Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 May 2017 James 2:14.

James 2:14.   What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

Well friends, it’s Wednesday! What’s on tap for today eh? I’m supposed to have my eaves troughs replaced today, so hopefully that will solve my problem of water leaking down into my basement when the rain falls. 

Let’s hope and pray that it actually does stop it yes, else I’ll just hold my head and bawl! Yes, I will, because I’ve been trying to fix the problem for a while now and nothing else has worked. And for the kind of money I’m expected to pay, it ought to… it better had work! (smile) 

But all I can truly do is leave it in God’s hands, for regardless of what I think or do, it’s His will that will eventually prevail, and I know that He will in His own time work everything out for my good. Glory to the great God we serve and worship my faithful brethren! 

Now here is a li’l something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It so reminded me of our foolish behaviour that I just had to share it. It’s titled ‘Two Questions.’ 

And it simply says: ‘O God In my fear and frenzy In my darkness and dread My screaming question is “Where are You?” And in reply, the Lord simply answers: ‘Wandering child When things were going well And you carelessly ignored Me Where were you?’ 

Now that’s a very question friends, to which we have no good answer. That’s because too often, too many of us conveniently forget the Lord when things are going well. But as soon as our lives begin to get topsy-turvy we’re quick to run to Him and plead, ‘Oh Lord help me!’ And we expect Him to jump right on the problem. Hn! 

But life doesn’t work like that friends. Our God is not there to simply fix our problems when we decide to ask Him. We have the whole concept wrong: We’ve been created to serve and worship Him, to be available at His behest, not He at ours. 

But He’s so wonderful that He’s arranged a covenant, a partnership with us, that if we serve and worship Him faithfully, He will indeed answer us when we call. He has even gone so far as to promise: ‘I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Heb.13:5) 

But friends, that all depends on us keeping our part of the bargain, faithfully serving and worshipping Him. So please let’s stop the nonsense nuh. It’s high time we stop ignoring our God and our Creator when times are good, and instead constantly seek Him, whatever the state of our lives. 

And it’s all for our own benefit yes mih people. Our God doesn’t need anything from us since He owns everything and everyone in the universe. We are the needy ones. So let’s start knowing our place and begin giving Almighty God the adulation and glory He so rightfully deserves…that is if we want to see favour and length of days. 

And one of the surest ways to obtain God’s favour is by understanding our Bit and living according to it. ‘What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?’ 

As we said yesterday friends, one must have faith to be saved, but one must also show that faith by doing good works in Jesus’ name, for He expects it of His followers. 

Remember what He said about false prophets? ‘By their fruits ye shall know them.’ (Matt.7:20) The same goes for us my brethren; true believers shall be known by their faithful works. It’s very easy to profess faith, but to manifest it is another story. 

That’s why Bruh Paul talks about the fruit of the Spirit (Gal.5:22). And when we walk in it; in LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith, meekness, temperance (self-control), then we will obviously bring forth good fruit, good works, to back up our faith. 

Now after our Bit, James goes on to argue about Abraham and his willingness to offer up Isaac as a sacrifice as an example of the faithful being recognized for good works. And then he talks of the harlot Rehab, as a non-believer being considered faithful for her good works by her saving the Jewish spies. (James 2:21-26). 

However friends, the scholars have a long explanation which I can’t go through for lack of time and space, but what they essentially say is that James and Bruh Paul are using the word for ‘faith’ with different meanings and ‘justified’ in different senses. 

Bruh Paul using his New Testament theological idea of  ‘God’s act of declaring all believers righteous on the basis of Christ’s redemptive work. But a common Old Testament and gospel usage involves demonstrating or showing something to be righteous (cf.Ps.51:4; Luke 7:35; Rom.3:4); it is this usage that James follows. 

They are discussing totally different subjects, since they are confronted by different problems. Paul opposing the Judaizers seeks to prove that the Gentiles can be saved and sanctified apart from circumcision or any other work of the law. James opposing merely nominal, professing Christians, seeks to show that true faith confirms itself by deeds of LOVE.’  

So let’s understand that they are not fighting each other, but together, against different foes on different subjects. And now that that has all been cleared up, (smile) let’s go home sincerely declaring our Wednesday Wail, which addresses our faith, and consequently, our good works. 

‘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!’ 

Have a blessed day my faithful brethren, manifested by good works! Much LOVE!…

both faith and works are important parts of Jesus’ awesome LOVE…

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 May 2017 James 2:14.

