Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 February 2015 Psalm 62:7‏

Psalm 62:7. In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.

Well my people, it’s a brand new day, filled with brand new blessings, brand new mercies and a lot of other good stuff from our heavenly Father, including the breath of life, which allows us to enjoy the things He bestows on us each and every day. For that we ought to say ‘Thank You Father!’ with a grateful heart, and show our appreciation by living the way He desires us to.

Unfortunately though, too many of us take the things given to us by Almighty God for granted, and just go about our worldly business without even a thought for Him. But when the heifer dust hits the fan, and the bucket bottom drops out, we’re quick to cry out: ‘Oh God, help me!’ However Friends, life doesn’t work that way. We need to acknowledge the One who created us and keeps us going in this evil and dangerous world.

So please, when we awaken every morning, let’s give Him some thanks and praise for allowing us to see another beautiful day on earth, and also ask Him to lead and guide us safely through any trials and tribulations that may come against us as we continue our pilgrim’s journey. Starting out the day with God gives us a splendid boost, renews our commitment to Him and allows us to face the world in confidence, without the fear, worry and anxiety that currently permeates it. It is the best remedy for whatever ails us.

And I got this interesting quote from my Friend Anselm a couple of days ago, which I decided to share with you, because it will give us some food for thought. (smile) The quote is attributed to William Faulkner (1897-1962) the famous American writer and Nobel Prize winner. The quote says: ‘It’s a shame that the only thing a man can do for eight hours a day is work. He can’t eat for eight hours; he can’t drink for eight hours; he can’t make love for eight hours. The only thing a man can do for eight hours is work.’

And if you really consider the statement, there is a lot of truth to it. Most of us have just never considered it in such terms before. Many of us even work for longer periods of time than eight hours. Now why did our Creator make us like that eh; only able to do those good things for short periods of time, but be able to perform the anathema of our society, work, for such long periods? Yes Friends, most of dislike work, abhor it even, but we can do it for longer than any other enjoyable task.

I can’t tell you why the Lord designed us like that, possible because He wants us to work more than we indulge ourselves in self-gratification and worldly lusts. But I do know that if we don’t consciously seek Him, we’ll be missing the best protection and guidance available in this crazy and cruel world. And that’s simply not wisdom at all my brethren! Why do you think Bruh David proclaimed so assuredly in our Bit? ‘In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.’  

Bruh David could afford to make such a staunch and confident pronouncement because the Lord had been his keeper and provider from the days of his youth. The Lord had never let him down in his times of need, but had even given him much more than he deserved. He paid the price for his wrongdoings, a steep one too, but the Lord knew that his heart was right towards Him, and thus had mercy on Him.

And Bruh David is not the only psalmist to sing out God’s praises like that. Listen to these praiseworthy words of Psalm 121 – God’s sustaining power. ‘I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills (mountains) from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord which made heaven and earth.  He will not suffer thy foot to be moved (slip): he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is thy keeper (protector)the Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.’ (Ps.121:1-8)

Ah my people, what encouraging words! I didn’t intend to quote the whole psalm, but once I read it, I had no choice because it was so all-encompassing, so true and encouraging, beautifully and loudly singing the praises of our mighty Creator, Protector and Provider.

And just think for a moment Friends, that that same wonderful God whom the Israelites served way back then, is the same God that we serve today. So why would He stop doing those things He did for them long ago, and not do the same for us, if we sincerely serve and worship Him? No reason whatsoever my people!

He stated quite clearly to the Israelites: ‘I am the Lord, I change not: therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.’ (Mal.3:6) And yuh know what my brethren? I think that’s the same reason why we have not been consumed – as yet. But we will be eventually if we keep on being so blatantly ungodly and evil. So we had better say thanks or two to the Lord’s ‘unchangeability!’(smile)

And we’ll end with this wonderful verse of encouragement from Isaiah. ‘Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the Lord hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted.’ (Is.49:13)

Oh Friends, it doesn’t get any better than that, especially since we have seen the fulfillment of that promise by Jesus’ coming to earth, dying to atone for our sins, being resurrected and ascending back to heaven, where He’s now our Chief Priest and Advocate before the Father! Wow!

