Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 August 2017 Psalm 118:8-9.

Psalm   118:8-9.   It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.

Come on mih people, it’s Sunday, the Lord’s Day! That means it’s time to gather in the Lord’s house to worship, praise, glorify and exalt Him; to hear His word and receive His awesome gifts of strength, mercy, grace, LOVE and forgiveness in whatever amounts we may need! 

How wonderful it is to serve such a magnanimous and magnificent Deity! I simply can’t understand how all the world is not running to serve and praise His holy name nuh. 

Unfortunately, their loss is our gain, though we still need to get the truth though their thick skulls, because that’s what the Father desires of us. He doesn’t want to lose even one of His magnificent creations to that worthless scamp and vagabond Lucifer. 

And as always, we begin this morning’s worship with a song of praise titled ‘Jesu, joy of man’s desiring.’ But it was not a song of my choosing, but of the Holy Spirit, for as soon as I thought, ‘Well what hymn shall we sing this morning?’ that title just flew into my head. 

So, as obedient children, let’s offer the sacrifice of praise and glorify our heavenly Father, for He is so deserving of it. Let’s raise our voices to heaven, and let the saints up there know that we too can exalt and worship the Lord, as good as them, if not better. (smile) 

So as one harmonious whole now: ‘Jesu, joy of man’s desiring, Holy wisdom, LOVE most bright; Drawn by Thee, our souls aspiring, Soar to uncreated light. Word of God, our flesh that fashioned, With the fire of life impassioned, Striving still to truth unknown, Soaring, dying round Thy throne. 

Through the way where hope is guiding, Hark, what peaceful music rings; Where the flock, in Thee confiding, Drink of joy from deathless springs. Theirs is beauty’s fairest pleasure; Theirs is wisdom’s holiest treasure. Thou dost ever lead Thine own In the LOVEof joys unknown.’ 

Oh friends, aren’t those beautiful sentiments, rich in imagery and majesty? They surely are! And I particularly like that last line, which talks about our Saviour leading us ‘in the LOVE of joys unknown,’ because He certainly does. With Him, every day is an unknown adventure, and we have the complete assurance that whatever direction the adventure takes, it will ultimately work out for our benefit. 

So how can we not bow and kneel before Him and give Him thanks and praise eh? To do otherwise would certainly be lacking in wisdom, definitely foolish. But unfortunately, our world is full of foolish people; people who refuse to acknowledge and accept the risen power and glory of Jesus Christ! They foolishly put their trust in princes and men and cast Jesus, the only one who can truly save their sinful and evil souls, by the wayside. 

How sad my brethren! They obviously don’t know, and/or, don’t respect the truth of our Bit from the Good Book. ‘It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.’ 

That’s truth of immeasurable proportions my people! How can one put trust in weak, fragile, sinful, evil and fraudulent man eh? Oh we have to trust them some, but definitely not go overboard, always keeping a close eye on them. However, with the Lord God Almighty, our Creator, we don’t have to worry about a thing, for He is the epitome of trustworthiness. The word was coined to reflect His exalted station of absolute trust. 

When a man like Job, having lost his family and all his earthly wealth in one fell swoop, can declare of God to his hypocrite friends: ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him. He also shall be my salvation: for a hypocrite shall not come before him. Hear diligently my speech, and my declaration with your ears.’  (Job 13:15-17) 

Wow friends! There must be something in the water that Job was drinking, (smile) for him to be so adamant about his trust in God. And that’s the kind of trust great faith brings forth. 

Now listen to Bruh David from Psalm 40 – Praise for answered prayer. ‘And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord. Blessed is the man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.’ (Ps.40:3-4)  And Bruh David spoke from personal experience when he made those statements. 

That’s the sort of trust that rises up in us when we truly believe, and have experienced God’s LOVING-kindness. Then there is no doubt whatsoever in the utmost faithfulness of our great God! Even when things go awry, we still stand steadfast in that trust, because we know He has good plans for us, and will always complete any work He’s begun in us, and work it out for our good. 

