Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 February 2018 Luke 18:1.

Luke 18:1.   And he (Jesus) spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray and not faint (lose heart).

Looks like it’s going to be another warm, wet and rainy day in my neck of the woods…but that’s better than a cold, white and snowy one any time! (smile) Yeh friends, the winter weather seems to have eased up a little, and are we ever thankful for small mercies! 

And today it seems like we’ll be dealing with prayer in some form and fashion, so let’s begin with two tidbits on the subject. The first comes from the renowned Pastor, F.B. Meyer, who reputedly said that ‘The great tragedy of life is not unanswered prayer, but unoffered prayer.’ 

And there seems to be a lot of truth in that statement, for it’s not that God doesn’t answer our prayers, but rather we don’t pray enough. And why is that eh mih people, when we keep saying that prayer is the most powerful weapon in the world? 

I don’t know nuh. It’s possibly because we don’t truly believe it, or we’ve offered up prayer to our heavenly Father that was not in His will and He refused to answer it, so we end up believing that prayer is a waste of time. But please remember my brethren, the Lord only answers prayer when it’s within His will. 

You can’t go and ask Him for a whole lot of worldly things to satisfy your fleshly desires and expect Him to answer you positively, or even answer you at all. Remember too, that He looks at the motives of our hearts, rather than the words we utter through our mouths, for they can be very different to what’s really in our hearts. 

And the next thing we want to say about prayer, is that it should be our FIRST CHOICE, not our LAST RESORT. Mama Mia! 

And is that ever a problem in the lives of many believers. When a problem arises we’re quick to run to the phone or the I-pad or whatever form of social media we’re using and ask our friends and acquaintances for help, and only when we can’t get a man-made solution, we run to God in desperation and expect Him to help us immediately. 

That’s so wrong my people. In ALL circumstances, God should be the FIRST person we run to, and if He so desires, then He will direct us to go to other people. Remember that our God doesn’t like to play second fiddle. If He can’t be first fiddle, then He doesn’t want to be in the band. (smile) 

And you know it’s amusing that when troubles hit a lot of people who don’t really believe in God, the first words out of their mouths are ‘Oh God!’ So you see friends, two of our basic problems in our prayer life is that we don’t go to God FIRST, and we don’t offer up enough prayers that fall within the realm of God’s will. 

Consequently, our Bit for today is based on the wise and wonderful advice of Jesus. ‘And he (Jesus) spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray and not faint (lose heart).’ 

Oh my believing brethren, if our Lord and Saviour said it, then it must be true. And we have a whole lot of examples of Him constantly getting alone and praying to His heavenly Father. In fact, prayer ruled His life; He did nothing of significance without first consulting the Father, and so should we. 

And Jesus is not the only one who advises us to be strong in prayer. Bruh Paul famously tells us in 1 Thessalonians: ‘Pray without ceasing.’ (1 Thess. 5:17) And to Timothy, he writes: ‘I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.’ (1 Tim.2:8) 

Yuh see friends, prayer should be our constant companion, because that’s how we communicate with God. If we are to take ALL our problems to Him, then it’s logical to expect to do a lot of praying in many different places. Oh my brethren, I can’t over emphasize the importance of prayer in a believer’s life, for it’s the basis of all we say and do, it’s how God leads and guides us, in conjunction with His Holy Spirit that dwells within us. 

Now listen to this interesting example of Bruh David crying out to God in prayer, as he pleads for protection against his oppressors. ‘Hear the right (a just cause), O Lord, attend unto my cry; give ear unto my prayer, that goeth forth not out of feigned (deceitful) lips. 

Let my sentence (vindication) come forth from thy presence; let thine eyes behold the things that are equal (upright). Thou hast proved (tested) mine heart; thou hast visited me (searched me out) in the night; thou hast tried (examined) me, and shalt find nothing (evil): I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.’ (Ps.17:1-3) 

Now that’s a wonderful prayer friends, but not all of us have the gift of words that Bruh David had, and the Lord doesn’t really need any long and involved prayers, simple but heartfelt words will do. But the important thing is that we pray’ pray often and pray everywhere, without losing heart. 

