And the scholars give us this bit of info on that verse. ‘5:8. Darkness indicates that the readers used to be spiritually unenlightened, and accompanying this ignorance was immorality with its resultant guilt and misery. Light denotes that the recipients are now to be religiously informed. Their knowledge of the truth is attended by moral purity and happiness.’

Ah mih breddren, what is it going to take for us to really wake up and see and truthfully accept the light eh? We have to do it real soon Friends, because Jesus can return at any moment, and then it will be too late.

Listen to how John describes God’s light in his first epistle. ‘This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not (practice) the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.’ (1John 1:5-7) What awesome consolation Friends!

And the scholars offer this info on those verses. ‘1:5. Again John implies his eyewitness status, having heard of him, that is, Jesus. John passes on to the church teaching he first received from Jesus. Light and darkness here have ethical overtones. John is saying that God is perfect and good; there is thus no sin or evil in Him. This will have implications for followers of this God in the following verses.’

‘1:6. Walk in darkness means walking in sin. John may have had in mind people who claimed to be enjoying a close relationship with God, but whose lives were clearly characterized by sin. Such a state of affairs, John say boldly, is impossible; such persons are lying.’

‘1:7. “God is light” (v.5): To walk in this light, which is to live free from the bondage of sin (cf. Rom 6:18), is to make true communion between believers possible. Jesus’ violent death on the cross, which is what blood signifies, is the initial antidote for and ultimate defense against sin’s presence and power.’  

Voilà! There we have it Friends! The only antidote and the best defence against Lucifer’s evil presence and power: the shed BLOOD of Jesus Christ! So please, let’s be wise and go to the cross and take hold of it nuh, so that we can run with it blazing like a brilliant torch of hope in the darkness of this satanic world. That’s wisdom everlasting! Much LOVE!

…while ye have light…believe in the light…that ye may be…the children of light…  (John 12:36a)

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 August 2015 Matthew 5:14‏‏

Matthew 5:14. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.

Oh Friends, our God is a good God! Please don’t ever doubt that. Once you deal with Him decently, He will return the favour.

As you know, yesterday I suddenly ended up with this painful knee, which made walking somewhat difficult, to put it mildly. But then I wanted to go to the Pan Alive Steelband competition last night, which entailed some walking and climbing steps.

All day I agonized over the situation, because the Pan competition is the only Caribana festivity that I go to these days. However the Lord in His mysterious workings made the decision for me.

Around four thirty in the afternoon I got a phone call from my Auntie Anne and Uncle John saying that they were in town and would be at the Pan Alive. Well obviously I had to get up and get a move on. I couldn’t let them come to town and not see them.

So the Duchess bandaged up my knee and off I went. And believe me, the Lord in His goodness didn’t allow the knee to bother me too much. With the help of my trusty cane, which I hadn’t used in ages, we made the walk to the stadium and climbed the steps almost to the top to get a birds eye view.

And was the party ever good my brethren. The pan was sweet and the people around me; about 8 women and three men were a riot. We carried on all evening, through the cloudy periods, as well as when the sun shone brightly.

The interesting part is that I sat down to listen to the bands, but got up during the breaks, and that’s when the knee would ache some. But surprisingly, I danced it off without a problem. (smile)  Like standing up and moving made it feel better. Sitting down just caused it stiffen up.

Now if you know anything about Steelband competitions, you’ll know that there are always arguments, some very heated ones too. But our group wasn’t bad because they were all Panatics fans. Anyway the evening progressed quite nicely, until around 10.45 when the rain began to fall seriously.

It had drizzled a couple times before, but nothing to worry about. This shower though emptied the stands, except for a few hardy folks like myself. Well I had come prepared with my old jeans hat and my jacket, and I knew that if I ever came down those stairs I wasn’t going back up, I would probably have just left and come home.

But that wouldn’t have been wise because the band that was about to play, the second to last band was the reigning three time champions Pan Fantasy, and they were going to play my favourite kaiso for this year, Lucy by Destra.

The good thing is that while the rain fell, the riddim section of Pan Fantasy began pounding out a scintillating riddim and we all just stood up in the rain rocking to it. I even put down my trusty cane and rocked on my own. Wow! Glory to God!

