Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 January 2016 Psalm 40:4‏‏

Psalm 40:4.   Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

Oh friends, it’s Sunday! That means it’s church time!

Now please, no simpering excuses why you can’t attend. Remember Jesus said wherever two or three are gathered together He will be there. So please, let’s gather nuh, in great numbers too, because it’s also true that there is strength in numbers, and worshipping God together brings more benefits than if we continually try to go it alone.

Anyway, as true believers, it is our duty to gather in the Lord’s house and send up our thanks and praise and receive His blessings, encouragement, and strength to face another day and another week. We also need to mix and mingle with other Christians, hear their stories, share ours, encourage each other and thus grow in the faith.

That’s the only way we will ever truly mature in Christ. It simply cannot be done alone and/or in private! End of sermon!

Hn! But I’m now thinking why do we have to beg Christians to go to church eh? I mean it’s a part of their faith, the Good Book requires it, wherever Jesus was, He made sure that He attended the synagogue on the Sabbath day. So why are we so anti church eh?

Is it just pure laziness, or is there a deeper reason? I don’t know nuh friends, and I refuse to speculate. All I can do is encourage us to go, and to do so myself. And one of the reasons I’m up so early this morning, is so that I can write the Bit before I go to church. You know I hate the late Bits, even though occasionally I do indulge. (smile)

And today is Harvest Sunday up at St. Patrick’s in Mt. Pleasant! Glory be! All like that friends, where we are supposed to offer our first fruits to God, how can we do it when we’re absent from church eh?

When I was growing up we excitedly looked forward to Harvest Sunday, and more so the Monday after, when school was closed and all the produce was set up there to be sold. I doubt today’s children would have any interest in such mundane things. Thank the Lord I was born when and where I was yes!

But let us move on to the matter at hand, our Bit. ‘Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.’

Ah mih people, trust is such an important thing in our everyday lives. We trust that when we turn the switch, the lights will come on, the cell phone will also come on so that we can text. And when we turn on the tap, we expect to see water flowing out.

We trust all these man-made things, especially computers now, where our entire life is somehow tied to the man-made system, but we have problems trusting Almighty God; the Creator and Provider of EVERYTHING we have and enjoy.

Why do you think the psalmist so adamantly declared? ‘It is better to put your trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.’ (Ps.118:8-9)

Because man is untrustworthy! And all of us have suffered some sort of deceit or untrustworthiness at the hand of men at some stage in our lives, but yet we continue to trust them! However, the great and ever-LOVING and faithful God, who has never let us down or deceived us, we are rather reluctant to trust.

Hn! That just doesn’t compute my brethren. It makes no sense whatsoever. No wonder so many of our prayers go unanswered! The Lord looks at our hearts and sees that they are not truly right. Deep down our motives are wrong, we’re selfish and just want to grab the lusts of our flesh and do our own thing.

And if you don’t believe me, listen to the psalmist in Psalm 146 – The blessedness of trusting God. ‘Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth (his spirit departs), he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God.’ (Ps.146:3-5)

Yes friends, even man’s breath of life is not his to control! One minute he’s here, then the next his life is extinguished and he returns to the earth from which he was formed. So why do we insist on trusting him above the One who made him eh?

Good question that? One which I can’t answer with any certainty, so I won’t try. I can just give us scriptures that will help us to trust in the Lord. So let’s start with the wisdom of Cousin Sol from Proverbs.

‘He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the Lord shall be made fat (prosperous). He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.’ (Prov.28:26-27)

And believe me my people, we can only walk wisely when we walk with the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! Without His eternal guidance we’re just like lost sheep wandering in the wilderness.

Now listen to Bruh David as in Psalm 143, he desires of God – Teach me to do thy will. ‘Hear (answer) me speedily, O Lord; my spirit faileth: hide not thy face from me, lest I be (become) like unto them that go down into the pit. Cause me to hear thy LOVING-kindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.’ (Ps.143:7-8)

Yes my fellow believers in Christ, until we truly start not only believing and trusting God to direct our lives, but more so letting go, so that He can have free rein, we will forever be hampered and confused in our earthly sojourn. Much LOVE!

