Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 April 2018 Matthew 28:20b.

Matthew 28:20b.    and, lo, I am with you alway(s), even unto the end of the world.

Aw friends, what kind of crazy, evil, ungodly, unsafe world are we living in eh, when in broad daylight a young man can drive his vehicle into a crowd of innocent people and kill nine or ten of them and injure a whole lot more? Or another young person can enter a restaurant and just open fire with his AK 15, or some such firearm and kill four people? 

The first incident happened in Toronto, the northern section of the city yesterday, and the second down in Nashville, U.S, a couple days ago. It seems we’re safe NOWHERE on the planet. Steups! And then the popular excuse is that these people have mental issues. Chuh! Well then too large a proportion of our society has mental problems! And if that’s a fact, then why aren’t we addressing them properly eh? 

Ah mih people, nowadays our favourite pastime seems to be talk; talk for just talk sake, and get nothing done. Our society is fast going to hell in a basket and our politicians and power brokers still only seem to care about getting in power and lining their own pockets. It’s a good thing that we believers have Jesus and His many faithful promises to hang on to yes, otherwise I don’t know what would happen to us nuh. 

And as we continue looking at some of the many wonderful promises that our faithful God has made us, we open with one of the most steadfast and uncompromising, that contained in our Bit: ‘and, lo, I am with you alway(s), even unto the end of the world.’ 

What a powerful promise that is my fellow believers, from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as He sent the disciples out to proselytize the world! And it’s that kind of stuff that we need to hang on to as we navigate this unsafe and crazy world; look to heaven rather than to mankind who is as evil as the night is dark. 

And if that doesn’t quell your worries, then listen to this promise. ‘Let your conversation (conduct) be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath saith, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Heb.13:5) 

Glory be my breddren! What wonderful words of assurance given to us by our God and our Creator and Saviour. The author of Hebrews is there reiterating God’s promise to Joshua when He made him leader of the Israelites after the death of Moses: ‘There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Josh.1:5) 

However friends, there is ONE thing God asked of Joshua, and is also asking of us in these dangerous and trying times: ‘Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left that thou mayest prosper (have success, or act wisely) whithersoever thou goest.’ (Josh.1:6) 

Yes my fellow believers, regardless of the number of great promises God has made us, we still have to take them to heart and stand strong under them. That’s our part of the bargain: stand strong and steadfast in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour! But that’s exactly what a lot of us are not doing, thus our fears, worries and anxieties every day of our lives. 

Now hear these marvellous words of Bruh Paul to the Roman church on the separation of Christ from His people. ‘Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? 

As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom.8:34-39) 

Oh precious people of God, if that powerful assurance of Christ’s irremovable presence from our lives doesn’t move and reassure you, then I don’t know what will nuh! That’s possibly one of the greatest promises a believer has to hang on to. Once Christ comes into our lives, we cannot be separated from Him. He will NEVER leave or forsake us, unless we push Him away or turn against Him. 

Therefore friends, in these troubled times, I implore us to hold on tightly to the promises of our ever-faithful God, to stand strong and courageous as He asks of us, so that we can conquer this evil word in His name. Now let’s go home showing the world that we are indeed standing strong in Christ. Let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with much vim and vigour. 

As one loud and purposeful voice now: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

And if we’re sincere, then let’s go out and share Jesus’ LOVE and everlasting friendship with world, as He desires of us. Much LOVE!

…standing on the promises of God…standing safe and secure… on the promises of God, my Lord…

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 April 2018 Proverbs 1:33.

Proverbs 1:33.    But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet (secure, at ease) from fear of evil.

One more morning…one more Monday… to go out and face the cold, cruel and evil world! Or would you rather not be around to face it eh, have your picture staring back at you from the obits instead? (smile) Definitely not! Most of us would vote for seeing another Monday morning though they seem to cause us constant distress. 

That’s possibly because what awaits us on the other side of the river appears to be so grand, too good to be true, and nobody has ever come back from there and told us the real story.  So until we just can’t help it, do otherwise, we’ll stay on this side of the river, unhappily accepting the hell we know, instead of the heaven we don’t.  

But friends, we ought to believe God’s Word because it is true. So if He says a wonderful life awaits us on the other side, why doubt it eh? As we saw yesterday the Bible, though actually written by men, was inspired by God, and one truth from it is greater than the wisdom of all mankind. Anyway, we still on this side, (smile) and we still have Monday to get through, so let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to help us get started nuh. 