The rain must have lasted for about half an hour, but the proceedings didn’t begin again until around 11.30. And believe me Friends, the wait and the rain were worth it, for Pan Fantasy put on a brilliant performance, they really mash it up, and the entire audience was in agreement that they should now be crowned champions for the fourth straight year.

Don’t know if that happened though, because I left during the playing of the last band, Afro Pan, which wasn’t as strong and powerful as they usually are. I didn’t get home until after one in the morning.

The only disappointment of the evening was that I didn’t see my Aunty Anne and Uncle John. I guess they didn’t come after all, because they would have surely seen me partying up at the back of the stadium. Got to find out what happened to them.

Anyway friends, the moral of the story, is that though the Lord places obstacles in our way, He WILL still enable us to enjoy ourselves once our hearts are right; such is His great favour and untold mercy to those who do try to do His will.

Now let’s see if we have time and space for our Bit after all my raving. (smile) ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.’

And believe me Friends, the ole fella was indeed a bright and shining light in this darkened world yesterday evening, and the flavour of my salt was certainly strong and useful! (smile) I just spread peace, LOVE and goodwill all around. Glory to God!

Oh, and to tell how good the Lord was to me, as I was walking to the ticket window, a guy came up to me sold me a ticket for 20 instead of the official 30 dollars. So how can I complain eh?

That brings us to this statement of Jesus re John the Baptist. ‘He was a burning and a shining light (lamp); and ye were willing for a season (a time) to rejoice in his light.’ (John 5:35) Now why were they only willing for a season, for a short time to bask in the light of John the Baptist eh?

Jesus spells it out earlier. ‘And this is the condemnation, that light (The Light) is come into the world, and men LOVED darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.’ (John 3:19) 

And that’s still gospel truth to this day Friends! Possibly even truer in today’s rather evil and ungodly world. We LOVE the darkness because of all the evil stuff that’s running through us, and if we ever came to the light, our true selves and deeds would be laid bare for all to see and we’d no longer have the camouflage of darkness to hide who and what we truly are.

And Jesus continues: ‘For every one that doeth (practices) evil, hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved (exposed). But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.’ (Matt.3:20-21)

Oh my people, these sad and distressful times call for true faith and bravery on our part. None of us is perfect, we all have hidden deeds of which we are ashamed, but we are guaranteed absolution and forgiveness through the redemptive blood of Jesus.

So please let’s be wise and brave nuh, and bring all our evil deeds to Him in repentance, so that He can cleanse and heal us and bring us safely and LOVINGLY through to the light, His blessed light, where we can then flourish in His goodness, having His salt and light about us to do godly work instead of evil. That’s the wisdom of the ages! Much LOVE!

…living in the truth and light of Jesus…is much wiser…more wholesome and refreshing…than living in the evil darkness of Beelzebub…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 July 2015 Matthew 5:14‏

Matthew 5:14.    Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.

Ah Friends, after one time is really two yes! Yesterday this time I felt so light and airy and pain free that I could have flown away. Hn! Today I’d have to be a helicopter to lift off the ground, because I can hardly walk, at least not pain free.

Ah Lord eh! Our God does move in mysterious ways that we humans definitely can’t understand nuh. Yesterday evening I went into my bathroom and simply put my left foot up on the bathtub level, intending to go up there, but brother, by the time I placed the weight on it, a sudden and entirely unexpected pain ran through my left knee, and it’s been bugging me ever since.

No rhyme or reason whatsoever for it. And my knees have been the least of my worries for the longest while, merely the occasional pain, but nothing that lasts as long and as excruciating as this.

A while ago I went outside to greet the day and say good morning, it seems like another beautiful one, and as I stepped back inside, the pain unexpectedly ricocheted through my soul and sent my cries reverberating through the house. I doubt anybody heard though, because they are all still asleep.

Chuh Steups! And the sad part is that today is the Caribana Steelband Competition, the only Caribana event that I still go to regularly. But I can’t go if I can walk without excruciating pain, because it does entail some walking, and even worse, climbing steps to get a good view of the celebration.