And all God’s children gave a loud and joyful shout of ‘Glory Hallelujah! All praise be to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit! Long may they reign! Amen!’

Now my fellow believers, let’s go out into the world and do our do for Jesus nuh, with the pride, diligence, excellence and faith that He expects of us, for that’s nothing but heavenly wisdom. Much Love!…without a doubt…working for Jesus…is the best job we can ever get…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 February 2015 Psalm 62:7

Psalm 62:7.  In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.

Well…and like it was suddenly Friday! And the clamour from working people all around the world rose up to high heaven. ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday yes, and we have the weekend to look forward to; to play and party and do whatever we want!’

But Friends, that’s not quite true. Regardless of time, place and opportunity, we still have to put our Creator and Provider, Almighty God FIRST! And to help us do that, let’s chant our Friday Chant.
 
All together now, with true sincerity. ‘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.’
 
Now that’s a little more like it ought to be. So let’s hope it alters our perception in a suitable manner. (smile) And Friends, you know there’s truly no place like home!
 
I got back to the cold North Country around 7 p.m last night and looking out over the city of Toronto from the plane, all I could see was white. Hn! And when I came out of the airport and the first blast of the chilly weather hit me, it sorta rocked my soul.
 
After a month of constant high twenties and low thirty degrees weather, the body was a bit shocked by the minus 17 degrees chill. Lord have mercy! But the human being is such a wonderfully made and adaptable body, that by the time I got home and settled in, it was just like I’d never been away.
 
And here I am once again down in my basement office tapping away at my old desk top listening to the furnace next door, instead of being on my verandah in Lowlands, on my laptop, looking out at the beautiful scenery of flowers, green trees and sky blue seas. Ah Chuh!
 
And this morning when I got up and looked out my bedroom window, all I could see was white…snow everywhere. It was a shock to the system. But life goes on, and I have to get on with the real thing, not the fairy tale one. So it’s back to the daily grind and common task.
 
I have a whole set of mail sitting on my desk to go through eventually, and I’m sure it’s a combination of mostly bills and charities begging for money. What a blessing that I haven’t had to deal with that for a whole month! Glory Hallelujah!
 
But I’m truly tired of these supposed charities begging all the time. And the worst mistake you can make is to give them one time, for after that they constantly bombard you with pleas for assistance.
 
And the sad part is that a lot of the funds received don’t get to where they are supposed to, they are siphoned off to pay the fundraisers, which is now a huge business, and for administrative purposes.
 
But the Lord says to give and you will receive, so we have to give some, just be careful of whom we are giving to and how much. End of sermon! (smile)
 
Now turning to our Bit, which again comes from Psalm 62 – God only is my rock and salvation. Bruh David proclaims it without any doubt or hesitation whatsoever. ‘In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.’
 
And that my people is indisputable, irrevocable, gospel and all other kinds of truth!
 
The Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is indeed our salvation as He has proven through the sacrificial death of His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! He’s also our glory, our strength and refuge! The One to whom we look to for things mighty and majestic, for help in ALL our daily activities, be they big or small.
 
And He certainly is the One we run to when we can’t handle the trials and tribulations of this ungodly world, and where we certainly receive help and succour without any untoward questions asked! What a mighty and wonderful God is our heavenly Father! He is the ONLY ONE who can help and save us in times of trouble!
 
That’s why Bruh David wisely advises us in the next verse: ‘Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us.   Selah.’ (Ps.62:8) More wonderful words of heavenly wisdom and truth my brethren!
 
And the prophet Jeremiah said it this way: ‘A voice was heard upon the high places (bare heights), weeping and supplications of the children of Israel: for they have perverted their way, and they have forgotten the Lord their God. Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings.
 
Behold, we come unto thee; for thou art the Lord our God. Truly in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills, and from the multitude of mountains: truly in the Lord our God is the salvation of Israel.’ (Jer.3:21-23).
 
