Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 May 2018 1 John 4:18.

1 John 4:18.   There is no fear in LOVE; but perfect LOVE casteth out fear: because fear hath (involves) torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in LOVE.

And then it was Monday; Monday of a long weekend in the British Commonwealth of nations celebrating Queen Victoria’s birthday! And to tell you how far I am out of the loop, I did not even realize that this was a long weekend until yesterday. Hn! Life surely passes you by when you’re having fun! (smile) 

That means a lot of people around the world aren’t working today, but are at home or wherever celebrating, which means we also have to invoke Granny’s warning for all believers. ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business. And don’t give the devil any chance at all to get into your life!’ 

And a lot of stuff is going to be happening in the North Country today, especially with the glorious sunshine out there. Let’s hope the Spirit of the SON keeps us on a tight rein. (smile) 

But since in many parts of the universe life and work go on as normal this Monday morning, we need to encourage those who have to labour while we play. So let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to help them gather themselves together. 

In strong voice 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 as usual on a day like today, many of the voices that were the strongest were also harsh and out of sorts from the exuberance of the holiday weekend. (smile) But that’s just life; we’re always more enthusiastic when we don’t have to get involved in an unwanted task. 

And today we want to look at an important verse of scripture from John’s first epistle: ‘There is no fear in LOVE; but perfect LOVE casteth out fear: because fear hath (involves) torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in LOVE.’ 

Oh friends, those two words, ‘fear’ and ‘LOVE’ rule most of our lives. Earlier on John declares: ‘And we have known and believed the LOVE that God hath to us. God is LOVE; and he that dwelleth (abides) in LOVE dwelleth (abides) in God, and God in him.’ (1 John 4:16) 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘4:16. John, like Paul (1 Cor.13:13), stresses the supremacy of LOVE as  a characteristic of God, and therefore  as a dominant characteristic of the true believer.’ That means if true LOVE isn’t one of our dominant characteristics, then we’re not truly into God, and vice versa. 

And John continues: ‘Herein is our LOVE made perfect (LOVE is made perfect among us), that we may have boldness in the day of judgement: because as he is, so are we in this world.’ (1 John 4:17) 

Now hear the scholars. ‘4:17. Herein points back to verse 16. By dwelling in LOVE, and thus having God dwelling in him, the believer gains the priceless assurance that he need not fear the coming judgement. This is our assurance, if we LOVE in this world as He does.’ 

Yes my people, we need God’s LOVE dwelling in us, if we are to walk this earth reassured and without fear of the days to come. And why is that? Because as our Bit says: ‘There is no fear in LOVE; but perfect LOVE casteth out fear.’ So if you have LOVE, you won’t fear, and if you have fear, you can’t have LOVE. As simple as that! 

And the scholars explain: ‘4:18. Fear hath torment: Abject fear of God is based on dread of punishment. But God’s LOVE for us renders such dread obsolete. Fear is still part of the Christian walk in the sense of profound reverence, the unwillingness to violate God’s trust in us (see Acts 10:35; 13:26; 2 Cor.7:1; Eph.5:21; Phil,2:12; 1 Pet.1:17). Believers need not fear eternal rejection as a result of God’s judgement (John 5:24), but this does not mean a Christian’s approach to God is to be casual and flippant.’ 

Ah mih people, I think we should all take a few minutes and look at those scriptures, I just did, as they all drive home the point that though we should not fear God in the sense of having personal courage to come to Him with confidence, we definitely need to show Him deserved reverence, honour and admiration. 

And as the definition of reverence declares: a feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe and veneration. Yeh friends, that’s how our God must be to us. Much LOVE!

…and now abideth faith…hope…LOVE…these three…but the greatest of these is…LOVE… (1 Cor.13:13)

 

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 April 2018 Nehemiah 1:7.

Nehemiah 1:7.   We have dealt (acted) very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgements (ordinances) which thou commandest thy servant Moses.

And then it was Monday once again; but a Monday with a difference; Easter Monday where a fair amount of us don’t have to go to work and we’re still celebrating the miraculous and momentous resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ from the depths of Hades through the awesome power of our omnipotent God! 

What blessed people we are my fellow believers to have such a magnificent and magnanimous Deity as our Creator, Controller and Provider! Give Him some most fitting thanks and praise nuh! 

We have one problem though, some of us have to go to work, so no doubt they will be in a funk, jealous that they have to go out and labour while the rest of us get to stay home and party. Others however, might just be flat out tired and exhausted from their Easter celebrations, so it’s also hard for them to get up and get going. 