And believe me, I won’t be a happy camper if I don’t get to go. But yuh know what Friends, we’re supposed to be people of faith, of strong faith, so I’m just going to put that faith to work. If the pain could rear up its ugly head so unexpectedly, the same way it can disappear just as suddenly. Oh glory to God!

Now let’s deal with more important matters, today being Friday…

‘Thank God for that yes!’ the shouts reverberate around me. ‘Oh TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday, Caribana Friday to boot, and a long weekend too. Mama Mia! It’s party time!’

Awright Friends, that’s all true, but let’s just remember that ole crook Beelzebub, waiting patiently in the weeds to jump and latch on to any faux pas or ungodly behaviour that we might unwisely engage in. So please be careful and keep our wits about us, this Caribana weekend, for there will be plenty of opportunity to fall prey to the enemy.

And to help us with that, let’s chant our Friday Chant with great gusto.  ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through.

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’

Yeh Friends, we have to remember what lies ahead after the partying is over, the daily grind and common task once again, and include it in our deliberations on how to spend the weekend. Oh, and don’t forget Granny’s wise advice: ‘Sonny boy, please, ah beg yuh, remember, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’ (smile)

Oh my people, we couldn’t get any better advice than that in such a small nutshell, in such few words. Now let’s go out and practice it along with the overall duty set out in our Bit by our Lord, Leader and Saviour Jesus Christ. ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.’

Oh my fellow believers, it is indeed our bounden duty to bring the light of Jesus to this darkened and ungodly world. It is a truly big and difficult task, but only we who have seen the blessed light can accomplish it.

Luke in his gospel, when Jesus is talking about seeking the kingdom of God before anything else, quotes Him as saying: ‘Let your loins (waist) be girded about, and your lights burning.’ (Luke 12:35)

And the scholars explain it thus. ’12:35-48. Jesus recommends constant readiness in light of the approaching Judgement Day.’

’12:35. Loins be girded: One’s outer robe had to be tucked into a belt before working, running, doing battle, or the like. Jesus is saying, “Be alert!”

And that we certainly need to be my brethren, for we know not when our Lord will return in all His glory, but when he does return, He expects his people to be ready and waiting.

Jesus spells this out on several occasions. One of them is right there in Luke 12:36-40,when talking about the lord returning from a wedding and the servants waiting up to greet him. And ending with this admonishment. ‘Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.’ (Luke 12:40)

He also talks about having our lights burning and waiting patiently in the parable of the ten virgins who went out to meet the bridegroom. (Matt.25:1-13) Five of them were wise and took extra oil for their lamps, just in case the bridegroom took longer than expected, while the other five were foolish and took no extra oil with them.

The long and short of the story is that the bridegroom came later than expected and the five foolish virgins who had to go and get oil, were eventually locked out of the party. This all has to do with the church being the bride of Christ and we being attendants at the wedding.

So please let’s all try to be wise and keep extra oil for our lamps, and keep them burning continuously, (1) so that others will be able to see the figurative light of Jesus shining through us, and thus want to know and surrender their miserable lives to Him.

And (2) whenever Jesus returns, we won’t be found wanting, we will be ready, with our lamps burning ever so brightly and waiting with bated breath and heavenly excitement to sit and sup with Him! Now that’s wisdom at its zenith my people! Much LOVE!

…watch therefore…for ye know neither the day nor the hour…wherein the Son of man cometh… (Matt.25:13)

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 July 2015 Matthew 5:14

Matthew 5:14. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.

Oh Friends, I’ve run out of well known summer ditties to greet you with. (smile) But believe me, another beautiful summer’s day is in the offing on this terrific day called Thursday! Wow! The Lord in His ultimate wisdom, grace and mercy has prepared it especially for us to enjoy, and to do His wonderful bidding.

So let’s say it with joy and heartfelt gratefulness nuh: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL and SHALL rejoice and be glad it in! Glory Hallelujah!’

Glory to the great and mighty King that sits upon His throne in the high heavens and satisfies our longing souls with His tender mercies, grace, forgiveness, compassion, understanding and unconditional LOVE! Mama Mia!