…truly trusting God…means to completely let go…and let Him do His thing in our lives…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 January 2016 Psalm 40:4‏

Psalm 40:4.     Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

Oh Friends, from my little cottage in Riseland Tobago, I’m coming to you with the LOVING-kindness of the Lord! Please note that it is not merely my LOVING-kindness but the Lord’s, which means it’s the hardest and the baddest! (smile)

And how can it not be eh, since it comes from the very source of that wonderful emotion? So please enjoy it this Saturday morning because that’s why it’s being brought to you. Moreover, it will be downright sinful if you abuse it and not use it to the fullest. Nuff said!

Ah mih people, I don’t want to continually harp on the beauty of my surroundings, because I know it can breed envy and jealousy, but I just can’t help it, especially since I’ve just returned from what I hope will be my everyday constitutional while I’m here.

I’m talking about a walk up and down the grassy edge of the property, watching the beautiful, well-tended flora and seeing the wind-driven waves of the sea crash ‘suicidally’ against the rocks on the shore. The walk is only a few hundred yards long, but that’s enough for now.

As per yesterday’s activities, I didn’t do much, and you already know I went to the market, to the bank, wrote the Bit, then had my dip in my waterhole, went to get my black pudding, which will be coming up for lunch or whatever after I’m done here.

Oh friends, I can already smell and taste the tantalizing, mouthwatering aroma, although it’s still in the fridge. (smile) Then we just sat out on the porch enjoying the night, listening to some music, chilling, as the young people would say, since the t.v. is still not working.

Imagine that nuh; the duchess going three whole days with no t.v. But give her credit, she’s not complaining, but making do with her other toys.

Oh by the way, there’s one story I want to share from my market experience yesterday. At one stage I was standing on a walkway with a couple of other men when this older chap came up and began talking to them.

All of a sudden though he exclaimed: ‘But how the market so quiet eh? Forty years ago it wasn’t like that at all nuh! Then everybody would come and buy their foodstuff and cook their own food. But now nobody doh cook again, they all buying cooked food. But me, I still cook my own food yes! I have to look after my colon oui!’

But all joking aside friends, the gentleman was quite right. Forty years ago there wasn’t as many restaurants and such that sold cooked West Indian food. However, today they abound on almost every street corner.

I myself was amazed when I first came back four years ago to see so many establishments. In all my years growing up in Tobago, I don’t remember ever once purchasing cooked food, don’t even remember there being a place to purchase it much less. But I guess that’s the new style, progress they call it.

Anyway, moving on, there’s an insight I want to share with you from the Daily Bread Devotional from yesterday’s reading, which was taken from the first Book of Kings 4:29-34, re Cousin Sol’s wisdom. Those of you who read Our Daily Bread would have already seen it, but it’s useful to read it again.

The writer is one J.R. Hudberg, and he declares: ‘There is a subtle but important difference between intelligence and wisdom. Both of them are desirable; both of them important; both require diligence and discipline to acquire and exercise.

However, wisdom is often considered the appropriate application of intelligence. Knowing something is one thing; being able to act well on what you know is another. As Solomon shows, intelligence can be demonstrated by speech, but wisdom is demonstrated by both speech and action.’

And isn’t that the gospel truth my people! That’s what Christianity is all about; good speech and even better action!

But unfortunately, we can’t do either without the help of our great God, as attested to in our Bit. ‘Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.’

Oh friends, what more can I say eh? Unless you truly trust in the Lord you WILL NOT see nor experience the full glory of God’s goodness! We need to be more like Job, who even in his worst days, having lost family, friends and fortune in one fell swoop, was still able to passionately declare: ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust him: but I will maintain mine own (defend my) ways before him.’ (Job 13:15)

And the scholars offer this explanation: 13:15. Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him expresses the unquenchable faith of one who lives by faith, not by sight. Even when it appears that God Himself has turned against Job, he will still trust in God.’

