Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 September 2017 Proverbs 3:35.

Proverbs 3:35.   The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion (the legacy) of fools.

So people, Labour Day Monday is here at last, and there’ll be celebrations all over the world, ostensibly in honour of the ordinary working men who fought and died for the rights that we so blessedly enjoy today. The sad part is that lots of the young folks don’t know, were never taught about the arduous struggle their forefathers had to go through to bring us to where we currently are. 

All they know is that Labour Day is a time to party, and for many others, an occasion to make mas on the Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, New York. And I can’t complain too loudly because at one time I also made the Parkway my Labour Day Monday haunt. But like most of the other carnivals around the world, back then it was much more colourful and entertaining, with real mas costumes, not a bikini bra and bottom and a headdress of feathers. 

There would also be many big music bands, not mostly D.J’s. It was an opportunity to see people you hadn’t seen in donkey’s years, (smile) and reminisce about old times. But then everything began changing; the music and the costumes weren’t as nice, I could no longer handle the physical walking, and I hardly saw anybody I knew. So I eventually stopped going to the Big Apple for Labour Day, just like I stopped going to Caribana here in Toronto for the same reasons. 

Anyway, enough of my whatever you call it, it’s Monday and some people still have to get up and go out and labour to keep our 24/7 world humming along smoothly. So let’s help those unfortunate folks get going with a rousing rendition of our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

‘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, the voices of those who are not going to work are the loudest and hoarsest from too much partying already. (smile) Oh, and before I forget, let me include Granny’s warning here. I’ve been remiss in not mentioning it so far on such a big weekend. So here goes: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’ 

And though it sounds ‘jokified’ friends, it’s a rather serious warning, because if we don’t pay attention to our activities and behaviour, the always lurking Lucifer will undoubtedly find an open spot to infiltrate our spiritual defenses. So please take it seriously. And that segues quite nicely into our Bit. ‘The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion (the legacy) of fools.’ 

Oh my brethren, what words of indisputable truth from the pen of Cousin Sol! And who should know better than him, since he was once the wealthiest and wisest man in the world, but then experienced foolishness and shame when he revoked the Lord God of his fathers for the many idols of his numerous pagan wives and concubines. But he wasn’t the first, and won’t be the last man to listen to a female and go astray….easy now ladies easy, it’s simply the truth. (smile) 

And Cousin Sol had plenty to say on wisdom. Let’s hear a couple his statements on the subject. ‘Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her (wisdom), and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.’ (Prov.4:7-8) Absolute truth friends! 

And hear Cousin Sol once more. ‘Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding: For the merchandise (gain) of it is better than the merchandise (profit) of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.’ (Prov.3:13-16)  

Ah mih people, yuh see the great benefits of pursuing wisdom! And you have to actively seek it, for it won’t just come to you naturally. So today, please let’s seriously start seeking wisdom nuh…that is God’s wisdom, not the world’s. Much LOVE!

…you can get everything…if you have wisdom…but everything won’t necessarily give you wisdom…

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 July 2017 1 Peter 5:8.

1 Peter 5:8.   Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

So the celebrations continue apace! Yeh friends, Canada’s 150th Birthday Party is still going strong. It ought to wind down today, but tomorrow is the U.S. 4th of July Independence Day Celebrations, and whoever in the U.S was lucky enough to get today off would have a wonderful real long weekend! 

Hn, Hn! That means this is a big partying weekend in North America. But nonetheless, because the society runs 24/7,  some people have to go to work today, so they still need some encouragement to get up and go out on a Monday Morning, especially when so many of their co-workers don’t have to. So let’s give them a rousing sendoff nuh, with a rousing rendition of our Monday Morning Battle Hymn! (smile) 

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

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

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

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

And wasn’t that a blast! Lots of enthusiasm and hoarse, croaking voices from those who are staying at home, while those headed for work, could only resignedly shake their heads in jealousy. Jesus, our choirmaster, sighed wearily and shook His head too. 

But friends, please let caution be our watchword in these long days of celebration, and let Granny’s advice be front and centre in our minds and souls: ‘Drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’ I know some of us are tired hearing that bit of wisdom, but if we heed it, it will keep us out of a lot of problems, some of which can be very serious and life changing, as well as life ending. 

That’s why Peter warns us so strongly in our Bit: ‘Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.’ 

