Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 August 2017 Matthew 9:29b.

Matthew 9:29b.   According to your faith be it unto you.

Ah friends, it’s Saturday, it’s Saturday, a day of rest! But I hear some hissing of teeth and grouchy remarks coming back like: ‘What day of rest yuh talking about eh? Saturday is the day to clean the house and go grocery shopping and wash the big load of clothes in the clothes basket upstairs! 

Chuh! I can’t even bring down the basket in one go, cause it so full! And in between I’ve got to look after the children because I can’t depend on my lazy, couch potato husband to do it. So stop talking nonsense about day of rest please. On Saturdays I work harder than during the week at massa work!’ 

Awright, awright, I get the picture! So I’ll cease and desist. (smile) Instead we’ll talk about the quotes I received from our friend Anselm this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Hear this first one. ‘If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.’ 

And that’s the living truth my people. We all figure that we have some of the biggest and worst problems in the world, but if we really saw what others have, we’d rush right back to claim ours because they’d look so small and simple in comparison. 

And the second quote says: ‘Perspective–Choose to See the Whole Elephant.’ Yeh friends, it’s often better to see the big picture, so that we miss seeing the forest for the individual tress. We can usually come up with better solutions when we know the whole story. 

And here is some world-class heavenly advice, especially for some of us wishy-washy Christians. ‘If you want to achieve excellence, you can get there today. As of this second, quit doing less-than-excellent work.’ 

Hear ye, hear ye my people, in Jesus’ organization He expects excellence from EVERYONE! But too many of us supposed believers are not providing that excellence in our faith walk. Instead we’re sloppy and complacent, which doesn’t reflect too well on Jesus and gives Him a bad name. So please, please, let’s get serious and start doing better nuh. 

And this last quote is also good advice. ‘Be Open To Change, But Retain Your Values.’ Ah mih breddren, in this ever changing world we cannot resist change, but we also don’t have to change just for change sake. 

And above all, when we do change, it is of the utmost importance for us to retain our values, especially our Christian values, for those are NEVER to change, no matter how much things around us change. 

So with all this good Christian advice knocking at our hearts and minds, let’s channel it to our Bit, that all-important statement of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ: ‘According to your faith be it unto you.’ 

And that’s just how it is in Jesus’ world! The more you believe, the stronger your faith, then the more you’ll see Him working in your lives. But faith only grows by undergoing adversity; which means oftimes facing harrowing trials and tribulations. 

And the truth is that so many of us try to stay clear of those negative things that our faith never grows. We talk a good talk, but we have no testimony to back it up. And you simply cannot be a person of strong faith if you don’t have some testimony of tough times. 

What did Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) say? ‘Tough times never last, but tough people do.’ Gospel truth my believing brethren! 

We all know that our circumstances change along a continuum; sometimes good, sometimes bad, sometimes in between, but we are supposed to be the stabilizing factor in it all. We are the ones expected to stand strong and face whatever comes against us, for with the help of Jesus we can do any and everything we need to. 

Now let’s hear some of what the Good Book says about faith. And we’ll begin with the words of Jesus, after He cursed the barren fig tree and it withered and died. The disciples were simply amazed at the situation. 

But Jesus said to them: ‘Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.’ (Mark 11:22-24) 

Ah friends, that’s the elementary requirement, the foundation of our Christian organization; faith, belief in one’s heart, not doubting. That’s why we can’t come to God unless we believe that He exists. 

And we’ll end today with the episode of faith concerning the woman who had the issue of blood for twelve years and couldn’t find healing, then when Jesus passed by she pushed her way through the crowd: ‘For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.’ (Matt.9:21) 

And when she touched His garment, she was immediately healed, but Jesus also felt a loss of power and inquired who had touched Him. His disciples questioned how He could figure out who touched him in such a large, jostling crowd? But Jesus persisted, and eventually the lady confessed. 

However, instead of being annoyed, Jesus said to her: ‘Daughter be of good comfort (cheer): thy faith hath made thee whole (well); go in peace.’ (Luke 8:48) 

Ah friends, that just proves the truth and the efficacy of our Bit: ‘According to your faith be it unto you.’ Much LOVE!

…faith can move mountains…but only if we…sincerely believe…

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 July 2017 Matthew 6:13.