But as always, we have the antidote for the Monday morning whatever ails you, namely our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. So let’s belt it out with as much gusto as we can manage nuh, to help our unfortunate brethren who have to go out and labour today. 

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!’  

That was uproarious friends! As usual, you could hear the sore, croaky voices louder than the others, and know that they weren’t going to work, while the soon to be working were barely audible. But that’s just the nature of the human animal. 

Oh, let me apologize for not reminding us of Granny’s serious warning this long, Easter weekend. Sorry, I guess I just got carried away by all the activities myself. But it’s not too late to issue the warning now: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business!’ 

And that applies to all believers as we celebrate one of the biggest occasions in our Christian faith. It’s a time when we’re liable to let our hair down too much and allow Lucifer and his evil minions to catch us offside. And we don’t want that at all now mih people. So please be careful; give plenty thanks and party hearty, but please mind your p’s and q’s. End of sermon. (smile) 

And today’s Bit is an obscure verse of scripture from Nehemiah’s prayer for Israel when he learned of their sorrowful state back in the homeland. Israel had been punished by captivity in Babylon because of their disobedience to God’s laws. ‘We have dealt (acted) very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgements (ordinances) which thou commandest thy servant Moses.’ 

Friends, I believe that right now we’re also holding the short straw, because of the unbelievable sinful ways and attitudes predominant in our current society. And we all need to be seriously praying that the Lord might save us from our shortcomings, for who knows if some of the disasters we’ve been recently suffering are God’s hands at work. 

But I can assure us of one thing, if we aren’t already feeling God’s wrath, then if we continue down the sinful and ungodly path we’re presently travelling, then it won’t be long before we do feel His wrath. For our God does not make promises lightly. What he says He means. 

And here is what He said way back when to the Israelites under Moses, as the consequences of disobedience. ‘But it will come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken  unto (obey) the voice of the Lord thy God, to (carefully) observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee.’ (Deut.28:15) 

And the curses run from verse 16 to 68, while the blessings of obedience only run from verse 1-13. That ought to tell us something friends; that the punishment for disobedience is harsh and long lasting and to avoid it, we need to improve our godliness and righteousness.  We ought to read them for ourselves so that we can better understand the seriousness of our situation.  

And it’s not like there aren’t many examples of societies who got too big for their britches and were eventually cast aside through God’s machinations. Why do we think ours will fare any differently eh? Especially, like Israel, when we were once upon a time God’s poster society for general obedience to His laws and He made us strong with His blessings. 

So friends, this Easter Monday, while we’re celebrating Jesus’ victory, let’s take some time to also ponder our own situation nuh, and see how we can bring our society back into line with God’s law, because our death knell is ringing. Much LOVE!

…he who has ears to hear…let him hear…he who doesn’t listen…will surely feel…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 December 2017 John 15:4.

John 15:4.   Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

Well friends, Friday is here, and another long weekend is in the offing! Glory Be! I think we should have Christmas and New Year’s falling on a Monday every year yes, that would give us two long weekends back to back. (smile) But we all know it’s not going to happen, so let’s just enjoy it while we have it. 

And meanwhile some of us are still tired after the Christmas celebrations, and the three days of work, but now we have to get ready for the big New Year’s Eve bash, where the bubbly flows like water and people don’t know their A from their E and are hugging and kissing everyone in sight, crying out ‘Happy New Year’ as though everything will change in that one day. 

But no such luck, because as soon as we sober up, we’ll go right back to our old, nasty, sinful ways, forgetting whatever resolutions we might have made. And there’s no better time to introduce Granny’s warning, because New Years is the time of the biggest drinking bash. 

So friends, please remember ‘Drunk or sober, please mind yuh business,’ because when we overdo it, that’s when we get into serious trouble with Lucifer and subsequently our God, and sometimes the consequences of such error can be suffered for a lifetime. So please be careful, don’t give the devil any chance to break into our spiritual armour. 

And as always, the ordinary workingman is wearing his passion on his sleeve, as he declares: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! We only work three days this week, and if yuh see the massa face when he have to pay us for the whole week…that was such a joy to behold… and next week going to be the same thing because New Year’s falling on the Monday. And is the party ever going to be rocking this New Year’s Eve? It surely is! 