Yeh friends, Lucifer is always on the lookout for those of us he can infiltrate. That’s all he does; walks to and fro in the earth looking for people to destroy, especially in times of celebration when all our weaknesses are most exposed. And he gets the most pleasure from destroying Christians. That’s why it is ever so necessary for us to keep our p’s and q’s about us, and don’t give him a chance to get into our lives. 

And Peter continues his advice. ‘Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) by your brethren that are in the world.’ (1 Pet.5:9) So the enemy doesn’t choose us specially to come against, he comes against everybody, all Christians, wherever he might spy an opening. That’s why we have to be strong in our faith and resist his evil overtures, otherwise we’ll just muddy up our heavenly situation. 

Now earlier on, Peter took a broader look at the situation when, in talking about Christian dedication, he declares: ‘Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind (prepare you minds for action), be sober, and hope to the end for the grace (rest your hope fully upon the grace) that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 

As obedient children, not fashioning (conforming) yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance. But as he which hath called you is holy, so ye be holy in all manner of conversation (conduct.)  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.’ (1 Pet.1:13-16) 

That’s the way it is my brethren. If we intend to follow Christ, then we need to be serious, well-disciplined and as holy as possible, because that’s what Christ is about. And in any case, the best way to foil Lucifer’s unwanted advances is to stick close to Jesus. And Peter acknowledges that, as he puts the finishing touch on today’s story, a couple verses after our Bit.

‘But the God of all grace, who hath called us into his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.’ (1 Pet.5:10-11) 

Ah mih people, this life is not easy to handle, but if we are serious about following Jesus, then He will give us the wherewithal to handle the prince of this evil world and all his evil cohorts. So please keep standing strong and walking tall for Jesus and the glory of God. That’s the greatest state to which we can ever attain! Much LOVE!

…in proportion to our groundings in Christ… will be our ability to resist the enemy

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 July 2017 1 Corinthians 15:57.

1 Corinthians 15:57.   But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Well friends, the 150th Canadian Birthday Party continues unabated. And though it was constrained a little by an afternoon thunder storm, after that, the sun came out brightly and the outside celebrations went on with much zest and enthusiasm, with brilliant fireworks filling the night air in many parts of the Greater Toronto Area. 

Now some people felt that all the hoopla was somewhat hypocritical because of the blemishes on our Canadian record, re the very poor treatment of the Aboriginal People up to this day, plus the insensitive handling of Chinese and Japanese immigrants during the Great War, not to mention the racism and sexism that are currently rearing their ugly heads. 

And all of those are serious problems for us to address, but if we only focus on our bad side, then no country would ever have cause to celebrate because every one has its own dark and evil problems and secrets. At least, hopefully, if we come together to celebrate a major anniversary, that togetherness will help to dissipate some of the current animosity found in our society. 

But even if we’re not together in our country, please, let’s show that we are together in our churches, in the Body of Christ, as we offer sacrifices of praise and worship in His sanctuary this Sunday morning. And today’s hymn is the old stalwart ‘At the Cross.’ So let’s rock God’s house my faithful brethren with powerful song. 

‘Alas, and did my Savior bleed? And did my Sovereign die? Would He devote that sacred head For such a worm as I? (Refrain: At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day!) Was it for crimes that I had done, He groaned upon the tree? Amazing pity!  grace unknown! And LOVE beyond degree! (Refrain)

Well might the sun in darkness hide, And shut his glories in, When Christ, the mighty Maker died, For man the creature’s sin. (Refrain) But drops of grief can ne’er repay The debt of LOVE I owe: Here, Lord, I give myself away ’Tis all that I can do. (Refrain: At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day!’ 

Oh friends, the cross of Jesus is ever so significant in our Christian faith, for it’s there where Jesus sacrificed His life so that we could be reconciled with God and have the wonderful options of salvation and eternal life. Wow! It is indeed the centrepiece of our faith! It’s where everything begins and ends! Without it, we’d be nothing, still mere slaves to the evil Lucifer, facing death and eternal separation from Almighty God, our Creator. 

But thanks to Jesus, hanging in shame and utter cruelty on that tree at Calvary, we’ve been set free from every kind of bondage. Glory to God my people! And as the song says, once we’ve seen the light at the cross, all our burdens are rolled away, and we can be happy each and every day! Mama Mia! Thank the Lord for Jesus yes! 

And as Bruh Paul so aptly puts it in our Bit: ‘But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Now that’s the awesome truth my fellow believers? Without Christ, we’d have no victory whatsoever! That’s why we have to be ever so thankful and show proper gratitude for all of God’s great mercies towards us. 

