Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 March 2017 1 John 1:9.

1 John 1:9.   If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

And then the rains, the early rains came to water the land to prepare it for the sowing of grain. Yeh friends, it’s not a bright sunshiny day like the last several, but cloudy and wet, however it’s also warmer. I think we’re actually in for a spring like weekend. Glory Be! 

And something happened last night that has happened in years; the ole fella went to the theatre. Wow! I can’t tell when last I went to a place like that. (smile) 

Anyhow I went down to the entertainment capital of the North, T.O. to the Ed Mirvish Theatre on the main drag, Yonge Street, to see the musical ‘Bodyguard,’ a take on the Whitney Houston movie of the same name. 

I’ve never seen the movie, so I didn’t know what to expect, but it turned out to be good show, with lots of nice rich music and dancing. I wasn’t sure whether the skits were meant to be serious or not, but the singing and dancing made up for whatever the acting lacked. 

A British singer, Beverley Knight, played Whitney’s part. She was worth her salt, although some thought that the sister, played by Rachel John had a better voice. Anyway, it was a most worthwhile evening. 

And the theatre itself was just to die for; all old world elegance; lots of marble, beautiful frescoes, chandeliers and a cupola over the auditorium featuring a splendid scene of what I can’t remember. (smile) But I know it was beautiful to the eyes. The Mirvish boys, Toronto’s current theatre impresarios did spend their money well to refurbish it. 

But you know what? While I’m here regaling you with my evening’s activities at the theatre, the workingman, who couldn’t remotely afford the prices of the theatre, is outside having his simple, but heartfelt fun, declaring: 

‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! Spring is in the air! And who knows I’ll be where this weekend? But wherever that is, I’ll be drinking and eating and partying. Partying hearty for sure! Having the time of mih life! That’s why we have to thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes!’  

And we do have to thank Almighty God for Fridays and the weekends, but not to such extremes. Our Friday Chant provides a much more balanced and practical way to do it. 

So let’s chant it now nuh, in close harmony nuh. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

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

Yes my brethren the Lord will prefer that attitude, and it will also be better for us, physically, emotionally and mentally. And tied up with all of that is our Bit. ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’ 

Yeh friends, that ought to be a major part of our everyday life as sincere believers. Now yesterday we saw how the prophet Nathan draped up Bruh David for his hidden adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband Uriah. Hear what happened after that. 

‘And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.’ (2 Sam.12:13-14) 

And the scholars offer these explanations of those verses. ’12:13. David genuinely grieved and repented (cf. Ps.32:5;51:3-4). However, the seed of sin was immediately to bear bitter fruit, for the child born of the adultery became grievously ill and died (vs.15-18).’ 

‘12:14. David’s sin had brought the name of God into disrepute. Such knowledge ought to serve as a deterrent to willful sin on the part of believers (cf. 1 Tim.5:14; 6:1).’ 

Yes my fellow believers, the disrepute that our sins cause to God’s name and the blasphemy it allows the enemy is what mars our godly walk, deeply stains our ministry. 

Yuh see how quickly God put Bruh David in his place. And the sad part is that Bruh David was so righteous and walking so closely with Him. Just goes to show that we are all human and possess the innate frailties thereof. 

The Lord knew that despite his terrible sins, Bruh David’s heart was all for Him, that’s why He did not take him home right away. But He could not afford to let such abominable sins be whitewashed, someone had to pay. 

For as Bruh Paul so succinctly put it to the Romans: ‘For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (Rom.6:23) 

And as the scholars explain: 6:23. Wages: Emphasizes what we deserve. Gift of God: Emphasizes God’s unmerited favour.’  

So Friends, having heard and read all of that, I implore us to be rather careful in how we walk this earthly life, trying to sin as little as possible. 

And when we do, not if we do, to immediately turn to our merciful and gracious God, sincerely confess our iniquity and humbly ask for His forgiveness. That’s the only wise and sensible way to live this earthly life. Much LOVE!

…to sin is human…but to confess and ask for forgiveness…is heavenly wisdom…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 December 2016 Deuteronomy 31:8.

Deuteronomy 31:8.    And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.

Well friends, I hope that our fellowship yesterday, mixed with sincere praise, worship and thanks, has paved the way for us to get this work week off with a bang! That we’re soaring with confidence and energy and a passion to just get out there and do God’s will! 

