Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 July 2014 Psalm 42:1

Psalm 42:1.   As the hart panteth after (the deer longs for) the water brooks, so panteth (longs) my soul after thee, O God.

And then it was Thursday – the day before Friday, the harbinger of the weekend! And this is Toronto’s big weekend in the sun, its weekend to shine brightly as the Caribana celebrations ramp up to the finale, the big parade on Saturday, moving from the Exhibition Stadium grounds out on to and down Lakeshore Boulevard.
 
Oh sorry Friends, officially the celebration is no longer Caribana, but something like Scotia Bank Caribbean Carnival. That’s because in the last few years the original Caribana Committee took the current runners of the festivities to court claiming copyright for the name Caribana, and they won.
 
However, despite all the legal wrangling, it will be forever known as Caribana, to the millions who’ve been involved in it. As they say, what’s in a name eh? A rose by any other name is just as sweet. I guess the same goes for the T.O. festivities. And would you believe that after all the bad blood between the two sides, there is now talk about them joining together. Ah Lord eh!
 
Anyway my brethren, I want to share with you a few words from one of my favourite pastors, Dr. Robert H. Schuller, and this from his Hour of Power Devotional. I don’t think I’ve shared this before, but even if I have, it’s worthwhile hearing it again.
 
He says that we ought to be extraordinary. ‘Choose the best, shun mediocrity. Mediocrity has a way of shrivelling up enthusiasm. But commitment to excellence taps an incredible source of energy. Elect the best, no matter what the price tag.’
 
And that’s gospel truth my people! And electing the best becomes even more important when you are a follower of Jesus Christ, because Jesus requires excellence in all those who choose to come to Him. Without overall excellence in our lives Friends, we’ll never reach the pinnacle, the heights that the Lord has planned for us.
 
And we cannot achieve excellence either without a helping hand from Almighty God. That’s why it’s so important to have that need, that intense longing for Jesus, as our Bit so astutely declares: ‘As the hart panteth after (the deer longs for) the water brooks, so panteth (longs) my soul after thee, O God.’
 
And that, my people, should be the modus operandi, the wish of all true believers! We ought to hunger and thirst after righteousness, as Jesus says in the Beatitudes, (Matt.5:6) so that He can fill us with His LOVE and mercy and guidance, without which we’d be totally lost in this evil, oppressive world.
 
And I just noticed an interesting scholars’ explanation for that Beatitude. ‘5:6. These future possessors of the earth are its presently installed rightful heirs, and even now they hunger and thirst after righteousness. They experience a deep desire for personal righteousness, which in itself is proof of their spiritual rebirth.
 
Those who are poor and empty in their own spiritual poverty recognize the depth of their need, and they hunger and thirst for that which only God can give them. They shall be filled (Gr. chortazo) refers to a complete satisfaction. The psalmist proclaimed: ‘He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.” (Ps.107:9)
 
Ah Friends, why in heavens name would we not be hungering and thirsting for Jesus and His righteousness if we claim to believe in Him eh? But the sad fact of the matter is that many of us are doing just that, claiming to believe, but not intensely longing for His righteousness, even though we are spiritually poor.
 
Unwisely, we try to fill up the empty space in us with the things of the world; its false glitz and glamour and earthly riches. But my brethren none of that can ever fully replace, or be better than the riches and the righteousness of heaven. And though some of us know that deep down in our hearts, yet we insist on pushing Jesus aside to embrace the things of the world.
 
Now hear these words from Psalm 84, the rejoicing of a pilgrim to the temple in Jerusalem. ‘How amiable are thy tabernacles (lovely are thy dwellings) O Lord of hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Yea, the sparrow hath found a house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O Lord of hosts, my King, and my God.
 
Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will still be praising thee.   Selah…. For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper (stand at the threshold) in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.
 
For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.’ (Ps.84:1-4, 11-12)
 
Oh Friends, those are the sentiments of an earthly traveller hungering for God’s presence, and until we can all truthfully echo those same sentiments, we are not doing our best, we are not longing for Jesus as intensely as we should, and therefore we will not be as excellent as we ought to be.
 
Again my people, I ask us today to ponder, to consider the condition of our souls, and if there be any lack, any emptiness therein, please turn to Jesus and ask Him to LOVINGLY  fill those empty spaces with His grace, LOVE and mercy, so that we can go out and do excellent things in His holy name. For that is the wisdom that comes from heaven on high! Much LOVE!
 
