Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 July 2018 Mark 12:29.

Mark 12:29.   And Jesus answered him, The first (foremost) of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is One Lord:

                                  HAPPY  BIRTHDAY  CANADA !

Yeh friends, today is officially Canada’s 151st birthday, but we’ll talk about it tomorrow, when the Big Bang really happens. (smile) But just remember to follow Granny’s advice: Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business. Words of absolute wisdom my brethren! 

And my humblest apologies for the Bit being this late, but as the old people would say, what ent meet you, ent pass you. (smile) Now thank the Lord, I don’t usually have headaches, but I had a truly disgusting one this morning. I couldn’t even move my head without it feeling like it wanted to explode. I haven’t had anything like that in years. 

Steups! And I definitely didn’t want to venture writing the Bit under those less than positive circumstances. So I just took a couple of extra strength Tylenol and went to lie down. I didn’t even go to church. But I do have a new empathy for those who suffer with constant headaches, especially migraines. I guess the Lord felt I was having things a li’l too easy nuh. (smile) 

Anyway, enough pity party chatter, let’s get on with our Sunday morning, or rather afternoon proceedings. And as usual we’ll open with a song of praise to soften our stone hard hearts and make them more receptive to God’s word. And today’s ditty is taken from the old musical Godspell (1971), supposedly based on the Gospel of Matthew. 

It’s a song composed by Stephen Schwartz, one we’ve heard a thousand times down through the ages, but really haven’t paid much attention to – at least I haven’t, until I heard it this past week on commercial radio and had to check it out to see if the lyrics I heard were truly true. And by gosh, they were! 

That’s why we can now belt out the song ‘Day by Day’ with much gusto and heartfelt sincerity. As one earthly choir, sounding like a heavenly one though, (smile) let’s sing: ‘(Slow) Day by day, Day by day, oh, dear Lord, three things I pray: To see thee more clearly, LOVE thee more dearly, Follow thee more nearly, day by day 

(Chorus (fast) Day by day, day by day Oh, dear Lord, three things I pray: To see thee more clearly, LOVE thee more dearly, Follow thee more nearly, day by day Day by day, day by day, by day, by day. (Slow) Day by day, Day by day, oh, dear Lord, three things I pray: To see thee more clearly, LOVE thee more dearly, Follow thee more nearly, day by day (Chorus (fast)… Day by day, day by day, by day, by day…. Day by day, day by day, by day, by day…’ 

Yes friends, the words aren’t plentiful, and are somewhat repetitive, (smile) but you can’t find a better prayer than that anywhere! We’re only asking for three things: to see the Lord more clearly, LOVE Him more dearly, and follow Him more nearly… Wow! If we could only get those three things, we’d be in seventh heaven, doing exactly the things the Lord desires of us, the things He created us for! Would there ever be great joy and peace on earth! Hn! 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘And Jesus answered him, The first (foremost) of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is One Lord: And thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first (foremost) commandment.’ (Mark 12:29-30)  

Yes my brethren, that was Jesus’ answer to the question one of the scribes asked Him, one day when He was holding forth on the topic of resurrection, trying to trip Him up, and thus find reason to accuse Him of blasphemy or some other foolish crime. 

But Jesus, as usual was too much for those hypocritical fools. If they had believed Him, they would have realized that He wrote the Good Book and thus knew all the answers. But such is man’s foolish pride, that he figures he knows everything, when in actual fact he knows nothing whatsoever! 

And as the scholars explain: ‘12:29. See Deuteronomy 6:4. These are the opening words of the Shema, the Jewish call to worship. They establish the basis of LOVE for God in the fact of God’s being the Lord our God, the God who has covenanted to redeem us to Himself.’ 

Yes my brethren, those were the words Moses spoke unto Israel when he gave them the Great Commandment, warned them that they were to worship ONE absolute God!  Logically speaking, there couldn’t be more than one, Supreme Being, else there would be no absolute, and thus oodles of confusion. 

And please notice the meaning of the word ‘Shema’, the first word in Hebrew: ‘HEAR!’ That’s what Moses was trying to drive home to the people when he gave them that message. And it’s what I am trying to drive home to us today my faithful followers of Christ: ‘Hear! Listen!’ so that we too can obey it, as well as the continuation of Moses’ message. 