But just in case we did not fellowship yesterday, or for some other reason we’re not feeling up to scratch, not excited by this new day of life, with which we’ve been blessed, we have an instant antidote for you. It’s called our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. So let’s sing it all together now, in strong voice and bubbling harmony, and make our choirmaster, Jesus proud. 

‘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!’ 

Now that rendition wasn’t bad at all my people, however it did not light up Jesus eyes and face like last week. But don’t feel badly because He understands our weaknesses and frailties even better than we do. He knows that we can’t put on a magnificent performance every week, but that doesn’t mean we can’t always give a creditable one. 

So with the adrenaline that our Battle Hymn has raised in our blood, let’s stop dancing around aimlessly and get ourselves out into the serious fray that awaits us. And to help us do that, we have a most encouraging Bit; the words of Moses when he anointed Joshua, Israel’s leader. 

‘And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.’ 

Oh my fellow believers, we ought to know that those are words of indisputable, irrevocable, gospel truth! As the Lord was with the Israelites so long ago, He is still with us…even under better conditions now that we have Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour! 

The Lord our God proved His awesome, unconditional LOVE for us by sending His ONE and ONLY Son to die on Calvary’s cross to redeem us from our abominable sins, so why would He now stop caring for us eh? It simply doesn’t make sense. He broke His own heart to reconcile us to Himself, so simple logic would deduce that His LOVE and compassion for each one of us is still just as strong as it was back then. 

And no, it’s not easy to accept this wonderful reassurance when all the fearful negative aspects of the world appear to be coming full speed at us. But with time and the growth of our faith, enabled by the good works God continually does in our lives, we will eventually come to a point where we can accept the words of our Bit without doubt or hesitation. 

And just to give us a practical and physical example of the Lord going before us, listen to this scintillating scripture from Exodus. ‘And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light, to go by day and night. He took not away the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.’ (Ex.13:21-22) 

Yuh see that friends, our God is a FAITHFUL God! What more can we ask for eh? He led His people Israel, out of bondage in Egypt, through the wilderness by pillars of cloud and fire, thus assuring them of His continual presence, and also protection from the Egyptians who were following them. 

Now hear this masterful plan of protection from our wise and powerful God. ‘And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them. And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all night.’(Ex.14:19-20) 

So though the two camps were fairly close together, darkness completely shrouded the Israelites from the Egyptians. Who else could have devised such a simple but yet masterful plan eh my brethren? NONE but Almighty God! 

So as we step out today to face the evil world and all its challenges, please don’t be afraid, for just like the Lord protected the Israelites back then, He still protects EVERY ONE of His children with His strong right hand and mighty power. That’s all we need to know and remember. Much LOVE!

…Fear not…was one of Jesus’ most used statements…believers should therefore take Him at His word…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 November 2016 Psalm 139:1.

Psalm 139:1.    O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.

So it’s Friday once again, and the roar of the working people is in full swing: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and in particular Black Friday! We going to shop till we drop, then we going to party most heartily! Shopping and partying…! Oh what a glorious weekend it’s gonna be! Wow! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, the commercialism of our society is getting from bad to worse. Steups! We’ve finally integrated another shopping day into the calendar with the woeful name of ‘Black Friday.’ 

It’s actually become the biggest shopping day of the year, substantially beating out the old Boxing Day affairs. And the behaviour has become downright animalistic, like leggo beasts, as we rush and shove and push and fight each other to get to the items we think we need. 

Ah Lord eh! And it’s right after Thanksgiving too. Some stores open at midnight, so a lot of folks don’t even get to finish the Thanksgiving proceedings properly before they rush out to the supposed sales, to line up to buy stuff they often don’t need, and in many cases cannot afford. But it’s on sale! Chuh! 

Even in Canada it’s taken on a life of its own; I’ve never heard so many Black Friday ads like this year. I guess that’s because the Canadian proprietors don’t want the Canadians to go shopping down in the U.S.; they’d much prefer them to spend their dollars up here. Hn! 

What a life eh! Anyway, for those of us who don’t allow the commercialism and licentiousness to get to us, we have our Friday Chant to bolster our emotions. So let’s chant it in sincerity and unison 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.’ 

Now that’s a much better way to view the weekend, especially this Black Friday madness. And our Bit is the same as yesterday: ‘O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.’ 

And that’s indisputable truth my brethren, for our God searches and knows the hearts of all His people, all His creation! It’s on the basis of the state of our hearts that He operates, not from our outward behaviour, since that outward show can quite easily be false and contrived and not reflect the true intentions and motives of our hearts. 

