Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 February 2018 1 John 3:18.

1 John 3:18.   My little children, let us not LOVE in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

Oh boy, it’s another bright, sunshiny day in the neighbourhood! Thank You Lord! If we have to put up with the snow and cold, then we should at least have some sunshine to brighten up the gloom those things produce in our spirits. (smile) 

And I’m in a quandary here; don’t know what to write on; Ash Wednesday or Valentine’s Day, as both of them fall on the same day. Hn! The former begins the season of Lent for believers; a serious time of introspection, fasting and prayer. 

On the other hand, the latter is a time of joy and celebration and the time of the biggest display of LOVE in our hate-filled, angry and resentful society. And even though it smacks of a lot of insincerity and commercialism, how can you write off any kind of LOVE at all eh, when we so badly need it? 

I guess in one sense you can say that the bacchanal of Carnival is over now, and we begin the season of Lent with a fiery burst of LOVE! Oh how wonderful that would be if the LOVE went a li’l deeper and was more sincere and lasting! But beggars can’t be choosers, so if we get even a small amount of LOVE in this LOVELESS world we have to be grateful and say, ‘Thank You Lord!! 

Meanwhile, on the Lenten side of the ledger, we need to get serious about our walk with God and delve into what it truly means to be walking in sincere tandem with Him. We need to empty our spirits, as Jesus did when He was led into the wilderness to suffer forty days of temptation at the hands of the evil Lucifer. 

He spent His days in prayer and contemplation with fasting, a way of building His belly and backbone to withstand the rigours of His upcoming ministry. He knew that His ministry would not be easy, and that was the Lord’s way of strengthening Him. 

And in this season of Lent we ought to try and be strengthened in like manner my faithful and believing brethren. If we want to be like Jesus, to grow in Christ-likeness, then we have to do some of the things He did, follow in His footsteps as much as possible. And tuning out more of the world than usual, in these next forty days, is something we can do, and ought to embark on. 

I guess you can call it the yearly cleansing of our spirits. But however we do it, the important thing is to get closer to God, by putting aside some of the worldly things that usually occupy our time, and giving Him more of our time, studying His word more closely and meditating on it, so we can discover its true meaning for our lives. 

And yuh know what friends? As we spend more time in serious reflection, we will understand God better, and His most wonderful attribute, that of LOVE, will seep into our hearts and souls even more. Wow! How amazing that would be if we could get the majority of the world to reflect on God’s Word and discover His awesome and unconditional LOVE! 

And on this Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day, I believe the most appropriate Bit for today, is the same one we had yesterday. ‘My little children, let us not LOVE in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.’ 

Yeh mih people, please, please, I implore us to bring out true LOVE in our daily lives, show it to our fellow man in living colour, in sincere actions, because that’s the only way we will truly make this world a better place. Not to mention that it’s only true, sincere actions of LOVE, that anyone will truly want to come to Christ. If we keep preaching that Christ is LOVE, and don’t show true LOVE, then we’re making a mockery of Christ and all that He stands for. 

As John says earlier on: ‘For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should LOVE one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew (murdered) his brother (Abel). And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.’ (1 John 3:11-12) 

Now listen to the scholars’ explanation of that last verse. ‘3:12. See Genesis 4:8. Of that wicked one refers to a child of the Devil (v.10). Cain killed Abel because their conflicting allegiances (Cain’s to Satan, Abel’s to God) were plain to see by their respective actions. 

John seems to be saying: “If even wicked Cain could see that a man’s character is revealed ultimately, not in what he says he believes, but in what he does, should not Christians be able to see this as well?” 

Of course we should my brethren! As we said yesterday, LOVE is an action word, and only through our actions can we outwardly manifest it. But sadly, so many of us lack LOVE in our souls, that we obviously can’t show it. We can’t give what we don’t have. 

However, if we’re serious about giving LOVE, then all we have to do is go to God and sincerely ask Him to fill us with it. But then that means spending time with Him, something that so many of us unfortunately shy away from. 

