Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 March 2018 Jeremiah 17:7.

Jeremiah 17:7.   Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.

Monday, Monday…what a beautiful day! (smile) Yeh friends, some of you think I’m joking, or simply gone mad to consider Monday a wonderful day. But why can’t it be a wonderful day eh? We’re alive and kicking…possibly not as strong as we should, because we have abused the weekend, and just being alive ought to be enough to consider it a marvellous day. 

The problem is not with Monday nuh, but with us. We refuse to conform to the norm of the society. So let’s begin this work week on a positive note and joyfully declare: ‘This is the day the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.’ And even if you don’t feel it yet, just keep thinking positively and the belief will eventually become the truth, the reality. In the meanwhile, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to help raise up our spiritual quotient. 

In strong voice and true sincerity: ‘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 always, that prayer gets our adrenaline flowing, boosting our spirits and our faith so that we’re now ready to go out and courageously and confidently do battle in Jesus name, against the evil enemy. And today friends, we’ll continue talking about that ever so important, urgent and necessary act of trusting in the Lord, if we want to be successful Christians. Our Bit spells it out in bold, colourful words: ‘Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.’ 

What words of wisdom and gospel truth my brethren! We’ll never grow and become successful, mature Christians until and unless we surrender our will to that of God, whose ways and thoughts are ever so much higher than ours. As we declared in our Battle Hymn above, He is the Creator of the universe and all therein. That means His will rules. If we refuse to follow it, then we’ll be left by the wayside thumbing a ride to Hades from the evil Lucifer. 

Now listen to why Jeremiah can make such a bold declaration. ‘For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see (fear) when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful (anxious) in the year of drought, neither shall cease from bearing fruit.’ (Jer.17:8) 

Oh friends, you know how it is when trees don’t get enough water and nourishment, which happens in time of famine, they wither and die, or simply don’t bear fruit? Well Jerry is saying that even when the times get rough, the true and faithful believer will prosper just like in the good times. Wow! What a promise! And we’ll be foolish not accept it. 

Remember again, Almighty God is the Creator of the universe and everything in it, so His power is unlimited; He can do whatever He wants to whomsoever He wants. And why would you not want to hook up with the most LOVING and most powerful Being in the universe eh? I certainly don’t know. I just know that as for me and mine, we WILL certainly make the Lord our Guide, Leader and King. It’s just simple common sense. 

Now let’s look at some scriptures that corroborate our Bit. Listen first to Cousin Sol: ‘He that handleth a matter wisely (wisely heeds the word) shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he.’ (Prov.16:20) It couldn’t be put any simpler and clearer than that my people! 

Meanwhile, the psalmist tells us: ‘Blessed is every one that feareth (reverences) the Lord; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thy hands (enjoy the fruit of thy labour): happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides (in the heart) of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table. Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth (reverences) the Lord.’ (Ps.128:1-4) How can it get any better than that eh mih breddren? No way! 

And we’ll close with these wise words from Bruh David: ‘O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear (reverence) the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want (lack) to them that fear him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want (lack) any good thing.’ (Ps.34:8-10) 

What more can I say eh friends? Not a whole lot. I’ve given you the facts, now it’s your decision as to what you do with them. Much LOVE!

…trusting in the Lord is not rocket science…but simple common sense…

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 February 2018 Philippians 4:6.

Philippians 4:6.   Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

And then it was Friday…and a lot of grateful sighs punctuate the universal skies. None more enthusiastic and exuberant than that of the ordinary workingman: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui mih people! The end of backbreaking labour for a few days! Time to celebrate a li’l freedom from the cruel mental lash of the criminal slave master! 

Our time now is ours to do what we want with it. And believe you me, we going to do just that; we going to party and celebrate and be thankful for this short freedom from unfair work for unfair pay. And whatever happens after that happens! Who cares eh? Just be thankful for Fridays and the weekend that eases we pain!’ 

A lot of sad truth in there mih friends, but as believers, we are encouraged to handle the situation differently. We have Jesus in our corner, so though many of us might suffer the same injustice, we have a different recourse, a different way, to alleviate our problems. 

We turn to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who has faithfully promised to look after us from the time we are saved until eternity. That’s why our Friday Chant differs so much from the workingman’s song. Let’s chant it now nuh, with heartfelt sincerity and a strong sense of purpose. 

