Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 August 2017 2 Chronicles 15:7.

 2 Chronicles 15:7.   Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded. 

It’s another new morning…somewhat cloudy, chilly and windy though! (smile) But we’re alive, and God is working diligently within us to bring us up to Christ’s standards. 

All glory and thanks be to our heavenly Father who takes such a wonderful interest in each and every one of His children, made so intimately in His very image! 

Well today is the big day; the day of the Caribana, sorry, Toronto Caribbean Festival Parade. Hn! Let’s hope that they have better luck than we did yesterday with the Pan Competition. 

Ah Lord eh! Would you believe that the day was going along quite well until around four p.m, when the skies suddenly darkened, then the heavens opened, and the rained poured down steadily for over an hour! 

Chuh! I was just about to leave home to go and meet my panman friend down the street by Leila’s Roti Shop. The plan was to get a couple of Leila’s nice, big, shrimp rotis, with a couple of banana Solos (T&T pop – the best drink to wash down a roti) then head down to T.O for an evening of beautiful and intense pan. 

I left home in the downpour because I knew my friend didn’t have a cell phone and he would be waiting there expectantly for me. But lo and behold, when I got to Leila’s the rain was still pouring down and the skies looked dark like night. 

We hung around Leila’s for a while – I ate half my roti and drank half my Solo (smile) but the rain didn’t look like stopping, and I certainly didn’t feel like driving into T.O in that downpour, with all the Friday evening traffic, to go and sit on the hard concrete steps of an open-air Lamport Stadium. 

So we decided to shelve the Pan Competition idea, and go home and spend some quality time with our families, because with that kind of weather it might have to be cancelled. And so in the still pouring rain, I dropped him home, then came home myself. 

But would you believe, that when I was almost home the ‘so and so’ rain stopped falling! Steups! And after that the evening was clear and beautiful. But by then I definitely wasn’t going back out. In any case my family and I had a good evening together. So it wasn’t too bad after all. 

Don’t even know if they still held the Pan Competition. And that was how my one evening of Caribana involvement passed. (smile) But it’s Saturday, so let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm shared this past week. 

It seems like he was in a positive frame of mind, since all of them dealt with positivity. Here is the first one: ‘Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.’ And that’s a verified fact! 

Now this next quote builds on the first: ‘Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.’ How could it not eh? 

Then: ‘In order to carry out a positive action we must develop here a positive vision.’ That’s only logical, since you can’t have action of any kind without some kind of vision. 

And this one is the biggie: ‘Positive thinking is more than just a tagline. It changes the way we behave. And I firmly believe that when I am positive, it not only makes me better, but it also makes those around me better.’ 

And is that ever so true my brethren! That’s why we’re constantly told to surround ourselves with positive people, because it rubs off, just like the negativity of negative people does. 

And the final quote: ‘Focus 90% of your time on solutions and only 10% of your time on problems.’ Now that’s advice of mythical proportions! (smile) Too many of us spend too much time belabouring and bewailing our problems, when we should be more focused on solving them. 

And there’s no better way to do all of that than by holding on tightly and sincerely to the encouraging and assuring words of our Bit. ‘Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.’ 

Now true believers should never have cause to doubt that statement, for the promises of our ever-faithful God are infallible. And we’ll close this series of messages with a couple of interesting and important scriptures. 

The first is from Peter, re being good stewards of God’s grace. ‘Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 

But rejoice, inasmuch as (to the extent that) ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. 

If ye be reproached (insulted) for the name of Christ, happy (blessed) are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of (blasphemed), but on your part he is glorified.’ (1 Pet.4:12-14) 

Finally, listen to these words of absolute wisdom from Bruh Paul to the Colossians. ‘And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men, Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance (salvation): for ye serve the Lord Christ.’ (Col.3:23-24) 

Yeh friends, in ALL that we do, it is best to consider that we are serving Christ rather than men, since serving men can surely lead us down the path of unrighteousness. And who wants to tread that unwise path eh?  Much LOVE!

…the very word Christian…implies being strong and positive…like Christ…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 August 2017 2 Chronicles 15:7.

 2 Chronicles 15:7.  Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded. 

Welcome friends to a wet Caribana Friday; at least in my neighbourhood! It didn’t seem to be much of a shower though, but more like a short drizzle, and I doubt that it will last for the day. 

And even if it does, it will not stop the workingman from being exuberant in his declarations, especially on this long Civic Holiday weekend, with the numerous festivities planned for the Greater Toronto Area. 

I can already hear him proclaiming to all and sundry: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Thank Him for this long Caribana weekend, where the partying will be enormous, in fact outa sight! Pan Competition tonight…then the big Parade tomorrow…mas in yuh mas mih breddren! 

