Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 March 2018 1 Chronicles 28:9.

1 Chronicles 28:9.   And thou, Solomon  my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off forever.

Well friends, we’ve gotten through the horror of Good Friday, where we saw Jesus crucified to pay for our abominable sins. It wasn’t easy, but we understood the reason why it had to happen: No sacrificial death, no salvation. For the price of sin had to be paid in sinless blood, and Jesus’ blood was the ONLY one that met the full criteria. 

Now it’s time to wait for His awesome resurrection; His victory over hell, death and the grave, where He dangles the keys to the gates of hell before an awestruck, defeated Lucifer. (smile) 

Yes my fellow believers, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ gave us the victory over the enemy by His sacrificial death on the cross. The least we can do now is show a fair amount of appreciation by living and working diligently and excellently in His name, to spread the good news of His gospel around the entire world. 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Here’s the first one: ‘Being happy doesn’t mean everything’s perfect. It means you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.’ Now that’s something a lot of us perfectionists need to understand. Perfection is not possible, and if we don’t rise above our imperfections, we’ll never be happy. 

Then there’s: ‘Be gentle with yourself, you’re doing the best you can.’ That’s something else many of us need to learn and do, because we keep beating ourselves up unnecessarily. Remember we can’t be perfect, so once we’re really trying, there’s no need to abuse ourselves. And what’s so foolish and unfair about that is we give a lot of leeway to others, but not enough to ourselves. 

So what then? ‘Focus on the good.’ ‘That’s elementary, my dear Watson,’ you reply. Not really nuh, because if most of us were constantly focused on the good, our world would not be in such a sorry state. It’s because we’re NOT focused on the good that life in this realm of plenty is so rough for so many. 

And we’ll end with this quote: ‘Rule your mind, or it will rule you.’ And is that ever so true my brethren, for it all takes place in the mind, or as Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) refers to it, ‘The battlefield of the mind.’ That’s where all our wars and battles take place. And that’s why when we allow the enemy to control our thoughts, he can therefore control our lives. Because as a man thinks, so is he. We become what we think about most. 

So if we think about the things of the world more than those of Jesus, then we’ll become more like the world, and vice versa. That’s why it’s necessary to have good and positive thoughts above all else. They will lift you up, while negative emotions will only drag you further down to Hades. (smile) And we don’t want that now, do we? Of course not! 

That’s why some of the best advice ever given to a son was that of Bruh David to Cousin Sol in our Bit. ‘And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off forever.’ 

Yeh friends, if we want to live godly and righteous lives, we have to keep our minds focused on stuff that’s godly and righteous. And remember that God looks deep into our hearts and minds to find our true purpose and motives before considering our outward show. So if what’s in our minds and what’s in our actions are different, then the Lord will discover them and act accordingly. 

For as Jesus said: ‘Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth that defileth a man.’ (Matt.15:11) And what comes out of us is what we have focused in our minds. So if our thoughts are evil, then our deeds will most likely be evil too. No wonder Jesus also warned us thus: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things will be added unto you.’ (Matt.11:33) 

Fellow believers, our omniscient and all powerful God knows what we need to function on this earth, and He has promised to give it to us if we keep Him first place in our minds, bodies and actions. If you think primarily on the things of the world, they will be of no avail in the long run. 

For as Jesus says: ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ (Matt.6:19-21) 

Words of everlasting wisdom my people, from the creator of all wisdom! Now are we going to be wise and follow them, or foolish and think on the wrong things? That’s up to each individual, but please remember that there are consequences for each line of thought, and before you decide, it would be wise to consider the consequences of each. Much LOVE!

…obey God…and leave all the consequences to Him… (Charles Stanley)

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 October 2017 Romans 7:15.

Romans 7:15.   For that which I do, I allow not (I don’t understand): for what I would do (want to do), that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.

Ah friends, it seems like I’m one of those who slept in this October Saturday morn! But mine was not by choice though, I just had no idea of the time. And I went to bed fairly early at that too. I’m trying to go to bed at a decent hour these days… Aren’t you proud of me? (smile) 

That’s because I believe one of my problems is simply not getting enough sleep. The only problem though is when I lie in bed too long, roughly over four hours, my ole back aches like mad when I do get up. But I guess we have to suffer something to gain something better. 