Oh Friends, it’s uncanny how those same words are so pertinent to our situation in today’s world! For just like Israel back then, we in this current age have indeed forsaken the God of our fathers. That’s why there is so much weeping and gnashing of teeth all over the world.
 
When man turns away in droves from Jehovah God to foolishly follow the lusts of the world, what else can we expect eh? Granted that it is difficult to reject the worldly baubles and bangles and bright shining things of the world when they are constantly pounded in our ears, eyes and minds by the secular advertising entities, using all the psychological tools at their disposal.
 
That’s why my fellow believers it is of the utmost importance that we are very careful in whom and what we watch, read and listen to, for our weak and frail minds are very fallible and gullible to those new fangled ways of Lucifer.
 
And we’ll end with another true and wonderful and confidence building insight on the subject from Bruh David, from Psalm 3 – A prayer of confidence in God. ‘Salvation belongeth unto the Lord: thy blessing is upon thy people.  Selah.’ (Ps.3:8)
 
Oh Friends, please let’s remember those insightful words, and all the others that we’ve spoken about today, as we journey forth into the evil, disgusting world to live for Jesus, for that’s wisdom at its zenith! Much LOVE!
 
…let’s remember that our duty is to…LOVE our God…LIVE our Faith…and SPREAD His Word…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 February 2015 Psalm 62:12

Psalm 62:12.  Also unto thee O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest (rewardeth) to every man according to his work.

 Well… ‘The party’s over my Friends. It’s time to call it a day…’ Chuh! And as the old saying goes, ‘an end to all fine things must be.’Yeh mih people, the ole fella’s stay on Paradise ends today. How heartbreaking! (smile) But them’s the breaks! It’s time to go back and face the real world now, and leave this fairy tale world behind.

‘But I LOVE this fairy tale world,’ I protest. The Lord answers, ‘Yes I know that, but I have other things for you to do right now.’ And as an obedient child of the Father, I quietly acknowledge, ‘Yes Lord, I know, and I will submit to your will and go back and face the cold with faith and trust in your everlasting wisdom and heavenly guidance.’ What else can I say eh my brethren? Nothing really.

Now here is this timely quote from my One More Day Devotional, Daily Meditations for People with Chronic Illness. It is attributed to Eva Rose York (1858 –after 1935) Canadian composer, organist, teacher and editor. One of the first female composers in Canada.

Eva Rose writes: ‘I shall not pass this way again; Then let me now relieve some pain, remove some barrier from the road, or brighten someone’s heavy load.’

Very worthwhile words and sentiments my Friends and fellow believers in Jesus Christ! And that is exactly what we are all called to do; brighten someone’s day, and lighten their load if we can. If it’s only with a smile or a kind word.

And that quote segues very nicely right into our Bit from Psalm 62 – God only is my rock and my salvation, immortal words of praise and thanks from Bruh David to Almighty God. Let’s begin with the verse before our Bit, so that we can get a better idea of the context of the passage.

‘God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God. Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest (rewardeth) to every man according to his work.’

And that’s gospel truth my brethren! We are, and will be rewarded for whatever work we do down here on earth, be it good or bad. And though the Lord is indeed merciful, He will not allow us to get away with continual disobedience, punishment of some kind will be definitely in the offing.

Anyway, I don’t have much time to ramble on this morning, as I have to finish packing, so let’s get straight to some scriptures that uphold the truth of our Bit. (smile) And we’ll begin with the words of Jesus, as He foretells His passion to His disciples.

‘For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.’ (Matt.16:26-27) There you have it Friends, straight from Jesus’ mouth. So if He says so, who are we to doubt it eh?

Now listen to Bruh Paul as he admonishes the church at Rome, as he tells them that to judge others is to condemn oneself. ‘But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds;

To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious (self-seeking), and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile.’ (Rom.2:5-9)

Oh Friends, there it is again in black and white. We will reap what we sow, be greatly rewarded for our good deeds on God’s behalf, and suffer punishment for our unrighteousness. And here are some explanations on those verses from the scholars.

‘2:6. In this parenthetical discourse setting forth the controlling principle of God’s judgment, Paul explains how and why God will judge, and how He can judge both Jew and Gentile and be completely fair in the process. The controlling principle will be according to…deeds because deeds give incontrovertible proof of what is in the heart.’