‘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 faithful believers, our God wants us to abide within certain boundaries so that we can be rejuvenated and continue His awesome work without missing a beat. The workingman’s song invites Beelzebub and his carnal addictions, our Friday Chant invites Jesus and His eternal spiritual salvation. 

Wow! What a good and mighty difference! It frees us from having the judgement of Hades constantly hanging over our heads, like the infamous sword of Damocles, suspended by a single hair. Instead, as true believers we can focus on the wonders of heaven and the amazing life to come that Jesus promises. 

But that means sincerely following Him; consistently reading and meditating on His word, offering up prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, and generally being obedient to His law. And the good part is that He knows we’re not perfect, but He is ever so willing to work with us on becoming more mature and Christ-like. 

And in this season of Lent, where we seem to be somewhat more prayerful than at other times, (smile) I guess this is as good a time as any to remind us of Bruh Paul’s admonition to the Philippians, as reflected in our Bit. But first, the two verses before it. 

‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.’ (Phil.4:4-6) 

Ah mih breddren, what wonderful and wise advice! And the scholars have this to say about those verses. ‘4:4. The mention of believers’ names being recorded in heaven (v.3) causes the author to write rejoice in the Lord always. Harmony among church members, as Paul assumes will be the result of his plea in verses 2 and 3, is another reason to “rejoice.”  

In adding and again I say, rejoice, it is as though the apostle looks into the future, considers all possibilities of sorrow, and in spite of them all repeats “the command.” This command to rejoice at all times and in all circumstances is nothing less than a call to faith. For if the Christian believes that his life and all its circumstances are in the hands of a sovereign, wise and LOVING God who is always working to accomplish good for him, then he can indeed “rejoice always.” 

Oh friends, there is no disputing that logic! If we have the faith to believe it, then there’s all the more reason to rejoice! 

As for 4:5. Moderation means “graciousness” or “sweet reasonableness.” The believer who is at peace with his fellow Christian (v.2) and who rejoices always (v.4) is indeed a gracious, reasonable person. The Lord is at hand means two things. First, His return to earth is near. 

His imminent coming as a judge encourages the Christian to be “gracious” unto all men, for He will judge the believer for all his actions toward all people, and will avenge all wrongs committed by others against him. Second, the “Lord is at hand” spiritually. The Lord’s being presently near should free the Christian from fear and anxiety. Hence the command of verse 6.’ 

And that says: ‘4:6. Be careful for nothing means “don’t worry about anything.” The Lord’s nearness (v.5b) leads Paul to forbid his readers from worrying. This is no summons to irresponsibility or an invitation to dismiss legitimate concern. The solution to undue anxiety is to be prayerful about everything. While God is eager to hear our requests, they are to be accompanied with thanksgiving.’ 

And if we do all that, then ‘the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:7) 

Oh my people, what a glorious promise!  So today, let’s try and stop worrying and complaining nuh, for if we believe in our faith, then there is no reason for them.  Instead, let’s pray and give thanks nuh, because there’s a whole lot for us to be grateful about. Much LOVE!

…worrying and complaining invites Lucifer…prayer and thanksgiving… makes Jesus shine forth…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 March 2017 Jeremiah 17:7.

Jeremiah 17:7.   Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.

Well friends, it’s Friday, and the weekend looms large around us! That’s why there is so much joyful shouting in the streets around the world; the workingman is free for two big, whole days! 

And who can truly blame him when he joyfully declares: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes people! The weekend is here! The weekend is here! Glory Hallelujah! No more backbreaking labour for a pittance in pay! 

So let’s sing and dance, live it up while we have the chance, for Monday will soon be here, then it’s back to the grindstone again! Oh Thank God for Fridays and the weekends oui!’ 

Now that’s a temptation the enemy throws out at us each weekend; the opportunity to revel in the world’s lust and carnality. But hopefully we believers are able to withstand it, especially in this Lenten Season of prayer and introspection, because it’s not the right thing to do. 

Our Friday Chant is a much better way to use the weekend, so let’s chant it now with sincerity and a true sense of purpose 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 my people, that’s how we ought to spend our weekends; renewing and refreshing our bodies and spirits so that come Monday we can be refreshed, ready to go out and labour on Christ’s behalf. That’s the only way that makes any sense under our Christian Manifesto. 

And likewise, our Bit falls squarely under that public declaration of policy decreed by Almighty God. ‘Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.’ 

Ah friends and neighbours, there’s absolutely no doubt about that statement! And why is that you ask? Well listen to the verse that follows our Bit. 

