Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 October 2016 1 Timothy 1:12.

1 Timothy 1:12.   And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into ministry. 

Awright friends, it’s another brand new day! That means that we are one day older and one day closer to heaven! (smile) Therefore we can’t afford to waste any of the finite and limited time God has given us on this earth. 

What did Moses say in psalm 91 – From everlasting to everlasting thou art God – the only one he wrote, and therefore the oldest in the Psalter? ‘So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom (gain a heart of wisdom). (Ps.91:12) We don’t know how long we have left, so we’d be wise to make the best use of it. 

And on that note, since it’s Saturday, let’s check out some quotes from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And today we have a lagniappe, a broughta or braata; an extra one, a gift, used by vendors to encourage customers to return. 

The first is T&T slang, although according to Dictionary.com, it’s used in Southern Louisiana and South East Texas, I guess it comes from French Creole. And the second is a Jamaican term. That means we have three instead of two.  

The first one says: ‘The difference between can and cannot are only three letters. Three letters that determine your life’s direction.’ And that surely makes sense. ‘Can’ will take you in one direction, while ‘cannot’ will take you in a completely different one. The choice is up to you. 

The second quote from Anselm declares: ‘Challenge yourself! Look for new opportunities, step outside of your “comfort” zone and find new things to do. Do something special, just for you, something you’ve always wanted to do. Meet new people, learn what you need to know… be optimistic!’ That also is good advice, especially in these trying times. 

And the last one says: ‘You’ve got to get up every morning with determination if you’re going to go to bed with satisfaction.’ And ain’t that gospel truth my people! Even if laziness is your goal, you have to get up determined to be lazy, if you want to go to bed satisfied with your lazy day. (smile) That’s why laughter is the best free medicine available. 

But now it’s time to get serious, as we turn to our Bit. ‘And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into ministry.’ Yes friends, those are Bruh Paul’s words of thankfulness for mercy as he wrote to his protégé Timothy.  And that’s indisputable truth, for without Christ’s enablement, Bruh Paul would not have been able to fulfill his apostolic duties. 

He then continues to explain why. ‘Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious (violent): but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and LOVE which is in Christ Jesus.’ (1Tim.1:13-14)  

The scholars explain that last verse thus: ‘1:14. Grace…was exceeding abundant (or, “grace…was more abundant”).  Christ’s undeserved favour far outweighed Paul’s previous sinful life. With faith and LOVE: God’s grace brought about faith in Paul, in contrast to his former “unbelief” and it also produced LOVE in him, in contrast to his previous blasphemy, persecution and violence to the church (v.13). Which refers to faith: Paul’s faith or trust is in Christ Jesus.’  

Ah mih people, we all know Bruh Paul’s reputation as a terrorizer of the brethren, then known as Saul, before he was called by Christ on the road to Damascus, even as he was on a mission to capture believers and take them back to Jerusalem for punishment. (Acts 9) 

And many of us in reading the Good Book might have missed Bruh Paul’s part in the stoning, the martyrdom of Stephen. The brother was giving his testimony ‘Behold, I see the heavens opened; and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. Then they (the masses) cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord. 

And cast him out of the city, and stoned him, and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, (as he was) calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus receive my spirit.  And he kneeled down and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.’ (Acts 8:56-60) 

No friends, Bruh Paul was not a very nice man in his younger days.  That’s why he could continue to Timothy with all sincerity. ‘This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.’ (1 Tim.1:15) 

He believes that he is the number one sinner, the worst one of the lot. ‘Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all long-suffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.’ (1 Tim.1:16) 

Now that’s a very interesting statement, and here is the scholars’ explanation. ‘1:16. We could read the verse thus: “But I obtained mercy for this reason: that in my case as the worst (sinner) Christ Jesus might demonstrate the fullest of patience; as an example for those about to believe on him for eternal life.” Paul’s conversion encourages other sinners; since Christ has already saved the worst sinner, He can save those less sinful.’ 

And that’s no lie friends! Christ Jesus can save the worst of us if we come to Him in true repentance! 

And we’ll end with these beautiful words of praise and thanksgiving of Bruh Paul. ‘Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever.’ (1 Tim.1:17) 

That’s one thing about Bruh Paul; he never shies away from giving all the glory to God. May we also do likewise my precious people, for that is wisdom to the nth degree! Much LOVE!

…to our wonderful God…all praise, honour and glory be given…for that is His rightful desert…

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 February 2016 Psalm 53:1‏‏‏

Psalm 53:1.   The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good.

Oh friends, there is so much I want to say this beautiful Thursday morning, but I simply can’t say anything! Chuh! 