All together 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!’ 

Yeh friends, I know our pulses are beating a little faster and the adrenaline is now swiftly coursing through our bodies, so let’s get a move on before we lose the rush nuh. (smile) And today we’re going to continue talking about the great and wonderful promises of God. 

And the first one today is our Bit; wise and holy inspiration of God to Cousin Sol. ‘But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet (secure, at ease) from fear of evil.’ A promise of absolute truth my people! When we listen to God and obey Him, we are not afraid when evil comes against us. Why? 

Because as Jesus told His disciples and consequently promised us: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) Wow! What a promise! Exactly what we need in this evil, confused, hateful, ungodly and angry world. And it’s available to whosoever wants it. 

All you have to do is to accept Jesus’ Great Invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

Glory be my breddren! How can you beat that promise eh? No way Jose! And if yuh still having doubts, then try this promise for size. The inspired words of Bruh Paul to the Philippians, after letting them know that he’s been praying for them from the first day that they received Christ. ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil.1:16) 

Yeh friends, whatever God begins in us, He will complete it, or keep it going until Jesus returns. There are no if, ands, or buts about that! And we going to end with some more of Bruh Paul’s wise and inspirational words, this time as he talks to the Roman church about life in the Spirit. 

‘Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He spared not his own son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?’(Rom.8:30-32)  

Oh precious people,  if God, gave up His only Son to save us, and if we are obediently following Christ, then God will obviously be on our side. And once He’s with us, NO ONE, or NOTHING can come successfully against us, because God and any one of us constitutes a majority in any situation.  Let’s remember that so we can live it too nuh. More on God’s awesome promises tomorrow, if He wants it that way. Much LOVE!

…God’s promises were never made to be broken…but for each and every one to be fulfilled…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 April 2018 James 1:2.

James 1:2.    My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials).

At last friends, at long last, some of the ice that’s covered the ground from the ice storm a week ago has finally melted…Yay! And we can now see some of Mother Earth’s dirtyish brown grass with specks of green thrown in for good measure. Glory be! 

But not all of the ice has melted, there are still several patches of it all around. And from my kitchen window I can see about three or four solid boulders of ice lying at the side of the road, and the big lump of ice that clogged the entrance to my lane when they cleaned the main road last week is still there, blocking traffic and making it difficult to enter the lane. 

But God is good! Let’s remember that, and a few weeks from now when spring has finally sprung and the leaves and beautiful blossoms are out in all their glory, we’ll look back and laugh at this inconvenience. Hn, hn! Yeh mih people, it’s a good thing the Lord blessed us with short memories. 

However, it’s Saturday, so let’s turn our attention to some of this week’s quotes from our friend Anselm, as he aspires to inspire us to a better tomorrow. Here is the first one: ‘Learn to value yourself, which means fight for your happiness.’ 

Oh my people, too many of us don’t value ourselves highly enough, we have a poor self-image, thus others take advantage of us. Therefore we need to raise our self- image through Bible study and assertive action if we want to control our lives and thus our happiness. And the next quote is basically about the same thing; taking control of our lives. 

‘Don’t let other people decide whether you are going to have a fantabulous or bad day, make that decision yourself.’ Again, too many of us allow others to run our lives and decide what kind of day we’re going to have. That is counter productive friends. We have to learn to stand on our own two feet and make those kinds of decision for ourselves, otherwise we’ll always be at the mercy of others. 

And the final quote says: ‘If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.’ In other words, take a chance! And that is gospel truth! If you never take chances and just stay with the tried and true, the same old, same old, then the same old, same old is all you’ll ever get. 

Our society and our Christian faith was built on our forefathers and the early Christians taking chances, even when it meant running afoul of the authorities and thus possible loss of life. And as we Christians know, whenever we step out to do something for Christ, the enemy will most likely come against us and try to prevent us from doing it. 

But because of Christ’s promises and His power to enable us to do anything, we don’t have to shy away, but press on regardless. And we do that through faith. But faith doesn’t just come like by wishing it. On the contrary it’s something we have to build, through constant hard work and adversity. 