…I stretch forth my hands unto thee…my soul thirsteth after thee…as a thirsty land…Selah… (Ps.143:6)

 

 

 
 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 July 2014 Psalm 42:1

Psalm 42:1.   As the hart panteth after (the deer longs for) the water brooks, so panteth (longs) my soul after thee, O God.

Well a good Wednesday morning to all you wonderful Friends and neighbours in the ever growing Scrip-Bit family! Blessings and mercy, grace, LOVE and forgiveness from our heavenly Father to all those who believe in His Son Jesus Christ and walk obedient to His commands.
 
And all God’s people said: ‘Praise the Lord!’
 
Yes Friends, much praise is due to our most wonderful God, who daily meets all our needs on this troubled earth. We can NEVER thank Him enough for what He’s done, is doing, and has promised to do for us in the future. But that doesn’t mean we can’t shower or heap as much praise and thanks on Him as we can.
 
Unfortunately though, too many of us supposed believers don’t seem to have that serious attitude of offering thanks. Or as Bruh Paul wisely advised the Ephesians: ‘Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (Eph.5:20)
 
We seem to think that thanks is only due when we receive something, and something good at that. And even then, some of us offer it grudgingly, more as a responsibility to be carried out, than a true feeling of gratitude from the heart. And that is oh so wrong, my brethren. But I figure that that attitude derives, comes from a less than stellar longing for God.
 
How many of us, as we should in these evil and troubled times, truly have an intense longing for God as our Bit so famously states? ‘As the hart panteth after (the deer longs for) the water brooks, so panteth (longs) my soul after thee, O God.’  
 
Now a lot of us will say we do, but it’s definitely not evident in our words or actions. To too many of us my brethren, God is some ephemeral Being somewhere outside of our everyday existence, like far away in heaven. Our lives don’t give the impression of the Holy Spirit living in us, of Jesus being constantly involved in even our simplest decisions.
 
And therefore, as we were recently saying, our souls and our lives lack passion, lack enthusiasm for Jesus and the things of God, while the unimportant things of the world stoke our fires and hold our attention. But how can we be enthusiastic about a Spirit Being that we consider outside of our normal everyday lives eh, while we constantly encounter the physical things of the world that turn us on?
 
However Friends, when we’re really and truly into God, when He’s a real presence in our everyday lives, then we become passionate and enthusiastic about serving Him, and the tenor of our days take on a whole different meaning and feeling. And we can say like the psalmist: ‘My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?’ (Ps.42:2)
 
And when times are tough, and our enemies seem to be gaining the upper hand, then we can continue to pray and reminisce: ‘My tears have been my meat (food) day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?
 
When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday (a pilgrim feast). Why art thou cast (bowed) down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).’ (Ps.42:3-5)
 
Yes Friends, even in our lowest moments, it is essential to still have hope in Almighty God and praise Him for His continual presence with us. Remember He’s promised never to leave nor forsake us. (Heb.13:5) And Psalm 42, a contemplation for the sons of Korah, is not the only psalm that highlights that intense longing, that driving thirst for God.
 
Listen to what Bruh David wrote in Psalm 63, when he was in the wilderness of Judah running from his enemies. ‘O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary (so I have looked for thee).
 
Because thy LOVING-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow (the best) and fatness (abundance); and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips:’ (Ps.63:1-5)
 
Oh my brethren, our great and faithful God does satisfy the soul that thirsts for Him! And when we feel that satisfaction… oh, it just drives us to praise Him, regardless of the physical circumstances!
 
And our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ said it best in His famous Sermon on the Mount through the Beatitude: ‘Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.’ (Matt.5:6) It couldn’t get any simpler or more straightforward than that my fellow believers.
 
So today I want us to ponder, seriously consider the state of our souls, whether we’re truly longing for Jesus, or simply going through the motions. Sadly, the latter option is being embraced by too many of us. That’s one of the reasons why Jesus’ LOVE Revolution is not much further along; for a revolution, whatever kind it might be, cannot succeed without enthusiastic, energetic, passionate followers intensely longing for change.
 
Please Friends, if we truly believe in Jesus, let’s try and adopt, embrace and live out that revolutionary attitude nuh. It’s the ONLY WAY we’ll ever proselytize the world! Much LOVE!
 