‘2:7-10. For the regenerate the judgment will result in eternal life; for the unregenerate it will result in indignation and wrath. To the Jew first: Unbelieving Jews will have prominence in condemnation, believing Jews will have prominence in reward.’

And we’ll end with more words of Bruh Paul, this time from his first missive to the Corinthians, who were bickering about whom they should follow, Apollos or Bruh Paul and letting them know instead that Christians are co-labourers.

‘Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his labour. For we are labourers together with God (God’s fellow workers): ye are God’s husbandry (field), ye are God’s building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.’ (1 Cor.3:8-10)

Yes my people, we are all co-workers with God in His ministry of spreading the Word. We might plant and build, but let’s be very careful about why, what and where we plant and build, and above all remember that it is God who grants any increase that we might get. It is not simply of our doing. That is wisdom of the highest order.

So let’s go out today and plant and build in Jesus’ name with the excellence, truth and LOVING-kindness that He expects of His true followers. Much LOVE!

…to work for, and with Jesus…is man’s greatest privilege…and brings forth his greatest joy…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 February 2015 Romans 12:2

Romans 12:2. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

And then it was Wednesday – the middle of the work week, and sadly too my pen-ultimate day in Paradise! And I was just about to go for possibly my last morning work along the shoreline, when strong winds and a sudden shower of rain put paid to that little jaunt. So I began writing the Bit before I intended to.

Ah Friends, it’s been a wonderful time in sweet Tobago! I met so many people and went to so many places, places and people I haven’t seen in donkey years. (smile) Several of them that I never even remembered. And now that it’s drawing to a close, there’s an underlying sadness in my spirit.

But I won’t complain, get greedy, resentful or any of those negative things. Instead I’ll thank the Lord for granting me this wonderful reprieve from the cold! In His great wisdom and mercy, He obviously realized that I needed a break from the harsh, unforgiving weather, and from the exceeding busyness of my usual surroundings. And for that I will be most thankful and grateful!

In, and through the vacation, the Lord has certainly raised the level of my hope, faith and trust in Him! The way certain things came together to make it all possible meant only one thing; that His faithful hand and LOVING –kindness were working on my behalf. And all I can say is: ‘Thank You Lord, thank You!’

Ah mih people, as I keep telling us, the more we put our trust and faith in God, and wait on Him in hungry hope and expectant faith, the more we see of His blessings and great favour. But we have to believe, truly believe, and surrender our entire lives to Him. It’s not always easy to do, especially in the negative and ungodly kind of world in which we’re now living.

But it is essential, if we want to enjoy the peace, LOVE and understanding that He brings to those who put their faithful and undying trust in Him. And the beautiful thing about our magnificent, majestic and magnanimous God is that He WILL help us to understand His ways and means when we sincerely ask for His help to do so.

Which other supposed deity does that eh; put’s you through tests, then helps you work through them? NONE! And that’s because there is no other true, real and living deity besides the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! All the other stuff that man worships, are either inanimate, dead, or will die someday. Only the Holy One of Israel is alive and kicking; has been from day one, and will still be there till eternity!

Oh Friends, I’m chuckling here because I don’t know where all of this is leading to. But with the Lord leading and guiding me, I know that whatever it turns out to be, it will be helpful and useful to somebody who reads it. And unusually, in this dry season, another shower of rain has just come down. I like how the rain’s been falling during my stay here; fall strong for about ten or fifteen seconds, then let up, no continuous downpour.

But enough of my rambling, let’s turn to our wonderful Bit, chocked full of so much wise and wonderful advice from Bruh Paul. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’

Ah mih breddren, those are indeed golden words for us to live by! When we have found God, when Jesus comes to live in our hearts as our personal Lord and Saviour, then we definitely need a do over in our lives, to turn over a new page. New things have to happen in our lives, and some of the old things have to be consciously put aside, because they just don’t fit into the lifestyle of the followers of Jesus.