‘And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.’ (Deut.6:6-9) 

And NOTHING has changed since then friends and fellow believers: we are still supposed to do all those things…as well as the Second Great Commandment that Jesus added: ‘And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.’ (Mark 12:31) 

And to tell the truth, that wasn’t even Jesus invention at that time, because Moses had already told the Israelites in Leviticus: ‘Thou shalt not avenge (take vengeance), nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.’ (Lev.19:18) 

What more can I say eh friends…nothing really. It’s all spelt out there for us. We must now use wisdom and accept and action it. Much LOVE!

…only two things are really asked of us in this earthly life…LOVE the Lord our God…and our neighbours as ourselves…

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 September 2017 Psalm 50:15.

Psalm 50:15.   And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

Oh friends, it’s shaping up to be a good-looking day in my neighbourhood, and the workingman was out early singing his song. ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! And soon, no more work! It’ll be a beautiful weekend, with all the good stuff happening; like eating and drinking and carousing, paying no mind to the problems that surround us. 

God gave us the weekend so that we could relax and enjoy it, not to work or worry. So that’s exactly what we going to do. Eat, drink and be merry! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes!’ 

Ah mih people, a lot of what he says is true; God did give us the weekends to rest and relax, but not to go overboard. Remember, we need to have certain boundaries that we don’t cross and thus allow Beelzebub to gain a foothold in our lives. A much better incantation would be our Friday Chant, which contains those boundaries. 

Let’s declare it now nuh, with the same enthusiasm that the workingman declared his song. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

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

Yes my people, we always have to be cognizant of what comes after the weekend. Otherwise, come Monday morning, when we have to go back to work, we’ll be too tired and wasted and of no use to either God’s kingdom or ourselves. That’s why ‘a modicum of circumspection’ is always necessary my brethren. 

But unfortunately, today, many of our fellow men around the globe won’t have the luxury of enjoying good weather or the weekend, because of hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes or some such natural disaster. 

Please, let’s remember to pray for them sincerely. We can’t help them all with money or other worldly stuff, but we CAN help them all with PRAYER, the most powerful force in the universe. 

What a heartbreaking situation it is to see your fellow man suffering the ravages of disaster, like Hurricane Irma is causing down in the Caribbean, and you can’t do much to help them physically. But as true believers we can call on our great God to help them in their time of need. 

Our God said it: ‘And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.’ Yeh friends, that’s the faithful invitation of our omnipotent God! And in these very trying end times, it’s the most sensible solution we can ever consider. 

As we keep saying, who knows whether all the numerous disasters occurring around our planet right now are warnings from God? They might be, as well as they might not be. But the wisest path we can take is to consider them warnings as our sinful and ungodly world plunges down to hell with one unwise step after another. 

Oh friends, please take note of the Israelites, who, when they found themselves in trouble for turning away from the God of their fathers, repented and turned back to Him, and he welcomed them back with opened arms. We desperately need to do the same. 

Listen to this scripture where Job’s friend Eliphaz after accusing him of sin, implores him to repent. ‘Acquaint now thyself with him (God), and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee. Receive, I pray thee, the law (instruction) from his mouth, and lay up his words in thine heart. 

If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up, thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles (tents). Then shalt thou lay up gold as (in the) dust, and the gold of Ophir as the stones of the brooks. Yea, the Almighty shall be thy defense (gold), and thou shalt have plenty of silver. 

For then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face unto God. Thou shalt make thy prayer unto him, and he shall hear thee, and thou shalt pay thy vows. Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways. 

When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, There is lifting up (exaltation); and he shall save the humble person. He shall deliver the island of the innocent (the one who is not innocent): and it is delivered by the pureness of thine hands.’ (Job 22:21-30) 

Oh my people, there it is, the solution for all our problems, written in the Good Book ages ago, and nothing about it has changed. So what are waiting for eh? 

Come on Christians, we need to up the ante in these disastrous times and get Jesus’ LOVE Revolution running full steam ahead. That’s the ONE and ONLY answer to our lost and ungodly world! Much LOVE!

…in times of trouble…man’s best bet is to…PRAY… 

P.S. Please accept my apologies for the lateness of the Bit. Though I went to bed early, by my standards, (smile) some new medication kept me bogged down for longer than I expected. But better late than never! Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 June 2017 Ephesians 6:4.

Ephesians 6:4.    And ye fathers provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture (training) and admonition of the Lord.

HAPPY  FATHER’S  DAY!