And Cousin Bobby (Bobby Schuller- Hour of Power) says that ‘Faith is not a leap, but an enduring daily trust that God can do the impossible in your life.’ And that’s no lie! Each and every day we awaken we have to learn to keep the trust in God we earned the day before, and to build on it, so that tomorrow it will be even stronger. That’s how we build faith my brethren – from day to day, through whatever trial comes our way. 

That brings us to our Bit, some rather interesting words from James, Jesus’ brother, in his epistle to the Christians dispersed around the world. ‘My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials).’ Now who wants to find trials joyful eh? Nobody! But friends, that’s the only way we’ll grow in faith. 

As James continues: ‘Knowing this, that the trying (testing) of your faith worketh (produces) patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire (complete), wanting (lacking) nothing.’ James 1:3-4) Yeh friends, as long as we are believers, our faith will always be tested, and we need to stand fast so that we can grow. 

And the scholars got it right: ‘1:4. The natural response to adversity is to escape it. But God uses trouble to mature His people.’ Oh, we certainly know it’s rough, and do try to escape, but much to our dismay, that’s just part of the life of faith we’re trying live. 

The scholars further tell us: ‘1:2-3. In this epistle on Christian living, James opens with a most crucial topic: the trials of life. These verses describe the various testings – whether from the world and Satan, or from God – into which godly Christians fall (Gr. peripipto). 

These “negative” experiences are to be accepted with great joy, not for the sake of the trial itself but because of the positive work God can accomplish through the testing….It is not merely one’s presence in such trials but one’s victory over them that brings spiritual growth and maturity. Those Christians whom God can use the most are those whom God has bruised the most.’ 

Unfortunately mih people growing in spiritual faith is not easy, as can be seen from the lives of all great men of faith, especially Jesus. But they all kept constantly looking to the heavenly Father for the strength to carry on, and He gave it to them. Likewise, if we look to our heavenly Father for strength and wisdom to carry on in tough times, He WILL give it to us. 

So friends, whatever is coming against us right now, let’s try and think of it in joyful terms nuh, (smile) believing that God is allowing it for a greater purpose than we can imagine, and lean on Him for the help to come through it successfully. He will not disappoint us. That’s His faithful promise! Much LOVE!

…spiritual growth…is based on fleshly suffering…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 April 2018 Matthew 11:28.

Matthew 11:29.   Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

One more day mih people, one more day on God’s great earth with the setta ice covering the land in my area! Chuh! It’s pure ice all around…but that doesn’t stop us from joyfully declaring, like the psalmist did: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it! (Ps.118:24) 

A li’l bit of ice can’t stop us from enjoying God’s mercies and graciousness…No way! What does the Good Book say? NOTHING can separate us from Him and His LOVE! Because we are all more than conquerors through Him that LOVED us. (Rom.8:35,37) Glory Hallelujah my believing brethren! Christ has already given us the victory, so there’s nothing really for us to worry about, just to live a righteous and godly life in His name. 

And a couple of quotes from the Daily Bread Devotional remind us of two important aspects of Christian life and character. The first is that ‘ Our greatest hope comes from trusting God.’ And secondly, ‘Commitment to Christ is a daily calling.’  

Yes friends, we have no other real hope but the trust that God’s promises, mercy, grace, forgiveness and LOVE inspire in us. Without those things we’d be truly lost. But even more importantly, we need to remember that each and every day we awaken, we need to seriously recommit to Christ, His way of life, and His plans for us. That’s the only way we can keep Him fresh and vibrant in our lives. 

And since yesterday we talked about going out and doing Jesus’ work as established in His Great Commission, today I thought it would be more than appropriate to look at how He hopes to accomplish His purpose; through the Great Invitation, a part of which is our Bit for today. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’  

My people, my people, what a wonderful invitation; the BEST that has ever been offered to mankind! Glory Be! No other supposed deity has ever proffered such a simple, but yet awesome and astounding invitation. That’s because Jesus is the ONLY ONE who can keep that kind of promise, and who is also seriously interested in lightening our burdens! 

