Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 March 2017 Matthew 6:19.

Matthew 6:19.   Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal.

Well a Happy St.Patrick’s Day to you my brethren! I do hope that you all enjoy the luck of the Irish in all that you do today, with your green clothes and green food and drink! (smile) 

And you know what? St. Paddy’s day could not have fallen on a better day than a Friday for the working populace because it gives them even more reason to sing: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! St. Paddy’s day to boot! Going to wear me green clothes and drink up me green beer and have a real good time this St. Paddy’s weekend! 

No slave driver to tell me what to do! Just me and mih shamrocks, and mih li’l leprechauns partying all weekend long! Who say we shouldn’t thank God for Fridays and weekends eh?’ 

Ah mih people, can you imagine the raucous behaviour today all over the world, and not only by the Irish diaspora, in celebration of St. Patrick, Ireland’s Patron Saint, credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland? 

What I mostly remember about St.Patrick’s Day growing up in T&T is that it was the one day during Lent we heard calypsos on the radio and you could eat and drink and party hearty. Otherwise, Lent was drink dry and calypso non-existent on the radio. 

I guess to a certain extent that’s why the binge drinking of alcohol is so popular on St. Paddy’s Day. Anyhow friends, regardless of what day it is, binge drinking is never a good idea. So let’s chant our Friday Chant and show them the kind of behaviour that’s most appropriate for the weekend nuh. 

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.’ 

Yes mih people, the best way to handle the weekend is with ‘a modicum of circumspection,’ as Jeeves the Butler in the P.G. Wodehouse books would say. 

It’s obvious we can’t take the licentious behaviour to the limit every weekend or else we’d soon waste away and be good for nothing at all. 

But as true believers, we are expected to do God’s work here on earth, which means we cannot let our bodies and minds go to waste by carnal and lustful behaviour. 

That brings us to our Bit, Jesus’ words of everlasting wisdom from His Sermon on the Mount. ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal.’ 

But sadly friends, despite that serious warning of Jesus, a lot, too many of us, including Christians, still fall for the lure of worldly wealth and oftimes kill ourselves trying to accumulate it. 

That’s definitely not a wise path to follow my people, for it only leads to death and destruction. Yes my brethren, the purposeful accumulation of worldly wealth can sometimes lead to physical death, but it ALWAYS causes spiritual death, since we can’t serve God and mammon at the same time. 

Listen to these wise words of Cousin Sol from Proverbs. ‘Labour not (do not overwork) to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom. Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.’ (Prov.23:4-5) 

And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! It’s much easier to accumulate earthly wealth than to keep it. 

Now let’s look at the interaction between Jesus and a young, rich ruler. He came to Jesus and asked: ‘Good Master (Teacher) what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he (Jesus) said unto him, why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt (want to) enter into life, keep the commandments.’ (Matt.19:16-17) 

The fellow asked Jesus which one? Then Jesus listed the Ten Commandments. ‘The young man saith unto him, all these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? 

Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be (want to be) perfect, go and sell all that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.’ (Matt.19:20-21) 

Oh friends, don’t look down scornfully on the young man, because most of us would have behaved the same way. Just look at how much material wealth there is in our world today, but yet the great amount of need and poverty. 

If the rich would just give up a little of their wealth for the benefit of others, there’d be little or no poverty in our world. But the mantra of this world is ‘me, myself and I.’ Steups! It’s all first person singular! 

Anyway, that’s the sermon for today. (smile) But please, let’s ponder on all that we’ve discussed, then ask God for help to come up a little higher each day nuh. That’s the only way to improve our spiritual maturity. Much LOVE!

…be careful…earthly wealth can ruin your heavenly life…

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 February 2015 Deuteronomy 16:17‏‏‏‏‏

Deuteronomy 16:17.    Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord thy God which he hath given thee.

Ah Friends, the big day of bacchanal is here at last – Carnival Tuesday! And at 9.15 in the morning mas is already hopping across the Main Stage at the Queen’s Park Savannah in Trinidad. The duchess is inside watching it while I’m outside on the verandah overlooking the pool and the sea writing to you.

The mas doesn’t really thrill me because it’s mostly the same nonsense; a bikini with a headpiece or wings of feathers, except possibly the king and queen of the band. I guess the days when most of the revelers had serious costumes are over. Even then I was never a big mas fan, but those costumes were usually intriguing and had you going; ‘Wow!’ at some of them.