‘For he shall be as a tree planted by waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see (fear) when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful (anxious) in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.’ (Jer.17:8) 

Oh what a beautiful promise my breddren! And we all know that the Sovereign Lord is ever-faithful and keeps all His promises, so why won’t I put my utmost trust in Him eh, especially in these crazy and uncertain times? Hn! 

But unfortunately, more people seem to be running away from God these days, than are running to Him! And that’s such a sad state of affairs, because He is the ONLY ONE who can help us in our times of dire need. 

I really don’t understand people of today nuh, they are all trying to do their own thing, and what mankind says, but look at the mess it has our world in, why not try something else, like returning to seriously worshipping and living for Almighty God eh? 

But that doesn’t seem to enter their consciousness at all! They just keep on trying to rid our society of God, regardless of the serious disasters that are happening, both natural and man-made. 

Now the Jews of early times had their faults, but one thing I admire about them is that when they saw their world falling apart through ungodliness, they were quick to get back to worshipping the God of their forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 

Why friends, can’t we be as smart, or even as logical eh? I guess only the Lord can truthfully answer that question. 

Now let’s check out some scripture that agrees with our Bit. Listen to the psalmist from Psalm 2 – Why do the heathen rage? ‘Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 

Kiss the Son (perform an act of homage and submission), lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.’ (Ps.2:10-12) 

Oh my fellow believers do we even need a better reason than that to trust the Creator of the universe? I don’t think so. Just the fear of His wrath and anger should propel us to trust Him. 

Now hear the psalmist from Psalm 146 – The blessedness of trusting God. ‘Praise ye the Lord (Hallelujah). Praise the Lord, O my soul. While I live will I praise the Lord: I will sing praise unto my God while I have any being. 

Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man (human being), in who there is no help (salvation). His breath goeth forth (spirit departs), he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. 

Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is the Lord his God: which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever.’ (Ps.146:1-6) 

Oh friends, I can’t think of a better argument than that for worshipping the Lord God Jehovah! Let’s hope that you agree and will continue to do so steadfastly, because that’s the only source of true wisdom in these trying times. Much LOVE!

…he who has ears to hear…let him hear…or he will certainly feel…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 December 2016 Luke 1:31.

Luke 1:31.   And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.

Well, a good Wednesday morning, four days before Christmas, my fellow believers in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! (smile) 

Let’s hope that this message reaches you all in good health and joyful spirit as we plan the celebrations for this Christmas season, where we remember and give thanks for the birth of Christ. 

And all God’s people declared a loud, proud and grateful, ‘Praise the Lord!’ 

Yes friends, that day of Christ’s birth will soon be upon us, and we all know that Jesus is the star of the show, but today I want to talk about one of the lesser, but still very important role players in the story, Christ’s mother, Mary. 

Now over the last few years, after getting more familiar with her part, I’ve come to believe that she doesn’t get the recognition she truly deserves. Remember it all begins with her. 

‘And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused (betrothed, engaged) to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.’ (Luke 1:26-27) 

Yuh see friends, right there Mary’s importance in the proceedings is established. An angel of God, come to earth to talk to this young, engaged Jewish girl in a backwater town of Nazareth. 

Before we go further though, let’s check out a couple of the scholars’ explanations. ‘1:26. This was the sixth month of Elisabeth’s pregnancy.’ Elisabeth was Mary’s cousin, at first barren, but then pregnant with John the Baptist. 

‘1:27. Espousal (similar to our engagement period) was, under Jewish law, as binding as marriage. It lasted about a year, during which time the woman’s purity was maintained.’ So we see right there, Mary was already under heavy manners, because of her betrothal. 

‘And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail (Rejoice), thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind (considered) what manner of salutation (greeting) this should be.’ (Luke 1:28-29) 

Ah friends, can you imagine being a teenaged girl, engaged to be married in a strict Jewish community, sitting quietly in your parents house and this angel comes up to you and begins to exalt you. Obviously you’d be somewhat anxious and wonder what it was all about. 

‘And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.’ (Luke 1:30-31) 

Ah Lord eh! Can you imagine Mary’s consternation? She’s already been betrothed, and the rules are so strict, now this angel is coming to tell her that she will get pregnant and bring forth a son, who’s name shall be Jesus! 

