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…

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 November 2016 Daniel 9:9.

Daniel 9:9.   To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him. 

Oh friends, doesn’t it feel good to be alive on this Tuesday morning? It certainly does, especially when we are members of that glorious body, the church of Jesus Christ! 

Wow! What a privilege and a blessing to be numbered amongst the brothers and sisters of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

Consequently, our attitude should be one of great appreciation and a burning desire to do the Lord’s will. In keeping with all that, then let us sincerely declare, as the psalmist did so long ago: ‘This is the day the Lord has made. We WILL rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps.118:24) 

Yes my brethren, though the day may look dark and bleak, we know for a fact that the light of Jesus is shining in our hearts, souls, bodies and minds, and therefore we have the wherewithal to go out into the evil world and make a positive difference on His behalf. 

And to boost, to bolster our faith and courage, to reaffirm our sense of purpose, let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra, with certainty and passion. As one now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. 

I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Ah mih people, as I said earlier on, it’s sure good to be in league with Jesus and the heavenly father. How can we be beaten or discouraged when we are God’s beloved and the friend of Jesus eh? No way Jose! 

But we also need to remember that we have a part to play in the relationship; and our part is to share the LOVE of Jesus with others, so that they too can come to know Him, to receive His awesome offer of salvation and eternal life! 

And all God’s people declared a loud, sincere and appreciative: ‘All praise and glory be to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit for taking us under their mighty wings and keeping us safe and warm, like babes in their mother’s arms!’ 

And in so doing friends, the Holy Trinity takes the interest of each believer and deals with them personally, helping them to walk the straight and narrow path that leads to God, while they spread the good news of Jesus’ wonderful gospel. 

Nothing could be better than that my brethren! And when we consider the glorious words of our Bit, we become even more appreciative of God’s LOVE for us, His greatest creation. ‘To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him.’ 

Oh what a wonderful God we serve and worship my fellow believers! No other Deity is willing to offer mercy and forgiveness to rebellious followers. That means the Lord must be strong and secure in His own Spirit. For only a very powerful and secure Being could afford to be so generous. And for that generosity, we offer a most heartfelt thanks! 

Now let’s continue looking at some scriptures that uphold the argument of our Bit. And we’ll begin with words from the prophet Joel, as he calls Israel to repentance and fasting. 

‘Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and  with mourning: 

And rend (tear) your heart and not your garments, and turn (return) unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness (LOVING-kindness), and repenteth him of the evil (relents from doing harm).’ (Joel 2:12-13) 

And the scholars have an interesting commentary on those verses. ‘2:12-13. The customary way a Jew showed his grief was to tear his outer garment. This external sign could be meaningless. The tearing of the outer garment is useless, unless the heart is broken in repentance and contrition.’ 

And that still holds true up to these ungodly times my people. Outward show does not move God’s heart. That’s why He seeks our true motives by examining the state of our own hearts before answering our prayers. 

Now listen to the words of Bruh David from Psalm 86 – Teach me thy way, O Lord. ‘Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive, and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.’ (Ps.86:4-5) 

And nobody knew God’s forgiveness and mercy better than Bruh David. Now let’s end with some more of his awesome words from Psalm 86. ‘I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore. For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest (the depths of) hell. 

O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men (mobs) have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them. But thou, O Lord, art a God of compassion, and gracious, long-suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth. 

O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me; give thy strength unto thy servant, and save the son of thine handmaid. Show me a token (a sign) for good: that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, Lord, hast helped me, and comforted me.’ (Ps.86:12-17) 

Oh friends, definitely a great prayer on which to begin our day! Now let’s go out there feeling helped and comforted by our God and do His wondrous will for our lives. Much LOVE!

…with our wonderful God…mercy and forgiveness are possible…even though rebellion fills our hearts…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 December 2015 Luke 2:33‏‏

Luke 2:33.  And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which were spoken of him. 

And then it was Wednesday! Yes friends, the day before Old Year’s, before New Year’s Eve, when we make such a big hoopla about things changing for the New Year, when in fact they mostly remain the same. (smile) 

For the first few days we might try to keep our resolutions, but invariably we end up back at the same spot we were at, at year’s end. 