And that’s what we, as His disciples, ambassadors and earthly representatives need to point out to the unbelievers, so that they too can embrace His glorious free offer of salvation and life eternal. Now that’s not all that Jesus offers in His Great Invitation. Hear how He continues after out Bit. ‘Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek (humble) and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest for your souls.’ (Matt.11:29) 

Just imagine that nuh my brethren; Jesus is also inviting us to take His yoke and learn from Him, for He is humble and lowly of heart…Wow! Though He is the great God, the great I AM, Jesus is not proud and stuck up, like He could be because of all His numerous attributes and power. But no; He is very simple and easily approachable, and when we sincerely approach Him, call out to Him, then we can truly learn from Him and find peace and quiet for out souls. 

And that is something which the majority of our world decidedly lacks, and which many are desperately trying find, but unfortunately are looking in all the wrong places. For our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is also the ONLY ONE who can bring true peace and rest to the human soul and spirit. And why is that so? ‘For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:30)  

Oh precious people of God, what a reassuring ending to Jesus invitation! And that’s gospel truth! For He has already borne our burden of sin upon the cross at Calvary and set us free from its cruel and unholy bondage by paying the enormous price with His selfless sacrifice. 

And as Bruh Paul so astutely and correctly says in his missive to the church at Rome. ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.’ (Rom.8:1) Glory Hallelujah! 

So when we come to Him truly repentant, acknowledging our sins and also what He’s done for us, He doesn’t condemn us, but just enfolds us LOVINGLY in His warm and tender embrace and begins to teach us how to walk like Him.

And there’s also no greater privilege and praiseworthy attitude than to walk like Christ. Please remember that our heavenly Father’s most noble and consistent intention is to have all believers walk as Christ-like as possible. 

And to help us do that, let’s declare our Wednesday Wail, which shows how we’re getting on with Christ. As one 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 I implore us friends, as we walk with Christ today, let’s keep a picture of that glorious future in the back of our minds, so that it can encourage and reassure us when the going gets tough, as it no doubt will at some time or other. Much LOVE!

…to Jesus…to Jesus come…when your heart is heavy…and your soul weighed down with burdens… 

P.S. Sorry for the Bit being a tad late, but the playoff hockey game was too interesting not to watch it to the end, which meant a late night, and thus a late morning too. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 April 2018 Matthew 3:2.

Matthew 3:2.    And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Well friends, it’s been a helluva weekend in North America! From the Gulf of Mexico all the way up to Canada, it’s been a succession of high winds, rain, snow, sleet, ice, tornadoes, and any other kind of bad weather one can experience, and it has caused havoc in all areas of life, especially travel and power outages. And in some places in the U.S it hasn’t eased up yet. 

In the Greater Toronto Area we had mostly ice, high winds and rain, and outside still looks like the frozen tundra of the Arctic. At one stage at the Billy Bishop Airport in Toronto they experienced winds of 90 km/h per hour. Wow! Why would one want to be flying, or even be out in winds that strong eh? Let’s hope that the rising temps today along with the rain will melt and wash away all of that ice. 

I can imagine the state of the commute this morning. And the warning still stands; if you don’t have to go out, don’t go out. And yuh better believe I’m going to take my advice, because I have a doctor’s appointment in the city at lunchtime, but I can guarantee you it’s not happening. Anyway, enough about the weather, let’s turn to our faith, which helps us to handle the inclement stuff. 

And this is one day that we definitely need our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to raise our adrenalin level as we contemplate the severe negative aspects of getting to work safely. So with sincere heart and strong voice, let’s sing: 

‘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!’ 

Now that ought to raise our level of confidence and courage and energize us this dreadful looking morning. And please remember that regardless of the outward circumstances, the SON is still shining brightly, and is always there to help us in whatever area we may need it. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit: ‘And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 

Yeh friends, those were the warning words of John the Baptist as he began his ministry foretelling the coming of Jesus. And I think we’d do well to seriously consider them in these evil and ungodly times. Too many out of the ordinary things and circumstances are happening all over the world for them to be just coincidence or happenstance. 

And as believers, we know that NOTHING just happens by accident or chance, the hand of the Lord is always involved somehow or the other. And remember how He destroyed the world when it was so sinful in the time of Noah? Well He only promised not to destroy it by water again – possibly by fire and brimstone next time. And it just seems that we’re playing with a lot of fire and explosive material these days. 

A lot of destructive stuff is happening in these especially sinful times, and I just wonder if the Lord is not giving us a not so subtle message to beware, He’s getting fed up with our endless shenanigans and trying to rid our society of His presence. Friends, I’m suggesting that we be safe, rather than sorry, and REPENT, give up our evil ways and return to the Lord’s fold. 