Plenty nice women, good food in abundance, good music and enough waters to drown a heard of elephants. Mama Yo! And is not the cheap bubbly we drinking nuh, but the expensive one. Yuh have to go first class at New Year’s! So let’s get ball rolling from now nuh…Party! Party! Party! We going to mash up the place this New Year’s Eve! Thank God for Fridays and them long weekends yes!’ 

And believe me friends, a lot of what the workingman is saying there will unfortunately come to pass this New Year’s weekend and Beelzebub will be in his glee, since when we drink up the waters, too many of us turn stupid and do nonsense. But please, this weekend I implore us to stay sober and run our race properly, don’t give the enemy a chance to inveigle himself into our affairs. 

Anyway, let’s chant our Friday Chant, which gives us a better perspective on how to spend the weekend. 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 mih breddren, whatever the celebration, we followers of Christ still have to keep our wits about us, keeping God first place in our hearts and souls. For if we don’t, we can seriously jeopardize our relationship with the Holy Trinity, and that’s not a very wise move. 

No wonder Jesus warned the disciples in our Bit: ‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.’ 

And those are words of everlasting truth friends. Without Jesus we can do nothing! He is the one from whom we draw all our sustenance. Therefore, if we are not in Him and He in us, then we’re nowhere. Like the branches of a vine draw their power to produce fruit from the main vine, so do we draw our power to produce good fruit from our close and wonderful relationship with Jesus. 

And Jesus continues His analogy of the vine. ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto (for) you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.’ (John 15:5-8) 

There we have it friends, plain, simple and straightforward as Jesus is wont to put it. The only way to bear good fruit and glorify God is by being a disciple of Jesus. And that means letting Him live and work in you, so you can draw His life-giving power and carry out His wishes and duties. There’s no other way my brethren. 

So at the end of this tumultuous year of 2017, let’s sit down and ponder our relationship with Jesus nuh, see if He is truly in us, and we in Him, and if we’re bearing any good fruit. And whatever the answer might be, let’s turn to our heavenly Father and ask for His help to improve our witness, because we all have room for improvement. Much LOVE!

…walking hand in hand with Jesus…is the only wise way to do this earthly life…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 December 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.

Oh my people, would you believe that that white stuff has come back again? Chuh! Thought we had gotten rid of it for a longer while with the warm temps of the last few days. But no, it’s back again, and this time it’s not as beautiful as the first. 

The idea of the second time around being better than the first is definitely not true here, because it’s a dark, cloudy day, there’s no sun to physically brighten it up. 

However, there is the Son! Glory to God! He’s always around to brighten up our lives, especially in this Christmas Season as we prepare to celebrate His first coming! And yuh better believe His Second Coming will be even bigger and better than the First! 

For then He won’t be coming as a mere babe in swaddling clothes, poor and lowly, but as a mighty King and Conqueror, coming to assert His claim to the throne of His Father, Bruh David and finally bring some true peace and LOVE to our miserable, sinful world! 

But it’s obvious you can’t have the Second without the First, and you won’t be with Him in the Second if you’re not with Him in the First! So please get with Him RIGHT NOW, otherwise it just might be too late, for He can come back at any time, like the proverbial thief in the night, and then you’ll be left out in the cold, in eternal darkness, and that’s the worst thing that can ever happen to a human being. Nuff said! (smile) 

Now let’s hear what the workingman has to say on this snowy morning. As usual he loudly declares: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! And though it snow, that won’t keep me back from enjoying mih free time this weekend. No mih son, not at all! And yuh better believe is a real long weekend too, no more slave work until Tuesday, and is Christmas weekend to boot. 

Thank God for being born on the weekend oui, so that we have more time off, more time away from the slave labour, more time with we friends and family so that we could celebrate in real big fashion; plenty eating and drinking, carousing and visiting friends and neighbours. This long Christmas weekend definitely going to be a blast! One to remember for all the ages! Thank God for it yes, mih brethren!’ 

Yes friends, let’s hope that this Christmas will be one we long remember, but not just for the over-the-top celebrations, but because we truly had the Spirit of Jesus in our hearts and sincerely contemplated, really pondered, the true meaning of Christ’s First Coming. 

Now let’s declare our Friday Chant, which is much more circumspect than that of the ordinary workingman. As though we really mean it 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.’ 

Oh my people, limits and boundaries, and still putting the Lord’s work first is a condition of our earthly sojourn, which in no way detracts from our celebrations; we just celebrate a li’l more spiritually than carnally. (smile) And I’d be very amiss from my duties if I didn’t invoke Granny’s warning at this awesome time of celebration. ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business!’ 

