Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 June 2018 1 Peter 4:12.

1 Peter 4:12.   Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.

Well, well, well! If it isn’t Saturday; the sleep in day! No, I did not sleep in. I was just puttering around doing a few necessary things around the house before coming down to write. (smile) 

And do you really realize friends, that out of seven days, we only have one in which we can do some sleeping in; five days most of us work, and on Sunday we go to church, and most church services are fairly early. But even then, some unfortunate ones also have to get up early on Saturday to do household chores and groceries and other things that could not be done during the workweek. 

So where are all those supposed benefits from our so advanced society eh? We seem to be working more, and harder too, simply to make ends meet, and also seeing fewer benefits. 

But don’t worry my faithful brethren, if you have Jesus as your spiritual guide, Lord and Saviour, then you have all the necessary assets at your fingertips to make this life work in your favour. More on that later. 

And since it’s Saturday, we ought to take a look at the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. The first quote is certainly interesting. It advises: ‘Whatever you do, wherever you go, there will always be someone who will be unhappy with you. They might have a valid reason for it or might not, but it’s not something that you should care about.’ 

The first part is definitely true. Wherever you go, someone will always be unhappy with you over something. However, I don’t know if you should always dismiss their concerns out of hand, because some of those concerns might actually be beneficial to you. Neither should you allow each concern to overly trouble or overwhelm you. 

The wisest path seems to be to look at each situation as it arises, and judge each one on its own merit. Just note though, that nowadays people are so selfish and self-centred that they get their knickers all tied up in a knot very easily over simple nonsense. (smile) 

And the next quote says: ‘Faking is something that causes a lot of mental pain, so avoid it as much as you can.’ And I’m here to tell you that faking causes not only mental pain but can cause great physical anguish too. And it always catches up to you. It’s like your sin; it will always find you out. So please avoid it at all costs. 

Now here is the last quote, some true words of wisdom. ‘No matter how hard you try, you can’t change the past. So its better to move on in life with the lessons learned from the past instead of wasting time and energy on past.’ 

Ah friends unfortunately too many of us still dwell in the past. We let what happened before consume our lives and thus prevent us from moving on successfully to new things and people. 

However, the past, like someone once said, should be culled like a box of fresh strawberries; keep the good ones and throw away the bad ones. In other words the past is best used to enjoy the good memories and learn life lessons from the bad ones. 

And that brings us to our Bit, some rather tough, but true words from the apostle Peter. ‘Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.’ 

Yes my people, I know that is a rather difficult pill to swallow, but as true believers in Jesus Christ, we are expected to grin and bear the fiery trial, handle it with all the belly and backbone that Jesus displayed in His fiery time. And we’ll just let Peter explain why that should be so. 

‘But rejoice, inasmuch (to the extent that) as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached (insulted) for the name of Christ, happy (blessed) are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of (blasphemed), but on your part he is glorified. 

But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody (meddler) in other men’s affairs. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf (matter). For the time is come that judgement must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end of them that obey not the gospel of God?’ (1 Pet.4:13-17) 

And that’s a very pertinent question friends! Judgement Day is a must, and it includes those of us who have suffered for Christ’s sake in faithfulness to His word. Now can you imagine what will be the faith of those who have refuted Him and His gospel?  

Ah mih people, being a true believer is not for the faint of heart, but as we persevere, we become stronger and stronger, we grow from glory to glory. So please don’t get all upset and scared and quit as you read Peter’s words. 

The Lord has promised to give us the wherewithal to bear every trial, and if we do so in good faith, not being ashamed of Him and His word, then we will be welcomed into heaven by none other than the Father Himself, with words like these: ‘Welcome thou good and faithful servant!’ And believe me friends, heaven is the place to spend eternity! Much LOVE!

…if you suffer with and for Christ on earth…you will surely rejoice with Him in heaven…

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 February 2018 Psalm 37:7.

Psalm 37:7.    Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices (schemes) to pass.