James 2:14.   What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

So friends, it’s Tuesday! What’s new and exciting in our lives eh? And most of us say nothing really; just the same old, same old daily grind and common task. Hn! 

And that’s the way it’s always going to be my brethren, because we really couldn’t handle something new and exciting every day. We are just not made that way. 

And our U.S brethren are going back to work today after the Memorial Day Holiday – hope they’re not too tired and bedraggled after all the celebrations. 

But friends, it hurts the ole fella’s heart to see all the pomp and ceremony that both the U.S and Canada put on in respect to celebrating their fallen brethren, while the majority of the ones who participated in the conflicts and are still alive are suffering immensely from government abuse, mismanagement and simply being ignored. Steups! 

So many of them suffer from mental and physical problems and either can’t get any help, or find it extremely difficult to get help for the wounds suffered for the freedom of our countries. 

Financially, they and their families are also suffering great need, but our governments only make feeble, if any attempts to help them. Yet on those days, those days of remembrance, they can find money to honour the dead, while the living suffer so seriously. 

Steups! What a hypocritical society we are! But that’s all a story for another day. Today though, I want to share some words of wisdom attributed to John Maxwell (1947), the celebrated American author, speaker and pastor. 

And here John talks about dreams. ‘A dream without a positive attitude produces a daydreamer. A positive attitude without a dream produces a pleasant person who never makes any progress. A dream together with a positive attitude produces a person with unlimited possibility and potential. ‘ 

Mama Mia! How true is that eh my friends? How many of us dream big but do nothing about it eh? And how many of us have positive attitudes but no dreams to be positive about? Too many of us I declare! 

It’s just like Christianity that calls for both faith and works. One without the other is of no use. And I guess that’s why a lot of us aren’t growing in Christ either; because we have either faith or works and not both. 

But friends, to be good, solid and true Christians we need to believe sincerely, and then work that belief to the glory of God through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

Otherwise we’re just empty vessels without any real use. And all of that leads us to our Bit. ‘What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?’ 

Ah mih people, that’s a passage of scripture that has caused controversy down though the ages. Now according to the scholars, Bruh Paul’s doctrine teaches of ‘salvation by faith alone.’ 

For him ‘faith practically equals salvation. James, however, sees two kinds of faith: saving faith and professing faith (much like the usage today). For Paul, justification is by faith (Rom.4:5). For James, justification is by a faith that works – by a genuine faith that manifests itself in post conversion works.’ 

Oh friends, what unnecessary confusion! It’s obvious that we can only be saved by faith, but that faith ought to lead us to work the works of Jesus which He so clearly commanded us to do; teaching and making disciples of others, helping the sick and needy, etc. etc. 

And as the scholars quote the famous Protestant Pastor, John Calvin: ‘Faith alone saves, but a faith that saves is never alone.’ Gospel truth that my brethren! 

Therefore as James continues: ‘If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food. And one of you say unto them. Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body, what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.’ (James 2:15-17) 

The sad truth of the matter friends is that our faith these days is sadly lacking works. Oh we will go to heaven with our faith, but where will be our rewards? When the Lord asks us ‘what have you done with the talents and blessings I gave you,’ what will we reply? 

Will our reply be like the fella with one talent who buried it? Or will we declare like the one who had five talents: ‘Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.’ (Matt.25:20) 

Now that’s what we ought to be saying on that judgement day my people! So that the Lord can say to us: ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.’ (Matt.25:21) 

Yes friends, the quintessential aim of all Christians should not just be going to heaven, but receiving a joyful welcome to eternal life by our heavenly Father! 

And with all of that in mind, let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with sincere belief and enthusiastic enthusiasm! (smile) ‘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!’ 

And having said that, let’s now go out and put it into action, as Jesus desires nuh. Much LOVE!

…true faith…ought to make us want to do…plenty good works…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 May 2017 1 Peter 5:8.

1 Peter 5:8.    Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

Awright mih breddren, it’s Monday morning, so let’s be up and at ‘em nuh! 

‘Not today,’ claim our U.S. breddren. ‘Today is our Memorial Day Holiday, where we celebrate our fallen war heroes, so no work for us today. Praise the Lord!’ 

Yes friends, the shoe is on the other foot this week; last week we in Canada had Monday off for our Victoria Day Holiday, this week the U.S honours their patriots. But since it’s still a day of labour for most of us, we still need to sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to get us going. So with as much verve and enthusiasm as we can muster, let’s sing. 

