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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 July 2015 Psalm 139:1‏

Psalm 139:12.  O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.

Oh Friends, it’s ‘Summertime, And the livin’ is easy. Fish are jumpin’, And the cotton is high. Oh your daddy’s rich, and your mama’s good looking, So hush little baby, Don’t you cry.’

Yes Friends, let’s live the words of the Gershwin Brothers lyrics and not cry and complain because it’s the time of year we so avidly look forward to; summer. The days are hot and sticky, but we’re thankful it’s not freezing and we have to dress up in several layers of clothes and spend so much time inside.

And it’s certainly amusing and thought-provoking the way the weather plays on our emotions and our responses to each season. In winter we’re somewhat dour and sour (smile).

Then when spring comes along we lighten up some, a rebirth of enthusiasm seems to take place. As the cooler winds blow and the trees come out in their spring green colours, we begin to get lively with all sorts of dreams being born.

And when the big one hits, when summer finally rolls around, oh we just get crazy and let it all hang out. But not for very long though, because as fall, as autumn rolls in, the trees soon start losing their leaves, although they first provide us with some beautiful fall colours, but a depressive mood creeps in.

Then when the first snowfall hits… Chuh! We get sad and morose again thinking about the long, cold, dreary days and nights of winter and long to get away to somewhere warm and sunny. Hn, hn!

What a life mih people! But it’s ours and we’ll be foolish not to enjoy it as much as we can, for remember Jesus said that He came to give us life, and that more abundantly. (John 10:10)

So regardless of the temperature or the kind of weather we’re currently enjoying, please, let’s go out everyday and enjoy it to the best of our ability, knowing and believing that it’s another beautiful gift from God, and that He has something important planned for our day, that’s why we’re still alive. End of sermon! (smile)

And since today is Wednesday, let’s wail on nuh. Please wail with me. ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home.

My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’

And that’s exactly how it ought to be my brethren! Our focus should always be on Jesus, for He is indeed the Way, the Truth, the Life and the Light of our salvation. Glory to God!

And we’ll continue today with our Bit from that beautiful Psalm 139 –The everlasting presence and power of God. ‘O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.’ Yes Friends, our God knows all about us, as intimately as we can be known, because He created us, formed us in our mother’s womb, and we are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made.’

And Bruh David reminds us of that, as we continue from where we left off yesterday. ‘My substance (frame) was not hid from thee when I was made in secret, and curiously (skillfully) wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect (unformed); and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned (the days fashioned for me) when as yet there were none.

How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.’ (Ps.139:15-18)

Yes Friends, our God planned, designed and formed us, writing the details of our members in His book before they even existed, even before they began forming. Then He sat and LOVINGLY watched us grow in our mother’s wombs. Isn’t He just a marvellous Deity? He surely is!

Now the scholars grace us with some info on the Comparative Attributes of God as it pertains to Psalm 139, and I would be greatly amiss if I didn’t share it with you.

‘Psalm 139. The comparative attributes of God contrast human abilities with the divine nature. Everyone has some knowledge, but only God has all knowledge (omniscience). Everyone has presence, but only God has presence at all times everywhere (omnipresence). Every person has some degree of power, but only God has unlimited power (omnipotence).

Illustration: Psalm 139 lays a foundation for understanding the comparative attributes. The omniscience of God is seen in verses 1-6. The omnipresence of God is seen in verses 7-11. The omnipotence of God is seen in verses 12-16.

Application: A Christian’s response to the comparative attributes of God should be to surrender to His leadership because He is wise, He is able to protect us, and He knows the true way to life with Himself. (First Ref. Gen.3:8; Primary Ref. Ps.139:1; cf. Eph.1:8).’

So Friends, it is only sane and sensible that we hand over leadership of our lives to the One who created us and controls our days and destiny down here on this earth, and through salvation in heaven, or death and destruction in hell, till eternity. Nothing else makes sense, since we can’t control much of what happens to us.