Mama Mia! How awesome is our God eh! Awesome to the nth degree! And we’ll end with these immortal words of Cousin Sol. ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct (make smooth, straight) thy paths. 

Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel (body), and marrow (strength) to thy bones. Honour the Lord with thy substance (possessions), and with the first fruits of all thine increase. So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses (vats) shall burst out with new wine.’ (Prov.3:5-10)

Oh friends, I believe in those five verses we have the very essence of Christian living! If we were to just follow those instructions, we would never stray, and forever stay on the straight and narrow path. So let’s take Cousin Sol’s wisdom to heart his Sunday morning nuh my fellow believers, so that we can live trustworthy and fruitful lives as our Christian faith requires. Much LOVE!

…if you can’t trust the one who made you…and knows you better than you know yourself…then whom can you trust eh…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 July 2017 Job 13:15a.

Job 13:15a.   Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him…

Ahoy there mih friendlies! (smile) It’s a cloudy Saturday morning in my neck of the woods, perfect for pure, unadulterated lazing around the house! (smile)  Is that your perception too? 

Oh, yuh know our lives are so busy now, that even on our days off, some of us can’t afford to just lay around and do nothing. Steups! 

Whatever happened to the promises that as our world became more motorized, our lives would become freer eh, we would have more spare time? That’s a joke! Because with all the supposed amenities we now have, we’re still busier than we’ve ever been. 

Anyhow, just one word of warning; however you choose to spend today, just make sure that our heavenly Father is at the centre of it, let Him lead and guide you as He so desires. For that’s the ultimate in wisdom my Christian brothers and sister! 

Now, since it’s Saturday, let’s look at quotes from our friend Anselm from this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And like our buddy Anselm had a problem-filled vision this week, for they all revolve around problems. (smile)  

Here is the first one: ‘It is wise to direct your anger towards problems – not people; to focus your energies on answers – not excuses.’ Now that’s very true, but it’s not always easy turn our anger away from others, because invariably they are the source of our problems. 

And the second says: ‘Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than in trying to solve them.’ That’s also true, because it’s usually easier to dance around the problem than fight through it. 

Now this one, we should all pay serious attention to. ‘Relationships survive on trust, and if that is broken at any point, it’s pretty much the end of the relationship. Besides, inability to communicate leads to problems.’ 

And is that ever so true my people! There’s nothing that destroys a relationship as quickly and totally as a failure of trust. Sometimes they can be repaired, but very often they just disintegrate, leaving behind all sorts of acrimony and bitter feelings, because it’s so hard to replace trust once it’s lost. 

And to make it even more difficult, nowadays, despite all the many wonderful methods of communication that exist, we still don’t communicate with each other as well as we should. It seems like true communication is a lost art of this society that’s predominantly focused on communication. Hn! What a paradox! 

Now here is another meaningful quote. ‘You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.’ 

Yeh friends, we must never ever underestimate our importance, because we never know what sort of influence our words and/or behaviour might have on others. We often make great and lasting impressions on people we don’t even know, which can change their lives, as well as the course of history. 

Now here’s the last quote, and my favourite. ‘Expect problems and eat them for breakfast!’ Isn’t that beautiful mih breddren? We all know problems will crop up, but let’s not allow them to disturb our God-filled mien (mood, character), let’s just eat them up and spit them out – with God’s help of course!  

Ah mih people, we’ve spent so much time and space on those quotes, that we don’t have much left for our Bit, which is one of the most powerful statements in the Bible, and the epitome of trust. 

We’re talking about those memorable words of Job when he experienced terrible disaster; almost immediate loss of his health, family and fortune. His friends and family thought that his calamity was caused by some secret sin, and his wife even encouraged him to ‘curse God and die.’ (Job 2:9b) 

However, Job stood tall, defended his integrity and faithfully declared: ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him…’ 

Ah current saints of God, how many of us say words akin to those when we are going through some calamity eh? I don’t think as many as should. And that’s possibly because we don’t hold our great and wonderful God in as high esteem as Job did. 