‘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!’ 

And as expected, the loudest and most off key voices were those who did not have to go to work today, and were already into the celebrations. But just remember, please listen to Granny’s advice. ‘Drunk or sober mind yuh business.’ We don’t want to go giving the evil one any foothold in our souls, for he is always lurking around, always on the prowl to find someone he can invade and cultivate. 

That’s why Peter, after telling us to humble ourselves before God, and to cast our care on him, because He cares for us, so strenuously warns in our Bit. ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth friends!  Remember when Satan came before God in Job? ‘And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.’ (Job 1:7) 

And the scholars offer this explanation: ‘1:7. From going to and from in the earth refers to Satan’s activity. Though he does not admit it here, Satan’s character clearly shows that his many travels are for evil purposes.  In 1 Peter 5:8. Satan is described as “your adversary the devil…seeking whom he may devour.” 

The activity of Satan indicates that he only has limited access to God. This account in Job emphasizes that God is sovereign over Satan. It also teaches that Satan is a finite being and therefore not omnipresent (can’t be everywhere at the same time). Nor can he touch God’s servants without God’s permission.’ 

Oh glory to God my people! That means Satan has no direct say over us, he can only invade our souls and spirits if God gives him permission, or of we foolishly allow him to enter therein. That’s why Peter continues after our Bit. ‘Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world.’ (1 Pet.5:9) 

Oh friends, I know it’s no great consolation to know that our brethren are experiencing the same temptation as us, but it just goes to show that we are not alone in being tempted, as Bruh Paul tells the Corinthians. ‘There hath no temptation taken (overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.’ (1 Cor.10:13) 

Now friends, we have to be careful and understand that God will not always make us escape the temptation, but will often allow us to go through it, to build our faith, but will eventually bring us out safely on the other side. Remember too, that even Jesus was tempted by Lucifer during His earthly sojourn, but He successfully rebuked Him, and we ought to try and do likewise. 

James also warns us. ‘Submit yourselves therefore to God: Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.’ (James 4:7) Yes my fellow believers, if we keep resisting Lucifer, he will eventually flee from us; not that he won’t come back and try to tempt us later on, (smile) because he can be very persistent. 

However, we’ll end with these reassuring words of Peter. ‘But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you. To him be the glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.’ (1 Pet.5:10-11)

What a blessed and faithful assurance my people. So let’s go out today strengthened in the Word of God, so that we can do His will. Much LOVE!

…the stronger our faith in Jesus…the more we are able to resist temptation…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 May 2017 1 Peter 5:7.

1 Peter 5:7.      Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

And then it was Sunday; that wonderful day of Sabbath and rest! And who says our great God doesn’t know how to organize life eh? Chuh! They obviously don’t know what they’re talking about, for look how He made the world in six days, then rested on the seventh and asks us to follow in His most knowledgeable footsteps. Glory to His great name! 

And on that seventh day, we also need to come together in fellowship, to sing and praise Him and receive His LOVING-kindness and confidence to handle the upcoming six days. Wow! What a wise God we serve my brethren! That’s why He says His ways and thoughts are greater than ours. (Is.55:8-9) And that’s the living truth, for if they weren’t, He wouldn’t be God, and we would have no need for Him! 

Now enough of all the rambling, (smile) let’s get to the heart of the matter, some praise and worship to glorify His holy name. And this morning our song is appropriately titled, ‘God will take of you;’ a sweet song of comfort and heavenly assurance. So with truthful and passionate hearts and loud, harmonious voices, let’s offer up our sacrifice of praise without further ado.  

‘Be not dismayed whate’er betide, God will take care of you; Beneath His wings of love abide, God will take care of you. (Refrain: God will take care of you, Through every day, o’er all the way; He will take care of you, God will take care of you.) Through days of toil when heart doth fail, God will take care of you; When dangers fierce your path assail, God will take care of you. (Refrain:) 

All you may need He will provide, God will take care of you; Nothing you ask will be denied, God will take care of you. (Refrain:) No matter what may be the test, God will take care of you; Lean, weary one, upon His breast, God will take care of you. (Refrain:) God will take care of you, Through every day, o’er all the way; He will take care of you, God will take care of you.’ 

And He certainly will my faithful friends and neighbours! Of that we can be sure. Once we are operating in accordance with His will, He will look after all our needs. How did Jesus say it so long ago? ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33)  And we know one thing for sure, that Jesus doesn’t lie, so if He says it’s so, then it is so!  