Anyway, I’m up now, and it’s Saturday, so let’s check out some of our friend Anselm’s quotes for this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Hear this first one: ‘A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.’ 

Now that might be true sometimes, but we have to be very careful of what others think we might want, because it just might not jive with God’s will for us. 

That leads us to this one: ‘You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.’ 

The first part makes sense, but the last part should definitely read ‘put your trust in the One and Only Jesus Christ!’ And if you do that, you certainly won’t do this next quote. ‘Don’t live a limited life.’ 

Yeh mih people, as true believers in Jesus, you will NEVER lead a limited life, because Jesus’ basic philosophy is for his followers to lead a full, abundant and productive life. Glory to God! 

And here is the last quote. ‘Integrity is when our words and deeds are consistent with our intentions.’ And is that ever so true my brethren! 

Unfortunately though, too many of us Christians, in these evil and godless times don’t have much integrity, because our words and deeds are not consistent with our intentions. That’s why so many unbelievers, as well as believers, see us as hypocrites! 

That’s the reason a lot of people, even supposed believers, use for not going to church; they don’t want to join a bunch of hypocrites in praising God. But yuh know what friends, all of us have some hypocritical element in us – not liking someone for some foolish reason, etc. etc. – so when we go to church, all we do, is add one more hypocrite to the bunch! (smile) 

But most of us won’t see it like that. And yes, it’s very possible to have good intentions and do evil deeds, as Bruh Paul declares in our Bit: ‘For that which I do, I allow not (I don’t understand): for what I would do (want to do), that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.’ 

Yeh mih brethren, that’s just the unholy struggle between our two natures; our sinful and worldly one, and our spiritual and heaven-looking other. And as you can see, even Bruh Paul, with all his spirituality, got caught in the battle between those two strong attitudes.  

So it’s not like we are totally immune to the struggle being waged between our two natures. The lure of sin and its vapid pleasures are surely strong, but like a bodybuilder, we have to build our heavenly looking spirit so that it can stand strong and steadfast against our human nature. 

As we saw yesterday, the enemy is always on the lookout to steal our joy and have us feeling guilty and miserable. However, if we do, as the Good Book says, resist the devil and draw near to God, then we’ll usually come out victorious. 

Oh friends, we know that turning away from, resisting the things of the world is not easy, certainly not an easy row to hoe, but as with EVERYTHING else in this life, with God’s help, we can overcome. 

Please don’t ever forget this seminal, foundational, fruit-bearing, productive verse from Bruh Paul to the Philippians. ‘I can do ALL THINGS through Christ which strengtheneth me.’ ((Phil.4:13) 

Yes friends, until we truly believe that and totally incorporate it into our lives, our faith walk will not be as good as it ought to be, and we’ll be doing many more wrong things than we want to do, but not understanding why. 

And sadly, there’s no easy way around the struggle of our two natures. To overcome our natural sinful nature, we just have to gut it out, stick close to Jesus; consistently read His Word, constantly communicate with Him in prayer, and do our best to be obedient to His dictates. 

That means having on our spiritual armour at all times, and continually swinging the mighty, ever-sharp, two-edged sword of God’s Word in the face of the oncoming enemy to keep him at bay. 

Yes friends, to win this battle, we need to keep our wits about us ALL THE TIME, but with God’s help, we can certainly do it. Let’s remember that, and write it indelibly in our hearts, souls and minds, for it’s the foundation of wisdom! Much LOVE!

…ONLY with God’s help…can we win our earthly battles…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 March 2015 Proverbs 24:1

Proverbs 24:1. Be not thou envious against (of) evil men, neither desire to be with them.

Ah Friends, once again the ever-turning wheel of life has turned, and it’s fallen on that beloved day we call Friday!

And the working people rose up with a great shout of joy. ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday, and our woes of labour will soon be over for a couple of days! Thank God for Fridays yes!’

Yes my brethren, we have to thank our wonderful God for ALL things, both good and bad! As Job so wisely reminded his wife in the time of his tribulations. ‘What? shall we receive (accept) good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil (accept calamity)?’ (Job 2:10)

Oh Friends, whatever happens to us, happens with God’s full knowledge. He might not send a particular storm our way, but He allows it to test our mettle, our faith and trust in Him. And life becomes much easier when we acknowledge that everything comes through Him.