Well friends, the rain continues to sprinkle down in my neighbourhood this Tuesday morning, marking a somewhat dark and dismal start to the day. But please remember that despite the physical darkness that might surround you, the brilliant spiritual light of Jesus is always shining forth in the lives of true believers. Glory to God! 

What would we do without Jesus eh friends? I really don’t know nuh! For He is our Be ALL and End ALL – Our Alpha and Omega! In fact, He’s EVERYTHING to us! Without Him, our lives would simply be fodder for the evil Lucifer. Thank the Lord for Jesus yes! 

And here’s a li’l insight into the situation through a Daily Bread Devotion Thought for the day. ‘The Father gave us the Spirit to make us like the Son.’ Glory be mih people! That’s our inevitable end, our very purpose for being; to become like our big brother, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! It’s God’s eternal hope for us. 

Oh, He knows that we will never be completely like Jesus, because we just don’t have all His parts, but we can certainly become more Christ-like than we currently are. And that’s something we ought to work towards, both individually and as the body of Christ, the church. 

But growing in faith and maturity in Christ, also means enduring trials and tribulations, adversity and calamity. For one does not grow that much in good times, but it’s in the rough times that we see our faith working wonders, our belly and backbone being strengthened, as we trust in and rely on God more than ever. 

And the wonderful thing about our amazing God is that He helps us in doing whatever He asks us to do. He doesn’t ask us to do something, then leave us to fend for ourselves. Absolutely not! He gives us the wherewithal to do His bidding and comes to our aid when we ask for it. 

No other supposed Deity does anything like that. Give Him much thanks and praise my people, for being such a wonderful God to us, woeful sinners that we are!  

And the problems we encounter in walking with Christ are mostly brought on by our lack of trust in God and our impatience, our failure to wait on His timing. God has promised that He will never leave nor forsake us, and we know that He NEVER reneges on a promise, so why are we so distrustful and impatient eh? 

Because we tend to live by the carnal and fleshly laws of the world, more than the spiritual laws of God. The world touts now for now happenings, but the Lord says wait on me. 

And nowhere is it said better than in Psalm 37 – the true state of the wicked- those immortal words of Bruh David that make up our Bit for today. ‘Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices (schemes) to pass.’ 

Yes we all know that passage, but we don’t practice it as much as we should.  Oh, I know that the world is always bombarding us with it’s unholy messages, but there’s no real excuse for us not following Bruh David’s wise advice more faithfully, especially as we see God’s handiwork in our lives and we grow in His grace. 

And I know that I quoted these verses from Psalm 37 not too long ago, but I’ll quote them again, because we only learn stuff through repetition; hearing or doing them again and again. And we definitely need to hear them again, if we’re ever going to stop living by the carnal laws of the world, and live by the spiritual ones of Christ instead. 

So here goes: ‘Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed (feed on His faithfulness). 

Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgement (justice) as the noonday.’ (Ps.37.1-6) 

Yeh mih breddren, that’s what our faith is all about: trusting in the Lord and waiting patiently and eagerly for Him to do His will in our lives! Only then will righteousness and justice show forth in our lives. 

Now listen to these two verses after our Bit. ‘Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off (destroyed): but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.’ (Ps.37:8-9) 

And there we have the whole believer’s life story in a nutshell: trust in God, forsake jealousy and anger, do good, wait patiently on Him, and He will cause your life to be truly blessed. And that’s gospel truth my brethren! So let’s live up to it, as we should nuh. 

Now let’s go home faithfully and sincerely declaring our Tuesday Mantra, proudly letting the whole world know who and whose we are. In unison 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!’ 

And having faithfully declared it, let’s now go out and put it into action as Jesus so badly desires of us. Much LOVE!

…wait…hope…trust…do good…look to the Lord…are not mere words to a true believer…but a steadfast way of life…

 

 

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…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 August 2017 2 Chronicles 15:7.

 2 Chronicles 15:7.  Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded. 

Welcome friends to a wet Caribana Friday; at least in my neighbourhood! It didn’t seem to be much of a shower though, but more like a short drizzle, and I doubt that it will last for the day. 