…a life lived without passion…especially if one claims to believe in Jesus…is essentially a wasted life…please, let’s not waste ours…

 

 

 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 July 2014 Romans 5:7

Romans 5:7.  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure (perhaps) for a good man some would even dare to die. 

Ah Friends and neighbours, it was one of those days where at getting up time, the old body plaintively cried out; ‘More rest! In the name of God, more rest please!’
 
And being a child of God, a reflection of His mercy, LOVE and kindness, how could I refuse such a plaintive plea eh? (smile) To tell the truth, the ole bod could still use some more rest, but sometimes we just can’t let it have it’s own way and must say enough is enough, else it will simply take over and run amuck on us.
 
So Friends, when your bodies seriously cry out for rest, don’t constantly ignore it, because it often knows better than us, what it needs. And remember too that rest was a big part of God’s concern when He created the universe.
 
For as the Good Book says: ‘And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.’ (Gen.2:3)
 
So Friends, if God needed rest from His labours, or rather saw fit to rest, then why shouldn’t we also. Please be aware that rest is an integral part of our earthly lives, though the world, in its evil, ungodly state, strives to keep us continually busy, but that only causes us considerable and unnecessary stress and pain.
 
And now that I’ve formally made my excuses, my mea culpas, (smile) let’s see what good word our almanac has for us today. And though it’s a small in stature word, it is big, bold, beautiful and mighty in its impact. Believe me, it’s an awesome word that ALL God’s children ought to heed.
 
And that powerful word is ‘DARE!’
 
Now I’m not sure which Steve Marshall the following quote can be attributed to, because there are so many. But whichever one it is, he is supposed to have said these simple but powerful words of advice: ‘Dare to be the best you can – at all times, dare to be the best!’
 
What wonderful words of advice my brethren, especially for followers of the Lord Jesus Christ! Why is that you ask? Because daring allows us to move out of our comfort zone, to get up off of our fat fannies and do the things Jesus desires of us.
 
The dictionary generally defines ‘DARE’ as ‘venture to, have the courage or impudence to, feel sure that, attempt to, take the risk of, defy, challenge, be prepared to believe.’
 
So you can see Friends, that daring involves getting up and doing, meeting challenges full on, not being afraid of and running from stuff.
 
And that stand up strong and steadfast, courageous, believing I can attitude is necessary in ALL believers if we seriously intend to do God’s work here in this evil, ungodly world, because the enemy will not allow us to just go about God’s business without any challenges and evil input.
 
Yes my people, believers are called to be daring, so daring that we would follow our Bit. ‘For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure (perhaps) for a good man some would even dare to die.’
 
Wow! It surely is a hefty dare, but one that we should not shy away from if necessary. Oh my brethren, I know that ALL of us are praying that it won’t be necessary in our own lives. (smile) But Bruh Paul was simply echoing Jesus’ words there in our Bit, when He told the disciples:
 
‘This is my commandment, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you. Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
 
Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.’ (John 15:12-15)
 
Then He went out and died for His FRIENDS; laid down His life for us!
 
And all God’s children gave out a mighty and grateful shout of: ‘Oh thank you Jesus for sacrificing your holy and sinless life for us! We praise and adore You, and bless your holy name, now and forever more! Amen’
 
Yeh mih people, that’s what daring does! It causes us to rise up and meet challenges, even though we may be sorely afraid.
 
As Bruh Paul so ingeniously reasons before our Bit; ‘Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
 
And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also; knowing that tribulation worketh patience (produces perseverance); And patience, experience (character); and experience, hope:
 
And hope maketh not ashamed (does not disappoint); because the LOVE of God is shed abroad (has been poured out) in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due (at the right) time Christ died for the ungodly.’ (Rom.5:1-6)
 
Oh Friends, what marvelous scripture! Scripture that assures and ensures us of God’s great LOVE!
 
And it’s only fitting that we end with some scholarly explanations of those verses. ‘5:1-4. Justified by faith (lit. “because we have been justified by faith”): It was God’s doing, not man’s.
 
Peace with God: This is not a feeling but a standing. God and the believer are no longer at enmity but have been reconciled (cf. 5:10-11; 2 Cor.5:18). This is a primary result of our justification.
 
Access: We can come directly into the presence of God. Jesus Christ is not only our Redeemer, but He is also our Advocate. By Him we gain entrance and acceptance before the Father (cf. 1 John 2:1)
 
Wherein we stand: This is the answer to the psalmist’s question: “If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?” (Ps.130:3) Rejoice (lit. “we boast”) in hope denotes the absolute certainty the believer has of God’s deliverance.
 