Anyway friends, this Ash Wednesday/Valentine’s Day is the right time for us to come to the trough and drink of God’s grace, mercy, LOVE and forgiveness. Remember, it did not just happen by chance, but God programmed it that way, to accomplish His purpose. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our blessed position in Christ. All together 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!’ 

Now that’s truth and wisdom of everlasting proportions! Much LOVE!

…if one is consistently hanging with Jesus…then one’s future can only get brighter and brighter…

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 February 2018 1 John 3:18.

1 John 3:18.    My little children, let us not LOVE in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

Welcome friends, welcome to another great day on God’s great earth! Wow! Both the SON and the Sun are shining brightly; the latter so bright that if you’re not careful you can be blinded by its reflection off the white snow. (smile) Is it ever a joy and a pleasure to be alive to see another day! 

Please give our wonderful God much praise and thanks for the breath we’re still drawing in these turbulent times, for without Him we’d surely be faltering in the darkness of an evil and ungodly world. 

And can you imagine the bacchanal that ‘s taking place in places like T&T and Rio right now, at the height of the carnival season? Mama Yo! Fete fuh so! Everybody’s trying to get in as much partying as possible because tomorrow is Ash Wednesday…and then all the party done! (smile) 

Enough about partying though, let’s turn our attention to something that’s much more important and oh so lacking, but ever so necessary in our world, if it’s ever to run right; we’re talking about how to ‘Practice LOVING.’ That’s the name of the poem I want to share with us today from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. 

Please pray sincerely with me. ‘It is so simple, dear Lord So pleasant and comfortable To sit in church on a Sunday morning Listening to a sermon about LOVE – Perhaps even speculating a bit On whether my LOVE surpasses the LOVE Of the person to my right Or the Person to my left. 

But to LOVE with Your LOVE To practice LOVING, dear God How uncomfortable the church pew becomes When I hear this ringing challenge When I see Your gazing eyes. Suddenly I remember the vicious remarks Of the woman who misjudged me. I remember the unscrupulous associate Who finagled my husband’s job. I remember the careless driver Who totaled our shining new car. 

So quickly, Lord, I am faced With a haunting parade Of shameful, UNLOVING attitudes. God, You know me so much better Than I know my own complex self And still You continue to LOVE me. Give me, I pray, a fresh glimpse Of Your vast, immeasurable LOVE For it is only out of gratitude for Your LOVE That I shall finally learn What it means to practice LOVING.’ 

And isn’t that the everlasting truth my brethren! Only with God’s help can we truly practice LOVE! It’s something our world desperately lacks, but so badly needs! Just look at all the strife and war, the anger, hate and resentment that’s so blatant in our current societies. How could that ever be good for us eh? 

We need to come together rather then be split apart, and ONLY LOVE, or rather the PRACTICE OF LOVE, brings people together. And yes, I know that tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and everybody will be spouting LOVE, but LOVE is not, cannot be a one Day Special, if it is to have any real and lasting effect, especially if fuelled by commercialism as Valentine’s Day is in our current society. 

Hence the command from the first epistle of John in our Bit: ‘My little children, let us not LOVE in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.’ And as the scholars tell us: ‘3:18. In tongue refers to mere talk.’ And over the years I’ve tried to beat it into my children’s heads that you can’t talk LOVE, because LOVE is an action word! I hope you finally got the message mih LOVELIES! (smile)

Unfortunately though, when coming to LOVE, that’s all our world is about; TALK! We talk a very good talk about LOVE, but not enough of us walk the walk of true and sincere LOVE. And it’s not an easy thing to do, when we are surrounded and bombarded by all sorts of injustices and other things which don’t normally bring out the emotion of LOVE. 

Our poem above points out some of those difficult times; vicious remarks from being misjudged, unscrupulous associates, and careless drivers. Those things certainly don’t bring out LOVE in a natural manner, but our God wants us to have that sort of response, because that’s His response to our own misdeeds. 