That way, if something untoward happens, then we can see it as a kind of test, which He is allowing, but at the same time will help us through it. That’s the wonder of our eternal God! He gives and he takes away, but He never causes harm. But nonetheless, as Cousin Sol reminds us in Proverbs: ‘If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.’ (Prov.24:10)

Yes my people, adversity is the true test of our endurance, and our reaction to it shows the strength or weakness of our faith. Note that though Job was obviously upset in his time of adversity, he didn’t curse God and die, as his wife suggested. (Job 2:9) Instead, he stood strong during his time of trial, even to the point of declaring: ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust him…’ (Job 13:15)

That, my Friends, is the kind of unquenchable faith those of us who live by faith and not by sight, need to handle the trials of our earthly journey. And to help us in that respect, let’s chant our Friday Chant with the enthusiasm it deserves, knowing that the weekend is nigh, and we’ll have a short break from our labour.

As one harmonious voice 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.’

Hopefully Friends, those words will resonate in our spirits this weekend, and cause us to use that free time wisely. (smile) And today we have a rather appropriate Bit for these extremely wicked and ungodly times. It comes from the wisdom of Cousin Sol. ‘Be not thou envious against (of) evil men, neither desire to be with them.’

And that my people is gospel truth! But for those of you who wonder why cousin Sol made that statement, he answers it in the next verse. ‘For their heart studieth destruction (devises violence), and their lips talk of mischief (trouble).’ (Prov.24:2)

Ah mih breddren, wickedness, evil, ungodliness and all sorts of negativity are currently running rampant through our world, but as followers of Jesus we need to disassociate ourselves from it as much as possible, otherwise we’ll become evil and ungodly too.

Now it’s really impossible to completely disassociate ourselves from everyone and everything that’s evil and ungodly since its tentacles are spread far and wide, high and low. However, when we do need to come into contact with that kind, we must ensure that it’s our godly and wholesome influence that’s ruling the day, not their ungodly and evil traits. We should always attempt to influence the evildoers, rather than let them influence us.

And there are indeed a whole lot of scriptures that advise us against hanging out with evildoers. Let’s look at a couple of them. And the first one comes rather appropriately from the first Psalm in the Psalter.

‘Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly (wicked), nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate (ponder) day and night.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers (channels) of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgement, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.’ (Ps.1:1-6)

Oh my people, it’s laid out plain as day, there for us. We have no excuses now for being ungodly and evil.

Now the scholars have some explanations that we should hear. ‘Psalm 1.  The key word in the psalm is the word blessed. It serves here as a pronouncement upon a man – but a certain kind of man. In essence, the psalm is teaching that the blessed or happy man is the righteous man.

The happy man avoids evil influences, deeds, and attitudes (v.1); he delights in God’s Word (v.2); therefore, God causes him to prosper (v.3). On the other hand, the ungodly is worth no more than chaff (v.4), and his destiny is judgement (v.5). Finally, the evaluation by the Lord himself is described (v.6).

There is an ellipsis (omission from sentence of words needed to complete construction or sense) which is understood with both clauses in verse 6: For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous (and it will be blessed), but (He also knows) the way of the ungodly (and it) shall perish.

The psalm forms an appropriate introduction to the Psalter since it sets before the readers the three characters who will figure mostly in the psalms: the righteous, the ungodly, and God.’

That says it all Friends! And since we certainly have plenty food for thought, let’s end here, then go and ponder it all. Let’s write the important things in our hearts, minds and souls, then put them into practice, into action in our lives, so that we’ll become stronger in faith and understanding. That’s heavenly wisdom, my people! Much LOVE!

…to not succumb to evil…we have to build our faith in God…to grow in righteousness…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 February 2015 Psalm 62:12

Psalm 62:12.  Also unto thee O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest (rewardeth) to every man according to his work.

 Well… ‘The party’s over my Friends. It’s time to call it a day…’ Chuh! And as the old saying goes, ‘an end to all fine things must be.’Yeh mih people, the ole fella’s stay on Paradise ends today. How heartbreaking! (smile) But them’s the breaks! It’s time to go back and face the real world now, and leave this fairy tale world behind.