Now it’s good to make sincere and productive resolutions and all that, but the trouble is that most of just talk for talk sake, without any serious intention of making the changes we talk about. Or if we’re serious, when the enormity of the situation truly hits us, we just give up and revert back to our former state. 

Anyway, I’m not going to bad talk New Year’s resolutions anymore. (smile) Instead, let’s wail our Wednesday Wail with sincerity and a true sense of purpose. ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

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

Oh my people, that’s all the New Year’s resolution we need right there; looking ahead to a glorious future with Jesus! 

And I’d like to plead guilty to not checking with us during the year, as I used to, and ought to, as to whether we are keeping up with our New Year’s resolutions, especially the only one I claim that we need, forging a prosperous relationship with Jesus. 

However, I do hope that all of us did improve our relationship with Christ during this past year; that we grew and matured in Him, even if it was just a li’l bit. 

Yes my fellow believers, I sincerely hope that all of us came up a little higher in living for Christ this year, and that we’ll keep on pursuing that beautiful dream in the coming year, because it’s simply the BEST option that exists. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit. ‘And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which were spoken of him.’ And how could they not eh mih breddren when every time they turned around, somebody had some glorious insight into Jesus’ future? 

And we’ll go back to that day in the temple when they brought Jesus to be circumcised, how the old prophet Simeon was so ecstatic at seeing the Messiah, and the Good Book invokes our Bit. But the old man wasn’t finished. 

‘And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set (destined) for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against. (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.’ (Luke 2:34-35) 

Ah friends, as if Mary needed to hear any more contentious talk re the life of her first born. Remember she was still just a teenager without a whole lot of life experience. And who knows what dire thoughts fled through her young, inexperienced mind when Simeon spoke about a sword piercing her soul? 

The scholars though explain those verses thus: ‘2:34-35. Jesus’ coming will bring deliverance, but also division and anguish. Both redemption and judgement are bound up in His advent.’ And His coming certainly did bring all those things. 

And if listening to all the stuff that Simeon said wasn’t unnerving enough, as soon as he was done, and old prophetess by the name of Anna came on the scene. 

The Good Book tells it like this. ‘And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.’ (Luke 2:37-38) 

Ah Lord eh! As though the poor parents didn’t already have enough to put up with. 

And the scholars tell us: ‘2:36-37. Like Simeon, Anna was of unusual commitment, and had been blessed, being a prophetess, with special spiritual insight.’ 

Now how would you like to be the parent of such a child eh? Many of us would have been tearing out our hair, and wondering what kind of child we had given birth to. But Mary and Joseph didn’t, because they knew that Jesus was special, though just not how special. 

And the Good book ends this period of anxiety and surprise by simply saying: ‘And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth. And the child grew and waxed (became) strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.’ (Luke 2:39-40) 

Yes friends, they certainly needed a break from all the attention. But don’t think that through those years of Jesus’ growth that their minds weren’t filled with wonder and worry. 

And can you even imagine Mary’s thoughts as she watched Him feeding at her breasts, drawing the life enhancing milk from her body? They must have run the whole gamut of imagination; from good to bad and back again. 

No doubt over those early years, she kept pondering all the unlikely things that had happened. But we do know that her faith was strong, and she would not give up though her trials and tribulations were plentiful. Hopefully the same can be said of us my fellow believers. Much LOVE!

…a Christian’s reaction to trials…should not be giving up…but a turning to… and crying out to God in faith…for help and mercy…as He has decreed…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 June 2013 Psalm 64:1

Psalm 64:1:     Hear my voice, O God, in my prayer: preserve my life from fear of the enemy.
 
Oh Friends, oh Friends, another new day has dawned, just like so many others down through the ages! Wow!
 
Aren’t you excited? I sure hope so, because this new day is also loaded with blessing and mercies just like every other day that has so far dawned! So let’s give our most wonderful God and Creator some thanks and praise for that nuh.
 
Please pray with me. ‘Father God, our minds are small compared to yours. That means our vocabulary is also small, and consequently we have to use the same words most of the time to thank and praise You. But we know that You’re a magnificent and magnanimous God, very aware of our frailties and deficiencies, and thus understands our situation. So You don’t mind if we repeat ourselves, once our hearts are filled with the right spirit and motives.
 