So LOVE is something we have to actively and consciously work at, especially since our Lord and Saviour, our Leader, Jesus Christ so plainly and purposefully commanded. 

‘But I say unto you, LOVE your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully (spitefully) use you, and persecute you. That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.’ (Matt.5:44-45) 

Ah friends, obviously that doesn’t sit well with our normal sinful nature, but if we’re born again and are true believers, we need to adhere to the words of our Leader. And we know that anytime we flounder, all we have to do is to cry out to Him for help, and He will help us. So nothing He asks us to do is impossible. That’s why we can go home now sincerely declaring who and who’s we are in our Tuesday Mantra. 

All together now, in strong voice: ‘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!’ 

All glory to God my people! Now let’s go out and do exactly as we just said; share Jesus’ LOVE with the world. Much LOVE!

…what the world needs now…is LOVE…sweet LOVE…something we can never have enough of…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 February 2018 Romans 5:19.

Romans 5:19.   For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

Monday, Monday! What a beautiful sounding name for a beautiful day! And I know that some of you think I’m being facetious and flippant, or I’m just crazy, or even both, because I’m calling Monday a beautiful day, when hordes of you despise the very name Monday and what it entails. 

But friends, regardless of how much we might dislike Mondays and what it means, or stands for, we can’t get away from it. So why keep on trying to fight it eh? Why not just make peace with it, knowing that every week it’s going to come around and we will be miserable, because we’re tired and don’t want to get up to go to work. 

So let’s just try and go with the flow nuh. (smile) Monday rolls around, you simply say to yourself, if I don’t work, then I won’t eat, and let words to that effect propel you out of the warm, cozy bed. Although, if we’d use the weekend as sensibly as we should, we’d never have the Monday morning problem. But that’s another sermon for another day. 

Right now let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to give us our wake up call, so that we can get ourselves together and get back in the rat-race we call society and fight tooth and nail on behalf of Jesus. 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!’ 

Oh friends, how wonderful that prayer is at causing the adrenaline to speedily course through our bodies! Let’s not waste it nuh, but use it to improve our momentum and all around good vibes, as we begin this new work week, working steadfastly with and for Jesus. And believe people, there’s no better person in the entire world to work with or for than our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! And if you have to ask why, then you’re not a believer. But I’ll tell you anyway: because of all the wondrous things He’s done for poor, lost and despicable sinners like you and me. 

Listen as Bruh Paul explains Jesus’ major accomplishment to the Roman church in our Bit. ‘For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.’ 

Yes my faithful brethren, just like the whole world was plunged into sin and darkness by Adam’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden, likewise the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ enables all who sincerely desire to be reconciled with God, to bask in the brilliant light of Jesus, be considered righteous in God’s holy eyes. 

That’s because Jesus took upon Himself ALL our sins, the Lord burdened Him with them on the cross at Calvary, and instead, like the true Saviour He is, He gave us His righteousness. Wow! What a Champion is our Jesus! There is NO ONE like Him in the universe: not even close! 

Hear how Bruh Paul describes him to the Philippians nuh. ‘Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God; But made of himself no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’ (Phil.2:6-8) 

Yeh friends, Jesus was God incarnate, man in human form, but didn’t make a big fuss over it. Instead He chose to be a servant, to be obedient to His heavenly Father’s will. Even though it was a catastrophic situation, He withstood the shame and the ‘sufferation’ and sacrificed His sinless and holy life on the cross for us, so that the Father could forgive and wash away our horrible sins!  

Now that makes Him an awesome giant in my eyes. And yuh know what, the Father felt the same way: ‘Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil.2:9-11) 

Mama Mia! I can’t find words to express my feelings! Jesus is just too great for words! And as we go up against the enemy today my faithful brethren, let’s remember that nuh; meaning the enemy can’t do us any real harm unless we allow him to do so. He is a defeated foe, crushed to smithereens by our Jesus and he is just trying to hold on through lies and other deceptive means. Please don’t fall prey to him today. Much LOVE!