And even if it does, it will not stop the workingman from being exuberant in his declarations, especially on this long Civic Holiday weekend, with the numerous festivities planned for the Greater Toronto Area. 

I can already hear him proclaiming to all and sundry: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Thank Him for this long Caribana weekend, where the partying will be enormous, in fact outa sight! Pan Competition tonight…then the big Parade tomorrow…mas in yuh mas mih breddren! 

So this Carnival weekend is pure partying – Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday! Mama Yo! We go mash up the town this weekend! Thank God for this break from slave labour oui!’ 

And believe you me, some people are going to do just as he says; party the weekend away. But we all know my fellow believers in Christ that that is not such a wonderful idea, for it just invites the ever-lurking enemy to find a foothold in our souls and spirits. 

Nothing is wrong with partying, but with a modicum of circumspection, with certain boundaries that we make sure not to cross. That means Granny’s warning is ever so important this weekend, even though some of you don’t like to hear it. ‘Sonny boy; drunk or sober, please mind yuh business!’ 

And I believe that if we keep that in mind, we will not fall victim to the enemy. Now let’s chant our Friday Chant, which gives a better, or more focused reality for the weekend. ‘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.’ 

Yeh friends, that’s more in tune with our Christian faith. So let’s pay serious attention to it nuh, along with our Bit, the warning from the proper Azariah to King Asa and all of Judah. ‘Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.’ 

Ah mih breddren, if believers would only put their hands to the plough seriously and do what’s expected of them, what a wonderful world this would be. But as I said yesterday, too many of us have gotten soft and wishy washy, have lost whatever belly and backbone we had by living in this plush and comfortable society. 

So, as a result, Christianity is steadily losing ground in the spiritual warfare in which we’re engaged. Friends, we have to pick up the slack, be strong if we want to see Jesus’ LOVE Revolution win the day! There’s no two ways about that. 

Consequently, I’m imploring us, asking us to remember our bounden duty as Christians, to be strong and work sincerely and diligently for Christ Jesus! Otherwise our faith will surely crumble and all Jesus’ sacrifices would be a waste of time. And I know you wouldn’t want that. So let’s ramp up our efforts nuh. 

And to help us do that, here are a couple of examples of scripture which corroborate our Bit. And the first, possibly the most important, comes right at the beginning of God’s word, His promise to Abram. He was still known by that name. Abram had just won a battle for the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah and had refused their reward. (Gen.14:1-24) 

The Good Book tells it thus. ‘After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.’ (Gen.15:1) 

And the scholars explain: ’15:1. Thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward: This chapter introduces the Abrahamic covenant by which God promises him an heir and eventual descendants who will one day possess the land of Canaan. The word ‘shield’ is translated in other passages as “believed.” 

Thus, God is the object of Abram’s faith and thereby the source of his confidence. The promise of reward is especially significant in view of the fact that Abram had just refused a reward from the king of Sodom. God Himself would be Abram’s true reward (cf.Ps.127:3).’ 

And what greater reward can there be than Almighty God Himself eh mih people? None whatsoever! 

And we’ll end, most appropriately, with the words of Jesus Himself, words of wisdom from the Sermon on the Mount, from the Beatitudes. 

‘Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.’ (Matt.5:11-12) 

And the scholars offer these explanations. ‘5:11. Again, Jesus warns that men shall revile you, and persecute you. This became true during His own ministry, in the lives of the apostles, and throughout the history of the church. The persecution spoken of here is twofold. First, it involves a physical pursuing of the persecuted, and second, a personal attack of slander against them.’ 

And that is still happening today, and will continue to happen until Jesus comes again. All we can do is simply grin and bear it, and think about out rewards accruing in heaven for the unfair and unjust persecution. 

But now hear this other explanation: ‘5:12. Rejoice is the command that grows out of the blessedness of the believer. The phrase ‘rejoice and be exceeding glad’ means even more, exult! Great is your reward in heaven focuses attention on the eternal destiny of all things. 

