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…

 

 

 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 27 August 2016 Deuteronomy 4:29.

Deuteronomy 4:29.    But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.

Well mih people, it’s Saturday! What’s on the agenda for today eh? Hope it includes some fun, rest, and relaxation and not too many household chores. I don’t know about you all nuh, but I wish I could be in Tobago, enjoying the early morning refreshing sea breeze, biding my time to go up Calder Hall Road and get some of the soup from those three big iron (dutch) pots. (smile) 

Oh friends, I still can’t get over the size of those iron pots nuh! Hn! I’ve never seen any as big before that, or since. But some pigeon (gungo) peas soup, or cowfoot, or even callaloo soup would certainly go down good this Saturday morning, even here in good ole Toronto. 

But I guess I’ll just have to keep on dreaming about that until hopefully with the good grace of God I go back there next year – unless the duchess, under the Lord’s urging, decides to make some gungo peas soup today. Oh glory to God! 

I know I won’t get any of the other two from her, because those are T&T specials and she is a Jamdown lady.  (smile) I’ll just keep hoping though with a strong Christian faith, for anything is possible where our God is concerned. 

Anyway, since it’s Saturday, I guess we should have a look at one of our friend Anselm’s quotes. He always aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And this week there were several good ones, but this one was definitely the winner! It’s long so we only have space for one today. It’s called: ‘Out With The Old.’ 

And it says: ‘Last Week I threw out WORRYING, It was getting old and in the way.  It kept me from being me; I couldn’t do things my way.  I threw out those inhibitions; they were just crowding me out.  Made room for my New Growth, Got rid of my old dreams and doubts.  I threw out a book on MY PAST (didn’t have time to read it anyway).  Replaced it with New Goals, Started reading it today.  

I threw out childhood toys (remember how I treasured them so)?  Got me a NEW PHILOSOPHY too, threw out the one from long ago.  Brought in some new books too, Called I CAN, I WILL, and I MUST. Threw out I might, I think and I ought. WOW, You should’ve seen the dust.  I ran across an OLD FRIEND, Haven’t seen him in a while. I believe his name is GOD, Yes, I really like His style. He helped me to do some cleaning and added some thing’s Himself. Like PRAYER, HOPE and FAITH, Yes I placed them right on the shelf.  

I picked up this special thing and placed it at the front door.  I FOUND IT – it’s called PEACE. Nothing gets me down anymore.  Yes, I’ve got my house looking nice. Looks good around the place.  For things like Worry and Trouble There just isn’t any place.  It’s good to do a little house cleaning, Get rid of the old things on the shelf.  It sure makes things brighter; maybe you should TRY IT YOURSELF.’ 

Amen, my brethren! Now doesn’t that sound like a very good idea for this Saturday morning? It surely does! A little spiritual housekeeping never hurt anyone. So let’s try it today ourselves nuh. By the way, the boldface type was my idea, not Anselm’s. 

And yuh know what too friends, it jives so nicely with our Bit, like they were just made to run one into the other. (smile) ‘But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.’  Gospel truth my people, pure, unadulterated gospel truth! 

And we do need to kick out some of the old stuff, like a lust for power, material possessions and other things of the world, like worry and trouble, when we sincerely go seeking God, because those things have no place in His realm. Now listen to our God’s conditions for restoration and blessing as spoken by Moses to the children of Israel. 

‘And it shall come to pass, when all those things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind (remember them) among all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath driven thee, And shalt return unto the Lord thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; 

That then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity ( bring you back from captivity), and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee.’ (Deut.30:1-3) 

Oh friends, there’s no rocket science in that statement. If, or rather when the Israelites disobeyed God’s commandments and turned to worshipping idols and other pagan rites, He sent them into captivity all over the world. However, when they remembered His goodness and mercy and decided to return unto Him, He promised to welcome them with open arms. 

My fellow believers, it’s the same thing the Lord our God is saying to us today. It’s not too late. If we stop trying to remove Him from our society and instead turn to Him with sincere confession and repentance, He is more than willing to forgive us. That’s how magnanimous and magnificent is the God we serve! 

But my people it’s become a hard sell to bring others to Jesus, especially when we believers are not setting a consistent and proper example of Christian faith and behaviour. Remember, we are the only group that’s really concerned with the sinful and ungodly state of the world, and if we don’t lead by proper example, we can’t blame others for not wanting to get involved with Jesus’ LOVE Revolution. 