And don’t worry, the changes won’t happen overnight, for you didn’t become what you are overnight. But the Lord will gradually show you what He wants you to give up, and what He wants you to take up. But to successfully do that, you have to seriously communicate with Him, through prayer, Bible reading and study, and fellowship with other believers.

And what I LOVE about Jesus is that if you don’t understand what’s happening, you can always go to Him and ask about it, and He WILL give you an answer. Not necessarily right away, or in a manner that you like. But an answer will be forthcoming, involving a test of your faith and maturity, dependent on how you react to the answer.

If you react negatively, then it’s your loss. If you react positively, even if you don’t like the answer, then it’s your great gain, it might even be accorded to you as righteousness, as happened with Abraham. But know one thing Friends, our lives in Jesus are one unbroken line of tests.

From the moment we claim to believe, we are entered into a lifelong test; a cycle of ups and downs, zigs and zags, that sometimes seem unnecessary and even painful and unfair.

But fellow believer, if we have put our complete trust in Jesus, we have the faithful promise that in the end, it will all work out for our good. The Lord God is our Creator and Controller, and as such, His thoughts and ways are much higher than ours, and we won’t always understand what He’s all about. In fact we don’t need to understand everything, just trust Him to be our strong fortress, guide and Provider.

That’s where our level of faith comes into play. God deals with us according to the level of our faith, and we must realize that until the day He decides to take us home, our earthly lives will always be bound up in tests, trials and tribulations that we don’t enjoy, or even deserve. But it’s the Lord’s way of remaking us into the image of His Son Jesus!

And that’s what the whole programme is about my brethren – when we look in the mirror, to see Jesus smiling back at us.

And we’ll go home with some words of practical advice on Christian living, on truly living for Jesus from Bruh Paul’s second missive to the Thessalonians. ‘Furthermore then we beseech (urge) you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.

For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication (sexual immorality): That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence (passion of lust), even as the Gentiles, which know not God:

That no man go beyond and defraud (take advantage of ) his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. For God hath not called us into uncleanness, but unto holiness. He therefore that despiseth (rejects), despiseth (rejects) not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his Holy Spirit.’ (1 Thess.4:1-8)

Yes Friends, those are some practical words of advice in living for Jesus! So please let’s consider them today and try to inculcate them in to our daily lives as required nuh. That’s wisdom at its highest level! Much LOVE!

…living for Christ is no easy matter…but the rewards…both earthly and heavenly…are certainly worth it…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 February 2015 Romans 12:2

Romans 12:2. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Ah Friends, it’s Tuesday, and we’re in the last days of our stay in Paradise! And as I gaze out at the wonders of nature, hear the birds and insects sing their songs of praise to their Creator, with the seas at high tide bashing against the rocky shore, I sadly realize that in another couple days I won’t be waking up to this beautiful panorama of God’s making, but to a scene of snow and ice, of cold and darkness.

Ah Lord eh! And the ole heart stutters and flutters as it comes to grip with the great seismic change. (smile) But you know the ole fella will take it in his stride, because that’s where the Lord has me based for the present time. This was only a vacation, a blessed change and reprieve from the uncomfortable aspects of winter in the North Country.

And if I claim to have faith and trust in our omnipotent God, and have surrendered my will to Him, then I have no choice but to grin and bear whatever He allows to come against me, trusting in His faithful promises that He won’t give me more than I can bear, neither will He leave nor forsake me, while working everything out eventually for my good.

Oh my people, what a good and mighty God we serve and worship! And I’ve been walking with Him long enough now to be fully aware and fully cognizant of His everlasting faithfulness. He’s brought me through enough rough situations before, so why should He stop now eh, especially when I’m more faithful to Him now than I’ve ever been?

So although there’s sadness and disappointment in my upcoming departure from God’s Little Acre, I am also bolstered by the fact that my God is able to do whatever He promises, and will provide for me in whatever situation I may be in.

Consequently, I’d like to share this prayer from a devotional titled ‘A Journey of LOVE – Walking with St. Therese of Liseux; the Saint of the Little Flower, who promised to spend her heaven doing good on earth, letting fall a shower of roses as her signature. However Friends, in these very rough and trying times, we shouldn’t wait till we get to heaven to do good on earth, we need to do that RIGHT NOW!