5:5. Holy Ghost…given: The believer has the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit. This is not a “second blessing,” but is just as much a certitude as the believer’s justification (cf. 1 Cor.12:13).’
 
Oh my people, with all that assurance and certainty expressed in God’s Word, there’s no way we should fear to go out and ‘DARE!’
 
So starting today, right now, let’s put all that stuff deep in our souls nuh, bury God’s assurance deep in our hearts and thus allow it to make us not only believers, but even more importantly, daring believers. That’s heavenly wisdom! Much LOVE!
 
…to dare…to dare…and yet to dare…in Jesus name…is what we’re called to do…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 July 2014 Psalm 150:6

Psalm 150:6.      Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye (sing Hallelijah to) the Lord.

Oh my brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, it’s another beautiful Monday morning on God’s wonderful planet earth! And would you believe there was no hemming and hawing, complaining, ‘steupsing’ or ‘chuhing’ from the penny section. (smile) Glory Hallelujah Friends, like we’re finally maturing in our walk of faith. And it’s high time too.
 
So please give our great God much thanks and praise for bringing us through the long and lonely, dark and dreary night, into the bright, scintillating, friendly, uplifting and LOVING light of His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!
 
And all God’s children joyfully shouted: ‘Praise the Lord! Bless His holy name! Hallelujah! Amen… So let it be!’
 
Yes my fellow believers, that’s the kind of praise and adoration we ought to bring to our merciful and blessed Creator each and every day, because it just fills His heart with joy, knowing that His most precious creation adores and gratefully acknowledges His LOVING-kindness!  
 
As we said yesterday, it’s passion my brethren… passion for the ONE TRUE God; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! Now let’s continue showing that passion, that verve and fervour, enthusiasm and excitement for Jesus, as we boldly and loudly sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn! Let’s light a fire, an inferno, on earth as well as in heaven with our exaltation! (smile)
 
On the count of three…one, two, three: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together.
 
We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies.
 
But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle.
 
Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’  
 
Most excellent my people, most excellent! Both heaven and earth were moved!
 
Now let’s turn to our Bit that exhorts us to praise our heavenly Father: ‘Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye (sing Hallelujah to) the Lord.’
 
Oh my people, that is such an awesome truth because our God is so wonderful to His creation that He deserves unlimited praise!
 
Now hear how the psalmist writes it- and as pieces of music have written at the top to designate speed and mood, like allegro, fandango, andante etc. this psalm has written at the top – with much passion.
 
So let’s do it like ordained. ‘Praise ye, (sing Hallelujah to) the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power (his mighty firmament). Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet (cornet): praise him with the psaltery (lute or lyre) and harp.
 
Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high-sounding cymbals. Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye (sing Hallelujah to) the Lord.’ (Ps. 150:1-6)
 
Ah Friends, what beautiful and passionate expressions of praise!
 
And we’ll end with a most fitting acknowledgment from the scholars. ‘Psalm 150. The first psalm contains only six verses and speaks of the man who is blessed. The last psalm (150) also contains six verses but speaks of the God who is praised. No more fitting conclusion to the book could have been written.
 
While the other four books of the Psalms end with a brief verse or two of doxology, ‘a short expression of praise sung during Christian worship) Psalm 150 in its entirety forms the doxology to consummate the fifth book. As the final song of praise, it appropriately answers four key questions about praise.
 
(1) Where should God be praised? Everywhere, from His sanctuary on earth to His heavenly creation (v.1). (2) Why should God be praised? For His powerful deeds on behalf of men and for His inherent greatness (v.2). (3) How should God be praised? With every suitable instrument man can offer with his God-given creativity and artistry (vv.3-5). (4) Who should praise God? Everything that breathes. (v.6).
 
Though every verse of the psalm is cast in the form of a call to praise, the hymn is certainly prophetic of a day when every creature will in fact bow in praise to the Almighty God (Phil.2:11; Rev.5:8-14).’
 
Oh Friends, as the scholars say, the perfect way to end the Psalms! Please read those reference verses my brethren, for they are very interesting and important to our understanding of what the scholars have written above, and also to our understanding of scripture in general.
 
Now let’s go out and have a blessed day, walking in faith, LOVE and truth with Christ, in a most passionate manner, for that’s the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!
 