Remember, He didn’t have to do anything for us. But because we were His creation, and so dear to His heart, He couldn’t just sit by and see us all go the way of Beelzebub! And Jesus didn’t have to give of Himself so selflessly and sacrificially either, but He delighted in doing the Father’s will, even though it was outrageously painful and shameful. 

That’s why the Father highly exalted Jesus afterwards, ‘and given him a name which is above every name; That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth. And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil.2:9-11) Oh what a mighty champion is our Lord and Saviour! 

And hear how John saw it in his vision in Revelation. As Jesus took up the Book of Life, ‘the four beasts  (living creatures) and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps and vials (bowls) full of odours (incense), which are the prayers of the saints. 

And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book (scroll), and to open the seals thereof; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred (tribe), and tongue, and people, and nation. And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. 

And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts (living creatures) and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands and thousands: Saying with a loud voice, worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.’ (Rev.5:8-12) 

And that’s exactly how it should be. So please my fellow believers, let’s praise and honour Jesus, and live for and LOVE Him down here on earth nuh, so that we will be able to praise and worship Him later on in heaven. That’s wisdom of everlasting proportions! Much LOVE!

…if you don’t honour Jesus on earth…you won’t praise Him in heaven…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 April 2017 Romans 10:15b.

Romans 10:15b.   How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

And then it was Tuesday; Easter Tuesday, a day of work for most! Yeh friends, the over the top celebrations finish now, and it’s time to get back to some serious labouring, both in our worldly occupations and also our spiritual work for Jesus. 

Hopefully the Easter festivities, especially Christ’s resurrection, has buoyed our spirits, reignited the flame of LOVE and service in our hearts, thus giving us a rejuvenated mind set, moving us up a notch on the stairway of maturity. 

Oh my people, my people, it’s at crucial times like these where we need to improve our spiritual witness, and move up the glory ladder; from glory to glory, where we’re once more alive and bubbling with hungry hope and expectant faith in Jesus! 

The end times are drawing ever closer my brethren, but the harvest is still plentiful, there’s yet much to be reaped, and since we are the reapers, we need to be strong and enthusiastic so that we can put our best foot forward for Christ. 

Remember we are Christ’s ambassadors, His worker bees here on earth, and He’s expecting us to bring as many people as possible – in fact ALL people to His saving grace. 

That’s what the Easter season is about; why He selflessly sacrificed His sinless life on the cross; so that whosoever will may come and receive His cleansing and healing and new way of life, which includes salvation, reconciliation and eternal life with the Father and Himself. 

Now how precious is that eh? But friends, how can the unbelievers get this wonderful news unless someone shares it with them eh? 

And we are that someone! It’s our responsibility to share the wonderful and free saving grace, mercy, and forgiveness of Christ to all and sundry. ‘So that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ (Rom.10:13) 

Yes my fellow believers, as Bruh Paul reminds the Romans, using the words found in Joel 2:32, salvation comes from calling upon the Lord for His saving grace. 

But then, as he further queries the Romans: ‘How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?’ (Rom.10:14-15a) 

And that’s all very pertinent stuff my people. How can unbelievers be saved if they don’t hear the gospel? And they can only hear it if someone shares it with them. 

That brings us to our Bit. ‘How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!’ 

Oh friends that’s such a touching bit of scripture! And it’s also indisputable, gospel truth! 

For there is nothing as wonderful as believers obeying Jesus’ last command to His disciples: ‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples) of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always(s), even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt.28:19-20) 

Now that’s our basic job as followers of Jesus. And you’ll notice at the end that Jesus even assured us that He’d be always with us wherever and whenever we’re spreading His word. 

Unfortunately though my faithful brethren, we’re not doing it as well, as purposefully and diligently as we ought to. Why, I really can’t say. It might be through fear of repercussions from this evil world in which we dwell. Or it might just be simple laziness and sloth, or us being more concerned about living a comfortable earthly life than laying up rewards in heaven. 

But friends, whatever the reason or reasons might be, if we aren’t helping to spread the good news of Jesus gospel in some form and fashion, then we’re not being good ambassadors of His. 

It’s as plain and simple as that. And in these times of quick and far reaching communication tools, there is really no good excuse for any of us to not participate in the spreading of the gospel. 

Now let’s look at the two Old Testament Scriptures from which Bruh Paul fashioned our Bit. The first comes from Isaiah, as he promises that the Lord will deliver His people Zion from captivity. 