Oh my fellow believers, how many of us today can really undergo such trials and tribulations and still maintain that do or die faith in Almighty God eh? Sadly, not very many of us. But that’s the kind of faith we need to have; an unquenchable kind.

Way too many of us lose faith as soon as some relatively insignificant stuff crops up in our lives because we expect God to be there at our beck and call, or don’t expect anything wrong or bad to happen in our lives.  But that’s not reality friends! Remember Jesus promised: ‘In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33b)

Yes my people, whether we’re rich or poor, powerful or unknown, we WILL all face misfortune at some time in our lives. The solution to misfortune though is to keep the faith, keep trusting in Almighty God though it might be very difficult. Remember that it is in hard and difficult times we need Him most.

And we’ll end with these beautiful, uplifting and encouraging words of faith, LOVE and trust from Bruh David that we all know, but do not practice enough. ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.’ (Ps.23:4)

Please friends, I implore us to walk in that comfort and security of our omnipotent God today! Much LOVE!

...even Jesus…the Son of God… in his earthly sojourn…made sure He stayed close and faithful to His heavenly Father…how much more do we need to do so eh…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 January 2016 Psalm 40:4‏

Psalm 40:4.  Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

Aye mih people, it’s that wondrous day in our weekly lives called Friday!

And as usual the shouts of ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday oui! The weekend has come, and so has party time, with no backbreaking work scheduled for a whole, big, two days! Thank the Lord for Fridays yes!’

But Friends, as we keep reminding us, the weekend is not only to party and carry on like leggo beast, but to get ourselves together for another eventful week. So let’s declare our Friday Chant which gives us a somewhat better perspective on the weekend.

All together 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 my fellow believers, the weekend is all about restoring the energy, so that we can face another week brave and strong in Christ!

Now what did we do yesterday? Nothing really nuh. After writing the Bit I spent some time in my waterhole, enjoying the refreshing sea water. Then just as we were about to go out, a few friends and family dropped by for a short while. And after that we just lost the enthusiasm for going out, which meant I didn’t get my black pudding…Chuh! But don’t worry, I will definitely get it tonight.

And this is what I wrote last night: As we sit out on the porch listening to some rocking ole time music from my computer, overlooking the blue freshwater pool, which doesn’t thrill me at all… But how could it ever eh, when the most beautiful and therapeutic sea is just up in front of it?

Anyway, the music is rocking in the early hours of the evening and while the first song was playing, something called ‘In the Beginning,’ the Lord in His wonderful and mysterious way sent me a li’l zeppo, telling me that that’s how it was in the beginning, in the garden of Eden.

Now this is beautiful, but I believe that Eden was even more beautiful, because remember it was God’s first big project. But on the other hand, even if this was exactly like Paradise, I certainly wouldn’t do anything to forego my wonderful life here.

I’m sorry, but I don’t think our forefathers, Adam and Eve were too bright nuh. Not even God could talk me into doing something so dreadfully foolish and wrong to make me leave here and live the rough life they, and consequently we, ended up living.

And I must apologize for the roughly four-hour break here, because the duchess took me up town to the big city of Scarborough to the market. And believe me, this is the first day that we have seen and felt the real sun, and by the time I came back I was dead tired and a friend dropped in.

Then I had to have a nap, then go to the bank to change some money and the line was ever so long. However, all’s well that ends well! (smile)

So let’s continue with last night’s writing: Yes friends, this part of Paradise is calm and peaceful, with the choppy sea gurgling in the background and the breeze still whistling through the trees. I don’t know what’s causing the wind to be so strong for so long nuh, but it surely is refreshing. Across the expanse of the lagoon I can see the vague silhouette of the forest on the other side, shrouded in darkness as it is.

Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Canada; I’ve spent the greatest part of my life there as prescribed by the Lord’s infallible plan, but He agrees with me that I’ve reached a stage now, where I have to get away from some of the cold winter days to rejuvenate and regenerate my soul, body, mind and spirit.