…there’s nothing that works miracles in a human soul… like praising and glorifying God…

 

 

 

 

 

Psalm 9:1.  I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will show forth (tell of) all thy marvelous works.

And then it was Sunday… And all the people joyfully sang: ‘Sunday, oh Sunday; time to go to the sanctuary; time to give praise and thanks; time to let the Lord know how much we LOVE Him; time to worship in true and grateful fellowship with my brethren, partaking of the cup of Christ’s blood, and the sacrificial flesh of His body, to let Him know that we remember Him in faith and truth, and also honour and glorify His holy name, for ever and ever. Amen!’
 
Oh Friends, at the rate we’re going, we’ll soon have a song of praise for every day! (smile) And that’s definitely not a bad thing, but rather it’s wonderful! For waking up each and every day and singing praises to our awesome God is just what the doctor, and God Himself have ordered.
 
And believe you me, we can never praise and glorify our omnipotent Creator too much. So let’s get ready to go to His house and worship Him this Sunday morning nuh, with plenty passion and truth.
 
However Friends, one of the unfortunate things I’ve discovered about us Christians; is that we’re not as passionate and convincing about Jesus as we should be. Most other faiths seem to continually extol, exalt and adore the object of their veneration, but we seem to be merely lukewarm about our Lord and Saviour, who has done so much for us.
 
Oftimes we seem even ashamed to call His name in public, or let others know that we believe in the Mighty King and Warrior known as Jesus Christ; King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, to whom all knees will eventually bow, and all tongues confess and acknowledge Him as Lord.
 
Yes, in the church buildings we sing and dance and praise His holy name, but once we’re out of the buildings we seem to adopt a stodgy, embarrassed and even apologetic attitude.
 
Oh my people, there’s nothing to be embarrassed about or to apologize for in exalting Jesus! For He is indeed the author and finisher of our faith! The one who selflessly and willingly gave up His ease and comfort in heaven to come to this mish-mash earth and die for our abominable sins, so that we could be granted salvation and eternal life.
 
Now isn’t that something to jump for joy about, and shout from the rooftops and mountains to all the world? It certainly is my brethren! For what other supposed deity has done anything even closely resembling Jesus’ sacrifice for his followers eh? NONE WHATSOEVER!  
 
Oh Friends, please remember what Jesus said to the church at Laodicea: ‘I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would (wish) thou wert (were) cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew (spit or vomit) thee out of my mouth.’ (Rev.3:15-16)
 
Yes my people, we either have to be red hot, meaning passionate, or ice-cold, not merely so-so in our acceptance and following of the greatest teacher who ever lived, Christ Jesus!
 
Oh my fellow believers, it’s time we all rose up and passionately do like Bruh David says in our Bit and the verse following: ‘I will praise thee, O Lord with my whole heart; I will show forth (tell of) all thy marvelous works. I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou Most High.’ (Ps.9:1-2)
 
And my people, we ought to do that not only in the churches or wherever we officially worship Almighty God, but in all our doings, wherever we go; at home, at school, at work, at play, the thanks and praise to our wonderful Creator ought always to be on our lips.
 
How did Bruh Paul put it? ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.’ (Phil.4:4)
 
And remember too how Bruh David danced before the Lord when the Ark of the Covenant was brought to Jerusalem. (2 Sam.6:14) He wasn’t ashamed to exalt and extol His ever-faithful and ever-LOVING God in public, like so many of us sadly are.
 
But we shouldn’t be ashamed of our Saviour, my brethren. Jesus said that He came to earth to give us life and joy, and give them in great abundance. (John 10:10) And joy is such a wonderful feeling in our souls that it usually just comes pouring out of us and we are glad to share it.
 
Therefore Friends, if we have joy in Jesus, then why aren’t we sharing it passionately with all and sundry eh, instead of foolishly and selfishly keeping it locked up inside of us? We should be exceedingly glad to share it with everybody, to noise it all over the world!
 
So today my people, when we’re finished joyfully worshipping in church, let’s come outside and continue that joyful worship nuh. Joyful worship does nothing for the inanimate buildings; it’s meant to be partaken of, to be spread amongst people. And how can we expect believers to come to Jesus through our witness, when we are only lukewarm in our walk of faith, in our exuberance, our manifestation of joy eh? That won’t ever happen!
 