Grace and peace be unto all you fathers out there on this Father’s Day Sunday! May the Lord look down upon us with fatherly mercies and blessings that we can share with our families. 

Ah my fellow fathers, this is the day that our society has chosen to honour us, please let us enjoy the day, and let it raise our level of fatherhood as we go through these trying times in our world. True fatherhood has never been more necessary than it is right now, as we are supposed to be the leaders and basic guides of our households. 

So please let’s step up to the plate and do our best so that those who follow us will have superb examples to emulate. That’s the best gift we can ever give; that of being a good role model. Remember, we’ll never be perfect, but we can all be the best we can be. 

Now let’s offer up some thanks and praise to our Mighty Father in heaven, shower Him with the adoration that He so rightly deserves. Let’s acknowledge that even in the deepest and darkest and most tumultuous times of storm, His strong anchor holds us together. So let’s sing one of my favourite Gospel Songs, ‘The Anchor Holds,’ with strong voice and true sacrificial praise. 

‘I have journeyed through the long dark night, Out on the open sea, by faith alone, Sight unknown; and yet his eyes were watching me. (Refrain: The anchor holds, though the ship’s been battered. The anchor holds, Though the sails are torn. I have fallen on my knees as I face the raging seas. But the anchor holds, in spite of the storm.) 

I’ve had visions, I’ve had dreams; I’ve even held them in my hand. But I never knew they would slip right through, Like they were only grains of sand. (Refrain) I have been young but I’m older now. And there has been beauty these eyes have seen. But it was in the night, through the storms of my life, Oh, that’s where God proved His LOVE for me. (Refrain) I have fallen on my knees as I face the raging seas. But the anchor holds in spite of the storm.’ 

Yes friends and fathers, in spite of everything the world throws at us, if we are sheltered under the mighty hand of God, our anchor WILL ALWAYS HOLD! That’s His faithful promise! And we know that our God doesn’t take His promises lightly like we tend to do. 

That brings us to our Bit; most worthy advice from Bruh Paul to the Ephesian fathers way back when, and even more so for these undisciplined and uncontrolled times. ‘And ye fathers provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture (training) and admonition of the Lord.’ 

Ah fathers, we have already allowed this current generation to grow without proper fatherly advice, so that now they are ungodly, lack discipline and figure the world owes them a living. We obviously have not lived up to our wonderful billing, else our youth would not be as disorganized, disenfranchised and disturbed as they are. 

We have done this primarily by our absence from the family home, and even when there, through our neglecting to teach the children what we are supposed to teach them. And it’s not that we didn’t know, because most of us were taught it when we were growing up.  And it’s all based simply on the Lord’s words to His angels about Abraham, before He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. 

‘For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgement (righteousness and justice); that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of to him. (Gen.18:19) 

Yeh fathers, it’s all about serving the Lord and executing righteousness and justice, as Moses further instructed the Israelites. ‘And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.’ (Deut. 6:6-7) 

Oh fathers, how many of us teach our children about God or talk about the Lord or any kind of godly stuff in our houses these days eh? Not too many. But we teach and talk about all sorts of worldly stuff in our homes and schools, while God is considered a subject of taboo. That’s not right or wise fathers, for in the long run it will bring the wrath of God down on all of us for disobeying His command. 

Now hear these words of Asaph the psalmist. ‘For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which commanded our fathers, that they should make known to their children: That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children. 

That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep the commandments. And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that set not their heart (did not prepare its heart) aright, and whose spirit was not steadfast with God.’ (Ps.78:5-8) 

Unfortunately fathers, that is the kind of generation we have raised. Now what will they teach the next generation about the Lord eh, if they don’t know anything about Him, and thus don’t care about Him? Not a whole lot. And that is exactly why the Lord wants us to teach our children about Him; so that the word can be passed down from generation to generation. How do you think it go to us eh? Because each previous generation taught the one after them. 

And we’ll close with one immortal verse from Cousin Sol. ‘Train up a child in the way he should go: and (even) when he is old, he will not depart from it.’ (Prov.22:6) Yes fathers, once we instill the Lord in the hearts of our children from an early age, even if they stray some, they will always have something solid to fall back on. 

Now, though we have not done our best so far, it’s definitely not too late for us to try and right some of our wrongs. So let’s sincerely ask the Lord to help us do our fatherly duties properly from this time onward. That’s wisdom of enormous proportions! Much LOVE!

…fathers should be people their children can proudly look up to…