Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 March 2008 Proverbs 2:10-11‏

Proverbs 2:10-11    When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee.
 
Most excellent advice Friends, from Solomon, reputedly the wisest man ever. But what’s this thing called wisdom eh? This intangible attribute that’s considered so important, that Adam and Eve disobeyed  God and ate of the Tree of  Life, searching for it. The dictionary defines it as being wise, having experience and knowledge together with the power of applying them critically or practically; sagacity; prudence, common sense. But how do we acquire it? Whom better than Solomon to ask? Vs 6 says, ‘For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.’ There we go Friends! If we want wisdom, we have to turn to the Lord; He dispenses it. The rough part though is that we just can’t ask for it and get it instantly. I can attest to that (smile). Remember, part of the definition is having experience, which can only be earned over time. And hard time too; by learning from our mistakes and those of others; by keeping our eyes and ears open, but most of all people, by staying in close contact with the Lord, since in the long run, it’s through His grace and guidance that we’ll develop wisdom. And with wisdom comes knowledge, that body of information built up during the process. Hn! Remember growing up in the West Indies, when the ole folks tried to drum common sense into us? Well that’s just wisdom in its everyday clothes. But they also knew that much of it was earned in the school of life, undergoing its hard knocks and trying times. So what’s the purpose of going through all of that just to acquire some intangible ideal eh? As Sol says in the Bit, when you have wisdom in your heart and you appreciate and value knowledge, then you’ll really be capable of handling life. ‘Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee.’ Experience helps us to understand the complexities of life, and that knowledge allows us to successfully stick handle through it. ‘To deliver thee from the way of the evil man…Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness… Who rejoice to do evil…Whose ways are crooked…’ Vs’ 12-15. In other words, wisdom is a tool to help us navigate the deep, murky waters of life. But it can only be achieved through time and experience, that’s why it’s usually associated with advanced years, while the young make basic mistakes. That’s how the Most High set it up. The one concession He made was for Sol; He gave him wisdom at an early age, and he used it wisely until his old age. He didn’t heed his own advice, since he says in Vs.16-19, that one of the purposes of wisdom is ‘To deliver thee from the strange woman…which flattereth with her words…None that go unto her return again…’ That’s exactly what happened to poor Sol; he ended up in the arms of strange, pagan women against God’s advice. As Derrick Harriot said in that old Rock Steady song, ‘Solomon was the wisest man, But he didn’t know the secret of a woman.’ But which man knows it eh? (smile) What we do know Friends, is that to live life successfully, wisdom is essential, and as it comes only from the Most High, we need to have constant communication with Him. We all know what that entails too, so let’s sincerely promise ourselves to do that today nuh. Much LOVE!…to be wise…walk and talk with God…always…
 
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Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 March 2008 1 John 1:5-7‏

1 John 1:5-7    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 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.
 
‘I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.’ John 12:46. That’s the message the Apostle John heard from Jesus’ lips, and desires to impart to us Friends. God is light, bright and shining. And… Ohhh! Just remembered, I saw the perfect example of that, driving along the shoreline of Lake Ontario this morning, on my way to visit my mother in Toronto’s east end. The new day was just dawning, when, from between the branches of some evergreens, I glimpsed a bright light in the distance. A few seconds later, I went ‘WOW!’ For right out there on the distant, eastern horizon of the lake, was the most beautiful sunrise I’ve ever seen. I’ve heard about some and seen a few myself, but Friends, this one…hn! This was surely the best! A big, deep orange hued ball of fire just sitting magnificently on the edge of the horizon, casting its bright reflection on the dark blue water around it, changing it to burnished silver. I had to take out my darkers and put them on, the brilliance was so overwhelming. Now that’s the kind of light Jesus was obviously trying to portray, since there’s no other light in our world as bright and powerful as the sun. It’s also the most dazzling that we can comprehend. Hn,hn! Just musing Friends. Was that a sign? I had no idea that I’d be talking about light today, but He did. I did not even remember the experience until I began writing the Bit. Who knows? His ways are higher than ours. But I’d like to think He was lending me a helping hand, which I certainly appreciate. (smile) In that kind of light people, darkness can never exist. Here, light and darkness basically refer to good and evil, truth and lies, righteousness and sin. That’s why John says, we can claim to be walking in the faith, but if our lives are still evil and based on the world’s view and approval, then we’re lying, fooling ourselves, since God has no dark, negative qualities. And sadly Friends, too many of us fall into that category of living a lie. What we show, is not who we really are. In public we have one persona, but behind closed doors…it’s entirely different. That means our heart’s not right Friends. If we’re really walking in the light of God, we’d be living right; in peace and LOVE with our neighbours, kind and considerate to the poor, the widow, the stranger, church would be for sincere worship, not gossip and dissension. We would not allow the glitz and glamour of the world, it’s attention to material rather than spiritual things to affect our relationship with each other and God. Remember, it was our sinful lives that first disassociated us from God, but in His great mercy He redeemed us, ‘and the blood of Jesus Christ his son, cleanseth us from all sin.’ Let’s remove the darkness from our lives please Friends. We can’t afford to spoil our relationship with God again. Much LOVE!…like the bright morning sun…Jesus came…to light our dark and evil way…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 March 2008 Isaiah 50:5-7‏