It’s time we step boldly up to the plate and witness with true joy, so that others may belief. It’s what we’ve been placed here to do, therefore let’s do our duty with relish and verve and fervour nuh! It’s the ONLY way to go! Much LOVE!
 
…merely talking in hushed tones about the good news and deeds of Christ…and not showing real enjoyment in, and passion for them…will never endear Him to others…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 July 2014 Matthew 6:19

Matthew 6:19.     Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin, destroy), and where thieves break through and steal.

Aloha Friends and neighbours! Let’s greet this new day with a sense of expectancy and promise by giving thanks to our heavenly Father, who has so graciously anointed us to see it.

‘Dear Father in heaven, we praise your holy name and thank you for your mercy and blessings that have allowed us to rise and greet another day. We also thank you for your wonderful Son Jesus, who sacrificed His holy life so that we could be reconciled to you, and be once more called your children. Please help us to walk today in your will and the plan you have for our lives. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.’

And today we have a quote attributed to the famous Scottish novelist, poet and essayist, author of such treasured literature as ‘Treasure Island and Kidnapped’ amongst others, the one and only Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) Robert is supposed to have said to ‘Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others.’

And I must admit that there is a lot of truth to that statement, but we need to put fears into their proper perspective. And sometimes though it is healthy and healing to show them, because it gives others a chance to help us with them, and also show that we’re not the super people we try or pretend to be.

Now it’s okay to fear, for fear is a natural human trait, but we must not allow fear to beat us down. As I heard Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) say recently, ‘Fear is the false evidence that appears to be real.’ And that’s often the fact. We fear stuff and in the long run those fears never come to pass, or they are not as bad as we thought.

Sometimes too we have to be aware of seeming too courageous, since it can cause others to look at us with jealousy and /or resentment. You know the type that’s always beating the odds, who never lose a battle. We must at times appear to be human with all the innate frailties.

The long and short of the story though Friends, is that it’s okay to fear, to even show fear, but more often than not we should show courage, and even if we are afraid, as Sister Joyce is won’t to say, we must do it afraid. Remember that only Faith conquers fear, that’s why we ought always to try and walk in faith.  

And having said all of that, which I hope makes sense, (smile) let’s turn to our Bit, those wise and wonderful words from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ regarding material wealth. ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin, destroy), and where thieves break through and steal.’

And we don’t even have to consider the spiritual side of that statement to know that it’s true in the physical realm, for all of us have valuable stuff that are ruined by rust, like cars and other metallic things, and moths do eat our best clothes if we leave them hanging up in our closets or lying in our drawers too long. Remember the days of mothballs in every draw? Hn! The young people won’t have any idea of what mothballs are.

Anyway, let’s get to some scripture on the subject. And Cousin Sol, in his great, God-endowed wisdom, tells us thus: ‘A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent (go unpunished).’ (Prov.28:20)

And we all know people like that, people whose only goal is to get materially rich as soon as possible. Some of us might have even fallen into that category at one time or another, but hopefully we’ve been cured of that disease, either through the awesome power of Jesus, or the punishment we received for being too hasty to get rich. (smile)

But in any case we now realize the right kind of riches to make our priority; the heavenly kind; ‘where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt (ruin, destroy), and where thieves do not break through.’ (Matt.6:20) 

Now hear James’ warning to the rich. ‘Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted (have rotted), and your garments are moth eaten. Your gold and silver is cankered (corroded); and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire.

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

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

Oh Friends, unfortunately the same stuff is happening today, possibly on a much wider scale than in James’ day, but rest assured the results will be the same; God’s punishment for the rich and advantageous, and His justice and mercy for the disadvantaged.

Now hear some explanations from the scholars. ‘5:1-6. Ye rich men: James’ common address “brethren” is not found once in this section. By contrast, it occurs four times in verses 7-12. James is now addressing wealthy, unsaved Jews who have poor Jews working for them. They have mistreated the poor, so God’s judgement will fall on them.

5:3. Ironically, they have stored up treasure for their last days (retirement), which God will use against them in the last days.

5:4. The Lord of the Sabaoth, meaning the Lord of Hosts (i.e. of Armies), describes the omnipotent, avenging character of the God who sees and hears this injustice.’

Ah my people, all I can say is let us try not to be numbered amongst that group of people nuh. Even if we do become wealthy, let us remember that the wealth is not really ours, but we are just stewards of the Lord’s property, and it behooves us to use it wisely in helping those in need, and not taking advantage of the poor and downtrodden.