Yes my fellow believers, Beelzebub will be all about in full deceptive fashion this long Christmas weekend! You can bet yuh bottom dollar on that! What sweeter time to catch us in wrongdoing than when we’re celebrating the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? 

You can see him in the background now, with a big smile all over his evil face, just chomping at the bit, knowing that it will be open season on many of us supposed Christians. We going to let our hair down and he’s going to jump quickly into the space we afford him. 

So let’s be very careful friends. Let’s celebrate, but with a modicum of circumspection. Let’s do as our Bit so wisely advises: ’Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.’ 

Ah mih people, there could be no wiser advice to us all this Christmas weekend, for the evil one will definitely be out on the prowl, knowing that at this particular time of year we are very prone to mistakes, very vulnerable to his temptations. 

But as Peter further cautions: ‘Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (are being experienced by) your brethren that are in the world.’ (1 Pet.5:9) So we are all subject to like temptations and afflictions. 

‘But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you.’ (1 Pet.5:10) Yeh friends, the same Christ Jesus that we’re celebrating will help us resist the constant temptations of the evil one. Therefore, ‘To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.’ (1 Pet.5:11) 

Now brethren, let’s go out and celebrate Christ like we’ve never celebrated Him before, not obnoxiously, but with circumspection and common sense! Let’s win believers for Him, instead of loosing believers to the evil one. That’s the best way to celebrate Christ’s birth! Much LOVE!

…oh…what wonderful…but circumspect celebrations…are in the offing…this Christmas season…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 November 2017 Psalm 36:7.

Psalm 36:7.   How excellent (precious) is thy LOVING-kindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.

Another new day…more new mercies, blessings etc. flowing generously from the open hand of our wonderful God! But this day is special to most of us because it’s Friday, which announces the start of the weekend, our short break from work. 

And as the workingman sings his song: ‘Ole, Ole, TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Ole, Ole, Thank God for the weekend…Thanksgiving weekend to boot! No more chupid labour. Is party time! Time for food and family and friends and endless libations flowing like water. Yuh can’t give thanks just so. It have to be accompanied by rejoicing and partying! Thank the Lord for this big Thanksgiving weekend party!’ 

And no doubt many of us will conform to that creed and live it out this weekend. But we have to remember there is mortal danger where and whenever we gravitate to excess, especially as Christians. Our Leader, Jesus Christ has provided us with boundaries that we should not exceed, if we wish to stay attuned to Him and His organization, the church. 

That’s why we don’t go overboard in our celebrations, but retain a modicum of circumspection, like our Friday Chant attests to. Let’s chant it now like we truly mean it nuh. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

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

Ah friends, it’s not as excessive as the workingman’s anthem, and most importantly, it is cued to God’s work, furthering His kingdom in some form and fashion in all that we do. As believers, that’s our bounden duty, our destiny. So we always have to have our wits about us. 

As Granny would warn: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business!’ (smile) And though it sounds funny, it’s gospel truth. We all need to be careful how we go about in these latter times, as the world abounds with numerous pitfalls in every direction we look or take. And it’s only with the help of Jehovah God and His Spirit which dwells within us, that we are able to successfully navigate the many minefields that surround our daily lives. 

And all God’s children gave a loud and grateful shout of ‘Glory to God! Give Him the praise! Exalt His Holy Name! For His LOVING-kindness endures forever!’ That’s why Bruh David could declare with overwhelming confidence and assurance the immortal words of our Bit from Psalm 36 – The steadfast LOVE of God. 

‘How excellent (precious) is thy LOVING-kindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.’ 

Now that is indisputable truth and true wisdom to the max! Our God’s goodness is indeed outstanding, and wise children of men choose to adore and obey Him, to live under the shadow of His mighty and everlasting wings! Glory to God mih people! I just had to say it again, so great was the enthusiasm those words and thoughts produced in my spirit that my mouth needed to declare His honour and glory. (smile) 

And if you don’t believe our Bit, listen to how Bruh David continues, how he states his case, like any good lawyer. ‘They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness (fullness) of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.’ (Ps.36:8-9) 

Oh friends, oh friends, that is the best deal going on this Thanksgiving Black Friday where all those businesses are touting their sales! Steups! But NONE of them can match God’s promotion! Life and light and fatness and pleasurable drink! And the great thing about God’s offer is that it’s open and available every day that you are alive, 24-7! 