Now let’s declare our Wednesday Wail to proudly let the world know of our wonderful association with Jesus. With loud voice and strong sense of purpose now. ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And that future is surely going to be glorious my people! Much LOVE!

…a future with Jesus could not be anything…but marvellous and glorious…

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 February 2018 Psalm 34:1.

Psalm 34:1.   I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

And the place is white again…Chuh! What’s with this snow business eh? True, it’s not a lot, but snow is snow, regardless of how much falls. (smile) But then again, I’d rather the snow than the 6.4 earthquake that occurred in a tourist area of Taiwan yesterday. A picture I saw showed a big building leaning, like the Tower of Pisa, at about a 40 to 45 degree angle to the ground. 

Ah Lord eh! We have enough natural disasters to undergo, without causing the many man-made ones that constantly bombard us. But friends, let’s never forget that the Lord is in control and nothing happens in this world without His allowing it, for whatever reason or purpose He has in mind. 

For His thoughts and His ways are so much higher than ours. The most we can do is pray for those undergoing disastrous situations, and ask the Lord to lead and guide us safely along the path that He’s planned for each of us. 

Now here is a li’l something from a Laura Palmer; couldn’t figure out which one, because there are so many, but whoever it was, certainly had their wits about them. And the quote says: ‘The past should be culled like a box of fresh strawberries; rinsed of debris, sweetened judiciously, and served in small portions, not very often.’  

And isn’t that the awesome truth friends! We should not dwell in the past. We can’t totally forget it, but we must not let it define our futures. We need to stop dwelling in the past and wishing for the good old days. Why? Because the best days of our lives are still ahead of us! 

And I firmly believe that. Why would the Lord keep us down here if He didn’t have something better planned for us eh? We need to have a positive mindset my people; where we look to the future; a future filled with the Lord’s wonderful promises! 

Looking back at the past too much is only going to taint our vision of the future. Once we learn to not make the same mistakes we did before, we’ll be okay to move forward. As they say, you can’t know where you’re going, unless you know where you came from. But where you came from should not overly colour where you’re going. But what a way the ole fella waxing philosophical this morning eh! (smile) 

And one of the things that will help us keep looking to the future and not the past, is doing like Bruh David declares in our bit. ‘I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.’ Yeh friends, if we keep looking to the Lord, keep singing His praises, keep magnifying and glorifying Him, we’ll be too busy looking forward to have time to look back. 

As Bruh David continues: ‘My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.’ (Ps.34:2) Are we doing that my friends; boasting in the Lord, and not in ourselves or the frivolous and temporary things of man? I certainly hope so, because EVERYTHING but the Lord is expendable! 

And furthermore, if we don’t talk of God, how will others learn of Him eh, especially the weak and poor and sick and humble, who need Him so badly?  And Bruh David provides for that with this glorious invitation: ‘O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.’ (Ps.34:3) 

Oh mih people, mih people, I’m extending that very invitation to all of us now! Please magnify and exalt the Lord with me! Besides, it’s our bounden duty; it’s what we were created to do! We’re supposed to be the earthly version of the heavenly praise and thanks crew. 

Listen to the Good Book. ‘And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest (cease) not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. And when those beasts (living creatures) give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever; 

The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created (by your will they exist.)’ (Rev.4:8-11) 

Oh friends, yuh see what a wonderful time is had in heaven, just thanking God, giving Him His rightful due! Now that’s all they seem to do up there, and it would be wonderful if we could do it as much down here. But obviously that’s not possible to the same extent. However, it can be, and definitely needs to be done much more than we’re currently doing it. 

So let’s ‘wisen’ up nuh mih fellow believers, let’s get truly serious about our magnificent and magnanimous God, and exalt His holy name throughout the whole earth! That will bring even more singing and glorifying in heaven! 

Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, stating our unashamed position in Christ. All together now, in sincerity and truth: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Oh my people, mere words cannot describe how glorious that future really will be nuh! Much LOVE!