And today we’ll look at the section where Bruh David talks about God creating him. ‘For thou hast possessed my reins (formed my inward parts): thou hast covered (weaved) me in my mother’s womb. 

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right (very) well. My substance (frame, bones) was not hidden from thee when I was made in secret, and curiously (skillfully) wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 

Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect (unformed); and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned (the days fashioned for me), when as yet they were none of them. 

How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.’ (Ps.139:13-18) 

Yeh friends, our magnanimous and omnipotent God originated us in our mothers’ wombs, knew exactly how we’d turn out, wrote down our life plan in His book before we were even fully formed, as He watched us grow in delight. 

He knows all of our frailties, because He created us with them. And there’s not a moment that goes by and He doesn’t think worthily and beautifully of us, His most wonderful creation. 

As Bruh David says, those kindly and LOVING thoughts of our merciful and gracious God are more than sand in number. Wow! That just goes to show how much He thinks of us. 

Now the resulting and very important question is how much do we think about Him? Yes my people, how much do we consider our great and wonderful God in our everyday lives eh? 

For many of us, the answer is that we don’t think about Him enough. We only seem to remember Him when we are down on our luck, or want something. Then we rush to Him with all sorts of untrue endearments, and expect Him to jump to our rescue right away. 

But unfortunately, that’s not the way our God works. He expects continuous and sincere communication, from a true heart, before He opens up His treasure chest. And we’ll close with the serious and sincere words with which Bruh David closed Psalm 139. 

‘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.’ (Ps.139:23-24) 

Ah friends, this Black Friday morning is a very good time for each of us to pray that prayer individually, and ask God to cleanse us of any evil ways or desires that linger in our hearts and lead us along the right path, the one which leads directly to Him and His LOVING-kindness. We couldn’t ask for anything better. Much LOVE!

…to know… and to understand God…one must have frequent and sincere communication with Him…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 October 2016 Romans 8:37.

Romans 8:37.   Nay, in all things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.

Awright friends, it’s Monday, so let’s get up and get a move on nuh. There’s no time for pushing the snooze button and rolling over. The trumpet is calling out yonder: It’s time to go to work! Time to be up and about Jesus’ business! 

Yes my people, there’s no time for muttering and complaining. You weren’t muttering or complaining last night when you were up till all hours of the night having fun. So let’s cut out the negative actions now and get with the programme. 

And to help us do that, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with plenty enthusiasm, energy and sense of purpose. As they say, fake it until you make it. 

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

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

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

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

Oh friends, that rendition of our Battle Hymn was barely passable! How can such a lacklustre vocalization ever inspire anybody to go out and fight bravely eh? It’s obvious that our choirmaster, Jesus, wasn’t pleased. But as always, knowing our frailties, and having that great LOVE for us, He forgives us. 

Nonetheless, now that our motors are running, let’s pick up the tempo and get ourselves into the fray of this new workweek, with Jesus, beside, behind and before us; in other words, all around us as a protective shield. That’s why we can so audaciously declare in our Bit: ‘Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.’ 

Yes precious people of God, once you are spiritually born again through the shed blood of Jesus on the cross at Calvary, then you have indeed become a conqueror through His having conquered hell, death and the grave. The same options are open to all who sincerely believe in Him and truly surrender their souls to His leading and guidance. 

Now the last couple of days we have been talking about the conquering aspect of our Bit, today however, I want to talk about the LOVE portion. And isn’t that word LOVE, the greatest word in any language on planet earth? It certainly is! Why eh? 

Listen to the most important verse in the God’s word. ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (John 3:16) 

That’s the major purpose behind it all my faithful brethren. God’s LOVE was so great for us, His sinful creation, that He just could not live with Himself to see us all go down to Hades with Lucifer without some option for deliverance. ‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:17) 

And all those words were spoken by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the SON of God! So they just had to be true, since God cannot lie. That’s how blessed we are my people! Our Creator’s care and compassion for us was so strong, that He broke His own heart, by sacrificing His only Son, that we could be set free from the ravages of sin and death. 

Now doesn’t that touch a soft spot in your heart, make you everlastingly grateful? It ought to. And it also ought to raise up your own LOVE for God, His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit in thankful appreciation for all that they’ve done for you. But such is the ungratefulness and foolish pride of man that many of us just couldn’t care less about what the Holy Trinity has done, is doing, and will do for us.  