Isaiah 50:5-7    The Lord God hath opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. For the Lord God will help me, therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.
 
Exceedingly wise words from Isaiah people. Words it would do us well to live by. As we mature in the faith, acknowledging that the Lord is in control, and submitting to His will, He enables, strengthens and guides us in a truly surprising manner. In verse 4, Isaiah says that God gave him wisdom, ‘the tongue of the learned,’ so that he’d find the right words to encourage a struggling, weary believer. He also opened his ears, making him more aware of the happenings around him. Yes Friends, when we allow the Lord to guide us, our spiritual consciousness rises to a higher level. We see, hear, think and feel stuff like never before. But by the same token, this increased awareness of God can also make life tougher. Isaiah realized this, but persisted: ‘and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.’ It’s not easy Friends. Isaiah accepted both the back stabbing and frontal attacks. He did not hide from those who mocked and rebuked him. Why? Because the Spirit of the Lord was moving within him, strengthening his faith. ‘For the Lord will help me; therefore I shall not be confounded.’ What a powerful testimony people! ‘Therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.’ Ah Friends, those are the parts it takes to walk faithfully in the Lord; perseverance and fortitude. Because once the world realizes that we’re on a different wavelength; in it, but not of it, it tends to ridicule and condemn us. It’s the nature of the beast; cry down and belittle what you don’t like or understand. But if we’re to succeed in God’s ministry, we need to have plenty belly Friends, a backbone of steel, and a heart engorged and overflowing with God’s LOVE, because the enemy will test our mettle every chance he gets. So, like Isaiah, we’ve got to acquire that faith in God’s promise, but unfortunately that only comes through the same school of hard knocks. That’s why the life of the faithful is so difficult. But please remember that we’ve got the awesome Spirit of the Most High God, Jehovah, the most powerful Being in the universe, living within us, and consequently we can withstand anything the enemy throws against us. He’s promised that no weapon that comes against us shall prosper, so let’s raise our consciousness a notch or two nuh, and speak words of enablement and encouragement to our fellow travellers along life’s dusty highways and byways, in Jesus ‘ name. Amen! Much LOVE!…to really serve the Lord…requires mucho gumption…a strong backbone…and plenty, plenty belly…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 March 2008 2 Samuel 23:2-4‏

Samuel 2:2-4    The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me. He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth; even a morning without clouds, as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        According to Samuel, these words were numbered amongst the last of Bruh David. (Vs.1) As usual, he’s in fine form: ‘The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue…The Rock of Israel spake to me. He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.’ Words to live by Friends. A ruler if nothing else must be just; meaning fair, reliable, acceptable, relevant, trustworthy and true. But how many of our rulers today, can we say that about eh? Sadly,very few. Most of them don’t know the meaning of the word just in this sense, much less to be ruling in the fear of God. In the first place, not many rulers believe in or respect God, and those who claim to be God inspired, oftimes their words and actions do not jive. How can you be just, ruling with reverence to God, exercising your authority in the maintenance of truth and rights, if your policies and actions tend to be oppressive eh? While the greedy, loot and shoot, ‘pauperize’ the country with impunity; the rich get richer. Look around us Friends, there are very few countries today, where the ordinary man is living a fairly decent life. Many can’t get jobs, others have to work at several, just to make ends meet. But the ruling class seems to have money to burn. Problems must arise from that drastic inequity. Look at all the nations, mostly underdeveloped, currently pumping out black gold, while raking in the solid yellow kind, yet the citizens of almost every one are still living in miserable poverty. Very little of the supposed communal wealth, is actually filtering down to those who need it the most. But the rulers live jet set lives, and if the people dare to complain, they are repressed even further. Corruption is rampant all over the world, not only in high places, but low ones too. So we shouldn’t get too smug Friends, since each of us is a ruler in some sense: As a supervisor at our jobs, places we volunteer at, wherever we have some control over others, especially in our homes. How do we perform those duties? Are we just and fair, do we show respect to God? Or are we just as despotic and egocentric as those we decry and despise? Are we dealing under the table, encouraging idle gossip and backbiting, playing both ends against the middle? Then we’re no better, so we can’t rightfully judge them. Friends, although our stage might be small, it’s still important that we do it right, because we will take whatever we learn there to the big stage. I know it can’t be perfect, but it doesn’t have to be as evil, wicked and corrupt as it is right now. There is too much abundance in our world for the majority to be suffering from lack of basic food, clothing, clean water and shelter. But Friends, a lot of it starts with us, the examples we set in our homes, schools, churches, parks, playing fields, wherever. What we practice there; right, wrong, just or unjust, positive or negative, that is what we, and the others involved will take with us when we move on to bigger things. So Friends, for the sake of our world, our children’s future and reverence and honour for God, let’s try to be just and true nuh, ‘be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds…’ Much LOVE!…truth, rights and justice…are not only for us…but for others too…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 March 2008 Matthew 19:27-29‏