‘How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings (good news), that publisheth (proclaims) peace; that bringeth good tidings (good news) of good (good things), that publisheth (proclaims) salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!’ (Is.52:7) 

And the second piece of scripture comes from the prophet Nahum, as he proclaims God’s majesty in mercy and judgement. ‘Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings (news), that publisheth (proclaims) peace! 

Oh Judah, keep thy solemn (sacred, appointed) feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked (one of Belial, or worthless one) shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off.’ (Nah.1:15) 

And there you have it friends, the sources of our Bit. (smile) Now let’s go home sincerely declaring our Tuesday Mantra. 

‘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!’ 

So if we believe it, then let’s go out and do it as we ought to nuh! Much LOVE!

…only as we spread the gospel of Jesus…will the world be saved…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 February 2017 Psalm 139:23-24.

Psalm 139:23-24.   Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my (anxious) thoughts. And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

It ‘s Sunday friends, what we consider the Lord’s Day! That means it’s time to get ready and join other believers in the sanctuary to praise and worship, glorify and exalt our magnificent and magnanimous God! 

Wow! How excellent it is to have the chance every week to offer up our thanks and praise, our gratefulness for His awesome and undeserving grace and mercy, and have Him strengthen our faith and refill, renew our souls with His Holy Spirit, so that we have the wherewithal to face another trying but joy-filled week! 

And to begin the celebrations, let’s offer up a sacrifice of praise with our lips, through the singing of this old but wonderful hymn – Rock of Ages. 

In full voice and sincerity of heart, let’s sing: ‘Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee; Let the water and the blood, From Thy wounded side which flowed, Be of sin the double cure; Save from wrath and make me pure. Not the labor of my hands, Can fulfill Thy law’s demands; Could my zeal no respite know, Could my tears forever flow, All for sin could not atone; Thou must save, and Thou alone. 

Nothing in my hand I bring, Simply to the cross I cling; Naked, come to Thee for dress; Helpless look to Thee for grace; Foul, I to the fountain fly; Wash me, Savior, or I die. While I draw this fleeting breath, When mine eyes shall close in death, When I soar to worlds unknown, See Thee on Thy judgment throne, Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee.’ 

Oh my precious people of God, there’s no better place to run for help and succour than to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, for He has already paid the exceedingly great price for our sins by His selfless sacrifice on the cross at Calvary! Glory to God! And by His stripes we are healed! 

So if we don’t run to Him, and cling to Him, and find security and comfort, rest and LOVE with Him, then His most awesome sacrifice would have been a complete waste of time. Remember He offered up His Holy and precious life so that we could be saved from sin, be made righteous in the eyes of our heavenly father and receive eternal life. 

Ah friends, every time I think about how great Jesus is, I just want to jump and shout for joy – Glory Hallelujah! All praise and glory to the Lamb that was slain for us! He is indeed the Greatest!’

But let me curb my enthusiasm a tad and get to our Bit, (smile) otherwise I can take up all the time and space by just adding adoration upon adoration. That’s the kind of space I’m in right now.  Not that that’s wrong, but it’s not our avowed purpose at the present time. 

So hear these heartfelt words of Bruh David to his God. ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my (anxious) thoughts. And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, I’ve expanded the Bit today, because the first part just didn’t seem right without the second. For why are we asking the Lord to search our hearts, but to see if there’s anything wrong or wicked therein, and then to correct it through His LOVING and merciful guidance? 

Now let’s put some flesh on the bones of our Bit with other scripture that corroborate it. Listen to Job, when he speaks to his supposed friends of his integrity. ‘Doth not he see my ways, and count all my steps?  If I have walked with vanity (falsehood), or if my foot hath hasted to deceit; Let me be weighed (let him weigh me) in an even balance, that God may know mine integrity. 

If my step hath turned out of the way, and mine heart walked after mine eyes, and if any blot hath cleaved (any spot adheres) to mine hands: Then let me sow, and let another eat; yea, let my offspring (harvest) be rooted out (uprooted). (Job 31:4-8) 

Ah friends, Job knew that he had not committed any great sin or sins, which had caused his sudden, dramatic downfall. Now a lot of us end up being blamed for things we haven’t done, and nothing we can say to our accusers will change their minds. But once we are sure of our innocence, let us take heart that our Lord, the righteous judge, will in His time recompense us for all that we’ve lost and suffered. 