Now let’s further develop this theory of LOVE. We have a saying that ‘LOVE makes the world go round,’ and if we follow and believe what John says in his later writings, then it might just be true. 

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

Herein is LOVE, not that we LOVED God, but that he LOVED us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation (atonement) for our sins. Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another.’ (1 John 4:7-11) 

And that’s the crux of the disastrous situation right now in our world; we don’t LOVE one another! 

And we not talking about no big setta LOVE nuh, with plenty hugging and kissing etc; (smile) but just simple brotherly kindness, goodwill, care and compassion for each other. Now that’s what will make our world go round! 

Ah friends, if we want to see our world become a better place, both for ourselves and our descendants, then I implore us to start showing that goodwill, that brotherly LOVE to each other. It’s not too late, and with God’s help we can certainly do it. So let’s begin today nuh; there’s no better time than right now! Much LOVE!

…without more basic LOVE…our world WILL NOT survive for much longer…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 September 2016 Galatians 5:16.

Galatians 5:16.    This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

Aye mih people, another great day is ahead of us, courtesy of our wonderful God! So please, let’s use it wisely nuh, guided by the Holy Spirit of God that dwells within us. 

It’s okay to shout ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and the weekend’s here…’ and what we going to do from what we not going to do, but not if they simply relate to the lustful and dangerous pleasures of the world. 

We desperately need to have better groundings, a better foundation for the way we spend our time off, if we are going to have any kind of godly success in this crazy world of ours. And our Friday Chant provides us with that solid footing, that godly balance that we need. 

So let’s chant it nuh, with sincerity, honesty and truth, praying that it will help us do better than we’re accustomed doing. As one now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

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

Yeh friends, that’s a much better template for our weekends, than just wild and crazy, dissolute, leggo beast behaviour, which so many of us unfortunately indulge in when we have the couple of days off. 

That’s why Bruh Paul spent so much time warning us against just such a thing, and gave us this godly direction in our Bit. ‘This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.’ 

Yes my believing brethren, the Holy Spirit was sent to dwell within us so that we would follow it’s godly leading and direction, but first we have to stop and listen to it, otherwise we won’t know what it’s saying or where it wants to guide us. 

And the scholars explain it thus: ‘5:16. Walk in the Spirit (i.e. “live by the Spirit”): Christians are to live with the Spirit’s help. How does one “live by the Spirit”? (1) The Christian must believe that the Spirit is with him, having been sent by God into his heart (4:6). (2) In every spiritual confrontation the believer must yield to the Spirit, that is, submit his own desires to those of the Spirit. 

(3) One must depend on the Spirit for help, enabling him to lead a God-pleasing life (v.5). (4) The believer should anticipate the effects of the Spirit’s help in his daily life. The believer who “lives by the Spirit” will not fulfill (accomplish, carry out) the lust (strong desires) of the flesh (sinful desires).’  

There you have it friends, a scholarly guide as to how the Holy Spirit should operate in our lives. Oh, we know it’s not easy living a godly and spiritual life; it takes patience, perseverance, listening, sacrificing, questioning and praying, but with God’s help we can do it all. 

And why is it so difficult to lead that godly life we so ardently desire? Bruh Paul gives us some indication in the verse after our Bit. ‘For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things ye would.’ (Gal.5:17) 

Ah mih people, it can be a monumental task, a veritable war, if we’re not strong, faithful and persevering. 

Hear how the scholars tell it. ‘5:17. One’s sinful human nature (flesh) and the Holy Spirit lusteth against one another, that is, they have desires and yearnings that are contrary to one another. The Christian, then, is a battlefield, having desires to do good and evil. The outcome is that ye cannot do the things that ye would: the flesh seeks to thwart the Spirit, who, in turn, attempts to frustrate the flesh’s evil desires.’ 

Gospel truth that my people! As Bruh Paul told the Roman church in his missive to them, talking about the struggle of our two natures. ‘For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal (fleshly), sold under sin. 

For that which I do I allow (understand) not: for what I would (want to do), that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto (agree with) the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.’ (Rom.7:14-17) 

What a battlefield of life my brethren! Now listen to this important explanation of the scholars. ‘7:14. The law is spiritual: The law has the characteristics of the Spirit and is consistent with the character of God. I am carnal: What follows is autobiographical and designed to reveal the real struggle the apostle experienced in the flesh. His experience is also exemplary, for it shows the problems all believers experience in their battle with sin.’ 