‘But I LOVE this fairy tale world,’ I protest. The Lord answers, ‘Yes I know that, but I have other things for you to do right now.’ And as an obedient child of the Father, I quietly acknowledge, ‘Yes Lord, I know, and I will submit to your will and go back and face the cold with faith and trust in your everlasting wisdom and heavenly guidance.’ What else can I say eh my brethren? Nothing really.

Now here is this timely quote from my One More Day Devotional, Daily Meditations for People with Chronic Illness. It is attributed to Eva Rose York (1858 –after 1935) Canadian composer, organist, teacher and editor. One of the first female composers in Canada.

Eva Rose writes: ‘I shall not pass this way again; Then let me now relieve some pain, remove some barrier from the road, or brighten someone’s heavy load.’

Very worthwhile words and sentiments my Friends and fellow believers in Jesus Christ! And that is exactly what we are all called to do; brighten someone’s day, and lighten their load if we can. If it’s only with a smile or a kind word.

And that quote segues very nicely right into our Bit from Psalm 62 – God only is my rock and my salvation, immortal words of praise and thanks from Bruh David to Almighty God. Let’s begin with the verse before our Bit, so that we can get a better idea of the context of the passage.

‘God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God. Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest (rewardeth) to every man according to his work.’

And that’s gospel truth my brethren! We are, and will be rewarded for whatever work we do down here on earth, be it good or bad. And though the Lord is indeed merciful, He will not allow us to get away with continual disobedience, punishment of some kind will be definitely in the offing.

Anyway, I don’t have much time to ramble on this morning, as I have to finish packing, so let’s get straight to some scriptures that uphold the truth of our Bit. (smile) And we’ll begin with the words of Jesus, as He foretells His passion to His disciples.

‘For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.’ (Matt.16:26-27) There you have it Friends, straight from Jesus’ mouth. So if He says so, who are we to doubt it eh?

Now listen to Bruh Paul as he admonishes the church at Rome, as he tells them that to judge others is to condemn oneself. ‘But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds;

To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious (self-seeking), and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile.’ (Rom.2:5-9)

Oh Friends, there it is again in black and white. We will reap what we sow, be greatly rewarded for our good deeds on God’s behalf, and suffer punishment for our unrighteousness. And here are some explanations on those verses from the scholars.

‘2:6. In this parenthetical discourse setting forth the controlling principle of God’s judgment, Paul explains how and why God will judge, and how He can judge both Jew and Gentile and be completely fair in the process. The controlling principle will be according to…deeds because deeds give incontrovertible proof of what is in the heart.’

‘2:7-10. For the regenerate the judgment will result in eternal life; for the unregenerate it will result in indignation and wrath. To the Jew first: Unbelieving Jews will have prominence in condemnation, believing Jews will have prominence in reward.’

And we’ll end with more words of Bruh Paul, this time from his first missive to the Corinthians, who were bickering about whom they should follow, Apollos or Bruh Paul and letting them know instead that Christians are co-labourers.

‘Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his labour. For we are labourers together with God (God’s fellow workers): ye are God’s husbandry (field), ye are God’s building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.’ (1 Cor.3:8-10)

Yes my people, we are all co-workers with God in His ministry of spreading the Word. We might plant and build, but let’s be very careful about why, what and where we plant and build, and above all remember that it is God who grants any increase that we might get. It is not simply of our doing. That is wisdom of the highest order.

So let’s go out today and plant and build in Jesus’ name with the excellence, truth and LOVING-kindness that He expects of His true followers. Much LOVE!

…to work for, and with Jesus…is man’s greatest privilege…and brings forth his greatest joy…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 July 2014 1 Peter 2:2

1 Peter 2:2.    As newborn babes, desire the sincere (pure) milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.

 

Oh Friends, neighbours and fellow believers, it’s a beautiful morning, so let’s get up and get fellowshipping with others of like ilk! Time to give thanks and praise to our great and wonderful Creator and Saviour Jesus Christ for all they’ve done, are doing and have promised to do for us.
 
And all God’s people declared a loud, hearty and grateful; ‘Glory Hallelujah! Praise His Holy Name!’
 
Yes my people that’s what we need to get out and do this Sunday morning, without any reservations, resentment or being forced to go, but just having a heart brimming with so much LOVE and thanks, that we’re automatically propelled to the sanctuary. (smile)  
 
Now here’s an interesting quote from an interesting and inspirational person; Helen Keller (1880-1968), the deaf/blind American author, activist, lecturer and humanitarian, reputed to be the first deaf/blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. Wow! Now isn’t that something else! Nowadays I’m sure it’s much easier than back then.
 