Mama Mia! Which child of men’s offer can match that eh? Absolutely NONE! Consequently, my brethren, I would strongly advise us that the first place to visit on this Black Friday Sale morning is that of Almighty God. Right in that one place you will find everything you want, lack, need and can ever desire! Wow! What a mighty fortress and tower of strength is our God! 

And believe me friends, I’m chuckling here, because this is all the work of the Holy Spirit, of our great and ever-faithful heavenly Father, because I had no clue what I was going to write about when I first began, except our Friday Chant. I didn’t even know how today’s version of the workingman’s song would pan out. But as always…my God came through for me. Glory Hallelujah! 

And He will come through for you too, if you give Him the attention and obedience and exaltation He requires. Much LOVE!

…Jehovah God’s Emporium…the BEST place to do business…in all the world…

P.S. Oh, it’s a li’l bit late, but I think it’s ‘loverly!’ and worth the wait.(smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 October 2017 Nehemiah 8:10.

Nehemiah 8:10.   Then he said unto them, go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength. 

So friends, it’s Monday…But the good news is that both in Canada and the U.S it’s a public holiday. In the U.S it’s Columbus Day, celebrating the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas in the 1490’s. Meanwhile, in Canada, we’re celebrating our Thanksgiving Day with feasting and festivity, and hopefully thanks and praise to Almighty God for all the blessings He’s recently showered down on our land.  

Let’s also be thankful that hurricane Nate did not do much damage to the part of Louisiana that it passed over yesterday. Ah Lord eh! Hopefully this will be the last storm for this year, for the area could not handle much more disaster. Don’t forget to include in our prayers those who have recently suffered serious setbacks and that they are on their way to recovery and rebuilding their lives. Remember too the ones who are still undergoing trials and tribulations.  

And let’s hope that all this unexpected calamity serves as a wake-up call for us to repent, to forsake our evil ways and get back into the good graces of Almighty God, for it’s difficult not to consider the unparalleled circumstances that have recently afflicted us as a warning from Him. So let’s pray that we will take the warning to heart and wisely make amends for our sinful ways, and once again make Him the undisputed God of our society. 

Anyway, it’s Monday, which means that in our 24/7 society, some people must go to work, regardless of the public holiday, and there’s no time harder to get up and go out to labour than on days like these, when the majority of people are off. So let’s send them out on a high note with a wonderful rendition of our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

In strong voice now, with lots of enthusiasm: ‘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 not going out to work are the loudest and most raucous since many of us have already been celebrating for the past couple days. (smile) And whether you like it or not, I have to remind us of Granny’s warning; that drunk or sober we need to mind our business very closely, as too much celebrating can make us cross over the Christian boundary line without even noticing it, thus giving the enemy a gleeful chance to invade our space, something we want to avoid at all costs.  

That brings us to our Bit, the words of Nehemiah to the people of Israel after they had rebuilt Jerusalem and had heard for the first time God’s Word read from His Holy Book by the scribe Ezra. ‘Then he said unto them, go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ 

It was indeed a day of rejoicing for those Israelites, many of whom had recently returned from captivity in Babylon and were enjoying freedom for the first time in many a day, if not the first time in their lives. We should also be in rejoicing and sharing mode, but more importantly, making sure that we give God His rightful deserts of thanks and praise for bringing us to this high standard of living, for it’s only through His generosity and magnanimity that it’s possible.  

Remember what we sang yesterday? ‘Praise God from whom all blessings flow…’ And that’s the truth in spades! For as the Good Book tells us: ‘But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish (confirm) his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.’ (Deut.8:18)  

Yeh friends, the Lord brought Israel out of bondage in Egypt and kept them in the wilderness for forty years, then enabled them to go into the Promised Land and take it over. Without His help, none of that would have been possible. Likewise without God’s help, our current prosperity would not have ever been realized. 

So I’m imploring us, that as we gather today, with friends, families and neighbours, let’s spend some time remembering and talking about the goodness of God towards us, and giving Him appropriate thanks and praise, glorifying and exalting His precious name, for each and every one of us has so many things to be thankful to God for in this our earthly journey. We didn’t reach this stage of evolution through our own efforts, but through God’s blessings. Consequently we ought to show the necessary gratitude. Much LOVE!

…it’s not about eating and drinking…but giving thanks…to be able to eat and drink…there is a big difference…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 December 2016 Matthew 6:33.

Matthew 6:33.    But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. 