And we’ll end with these immortal words of Bruh David from Psalm 32 – The blessedness of forgiveness. ‘I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.  Selah. For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him.’ (Ps.33:5-7) 

So friends, it’s now left up to us to spread the good news of Jesus all around the world, but in a manner that brings Him glory and honour. Much LOVE!

…God’s word is real…many have lived to tell it…but many more have died in disbelief…

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 August 2016 Philippians 4:11.

Philippians 4:11.   Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

Ah friends, it’s Saturday, which spells sleeping in and rest for some, while for the unlucky others, household chores will take up most of their day. But not to worry it’s all good. (smile) 

Yeh, tell that to the mothers who are up and busy while the fathers lay about in bed or slouch on the living room couch in front of the t.v watching some sporting event like the Olympics.  Hn! To each his own; the important thing is that you’re well-rested, bright and fresh to go back out on Monday morning and do the work thing all over again. 

In the meantime let’s check out some quotes from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us. Now this week it was kind of hard to pick just two, so I chose the easy way out and picked three. (smile) They are short anyway, so they won’t take up much space. 

The first one says: ‘Life is raw material. We are artisans. We can sculpt our existence into something beautiful, or debase it into ugliness. It’s in our hands.’ 

And that’s very true, for we basically hold the canvas of our lives in our own hands and to a great extent can make of it whatever we desire. We have the ability to paint a beautiful picture with our lives or just make it dark and ugly. Oh there will be problems and roadblocks, whatever path we choose, but technically speaking, our lives are ours to build as we see fit. 

And the second of Anselm’s quotes tells us: ‘One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn’t pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself.’ 

Now that’s definitely gospel truth my people! Life is not easy and there are many pitfalls, etc. that can get us down and discouraged, but that’s never the wise or smart way to go, especially if you are a believer in Jesus Christ. Now optimism doesn’t necessarily mean that everything will work out the way you want, but at least you’ll be able to handle the negative situations in a positive manner; staying encouraged, not giving up, leaning on and looking to Jesus for His faithful promise of help in rough times.  

And last but not least, Anselm declares: ‘If you keep on saying things are going to be bad, you have a good chance of being a prophet.’ That also rings out with truth my brethren because our words have power, awesome power, and whatever we keep saying, be it positive or negative, usually comes to pass. And somehow or other, the negatives in our speech seem to come to pass more than the positives. So it’s extremely important that we stick to positive speech. 

That brings us to our Bit, some positive speech from Bruh Paul the Philippians. ‘Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.’ Yes friends, that is a very necessary lesson for every Christian to learn. 

Then Bruh Paul goes on to make one of the immortal statements in the Bible. ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’ (Phil.4:13) And that’s the basis on which he is able to be contented in whatever situation he finds himself. 

Hear the scholars: ‘4:13. The apostle’s ability of knowing how to live skillfully on little or in prosperity does not mean that he is a spiritual superman. The reason that he can live in such extremes is not owing to his own ability. Rather he can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth him, thus enabling him to adapt to his various, ever-changing circumstances. God orders Paul’s various situations, and God gives him the strength to be content in them all, trying and perplexing though they may be.’ 

And nobody went through as many harrowing and dangerous experiences as Bruh Paul. Oh my fellow believers, the same thing applies to all of us! God sets us where He wants us and then gives us the wherewithal to stand; to stand strong and steadfast regardless of the circumstances. That’s why we Christians are able to bear up under pressure that non-believers can’t handle: our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ enables us to handle it through the help of His Helper, the Holy Spirit. 

So though times might look dark and disturbing, you are exactly where the heavenly Father desires you to be, and if you stick to Him like glue, (smile) He will enable you to bear whatever adversity you are currently encountering. 

Now let’s check out some scriptures that jive with our Bit. Listen to Bruh Paul again, this time to Timothy in his warning against false teachers. ‘But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment (clothing) let us therewith be content.’ (1 Tim.6:6-8) 

Hear the scholars. 8:8. This verse prevents the wrong understanding of verse 7, that material possessions have no place in the Christian’s life. By figure of speech food and raiment stand for all of life’s basic necessities. These are all the believer needs, and having these he can be content.’ 

Let’s turn to the words of Agur now in Proverbs as he talks to God ‘Two things have I required (requested of thee); deny me them not (deprive me not) before I die. Remove far from me vanity (falsehood) and lies; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient (you prescribe) for me. Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take (profane) the name of the Lord in vain.’ (Prov.30:7-9)  

And we’ll end with these interesting words from the scholars. ’30:7-9. Agur’s prayer is for a convenient and lifelong integrity, accompanied by a rejection of lies and riches. His resting in God’s provision for him (v.8) anticipates the words of our Lord. (Matt.6:11).’ 