And we’ll close with some more wise and telling words from Bruh David. ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my (anxious) thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’ (Ps.139:23-24)

Ah mih people, let’s do that this morning nuh… Let’s cry out to God to search our hearts and minds and clean us up and lead us on the straight and narrow nuh. For that is indeed wisdom at its zenith! Much LOVE!

…the smartest bet we can ever make…is to put all our hopes and dreams on Jesus…to WIN…no show or place bets…because Jesus is indeed the irrevocable, irreversible and ultimate WINNER…Glory to God…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 July 2015 Psalm 139:1

Psalm 139:12.    O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.

Aye Friends, believe it or not, it’s Tuesday! And it’s supposed to be another scorcher, making this old B.B King cover tune rather appropriate: ‘Hot town, summer in the city. Back of my neck feeling dirty and gritty. Cool cat, looking for a kitty. Gonna look in every corner of the city.’

 

Yeh my people, it’s summertime, summertime, summertime! (smile) The time when the great outdoors calls to man; man who lives in the northern climes. That means the hot rods, the motorbikes, the close to naked people in the streets, the parks, the playgrounds and around the filled pools, the endless barbecues, tanning and beach gatherings are all in full swing.

Beer is being swilled by the gallon, and all the unhealthy foods are being consumed with pleasure. Why not? It’s summer! Cottage country is hopping with all the city slickers spending time and money in the more rural areas of the land. 

But please remember Friends, Almighty God is still on His throne, in full control and His eyes are on us wherever we go. So He’s till showering us with His blessings of mercy and grace and forgiveness, but also keeping a close eye on our obedience to His will.

So though you are somewhere in the backwoods of the country, the Lord’s watchful presence is ALWAYS with you. Wherever you are, He’s always close by. Never forget that!

And to go along with that all-world truth, here is this gem from my P.S. I LOVE YOU Poster. ‘No one is guaranteed happiness. Life just gives us time and space. It’s up to us to fill it with joy and meaning.’

And yuh better believe that’s the living truth my brethren! Life doesn’t guarantee us anything, not even life itself, for the breath of life can be withdrawn at any time, without even a moment’s notice. So it is essential that we pay close attention to all that we do and say.

But the beautiful part of life for Christians is that we have a wonderful Father God, a knowing and understanding Lord and Saviour in Jesus Christ, and a blessed guiding and helping Holy Spirit to help us find that joy and meaning. Glory to God! Hallelujah!

What a bam bam this life would have been without the Holy Trinity to keep us focused and well grounded! That’s why Bruh David could excitedly declare in our Bit from Psalm 139, one of my favourites – The everlasting presence and power of God. ‘O Lord, thou hast searched me and known me.’

More words of eternal truth my people! The Lord made us and knows us to a ‘T.’ As Bruh David continues: ‘Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising; thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compasseth (comprehendeth) my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.

For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it all together. Thou hast beset (enclosed or hedged) me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.’(Ps.139:2-6)

Ah mih people, I don’t know why some of us still foolishly try to hide from God nuh, when He knows everything there is to know about us. He even knows stuff about us that we don’t know. That’s because He is the Creator and Controller of all things and people on Planet Earth.

Hear how Bruh David puts it. ‘Whither shall (can) I go from thy spirit? Or whither shall (can) I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

If I say, surely the darkness shall cover (fall on me); even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee (darkness is not darkness to you); but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

For thou hast possessed my reins (formed my inward parts): thou hast covered (weaved) me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right (very) well.’ (Ps.139:7-14)

Oh Friends, what beautiful imagery woven into that indisputable truth! I can still remember, and will to the end of my days, when the Psalm first caught my attention. It was one Sunday, several years ago, on the Hour of Power, when I heard Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) read it from the pulpit of the Crystal Cathedral!