Well friends, the big day of New Year’s Eve is finally here! The partying will be sensational, the food will be to die for and the alco will be flowing like water! And everybody will hug and kiss at midnight and wish everyone a Happy New Year. Our society will be overflowing with good feelings for at least one time in the year. Glory to God! 

And everybody will be making resolutions to improve every aspect of their lives. But wait, by a couple of weeks later all those promising resolutions would have unfortunately bitten the dust. Most of us will revert to our former selves and our former caustic, uncaring behaviour, for the New Year’s scene is simply one without any real substance. We create a great clamour as we ring in the New Year, but in truth it only lasts for a short while, since nothing much changes from one day to the next. 

Oh I know some of you might think I’m being pessimistic, but I’m simply being realistic. I’ve seen it happen for so many years of my life, and each year our society becomes more evil and ungodly. Now nothing is wrong with a good party, but when we place so much emphasis on it and we don’t follow through, then it becomes a waste of time. 

Now since it’s Saturday, here are a few quotes, resolutions, from our friend Anselm, who aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Here is the first one. ‘One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this – To rise above the little things.’ And that does make sense, because we should never sweat the little things. 

Then he says: ‘Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better person.’ Now that makes sense too. And the third one declares: ‘Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.’ And the last one is: ‘Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.’ 

Oh my people, all those resolutions are useful in their own way, but we don’t need so many. As I said at the end of last year, there is ONLY ONE RESOLUTION we need to make, and that is a sincere and diligent resolve to walk closer with Jesus, our Lord, Saviour, Friend, Brother, etc. etc. each and every day that His wonderful breath of life courses through our bodies! End of story! 

Walking sincerely with Jesus, and trying to be a more mature Christian encompasses everything else we need or want to do.  Why do you think He went through the trouble in the Sermon on the Mount to tell us our Bit eh? ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.’  Yes my fellow believers, all who have pledged their allegiance to Jesus, must keep on seeking His kingdom and its righteousness without ceasing. 

Then Jesus adds: ‘Take therefore no thought for the morrow (Therefore do not worry about tomorrow): for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt.6:33) 

And the scholars tell us, re those two verses. ‘6:33-34. The present imperative form of the verb (Gr. zeteo) indicates a continual or constant seeking. The contrast between the spiritual and the material is again emphasized. The believer is to seek first the righteousness that is characteristic of God’s kingdom and then all these things (material things) shall be added to him. 

When our priority is spiritual, God will take care of the material, for where God guides, He provides. We need not even worry about tomorrow, for sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. (v.34) This means that each day has its own troubles and challenges to be responsibly handled, without worrying about the hypothetical problems that could arise tomorrow.’  

And the sad part is that many of us Christians are material seekers as well as tomorrow worriers! The things of the world take first place in our lives, and consequently we have to worry about what will happen tomorrow. But if we just concentrate on following Jesus, we won’t have those things to worry about and all our material needs would be met. 

Hear what Bruh Paul told Timothy on the subject. ‘But refuse (reject) profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. 

This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. These things command and teach.’ (1 Tim.4:7-11)  

Now listen to the scholars. ‘4:8. The verse may be paraphrased, “For physical exercise is of limited value, but godliness, the result of spiritual exercise, has unlimited value, since it brings blessings for both now and eternity.’ 

Yeh friends, if we seek God first, things like physical exercise, healthy diets, and all the stuff we feel we need, they will be inculcated into our walk with Him. As we go, Jesus will see what we need and guide us and give us the wherewithal to accomplish them. 

And if you want an example of all that we’ve said, just read about Cousin Sol in 1 Kings 3:3-15, and you’ll see when he asked the Lord for wisdom and understanding to rule his people Israel, instead of riches and honour, the Lord made him both the wisest and richest man who ever lived. 

Friends, He will do the same thing for each of us who sincerely surrenders to and trusts in Him. Now the burning question I have to ask before we close, is did we walk closer with Jesus this year, did we become more mature, more spiritually minded Christians? 

Now only you and Jesus know the answer, and I sincerely hope we did. But just in case we didn’t, I’m pleading with us to make walking closer with Jesus our ONE and ONLY resolution for 2017. Let’s seriously focus in on it nuh. So at the end of 2017, if we’re still around, and I ask that question again, this time I’ll get a joyful shout of ‘Yes, I did!’ Now that’s wisdom at its zenith! Much LOVE!

…dress up in yuh fancy dan-dan…and party hearty…but please remember…that drunk or sober…to mind yuh business…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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