And what better time to begin than in this Lenten season of both intro and retrospection!

Please pray with me: ‘Lord, help me to live always in the light of your presence. Should any darkness challenge my belief and LOVE for you, dispel that darkness so that I might witness to your merciful and gracious LOVE. Grant me the wisdom to confront a secular and egocentric world with your message of care and compassion for all people. We make this prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.’

Yes my people, there’s so much darkness and evil in our current world that it’s only with the omnipotent help of Almighty God, His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit that we can ever hope to dispel and remove them from our lives. And it can ONLY be done through LOVE and compassion! So please let’s come together seriously nuh, and do what we know is meet and right for us to do.

The sad part of the situation is that we full well know what is right, but yet we allow the façade of the world’s false and short lasting beauty to lure us into wrongdoing and ungodly behavior. If we are truly children of God, then we desperately need to be walking according to the dictates of our Bit: ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’

That’s the gospel truth my brethren! And it reminds me of a quote of James Baldwin (1928-1987), the controversial African American novelist, playwright, poet and social critic, who continually reflected on his experience as a black man in white America, penning such insightful works as ‘The Fire Next Time and Another Country.’

Well James is reputed to have said: ‘The future is like heaven – everyone exalts it but no one wants to go there now.’ And that’s a very accurate reflection of Christians nowadays! We all want to live a godly life, but just not yet, first we want to enjoy the pleasures and lusts of the fleshly world.

But Friends we can’t afford to wait one minute longer to live for Jesus, because we don’t know when He’s coming back. It could be today or tomorrow. And if we’re found wanting when He returns, like the five foolish virgins who didn’t prepare for a long wait with extra oil for their lamps, (Matt.25:1-12) we’ll be simply excluded from His train of glory, and forced to spend eternity in Hades with Lucifer, the prince of darkness.

And as I keep reminding us, that my brethren is the worst thing that could ever happen to a human being! So let’s get to it nuh, let’s begin living serious godly lives, putting into effect these wise and true words of Bruh Paul to the Ephesians: ‘That ye put off concerning the former conversation (conduct) the old man, which is corrupt according to deceitful lusts;

And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth to his neighbor: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry and sin not; let not the sun go down upon your wrath; Neither give place to the devil…

Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’ (Eph.4:22-27, 31-32)

Oh my Friends, that’s how we’re supposed to live! Those are just some simple, every day, practical guidelines as to how we can put aside the ‘old man’ and assume ‘the new man,’ in our everyday lives. They’re definitely not very difficult to do, so let’s begin doing them seriously, diligently and Right Now nuh, so that we won’t be caught napping whenever Jesus comes.

Let’s put into effect these memorable words of Jesus. ‘Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.’ (Matt.25:13)

That’s heavenly truth and wisdom my fellow man, words for us to ponder today, and see if we’re ready to receive Jesus, just in case He returns today. Much LOVE!

…to create a better world…it’s essential that we put into effect…LOVE for God…for ourselves…and for our neighbours… plus sincere care and compassion for each other…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 February 2015 Romans 12:2

Romans 12:2.  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Monday, oh Monday, how beautiful you are to me! Monday, oh Monday, how I do LOVE thee!’

No Friends, I’m not under the influence of anything but life – life with Jesus, enjoying the beautiful sunshine and cool breezes blowing across Paradise, with the frothing waves rushing up to the shore as the tide comes in! (smile) The only sad part is that this is my last Monday on Paradise for a while. The cold North Country calleth.

But Friends, we have to like Mondays, because it means that we’re out and about for another week, intermingling with others; other believers, as well as unbelievers, who are ideal, fertile soil on which to sow good seeds for Jesus!

That’s how we ought to be looking at Mondays, or any other day for that matter, instead of being foolishly and selfishly caught up in our own problems, re getting up and making our way to work. Please remember too that in these trying and poor economic times, a whole lot of us don’t have jobs, and thus are suffering serious deprivation and want.