Matthew 6:13.   And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Saturday, O Saturday! What have you got in store for me today eh? Will it be an easy day, just lazing around the house or going out and taking in the sights? Or will it be pure drudgery, like household chores and grocery shopping?  

Whatever kind of day you turn out to be though Saturday, I’m sure of this one thing; I’ll constantly have the company of Jesus with me, always by my side to provide a healthy chuckle or lend a helping hand when times get difficult. And we’re going to have good time, because this is the day the Lord has made, therefore we shall rejoice and be glad in it. Glory be, mih breddren! 

What a joy and a pleasure it is to have Jesus hanging out with us. Chuh! It couldn’t get any better than that nuh! And though I could go on singing the praises of Jesus all day, He requires me to look at some of the quotes that our friend Anselm blessed us with this week, as he aspires to inspire us to a better tomorrow. 

And this first quote is something many of us believers need to put into practice. ‘If you have a positive attitude and constantly strive to give your best effort, eventually you will overcome your immediate problems and find you are ready for greater challenges.’ Remember friends, it’s a good, Christian attitude and always putting your best foot forward that eventually brighten your way. 

This next quote should be obvious. ‘We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.’ Doing the same thing, or thinking the same way, won’t get different results. 

Now these next two, which I’ve made one, are certainly interesting. ‘Problems are only opportunities in work clothes. Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines.’ And there’s lots of truth in them both, for problems usually show us opportunities, as well as guide us in sound decision making. 

And this last quote is a definite winner! ‘Do what you want to do. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.’ 

Gospel truth that friends! But we need to do our do with a modicum of circumspection and with God always predominant in the mix. And I can give a personal testimony to that, because over the years I’ve gone out on a limb – am still doing it (smile) – and done some of my heart’s desires. 

Now they were expensive in terms of time, energy, money and emotional distress, but the Lord allowed me to experience them, and I don’t regret them, because they were all learning experiences. But I have to chuckle when I remember how the Lord eased me out of them all, when He considered it time to seriously get into His Word and write His Bit. God gives us dreams, my brethren, so that we can go after them and bring them to fruition and glorify His holy name. 

Okay, enough rambling, let’s turn to our Bit, everlasting words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus, as He taught the disciples, and by extension, us, how to pray. ‘And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.’ 

Now yesterday we saw from the scholars’ explanation that God doesn’t tempt us, though He allows some to come against us to test our faithfulness. James gives us this talk on the subject. ‘Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them the LOVE him.’ (James 1:12) 

And the scholars have some interesting opinions on that verse which give us better understanding. ‘1:12. Mankind understandably may look on tragedy as the curse of God, as Job’s friends did. Trials are, however, the means through which God’s blessings can come. One’s endurance in and victory over trials bring God’s blessings. Christians, therefore, are not instructed to seek avenues of escape. 

God desires that they mature in the situation rather than move from it. (cf. Rom.5:3-5; 1 Pet. 1:6-7). He does, however, promise to provide an escape if the testing becomes unbearable (1 Cor.10:13). God’s people need to meditate more on James 1:12 than 1 Cor.10:13. The reason for this, and why God allows trials in the lives of His people is revealed in the Mosaic Law: “That he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end” (Deut. 8:16).’  

Ah mih people, I know that doesn’t sit well with some of us, since we’d prefer to escape all the trials and tests. But then how will we ever grow in faith eh, if we keep running from difficulties, because it’s in difficult times that we grow and mature? 

And we’ll end with the verse from Bruh Paul to the Corinthians which the scholars believe makes us too soft and sappy. ‘There hath no temptation taken (overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear (endure) it.’ (1 Cor.10:13) 

And please note friends, the scholars tell us that the Greek term used in that verse refers more to a safe landing place for a ship, than for an actual escape. So the Lord’s plan is not for us to entirely escape the temptation, but help us to endure it and come out safely on the other side. 

Let’s therefore stop thinking about only escaping temptation, but more about fighting through them and coming out victorious on the other side, with God’s help of course.  That’s wisdom of eternal proportions! Much LOVE!

…only by fighting through trials…rather than escaping them…can a believer grow in faith…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 June 2017 Mark 13:13.

Mark 13:13.    And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure (bear patiently, be persistent) unto the end, the same shall be saved.