…true believers…always find a way…to talk about and exalt their God…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 January 2018 Mark 1:35.

Mark 1:35.   And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he (Jesus) went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place, and there prayed.

Ah friends, it’s one of those days when you start out behind the eight ball. I went to bed fairly early, but `woke up late with my back aching like crazy. I don’t understand it nuh. The body calls for rest, but when I rest the body for any decent length of time, I wake up with more aches and pains than I went to bed with. Chuh! It’s just not right! (smile) 

Then it looks like we’re going to have a bleak snowy day with temps in the minus something or other. Steups! And to make matters worse, I happened to glimpse the weather forecast for T&T and it was projected to be plus thirty. That’s where I ought to be! 

And I’m not worried, because I know that I’ll be there at some stage of the game, but right now, the Lord in His awesome wisdom has other plans for my life in the cold weather, so I’ll just have to grin and bear it, while keeping my eyes focused on the future promise. 

Enough of my bellyaching though, here are a couple of more important things for us to concentrate on. The first is a Daily Bread Thought for the day, which says: ‘Pray your way past the urge to do wrong.’ And the second comes from the great Christian writer, Oswald Chambers, who tells us that: ‘Prayer imparts the power to walk and not faint.’ 

Both those sayings are gospel truths my brethren and wisdom of enormous proportions. Why? Because prayer is the most powerful medium on God’s great earth! It’s the direct line of communication with the Creator of the universe! It couldn’t get any better than that. 

Our problem is that we either refuse to pray, are afraid to pray, or pray for the wrong things, and when we don’t get them, we get discouraged and curse God and give up on Him. But remember God never promised to answer every prayer right away. He answers them in His own time and if they fit the direction He wants us to go. 

Oh friends, prayer is possibly the most important aspect of a believer’s life. Because that’ how we communicate with Almighty God. Look at Jesus, who though He was God Himself, still chose to live His earthly life through strong and consistent communication with His heavenly Father. 

As the Good Book says in our Bit: ‘And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he (Jesus) went out, and departed into a solitary (deserted) place, and there prayed.’ He never made important decisions without consulting the Father. 

Apparently on that occasion He was considering whether to continue preaching the gospel as the focal point of His ministry, which wasn’t being received too well, or to focus on the miracles aspects, which the people were lapping up. But He never left the Father out of His deliberations. And most important He ALWAYS made time to do it. 

We claim to be too busy to talk our Creator, which in reality friends is nonsense.  We find or make time to do every other worldly thing that seems important to us though. Whether we make time or not, just goes to show how important we consider communicating with the Father is to us. 

But friends, if we want to have good communication with God, we have to make time to talk to Him, regardless of what else is happening in our lives. Look at Jesus again. After He fed the five thousand with the five loaves and two fishes, (Matt.14:15-21), He sent the disciples away on a ship over the lake. 

‘And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart (by himself) to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.’ (Matt.14:23) Yuh see friends, Jesus MADE TIME to be with God. Look at this other example of Jesus’ full prayer life. This happened just before He chose the 12 disciples. 

‘And it came to pass in those days, that he (Jesus) went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom he also named apostles.’ (Luke 6:12-13) Another example of Jesus consulting His Father before making big decisions. 

But friends, the Lord doesn’t only want us to communicate with Him on big decisions, but on ALL decisions, be they big or small. That means He desires to be an integral part of our everyday lives. Whatever we’re doing, He wants to be involved in it. 

That’s why Bruh Paul in his writings talks about praying always, (Eph.6:18); praying without ceasing (1 Thess.5:17); and praying everywhere (1 Tim.2:8) The Lord wants to be in constant contact with us, and prayer is how He does it. So let’s be wise and MAKE TIME to communicate with Him nuh. It’s for our benefit, not His. 

Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, a prayer that shows how connected we are with our God, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. In one strong and sincere voice now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And yuh know what friends, our puny minds can’t even begin to comprehend the future that really awaits us. We know it’s going to be glorious, but just how glorious, we have no true idea. But hang in there, and we’ll find out eventually. Much LOVE!