If God is as real as He claims, if the Bible is true, if heaven is to be gained, then no temporary earthly trouble or persecution can dispossess the child of God of joy in the prospect of the eternal glory that lies ahead.’ 

Wow mih breddren! Isn’t that marvellous? Nothing can stop us! So let’s get strong and retake the world for Jesus nuh, for that’s what He expects of us! Much LOVE!

…believers should concentrate more on their rewards…than their problems…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 June 2017 Psalm 118:14.

Psalm 118:14.    The Lord is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.

Saturday, oh Saturday, what do you have in store for us today eh? Ah friends, many of us who are getting up early this morning are indeed wondering what the day holds for us, and even what we hold for the day. (smile) 

But the blessed ones are those who choose to sleep in late, not worrying about what the world has planned for them, but knowing that their plan for the world is to sleep in…and enjoy it too. They are not only blessed, but wise too, not overly concerned about the mess, the tragic circumstances existing all over our world. They will probably live longer and have a more enjoyable life than those of us who allow ourselves to be frustrated by the evil and ungodly activities that are currently tearing our world apart.  

We have to remember friends that our wise and wonderful God is still on His throne and is still in control of all circumstances, and nothing will happen unless He allows it to happen. He has His long range plans that we won’t ever understand. So let’s just relax nuh, take one day at a time, do our best to work God’s plan for our individual lives, and give Him all the thanks and praise we can. Sermon done! (smile) 

Now let’s check out a few of our friend Anselm’s quotes of this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Here is the first one: ‘The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.’ 

That’s indisputable truth my brethren! For it’s only when we face adversity that we truly see what kind of person we are. Are we strong, do we have belly and backbone, can we handle the stuff that’s coming at us without breaking down? 

And nowhere is it more noticeable and applicable than in our Christian faith! Why you ask? Because every day in our walk of faith stuff comes against us that tests us, and we can only grow and pass the tests by handling them in a strong and faithful manner. 

Hence, we come to this next quote: ‘Average leaders raise the bar on themselves; good leaders raise the bar for others; great leaders inspire others to raise their own bar.’ More indisputable truth friends! A true leader is one who can inspire another to improve himself. 

That leads to this quote: ‘Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.’ No lie! The leader sets the agenda, while the manager carries it out. So ‘In the end, it is important to remember that we cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.’ 

We certainly can’t my people, we need to be moving onwards and upwards, becoming more Christ-like every day! That’s the basic plan for all of God’s children, but since we’re all different, He uses different ways to get us there. But my faithful followers, whatever methods and pathways our God uses to make us become like His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we must all come to the conclusion declared in our Bit. ‘The Lord is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.’  

Yes friends, until we can sincerely believe and proclaim that foundational verse with heartfelt passion, like the psalmist did so long ago, our progress will be painfully slow. That’s because we can’t become like Christ if we don’t truly believe in God and surrender our very being to Him. We can only get strong in God when we let it all go and allow Him to guide our lives. All the great men of God had to do that, otherwise they would not have become great men of God. 

Listen to how Moses puts it in his song. ‘The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him a habitation (praise Him); my father’s God, and I will exalt him.’ (Ex.15:2) 

Yeh mih people, we have to give up our will and let the Lord lead us in His. Yuh think Moses would have done all the wonders he did in God’s name if he had tried to hold on to his own will. No, never! But a lot of us nowadays try to sit on the fence, allowing God to do some things in our lives, but stubbornly withholding other stuff that we want to handle. It won’t work friends, for our God wants ALL of us, or nothing at all. He’s not a God of half measures. 

Now hear this other great man of God, Isaiah, as he talks about thanksgiving for God’s mercies. ‘And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song, he also is become my salvation. 

Therefore with joy shall we draw water out of the wells of salvation.  And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings (mighty deeds) among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.’ (Is.12:1-6) 

Ah mih people, when we truly accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour and get seriously walking with Him, we will feel those things deep down in our hearts and souls, and impulsively break out in song with the same praise and exaltation. It’s the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!