In our current society, the popular term is ‘what have you done for me lately?’ So if God hasn’t come through for us lately, we’re quite liable to dismiss Him as being a fraud and a charlatan like the fallen angel Lucifer. But that’s the biggest mistake we can ever make my people! 

Remember, God isn’t there to cater to our whims and fancies, we were made to serve and worship Him. He is the boss! Whatever He says goes…and when He says it too. 

But He isn’t a petty tyrant, like so many of the other supposed gods that don’t truly exist. Instead, He’s a compassionate and LOVING Father who only wants us to do His will. 

And please notice Job’s later behaviour, after the Lord took him to task and humbled him for a spot of arrogance. The Good Book tells us: ‘And the Lord turned the captivity of Job (restored his losses), when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before… so the Lord blessed the latter end of job more than his beginning…’ (Job 42:10, 12a) 

Yes my brethren, that’s how our Lord will bless us when we stand humble but strong in integrity, faith and trust before Him. Please let that be lesson, a great motivator for us. Much LOVE!

…in proportion to our trust in…and reverence of God…so shall be our portion of blessings…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 July 2017 Matthew 6:13.

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

Ah friends, it’s another glorious Sunday morning and we’re gathered in the Lord’s sanctuary to praise and worship, glorify and exalt Him, as well as receive His awesome grace and mercy, strength and guidance for the new week that’s upcoming. 

And as always, let’s open with a song of wonderful praise; ‘When I survey the wondrous cross.’ This is one of my favourite hymns, and it brings back fond memories of a boy growing up in Tobago and St.Andrew’s church in Scarborough during the Easter season, packed to capacity on a Sunday morning, full of young people, all raising their voices in praise. 

So let’s raise our own voices in sacrificial praise now my people, let the heavens reverberate with the powerful and sincere sound of our voices, singing these inspirational words penned by Isaac Watts many moons ago, which Charles Wesley, another prominent hymn writer, reputedly said he would have given up all his songs, to be able to say he wrote this one. 

‘When I survey the wondrous cross On which the Prince of glory died, My richest gain I count but loss, And pour contempt on all my pride. Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast, Save in the death of Christ my God! 

All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to His blood. See from His head, His hands, His feet, Sorrow and LOVE flow mingled down! Did e’er such LOVE and sorrow meet, Or thorns compose so rich a crown? 

His dying crimson, like a robe, Spreads o’er His body on the tree; Then I am dead to all the globe, And all the globe is dead to me. Were the whole realm of nature mine, That were a present far too small; LOVE so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all. 

[Added by the compilers of Hymns An­cient and Mo­dern] To Christ, who won for sinners grace By bitter grief and anguish sore, Be praise from all the ransomed race. Forever and forevermore.’ 

Oh my fellow believers what a magnificent pouring out of praise in words that just touch the heart and truthfully reflect the awesome and sacrificial deed that Jesus so selflessly suffered on our behalf! 

Without His sacrificial death on the cross of Calvary, we’d all still be worthless sinners pegged for hell with the evil one Lucifer. But through Jesus’ superhuman efforts we now are bound for glory instead through salvation and eternal life! Oh Glory be my brethren! 

Ah friends, as Christians we should be happy like pigs in mud! (smile) And when we check out our Bit, those immortal words of Jesus in His blueprint for prayer, we should get even more joyful – if that’s possible (smile), because it assures us that we have a heavenly Father who is constantly watching over and guiding us, to whom we can turn to for comfort and succour in ALL situations! 

Wow! How could we not LOVE Jesus eh, after all He’s done for us? And if you don’t believe me, then please listen to how Jesus prayed to His heavenly Father on our behalf before He underwent His own tough times. 

‘I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more (longer) in the world, but these are in the world; and I come to thee Holy Father, keep them through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. 

While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost (destroyed), but the son of perdition (destruction); (Judas), that the scripture might be fulfilled. 

And now I come to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil (one). 

They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them (set them apart for your purposes) through thy truth: thy word is truth. And as thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. 

Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou has sent me. 

And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast LOVED them, as thou hast LOVED me. 

Father, I will (desire) that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou LOVEDST me before the foundation of the world. 

O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the LOVE wherewith thou hast LOVED me may be in them, and I in them.’ 

Wow mih breddren, what an awesome prayer! I never intended to print it all, but once I got started I just could not stop. I doubt that anyone else has ever prayed so sincerely and fervently for any of us. Jesus even prayed for those that would come after Him, meaning the Gentiles, people like us. 

And I have to confess, that though I’ve read those words before, they’ve never meant so much, or made such a difference before. I truly appreciate them now, and so I hope do you my fellow believers. It just goes to show the truth in the saying, the more we read the Word, the more our eyes are opened. Much LOVE!

…Jesus didn’t only die for us…He also prayed for us…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 July 2017 Psalm 49:20.

Psalm 49:20.   Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.

Well a bright and blessed morn to all you my fine, upstanding, Scrip-Bit friends, families and neighbours! May Almighty God shine down on all our lives this sunny Friday in July and cause us to walk in His righteousness. 

And all God’s children declared a loud and proud: ‘Thanks and praise to our heavenly Father who meets all our earthly wants and needs from His abundant store of grace and mercy through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Yeh friends, we indeed have to be thankful for all that our most generous God has blessed us with, since for whatever reason, He hasn’t done so to lots of others. And this has been a short workweek for North Americans, so they will either go to the cottage to rest, or to rack up the summer partying season that’s just begun. 

And the shout all over town will be something like: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! That means the weekend, the long awaited weekend is finally here and we can get into our cups with gay abandon! Wow! What a time we going to have this early summer weekend! Thank God for summer, for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

And we’re all truly grateful for the summer weather and weekends, but we just celebrate them differently. The believer has a more subdued outlook, as stated in our Friday Chant, to lessen the possibility of his getting into all sorts of wrongdoing.  

Please declare it with me. ‘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.’ 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.’ 

Yes my people, the Lord made us in His image and gave us authority over all the other living things on earth. (Gen.1:26) He also gave us the power to get wisdom and understanding. And when we don’t use that power wisely, and don’t appreciate the gifts of God, we become just like the lowest beast of the field. 

Hear how Cousin Sol puts it in his experiment in Ecclesiastes to ‘seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven.’ (Eccl.1:13) 

Now remember that Cousin Sol was rich and had the time and wherewithal to conduct such an experiment. He says: ‘And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly: for what can the man do after the king? even that which hath been already done. Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as the light excelleth darkness. 

The wise man’s eyes are in his head: but the fool walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event (death) happeneth to them all. Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity (futility). 

For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool for ever; seeing that which now is in the days to come shall all be forgotten. And how dieth the wise man? as the fool.’ (Eccl.2:12-16) 

Oh friends, as the scholars tell us: ‘2:12-16. Wisdom is better than folly (vs.12-14), but both are useless when one comes to death.’ 

However friends, I would like to add an addendum to that statement. (smile) In these end times, the wisdom of following Jesus Christ, of having Him as your Lord and Saviour when one comes to death, is clearly superior to the folly of not having a wonderful, life-saving relationship with Him. 

For therein lies the path your spirit will take after death; either eternal life with Christ in heaven, or everlasting separation from Almighty God with Lucifer in Hades. And I wouldn’t wish the latter on my worst enemy. 

Then Cousin Sol continues: ‘Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity (futility) and vexation of spirit (a grasping for the wind). Yea, I hated all my labour which I had taken (toiled) under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me. 

And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool? yet shall he have rule over all my labour wherein I have laboured, and wherein I have showed myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity (futility) Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labour which I took (toiled) under the sun. (Eccl.2:17-20) 

And the scholars explain: ‘2:17-20. Part of the futility of trying to find fulfillment in material accomplishment is the fact that one must leave the fruit of his work to another who may well waste the accrued benefits. I hated life (v.17) is translated correctly and should not be misunderstood as “I hate life.” It is clearly the temporary conclusion about Solomon’s historical experiment.’ 