Matthew 19:27-29    Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold we have forsaken all, and followed thee, what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.
 
Many of us have asked the same question? What’s in it for us? What do we get for giving up things and people we love to follow Jesus? Well Jesus spelled it out for Peter, and the same applies to us my Friends. When Jesus comes again in all His splendour and glory, He promises that His twelve disciples will sit on thrones and rule Israel. They’ll surely be well rewarded in His Kingdom for their sacrifice and passionate faith in Him. Everyone else who has forsaken friends, family and material wealth to follow Him ‘shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.’ Now that’s a mighty generous promise made there by the Saviour. All His followers will receive an hundredfold increase in blessings as well as everlasting life! Wow! Now isn’t that something to look forward to and work towards eh Friends? Some will question the wisdom of giving up what we can see and feel now, for an ephemeral reward in the future, and who knows if there’s really life after death anyway eh? But Friends, just supposing, for argument sake, that there really is life after death, and you don’t do the things now that will cause you to inherit it, what happens then eh? Crapaud smoke yuh pipe! You’ll be thrown into outer darkness forever. So isn’t it better to be safe than sorry? To hitch up your wagon to Jesus’ mighty engine now, rather than chance on missing out on the hundredfold blessing and eternal life He’s promised at His second coming? Which, in comparison to the first, will be like moving from rags to riches. Oh Friends, right now the world is in a financial calamity because the supposedly wise and wealthy hedged their bets on insubstantial man made elements that had no real foundation, so the slightest whiff of adversity brought the whole house of cards tumbling down to everyone’s dismay. The only safe place to hedge your bets people is on Jesus. He’s never broken any promises and never will. In the final analysis Friends, we’ve got two choices: to hook our lowly wagon to the enemy, who promises glitzy earthly possessions that rot and wither, and you can’t take with you when your physical body returns to dust, as it surely will, and if there’s eternal life, you’ll be left in the lurch. Or will we hook up with the one and only Super Star; Jesus Christ, Him who died for our sins?  In whose earthly service we can still acquire and enjoy material stuff, just not make it the focus of our lives, and at the end, eternal life with Him. Ah Friends, there’s only one choice, one sensible option, and I implore us all to choose it and say defiantly, ‘As for me and mine, we’ll follow the Lord, every time.’ Much LOVE!…who knows what the future holds…but the promises of Jesus…Hn…they are the best…by far…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 March 2008 Jonah 2:1-2‏

Jonah 2:1-2.     Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish’s belly. And said, I cried by reason of my affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.
 