To make matters worse, she’s little more than a girl with no life experience in a tightly controlled Jewish society. Personally, I would not have wanted to be in her situation. But give Mary full marks for courage. She doesn’t go overboard, jump and holler, or any negative actions. She just listens quietly as the angel Gabriel continues: 

‘He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest (Most High): and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David. And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.’ (Luke 1:32-33) 

Yes mih breddren, even in these enlightened times, such an outlandish approach would be a cause of consternation and anxiety in any experienced female. So can you imagine poor Mary’s thoughts? 

She was engaged, and wasn’t supposed to have sex before marriage, but to have a child one must know a man first (at least in those days). So what was this angel trying to do to her life eh? But apparently she didn’t make a fuss, throw a tantrum over Gabriel words, but simply continued with her own question 

‘Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know no man, (I am a virgin)? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest (Most High) shall over-shadow thee: therefore also that holy thing (one) which shall be born of thee shall be called the son of God. 

And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.’ (Luke 1:34-37) 

Mamacita! What a situation to put a young girl in! But you know what endears Mary to me? Her calm response in the face of all that the situation would entail for her. 

‘And Mary said, Behold the handmaid (maidservant) of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.’ (Luke 1:38) 

And the scholars tell us to consider and contrast Mary’s response with that of Zechariah (v.18) who didn’t believe when he was told that his barren wife would bear a son, and was made dumb until the birth of John the Baptist. 

Yeh friends, Mary’s faith seems to have been well developed at a pretty young age. And we all know what she eventually went through, so please don’t dismiss her as just another bit player in the saga of the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

Now let’s go home, suitably challenged, (smile) declaring our Wednesday Wail with sincere passion and truth. In unison now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! 

Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. 

I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Oh friends, it’s so wonderful to be associated with Jesus Christ, that words can’t describe it! Much LOVE!

…to know, know, know Him…is to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Him…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 December 2016 John 3:16.

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

Well then friends, it’s a big Tuesday morning and we’re slowly working our way towards Christmas – just 12 more days – to that wonderful day when our Lord and Saviour Christ Jesus was born! 

It is the festive season of and for LOVE; sharing, caring and giving, with the thought of Jesus uppermost in our minds, not the commercial stuff that we’re being bombarded with. 

Now here is an interesting and most appropriate poem for all seasons from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It is titled ‘I Will Be Pleased.’ 

Please read with me: ‘Lord, this fresh early morning As I sit in our quiet living room You’ve just reminded me Through David the Psalmist That there is incomparable joy For those who delight to please You – For those who are thinking about ways To follow You more closely. 

Lord, the day stretches out before me, In a few brief moments I must arouse my family And face again the noise, the distraction The hubbub of confusion. But while we are still alone Just the two of us, my Lord While Your peace floods my tranquil heart Please tell me what I can do This duty-packed day To follow you more closely. 

Dearly LOVED child Praise me joyfully Talk with me intimately Trust me totally And I will be pleased.’ 

Ah mih people, a lot of us ask God what we can do to be more righteous in our daily walk with Him. Well there is the wise answer: Joyful praise, Intimate conversation, Total Surrender and thus total trust. 

Those things on a continual basis will always please our heavenly Father, and in turn bring peace, joy and understanding into our own hearts, minds and souls. So instead of fussing and fighting, being miserable and anxious, let’s try initiating and/or integrating those things into our lives nuh. They will make such a big difference that we’ll truly be surprised. 

And the Bible Promise for that poem comes from Psalm 89 – God’s sure promises to David. ‘Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord in the light of thy countenance.’ (Ps.89:15) What an awesome promise my brethren, one we should hold on to with all our strength! 

Now let’s turn to our wonderful Bit, an even bigger and better promise of our magnanimous God. ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ 

Wow friends! What a totally awesome God we serve and worship! It just blows me away to think that such a magnificent and righteous Being would care so much for me, a lowly, sinful soul, to provide a most wonderful opportunity for me to be pardoned, to receive salvation and to be reconciled to Him! 

And so should all of mankind be blown away by that act of grace and unmerited favour. It shows what true LOVE is all about. Now hear this scripture from 1 John that brings home to us the true meaning of LOVE. 

‘Beloved, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God. He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God is LOVE. In this was manifested the LOVE of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 

Herein is LOVE, not that we LOVED God, but that he LOVED us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another. 

No man hath seen God at any time. If we LOVE one another, God dwelleth in us, and his LOVE is perfected in us. Hereby we know that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.’ (1 John 4:7-13). 