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

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 March 2017 Psalm 28:7.

Psalm 28:7.   The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.

Ah well friends, another Monday is upon us, and we don’t have much choice but to get up and go to work – that is provided we want to continue having a roof over our heads and eating three squares a day. (smile) So let’s just stop the pussyfooting, the hemming and hawing, the moaning and groaning about our aches and pains and tiredness and just get up and get a move on nuh. 

And as always, we have the antidote for your Monday morning discomfort; it’s called the Monday Morning Battle Hymn. So let’s sing it out now as one purposeful earthly choir, in loud voice, believing all that we sing. 

‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Good show friends, good show! Jesus, our choirmaster wasn’t ecstatic, but neither was He displeased, and that says a lot. So let’s take all the adrenaline that’s now flowing through our bodies and go out and put it to good use, put it into action on Jesus’ behalf as He desires of us. 

And we have the perfect Bit to go along with our Monday trials: ‘The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.’ Words of indisputable truth from Bruh David my brethren! 

And if we are true believers, then those words ought to aptly describe us and our actions! And there is no better time than this Monday morning to show the world our true colours! 

What I like about our Bit too, is that it’s so logical: If the Lord is my strength and shield, then I will obviously put a whole lot of trust in Him. Mama Mia! Consequently He will help me, and the logical conclusion to all that is I’ll be happy and rejoice and sing praises to His holy name for His faithfulness and LOVING-kindness towards me. Glory Hallelujah! 

Yes friends, they tell us not to put all our eggs in one basket, but where the Lord God Jehovah is concerned, we can NEVER go wrong by placing all our eggs in the single basket that His LOVE and caring represents!  

And if you don’t believe me, then listen to Bruh David again, this time from Psalm 18 – Thanksgiving for deliverance. He boldly proclaims on opening: ‘I will LOVE thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God; my strength (rock), in whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (stronghold). I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.’ (Ps.18:1-3) 

What strong language, what strong faith my people! Do we have that kind of faith and trust? I surely do hope so, otherwise we are certainly losing out on the Lord’s goodness. And Bruh David wasn’t afraid to declare His feelings to all and sundry. The million dollar question now is whether we have the parts, the backbone and belly to do the same? 

Oh I know that some of us have it, but too many of us don’t. We are still scared to stand up and acknowledge Jesus as the overwhelming force in our lives. But my fellow believers, until and unless we can courageously stand up amongst the heathen and declare our LOVE for Jesus, regardless of the consequences, our lives will never amount to much, or be all that they can be. 

The heathen isn’t afraid to stand up and preach Lucifer, so why should we be afraid to preach Jesus, who has already defeated Lucifer? Our reluctance and fear to lift up Jesus is just making the enemy stronger my people. And is that what we want to do? I’m sure all of us would give out with a deafening ‘NO!’ But it’s not what our actions are showing. 

Now let’s end with some more words of Bruh David that address the above question, from Psalm 56 – A confident prayer for help. He wrote this when the Philistines took him in Gath. ‘What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.’ (Ps.56:3-4) 

What more can I say eh my people? Not a whole lot. We all know Bruh David’s story, and though it was not all wine, song and roses, it was a very rich and abundant life, both physically and spiritually. And it would be difficult to find a better spiritual mentor than Him – besides Jesus of course. So since we all know what we ought to do to lift up Jesus, let’s do it nuh. Much LOVE!

…stand up, stand up for Jesus…the trumpet call obey…till every foe is vanquished…and Christ is Lord indeed…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 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 mih people, at long last a semi-serious snowfall has hit my area. Chuh! And the time was going by so nicely! But that’s the nature of this good country Canada; wintertime means snow is very likely to disrupt the situation. (smile) 

However, it wasn’t too bad a snowstorm, and hopefully by now the roads would have been cleared and salted. But still, please be careful if you have to drive because there is liable to be some icy sections out there. 