There’s supposed to be a mas parade in Scarborough today too, don’t know if I’m going though, what with the hot sun, the parking and walking situation. (smile)

Last night I went down to Scarborough to see what they call ‘Pan on D Road.’ Hn! I went expecting to see some pan beating on the road, so that I could catch a little jump. But it was merely a group of pan sides set up along the grassy shoulder at the junction of Milford and the old Orange Hill Road, competing for some prize or the other.

I got there about 8.30, after the bands had already played their first tune, so I was just in time to hear the second. It wasn’t the greatest though, for the sides were small and the members were obviously tired from the hectic activity of the Carnival season, and you could hear and see it from their lack of intensity. I obviously saw several people I knew and hung out with a couple till the show ended.

After that, we walked up Milford road towards the town, stopping at Mr. Gomes watering hole to talk to a group of ole-timers who were sitting there imbibing a few. Then we walked a little further up the road to a judging point for some night mas.

On the other side of the road a temporary stand had been erected for onlookers, so we sat there for about half an hour, watched a few small bands come down the road and parade before the judges. But it was nothing really spectacular.

After that I came home, watched a little World Cup cricket from Australia; West Indies versus Ireland, where some of the West Indian batsmen were taking advantage of the lowly Irish bowling. Hopefully when they come up against the cricket powers, like Australia, England, India, Pakistan and South Africa they can do the same.

Earlier this morning I went for a walk along the shoreline of the property. Would you believe that I’ve been here for three weeks and it’s the first time I’ve done that? It’s beautiful along the rocky shoreline, with the white surf breaking in a line against the reef a little further out to sea.

Oh, I actually discovered a better looking water hole up the shoreline, which seems to have sand and not rocks. I’ll try it out sometime later. And that’s my report on the simple life on Crusoe’s Isle, as a lawn mower nearby disturbs the tranquil, serene, idyllic scene. (smile)

Now turning to our Bit – the last day – and I hear some sighs of relief. (smile) ‘Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord thy God which he hath given thee.’

And again Friends, I want to impress on us the grave and great importance of giving; of giving generously and freely, for if we don’t give in that manner, we will NOT receive in that manner. As Jesus said, whatever measure you use to give, the same measure will be used to give back to you. (Luke 6:38) So it’s left up to each of us as individuals to make our own decisions. 

And we turn to Jesus again, this time when a rich young man came and asked Jesus how he could gain eternal life? (Matt.19:16) However, when Jesus told him: ‘If thou wilt (want to) be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.’ (Matt.19:21)

The young man hung his head and went away sad because he had a lot of material wealth. And so it is with us Friends; there’s nothing wrong with having material wealth, but you have to share it generously and with a good heart to gain God’s blessings.

For as Bruh Paul wrote in his second letter to the Corinthians: ‘As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; He hath given to the poor: His righteousness remaineth for ever. Now (may) he that ministereth (supplies) seed to the sower both minister (supply) bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)

Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness (liberality), which causeth through us thanksgiving to God. For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want (needs) of the saints, but is abundant (abounding) also by many thanksgivings unto God.’ (2 Cor.9:9-12)

Yes Friends, it all comes from Almighty God, according to His purpose and plan! Now hear these explanations from the scholars.

‘9:9. His righteousness (prosperity) remaineth for ever: Neither Paul nor Psalm 112:9, cited here, advocates “prosperity theology,” that is, that every generous believer will be financially wealthy. Both experience and the context (c.f. 8:2) deny this.

This statement only says that the generous believer will always prosper in two ways: (1) financially, all his needs will be met, so that he will be able to keep giving (vs.8); and (2) spiritually, he will increase in everything (vs.12).

9:10. This verse may be translated; “Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread to eat will supply and multiply your seed and will increase the harvest (yield) of your righteousness (prosperity).”

9:11. Being enriched is better translated, “You will be enriched.”

And we’ll end this series of messages on giving with these immortal and most appropriate words of Bruh Paul to the Galatians. ‘Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth the Spirit shall of the Spirit real life everlasting.

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not (do not lose heart). As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.’ (Gal.6:7-10).

Ah mih people, that hits the nail right on the head! It all comes from God in the first place, and as we share what we have, we will never suffer from want for the Lord will increase us, give us enough for our own needs as well as left overs to give to others.

Let’s get that basic law planted firmly in our souls nuh, so that we can follow it and thus live a prosperous and generous life. That’s truly heavenly wisdom! Much LOVE!

…Jehovah Jireh…the Lord our Provider…the Lord our Giver…is one of the many names of our wonderful, majestic and magnanimous God…