And then it was Saturday mih breddren; a day for lazing around for some lucky ones, while others will be forced to do household chores ignored during the week, or go grocery shopping… 

Chuh! It’s always something eh? Whatever happened to the glorious promises that technological innovation would make our lives easier eh? Our lives are busier than they ever were! Yes we have much more stuff, but we also have much more stuff to look after. Anyway friends, there’s no need to worry, for it’s all under God’s mighty and wise control! Glory to Him in the highest! 

But it’s Saturday, so let’s check out some of our friend Anselm’s quotes for this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow.  Hear this first one: ‘Be congruent (in harmony, together), be authentic, be your true self. Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.’ 

Ah friends, that’s how we ought to be, but in these fraudulent, selfish times, too many people are not their true selves, they are two-faced for whatever reason, thus they cannot live in harmony with themselves.  

And then there’s this one: ‘See the good in people and help them. I look only to the good qualities of men. Not being faultless myself, I won’t presume to probe into the faults of others.’ That’s a very good philosophy my people. We should always look for the good in others, but in these current times, we still need to be very careful about whom we let into our private space.  

Now listen to this quote: ‘Take care of this moment. I do not want to foresee the future. I am concerned with taking care of the present. God has given me no control over the moment following.’ Much truth lies in that. Jesus said that if we sought the kingdom of God and His righteousness, all we needed to lead a good life would be provided. 

Then He concluded: ‘Take therefore no thought for the morrow (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.6:34) That simply means that every day will take care of itself if you are living under the umbrella of the heavenly Father. 

And I like this last quote. ‘Persist. First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.’ Yes, precious people of God,, there’s an awful lot to be said about persistence. It will get us through the most agonizing and harrowing experiences or situations when nothing else will. 

And we have one of the best examples of that in our Bit. ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure (bear patiently, be persistent) unto the end, the same shall be saved.’ 

Ah friends, those are the words of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, expressed in the course of telling His disciples about the signs for the end times. Please note that those who shall be saved, are those who endure, persist, have the patience, the belly and backbone to stand up until the end, against all the evil and unjust stuff that will come against believers. 

And we are seeing a lot of that stuff happening nowadays my fellow believers, which means we have to band our bellies and stand strong and steadfast in Jesus’ name, if we want to see the kingdom of heaven. We can’t afford to fall down, give up, and whimper out in fear now. This is the most crucial time in our history; a time when the sheep will be separated from the goats. The sheep will follow Jesus, while the goats will lust for Beelzebub. 

And we will invoke the eternal wisdom of the author of the Hebrews. Hear this classic verse. ‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance, endurance) the race that is set before us.’ (Heb.12:1) 

What a magnificent verse of scripture that is my brethren! So strong that it ought to light a fire under us in these end times! We need lots of patience, perseverance and endurance my people if we’re going to fight the good fight for Christ! 

And to boost our spirits and courage at this stage of the game, please listen to Jesus’ promise as told by Luke. ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. But there shall not a hair of your head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls.’ (Luke 21:17-19) 

What a promise mih people! Not a hair on our heads will perish if we stand up strong under the persecution that will come against us. Wow! And we all know that Jesus is ever-faithful to keep ALL of His promises. So please hold on strong, stand in unity, because together we’re much stronger than apart. 

Let’s raise up Christ’s church as we’re supposed to nuh. This is the time when all Christians must come together, regardless of colour, class, creed or race. Let’s do it for Jesus. It’s the least we can do for all that He’s done for us. Much LOVE!

…stand up…stand up for Jesus…the trumpet call obey…till every foe is vanquished…and Christ is Lord indeed…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 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.

Ah mih people, the ‘confuffling’ day called Saturday is upon us once again. It’s ‘confuffling’ in the sense that for some it signifies sleeping in and a couch potato existence. However, for others it entails numerous household chores as well as grocery shopping and other running around. 

That means some people work harder on Saturdays at home, than they do all week at their place of employment. What an ironic side to our modern-day, have all the gadgets to make life easier society! 

Anyway, enough of my snide comments, let’s turn to some of our friend Anselm’s quotes of this past week. You know he always aspires to inspire us with his quotes. Listen to this first one: ‘To think too long about doing a thing often becomes its undoing.’ And there’s much truth to that, for we often sit down and ponder doing something for so long, that we end up not doing it. 