And you’d think that the snow would dampen the weekend enthusiasm…not on yuh life! The shouting of  ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday, and the weekend is upon us!’ still rings out. ‘A li’l snow can’t stop the party. We’ll just have to stay inside and keep warm, while the drinks and whatnot flow! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends oui!’ 

Now that’s the song of the heathen, let’s sing that of the righteous; our Friday Chant, with as much, if not more verve and enthusiasm than the heathen. All together now: ‘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.’ 

Yeh friends, that’s a much better way of handling the weekend, than simply giving into the lusts of the flesh and celebrating with gay abandon. 

Anyway, let’s turn to our Bit; Bruh Paul’s immortal words, for the last time. ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith.’ 

Oh precious people of God, it is essential that we believers in Jesus Christ, fight a good fight against the evil of this world! The world will not simply allow us to live our lives according to God’s will, because it doesn’t fit into their programme of sin and iniquity. 

That means, at each and every chance they get, they will try to dissuade us from following the righteous path with lustful and fleshly temptations. But we have to learn to resist it. 

As we saw Bruh Paul tell the Corinthians yesterday: ‘But I keep under (discipline) my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway (disqualified).’ (1 Cor.9:27) 

And I worked that verse in there because I want to share a very interesting explanation of the scholars on it. ‘9:27. I keep under my body (i.e. discipline my body): The expression I keep under loses much of the original sense. It has the idea of to “give one a black eye,” “buffet,” or “bruise.” 

Paul’s readers knew that in the Isthmian Games, the boxers wore gloves consisting of ox-hide hands covered with knots and nails, and loaded with lead and iron. To prepare for such an event, a man would have to brace himself to endure all forms of physical abuse. 

Lest that by any means …I myself should be a castaway (lit. “So that …I myself should not be disqualified”): Paul was afraid of losing his salvation: his subject is still Christian liberty. The point is that the believer must discipline himself to avert both being disqualified from Christian ministry, and forfeiting the rewards for such service.’ 

Oh friends, can you imagine the bloodied bodies of the boxers in those olden times. One would have to be very brave and single minded to take part in such a carnal sport. But that’s the kind of mentality we need to have to fight off the temptations of this world and eventually win the victor’s crown. 

We can’t afford to be disqualified from Christ’s ministry and also lose the rewards earned through doing it. Now hear what Bruh Paul told Timothy in his first message re the good fight of faith. 

‘But thou, O man of God, flee these things: and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, LOVE, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed (confessed) a good profession (confession) before many witnesses.’ (1 Tim.6:11-12) 

And the scholars explain: ‘6:11. Flee these things means shun a LOVE for money (v.10) and the striving for material wealth (v.9) with all its resulting woes. Follow after means pursue. Righteousness is practical correctness, conforming to God’s will in one’s thinking and acting. 

Godliness is proper reverence for, and obedience to God. Faith is a trust in God that grows stronger. LOVE is a maturing affection for God and man. Patience is perseverance or steadfastness in life and service. Meekness is gentleness.’  

‘6:12. The good fight concerns the daily struggle with sin in the Christian life, and the hardships and adversities in the ministry. A genuine believer demonstrates the reality of his faith by being engaged in this warfare. 

Lay hold on eternal life does not negate the fact that a believer now possesses spiritual life (John 3:36); rather, it speaks of fully realizing or appropriating salvation as the believer matures.’ 

Ah friends, the life of a true believer is not an easy one. As Jesus told the disciples, we’d be persecuted just for believing in Him: ‘but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.’ (Matt.10:22) 

So it’s up to us to keep persevering, keep fighting the good fight, keep maturing, obviously with God’s help, until we reach the end and are presented with the victor’s crown. 

Wow mih people! What a day that will be! It will certainly be worth all the trials and tribulations endured in this earthly pilgrimage! Much LOVE!

…to fight the good fight successfully…one must have plenty belly and backbone…

 

 

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