And the hymn, written by Civilla D Martin, was apparently based on our Bit. ‘Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.’ It couldn’t be anymore reassuring than that my people! Peter is making a statement of definite fact, of gospel truth, not alternative facts. (smile) 

But before we can cast our care upon our ever-merciful God, Peter tells us we first need to: ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. ‘ (1 Pet.5:6) Yeh friends, we definitely can’t go to God with a proud and haughty spirit, for that’s one of the things He especially despises, since it means you have no need for Him. 

That’s why James, in talking about worldliness and pride says: ‘God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble.’ (James 4:6) And Cousin Sol also tells us: ‘Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly (humble). (Prov.3:34) And if you still don’t believe it, then listen to Cousin Sol again. ‘These six things doth the Lord hate; yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look (haughty eyes…)’ (Prov.6:16-17) 

Ah mih breddren, the first thing Cousin Sol lists is pride, arrogance, haughtiness. Our God rejects those who deal in those things. And once we appreciate the Lord’s awesome position, have a reverential fear for him, then the author of Hebrews strongly advises: ‘Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb.4:16) Now that’s wisdom of an everlasting nature! 

And the scholars tell us: ‘4:16. Only Christianity provides such boldness for sinful men before a holy God, and that boldness is possible only because of our High Priest (Jesus Christ). The figure of a throne suggests a place of authority and provision. It is the place to obtain God’s grace when it is especially needed.’ 

And I have to declare it again friends: ‘Oh what a wonderful God we serve and worship through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!’ ONLY Christianity offers such confidence to approach a holy God! That just goes to prove what we are talking about; God does care for us. If not, we wouldn’t have the provision to call upon Him for mercy, succour, comfort and all the other wonderful things He offers. And above all, He would not have sent His sinless Son, Jesus to die for our abominable sins. 

That ought to seal the deal. So I simply can’t understand why more people aren’t rushing to take hold of Christianity, to embrace Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. I can only guess that it’s partly because the things of the world has such a strong hold on our society, as well as we supposed believers don’t give the unbelievers enough of a good picture, for them to want what we claim to have. 

So with Jesus’ help, let’s try and turn it all around nuh mih people! We can, if we sincerely and diligently try. Much LOVE!

…belief in Jesus…breeds confidence in the promises of Almighty God…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 May 2017 Deuteronomy 6:7.

Deuteronomy 6:7.   And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children…

Ah friends, thank the Lord that there was no rain yesterday, giving my basement some time to dry out. But I was a li’l antsy all day because there were dark rain clouds constantly hovering around. Anyhow, someone is coming to check on the situation for me today, and we’ll see what they have to say on the matter. 

Meanwhile, it’s Saturday, which means we have to check out some of our friend Anselm’s quotes for this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Listen to this first one: ‘Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others.’  

Now I don’t think we should do that all of the time, because some of the people around us need to know that we too have fears, we’re not always superman, and they are not always fearful bunnies. In general yes, we should try and show a courageous front, but there are certainly times when we need to show our human frailties too. 

And this second quote is certainly interesting. ‘Success is just a war of attrition. Sure, there’s an element of talent you should probably possess. But if you just stick around long enough, eventually something is going to happen.’ 

I guess that holds to the adage attributed to U.S. President Calvin Coolidge: ‘Nothing in this world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.’ 

And there is a lot of truth to that, for if you don’t try, and try, and try again, you usually will not succeed. But it is nonetheless useful to have at least some, if not all of the other attributes. 

And I just LOVE these last two quotes. ‘The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.’ Now that’s certainly true! Great leaders are ones who inspire their followers to put their best foot forward, brings out the passion in them, like Jesus does in the souls of believers. 

And this last quote says it all. ‘The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.’ That’s self-explanatory friends! Let’s hope that the ole fella falls in the category of great teacher, as I try to inspire us each and every day. (smile) 

That brings us to our Bit. ‘And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children…’ Oh friends, our God desires that we teach our children diligently about Him; His ways, His attributes, especially His undying and unconditional LOVE for us, as well as the requited LOVE we should have for Him. 

Unfortunately, down through the ages that LOVE has not always been requited and thus we have suffered serious consequences. But yet we still have not learned and continue to play foot loose and fancy free with God’s LOVE for us, and our LOVE for Him. 