So friends, if you are experiencing problems in fighting your fleshly desires, don’t beat yourself up, for it’s just a natural part of this earthly life. We will always have problems trying to be godly, even Bruh Paul had a hard time doing what he wanted to do, as per living by the Spirit. 

What we need to do is to be patient and persevering; keep on reading God’s word, studying it, meditating on it, storing it in our hearts for future use, praying, fellowshipping, and listening intently to what the Holy Spirit tells us. 

And we won’t always be successful, but our compassionate and understanding God knows our weaknesses and frailties, and once He sees us sincerely trying, that our hearts and motives are right, He will be forgiving and compassionate. So please, let’s all stand strong and steadfast in His great LOVE, mercy, compassion and grace. Much LOVE!

…fighting our carnal nature…is a full time spiritual job…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 August 2016 Proverbs 18:21.

Proverbs 18:21.     Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that LOVE it shall eat the fruit thereof.

And then it was Monday…with all the wake up devices going off around the world, and millions of people rolling over, muttering curses, steups’, chuhs, etc. in disgruntlement and frustration at the signal to get up and get ready for work! 

What a sad state of affairs it is for the majority of the world’s population on a Monday morning; thinking about how lousy they feel, the traffic jams they will undoubtedly encounter, the nasty weather out there, the bosses and co-workers they have to put up with for another week, etc. etc.  

Meanwhile, a handful of smart, peaceful, relaxed and refreshed individuals roll over, are excited to greet the new day, and simply declare: ‘TGIM! Thank God it’s Monday! Time to return to work and do my thing! Thank God for Mondays!’ 

For whatever reason that group doesn’t allow the many negatives to disturb them. Oh, I would like to say that they are a bunch of Christians, but I know that’s taking it a bit too far. (smile) But friends, until and unless we change our work systems, or utilize the weekends properly, preparing wisely for Monday, there’ll always be a lot of angst, anger, frustration and other negative reactions to getting up and going to work. 

And the strange part is that the rest of the week doesn’t bring about such a rash of anger and disgruntlement as does Monday. Anyway, we working on it, and will eventually bring it down to a minority, but until then, let’s continue to sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to raise our spirits and encourage us to be up and about the Lord’s business. So let’s belt it out with as much enthusiasm as we can muster, remembering that our choirmaster, Jesus, expects us to put on a good show. 

As one 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!’ 

Ah mih people, that wasn’t too bad, but just barely average. Jesus wasn’t thrilled, but neither was He terribly displeased, in His wonderful way of understanding our foibles and frailties. Now let’s keep that adrenaline fuelling our motors as we go out to meet the enemy in battle, paying close attention to the very important words of our Bit. ‘Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that LOVE it shall eat the fruit thereof.’ 

Oh my brethren, my brethren, those are words of such importance in a Christian’s life that we ignore them at our very peril! Remember what Jesus said yesterday? That we will all have to account for our words come the judgement day, and that we’ll either be justified or condemned by them. (Matt.12:36-37)  

So please, I implore us to be very careful with our words. Let’s stop and think before we speak. James puts it thus: ‘Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath. For the wrath of man worketh not (does not produce) the righteousness of God.’ (James 1:19-20) So true my friends. 

And the scholars expand on those two verses. ‘1:19. This is a key verse because it expresses three topics that James develops later: hearing, verses 19-27; speaking, 3:1-12; and wrath, 4:1-12.’ 

‘1:20. Trials require silence and patience because talk inflames anger, and anger inflames talk. Anger also distracts from listening to God.’ And not listening to God is something we surely don’t want to be guilty of as believers! 

Now let’s listen to Cousin Sol from his contrasts of the wise and the foolish. ‘He that speaketh truth showeth forth (declares) righteousness: but a false witness deceit. There is that (one who) speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is (promotes) health’ (Prov.12:17-18) More words of absolute truth friends! 

And the scholars tell us. ‘12:18. Words have the power to penetrate where no sword can touch; for good or for evil. A wise man uses his tongue for constructive purposes.’  

Now the first sentence of the scholars’ explanation is ever so true! Words can hurt and cut us to pieces more than any sword can. However, the last sentence is unfortunately not true of our current society, for nowadays we don’t use words constructively; we don’t care what we say or to whom we say them, we wield them more like a sword, intentionally out to hurt others. 