What more can I say eh friends, except that that is a worthwhile and godly way to live. So let’s emanate him if we can nuh. Much LOVE!

…give us this day our daily bread… (Matt.6:11)

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 April 2016 James 1:25

James 1:25.   ‘But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (in what he does).’ 

And as been happening for thousands of years friends, Saturday comes after Friday, just like night follows day and vice versa. (smile) But Saturday is the day to do the household chores and shopping after a busy week of work. Then, come the evening hours, it’s party time! 

Many of us though simply lie on the couch eating junk food, imbibing alcoholic beverages and watching the boob tube all weekend. Now that is certainly not a healthy lifestyle my people. And that is partly why our society is suffering from such a high rate of obesity; lack of exercise, too much sedentary posing and posture and too much junk food. 

A lot of that is brought on by our high degree of technology, with the ever- spreading and ever-dangerous tentacles of our social media, where we sit for hours in front of a computer screen or some little hand-held device, texting and playing games and getting ourselves in trouble by posting selfies and other garbage on the media platforms. 

And the next big thing will be robots who communicate like men.  How much longer do you think we’ll last after that eh my brethren? Not long, for we are already obese and sedentary, and sensible robots will only make us more so, when we can order them around like servants. 

Please remember what a wise man once said; ‘if you don’t use it, you will lose it.’ And friends that is exactly where we’re heading. Eventually, when life gets so easy, we’ll lose the use of our brains and our limbs because we won’t have to use them. I’m sure many of you can remember the times when children, and a lot of adults too, spent much more time doing stuff outdoors than happens now. But I guess they call that progress, so who am I to question it eh? (smile) 

So let me turn you over to someone else, our friend Anselm, who always tries to inspire us for a better tomorrow. We haven’t heard from him for some time, so we’ll share two of his brilliant insights. And the first quote says: ‘The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change.’ And the second declares: ‘It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.’ 

Ah friends, both of those sayings contain oodles of truth, as many of us can attest from our own experience. But we either try to resist sensible change because it discommodes us, upsets our comfort level, and we’re not willing to pay the higher price either. 

And we all had nicknames at some stage in our lives, many of which we never liked and hopefully never responded to. And most of the time, the ones we never responded to seldom stuck. 

Now however, we are known by the fabulous name of Christian; a believer in and a follower of Christ! And that is a name to which should always proudly answer to, although many of us are ashamed of it and try to hide our affiliation. But remember friends, Christ said that if you’re ashamed of Him, deny Him and don’t own up to your affiliation with Him, He’ll do the same thing to you. (Matt.10:32-33) So it’s up to each of us to decide our own fate. 

And that falls right in line with our Bit. ‘But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (in what he does).’ 

Yes my Christian people, as true followers of Christ we must be seen to be not only hearers and talkers, but even more importantly doers! Unfortunately though, the world doesn’t look upon us like that, which brings us to the last verse in Jesus’ monologue on the law. 

‘For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case (by no means) enter into the kingdom of heaven.’ (Matt. 5:20) 

Now that’s hitting way below the belt my people, but Jesus always spoke truth, and we all know that the truth often hurts quite a bit. And it just goes to show how little He thought of the Jewish rulers.  

Let’s hear now what the scholars have to say about that verse. ‘5:20. Because of the necessity of righteousness as a requirement to enter heaven, Jesus then declares that except their righteousness should exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees they could not enter heaven. 

The significance of this is seen in the fact that the Jews of Jesus’ day considered these people to be the most religious in all Israel. However, their religion was largely an outward show of self-righteousness. 

In communicating the depth of His message, Jesus used a series of contrasts between outward behaviour demanded by the law and the inner attitude of the heart desired by God. Here we discover the practical application of genuine Christian character to true spiritual living. Here we see the gospel in action:

Law                                                 Spirit                                                                                                                                       

No murder                                      No anger

No adultery                                       No lust

No divorce                                          Commitment

No oath taking                                     Speak the truth

No retaliation                                        Forgiveness

Hatred for your enemy                         LOVE for your enemy 

(tradition allowed it)                                   (commanded) 

Awright friends, enough for today. I know it’s Saturday and our minds are all played out by the hectic week of work. (smile) However you do see the comparison between the Mosaic Law and what Jesus desired spiritually. All of the old law still stood, except hatred for your enemy, which Jesus changed to LOVE. 