Remember the Great Commandment says that we should LOVE Him with all our heart, soul, body and mind, and teach our children to do the same. In both aspects this generation has sadly been found wanting, leading to a godlessness in our society that has not been seen in ages. 

Now I won’t harp on what we should and should not do, because if we are true believers in Jesus Christ, then we already know that. I will just end by giving us an example of diligent teaching of children. Hear Bruh David to Cousin Sol, as he gets ready to meet his Maker. 

‘I go the way of all the earth, be thou strong therefore, and show thyself a man; And keep the charge of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself (wherever you turn): 

That the Lord may continue his word which he spake concerning me, saying, If thy children take heed to their way, to walk before me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail thee (said he) a man on the throne of Israel.’ (1 Kin.2:2-4) 

Oh friends, how many of us have ever said anything like that our children eh? Obviously not enough of us. And for those of us who have said it, we obviously haven’t said it enough, else our children today would not be as godless and worldly as they are. 

How did Cousin Sol put it: ‘Train up a child in the way he should go: and (even) when he is old, he will not depart from it.’ (Prov.22:6) Yes my fellow believers, we ought to be putting the thoughts and words and LOVE of God very early in a child’s life and doing it consistently. We should be moulding into them from early on a taste for the things of God. 

Good parental guidance is essential in each child’s life, and as they are moulded so will they turn out. Remember you can’t sow corn and expect to reap peas. Similarly, you can’t not sow godly behaviour and attitudes and expect your children to turn out godly. But as I said yesterday, it’s not too late for us to start bringing our children back to God, if we sincerely desire to do so, and work diligently to do it. 

So let’s get to it nuh mih people! With the help of Jesus we can certainly win them back for the LOVE Revolution! Much LOVE!

…persistence and determination will usually win out…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 May 2017 Deuteronomy 6:7.

Deuteronomy 6:7.   And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children…

Ah friends, remember that gentle rain that I spoke about yesterday that was blessing the land? Well it might have blessed the land but it certainly didn’t bless me, because it fell all day… even into the evening, and consequently caused flooding in the laundry room in my basement. 

Steups! So instead of it being a peaceful day listening to the riddim of the falling rain, (smile) it was a tad hectic trying to mop up and barricade the water running down in my basement. And it wasn’t just one rivulet, that would have been easy to handle, but several pouring down the inside wall. 

I believe the source of the problem is my eaves troughs – they seem to be leaking in several places thus allowing the water to run down the outside wall and find its way inside. But I just had them repaired last year! 

And then there are the leaves…the bane of my existence! Everything that blows in my lane, ends up in my driveway, both snow and leaves. Thus the gutters are filled with leaves, which make them overflow rather easily. 

Ah Lord eh! But what to do? Just grin and bear it and have them fixed again. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it! (smile) The workingman’s story though is a whole lot different. He’s simply focused on it being Friday, which allows him to joyfully declare: 

‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and the weekend’s here at last! Is my time now to do as I please! No more labouring for a measly pittance, but partying for days! And who says we shouldn’t thank the Lord for Fridays and weekends eh!’ 

We should indeed friends, but constant partying will never give us sincere satisfaction. We need a more balanced approach to the weekend if we are to live successful lives, and I believe our Friday Chant provides it. 

So let’s chant it out loud and proud nuh. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

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

Yes friends, that’s more like what we need, if we are to do Jesus’ work with sincerity, diligence and excellence! And today we’ll talk a little about diligence, see what the Bible has to say about it. 

But before we get to that, let’s look at the dictionary’s definition of diligence. It’s characterized as being ‘Persistent effort or work: industrious character.’ 

Meanwhile diligent is seen as being ‘hard-working, steady in application, industrious, attentive to duties.’ So we have the basic idea of what we mean when we speak of diligence or diligent; a serious effort to do what one has to do. 

Now hear these immortal words of wisdom that Moses spoke unto the people of Israel when he gave them the great commandment. These are the major things they should do when they entered the Promised Land. 

‘That thou mightest fear (stand in awe of) the Lord thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged. 

Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it (be careful to observe it); that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily (multiply greatly), as the Lord God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey. 

Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is ONE Lord: and thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 

And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 

And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.’ (Deut.6:2-9) 

And there we have it friends, the basics of the Great Commandment: LOVE the Lord thy God, and keep all His commandments, and above all, teach them diligently to thy children! 

And when the Israelites obeyed, they prospered, and suffered when they didn’t. And it’s the same with us in these trying times. 