…eye hath not seen…nor ear heard…neither have entered into the heart of man…the things which God hath prepared…for them that LOVE him… (1 Cor.2:9)

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 January 2018 1 John 4:7.

1 John 4:7.   Beloved, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God.

                                          HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Well friends, 2018 is finally here, and I wish all of us the best for this New Year. I hope that we all enjoyed a good New Year’s Eve celebration, keeping the libations to a minimum so that the brains didn’t get addled. (smile) 

But yuh know what friends, I’m dubbing 2018 as ‘THE YEAR OF LOVE!’ And our motto for this YEAR OF LOVE, is EACH ONE LOVE ONE! 

All we have to do is LOVE One person each and every day of the year, so that our world will be filled with more LOVE than hate. Now is that so hard to do friends? It should be much easier than hating one person every day, which we seem to do so well. 

The long and short of the story my people is that our world has fallen so low in the last year with all the strife and warmongering, that we don’t have much lower to go. If we continue in this sad and foolish vein, our world will soon explode. 

And we’ve already opened the year with threats from North Korea, and riots in Iran, plus all the other theatres of strife that persist from 2017. Is this the way we really want to see our world go, mushroom in a cloud of nuclear conflagration? 

Because you can bet your bottom dollar if the downward spiral continues, one of the mad, incompetent, power hungry dictators running our world is going to push that red button, and our world will never be the same. It might even cease to exist, such is the power of nuclear war and weapons. 

That’s why I’m advocating so strongly for 2018 to be a turn around year, where Christians come together and truly begin living and LOVING like followers of Christ, fighting tooth and nail to restore some sense of balance and common sense in our world. 

Oh fellow believers, if we don’t do it, who else is going to eh? Lucifer and his workers of iniquity like the way the world is going, but Jesus certainly doesn’t, and if we’re supposed to be His ambassadors, His hands, feet, mouth and ears on earth, then it’s our bounden duty to try and recapture the world from the denizens of evil. 

So please let’s get with the LOVE Scene nuh man! Let’s do our best to remove the current leaders and elect sensible, godly ones, who won’t threaten to go overboard at the drop of a hat. Let’s cut out the complacency and compromise and begin working together to make Christ’s Body the most powerful in the land. That’s the best way to glorify Him! 

And now that I’ve made my plea, added my two cents worth (smile) let’s turn to those unfortunate brothers and sisters who have to go out and labour this cold, cold New Year’s Monday since our 24/7 society needs constant care. Yuh know it’s so cold that some of the water on Niagara Falls froze. So let’s send them out to work with a rousing rendition of our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, which we never have a problem doing, when we ourselves are staying at home celebrating. (smile) 

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

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

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

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

Ah mih friends, I could hear the after effects of the New Year’s Eve celebrations; the hoarse, croaky and out of tune voices. But at least we had the right spirit. (smile) And my fellow believers, we couldn’t have a more appropriate Bit this morning than these wonderful words of John, as he informs us that God IS LOVE. 

‘Beloved, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God.’ That means if we want to know about true LOVE, then we have to be involved in a serious relationship with God. 

And we’ll just end with these oh so appropriate words of John, as he reminds us of the importance of LOVE and knowing God. ‘He that LOVETH not knoweth not God: for God is LOVE. In this was manifested the LOVE of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world that we might live through him. 

Herein is LOVE, not that we LOVED God, but that he LOVED us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so LOVED US, WE OUGHT ALSO TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER.’ (1 John 4:8-11) 

That’s what I’m trying to achieve friends, but amongst supposed Christians, it’s like pulling teeth. Remember some of Christ’s last words to the disciples: ‘This is my commandment, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you.’ (John 15:12)  Plain and straightforward words, as always from our Lord and Saviour. 

Please my brethren, let’s try and seriously action them this year nuh; that is if we want our world to exist in a healthy and godly manner. Much LOVE!