Oh Friends, it was one of the most expressive and passionate pieces of scripture that I’ve ever heard read! And those of you who knew him, know how passionate he was about life in general, but his passion especially soared when he read the scriptures, he acted it our like I’ve never seen anybody else do.

So my people, what do we have to say to Bruh David’s treatise on the everlasting presence and power of Jehovah God eh? Do we agree on it all? We should, because it’s all gospel truth.

And we’ll close today with this summary from the scholars. ‘Psalm 139. Certainly one of the grandest psalms in all of the Psalter, it is also one of the richest theologically. It combines an exposition of the greatness of God’s character with the reality of human experience.

From verses 19-22 we find that David wrote the psalm during a time of opposition. It therefore contains truths that were meaningful to him during these troublesome times. They may be summarized under four key thoughts as David addresses the Lord: You know me (vv. 1-6), You are with me (vv. 7-12), You created me (vv.13-18), and Your cause is my cause (vv.19-24).’

Ah mih breddren, how awesome is the God we serve and worship, and how heartrending and soul searching are Bruh David’s words to describe Him!

I strongly suggest that we all sit down today and read the psalm in its entirety and let it refill, let it renew our thoughts about God and increase our LOVE for, and joy in Him! Hn! If that isn’t heavenly wisdom, then I don’t know what is. Much LOVE!

…how can we not LOVE and revere God eh…especially when we read those beautiful descriptions of Him in scripture…it just touches the longing soul…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 July 2015 Proverbs 2:6

Proverbs 2:6.  For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.

Oh Friends, it’s Monday, and like summer has finally hit these parts! The last couple of days have been fairly warm and this week, Caribana week in T.O. is supposed to be sweltering. Thank God that the Pan Am games are now over, and the temporary HOV lanes on the highways which needed a special permit or three people in a vehicle to use them, will be once again opened for ordinary traffic. Now we can go back to our normal traffic congestion. (smile)

This should indeed be a good summer for tourism in Toronto, what with all the visitors for the games, and all those coming for Caribana, or rather to give it its official title, Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival Toronto. Steups! It’s all in the litigation over the use of the Caribana name. But I guarantee you, that as long as this festival goes on, it will always be called Caribana by the masses.

Anyway, despite all the games and the partying in the offing, the ordinary people still have to go to work this Monday morning, so to give us some encouragement, let’s sing a lusty and vigorous rendition of our Monday Morning Battle Hymn.

All together now: ‘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!’

Good going Friends! Our choir conductor Jesus was well pleased. But let’s see if we can also please Him by seriously considering the words of Cousin Sol in our Bit and writing them indelibly in our hearts minds and souls nuh. ‘For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh wisdom and understanding.’

Yes my people, that’s where true wisdom comes from; the Lord God Almighty!  And Cousin Sol continues: ‘He layeth up (stores up) sound wisdom for the righteous; he is a buckler (shield) to them that walk uprightly. He keepeth the paths of judgement (guards the paths of justice), and preserveth the way of his saints. Then shalt thou understand righteousness; and judgement (justice), and equity; yea, every good path.’ (Prov.2:7-9)

Yeh my brethren, only by honing in on the wisdom of Jehovah God, and not the wisdom of the world, can one truly understand things like righteousness, justice and equity. For He is the architect and creator of this great universe, the only source, the true fountainhead of all that pertains to it. And if we study the great and wonderful workings of man and nature, we will see that His knowledge and wisdom are both literally and figuratively out of this world. (smile)

That’s why James tells us: ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not (without reproach); and it shall be given him.’ (James 1:5)

However Friends, there is an important proviso to James’ words. ‘But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (not doubting). For he that wavereth (doubts) is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.’ (James 1:6-8)

Ah Friends, words of indisputable truth! God will give us all the wisdom we desire if we come to Him in serious and sincere faith. And one of the best examples of that is in Cousin Sol’s own story. After Bruh David’s death, the Lord made him king over Israel, but he was still fairly young and had no real experience in governing, so when the Lord appeared to him one night in a dream and asked what he could give him,

Cousin Sol’s request was simply: ‘Now, O Lord God, let thy promise unto David my father be established: for thou hast made me king over a people like the dust of the earth in multitude (as numerous as the dust of the earth). Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people: for who can judge this thy people, that is so great?