Today we thank You, many times over, for creating and looking after us. And we just want to tell You this morning, that we LOVE You Lord! Yes Father, we truly do. And we’re also eternally grateful for all You’ve done, are doing, and plan to do for us, even though we don’t deserve most of it.
 
Oh, and we can never thank You enough for sacrificing Your innocent, sinless Son Jesus, so that we could have salvation and eternal life in Your awesome presence.
 
Oh gracious Lord, we thank and praise You this Wednesday morning, humbly asking that You keep allowing Your Holy Spirit to work in us, to lead and guide us along that straight and narrow path that joyfully ends in your heavenly embrace.
 
We LOVE You Lord, and glorify Your Holy Name! All this we pray on the shed blood of Jesus that washed us clean from all sin.’ And all God’s people declared a loud and heartfelt ‘AMEN!’
 
Oh mih people, you know that you can’t let the ole fella loose! You have to keep him on a tight rein, otherwise he’ll just run off, like a rider-less horse. (smile)
 
But seriously though, once you get caught up in praying and thanking our heavenly Father, it just seems right, easy and never ending. You feel His Spirit just moving and grooving in you, awakening and raising up all the wonderful stuff He’s embedded in us from the day we acknowledged His amazing Son Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. That’s because we were created to be praying and prayerful beings.
 
No wonder Bruh David prayed so often, and wrote so many heartfelt prayers, like this one in our Bit. ‘Hear my voice, O God, in my prayer (meditation or complaint): preserve my life from fear of the enemy.’
 
And today we’ll continue looking at scriptures that show us the value of sincere prayer. Let’s begin with King Hezekiah’s prayer in his time of sickness and healing as revealed in Isaiah 38.
 
‘In those days was Hezekiah sick unto (and near) death. And Isaiah, the prophet the son of Amos came unto him, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live.
 
Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed unto the Lord, And said, Remember now, O Lord, I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect (loyal) heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore (bitterly). (Is.38:1-3)
 
Oh Friends, that solemn, heartfelt prayer of Hezekiah’s, reminding the Lord how he had always walked with and sought after Him with a right heart, caused the Lord to send Isaiah back to Hezekiah with this awesome promise.
 
‘Go and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith the Lord, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years. And I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria: and I will defend this city.
 
And this shall be a sign unto thee from the Lord, that the Lord will do this thing that he hath spoken; Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees (on the sundial), which is gone down in (which has gone down with the sun on) the sun dial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward. So the sun returned ten degrees, (on the dial) by which degrees it was gone down.’ (Is.38:5-8)
 
Oh Friends what an awesome, powerful and amazing God we worship! God knew all that Hezekiah had done, but until he came to Him in sincere prayer, his life was going to be filled with sickness, even close to death. Then you see the awesome miracle He worked as a sign; turning the sundial back ten degrees.
 
Wow! Who else could accomplish such an amazing feat eh? None but the One who had created the sun in the first place!
 
It’s the same way, my fellow believers that the Lord knows all of our doings, but He made us to come to Him, and until we do that on a right basis, we won’t be granted all the relief or blessings and mercies possible.
 
Now listen to Bruh David pleading in prayer for deliverance from evil men. ‘Deliver me, O Lord, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man; Which imagine mischiefs (plan evil things) in their heart, continually are they gathered together for war. They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders (asps’) poison is under their lips.  Selah.
 
Keep me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from the violent man; who have purposed to overthrow my goings (make my steps stumble). The proud have hid a snare (set a trap) for me, and cords; they have spread a net by the wayside; they have set gins (traps or snares) for me.  Selah.’ (Ps.140:1-5)
 
Oh Friends, if great and powerful kings could bow down to Jehovah God and plead for respite from their problems, who are we eh, to think that we can get by otherwise?
 
That again is a fool’s wisdom my people! That’s because part of our purpose is to be consistently on our knees, bowing before Almighty God, giving Him thanks and praise, as well as asking for help in time of need.
 
Please, let’s all remember that and therefore do as we ought; pray to and praise Almighty God, for that’s the true wisdom of all the ages. Much LOVE!
 
…when in sincere prayer we come to God…He listens with a fatherly ear…and then answers as a LOVING father would…