…bend your knee…and speak His name with reverence…for Jesus Christ is indeed Lord of ALL…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 February 2018 Psalm 33:1.

Psalm 33:1.   Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely (beautiful) for the upright.

And as the first day of the week rolls around again, let us gladly make our weekly pilgrimage to the House of God! There to meet in joyful fellowship, with praise and thanksgiving flowing from our lips and hearts, as we listen to His holy word and renew His Spirit within us. As I said the other day, there’s nothing as moving and monumental as a group of true believers gathering to offer up thanks and praise to our heavenly Father. 

Now please don’t allow the snow, rain, or other physical circumstances to stop you from going to the Lord’s sanctuary, for you will miss a great time, where believers encourage each other and the Spirit of the Lord is in the house rejuvenating everyone. So let’s get the praise and worship going by singing another old faithful, ‘Abide with Me.’ 

Apparently it was written by an eccentric curate, Henry Francis Lyte (1793-1847) ‘haunted by the phrase, repeatedly muttered by his close friend, William Le Hunte, as he lay dying.’ Lyte wrote the hymn to its own tune, but it is now sung to the tune of ‘Eventide,’ a composition of the organist William Monk. 

It’s supposedly based on the scripture Luke 24:29, where the two disciples met Jesus on the road to Emmaus but did not recognize Him, and as the daylight was drawing to a close, and they came to where they would spend the night, they constrained, petitioned, Jesus: ‘Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.’ 

Now let us, in our own way, invite Jesus to stay with us until time everlasting. In strong voice and humble hearts let’s offer up the sacrifice of praise that our Lord enjoys hearing so much. ‘Abide with me: fast falls the eventide; the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide. When other helpers fail and comforts flee, Help of the helpless, O abide with me. 

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day; earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away. Change and decay in all around I see. O Lord who changes not, abide with me. I need your presence every passing hour. What but your grace can foil the tempter’s power? Who like yourself my guide and strength can be? Through cloud and sunshine, O abide with me. 

I fear no foe with you at hand to bless, though ills have weight, and tears their bitterness. Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, your victory? I triumph still, if you abide with me. Hold now your Word before my closing eyes. Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies. Heaven’s morning breaks and earth’s vain shadows flee; in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.’ 

And there is no one better to undertake that task than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Now here are a couple of interesting comments on the hymn. One Erik Routley calls it a hymn that “looks death in the face” and embodies the human craving for companionship in extremis.’ So what of that eh? Though we know that all of us must face death, it’s till the hardest thing for us to come to terms with. 

So if we have something that gives us comfort under the circumstances, why not cling to it? And besides, God made man to fellowship with Him and each other, so there is a built in need for companionship. (smile)  

It’s also been noted that ‘the change to the singular pronoun is what gives the hymn its comforting emotional intimacy.’ That means the change from the disciples ‘abide with US,’ to the hymn’s ‘abide with ME.’ Whatever makes it more comforting yes! 

And all of the above dovetails very nicely with our Bit. ‘Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely (beautiful) for the upright.’ Ah friends, that is exactly what our Sunday gatherings are about: rejoicing in the Lord, giving Him beautiful and comely praise in His house.  

Now that doesn’t mean to say that it’s only in a building with several people is rejoicing and praise possible. Shoot no! Praise can be done anywhere, at any time, by at least one person! Our God doesn’t care so much about when, where and by how many He gets His praise, once He gets it on a regular basis from His children. 