That leads us to this second quote. ‘Procrastination is the fear of success. People procrastinate because they are afraid of the success that they know will result if they move ahead now. Because success is heavy, carries a responsibility with it, it is much easier to procrastinate and live on the ‘someday I’ll’ philosophy.’ 

Oh friends, I don’t know if that’s the real reason people procrastinate nuh, although I’ve had that experience with someone sometime aback. I wondered why they didn’t accept the opportunity that I was giving them to do something at which they were good at. I found out later from a close relative that it was because they were afraid of succeeding, and the added responsibility that would bring. I don’t think I procrastinate because I’m afraid of success nuh, I think I procrastinate because I’m just downright lazy. (smile) 

And I like this last quote because it’s so appropriate to our faith. ‘You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.’ That’s ever so true when it comes to following Jesus! It’s like the staircase; once you know that it’s there, you don’t need to see all the steps at once, since some of them wind out of sight. So you just climb it, expecting that there will be another step, and another one until it reaches to the top of wherever it is going. 

Following Jesus involves the same action, we just call it faith. Once you’ve accepted Him as your Lord and Saviour, you know that He will always be there for you because of the promises He’s made in His word. The problem in trusting Him in our early faith walk comes from our fear of failure. 

But like climbing the staircase, until you take that first step of faith, you’ll never know whether He’ll be there for you and keep His promises. We just have to step out in faith my people. And after you’ve stepped out a few times and seen His awesome promises fulfilled, each step becomes a little easier. 

Consequently, we ought also to listen to His words of wisdom and warning in our Bit. ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal.’ 

Now Jesus must know what He’s talking about since He’s been to both heaven and earth. But many of us still doubt His warning, much to our detriment.  So let’s get some commentary on the subject from someone else, Bruh Paul, in his first letter to Timothy. 

‘Charge (command) them that are rich in this world (present age), that they be not highminded (haughty), nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy. That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute (give), willing to communicate (share). Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.’ (1 Tim.6:17-19). 

That’s Bruh Paul’s recommendation for those who have much earthly possessions. So it doesn’t mean if you are rich you can’t go to heaven. You have to use those riches in a good and godly manner. 

Now hear these explanations from the scholars. ‘6:17-18. Paul charges wealthy believers (1) not to be proud and look down on those who are not rich, (2) to confide in God rather than in unstable riches, (3) to be rich in good works by generously sharing their surplus of financial resources with the needy. To be ready to distribute is to be generous in sharing. To be willing to communicate is to be liberal in giving.’

‘6:19. When wealthy believers generously share (v.18), they secure an assurance (laying up in store for themselves a good foundation) that in the future (against the time to come) they will indeed enter heaven (lay hold on eternal life). Salvation is not purchased by the giving of money, but generosity demonstrates the reality of one’s faith. Since the believer trusts God and not money, he gives. This giving shows where his heart is and that he views his wealth in light of eternity.’  

So friends, this Saturday morning, let’s ponder our wealth and what we are doing with it nuh. Are we giving generously, or frugally? Remember the Lord LOVES a generous giver! And there is so much need in our crazy, disjointed and selfish world, that only through generous giving will it ever be lessened. So as true believers, let’s try and give even a li’l more than we’re currently giving nuh. You’ll be amazed at what it will do for your heavenly rewards. Much LOVE!

…to give…from our hearts…and yet to give…that is the message of Jesus…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 March 2017 Jeremiah 17:7.

Jeremiah 17:7.   Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.

Saturday, O Saturday: balm for some, bane of others! Yeh friends, for some of us Saturday means not doing a whole lot, possibly sleeping in late, then moving to the couch to watch the tube. Hn! 

While for others, Saturday means cleaning and grocery shopping and doing odd jobs around the house that you never had a chance to do during the week. Some of us work harder at home on Saturdays, than we do at work all week. But that’s the joy of prosperous living! (smile) We can either vegetate or work ourselves to the bone. 

Anyway on Saturdays too we also look at a few of our friend Anselm’s quotes, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And this first one is ever so true. ‘Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.’ 

Yes people, that’s why many of us don’t like change, even though it might improve our lives, for change doesn’t just roll in smoothly, it always causes hiccups, and sometimes some real bad ones too.

Now this second quote offers a wealth of good advice. ‘Align yourself with people that you can learn from, people who want more out of life, people who are stretching and searching and seeking some higher ground in life.’ 