Has that ever happened to you? My mind is a jumble of thoughts and whatever else that I can’t seem to make sense of, but I’m not worried because I know that our great and magnanimous God will eventually look down on me with empathy and guide me to what He wants me to say. 

I guess that part of my problem is that I have a touch of the flu and cough that’s causing my asthma to act up a bit. And there’s nothing that drives me bonkers like coughing. 

Anyway, I went to the funeral of an old schoolmate yesterday afternoon in Mt. St. George – and now I realize why it’s so named, for we had to drive up a steep, winding road littered with potholes to reach the church, then come another steep winding one to get back to the main road. 

It’s a good thing the duchess wasn’t my co-pilot, because I don’t know if we would have made it back safely. (smile) 

The funeral was well attended, and I saw people whom I hadn’t seen in donkey’s years (smile). The deceased lived in the U.S but was brought back home to her village for burial, exactly what I want to happen to me. 

And to show how our God moves in mysterious ways, he took one home but also breathed life in to a newborn son of one of my surrogate daughters down here. Glory to God! 

Now a buddy and I was supposed to go touring today, but it seems that he imbibed a tad too much last night, so he is also under the weather, which means that tour will have to be put off indefinitely. 

Ah mih people, my time in sweet Tobago is swiftly drawing to a close, and as the duchess said recently, the problem is not how we’re going to face the cold up in the Northern climes, but how we’re going to leave this paradise? It will definitely be hard, although every day we complain how the sun is so hot. 

So I guess today will just be a day of rest and later this evening I’ll go to the Bible Study class up the road. I heard they missed me last week when I was in Trinidad. I missed them too, because it was a spirited gathering, West Indian style. And call me biased, but nothing beats anything, West Indian style! (smile) 

Now that’s the end of my news, but before we get to our Bit, I want to share these words of wisdom from one Leviticus, whom I assume was an olden Greek philosopher. And he is reputed to have said that: ‘He who attempts to resist the wave is swept away, but he who bends before it abides.’ 

And I rediscovered that in reality recently on the beach. I tried to fight off a big wave and it sent me crashing into the sand. But another one, instead of trying to fight it, I rode it successfully into the shore. 

The same way it is with life my friends, especially when we are getting up in age and can’t fight all the unusual stuff that’s coming against us; all the aches and pains and illnesses. We have to learn to bend with the tide, if we hope to continue living a full and enjoyable life. 

That also means we cannot emulate the people in our Bit. ‘The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good.’ 

Now, though we know better, the prosperity of the wicked can sometimes drive us to want what they have. Listen to the psalmist Asaph, as he discourses in Psalm 73 on the Mystery of Prosperous wickedness. 

‘Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean (pure) heart. But as for me, my feet were almost gone (I had almost stumbled); my steps had well-nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish (boastful), when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.’ (Ps.73:1-3) 

Yes friends, although Asaph knew better, the sinful human nature still enticed him to be envious of the wicked in their earthly prosperity. And unfortunately it still does the same thing to us in these very trying and difficult times. 

But we need to see the treachery and deceit of material possession and earthly prosperity for what it really is; ofttimes a temptation of the enemy, and don’t allow it to get us caught up in its wicked tentacles. Because once we sell our soul for those things, it’s not very easy to get out of Lucifer’s contract. 

Now hear Bruh Paul to Titus on Christian citizenship and the basis of the Christian ethic. ‘Put them in mind to be subject to principalities (rulers) and powers (authorities), to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work. To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers (not contentious), but gentle, showing all meekness unto all men. 

For we ourselves also were sometime foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and LOVE of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed (poured out) on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour. That being justified (declared righteous) by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.’ (Titus 3:1-7) 

Yes my fellow believers in Christ, it’s only through God’s grace and mercy and LOVING-kindness, poured out on us through Christ that we are able to withstand the wiles and lies of the evil one. That means we have to stand strong and steadfast in faith if we want to resist the enemy. 

Now here is some info from the scholars on the term ‘regeneration.’‘3:5. Regeneration refers to the work of the Holy Spirit in the salvation experience that produces new life in the believer. To express this concept, Jesus used the expression “born again” in His conversation with Nicodemus (John 3:3-7). 

Regeneration is the work of God, through the Holy Spirit, of placing in one who has faith a new nature, capable of doing God’s will. The Holy Spirit is the agent or divine workman of this regeneration. His instrument is the Bible, which is likened to a hammer that judges sin (Jer.23:29), a mirror that reveals sin (James 1:23), a sword that defeats Satan (Heb.4:12), and a lamp that guides the believers (Ps.119:105). 