Ah friends, what beautiful scripture! Now here are some explanations from the scholars. ‘4:9. To grasp God’s LOVE aright, one must look to how God has demonstrated it. Here John is in total harmony with Paul (Rom.5:8).’ 

4:10. No human LOVE is the standard for understanding God’s great compassion, but God’s own action on man’s behalf.’ 

4:11-13. God’s character, through His Spirit, is to shape and progressively dominate the character of the believer. The Spirit of God imparts the will to LOVE.’ 

Yes friends, it’s that simple: if we don’t have the Holy Spirit of God dwelling within us, then we don’t have the power, the ability to be a truly LOVING person as defined by God’s Word. That’s why it’s our bounden duty to help others come to Christ, so that they can receive the real power and Spirit of LOVE. 

Now let’s go home, declaring our Tuesday Mantra with sincere passion, in a strong and convincing voice that says we truly believe what we’re saying. (smile) 

As one now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Yes my people, that’s who we really are; beloved children of God and wonderful friends of Jesus! Let’s never forget that and stop being defined by what the world thinks of us. 

And as we go out today, let’s also remember to share the amazing and awesome LOVE of Jesus, as we are duty bound to. Much LOVE!

…LOVE is the strongest power in the world…the ultimate fulfillment of life…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 December 2016 2 Timothy 4:7.

2 Timothy 4:7.   I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith.

Ah friends, another day, another dollar! But Ho! Some of you say that a dollar isn’t a dollar anymore, it’s more like fifty cents, or even less, and that’s possibly true. 

But yuh know what my brethren, the money isn’t as important as the fact that we’re alive. Our pictures and eulogies aren’t in the obituaries, and that’s much more important than the money we might make today. 

We’re alive and have the ability to do lots of good stuff in God’s name. And if by chance we aren’t kicking as strongly as we like, then we can always turn to our heavenly Father for help. 

And here’s a good prayer that reflects our problem. I got it from one of the Daily Bread Devotionals. It simply says: ‘Father, at this moment, I turn to You for strength in my weakness, energy for my weariness, and faith in my doubt.’ 

Simple and straight to the point my people. And if you are sincere, the Lord, who gives liberally to all who ask in faith, will shower you with His blessings until you are kicking mightily. (smile) 

Now, without further ado, let’s turn to our Bit, taken from what’s called Bruh Paul’s last testament, in his second letter to his protégé Timothy. And to keep everything in context, we’ll just do it all at once. 

‘For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure (death) is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith. 

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim.4:6-8) 

Oh my fellow believers, there is so much stuff in those verses that still pertain to us. Let’s check them out. First of all, we all will die someday. And a lot of us shy away from talk of death, but it’s the only sure thing in this crazy world, even surer than taxes. (smile) 

And blessedly, through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we have a great time to look forward to. But when that time comes, will be ready to meet our Heavenly Father on the other side of the great divide with strong faith and trust; eagerly expectant for what’s over there, gladly shuffling off this rough and difficult mortal coil? 

Or will be afraid and anxious, devoid of or with little faith, not knowing, or rather believing what Jesus promised. ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 

In my Father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.’ (John 14:1-3) 

Ah friends, that’s the basic premise of our faith; belief in Jesus Christ! And if we aren’t ready when the time comes to depart, then obviously we won’t be able to say as proudly and confidently as Bruh Paul says in our Bit: ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith.’ 

And we desperately and definitely need to be able to say that at the day of reckoning! You can’t fight a good fight in Jesus’ name if you don’t truly believe all He’s said, because that belief and faith is what makes you strong, keeps you ticking, has you eager to do His will. 

Consequently, there might not be a crown of righteousness laid up for you on that judgement day. That’s why we all need strong faith, and that only comes by diligently reading and meditating on God’s Word, through regular fellowship and constant prayer. 

So if we are neglecting any of those things, our faith will definitely not grow to the point that we can fight a good fight, and run a strong race, and thus attain that crown of righteousness which is laid up in heaven for all those who surely and steadfastly anchor themselves in the Word and work of God. 

Now please don’t get discouraged if your personal situation doesn’t line up with what we’ve said, because it can always be changed, preferably right now, by going to the Father and asking for strength, guidance and direction to run a good race in His name. 

Remember while there is life, there’s ALWAYS hope. But we’re never sure when life will end, so we have to do what we need to do as soon as possible. Now let’s go home with joy and passion, proudly and boldly declaring our Wednesday Wail. 

All together now, in strong voice and perfect harmony: ‘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!’ 