Oh Friends, there ought to be nobody happier than us Christians, we faithful followers of Jesus in this beautiful world that the Lord in His wisdom and generosity has created. And the good news is that it does not seem like it’s going to be a scorcher, at least not yet, because a nice cool and gentle breeze is blowing out there, and both the sun and the Son are shining incredibly brightly in their respective elements. Oh Glory to God!

Ah mih people, please excuse the ole fella for his extra passion and passionate speech this morning. I guess it’s because I woke up feeling the best I’ve felt in ages! Glory to God again! The old aches and pains weren’t as bad as usual. I feel light and feathery, like I can just up and fly away! (smile)

It’s possibly due some to a shot of cortisone I got injected into my right shoulder yesterday, ostensibly to ease the agonizing arthritic pain in my right shoulder, but it seems to be helping everything, obviously with a touch of God’s favour and enormous grace.

Oh, I know the basic aches and pains most likely won’t go away, but I am enormously thankful and grateful for any bit of relief I can get. More thanks and glory to God! He’s so wonderful!

Now here is this most important, outstanding and truth bearing quote from George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), the well known Irish born playwright and co-founder of the famous and prestigious London School of Economics, writer of plays like ‘My Fair Lady,’ and winner of the Nobel Peace prize for Literature in 1925.

George is reputed to have said that,’Life is not a “brief candle.” It is a splendid torch that I want to make burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.’ And we know that he did just that with all his world-renowned achievements!

Now it’s our turn my brethren to do the same. You’ll notice how we pass on torches at our big games to try and keep the flame going, the passion, the memories alive for those who come after us. That’s the only way later generations will know and understand where they are coming from, just like we learned it from those who went before us.

And note too, the batons we pass on during our relay races, which is symbolic of how we ought work together and pass on stuff to others in our everyday lives. And my One More Day Devotional for People with Chronic Illness, which is where I found George’s quote, adds an interesting statement to the situation.

‘If we assume that each one of our “small candles” represents another of our strengths, we can blend them together to form a torch of hope.’ 

I just LOVE that idea Friends! ‘A torch of Hope! Wow! I believe that is exactly what Jesus is looking for from us when He declares in our Bit: ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.’ Oh isn’t that the gospel truth!

Then Jesus goes on to elucidate after our Bit. ‘Neither do men light a candle (lamp) and put it under a bushel (basket), but on a candlestick (lamp stand); and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt.5:15-16)

Yes Friends, being a light unto this darkened world is one of the two things Jesus desires of us down here. The other is to be the salt of the earth, as He says before our Bit.

‘Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour (flavour), wherewith (by what) shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden underfoot of men.’ (Matt.5:13)

Isn’t it interesting how Jesus used two basic, simple things like salt and light to spell out the way He wants his followers to be different from the rest of the world. It’s all a part of His simple, but wise and knowledgeable philosophy.

Now here is some stuff the scholars have to say on those topics. ‘5:13. The Beatitudes are followed by a summary statement of the basic character of the Christian’s life as salt and light. Ye are the salt of the earth: Again the phrase “ye are” indicate that only the genuinely born-again person is salt and can help meet the needs of the world.

Salt adds flavouring, acts as a preservative, melts coldness, and heals wounds. Thus it is a very appropriate description of the believer in his relationship to the world in which he lives.’  

And that’s exactly why Jesus chose it as a foundational characteristic of His followers!

‘5:14-16. Ye are the light of the world describes the essential mission of the Christian to the world. He is the condition (salt) to meet the world’s needs and he has a mission (light) to the world. His light is to clearly shine forth into the darkness of human depravity.

He is to set his light upon a candlestick, not hide it under a bushel, that is, a basket. Darkness is the absence of light; and darkness cannot dispel the light, but the smallest light can dispel the greatest darkness’

Oh mih people, what more can I say to all of that indisputable truth eh? Not much, except to encourage us to raise the level of our passion for Christ and His work, so that we won’t be found wanting when the day of Judgement arrives and the Lord asks us: ‘What did your salt flavour, and where did your light shine?’ As believers, that is the ultimate in wisdom! Much LOVE!