And Job is also a very good example of that, as the Good Book informs us. ‘And the Lord turned (restored) the captivity (losses) of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.’ (Job 42:10) 

Please note a couple of things here though my people. The Lord restored Job’s wealth and family and friends, after he prayed for his friends. And as the scholars explain: ‘The point to be garnered from the book is not that God intends to deal with every servant as abundantly as He did with Job; rather that God holds sovereign and LOVING sway over every human life. Therefore, He can be trusted implicitly in all things (cf. Rom.8:28).’ 

Yes friends, if our God is as great and good as we claim, the Creator of the universe and all therein, then we have to acknowledge His sovereignty and trust Him to do the best on our behalf, otherwise our claims are spurious and useless. 

Unfortunately time and space have run out, so until tomorrow, the Lord in favour, please sincerely ponder all that we’ve talked about. And may He bless and keep us safe, shine His regal presence upon us and give us His peace which passes all understanding. Much LOVE!

…if we can’t trust our Maker…then whom can we trust eh…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 February 2017 Colossians 3:13.

Colossians 3:13.   Forbearing (bearing with) one another and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

Ah mih people, yuh hear the Friday celebrations going on? The working man is overjoyed at two days off work and he plans to fully enjoy it in his own way. 

That’s why he’s singing ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday and the weekend’s here at long last! Steups! Thought it would never come yes! This week’s surely been a rough one! The slave driver was at his nasty best. 

But Hallelujah! He can’t stop the weekend, and we going to party hearty; party right through it. That’s why we have to give thanks for Fridays and the weekend. TGIF! Thank God is Friday!’ 

Yeh friends, I know some of us would agree with all that, especially after a rough week at work, but the truth is, it just does not repair the situation, it only makes it worse, because then you have to go back out to work the following week all broken down and tired, and unable to do anything productive for Jesus under those negative circumstances. 

Much better our simple but renewing Friday Chant. So let’s chant it now nuh, with the same enthusiasm that the working man sang his Friday song. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Now that sounds much more inspiring and sensible. At least when you go back out to work you’re not more tired than when you left. And here now is our Bit; possibly the last day for it. But who knows eh? (smile) Only the Good Lord! 

‘Forbearing (bearing with) one another and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.’ 

Oh friends, those words are so important to both our earthly and heavenly lives, that if we truly understood the power of forgiveness, we’d just run quickly and forgive everybody that ever hurt us. 

And if you don’t believe me, listen to Peter and Jesus’ conversation on the subject. Jesus had been telling them about praying while having a brother trespass against them, and how they should go and straighten out the situation first. (Matt.18:15-20) 

‘Then came Peter to him (Jesus), and said, Lord, how oft (often) shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.’ (Matt.18:21-22) 

Yes my fellow believers, seven times just won’t do! Here’s how the scholars explain it. ’18:21-22. All this teaching on forgiveness seemed overwhelming to the disciples, thus prompting Peter’s question: Lord how oft (often) shall my brother sin against me? Peter wrongly assumes that seven times are ample to forgive anyone. 

Jesus responds that seven is not only insufficient but that one should forgive seventy times seven, in other words, unlimited forgiveness must characterize the true disciple.’ 

Wow mih breddren! Even forgiving 490 times is not enough in Jesus’ kingdom! Forgiveness must always keep flowing, just like God’s forgiveness keeps flowing down to us! 

Then Jesus told them the parable of the king who took account of what his servants owed him. This one servant owed him oodles of money, but he begged for forgiveness and the king forgave him. 

Meanwhile, that same servant accosted another servant who owed him a pittance in comparison to what he had owed the king. However, when his fellow servant pleaded for forgiveness, he instead threw him into debtors prison until he could pay the pittance that he owed. 

Obviously the other servants brought the mater to the king’s attention. ‘Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst (begged) me: 

Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellow servant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth (angry), and delivered him to the tormentors (torturers), till he should pay all that was due unto him.’ (Matt.18:32-34) 

Oh my fellow believers please pay very close attention to that story, because this is how Jesus concludes the parable. ‘So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.’ (Matt.18:35) 

That’s as plain and straightforward as it can get my brethren. And please note the words ‘from your hearts.’  They are not there just to provide colour commentary, but to specify that our motives must also be right. 

And that’s it for today. Please, let’s seriously ponder all that we’ve learned about forgiveness over the last few days nuh, and realize just how important it is in our very lives. That’s wisdom of untold reckoning! Much LOVE!

…he who has ears to hear…let him hear…else 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…

 

 

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