We all need some serious R&R every so often. That’s why the Lord blessed us with abundant life! Now abundant life is not simply plenty money, although some of that does help. But abundant life is more about the spiritual aspects, the spiritual quality of our lives.

Obviously a roof over our heads and food on the table are important, but so are the other things like peace and LOVE, justice and equal rights. The Lord made us to live in harmony, we are the ones who choose to live in disharmony.

And friends, all of that is simply because we don’t adhere to the wisdom of our Bit. Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.’

Yes my brethren, if we would only truly surrender our lives to our most magnanimous, magnificent and generous Creator, we would not be in the hot spot that we are currently in.

And as I keep saying, it’s only we true believers who can turn this troublesome and tempestuous world around. Only we can bring the world to understand and join Christ’s LOVE Revolution. And besides, that is also our bounden duty!

But how can we do it eh, when we don’t sincerely believe and surrender and trust the One who created us and gave us His breath of life? Remember we can’t only talk the talk, but even more importantly, we have to walk the walk, so that the heathen can really see the LOVING-kindness of our wonderful God in operation.

Remember Christianity is an action movement! That’s the only way they will believe. As I keep reminding us too, examples speak more loudly than words.

And we’ll close with two rather instructive verses of scripture from Psalm 2 – Why do the heathen rage? ‘Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son (perform an act of homage and submission), lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.’ (Ps.2:11-12)

Oh my people I couldn’t say it any better. Please be wise and follow it nuh, for it’s wisdom at the zenith! Much LOVE!

…trust and obey…for there’s no other way…to be happy in Jesus…than to trust and obey…

P.S. Sorry for the lateness of the Bit, but it was all out of my control. Remember a happy wife leads to a happy life…most of the time! (smile) Much LOVE!
 
 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 January 2016 Psalm 40:4

Psalm 40:4.    Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. 

Ahoy there friends and fellow believers! From my little cottage by the sea in Tobago, I write these words of LOVE to you!

Yes mih people, it is wonderful being in Tobago. I haven’t done much as yet, but just the warm weather and salty air has me feeling less pained up and tired, plus I finally got a good night’s sleep last night.

Now what did I do after we last spoke yesterday? Well after sending out the Bit, while the duchess was sleeping, I went down to a li’l waterhole close to my cottage and soaked in the salt water for about half an hour. Well it’s not really a water hole, but just a man-made inlet on this side of the bay.

Thankfully this space has sand and not rocks or coral like a couple of other places along the shoreline. Oh friends, being in the sea felt so wonderful, I…I can’t find words to describe it.

For a few minutes I just lay floating on my back, arms outstretched, legs together, cross-like, looking up at the blue sky with white clouds drifting gently by and the bright sun going down in the east, giving thanks to my creator for bringing me home to Tobago to renew, refresh and revitalize my tired soul, body, spirit and mind.

Then later in the evening, when the duchess got up, we went down to the grocery, Penny Saver, and stocked up on food. Then we came home, had a quiet evening, with no t.v. because apparently when the rain falls, the cables which are foolishly run underground get wet and malfunction. Ah Lord eh!

Strangely enough, both yesterday and today have been cloudy with intermittent short bursts of rain. This is usually the dry season, with not much rain, and even the forest on the other side of the lagoon seems brown and dry. Hopefully my arrival brought the blessings, (smile) and not climate change.

And this morning it was nice to sit outside and do my daily devotions, looking at the tumbling sea and the beautiful scenery, while feeling the cool wind as it blew along, instead of being cloistered up in a cold house. One could hardly ever refuse to pray and give thanks under such excellent conditions.

The only thing that has surprised me so far, is that the wind has kept up a brisk pace all yesterday and today. The poor trees have had to dance along with little respite.

Now let’s get to what I had originally planned to write. It’s a poem from the One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. This one is simply titled: ‘I TRUST.’