However, Miss Keller is reputed to have said that, ‘When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.’
 
And that’s gospel truth my people! For often we don’t know what ripple effects our actions may cause, somewhere down the line. Like throwing a stone in the water and seeing it form concentric circles; one circle after another. That’s how our actions, both good and bad can affect the lives of those we don’t, or may ever know. Therefore it behoves us to be generally kind and responsible in all our deeds and actions.
 
And the best part of that kind of responsible behaviour is that often we also see and feel the growth within our own selves. And that my Friends, is what we all desperately need in these vey treacherous and troubled times; personal growth! Not only physical and mental, but even more importantly spiritual growth and maturity, so that we can truly understand what’s happening and thus take the necessary precautions.
 
As Peter warns us: ‘Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere (pure) milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.’ (1 Pet.2:1-3)
 
Yes my brethren, we all begin as new born babes in Christ, where like infants, we can’t handle the heavy stuff, the heavy food, the heavy doctrine and such. Therefore we need to ingest simpler, lighter stuff, like milk for new-borns. That means first getting a basic, rudimentary understanding of the Scriptures, of Jesus and all that He stands for.
 
But then Friends, we just can’t stop there, like the mental and physical aspects of our bodies, our spirits also have to grow in the understanding of Jesus, and then we need to put those things into practice in our everyday lives. That’s when we begin to attain maturity. We never really are completely mature, because spiritual growth is a never ending course of study.
 
That’s why Bruh Paul warned the Corinthians about carnal minds hindering, inhibiting the growth of the spirit. ‘And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat (solid food): for hitherto (until now) ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions (dissensions); are ye not carnal (fleshly), and walk as (according to) man?’ (1 Cor.3:1-3)
 
Oh my people, you know those statements sadly brand a lot of us in Christ’s church today as spiritual babes, because there is still so much infighting amongst believers, with strife, envy and general pettiness and selfishness causing unnecessary and unwholesome divisions in the body of Christ.
 
And the scholars explain those verses thus: ‘3:1-3) I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: In the case of newborn babes this would be natural and to be expected (1 Pet.2:2). But it is embarrassing at this stage in their development. ‘Milk’ figuratively stands for elementary Christian instruction, and ‘meat’ refers to advanced doctrine.
 
Carnal (lit.“fleshly”). The warfare between the flesh and the spirit receives continual emphasis in Paul’s writings (cf. Rom.7:14-8:13; Gal.5:17). The factions that have destroyed the unity in Corinth indicate that these believers were not walking by the Spirit, but were allowing the flesh to direct their behaviour.’
 
And doesn’t that ever still apply to the church today my people! A lot of us who are supposed to have Bible knowledge, but behave in a non-Christian manner, according to Bruh Paul’s logic, are still spiritual babes in arms. Because it’s not necessarily what we know that’s important, but often what we do with that knowledge, how it causes us to behave. And if we claim to know what the Bible teaches, but don’t practice it, then all that knowledge is wasted. They say knowledge is power – but only if it’s used wisely.
 
So Friends, as we go out to worship today, let’s seriously consider if we are behaving like newborn babes; that’s walking carnally, in the flesh, or rather like the mature people we’re supposed to be, walking in the Spirit. How we walk in Jesus’ name, my brethren, does cast a serious reflection on His church, therefore let’s do what we know to be right nuh, and walk maturely – in the Spirit, like we ought to. That’s heavenly wisdom! Much LOVE!
 
…to walk in the flesh…when we should be walking in the Spirit…is a serious dereliction of our duties as believers in Christ…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 July 2014 Isaiah 61:3

Isaiah 61:3.  To appoint unto (console) them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.
 

And the celebrations went on late into the night! (smile) Well they might very well have, just not at my place. In fact, there were no real celebrations in my yard yesterday. We more or less took Canada Day as a day of quietness and peace, doing stuff around the house that needed to be done. And though I did get to bed rather late, it was certainly not from celebrating.
 
However, when called upon to arise and get going this morning, the old body totally rebelled. I remember getting up to go to the bathroom sometime after three o’clock and telling the Lord it was way too early to get a move on, especially since I hadn’t been to bed too long before that. But the next time I opened my bleary eyes it was after six o’clock. Hn, hn!
 