So this Carnival weekend is pure partying – Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday! Mama Yo! We go mash up the town this weekend! Thank God for this break from slave labour oui!’ 

And believe you me, some people are going to do just as he says; party the weekend away. But we all know my fellow believers in Christ that that is not such a wonderful idea, for it just invites the ever-lurking enemy to find a foothold in our souls and spirits. 

Nothing is wrong with partying, but with a modicum of circumspection, with certain boundaries that we make sure not to cross. That means Granny’s warning is ever so important this weekend, even though some of you don’t like to hear it. ‘Sonny boy; drunk or sober, please mind yuh business!’ 

And I believe that if we keep that in mind, we will not fall victim to the enemy. Now let’s chant our Friday Chant, which gives a better, or more focused reality for the weekend. ‘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, that’s more in tune with our Christian faith. So let’s pay serious attention to it nuh, along with our Bit, the warning from the proper Azariah to King Asa and all of Judah. ‘Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.’ 

Ah mih breddren, if believers would only put their hands to the plough seriously and do what’s expected of them, what a wonderful world this would be. But as I said yesterday, too many of us have gotten soft and wishy washy, have lost whatever belly and backbone we had by living in this plush and comfortable society. 

So, as a result, Christianity is steadily losing ground in the spiritual warfare in which we’re engaged. Friends, we have to pick up the slack, be strong if we want to see Jesus’ LOVE Revolution win the day! There’s no two ways about that. 

Consequently, I’m imploring us, asking us to remember our bounden duty as Christians, to be strong and work sincerely and diligently for Christ Jesus! Otherwise our faith will surely crumble and all Jesus’ sacrifices would be a waste of time. And I know you wouldn’t want that. So let’s ramp up our efforts nuh. 

And to help us do that, here are a couple of examples of scripture which corroborate our Bit. And the first, possibly the most important, comes right at the beginning of God’s word, His promise to Abram. He was still known by that name. Abram had just won a battle for the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah and had refused their reward. (Gen.14:1-24) 

The Good Book tells it thus. ‘After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.’ (Gen.15:1) 

And the scholars explain: ’15:1. Thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward: This chapter introduces the Abrahamic covenant by which God promises him an heir and eventual descendants who will one day possess the land of Canaan. The word ‘shield’ is translated in other passages as “believed.” 

Thus, God is the object of Abram’s faith and thereby the source of his confidence. The promise of reward is especially significant in view of the fact that Abram had just refused a reward from the king of Sodom. God Himself would be Abram’s true reward (cf.Ps.127:3).’ 

And what greater reward can there be than Almighty God Himself eh mih people? None whatsoever! 

And we’ll end, most appropriately, with the words of Jesus Himself, words of wisdom from the Sermon on the Mount, from the Beatitudes. 

‘Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.’ (Matt.5:11-12) 

And the scholars offer these explanations. ‘5:11. Again, Jesus warns that men shall revile you, and persecute you. This became true during His own ministry, in the lives of the apostles, and throughout the history of the church. The persecution spoken of here is twofold. First, it involves a physical pursuing of the persecuted, and second, a personal attack of slander against them.’ 

And that is still happening today, and will continue to happen until Jesus comes again. All we can do is simply grin and bear it, and think about out rewards accruing in heaven for the unfair and unjust persecution. 

But now hear this other explanation: ‘5:12. Rejoice is the command that grows out of the blessedness of the believer. The phrase ‘rejoice and be exceeding glad’ means even more, exult! Great is your reward in heaven focuses attention on the eternal destiny of all things. 

If God is as real as He claims, if the Bible is true, if heaven is to be gained, then no temporary earthly trouble or persecution can dispossess the child of God of joy in the prospect of the eternal glory that lies ahead.’ 

Wow mih breddren! Isn’t that marvellous? Nothing can stop us! So let’s get strong and retake the world for Jesus nuh, for that’s what He expects of us! Much LOVE!

…believers should concentrate more on their rewards…than their problems…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 February 2014 2 Chronicles 15:1

2 Chronicles 15:1.    And the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded.
 
Well Friends, it’s shaping up to be a beautiful sun-shiny day in my area, even though the high is scheduled to be around minus 10 degrees Celsius. But despite the chilliness of the weather, we’re still giving thanks and praise to Almighty God for all that we have. Thankfully there ought to be bright sunshine with no precipitation. And that’s the most important part; no precipitation! (smile)
 
So Friends, wherever you are, whatever your circumstances, and whatever the weather is like, please thank and praise our heavenly Father for bringing you safely through another dark night into the day filled with the LIGHT of His most wonderful Son, Jesus.
 