That’s the only way we can truly grow friends! If we sincerely wish to grow, then we must surround ourselves with wise people who are striving to do the same. We ought not to be always the smartest, wisest or most accomplished person in our group, else whom are we going to learn from eh? 

And this last quote is also interesting and very true. ‘Most people fail in life not because they aim too high and miss, but because they aim too low and hit.’ Bingo! Setting goals is a very serious and thoughtful action friends. We can either set them too low and hit them, but not accomplish much. Or we can set them too high and not reach them, with the same result as setting them too low. 

That reminds me of the old people’s saying: Never hang your hat where you can’t reach it. But my breddren, goals should be set where they are just out of reach, where you need to extend yourself some, get a bit out of your comfort zone, otherwise they are not worth setting. 

That brings us to our Bit. ‘Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.’ 

Oh my fellow believers, that’s wisdom of the highest order! That’s why I don’t understand why more of us, including supposed Christians don’t follow it. If the Lord is the Creator and Controller of the universe, El Numero Uno, as we claim, then why aren’t we putting our absolute trust in Him eh? I guess some of us don’t truly believe what we spout, and try to hedge our bets by not giving God all our trust.  

But please remember what we read yesterday from Psalm 146: ‘Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man (human beings), in whom there is no help (salvation). His breath goeth forth (spirit departs), he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.’ (Ps.146:3-4) 

That’s gospel truth friends! We die and return to the dust from which we were created, while God lives on forever, and also knows the beginning from the end. So whom is the best one to trust eh? Both logic and wisdom tell us the Lord God Almighty! 

So let’s look at some scripture that will help me convince you to put ALL your trust in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Listen to Cousin Sol from Proverbs. ‘He that handleth a matter wisely (wisely heeds the word) shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he.’ (Prov.16:20) 

And if you don’t believe Cousin Sol, then hear Bruh David from Psalm 34 – The Lord hears the righteous. ‘O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want (lack) to them that fear him. The young lions do lack and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want (lack) any good thing… The Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust him shall be desolate (condemned).’ (Ps.34:8-10; 22) I can’t dispute any of that nuh people, so I just have to believe it. 

And we’ll end with something from Isaiah, where he’s appealing to his people to turn to the Lord for help, the very same thing I’m trying to do in these tumultuous times. ‘And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgement (justice); blessed are all they that wait for him.’ (Is.30:18) 

And the scholars add this explanation. ‘30:18-33. Because God is gracious and has been willing to wait for His people to return to Him, He will certainly bless those who wait for him. “Waiting” is a confident and dependent trust in God.’ 

What more can I say eh friends? Not a whole lot, for I am just the messenger aspiring to deliver the message that our world needs the Lord God Jehovah more than at any other time in our existence. I just hope that the message doesn’t fall on deaf ears, and that every Christian will endeavour to put into action in their own lives, then spread it far and wide, so that our children’s children will have the chance to live in a good and beautiful world. That’s my sincere prayer for us today! Much LOVE!

…if we can’t trust our God and Creator…whom then can we trust…

 

 

 

 1 Samuel 30:6b.     ‘…but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.’

And then it was Saturday; the day for household chores and grocery shopping for some, while for others it’s just a lazy, lying around day, doing nothing much of anything. For those blessed to be living in tropical climes, it might be a picnic or some outdoor sport or just lying in a hammock below a shade tree.  

Or if you’re in Tobago, you might just be getting ready to go up Calder Hall and get some of Brother Kirby’s rich, tantalizing and nutritious soups. That would certainly go down well on this chilly Saturday morning. How lucky can some people get eh? (smile) 

But not so in these northern parts, since it’s too cold for the usual outdoor sports and picnics, while it’s not cold enough to go skiing or outdoor skating. But to his each his own; all of us have different agendas and timelines, so let us do whatever we need to do, with God uppermost in our hearts and minds. 

And on that note, let me share with you a rather wise offering this past week from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us. Listen up, as he advises: ‘Compare yourself with yourself. Not with others. Comparing what you have and your results to what other people have and have accomplished can really kill your motivation. There are always people ahead of you. Most likely quite a bit of people. And a few of them are miles ahead. So focus on you. On your results. And how you can and have improved them.’ 