Are you crying to the Lord my Friends in a time of desperation, and it doesn’t seem like He’s hearing or paying any attention to you? Well take heart. So am I. But the truth is that our God always listens and always hears. It’s just that His response and timing doesn’t always match ours. We want to be relieved of a problem now for now. But that’s not God’s style. The problems we’re facing might have a higher purpose that we don’t know about, and if He granted our request immediately, we’d lose the good stuff, the increase He has in store for us if we’d only ‘band our jaw’ and ride out the problem without too many complaints. Look at poor Jonah nuh. He refused to do the Lord’s bidding, then tried to run away and hide. But as the ole people say, ‘yuh could run, but yuh can’t hide.’ That’s so true people. And we know that our God has a tendency to do things in a roundabout way. It’s never as straightforward and simple as it seems. He allowed Jonah to run, then had the whale swallow him, just to teach him a lesson. And as Jonah ‘guttsily’ testified: ‘Out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.’ Yes Friends, wherever we are, in whatever circumstance, good or bad, the Lord is always with us, and always hears our cries of anguish, or songs of praise, and we have to believe that we undergo certain things for reasons that He alone understands. And if we look back on some of the hard times we’ve been through, we’ll notice that almost always, we’ve come out better than before. The problems strengthen us; either financially, spiritually, emotionally and even physically. That’s how we grow and mature as Christians. And as I keep reminding us, it’s not an easy walk, this Christian faith we’ve chosen to follow, for even though we know deep down, that with hope, belief and faith in the Most High, we’ll come though with flying colours, it’s still difficult to drum up the necessary patience to wait on Him.  However Friends, if we’re ever going to be successful in our endeavours, and hoping in the Lord to help us, then patience is something we’ll definitely have to acquire. And here I’m preaching to myself too. (smile) The Mighty One above says, ‘Be still and know that I am God.’ Yes Friends, that’s what we need to do. So whatever unfortunate circumstance you might find yourself in today, remember the Lord is always there to help. Do the best you can, cry out to Him for help, then leave the rest to Him, wait patiently, with thanks and praise and faith. Like Jonah, He might just be trying to teach us a lesson, or testing us for promotion. But please don’t lose hope, cause it’s when things look the bleakest, that we’ve got to hold on the strongest. That’s the enemy desperately trying to hold us back from the good future he knows the Lord has waiting for us. Hope I can remember that too. (smile) Wish all the Bits flowed as easily as this one (wishful thinking) Guess that’s because it relates to me on a personal level also. Anyway Friends, as always, Much LOVE!…and remember…He’s always with us…we just have to stay in faith…and bide our time…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 March 2008 Ephesians 5:1-2,8.‏

Ephesians 5:1-2,8.    Be ye therefore followers of God as dear children: And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now ye are light in the Lord: walk as children of light.
 
That’s certainly what we need to do Friends! But have you noticed that when Jesus and the Bible authors talk about things like obedience, innocence, good nature, lack of envy or malice, they use children, lambs or other young animals as examples?It’s because the young of any species have that inborn sense of trust and obedience. That’s why Bruh Paul implored the believers at Ephesus, ‘Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children.’ Meaning, like children, to put their hope, faith, and trust in Him, and obediently follow His Word.  ‘And walk in LOVE.’ Oh Friends, that’s at once the source of and answer to our problems right there! If we all walked in LOVE, most of the world’s problems would disappear. Disagreements would still exist, but on a much smaller scale, because walking in LOVE simply means treating each other the way we want to be treated, considering one another’s situations and finding peaceful, productive ways to solve differences, not destructive means like war and strife which don’t really solve the problems, just sidelines them for a while, until they rear their ugly heads again. Paul says that we should follow Christ’s example, ‘as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God…’  But people we aren’t doing that. This Easter season, the churches were no doubt packed, with everyone bemoaning and wailing over Christ’s sad demise on Good Friday, then jubilant and joyful when He arose on Easter Sunday. But Friends, what happens after that eh? We go right back to our same ole spiteful, greedy, material ways, until Christmas rolls around and we begin spouting a whole lot of peace and LOVE again. But Friends, to walk in LOVE means considered, continuous action. Walking is moving, it’s always being in motion. That reminds me of the comic strip I recently read, where a young boy, after church on Easter Sunday, asks his parents, in front of the minister, if they held church every Sunday? The reply was yes. So why do we only come twice a year, he queried? Out of the mouths of babes people. It’s the same question Jesus is pondering. Why did I leave my comfy quarters in Heaven, go down to that wicked place called earth, spend the best years of my life trying to help them, to show them the light, even died a disgusting death to pay their sin debts? And all I asked was a little respect and gratitude, and for them to treat each other decently. And He sadly shakes His head. Is that so hard, is that asking too much? Of course not! But people, He’s such a magnanimous Being, that in spite of our disobedience, He still LOVES us dearly, and sincerely hopes we’ll see the light before it’s too late. Remember, that fateful day of judgement can come at any time. So please, let’s buckle down, stop mouthing empty promises and actually live a life pleasing to our Saviour. Too many others, unfortunately, still don’t know the way. We all complain about the sorry state of our world, but only we can make it better. Jesus already came once, the next time it’s lights out. Bruh Paul states, ‘For ye were sometimes darkness, but now ye are light in the Lord.’ So let’s walk as children of light nuh people! Let’s walk in Plenty, Plenty LOVE!..to clean up our world… we must first…clean up our hearts… Like the ole fella had a burr under his saddle today. (smile)

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