That’s why Bruh Paul warned the Ephesians, and by extension modern day believers: ‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation), but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph.5:18-21) 

Yeh mih people, as true believers, we ought always to have a song of joy in our hearts towards our wonderful heavenly Father! And it’s only fitting that we end with some more of the Psalm from which our Bit is taken. ‘Praise the Lord with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song; play skillfully with a loud noise (shout of joy). The word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth. He LOVETH righteousness and judgement (justice): the earth is full of the goodness (LOVING-kindness) of the Lord.’ (Ps.33:2-5) 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my brethren! Wow! That’s why we ought to rejoice and give thanks as much as possible! So as we go to the sanctuary today, or worship wherever, let’s try and keep that joy, that rejoicing in the Lord’s goodness actively bubbling in our hearts nuh. For remember, the joy of the Lord is our strength. Much LOVE!

…if you’re not giving God regular and sincere praise and thanks…then you’re not a true believer…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 February 2018 Matthew 5:20.

Matthew 5:20.   For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case (by no means) enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Oh friends, out there is like a true winter wonderland! Everything is as white as ever, for as far as you can see. And the white stuff has begun coming down again, at least in my area. Chuh! 

But that’s the Lord’s will. There isn’t anything we can really do about it. It’s winter, and that’s what happens in winter. We’ve just been lucky over the last few years not to see so much snow, so early in the season. 

But remember, anything God brings us to, He will bring us through. So if you have to go out today, please be careful, because that white stuff, though it may look beautiful on the ground, like the enemy it can be very deceiving and dangerous. 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Listen to this first one. ‘When writing the story of your life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen.’ And why would you want to do that eh? It’s your life. You have to control it. 

Now check this out. ‘All the days that you wake up, you got one job, and that’s to get better every single day.’ And that’s oh so true, especially for a Christian. We need to aspire to grow in maturity and Christ-likeness every day that we draw breath. 

That leads us to: ‘Clear your mind of can’t!’ Wonderful advice! For as a believer in Jesus Christ, ‘can’t’ is not supposed to be in our vocabulary, since ALL things are possible with God, and we are God’s chosen people! 

And here’s an interesting one. ‘If you wanna fly, you got to give up the useless stuff that weighs you down.’ Is that ever so true friends! You can’t fly, or prosper, or take off, or rise up if you are being weighed down by useless and unnecessary stuff. 

Note how they carefully pack airplanes and ships for balance, and consider how much stuff is placed in them, otherwise they won’t be able to lift off the ground or sail. The same goes for people, improperly placed and unnecessary baggage will hold us back. 

And this last quote says: ‘If you do not go after what you want, you will never have it. If you do not ask, the answer will always be NO. If you do not step forward, you will always be in the same place.’ 

And that is certainly true, but for believers a serious proviso has to be added to it: All we do, must be done under the will of God, His leading, and in His awesome timing! If not, our seeking will be to no avail; we’ll never truly fly, or write a good life story. And I do hope those quotes give us something to ponder this snowy Saturday morning, as we laze around the house. (smile) 

And we have a very interesting Bit today; memorable words of Jesus, as He talks about the law. ‘For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case (by no means) enter into the kingdom of heaven.’ 

Wow mih people! Imagine that nuh! And those people were supposed to be the most religious in their day, but Jesus lambasted them right, left and centre for their hypocritical behaviour. 

Hear how the scholars explain it. ‘5:20. Because of the necessity of righteousness as a requirement to enter heaven, Jesus then declares that except their righteousness should exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees they could not enter heaven. 

The significance of this is seen in the fact that the Jews of Jesus’ day considered those people to be the most religious in all Israel. However, their religion was largely an outward show of self-righteousness. 

In communicating the depth of His message, Jesus used a series of contrasts between the outward behaviour demanded by the law and the inner attitude of the heart desired by God. Here we discover the practical application of genuine Christian character to true spiritual living. Here we see the gospel in action.                                  

              Law                                           Spirit                         

             No Murder                               No anger

              No adultery                            No lust

              No divorce                               Commitment

              No oath-taking                      Speak the truth

              No retaliation                        Forgiveness

              Hatred for your enemy       LOVE for your enemy                  

             (tradition allowed it)                  (commanded)

Ah mih people, yuh see the basic difference between the laws of man and those of God. Our God expects us to come up to a higher standard than that of the basic law. Just living by the law is not good enough. And the scribes and Pharisees didn’t even truly live by the law that they propagated. 