Oh my people, we are also very guilty of not doing what the Lord commanded. We haven’t been repeating the Lord’s commandments in the ears of our children or meditating on them ourselves as we walk and talk and lie down, etc. 

No wonder our society and our world is in such a mess, with a large number of our children having no idea of God, or simply not caring about God and putting the things of the world first in their lives. 

Now who do think is to blame for this current state of affairs eh? We the current parents obviously! Our parents taught us the right way, so why haven’t we taught our children eh? I guess we ourselves were also a little too taken up with the things of the world. 

But it’s not too late my brethren, if we get serious and do our due diligence, as they say in legal circles, that means paying attention to our godly duties, putting in the hard work necessary, we can still save ourselves and our children from the clutches of the evil one. 

Today, I implore us, sincerely plead with us to seek the things of God first, and point our children in that direction, that it may go well with them and us. That’s wisdom for the ages! Much LOVE!

…a society prospers in direct proportion to its obedience to God…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 May 2017 Psalm 27:1.

Psalm 27:1.  The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Well a good Thursday morning to you my faithful brethren in Christ! As I write these words of wisdom (smile) in the early hours, a gentle rain is falling outside, blessing the earth, so that she may refresh herself with the greenery that’s spring.

That means, for those who live in my vicinity, the commute this morning might be a tad on the rough and slow side. So please leave home early, and be careful on the roads, for you know that whatever the weather and driving conditions, there are always some foolish drivers out there on our highways and byways who cause unnecessary accidents.

And the sad part is that too often, the ones who cause the accidents don’t get injured, but the innocent drivers suffer the brunt of the situation. And we certainly don’t want anything to happen to you this morning.

Now here is something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that I couldn’t help sharing. It’s something we could all use a bit more of. It’s titled ‘Intimate Closeness.’

And it says: ‘You promise, dear God That when I draw close to You You will draw close to me. Lord, I give myself to You unreservedly. Teach me more and more Of intimate closeness And fill my heart with You alone. To walk arm-in-arm with You Down every winding path Seems to me the dearest of all delights.’

And it is indeed my people! Walking arm-in-arm with our heavenly Father is the most delightful thing we can ever do! And I’d like to suggest to many of us today that we should be seeking a closer and more intimate walk with God, so that our lives can blossom from that intimacy.

It’s high time we give ourselves to Him unreservedly; for that’s the only way we’ll ever learn or achieve true intimacy with Him. Remember, intimacy can only be achieved through a very close relationship with somebody.

And no wonder the Bible promise for that poem is ‘Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you.’ (James 4:8a) 

Yeh friends, our gracious God is always waiting for us to draw near to Him, so that he can envelope us in His LOVING arms. His is an open invitation, all we need to do is accept it. 

And when we do, then we are able to shout loud and proud and confident, like Bruh David did in our Bit. ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?’ 

Oh my people, it’s only when we walk closely with God that fear dissipates in our lives to be replaced by courage! That’s because our foundation is then truly in Jesus Christ, who died that we might live, that we might have eternal life. 

And hear how He puts it to the disciples. ‘I am the true (genuine) vine, and my Father is the husbandman (vinedresser)… Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:1,4-5) 

Now that’s telling it like it is my brethren! Without Jesus we can do nothing! All of our substance comes from Him, both as Creator and Saviour. And when we walk in lockstep with Him, we are mighty and courageous in the land, through His power that runs through us. Glory to God! 

Now listen to the Lord speaking to His people Israel through the prophet Isaiah, letting them know that He will restore them to Zion when the time is right. ‘Strengthen ye the weak (sinking) hands, and confirm (make firm) the feeble knees. 

Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you.’ (Is.35:3-4) 

That’s the awesome power and LOVE of our mighty God friends! Once we are walking faithfully with Him, He will never leave us in the lurch. Hear how Bruh David puts it at the end of Psalm 27, from which our Bit is taken. 

‘I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait (in faith) on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait (in faith), I say, on the Lord.’ (Ps.27:13-14) 

Yes friends, when we abide in God, and wait in faith on Him, He will strengthen us, and we’ll also see His wonderful goodness right down here on earth! And that goodness is indeed shed forth in our Thursday Blessings. 

So let’s declare them in strong voice and true belief. ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! 

I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Oh, the wonderful glory of God, my people! Now let’s go out and share those blessings with others, as our God desires of us. Much LOVE!

…just a closer walk with thee…blessed Jesus…let it be…please let it be…

 

 

 

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