That will then cause us to reap heavenly rewards, and there is nothing better than that. So please let heavenly wisdom prevail. Much LOVE!

…if you can’t take earthly wealth with you…why kill yourself trying to amass it…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 July 2014 Matthew 6:19

Matthew 6:19.      Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin, destroy), and where thieves break through and steal.
 

And then it was Friday… ‘Oh praise the Lord! Glory Hallelujah! Thank God the weekend is upon us! Backbreaking labour soon cease! Oh Thank God is Friday yes!’ 
  
Now that’s the kind of joyful shout that’s being heard around the world this Friday morning. And it’s really amazing and amusing that though we still have to go and labour on Friday, just the thought of it being the last day of the workweek, seems to instill a joy, an expectation that promotes a sense of – ah well, it soon over – and we get a renewed strength to bear this one day.
 
However, the question is, why can’t we get that renewal of strength to bear all the working days and non-working days alike eh? I guess it just has to do with the eccentricities, abnormalities, or whatever of our human nature. (smile)
 
Anyway, to gain some added insight into the proper use of the weekend, let’s chant our Friday Chant with the same verve and fervour that we shout ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday!’
 
As one chanting voice now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through.
 
Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’
 
Yes Friends, that’s a much better way to handle the weekend. And we’ll continue today with that most significant Bit of advice from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on the subject of worldly riches. ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin, destroy), and where thieves break through and steal.’
 
Ah mih people, if only more of us would just heed that august warning, so many more lives would be peaceful and contented. Our world would also see so many less problems, like the insatiable greed and the crazy, hurtful distractions that the rush to accumulate earthly wealth bring with it.
 
As the author of Hebrews so wisely declares in these two memorable verses of scripture. ‘Let your conversation (conduct) be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall (can) do unto me.’ (Heb.13:5-6)
 
But unfortunately too many of us listen to our naturally sinful nature, as well as the siren call of the purveyors of evil, who dangle the frivolous possibilities of earthly wealth under our always sniffing noses, at every turn we take.
 
In the earthly realm, the more wealth we accumulate, the more we’re considered successful. And the foolish pride and show-boating of that wealth only makes matters worse, leading to jealousy and envy, resentment and others killing themselves to earn that wealth, to keep up with the Jones’.
 
What a sad tale we weave by the voracious pursuit of earthly wealth my people!
 
Now nothing’s wrong with having earthly wealth, in fact most of us could use some right now, (smile) but it’s the way we accumulate it, and then the way we use it that sets us apart.
 
Listen to Bruh Paul’s advice to Timothy. ‘Charge (command) them that are rich in this world (present age), that they be not highminded (haughty), nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;
 
That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute (give), willing to communicate (share); Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.’ (1 Tim.6:17-19)
 
Oh Friends, oh Friends, what wonderful advice, what correct scriptural procedure! How can we ever ignore it eh? But sadly we do, at our own peril.
 
And we’ll end with some good info from the scholars’ re those verses. ‘6:17-18. Paul charges wealthy believers (1) not to be proud and look down on those who are not rich, (2) to confide in God, rather than in unstable riches, (3) to be rich in good works by generously sharing their surplus of financial resources with the needy. To be ready to distribute is to be generous in sharing. To be willing to communicate is to be liberal in giving.
 
6:19. When wealthy believers generously share (v.18), they secure an assurance (laying up in store for themselves a good foundation) that in the future (against the time to come) they will indeed enter heaven (lay hold on eternal life).
 
Salvation is not purchased by the giving of money, but generosity demonstrates the reality of one’s faith. Since the believer trusts God and not money, he gives. This giving shows where his heart is and that he views his wealth in light of eternity.’
 
Oh my people, my people, I couldn’t put it any better! We certainly need to view wealth in the light of eternity! For then and only then will that wealth not drive us to distraction and make us do foolish, unwise, ungodly things.
 
So please, today let’s sit and ponder, you can also lie down or stand up (smile), let’s consider our deepest and most intimate attitudes towards material wealth, and ultimately turn to Almighty God to help us with any problems we might have in that area. Now that’s the certain wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!
 
…what’s the purpose of having wealth if we can’t take it with us eh…and we only leave it for others to fight over…might as well share it… and in the process…get some kudos from heaven…

 

 

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