…and now abideth…faith…hope…LOVE…these three…but the greatest of these is…LOVE…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 December 2017 Psalm 146:2.

Psalm 146:2.   While I live will I praise the Lord: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.

Welcome friends and neighbours to this last Sunday of fellowship in 2017! It has been indeed a tumultuous year, and let’s just hope and pray that 2018 will be quieter and more God-like, because our world doesn’t need another disastrous year like this one. We need something in which we can quietly lick our wounds, recuperate from all the disasters, natural and manmade, and get back to serving Almighty God the way we ought to. 

Anyway, on this last Sunday of fellowship, let’s open with this old but beautiful hymn by Frances Crosby, ‘Praise Him, Praise Him.’ Yes friends, regardless of what our year has been like, our great God is worthy of much thanks and praise, so please lets offer up the sacrifice of praise from our thankful hearts through our grateful lips as one harmonious choir. 

In full voice now: ‘Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer! Sing, O Earth, His wonderful love proclaim! Hail Him! Hail Him! Highest archangels in glory; Strength and honor give to His holy Name! Like a shepherd, Jesus will guard His children, In His arms He carries them all day long. (Refrain: Praise Him! Praise Him! Tell of His excellent greatness; Praise Him! Praise Him! Ever in joyful song!) 

Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer! For our sins He suffered, and bled, and died. He our Rock, our hope of eternal salvation, Hail Him! Hail Him! Jesus the Crucified. Sound His praises! Jesus who bore our sorrows, Love unbounded, wonderful, deep and strong. (Refrain) 

Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer! Heav’nly portals loud with hosannas ring! Jesus, Savior, reigneth forever and ever; Crown Him! Crown Him! Prophet, and Priest, and King! Christ is coming! over the world victorious, Pow’r and glory unto the Lord belong. (Refrain: Praise Him! Praise Him! Tell of His excellent greatness; Praise Him! Praise Him! Ever in joyful song!)’ 

Oh my people, what an excellent song of praise! Jesus deserves every word of it because He did put His sinless life filled with Godly LOVE on the line for us while we were yet sinners! Wow! No other supposed deity has, or will ever come close to that. All the other deities want to take what little we have from us, while Jesus comes to give of the plenty, of the abundance that He has. 

Glory to God my precious people! How can we not LOVE, praise, honour and worship Him eh? No wonder the psalmist proudly declares in our Bit: ‘While I live will I praise the Lord: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.’ 

Yes my faithful brethren, that is exactly what we need to do while there is any breath of life left in our mortal bodies! For we were made to sing praises to and glorify our heavenly Father, the One who blessed us with His awesome breath of life. 

Hear the psalmist as he continues his song of praise. ‘Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, 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. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God.’ (Ps.146:3-5) 

Words of gospel truth my friends! If we don’t have the help of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob then we’re in plenty trouble. And that is why this year of 2017 has been such a disastrous year; we haven’t had God’s help, because as a society, we have turned away from Him. How can He help us if we don’t cry out to Him for help eh? 

Instead, we foolishly cry down, blemish, and blaspheme His holy name, while trying our best to get rid of him completely from our society. How stupid, arrogant and high minded can we get eh people? How can you remove the One who created the society from the society eh? 

We’ve become so blinded by the supposed brilliance of our small, finite minds that we refuse to see ourselves as we truly are; in comparison to God, mere insects scurrying around aimlessly, like the boll weevil in the old Brook Benton song, looking for a home. 

And the truth of the matter friends, the ONLY home there really is, is that provided by Jesus Christ, for all else will eventually be destroyed. But let’s place these truthful words of the psalmist deep in our hearts and souls nuh. ‘The glory of the Lord shall endure for ever: the Lord shall rejoice in his works. He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth: he toucheth the hills, and they smoke.’ (Ps.104:31-32)  

Well then people, if that’s the awesome truth, then the only sensible recourse we have is to do like the psalmist says: ‘I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the Lord. Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more: Bless thou the Lord, O my soul. Praise ye the Lord, (sing Hallelujah).’ (Ps.104:33-35) 

Yeh my fellow believers, there is no better road down which we can travel than one of praise and glory to our great God. So let’s seriously resolve to do that this upcoming year nuh, because that’s the ONLY way our fortunes will be changed. Much LOVE!