We don’t seem to consider the feelings of others in this age of technology and mass communication. And I believe those supposed areas of progress bear a lot of the blame for that negative behaviour, since we didn’t talk as much or at such length before they allowed us to do so. 

And we’ll end there for today. But please, please my people, let’s take time to stop and think before we talk, because the words we speak here on earth, will definitely play a big part come the judgement day in heaven. Much LOVE!

…a word to the wise is sufficient…and Christians are supposed to be wise…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 June 2016 Matthew 24:4

Matthew 24:4.    And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

And then it was Monday – the first day of the new work week. And all the workers joyfully declared: ‘Glory Hallelujah! Thank God for Mondays! We can’t wait to get back out to work. What a joy to be going back out to work today! Bless the day of Monday!’ 

Awright friends, I know I might never see or rather hear that joyful appreciation of Mondays, but that’s why the Lord built imagination and dreams into our basic DNA. If we couldn’t dream and imagine, then life would be boring and pointless.  What I do know is that we should not be as reticent and complaining about going back to work on a Monday as we are. 

Oh I know that there is a lot of pressure and unfortunate stuff involved in going out to work, but then if we don’t work, how will we survive eh, how will we provide for our families? Like Job says, we have to learn to take the bad with the good. (Job 2:10)  We need to just band our jaw and get to it. 

And don’t forget that Jesus is waiting out there at the front line for us to lead us into battle. So if we have the Messiah, the most powerful Field Marshall in the universe as our Leader, then we should be going out confident and proud.  But since we are only human with lots of frailties, to aid us in our early week endeavours, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with much spunk, plenty chutzpah and heavenly harmony. (smile) 

As one 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!’  

Now that was a good rendition my brethren. Not the best, but it brought a smile to Jesus’ face, and that’s sufficient. Now let’s try and keep that adrenaline running as we go out into the ungodly world and influence people and win souls for Christ, through our Christ like talk and godly behaviour. 

And that brings us to our Bit, a wise word of warning to the disciples from our Lord and Saviour. ‘And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.’ 

Oh friends, unfortunately that warning still holds true today, possibly even more so than in Jesus’ time, since there are more deceivers running wild today than in Jesus’ time. 

And before we go further, let’s look at when and where Jesus warned them. He had been in the temple talking to His disciples as well as the Scribes and Pharisees re the ill treatment meted out to the prophets at the hands of their forefathers, about His death and resurrection, the destruction of the temple and His Second Coming. (Matt.23:1-39) 

Then He left them and went out to the Mount of Olives so He could look down at the temple courtyard. ‘And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world (age)?’ (Matt.24:3) 

Then Jesus began with the warning in our Bit, and then continued: ‘For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.’(Matt.24:5) And isn’t that the gospel truth my people. 

As the scholars explain: ‘Many shall come refers to the parade of false messiahs who have now spanned the centuries of church history and have led many astray into false religious cults.’ 

And sadly, if only because of the world population explosion in recent times, it’s happening in even greater numbers today. Almost every minute of every day, a new religion, a new cult, a new denomination is born, further fracturing the already fractured movement of Christianity.  

Bruh Paul also issued that warning about false teaching to the Colossians. ‘And this I say, lest any man should beguile (deceive) you with enticing (persuasive) words. For though I be absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your (good) order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. 

As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him. Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.’ (Col.2:4-7) 

Ah friends, what wise and wonderful advice from Bruh Paul. Advice that we badly need in these last days too.  Now let’s check out some scholarly explanations. 

‘2:6. The verse may be paraphrased thus: “Therefore just as you accepted the teaching that presents Jesus as both Messiah and Lord, so continue to maintain this relationship with Him.” The recipients had been taught that Jesus is (1) Messiah (the One divinely anointed to secure man’s salvation), and (2) Lord (the divine person to whom man submits in obedience). 

The heretics denied Jesus’ atoning death and lordship. So the Colossians are urged to keep Him just as they were initially taught – as Messiah and Lord. They are to continue to look to Him for salvation and continue in submission to His authority.’ 

Well my people, we have been taught the same things as the Colossian’s, so it’s only logical that we also need to keep our relationship with Jesus as Lord and Messiah as strong as possible and don’t bow to any false and deceptive teachers, if we truly desire to see His salvation. Much LOVE!

…the only way to heaven…through Jesus…

 

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