Unfortunately, so do a lot of us supposed Christians in these end times. Some of us put on a great outward show, talk a good talk, but behind closed doors it’s an entirely different story.

But please remember Jesus’ words; unless we are more righteous than the religious leaders of His day, we won’t enter heaven. Now, that’s something of immeasurable value and importance for us to ponder this Saturday morning. Much LOVE!

…unless you walk the walk…in God’s eyes…where it really matters…talking the talk is useless…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 February 2018 Proverbs 3:5.

Proverbs 3:5.   Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

Ah friends, it looks like it’s going to be a bleak and cloudy day in my neighbourhood, with very little, or no sun at all… But thank the Lord, the SON is always on fire, always shining brightly in the lives of His followers, so we don’t have to worry about the physical aspects of our surroundings.

That’s why, like the psalmist of old, we can confidently proclaim: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’

And not only believers are rejoicing in the day, but also the ordinary workingman, as he sings his Friday song: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Wow! The weekend’s here at last, and party time has begun! It’s going to be party time right through until Monday morning…Who cares if we go to massa work tired and stale drunk eh?

Massa doh really care about we, he just wants to milk the juice out of our bodies, in return for a measly pittance, so why should we care about him and his work eh? Look nuh man…just thank God for Fridays and weekends yes, and enjoy yuh blooming self, because nobody else is going to do it for you!’

And my people, there is a whole lot of truth to that last statement. Nobody is going to enjoy yourself for you. That is your responsibility. However, we Christians differ to the workingman in how we enjoy ourselves. They go to the fleshly extreme, but we do not. Under Jesus authority, we have guidelines and boundaries to respect. That’s why when we chant our Friday Chant, it sounds so much different to the workingman’s song.

So let’s sing it now nuh, in all sincerity and truth. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’

Now it’s obviously more difficult to adhere to that state of affairs than the workingman’s easy, carnal attitude, but with God’s help we can certainly do it. Remember, our wonderful God does not ask us to do anything that He does not give us the wherewithal to do it. So though it might seem difficult, and indeed be difficult, under His auspices we will certainly be able to perform any task that He asks of us.

That’s why our Bit, in the words of Cousin Sol, so strongly advises us to: ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.’  And if you are a serious and sincere believer in Jesus Christ, then that is indeed the epitome of wisdom and common sense! No matter what organization you belong to, you must exhibit confidence and trust in your leader, otherwise you’re wasting your time in being a member of that organization.

No wonder the psalmist also tells us in Psalm 37 – God’s works and wisdom: ‘Hear attentively the noise of his voice (thunder), and the sound that goeth out of (the rumbling that comes) out of his mouth. He directeth it under the whole heaven, and his lightning (light) unto the ends of the earth.

After it a voice roareth; He thundereth with the voice of his excellency (his majestic voice); and he will not stay (restrain) them when his voice is heard. God thundereth marvellously with his voice; great things doeth he, which we cannot comprehend.’ (Ps.37:2-5)

And isn’t that the gospel truth my people! Our omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God does numerous things that our puny, finite minds cannot dream to understand. That’s because His ways and thoughts are higher than ours. That’s why He is God and we are mere mortals. Therefore we’re not to get presumptuous and try to do our own thing if we claim to be subservient to Him.

And after our Bit, Cousin Sol continues his wise advice. ‘In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct (make smooth, straight) thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel (body), and marrow (strength) to thy bones. (Prov.3:6-8)

Oh friends, there isn’t a wiser piece of scripture in the entire Bible. If we simply follow those four verses (Prov.3:5-8) we will never go wrong. But let’s end with these words from the prophet Jeremiah as he talks about the knowledge of God being man’s glory.