And God said to Solomon, Because this was in thine heart, and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, or honour, nor the life of thine enemies, neither yet hast asked long life; but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge my people, over whom I have made thee king: Wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee; and I will give thee riches, and wealth, and honour, such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like.’ (1 Chr.1:9-12)

No wonder my people that Cousin Sol was so wise and wealthy! That’s how our great God operates, even to this day! Whatever you come to Him for in faith and sincerity, once it falls under His will, He will most likely grant it in His time. But you have to believe, to see it all through your eyes of faith.

Now let’s go out into the evil world that surround us and fight the good fight for Jesus, sincerely asking for the wherewithal to successfully engage the enemy. For that my Friends, is the undisputed wisdom of heaven, and of God. Much LOVE!

…whatever our heart’s desire…be wise…and take it to the Lord in prayer…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 July 2015 Revelation 3:15

Revelation 3:15.    I know thy works, that thou art neither cold or hot: I would (wish) that thou wert (were) cold or hot.

Oh Friends, oh Friends, it’s Sunday once again! Time to gather in fellowship; to sing, praise, worship and give thanks to our magnificent Creator and heavenly Father. Wow! Isn’t that amazing? It surely is!

Oh I know some of you might think what’s all the fuss about? But if you have the blessings and the promises and faithfulness and all the other good stuff that stems from Jesus’ demise and then His ultimate resurrection, how can you not be joyful, ecstatic and passionate about your faith eh?

Unfortunately we supposed believers are not a very passionate lot. We treat our faith as though it wasn’t that important. But wait until we get a new car, a new house, or some such worldly stuff that will eventually rot and be destroyed, we jump for joy and carry on. But for the mercies, forgiveness of our abominable sins and the blessings that the Lord pours down on us every day, we are lukewarm and indifferent.

However my people, those are the things that we should be joyful and expressive about. Nothing in this evil and ungodly world will ever beat those heavenly things. So let’s show some passion about our faith nuh, let’s talk it up, live it up, enjoy it and behave like we truly appreciate it, for remember, the joy of the Lord is our strength. So if we don’t have joy in God, then we won’t be strong and useful. It’s as simple as that my people.

We are behaving just like the church at Laodicea, to whom Jesus sent this message in our Bit. ‘I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would (wish) thou wert (were) cold or hot.’

Yeh Friends, it’s the same message that Jesus is sending us today, for we’re neither hot nor cold, just sort of indifferent, kind of doh-care, sitting on the fence trying to play both ends against the middle. But my brethren that attitude, that modus operandi seldom ever works positively, but negatively most of the time. We have to stand up and choose a side, else we’ll be levelled by both.

Now here’s a little history on Laodicea per the scholars. ‘3:14. Laodicea was located about 50 miles southeast of Philadelphia, in the Lycus River valley near Colossae and Hierapolis (cf. Col.4:13-16). Its name means “People Ruling,” and represents the unbelieving, materialistic church of all ages…’

Ah Friends, we can certainly fall under that heading, because we don’t behave like we truly believe and we’re extremely materialistic. And consequently, the message from Jesus continues: ‘So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew (spit or vomit) thee out of my mouth.’ (Rev.3:16)

Now my people, we don’t want Christ to spit us out or regurgitate us, do we? Certainly not! For if He does that, we won’t have a relationship with Him again, and thus lose all the blessings and other wonderful things that He represents.

And the scholars have this to say about those last two verses. ‘3:15-16. The church is likened to lukewarm, or as being virtually worthless. Christ says He will “spew them out,” or eject them from His company. The hot waters of nearby Hierapolis were known for their medicinal qualities, whereas Colossae was known for its cold, pure water. But Laodicea was forced to receive water by aqueduct from other areas.