And it says: ‘O God, thank You That Your promises are valid As long as the world lasts. They do not suddenly dissolve When my faith is feeble And my courage fails. When You have given a promise You will perform it – Sight or no sight Feeling or no feeling.

You may take me Through the darkest night The deepest waters. The very worst may happen But out of it You will bring the very best For Your word remains secure. Lord, keep me faithful in my trust. When I can articulate no other prayer May my waiting heart Continually avow: I trust! I trust!’

Oh Friends, not enough trust is the bane, the downfall of every believer! When times are good, there’s no problem in trusting our heavenly Father, but when times are rough, that is the time we need to trust the most and when we seem to trust the least.

And what we need to remember is that total surrender means total trust. So if we are prone to doubt, that means we have not completely surrendered. And as such, we will not see the full working of God in our lives. As Jesus said to the blind men: ‘According to your faith be it unto you.’ (Matt.9:29)

Yes my people, according to our faith, so will it be unto us too, because faith implies surrender and trust. So how much you surrender and trust, that’s how much you will receive. And from personal experience, I can tell you that’s gospel truth, since over the years as I surrendered more fully and my faith and trust grew, so did the quality of my life!

And the verses pertaining to that poem are ones we all ought to know and follow, but we obviously don’t, that’s why our lives can be so topsy-turvy.

Hear these wonderful words of wisdom from Cousin Sol. ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct (make straight or smooth) thy paths.’ (Prov.3:5-6)

Ah mih breddren, there’s no disputing those words! If only we would follow them in our everyday lives eh! And the scholars have some interesting and wise thoughts which I’m sure I’ve shared before, but they are indeed important enough to share again.

‘3:5-6. Three commands are given: trust, meaning “rely on, depend on;” lean not, meaning do not depend on your own native instincts; and acknowledge him, meaning have fellowship and intimacy with God in all of life. The result of such devotion is that God will make the paths straight before you.’

Oh friends, the important word in all of that is ‘DEVOTION!’ It’s no different to our normal behaviour; we treat those who are devoted to us better than those who are not. It’s just a natural facet of our nature. Likewise, God will treat those who are devoted to Him better than those who are not.

And we’ll close with our Bit for today, which also greatly stresses the importance of trust in our heavenly Father. ‘Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.’ Much LOVE!

…whatever you put into an earthly relationship…is what you will usually get back…the same applies to God…

P.S. The duchess went out the street for a walk some time ago. Next thing, I got a phone call saying she’s up the road at the Hotel Magdalena having coffee on the balcony. Well that’s fine by me, the walk will do her good. Don’t think I could have walked so far – well not as yet.

However, I’m going to have some ‘souse’ now on my not as spiffy balcony! Glory to God! Unexpectedly I found the souse person outside Penny saver last night, and tonight I’m going back to get some black pudding…Oh, am I in heaven or what! Much LOVE!

 

 





 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 January 2016 John 3:16

John 3:16.  For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

‘Ole, Ole, Ole! Ah feeling hot, hot, hot! Ah feeling hot, hot, hot!’

Oh friends, the ole fella really feeling hot, hot, hot; hot till ah sweating! (smile) But that’s the way it ought to be if I’m in seventy something degrees temperature.

Yes mih brethren, you must have guessed, the ole fella is in God’s Little Acre, Paradise on earth, Robinson Crusoe’s Isle, the Crown Jewel of the West Indies, and a host of other names I could mention. Hn, hn!

But suffice it to say, I’m in sweet Tobago! Praise the Lord for His LOVING-kindness to the children of men – especially me on this particular occasion!

Yes my people, the ole fella really needed some saltwater and sunshine and good Tobago food to revitalize my body; the aches and pains were getting to be a bit much, and the cold weather wasn’t helping any.

And as I look outside at the bay, with the waves on the choppy side, the wind blowing like crazy, causing the trees to dance to their tune, I do feel like I’m in Paradise. (smile)
Don’t be jealous now, your time will come, just like mine did; just believe, have faith and work on it.