As the scholars explain: ‘3:2. Repent (Gr. metanoeo) means a change of mind that results in a change of conduct. Repentance is not merely sorrow. It involves a complete change of attitude regarding God and sin and is often accompanied by  a sense of sorrow and a corresponding change in conduct. Such repentance does not arise in man himself, but is the result of God’s mercy in leading man to it. (Acts 5:31; Rom.2:4; 2 Tim.2:25).’ 

Oh my people, please look at those scriptures and let them work in our hearts, for the end times are drawing nigh, and if we are not prepared then salvation and eternal life will be denied us, and that’s the worst thing that could ever happen to a human being. 

The world is too sinful and ungodly for the Lord to put up with it much longer. And if we keep going the way we are, with or without His help, we’ll either implode or explode. But the status quo cannot last much longer. Remember too, that Jesus can return at any time, like a thief in the night, and once He comes back, all bets are off. 

So it behooves us, believers, to talk to the world, to spread the message, to get it ready. Saying, let’s repent, let’s change our sinful, blasphemous attitude towards our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, be born again, and accept His free offer through grace, of salvation and eternal life. That’s the wisest and best offer going! Otherwise…crapaud smoke we pipe! Much LOVE!

…a word to the wise is sufficient…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 April 2018 Philippians 4:11.

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

Well friends, it’s Saturday…and yuh know what? The ole fella slept in some. (smile) But who wouldn’t want to sleep in when the spring rain is falling gently on the land, moistening and nourishing it after a long, dry, hard, ugly winter, so that the beauty of nature can sprout and gaily flourish in the spring time? 

Yeh friends, spring is God’s most colourful and productive season where He advances His grand plans for the rest of the year, letting us know through the beauty of a resurgent nature that all things are possible with Him in the lead. Glory to our great God, my people! 

Now since it’s Saturday, let’s turn to some quotes from our friend Anselm this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And it seems like he was on a happiness trip this week, because all of them either deal with happiness or being happy. (smile) 

Here’s the first one. ‘Happiness depends upon ourselves.’ Now that’s invariably true; regardless of your circumstances, be they good or bad, you are the one who ultimately controls your happiness, although oftimes we unwisely allow others to do so. 

And the next one says: ‘Happiness …is governed by our mental attitude.’ I guess that’s basically true, although our circumstances play a large part in our happiness. Then there’s: ‘Happy people plan actions; they don’t plan results.’  Now you might not plan the results, but you definitely put forward the actions which you believe will bring about certain results that you desire. 

Next up is: ‘The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.’ Who would have ‘thunked’ it eh? (smile) Happiness depending on thoughts? But yes, they do to a large extent. And the last quote tells us: ‘Nobody really cares if you’re miserable, so you might as well be happy, and make the most of where you are.’ 

A lot of truth in that too, especially in this ‘I and me,’ selfish generation. We certainly don’t care about each other as much as we should, so it’s best if we try to enjoy where we’re at, at any particular time, without depending too much on others or our circumstances. 

That leads us to today’s Bit. ‘Not that I speak in respect of want (regard of need): for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.’ Now friends, that is the Christian way! All this talk about striving to be happy just confuses and muddles us up. We have to learn to be content in whatever state we currently are encapsulated. 

As Bruh Paul continues: ‘I know both how to be abased (live humbly), and I know how to abound (live in prosperity): every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.’ (Phil.4:12) 

Yeh mih people, that’s how Christians ought to live. But remember it’s a learned behaviour, through practical experiences and the hard knocks of life, consequently, it doesn’t happen overnight. And we need to have the joy of the Lord as our strength to accomplish it. Or as Bruh Paul tells his Philippian readers: ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’ (Phil.4:13) 

Now that is a magnificent verse of scripture; possibly the most endearing and reassuring for true believers. But as always, in God’s economy, we have to believe it first, before we see it. And if by faith, we don’t believe it, then we’ll never see it. That’s the foundation of our Christian way of life: all things are possible through Christ, if we believe that they are. 

So please my fellow believers, let’s stop killing ourselves to acquire the things of the world which we believe will make us happy, because happiness is but a fleeting illusion, if we depend on our circumstances, or other people, or our possessions to make us happy. Those things and people can change from one day to the next, thus will what we call our happiness. 