And all God’s people loudly and gratefully declared: ‘All praise and glory be to the Lamb of God, who sacrificed His holy and sinless life for our sinful souls!’
 
And in doing so my brethren, Jesus set in motion the process for the third party of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit, to come into our lives and dwell with us continually, as guide and adviser.
 
Unfortunately, the people in the Old Testament, those who came before Jesus, didn’t have that wonderful opportunity. In those times, when needed, the Lord chose special people to bless with His Holy Spirit, to enlighten His people on whatever He desired them to know or do. And our Bit tells us of one such occasion. ‘And the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded.’
 
Now yesterday we saw where the Lord’s Spirit led Azariah to come before king Asa and the people of Judah, and tell them about seeking the Lord and finding Him, and being forsaken by Him, if they forsook Him. (2 Chr.15:2-4)  And that principle still stands today my people! If we forsake God, like we’re doing, how can we expect Him to bless us eh?
 
Now today I want to continue the scripture re Azariah’s warning to Asa and the people of Judah, because I think it’s very applicable to our current situation.
 
‘And in those times there was no peace to him that went out, nor to him that came in, but great vexations (turmoil) were upon all the inhabitants of the countries. And nation was destroyed of (by) nation, and city of city: for God did vex (trouble) them with all adversity. Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.’ (Num.15:5-7)
 
Yes my people, in our present time, there is little, if any peace amongst us. Too many of us are undergoing personal turmoil. Likewise our families are battling each other like never before. And we won’t talk about the turmoil within the different societies, neither that seemingly unending turmoil between societies. So in actual fact, our world is much more connected to a state of turmoil, than one of peace and LOVE.
 
Now that is definitely not a very good situation my brethren, however, as the last verse there stated, in spite of the worldwide turmoil, we believers ought to stand strong and steadfast in our Christian faith, for eventually, as Jesus has so generously and faithfully promised, our diligent work in His Name will be eventually rewarded.
 
So please my fellow believers, let’s write that deep within our souls nuh, in indelible ink, so that we don’t forget or mistakenly erase it, and simply keep doing what Jesus has commissioned us to do; LOVE our God, ourselves and our neighbours, SPREAD His Holy Word, and LIVE our Faith, by doing good and helping others.
 
I also want to revisit the other instance of the Holy Spirit coming upon an individual that we spoke of yesterday. That’s Balaam, the prophet who tried to serve both God and Lucifer at the same time, which is impossible. We saw yesterday, where he finally realized that his enchantments and sorcery weren’t working, they were no match for God’s awesome power.
 
‘And Balaam lifted up his eyes, and he saw Israel abiding in his tents according to their tribes; and the spirit of God came upon him.’ (Num. 24:2)
 
And the scholars’ explain that verse thus. ’24:2. And the spirit of God came upon him: Previously God had put a word in Balaam’s mouth (23:5,16). This phrase in verse 2 is not just a stylistic variation, but suggests that this time Balaam fell into a trance as verses 3 and 4 indicate.’
 
Now hear Balaam after that. ‘And he took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor hath said, and the man whose eyes are open (opened) hath said: He hath said, which heard the words of God, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open:
 
How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, and thy tabernacles, O Israel! As the valleys are they spread forth, as gardens by the river’s side, as the trees of lign aloes which the Lord hath planted, and as cedar trees beside the waters. He shall pour the water out of his buckets, and his seed shall be in many waters, and his king shall be higher than Agag, and his kingdom shall be exalted.
 
God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of a unicorn: he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows. He couched, he lay down as a lion, and as a great lion: who shall stir him up? Blessed is he that blesseth thee, and cursed is he that curseth thee.’ (Num.24:3-9)
 
Yes Friends, Balaam finally saw the light with his ‘visionary predictions of Israel’s future settlement in Canaan, the rise of the monarchy, and victories over specific foes.’ (scholars’ note).
 
Oh my fellow believers, just like the Lord used His Holy Spirit to enlighten the fickle Balaam, He’s using it today to also enlighten us, re His plan and purpose for our lives, plus leading and guiding us along the rough pathways of life, so that we can fulfill the dreams He’s placed in our hearts, while walking worthy of Him.
 
Friends, please listen to that still small voice that speaks to us from deep within, for it is the Spirit of God. That’s wisdom, for now and all eternity! Much LOVE!
 
…when we listen to God’s voice within us…we won’t stray from the straight and narrow path…which to leads to heaven… and to Jesus… 
 
P.S. It’s a tad long and a bit late, but them’s the breaks, just grin and bear it. (smile) Much LOVE!