The trip down wasn’t the greatest though. The plane was full, due to the upcoming Carnival celebrations, and though I’ve travelled economy class before, this time it really got to me. I’ve never been so uncomfortable before.

And to make matters even worse, there was a young child in the row behind me, who cried for a fair amount of the night. And as the Lord would have it, the first time I enquired about travelling Business Class, it was full. I guess He wanted me to appreciate the end product more. And believe me, I certainly do!

I left home at about six thirty last night, and did not arrive at my final destination until nine thirty this morning. And I’m so tired I don’t know if I’m coming or going, but I’m so dedicated to writing the Bit that I’m trying to complete it nevertheless. (smile) ‘The Bit must go out, come what may:’ that’s the motto!

Anyhow friends, soon come. A fella just showed up here to talk to me about a rental car. Hang tight!

Aye mih people, I want to apologize for the roughly three hour delay. But after getting the car, the duchess decided we should go to the mall to get some phone connections and something to eat since we had not had breakfast as yet.

Well the long and short of the story is that we had to wait awhile in the phone store and then, after eating the KFC we bought at the mall, I just had to have a nap.

But imagine that nuh; I’ve come to sweet Tobago to eat some good Tobago food, and first thing the Duchess have me eating is fast food! Ah Lord eh!

But I guarantee you that that will not become a habit! And I’m only now getting back to you at three o’clock T &T time. My humble apologies, but them’s the breaks! (smile)

And since it’s Wednesday, let’s wail our Wednesday Wail with great gusto nuh. As one now:  ‘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!’

Oh my fellow believers the ole fella is ever so glad to be alive this Wednesday at the end of January 2016! I’m in Tobago! So what could be better eh? Only heaven! But hold on, I’m not ready for there just yet, and I do hope my Creator isn’t ready for me up there either. (smile)

So without further ado, let’s get to our Bit nuh; that awesome LOVING-kindness of our magnificent and magnanimous God! ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ 

And Friends, if you don’t believe in the everlasting Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, then I’m truly sorry for you, because He is indeed the Be All and End All; the Alpha and Omega; the First and the Last; The Beginning and surely the End!

Listen to the words and deeds John the Revelator ascribes to Him. ‘And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten (born) of the dead, and the prince of (ruler over) the kings of the earth. Unto him that LOVED us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood. And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds (tribes) of the earth shall wail (mourn) because of him. Even so, Amen. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, The Almighty.’ (Rev.1:5-8)

Oh what wonderful scriptures friends, highlighting God’s goodness to us undeserving sinners!

Now let’s end with some explanations from the scholars. ‘1:7-8. Four aspects of Christ’s return are mentioned, each of which alludes to another passage of Scripture. He will come with the clouds (Dan.7:13) in the sky. Every person will see him (Matt.24:30). Those who pierced him (Zech.12:10), that is, those who rejected Him and wanted Him to die will repent and mourn (wail) over Him (Zech.12:10-11).

This refers to Christ’s return to the earth to establish His kingdom, not to the Rapture. Alpha and Omega, the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, refer here to God’s eternality and sovereignty, and possibly to the fullness of God’s self-revelation.’

Ah mih people, that’s the end of our last message on this Bit, but please remember it is a pivotal piece of scripture, one upon which our destiny, our eternal life hangs! So it will be very wise for each one of us to acknowledge, accept, believe and practice His commands, and thus share in His eternal LOVE! Much LOVE!

…oh when the saints…go marching in…I would like to be amongst their number…oh when the saints go marching in…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 January 2016 John 3:16‏

John 3:16.  For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Ah Friends, it’s another day in the life! Glory to God! So we had better enjoy it while we have it because it’s very fragile and can be extinguished as quickly as a flame. Apparently this happened to one of my best buddies recently. 

Last Sunday evening I opened my e-mail and was greeted by one saying ‘Bad News.’ Obviously, with some anxiety, I wondered what that bad news could be. Unfortunately it informed me of the passing of my friend, and sometimes accomplice, Paul Lawrence at the University of the West Indies Hospital in Mona Jamaica. Ah Lord eh! 