…if Jesus isn’t a big part of our life and our world…then we’re surely doomed…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 December 2017 John 15:4.

John 15:4.   Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

Ah mih people, it’s the Eve of New Year’s Eve, and I guess everybody is getting their dan-dan (finery) ready to go out and tear the house down tomorrow night. (smile) Good for them yes, but the ole fella is going to stay right here in his yard and celebrate whatever celebrations he celebrates! 

The days for going out in the cold and then having to drive back home under the watchful eyes of Babylon are done. And this year I’ll be celebrating New Year’s Eve at home, and not in the hospital. Glory to God! 

But what a bam-bam eh! To end up in the hospital on New Year’s Eve. But I guess the Lord was trying to tell me something. Let’s hope I learned whatever it was. (smile) Enough about my woes though, let’s see what our friend Anselm had to say this week. 

I only got three quotes, so I guess he must be a public servant, doesn’t work on holidays. (smile) And the first one says: ‘Never let someone else decide for you whether you are going to be happy or sad.’ And if we haven’t learned that lesson yet, then it’s high time we do. Other people should not control our happiness and sadness, but invariably many of us allow it to happen. Please stop it! 

And while you are at it, please remember to ‘LOVE yourself. Stay happy. Live life to the fullest, and focus on the best things in life!’ Remember what Jesus told us to do? LOVE our neighbours as ourselves, which means if we don’t LOVE ourselves in a healthy, non-narcissistic manner, then we can’t LOVE anybody else. 

And He also died that we could have an abundant life. So please don’t shortchange yourself of all the good things Jesus died so that we could have. Jesus was a calm, good-natured, generous, positively thinking fellow who enjoyed life, and so should we be also, if we claim to be His followers. 

And the last quote tells us: ‘There are greater things to be achieved in every new year, and each and everyone must prepare themselves to be great, not by words of the mouth, but by a lot of sacrifices.’ 

Ah friends, it is a proven fact of history, if you want to be great, you must be prepared to face sacrifices. No one has ever become great without sacrificing something to achieve that greatness. So if we desire to be great in 2018, then we’d better prepare ourselves from now to sacrifice something for that chance at greatness. 

And the best sacrifice one can ever make is sacrificing one’s own interest to follow Christ. As Jesus said to His disciples: ‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.’ (Matt.16:24-25) 

Yeh friends, following Christ is the best route we can take in this life, but it also means giving up, sacrificing our selfish desires, and bringing them into sync with those of Jesus. And on top of that He declares in our Bit: ‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.’ 

Ah mih breddren, only as we stay close to Christ can we bear good fruit. As the scholars explain: ‘15:1-9. Jesus explains the divine-human relationship by the analogy of a grapevine. Jesus is like the main vine. The disciples are compared with branches. The Father tends the branches like a gardener. At that time of year, branches of grapevines would be budding in Jerusalem.’ 

Yuh see mih people; it’s a family affair! It has to be, if it is going to work properly. That’s why Jesus refers to His followers as ONE BODY! Only when we all have the same interest at heart – that of Jesus – and are going in the same direction can we ever be successful. 

And that’s exactly why today’s church is not as successful as it ought to be; too many divisions, petty squabbles, selfishness, power struggles, strife, and all the other negative stuff that’s disrupting the world. Those things should not be as rampant as they are in Christ’s church. 

It’s obvious then, that as a body, we are not abiding in Christ, nor is He in us sufficiently, else the body would not be as maimed and sick as it is. We all talk a good talk, but only a small proportion of us actually walk that talk. So please, if we consider ourselves followers, disciples of Jesus, let’s plan to put on a better show this upcoming year nuh. Let’s make Him proud of us nuh. 

So when the Father complains about our complacency, compromise and lack of progress in becoming truly Christ-like, Jesus can excitedly and truthfully say: ‘Look Father! They are improving, they are getting better! There’s less compromise and complacency, and they are indeed walking their talk more than last year! Bless their souls!’ 