Words of absolute wisdom my people! The worse thing we can ever do is compare ourselves with others. We all know about keeping up with the Joneses, which is a real killer in terms of physical wealth and material lifestyle. But it’s even worse when we try to compare our personal accomplishments with those of others, even those in like fields and professions because the playing fields are never level, are never the same. 

Some start out with a gold spoon in their mouths, some with silver, others with brass, and many with no spoon at all. So comparisons are seldom ever oranges with oranges, but oranges with different fruit. It never pays to measure your accomplishment with others, because more often than not we fall short of the other person’s attainment and then get discouraged, jealous and even angry, which doesn’t help us any. 

Then on the odd occasion when our accomplishment is better than others, we’re liable to look down on them with pride, conceit and contempt. That doesn’t help us either friends. The truth is that others will always be both ahead and behind us in accomplishments, and comparisons on either end will only bring us negative results. 

So as Anselm advises, if we so badly want to compare, let’s compare ourselves with our selves; take stock of our own accomplishments as we grow and mature. We have all the right tools at hand to measure ourselves against ourselves, but not against other people.  

That finally brings us to our Bit: ‘but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.’ Oh friends, what a potent piece of scripture in only a few words. 

Hear the story: Bruh David is running from Saul, whose avowed intention is to kill him. On this particular instance he’s living in Philistine territory in a place called Ziklag. The Philistines are preparing to make war against Saul and Israel and Bruh David goes with his rag tag band of men to help. But the Philistine counsellors distrust him, so they send him back to Ziklag. (1 Sam.29) 

Lo and behold though, three days later when they get to Ziklag, they discover that during their absence the Amalekites have invaded the city and burned it to the ground. The really sad part though was that all their families had been taken away captive. The Good Book tells us that ‘Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep.’ (1 Sam.30:4) 

Then, though it didn’t seem possible, things got even worse: ‘And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved (bitter), every man for his sons and for his daughters.’ (1 Sam.30:6a) It didn’t matter to them that Bruh David’s two wives had also been taken captive; they were just concerned about their own families. At those times the innate selfishness of man usually comes to the fore. 

And that’s where our Bit comes in: ‘but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.’ Ah friends, what a moving and powerful scripture. It’s something that we should all remember and keep deep in our hearts, for when circumstances come against us and there’s no man to stand with us, then we need to encourage ourselves in our God, for He has promised never to leave nor forsake us even when things hit rock bottom. 

That brings to mind another instance of the Lord’s providence, this one with Bruh Paul. As he says to Timothy: ‘At my first answer (defense) no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.’ (2 Tim.4:16-17) 

Yes friends, there will be times when everything and everyone will seem to be against us, but that is not the time to give up. Instead, that’s the time for us to encourage ourselves in the Lord, to remember all His promises and the good things He’s done for us in the past and call upon Him with strong, expectant faith and hungry hope, knowing that He will not disappoint us, will never leave us in the lurch. 

Now I know it all sounds fine in theory, and looks good on paper in black and white, but when push really comes to shove, it’s a horse of a different colour. That’s why we need to do our utmost to build our faith in Almighty God, because it’s only with real strong faith can we handle those situations, and not be totally overwhelmed by them. 

More on this tomorrow friends, the Lord in favour. Till then let’s stand strong in our faith and keep looking to Christ for all our needs. He will meet them all. Much LOVE!

…only the powerful arms of Christ…can lift us from the very depths of despair…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 July 2016 Ecclesiastes 6:1

Ecclesiastes 6:1.   There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is common among men.

Oh friends and fellow believers, today is a great day to be alive! And why is that you ask? Because today is not like any other day. It’s filled with wonderful promises and beautiful things to look forward to, like no work, since it’s Saturday… 

And I hear some of you ‘steupsing’ and grumbling in the background, for although there is no outside work to go to, there is a lot of stuff to be done around the house; stuff to clean up from the past week and more to get ready for next week. 

But that doesn’t mean we have to be sour and miserable. Just being alive is a great joy in itself, especially in our privileged circumstances. 

I wonder how we’d react if we didn’t have any money, a roof over our heads, food on our table, a job to go to and no decent clothes to wear? And believe me, there a great many people in our universe, and right in our own backyards too, who are undergoing such desperate and unfortunate circumstances. 