He basically refined them, moved them up to a higher, finer, more acute level. But the Ten Commandments still stood as the Basic law, and still do today.  So as Jesus said, He didn’t come to destroy the law, but to fulfill it. And as His followers, we ought to do the same in our own little way, and thus promote the wisdom of heaven. Much LOVE!

…the coming of Jesus…didn’t change the basic intent of God’s laws…they just became more refined…moved up to a higher level…

 

                                                       

                      

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 December 2015 Proverbs 4:12

Proverbs 4:12.   When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened (hindered); and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble. 

And then it was Saturday; a day for sleeping in for some, but for others, a day for household chores and shopping, and the myriad of things that could not be done during the workweek. Ah chuh! 

Yes friends, I know it’s a never ending cycle, but it’s important that we find time for ourselves, to rest and renew our spirits and physical energy during the weekend, otherwise we’ll drop down from the wear and tear, and all the stuff that seemed so important will still be there for someone else to do. So please play it smart, do your best, but please don’t kill yourself in the process.  

Now here are some wise words from our Friend Anselm, who never misses an opportunity to inspire us towards a better tomorrow. It’s a two for one play. And the first play says: ‘The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.’ 

And all of that is quite true my brethren, but by the same token, like we said above, we can’t let those desires take over our lives to the detriment of other things. Regardless of what we do, we need to live balanced lives. So, seeking personal excellence doesn’t mean neglecting everything else but that driving force within you. And yes, it’s true that Christ desires excellence amongst His followers, but not at the expense of their health. 

And note too, we have to keep that desire to win, and to succeed according to the world’s demands on a tight leash, otherwise we’ll just drive ourselves and those around us crazy, because the world today is success driven, at any and all costs. Achieving material wealth, economic prominence and political power are what the world determines success by. But thank God, as followers of Jesus Christ, we don’t have to kill ourselves proving to the world that we can be successful by its unwise and unhealthy standards. 

That brings part two of Anselm’s wisdom into play. ‘A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.’  And therein lies the crux of the matter; not the desire to achieve, but the desire to beat others. Yes my brethren, when we introduce that aspect of competition and comparison, as the world likes to do, then we get ourselves in serious trouble. 

For as Bruh Paul says to the Corinthians, re comparisons. ‘For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves are not wise.’ (2 Cor.10:12) 

The sad fact is that such comparisons lead to things like jealousy, resentment, anger and broken relationships, which effectively defeats the cause of excellence that you’re trying to achieve. So friends, please don’t compare yourselves to others, because it will just contaminate your souls. 

The Lord didn’t make us to be comparisons, but to be unique individuals, standing in our own perfect space. Please remember that the next time you feel like comparing yourself to someone else. 

And finally it’s time for our Bit. But to get some idea of the context, let’s go back a couple verses. In this section Cousin Sol is talking about avoiding wickedness. ‘Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many. I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths. 

When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened (hindered); and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble. Take fast (firm) hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.’ (Prov.4:10-13) 

Now that is undeniable truth my brethren! For when we harness wisdom – the wisdom of God that is – to our lives, then we can never go astray or fall by the wayside, for wisdom is the very essence of our godly and righteous lives. She is indeed our very life! That’s why we can’t afford to let her go or diverge from her paths.  

And we see the folly of forsaking wisdom as Cousin Sol wisely continues. ‘Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it (do not tread on it), turn from it, and pass away. For they sleep not, except (unless) they have done mischief (evil); and their sleep is taken away (they are robbed of sleep), unless they cause some to fall. For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.’ (Prov.4:14-17)  

Words of divine wisdom Friends! But unfortunately, in our current world we’re eating way too much ‘bread of wickedness’ and drinking excessive amounts of ‘wine of violence.’ 

Now that could never be a good thing for the followers of Jesus. For ‘The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.’ (Prov.10:19) 

Ah my people, how are the wicked foolish and gone astray eh? ‘But the path of the just is as the shining (bright) light, that shineth more and more (ever brighter) unto the perfect day.’ (Prov.4:18) Now friends, that’s where followers of Jesus ought to be! 

And we’ll close with these words of gospel truth from Cousin Sol. ‘Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to (place on) thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver thee.’ (Prov.4:7-9) 

Now there’s nothing better than that for us to achieve in this world my brethren. So let’s go and get it nuh. Much LOVE!

…get Jesus…and you’ll find wisdom and understanding…

 

 

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