Illustration: People are instantaneously “born again “the moment they trust Christ as Saviour. (1 Pet.1:23). Application: Christians should be careful to cooperate with God in growing as children of God after they are regenerated, or given new life. (First Ref. John 3:3), Primary Ref. Titus 3:5. cf. Eph.1:15.).’ 

Oh friends, only by cooperating with God and growing in the likeness of Christ, can we ever hope to stave off the foolishness and deceit of the enemy! And it will benefit us all, if we looked up the references the scholars provided. (smile) 

Now let’s end with some more words of Bruh Paul to Titus. ‘This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.’ (Titus 3:8) 

There’s nothing left to say my brethren, except that we should all go out, each and every day, being careful to do works that enhance the gospel of Christ, so that the heathen can see the true beauty in living for Christ and want to come to Him. It’s our bounden duty. Much LOVE!

…talk is cheap…but good works cost something…Christians should be prepared to pay that cost…  

P.S. I know it’s long, but God’s word is worth it. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 June 2014 Acts 14:22

Acts 14:22.    Confirming (strengthening) the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

Well hello there you wonderful Friends and faithful believers and followers of Jesus Christ! It’s a new day; a beautiful one, filled with new blessings and mercies, and it’s called Monday…
 
And I immediately hear the moans and groans and deleted expletives and comments like: ‘Chuh! Yuh really mean is Monday already! Steups! I really have to get up and go to this stupid job!’
 
Yes Friends, provided you want to earn a living, keep a roof over your family’s head, and bread on the table for your LOVED ones. And I am somewhat disappointed in us my brethren, because it was just last week we woke up with a better perspective, LOVING Mondays and all that it entailed.
 
Oh, so that’s what it was eh; just a dream, as someone in the penny section cried out. (smile) However Friends, the reality is that it’s Monday, and if you’re a true follower of Jesus, you have to get up and go and labour, whether you want to or not. End of story!
 
And remember, as Jesus promised, He will always help us to do whatever He desires of us. And His first helping tool today is that we sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn in full, sweet voice. So let’s raise our heads, hearts, eyes and hands heavenward and sing as though there’s no tomorrow.
 
‘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!’ 
 
Not bad mih people, not bad, though I did hear some hoarse, cackling voices. (smile) Now let’s get ourselves together and hit the ground running for Christ; living up to the words of our Bit! ‘Confirming (strengthening) the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.’
 
Yes Friends, that’s what all believers are called to do; strengthen the faith of others, encouraging them through faithful words and good examples, because walking in the big footsteps of Jesus is not an easy job, definitely not for the faint of heart or timid of mind.
 
The unfortunate fate of the believer is to pass through many trials and tribulations, like Jesus did, before we enter God’s heavenly kingdom. But as I keep saying, the rewards for enduring are fantastic, and totally worth it.
 
Look at what happened to Jesus eh, after He endured His heart-rending tribulation, the Father anointed and exalted Him; ‘and given Him a name to which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow… And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil.2:9-11)
 
So if the Father did it for Jesus, why wouldn’t He do it for us eh? No reason whatsoever!
 
Our Bit comes from the section of Acts where Bruh Paul and Barnabas were on a missionary journey, including Lystra, where Bruh Paul was stoned, dragged out of the city and left for dead. (Acts 14:19)
 
But as the Good Book so famously declares: ‘Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe. And when they had preached the gospel to that city and had taught many (made many disciples), they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and to Antioch.’ (Acts 14:20-21)
 
Fortunately though my people, most of us won’t have to endure such tribulation. But just being a believer WILL bring us trials. As Jesus said, simply ‘For my name’s sake.’ (Luk2 21:12) But please remember Friends, that true faith, trust in and surrender to Jesus brings us an inner strength that nothing or no one can match or take away.
 
Just look at our still severely persecuted brethren all over the world. Despite disastrous persecution, they are still standing strong, not giving up. So why can’t we in this fairly free Western society do the same eh? I guess life’s just too easy for us, we take freedom of worship for granted and thus abuse it.
 
Enough batting of my gums though (smile), time to share this most appropriate scripture from Bruh Paul to Timothy, re being a good soldier in Christ.
 
‘Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things. Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:  Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evildoer, even unto bonds (chains); but the word of God is not bound (chained).
 
Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s (chosen ones) sake, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer (endure), we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: If we believe not (are faithless), yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.’ (2 Tim.2:7-13)  
 
Oh Friends, please let those words encourage us, let them sink deeply into our consciousness, so that we can develop into good and faithful soldiers of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Why? Because that’s the ultimate wisdom of life! Much LOVE!
 
…in the world ye shall have tribulation…but be of good cheer…I have overcome the world….’
 
P.S. Yes Friends, it’s long, but it’s good. (smile) Much LOVE!