So those of us who have jobs, ought to be very thankful and grateful that we do, rather than indulge in the morbid self-pity that we tend to indulge in on Mondays. Again, I want to remind us that if we treat Sundays, the Lord’s Day, as it is supposed to be treated, then we won’t have any problems rising and shining on Mondays.

But enough with the preaching now, (smile) because many of us still aren’t listening, aren’t buying it, and are yet allowing the wicked ways of the world to hold sway over us. Let’s get to our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to get our adrenaline running.  In loud, harmonious voice now, like the congregation at St. Francis down here does it.

‘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!’

That was good my people! The St. Francis congregation would be proud of us. (smile) Jesus was clapping and tapping too, looking at the Father and smiling, intimating with His look; ‘Yuh see how mih people bright and energetic this Monday morning?’ The Father answered with an indulgent smile, nodding His head in assent.

But He knew that as soon as we got out into the world, we’d allow the ways of the world to confound us. We won’t be following Bruh Paul’s advice in our Bit, as closely as we should. ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’

Yes my people, it’s not all fun and games in this crazy, dangerous and evil world. But we, as believers in Jesus Christ, fortified by His strength, power and guidance can handle whatever comes against us. We just have to keep Jesus at the forefront of our lives.

Now hear this explanation from the Scholars, re ‘Dedication to the Will of God.’ ‘12:1-2. God’s will refers to His purpose for the life of the believer. It implies His guidance or direction in all of life’s decisions. Dedication is an act of surrender or submission to His will for our lives whereby we become a “living sacrifice.” Daily dependence on God results in our transformation into the image of Christ.

Illustration: When we seek to discern the will of God we must also be committed to doing the will of God as it is revealed in the Word of God (John 7:17). Application: The believer should evaluate EVERY decision on the basis of biblical principles, knowing that obedience brings God’s blessing. (First Reference, Gen. 22:12; Primary Reference, Rom. 12:1).’

Yes Friends, ALL the decisions we make should first be tested against God’s Word, regardless of whether they are very big or very small! Remember too that oft times it’s the small, seemingly unimportant decisions that start our trending away from God’s Word and His Will for our lives.

And we’ll end with these immortal words of gospel truth from John. ‘LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.’ (1 John 2:15-17)  

And here are some explanations from the scholars. ‘2:15. LOVE not the world is a command implying that action now in progress must cease: “Stop LOVING the world!” There is, of course, one sense in which Christians should LOVE the world, since God Himself did and does (John 3:16). But in the sense of pledging personal loyalty and devotion of one’s whole being and means, Christians are to “LOVE” God first and foremost (Deut. 6:5; Mark 12:30).’ ‘2:16. World for John signifies the evil desire and sin so much a part of human existence.’

What else can I add to all that eh mih bredddren? Nothing really. Except to tell us to pay serious attention to all that’s been said, if we truly want to dwell with Jesus in eternity. Much LOVE!

…the baubles and bangles, the wealth of this world…are of NO use even in Hades…much less in heaven…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 February 2015 Romans 12:2

Romans 12:2. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Well Friends and fellow believers in Jesus Christ, once again the cycle of 7 days morphing into a week has begun. This is the day of the Lord, the first day of the week, and to show proper respect and our grateful appreciation for His goodness and LOVING-kindness last week, and this coming week, we ought to go to His sanctuary and offer up praise, worship and thanksgiving with other believers and receive the strength, encouragement and confidence to face another week in this mish-mash, predominantly ungodly world.

I already had my churching for today. And Friends, the ole fella read the scripture in church and shook my tambourine with much pleasure. Mama Mia! I like this church. It doesn’t seem to have a choir or organ, but they have an African drum and tambourines and the voices really are loud and proud, filling up the whole church with prayers, praises, songs of worship and thanksgiving!

And the female lay reader preached a mighty powerful sermon this morning on the meaning of Lent; a time for introspection, for growing, for giving up things of the world, so that we can get closer to God. And as usual, I saw people from my youth, people I have not seen in many a day. I guess there’s no place I can go in Tobago without meeting someone who knows me, my, mother, my father or my grandfather.