…let’s all put our small individual lights together…and form a torch…a torch of hope…that we can blaze across this world of inordinate darkness…and thus bring light…the light of Jesus to a needy, depraved and  fallen world…

P.S. Oh Friends, I know it’s long and late, but is it ever so true and heartwarming! (smile) Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it – obviously with the Lord’s help and guidance. Much LOVE!

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 April 2015 Matthew 5:14 ‏‏‏

Matthew 5:14.   Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.

Oh Friends, on this Saturday morning in late spring, the ole fella is befuddled; doesn’t know what to say. Hn! Can you imagine that?
 
Well it does happen to the best of us at times, and thank the Lord it doesn’t happen to me too often. And I’ve been writing the Bit for so long now that I know eventually, in God’s time, He will direct me to write something that perfectly fits His agenda.
 
That’s the kind of wonderful God He is. He doesn’t leave you in the lurch when he gives you a job to do. We just get impatient at times and try to go our own way, instead of waiting for God’s input. That’s when we get all confused and screwed up, for without the Most High leading the way, we will certainly get lost.
 
Remember Jesus is the Good Shepherd, and if we wait on His call He will guide us safely and in peace throughout our pilgrim’s journey. Aye Friends, I’m chuckling here, considering that it’s a good thing I had nothing to say. Brother! Imagine if I had something to say eh! (smile)
 
But in the meanwhile, while I’m waiting for the Lord to guide me, here’s an interesting quote of a few days ago, from my friend Anselm, in his most worthwhile effort to inspire us all for a better tomorrow. He says: ‘Someone once told me not to bite off more than I could chew. I told them I would rather choke on greatness than nibble on mediocrity.’
 
And that my people is a most worthwhile response for a believer and follower of Jesus Christ! For Jesus doesn’t want His followers to be steeped in mere mediocrity, but to be people of excellence, of integrity, of great character, exuding diligence and top of the line stuff!
 
Why do you think He drilled it into the disciple’s heads: ‘Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor (flavour), wherewith (by what) shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.’ (Matt. 5:13) That means we have to be better than average folks.
 
And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘5:13.The Beatitudes are followed by a summary statement of the basic character of the Christian’s life as salt and light. Ye are the salt of the earth: Again the phrase “ye are” indicates that only the genuinely born- again person can help meet the needs of the world.
 
Salt adds flavouring, acts as preservative, melts coldness, and heals wounds. Thus it is a very appropriate description of the believer in his relationship to the world in which he lives.’
 
And then Jesus drops the other philosophical bomb on them, in the words of our Bit. ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.’ And that’s an indisputable fact Friends! A city that’s sits on a hill and is lit up, can be seen for miles around.
 
And Jesus continues: ‘Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket), but on a candlestick (lampstand); and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your father which is in heaven.’ (Matt.5:15-16)
 
And the scholars explain those two verses thus: ‘5:14-16. Ye are the light of the world describes the essential mission of the Christian to the world. He is the condition (salt) to meet the world’s needs and he has a mission (light) to the world. His light is to clearly shine forth into the darkness of human depravity.
 
He is to set his light upon a candlestick, not hide it under a bushel, that is, a basket. Darkness is the absence of light; and darkness alone cannot dispel the light, but the smallest light can dispel the greatest darkness.’
 
Words to live by my brethren! Light is the master of darkness, just like Jesus is master over Lucifer! So please let’s remember that we are here to perform an important job; show the world what Jesus is all about.
 
That means we can’t be wishy-washy and lackadaisical, but as Uncle Charles (Charles Stanley) is won’t to say: ‘We must look our best, do our best and be our best!’ That’s the picture Jesus wants us to show the world.
 
So Friends, let’s ponder all that we’ve said today, then try to put it all into action in our lives, so that we can be excellent ambassadors for Jesus. That’s our raison d’etre! Much LOVE!
 
…to glorify God…we need to always put our best foot forward…be flavourful salt…and be brilliant light… 
 
P.S. Oh Friends, it’s pretty short today, so there’s no need to complain. I guess I really didn’t have anything much to say. (smile) Much LOVE!