Yeh friends, that’s the good news we want to be giving Jesus this upcoming year of 2018. He deserves it. Much LOVE!

…as His church…we’ve let Jesus down enough…it’s time to give Him something He can be proud of…sincerely walking our talk…


Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 December 2017 John 15:4.

John 15:4.   Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

Well friends, Friday is here, and another long weekend is in the offing! Glory Be! I think we should have Christmas and New Year’s falling on a Monday every year yes, that would give us two long weekends back to back. (smile) But we all know it’s not going to happen, so let’s just enjoy it while we have it. 

And meanwhile some of us are still tired after the Christmas celebrations, and the three days of work, but now we have to get ready for the big New Year’s Eve bash, where the bubbly flows like water and people don’t know their A from their E and are hugging and kissing everyone in sight, crying out ‘Happy New Year’ as though everything will change in that one day. 

But no such luck, because as soon as we sober up, we’ll go right back to our old, nasty, sinful ways, forgetting whatever resolutions we might have made. And there’s no better time to introduce Granny’s warning, because New Years is the time of the biggest drinking bash. 

So friends, please remember ‘Drunk or sober, please mind yuh business,’ because when we overdo it, that’s when we get into serious trouble with Lucifer and subsequently our God, and sometimes the consequences of such error can be suffered for a lifetime. So please be careful, don’t give the devil any chance to break into our spiritual armour. 

And as always, the ordinary workingman is wearing his passion on his sleeve, as he declares: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! We only work three days this week, and if yuh see the massa face when he have to pay us for the whole week…that was such a joy to behold… and next week going to be the same thing because New Year’s falling on the Monday. And is the party ever going to be rocking this New Year’s Eve? It surely is! 

Plenty nice women, good food in abundance, good music and enough waters to drown a heard of elephants. Mama Yo! And is not the cheap bubbly we drinking nuh, but the expensive one. Yuh have to go first class at New Year’s! So let’s get ball rolling from now nuh…Party! Party! Party! We going to mash up the place this New Year’s Eve! Thank God for Fridays and them long weekends yes!’ 

And believe me friends, a lot of what the workingman is saying there will unfortunately come to pass this New Year’s weekend and Beelzebub will be in his glee, since when we drink up the waters, too many of us turn stupid and do nonsense. But please, this weekend I implore us to stay sober and run our race properly, don’t give the enemy a chance to inveigle himself into our affairs. 

Anyway, let’s chant our Friday Chant, which gives us a better perspective on how to spend the weekend. All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

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

Yeh mih breddren, whatever the celebration, we followers of Christ still have to keep our wits about us, keeping God first place in our hearts and souls. For if we don’t, we can seriously jeopardize our relationship with the Holy Trinity, and that’s not a very wise move. 

No wonder Jesus warned the disciples in our Bit: ‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.’ 

And those are words of everlasting truth friends. Without Jesus we can do nothing! He is the one from whom we draw all our sustenance. Therefore, if we are not in Him and He in us, then we’re nowhere. Like the branches of a vine draw their power to produce fruit from the main vine, so do we draw our power to produce good fruit from our close and wonderful relationship with Jesus. 

And Jesus continues His analogy of the vine. ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto (for) you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.’ (John 15:5-8) 

There we have it friends, plain, simple and straightforward as Jesus is wont to put it. The only way to bear good fruit and glorify God is by being a disciple of Jesus. And that means letting Him live and work in you, so you can draw His life-giving power and carry out His wishes and duties. There’s no other way my brethren. 

So at the end of this tumultuous year of 2017, let’s sit down and ponder our relationship with Jesus nuh, see if He is truly in us, and we in Him, and if we’re bearing any good fruit. And whatever the answer might be, let’s turn to our heavenly Father and ask for His help to improve our witness, because we all have room for improvement. Much LOVE!

…walking hand in hand with Jesus…is the only wise way to do this earthly life…

 

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