But if we find joy, which is a constant state and does not change with circumstances, then we’re in a much better position to live a contented life. But on the other hand, real joy can only be found in the Lord God Jehovah; in His strength, His promises and His eternal and unconditional LOVE, because they never change, but always stand steadfast and strong, and therefore can be relied upon to keep us anchored and well grounded. 

Oh friends, since we’re running later than I expected, I’ll close with this one piece of advice from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ that covers it all: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) 

Yes my faithful brethren, if we put God first in EVERYTHING that we do, we’ll want for nothing, we’ll be contented, joyful, happy and have all we need in this earthly life. That’s the promise of Jesus…and He doesn’t lie! Much LOVE!

…he who places wants above needs…will always be left wanting…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 April 2018 John 17:15.

John 17:15.    I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil (one).

And as one working day morphs into the next, we suddenly discover that it’s Friday…but another Friday with a twist; Friday the 13th, considered by many as an unlucky day, where all sorts of disasters happen. Hn! 

For a society that prides itself on being so advanced in our thinking, we surely don’t seem so forward thinking when we consider the many superstitions we still live under, like believing that 13 is an unlucky number, and Friday the 13th is a day unleashed from hell itself. 

And the sad part is that no one really knows where most of these superstitions originated from, but they do abound in the most advanced society of mankind’s long history. But that particular superstition seems lost on the ordinary workingman as he sings his Friday Song. 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday…and we don’t care if is Friday the 13th or whatever you want to call it. As far as we concern, Friday is the beginning of our party time, freedom from the bondage of work. So you can do what you want with your superstitions and them, but they won’t stop our having a good time come Friday. Wow! The weekend is here at last! Party animals get ready! As we thank God for Fridays and the weekend!’ 

Ah mih people, what a crazy world we live in, one where almost anything goes, as in the workingman’s song. But as followers of Jesus, we Christians cannot afford to be so footloose and fancy free. Yes, we are allowed to party and have fun, but with some rules and restrictions, where the workingman has none whatsoever. 

We’re in a spiritual battle for our eternal lives, and if we cater to the hedonism and licentiousness of the world we can get ourselves in serious trouble by allowing the enemy to breech our walls. That’s why Jesus set some boundaries for His followers. And consequently, our Friday Chant differs substantially from the workingman’s song. Let’s chant it now nuh with heartfelt gratitude. 

‘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.’ 

Oh my believing brethren, we can never be reminded too often of the necessity to keep ourselves out of the evil clutches of Lucifer’s world, because he and his cronies are always looking for a way to inveigle us into something that doesn’t fit our status and standard as believers.

That’s why Jesus prayed in our Bit: ‘I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil (one). 

Yeh friends, Jesus doesn’t want us to be taken out of the world, because we can only spread the good news of His gospel by being IN the world, but we should not be OF the world. In other words, a part of the evil world system, for how can we change it, if we are a part of it eh? Not very likely. So precious people of God, we need to live IN the world, but not do as the world does. 

As Bruh Paul wrote to the church at Rome: ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind; that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.’ (Rom.12:2) 

Oh my people, please remember that the battle for supremacy is basically waged in the mind, so whatever the mind holds worthy, that is what we will do. That’s why, when we are born again we have to transform our minds, change our way of thinking from that of the world, to that of Christ, so that we can do God’s perfect will. 

And James puts it thus: ‘Pure religion and undefiled before God the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.’ (James 1:27) 

Oh friends, it is indeed difficult to keep ourselves unspotted from the world since it is so all-pervasive, abounding in every aspect of our lives. But if we are sincere and try our best, with God’s help, we certainly can. Now let’s close with these beautiful and encouraging words of John from His first epistle. 

‘LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.’ (1 John 2:15-17) 

How very true all of that is my fellow believers! All the stuff that the world holds dear will eventually be destroyed, but God’s will won’t.

So please, let’s stop kowtowing to the things of the world nuh; stop engaging in the lustful aspects of our sinful human frailty, stop allowing our flesh, our eyes and our pride to make us a part of the world. That’s wisdom at its highest level! Much LOVE!

…only by following God’s will…can believers be IN the world…but not OF the world…

 

 

 

 

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