Yes friends, tomorrow we might see our name in the obits, (smile) but we have God’s gift of today, so please let’s enjoy it and go out and do our best to make a positive difference in this mish mash world we live in. For that’s what is expected of us, true believers. Much LOVE!

…winning races…needs strong faith and endurance…which can only be acquired through Almighty God…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 November 2016 Proverbs 13:12.

Proverbs 13:12.    Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.

Ah friends, after much unseasonable temperatures and many bright, sun shiny days, we might finally be getting our first taste of Mother Winter this weekend. The temperature is supposed to dip to just above zero on Sunday, and possibly provide flurries on that day and Monday. I sure am not looking forward to it. Wish I could be in sweet Tobago, going up Calder Hall to get some of Brother Kirby’s fine tasting and nutritious soup this Saturday morning. (smile) 

But you know the human animal is a strange being; we know that the winter weather will soon be here, and we’re supposed to be preparing for it, but when it does come, it seems to take us by surprise and throw us off guard, especially after such beautiful fall weather. Anyway there’s not much we can do, but just grin and bear it as best we can. 

But with that in mind let’s turn to our friend Anselm’s quotes, aimed at inspiring us for a better tomorrow. And today we have three, because they are all short. The first says: ‘A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success.’ And that’s glorious advice!  

It reminds us of a quote from Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President of the U.S, which declares: “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 is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” 

Yes friends, persistence is the number one attribute that will help us when all else fails. Then Anselm tells us: ‘Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.’ More wonderful advice! Because we need to be active, to hold something dear and have something to look forward to that will make it all worthwhile. Those are the things that make us come alive and cause us to keep on keeping on. 

My favourite quote today though, is this last one: ‘Hope is the only bee that makes honey without flowers.’ And that’s gospel truth friends! For with hope one can imagine anything and do anything. With it, we can be giants in a fallen world, but without it, we become wimps and wallow in self-pity. 

Consequently, our Bit for today deals with hope; Cousin Sol’s wise words on the subject. ‘Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.’ 

And the scholars explain it thus: ‘13:12. Hope deferred depresses, but its fulfillment revitalizes.’ 

Ah mih people, hope is the emotion that galvanizes us into action! All the other emotions are wonderful, but if they are not accompanied by hope, then they will most likely not be acted upon. For without hope, we become listless and without a sense of purpose, just sort of drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweed, wherever the wind might blow it. 

However my brethren, it’s also very important where and in what direction we focus our hope. And we have a good example of what Cousin Sol is talking about in Psalm 42 – An intense longing for God. The sons of Korah write: ‘Why art thou cast (bowed) down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (presence).’ (Ps.42:5) 

Yes friends, when there is no hope in our souls, our fire goes out, and the best place to channel our hope is in Almighty God! There is no doubt about that! 

Listen to Jeremiah. ‘Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see (fear) when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful (anxious) in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.’ (Jer.17:7-8) 

Aye mih breddren, yuh see what happens when we channel our hope in the Lord God Jehovah? No fear, no anxiety, just prosperity regardless of the circumstances! Now why would I want to place my hope in anything or anyone else eh? No way, Jose! 

And I just LOVE this verse of scripture from Zechariah. ‘Turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render (restore) double unto thee.’ (Zech.9:12) That phrase ‘prisoners of hope,’ just raises my spiritual temperature! (smile) Oh friends, how I wish that we could all be ‘prisoners of hope,’ so that we could be more active and successful in Christ’s work. 

This verse from Psalm 119 is also a moving scripture. The psalmist petitions the Lord: ‘Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope.’ (Ps.119:116) Oh precious people, our wonderful God will NEVER let us be ashamed of the hope we place in Him! Please, let’s write that indelibly in our hearts, minds and souls. 

And we’ll end with these brave and wise words of Bruh David from Psalm 31 – In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust.  He solemnly and confidently declares: ‘O LOVE the Lord, all ye his saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth (fully repays) the proud doer. Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.’ (Ps.31:23-24) 

So my fellow believers in Jesus Christ, I implore us to take that wonderful advice of Bruh David to heart today and put it into immediate action, so that our faith in the Lord God Jehovah will flourish and blossom like the bees make honey with the flowers. (smile) 

And let’s remember to keep our friend Scotty in our prayers, be prisoners of hope, that the Lord will restore him to full health, that he can continue doing good work in Jesus’ name. Much LOVE!

…hope is the catalyst that drives all other emotions…

 

 

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