So please don’t bitch and complain because you have some cleaning and laundry and grocery shopping to do. Just stop for a moment and consider what your life would have been like if the good Lord in His mercy and LOVING-kindness had not smiled down on you with abundance and prosperity eh.   Selah. 

Now give Him some thanks and praise for your well-being and promise not to complain again – well at least not for today. (smile) 

And here are a couple of quotes from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us. They hit the nail on the head re the worldly lifestyle that’s so prevalent today.  The first quote is called ‘In The Mirror.’ And it tells us that: ‘Someone will always be prettier. Someone will always be smarter. Someone’s house will be bigger. Someone will drive a better car. Someone’s children will do better in school.’ 

And the sad part is that we know all of that, we know it’s gospel truth, but yet we still allow the flimsy, insubstantial and ungodly behaviour of the world to corrupt our hearts, souls, bodies and minds with its proud and lustful foolishness – the keeping up with Joneses nonsense!  

And hear the other hit the nail right on the head, rather appropriate quote from our friend Anselm. ‘Cherish…the virtues you possess. At the end of the day, there will always be trickery and dishonesty. But if you are standing on higher ground, and you believe in honesty and integrity, and all that is good, trying at all times to do your best and nothing less, you will surely reap the rewards of virtuous living.’ 

Oh my people that is Christianity 101! We ought to know that backwards and forwards! That’s why Jesus left His comfortable abode in heaven and came down here to earth and sacrificed His sinless life for us – so that we could be empowered to lead virtuous lives and reap its wonderful rewards – salvation and eternal life! 

But because of our inherent sinful nature, and the bright beckoning lights of the world, we continue to allow its worthless things and ways to hold too much sway over us. Please remember that all that glitters is not gold, especially in this fraudulent and deceptive world! 

That brings us to our Bit. ‘There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is common among men.’ More truth friends on the vanity of riches, this time from Cousin Sol, in his capacity as the Preacher! 

And he continues in the next verse. ‘A man to whom God hath given riches, wealth, and honour, so that he wanteth (lacks) nothing for his soul (himself) of all that he desireth, yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof, but a stranger eateth it: this is vanity (futility),  and it is an evil disease (affliction).’ (Eccl.6:2) 

Yes friends, you can be rich as Cousin Sol himself and not be able to enjoy those riches. As the scholars declare: ‘6:1-2. Prosperity is not necessarily good. Accumulation of wealth does not always result in the use of it.’ 

And just look at how many wealthy people have departed this life without being able to enjoy their wealth nuh, while others, even strangers, who hadn’t laboured for it joyfully partake of it. Not only that, but the sad and sorrowful litigation that takes place when a wealthy person dies is so shameful, that it just sullies the name and reputation of the deceased. 

And look no further than the recent death of Prince in his wealthy prime, who left no will, and now so many people are coming out of the woodwork claiming to be entitled to some of the spoil. In the long run, perfect strangers, the lawyers might just end up getting the most of it. 

It’s a good thing that I don’t have anything for anybody to fight over – at least not yet, but it is possible, since my best days are still ahead of me. (smile) And as I’ve always told my children, the day I see them living like cat and dog, I’m going to come back and haunt them. 

Now listen to the Preacher again. ‘There is a sore (severe) evil which I have seen under the sun, namely, riches kept for the owners to their hurt. But those riches perish by evil travail (misfortune): and he that begetteth a son, and there is nothing in his hand. 

As he came forth of his mother’s womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand. And this also is a sore (severe) evil, that in all points as he came, so shall he go: and what profit hath he that hath laboured for the wind? 

All his days also he eateth in darkness, and he hath much sorrow and wrath with his sickness. Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely (fitting) for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun (in which he toils) all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion (heritage).’ (Eccl.5:13-18) 

And the scholars tell us this re those verses. ‘5:13-17. Wealth is easily lost and is therefore an unsure foundation for life.’ ‘5:18-20. Enjoyment is a gift of God, and man should be motivated by the brevity of his own life to experience it.’ 

Ah friends, Cousin Sol was the richest man in the world, and if he could declare that riches wasn’t the end all and be all, then who are we to say him nay eh? So please, let’s not run down riches, but if it does come, let’s enjoy it, though with a modicum of circumspection, for that’s wisdom at its heavenly best! Much LOVE!

…the only sure bet in this world is…JESUS CHRIST…

 

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