Now I’m sure there are a few of us in that predicament on this morning after. (smile) It’s a good thing though that my boss is such an understanding, forgiving and merciful boss, and He won’t rage on me or dock my pay, as some of the earthly bosses will do to those who are late this morning, especially after what has been an extraordinary long weekend for some.
 
Praise the Lord! What a life eh Friends! But these things do happen, even in the best of families. (smile)
 
Anyway, the word from my almanac for today is ‘COLLABORATE.’  And that is a most important word in all aspects of life! For remember that since no man is an island, complete unto himself, we therefore need to collaborate with others to get things done and thus have a decent and fulfilling life.
 
And the quote for today comes from Mattie Stepanek – Matthew Joseph Thaddeus Stepanek (1990-2004) American poet, peacemaker and philosopher, who published six books of poetry, he called ‘Heartsongs.’
 
Yes I know he was only fourteen when he died, but apparently his family suffered from a rare form of muscular dystrophy, which took his life and that of three other siblings at rather tender ages. Just goes to show how much we can achieve and accomplish either when pushed by things like upcoming death, or we truly put our minds to it.
 
Anyway, Mattie tells us this morning that ‘Unity is strength…when there is collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.’
 
Wow mih breddren! What an awesome truth! And that from a young pup too! It’s true in ALL aspects of life!
 
But unfortunately, nowhere is it sadly lacking and badly needed more than in the earthly body of Christ Jesus! His church is much too fractured and divisive, with way too many different religions and denominations, all purportedly teaching and celebrating the same risen Christ.
 
Well if we’re all talking about the same Saviour, and telling the same story, then why are there so many divisions eh? There can be only ONE truth, so there should be only ONE message! I guess it just means that people are seeing the message differently, and thus telling it in different ways.
 
But Friends, what a beautiful explosion of Christianity there would be in this evil and ungodly world if the true and faithful brethren in Christ would concentrate on collaborating, in getting together, rather than falling apart into small cliques and divisions! Glory Hallelujah! The world would certainly stand up and take significant notice!
 
Please remember that Christ’s church is supposed to be ONE BODY, just like the Holy Trinity is ONE GOD!
 
Sadly though, at this juncture in our history, that cannot be said of Christ’s body, when we’re fighting so terribly and frightfully amongst ourselves. How can we expect to hear good tidings of salvation under those negative circumstances eh?
 
How can we expect the Lord ‘To appoint unto (console) them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.’
 
It just isn’t realistic my people. The Lord’s seeking teamwork and unity amongst His children. How can we be truthfully called ‘trees of righteousness’ and ‘the planting of the Lord’ when we’re so disjointed and divisive eh, when we’re allowing the things of the world to drive us apart, rather than enjoining the things of God to bring us together?
 
The prophet Jeremiah spells it out very clearly for us. ‘Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in (the strength of) man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath (a shrub) in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.’ (Jer.17:5-6)
 
Yes Friends, that’s one side of the equation. Now listen to the other half of it, then tell me which half makes more sense, which one is wiser to follow.
 
‘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)
 
Yes Friends, those are the two options available to us, and it’s plainly stated what will happen in each. And just in case we hold deceitful intentions, please note that we can’t try to cover up our dark secrets while looking good on the outside, as we can do with men, for Jeremiah continues with the Lord’s declaration.
 
‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked (incurably sick) who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try (test) the reins (the mind, the most secret places), even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings (deeds).’ (Jer.17:9-10)
 
For sure my brethren, the Lord will judge each individual by his or her actions. So it’s up to each of us to choose the option we think best suits us. But let me add a word of wisdom here; (smile) option two wins the contest hands down!
 
Oh Friends, we can’t glorify our great and wonderful God by fighting amongst ourselves, so starting today, right now, let’s seriously concentrate on trusting the Most High God Jehovah nuh, and consequently live in unity and collaboration with each other, so that we can reap the blessedness that He has prepared for those who truly LOVE Him and seek to be obedient to His will.
 
It’s not all that difficult to do, and furthermore, it is truly the wisdom of and for the ages! Much LOVE!
 
…I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing…therefore choose life…that both thou and thy seed may live… (Deut.30:19)

 

 

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