I had no idea that he was even sick. Apparently he was recently diagnosed with oral cancer, had surgery last week, and was recuperating nicely, then suddenly and unexpectedly passed away early Sunday morning. That’s why it’s ever so important to have our lives right with our Maker, because we never know when He’ll call us home. 

Paul and I spent a lot of good times together when I attended U.W.I in Mona, many years ago. I first saw Montego Bay when he invited me to stay down there with his family. We were in the same classes, beat pan together, and generally had a good time around the campus. Those were the days! 

Studying was not even an option. (smile) I remember at the end of our first year, Paul coming to me to teach him statistics! Hn! What a joke! I was certainly no better than him in that subject. 

And on the day of the exam, in the big, quiet room, we just looked at each other and laughed, because the questions were way above our heads. Then, long before the official end, we just gave up our papers and walked out. 

Obviously we failed that subject, but passed the make up exam a few weeks later. And on reflection, I have to assume that was through divine guidance, since we didn’t know much more than the first time. (smile) 

Aye Pablo mih brother, you might be gone but certainly not forgotten. You were much LOVED for your kindness as well as your pranks and sometimes irreverent ways. I know your family is hurting through your unexpected demise, but they are strong and will always have you in their hearts. Hope you are resting peacefully in the bosom of the Lord. Bye! 

Yeh Friends, Pablo is gone, and many of you who read the Bit knew him, and though we might miss him, we just have to enjoy the memories and move on with our lives until our day of departure arrives. Remember that weeping and sadness may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning. (Ps.30:5) 

And since it’s Tuesday morning, let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with true feeling and sincerity. As one now:  ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Yes my fellow believers, above all else we are the beloved children of God, friend and brother of Jesus! That no one can take away from us. So please let’s live like it nuh. Let’s be LOVING and kind, caring and compassionate, like the Father and Jesus have been to us, as so wonderfully declared in our Bit. 

For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ 

Oh my brethren, every time I read that sentence my heart just lights up as it appreciates the awesome LOVE our Creator had, and still has for us, awful sinners that we are! 

Now let’s continue looking at the particular scripture in John’s first gospel, which so eloquently speaks of that undeniable LOVE! Yesterday we ended at verse 8: ‘He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God is LOVE. (1 John 4:8) 

We’ll pick it from there. ‘In this was manifested the LOVE of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.’ (I John 4:9) 

And the scholars have this to say about that verse. ‘’4:9. To grasp God’s LOVE aright, one must look to how God has demonstrated it. Here John is in total harmony with Paul (Rom.5:8).’ 

And for our edification, (smile) Romans 5:8 says: ‘But God commendeth his LOVE (demonstrates His own LOVE) toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ Now there’s no higher way that God could have shown His awesome LOVE for us my people! 

And John continues with his declaration that lends authenticity to Bruh Paul’s statement. ‘Herein is LOVE, not that we LOVED God, but that he (first) LOVED us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation  (atonement) for our sins.’ (1 John 4:10) 

That’s the gospel truth friends! And the scholars declare: ‘4:10. No human LOVE is the standard for understanding God’s great compassion, but God’s own action on man’s behalf.’ 

More gospel truth people! Our finite human minds are too small and our standards too low, to truly comprehend God’s amazing compassion for us! 

And John continues: ‘Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we LOVE one another, God dwelleth in us, and his LOVE is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.’ (1 John 4:11-13) More words of truth and wisdom friends! 

And we’ll end with this explanation from the scholars. ‘4:11-13. God’s character, through His Spirit, is to shape and progressively dominate the character of the believer. The Spirit of God imparts the will to LOVE.’ 

Please my fellow believers, let’s allow the Holy Spirit to do it’s job in is today nuh, for that is the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!