Unfortunately it will be my last visit on this trip. Next Sunday I’ll be back in my cold St. Francis church back in the North Country, but it’s only the surroundings that are cold, the people are warm and lovely and friendly! Hi there my people back at St. Francis! I missed you all, but not the cold weather. (smile)

And since Lent is a time for us to grow in the nature and image of Christ, this morning when I read this most appropriate passage from The One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, I obviously couldn’t pass it up. It’s titled ‘Grow Up.

And it says: ‘Picture with me: a piece of gnarled bark tossed to and fro over the crashing breakers. First one direction, then another, back and forth, over and under. Aimless. No set purpose. Drifting… always drifting. What an accurate picture of an immature Christian. Nothing but spiritual puttering. Up and down, in and out. One study group for a few weeks, then another. One church for a while, then another.

Undisciplined, unsteady, one day soaring, the next day wading in self-pity. No consistency. The apostle Paul tells us to grow up! Not grow older, but grow up into Christ. What we are today is more important to God than what we were yesterday. Our life journey with Jesus is now – this very day, this very hour. Why yearn for change if we’ve made no effort to follow the direction God has already given us?

To grow spiritually we must be single-minded. Our one goal? To be conformed to the image of Christ. He longs for our willingness to let Him root us, cultivate us, water us. Above all, God wants our total commitment. He will take anything we give Him, except second place.’

Oh my people, those are such moving words of truth that I don’t see how we can ignore them if we truly want to be a mature Christian. Like everything else in this world, it takes, diligence, patience, perseverance, endurance, faith, prayer and the sweat of our brow to grow, to come up higher in Christ too. That means we can’t be wishy-washy and wavering, sitting on the fence, jumping down to one side or the other as the fancy takes us, or where the grass seems greenest.

And the promise for that passage is our inimitable Bit, memorable words from Bruh Paul to the Corinthians. And we’ll start with the first verse of the chapter. ‘I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable (rational) service.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ (Rom.12:1-2)

Oh Friends, that is the perfect recipe for the wandering, wavering, wishy-washy Christian! In fact for any Christian at all, because that’s how we become true children of God, reflecting the true image and character of Jesus Christ, which is God’s eternal plan. And the scholars have some very good explanations on those verses, so let’s check them out.

’12:1. By the mercies of God summarizes all that God has accomplished for the believer in Romans 1-11 in justifying the believer (chs. 1-5), enabling the believer to live a righteous life (chs 6-8), and being faithful to Israel (chs 9-11). That ye present refers to a definite act of presentation. The verb is used of offering a sacrifice that became “holy” under the Levitical system (cf. Ex.29:37).

This shows that the Christian life begins with total commitment and irrevocable presentation. Your bodies: The body has been an instrument of sin (ch 6). Now it is to be presented to God as a channel through which the righteousness of God is manifested.’

12:2. Be not conformed (lit. “stop conforming yourselves”). They are to resist being poured into the mould of the present thinking, value systems, and conduct of this world. This term is used only here and in 1 Peter 1:14.’

Oh my brethren, that last sentence says it all! We supposed Christians, followers of Christ are being too influenced by the mores, vales and conduct of this evil and ungodly world. So how can we expect to be true Christians when we’re not following the will and work of Jesus Christ eh?

That’s why so many unbelievers look down on us with scorn and serious misgiving, comparing us to the hypocrite Pharisees of Jesus’ time and thus refuse to attend church or commit their lives to Jesus. And they’re quite right too! How can we expect people to join something that’s so conflicted, divisive and two-faced?

In other words Friends, we’re not helping God’s cause with that kind of behavior, but driving it into the ground. And there’s no better time than this Lenten Season to check ourselves and see where we may be coming up short for Jesus, and seriously communicate with Him to help us change, grow, mature, and thus do better in furthering His glorious kingdom.

So let’s concentrate on that today nuh my people, for all of us can use God’s help to improve our earthly witness. Much LOVE!

…the best testimony for Jesus…is through our true and righteous lives…anything less is not good enough…

 

 

 

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