By the time it arrived in Laodicea it was lukewarm and provoked nausea. The works of the Laodicean church were as worthless as the city’s lukewarm water. The description does not refer to a backslidden condition, but rather to their lack of genuine faith.’ 

Oh Friends, does that sound like our church today? Sadly I will have to answer yes. To a great extent the church has lost its way. We no longer practice what Christ taught, plus there are too many denominations, divisions, petty differences and grievances and consequently not sufficient unity and togetherness to make a worthwhile assault on the enemy.

And we obviously can’t make any inroads against enemy since we’re not seeking first the kingdom of God and its righteousness as Jesus directed in the Sermon on the Mount. But instead we are too taken up with the things of the world, rather than the things of God. Our faith is not demonstrated in the way we live our lives, that’s why the heathen, the unbeliever, mocks and scorns us and calls us hypocrites and are not interested in coming to Jesus.

As I keep telling us friends, examples speak more forcibly than words. So if we sincerely want people to come to Jesus, then we have to begin living the truth, with passion and sincerity, and not the lie that so many of us live nowadays.

Now hear how Jesus puts it. ‘Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods (have become wealthy), and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind and naked. I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire (refined), that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment (garments), that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear (may not be revealed), and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I LOVE, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous therefore, and repent.’ (Rev.3:17-19)

And the scholars explain all of that thus. ‘3:17-19. Laodicea was famous for its wealth, its bankers, its medical school, its popular eyesalve, and its textile industry. Christ says that spiritually the people of the church are poor, blind, and naked. True wealth is found only in God’s grace. This church had no spiritual value (gold), virtue (white raiment), or vision (eyesalve). He urges the Laodiceans to repent of their lack of genuine faith and of spiritual understanding.’

Ah mih people, what’s left to be said eh? Nothing really, because we are behaving just like the Laodiceans. We talk a lot, but don’t have the serious actions to back it up. And we are definitely showing more interest in the material things of the world than the spiritual things of heaven. Please remember Friends that the things of the world will rot and be destroyed, they will pass away, but the things of heaven don’t rot, and will never pass away. Much LOVE!

…he that hath an ear…let him hear…what the Spirit saith unto the churches… (Rev.3:22)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 July 2015 Proverbs 17:17‏

Proverbs 17:17.  A friend LOVETH at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Ah Friends, one more day, one more day on God’s planet earth this Saturday morning! Praise the Lord! He allocates them one at a time, which means we have to enjoy each one as it comes along, because we don’t know if we will see another one tomorrow. In His infinite wisdom He might just decide that we have enjoyed enough of His breath of life down here, and it’s time to move on to higher matters and heights.

So please, let’s all give our Creator, Provider and heavenly Father a rousing shout of ‘Thank You Lord! Thank You for Jesus and all that You have done for us unworthy humans. We are Your creation and though we rebelled against You, Your LOVE for us was so great, You found a way through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross at Calvary to reconcile us to You. We can never repay Your LOVING-kindness, but we will be forever grateful! Thank You Lord! We LOVE You and Praise Your Holy Name!’

Yes my people, it’s ever so wonderful to serve and worship such a magnificent and magnanimous God!

Now here is a quote attributed to one of our early church fathers, St. John Chrysostom (349-407). He was born in Antioch and became the Bishop of Constantinople. Constantinople was founded by the Roman emperor Constantine on the already existing city of Byzantium, part of the Byzantine Empire. It is now known as Istanbul, part of modern day Turkey.  

St. John was well known for his writings, public speaking and influence on church affairs, including his denunciation of abuse of authority by both ecclesiastical and political leaders.  Anyway, his quote says: ‘A friend is clearer than the light of heaven, for it would be better for us that the sun were extinguished than that we should be without friends.’