…when the Holy Spirit truly works in us…it produces the LOVE of God… 

P.S. Sorry about the lateness of the Bit friends, but it’s just been one of those nights. (smile) Oh, it might be even later tomorrow, because I’m going out of town tonight, and I don’t know what time I’ll actually return. But hang in there, it will eventually arrive, the Lord in favour. Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 January 2016 John 3:16

John 3:16.    For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Ah friends, this Monday morning is one day many of us should be ever so thankful that we’re not living on the Eastern coast of North America, because of the terrible blizzard that passed through that area on the weekend, dropping humongous amounts of snow on the ground. Ah Lord eh! 

On the news, I believe it was Saturday, I heard a woman saying that she and her family had been snowbound on the Pennsylvania Turnpike for 12 hours. Another woman and her family, on another highway, had been snowbound for some twenty hours. Can you imagine that – sitting in a car for so long, the windows all frosted and you being anxious about running out of gas and possibly freezing to death? 

One of those two women had their diabetic father with her, on his birthday to boot. Not a very pleasant way to spend your birthday at all. I believe though, that one of those families was fairly close to a gas station, so they were able to get some food and refreshment. I don’t how much that helped though, when you couldn’t drive, and you were still a long way from home. 

Please let’s remember in our prayers the millions of people along the Eastern seaboard who are still undergoing the ravages of the snowstorm. So let’s have no complaints and churlishness because you have to get up and go to work. Let’s just sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with extra gusto and thankfulness. 

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!’ 

That was good friends, but I don’t think that our choir director, Jesus, heard enough thankfulness in our voices. (smile) But He does know that we believe His words found in our most encouraging and uplifting Bit. ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ 

And how could we not believe those beautiful, eternal life-giving words eh, unless we’re real dense and full of foolish pride? And I know that some of you might be tired with the same Bit for so long, but my people, that is possibly the most important statement in the entire Bible. It was the ONLY reason that Jesus came to earth! 

And if you can’t feast on those miraculous and momentous words for a few days, then I’d strongly suggest you question your faith.  And I can’t guarantee that it will finish today either, for there’s still a fair amount of scripture to be studied on it. And we’ll begin with the immortal words of John’s first epistle, re God is LOVE! 

‘BELOVED, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God.’ (1 John 4:7) 

Now let’s stop right there and get some valuable explanations from the scholars. ‘4:7. John returns to the theme of mutual LOVE. Perhaps the false teaching he felt compelled to combat had contributed to suspicion and contention in the fellowship. In contrast, John is not saying that everyone who LOVES is a Christian, whether they trust in Christ or not. 

He makes it clear elsewhere that true knowledge of God entails right belief about Christ, as well as right response to God, including LOVE of others.  Mere human LOVE apart from Christ’s redeeming presence and motivation falls short of LOVE in its fullest dimension as a human response to God’s perfect and infinite compassion (cf. 1 Cor.13).’  

Oh my brethren, I do hope that that helps us to better understand the precept of God’s LOVE; His LOVE for us, as well as our LOVE for Him and for others.  It must be accompanied by true belief in Christ and obedience to God’s Word! 

Now let’s continue with the scripture. ‘He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God is LOVE.’ (1 John 4:8)  

We have to stop here again my people to get a little insight on that verse from the scholars. ‘4:8. John has also recorded that “God is light” (1:5) and “Spirit” (John 4:24). LOVE is one of the many attributes of God and is to be understood in relation to the others, such as holiness and justice.’  

Yes friends, our God is what in sports parlance we’d call an all-rounder – has many parts to His nature! However, He is not just a jack of all trades, but indeed a MASTER of them all! (smile) 

And you know what? I think we’ll stop there for today, since I don’t want the Bit to get too involved and difficult to understand. So, the Lord willing, we’ll just have to continue it tomorrow. (smile) 

Bear with me friends, it’s all for a good purpose, to our benefit.  And I do hope that our understanding and appreciation of God’s LOVE has improved, has grown today, because that’s what it’s all about. Much LOVE!

…And now abideth…faith…hope…LOVE…these three…but the greatest of these is…LOVE… (1Cor.13:13)

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