‘Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise LOVING-kindness, judgement (justice), and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.’ (Jer. 9:23-24)

Ah mih people, words straight from the Lord’s mouth to us. So please, in our wisdom, let’s try and live the way He desires of us nuh. Much LOVE!

…to live a godly life…LOVING-kindness…justice…and right living…must be essential aspects of our lives…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 February 2018 Matthew 21:22.

Matthew 21:22.   And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask for in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

Ah friends, my most humble apologies for the lateness of today’s Bit. I have absolutely no idea what happened, except that when I was supposed to get up, I was still somewhere far away in dream land. (smile) 

And it’s not like I did anything exhaustive yesterday, or went to bed later than normal. In fact yesterday was designated a day of rest, as I watched the snow fall, and then listened to the snow ploughs and dump trucks cart it away later in the evening. So my only conclusion is that I was simply tired from excessive rest! (smile) 

But on a serious note, I’m asking us, especially our St. Francis people, to offer up sincere prayers for one of our church members, Abbi, who recently had to trek down to Indianapolis to help look after her very sick mother in the hospital. Some of you might not know her, because she usually comes to the 8.30 a.m service. 

Her father doesn’t seem to be doing too well either, as he appears to be stressed out over his wife’s illness. And to complicate matters even further, Abbi is also 6.5 months pregnant, so she also has to look after herself and her unborn child. That means she has to walk a very narrow and careful path in this tremulous situation. There’s not much we can do for the family except pray. So please do that. They would very much appreciate your prayers. 

Now here is something appropriate that I just found on one of the many pieces of paper that sit next to my computer. It’s a quote from Corville Peters, host of the Christian call in programme, ‘At the Cross.’ He says: ‘Prayer is not about trying to overcome God’s reluctance, but laying hold of His willingness on your behalf.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth! Prayer is not about trying to twist God’s arms to help us, but to activate His waiting and His willingness to help. I guess it’s something like our 911 Emergency Number. When you call it, you don’t have to beg them to come and help you, because that’s exactly what they are there for. 

It’s the same thing with our omnipotent God; He is there to always help us when we call, not hem and haw as to whether He should, or should not. And don’t ever forget friends, that prayer is the most powerful tool or weapon in our human arsenal! Otherwise, Jesus would not have said in our Bit: ‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask for in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.’  

And it’s very true. But please note the most important word in that sentence: ‘believing.’ Yeh mih people, we have to believe that we will get what we pray for. You’ll notice, that with Jesus, everything is about believing, about having hope and faith, about seeing it when it’s nowhere in sight. 

Look at how we believe that Jesus died for us and LOVES us and all those good things, although we never met Him in the flesh. That’s what our faith is all about: when you believe, then you’ll see! And what better example is there than when Peter was imprisoned by Herod. 

The Good Book tells us: ‘Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for Him.’ (Acts 12:5) And what happened after that. An angel came and let Peter out of the prison like he was in a trance. (Acts 12:6-10)  

The Good Book continues: ‘And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety (for certain), that the Lord had sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.’ (Acts 12:11) 

And we all know how when he knocked at the door of Mary’s house, the mother of John Mark, even though they were praying for him, nobody would believe that he was out there, saying nonsense like, ‘It is his angel.’ He had to keep on knocking before they would let him in. (Acts 12:12-17) 

So you see friends, even though we pray sincerely, we still lack that ever-important aspect of belief. As Jesus said so plainly before our Bit: ‘Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain; be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.’ (Matt.21:21) 

It’s all about faith, and trust and belief in Jesus and His awesome power and promises my brethren! Please, let’s not lose or lessen our faith, but rather build it up, so that we can move to higher heights, become more Christ-like, as the Father desires. And in keeping with all that, let’s go home now, proudly and sincerely declaring out Thursday Blessings. 

In strong voice now: ‘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!’ 

And if we truly believe it all, then our next step is to go out and share it with others, as Jesus intends for us to do. Much LOVE!

…prayer…that wonderful…and oh so powerful…method of communication with our great God…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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