Ah mih breddren, I don’t know if I would go so far nuh, (smile) but Friends definitely are useful and necessary, especially in these very trying and deceitful times. And according to my One More Day Devotional for People with Chronic Illness: ‘Friendship is our greatest achievement and reward. Our friends are people to care about, celebrate with, and count on.

Within the closest friendships we find the best of each other at all times. Friendships enrich our lives… It is no accident that we become close and maintain our contact. We offer help and hope. We share each other’s pain and enhance each other’s growth. We appreciate our friend’s unique qualities.’

It’s all true my people, but it’s ever so hard to find one of those real friends nowadays, where distrust, deceit, fraud and all kinds of evil are rising to the forefront of our society, where trust is no longer the rule, but rather the exception. 

All of that eventually brings us to our Bit. ‘A friend LOVETH at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.’ What awesome truth my people! And how lucky, or rather blessed we are, if we can find even one person to fit that bill in our earthly lives!

The scholars explain it thus: ‘17:17. A true friend has unquenchable LOVE that is not diminished by adversity.’

Ah Friends, do we have that kind of LOVE for anyone in our lives, or does anyone have that kind of LOVE for us? I certainly do hope so, otherwise we’re missing out on a most important part of life.

And what I want to do now is to quote some scripture from Proverbs, where Cousin Sol writes a lot about friends and friendships. Don’t know how many we’ll get in, because there quite a few. We’ll do it by chapters, beginning with 14. ‘The poor is hated even of (by) his own neighbour: but the rich hath many friends (the LOVERS of the rich are many.’ (Prov.14:20) And that’s gospel truth!

The scholars put it this way. ‘14:20. Social standing is improved with riches, but the good neighbour will have concern for all, regardless of their status.’ That’s how it’s supposed to be, but there aren’t a whole lot of good neighbors around these days nuh.

In Chapter 16, Sol writes: ‘A froward (perverse) man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief (the best of) friends.’ (Prov.16:28)

And the scholars simply say of this: ‘16:28. Gossip destroys friendships.’

Now we all know that is an indisputable truth since we all have experienced it to some extent. And it hurts like the dickens!

And in chapter 17, early on, Sol says almost the same thing. ‘He that covereth a transgression seeketh LOVE; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very (the best of) friends.’ (Prov.17:9)

Now that’s the real difference between a true friend and an imposter! One will keep quiet about certain private matters, while the other will go and broadcast them to the world.

Meanwhile in chapter 18, Sol pens this highly interesting and oh so true proverb. ‘A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.’ (Prov.18:24)

Now that doesn’t mean exactly what it says. Listen to the scholars. ‘18:24. A man that hath many friends must show himself friendly may also be translated, “A man of many friends comes to ruin.” In other words, a man must not spread himself too thin among many superficial relationships. Far better it is to have (a few) genuine friends who become like family and LOVE at all times (17:17).’ 

And isn’t that the unfortunate truth my brethren! We all know of people who have suffered irreparable damage by having too many hangers on in their lives. Celebrities are a very good example of that. Some of us might even have experienced it.

And these last two come from chapter 27. ‘Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.’ (Prov.27:6)

Hear the scholars: ‘27:6. True criticism from a friend may hurt for a time but may be welcomed, for it issues from his LOVE, whereas the kisses of an enemy are an attempt to conceal his hatred.’

And last but definitely not least: ‘Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.’ (Prov.27:17)

And the scholars explain that thus. ‘27:17. As the proper tool shapes and sharpens iron for its desired use, so a man sharpens his friend morally and intellectually by their personal friendship.’

Now that is the kind of friends we need in these last desperate days! Oh my people, I do hope now that we have a better understanding of what true friendship is all about. So let’s put that understanding into practice nuh, but carefully, for easy does it. Much LOVE!

…I bring myself honestly to my friendships…  (One More Day Devotional).

 

 

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