Ah friends, it’s a tricky situation: we need to work and store up something for rainy days, but we cannot let that be the end all and be all of our existence, because we won’t have the time to enjoy our own lives, and then might leave our vast wealth to some wastrel who doesn’t appreciate it.

So the sensible thing is to find a balance between work, enjoyment and storing up, and that can only be done properly with the help and guidance of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. End of story! Much LOVE!

…all work and no play…makes Jack a dull boy…but all play and no work…sends the fool to hell…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 July 2017 Psalm 49:6-7.

Psalm 49:6-7.   They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him.

Oh friends, I surely hope that the old adage that states what starts wrong turns our right is true yes, because my day certainly got off on the wrong foot. 

I got up early, partly because of some aches and pains in the ole body, then discovered that a blood test I had planned to take in the afternoon actually stated early morning. So I got myself together and rushed out to the nearby lab, which opens at eight. 

But lo and behold when I got there at seven forty five, there were already people sitting inside waiting, and a line that ran from the desk, all through the office and halfway up the corridor. 

Steups! No way was I going to get blood work done early enough to satisfy the doctor’s request, with at least twenty people before me. So I just turned around and came back home. And that’s actually to your benefit, because you’ll get the Bit earlier than if I had stayed at the lab. (smile) 

Ah mih people, it’s certainly a challenge getting old yes, because you don’t know what aches and pains and illnesses will suddenly show up at some unexpected time. (smile) 

But yuh know what, in spite of all the challenges, I’m still glad to be alive and I give our heavenly Father plenty, plenty thanks for keeping me going, as He also helps me handle the challenges that come against me. 

And I’ll say it one more time: What a wonderful God we serve and worship my faithful brethren! There’s none LIKE Him anywhere else in this whole wide world! Please give Him some thanks and praise for being so wonderful to the undeserving children of men! 

That brings us to our Bit. ‘They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him.’ 

And we all know that to be indisputable truth, yet many of us still strive for the riches of this world, hoping that it will bring them salvation. Chuh! What a foolish generation we have raised my people! 

All throughout the Good Book we’re told that the wicked will not see God’s face, for their abominable sins will cause them to crash and burn in the fires of hell. But yet many of us still insist on participating in downright evil thoughts and actions. 

Friends, there is no salvation in either an addiction to procuring earthly wealth or to be a proponent of evil, for you will take none of the wealth with you, and your evil deeds will only get you a hot date with Lucifer. 

And when we talk about redemption, there’s ONLY ONE who can redeem; that’s our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! And yuh see the exorbitant price He had to pay to redeem us: enormous shame and excruciating death on the cross. 

As Bruh Paul told the Galatians: ‘Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made (having become) a curse for us: for it is written, CURSED IS EVERY ONE THAT HANGETH ON A TREE:’ (Gal.3:13) 

Yeh friends, Bruh Paul is there quoting Deuteronomy 21:23. Please look it up. And why did Jesus take this curse upon Himself for us? 

Hear Bruh Paul to the Galatians again: ‘That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.’ (Gal.3:14) 

So yuh see my brethren, if Christ had not borne our sins on the cross at Calvary, we, as Gentiles, would not have received the promise of Abraham, and would have been completely shut out of God’s wonderful and generous favour. 

That means we have to be eternally grateful to Jesus and live the righteous way He wants us to live. Even if we have been graced with a lot of earthly wealth, it is still very important for us to live a clean and righteous life. Why? 

Because when the roll is called up yonder, our earthly wealth will mean absolutely nothing, unless we have used it to help propagate God’s kingdom here on earth. And even then, though our good works down here will bring heavenly rewards, it’s our sincere belief in Jesus that will open the doors of heaven for us. 

So friends, I implore us to stop focusing on the wealth and possessions of this evil world, and instead to focus on our attachment to Jesus, develop a strong and enduring relationship with Him, because that is what will ensure our eternal life with Him! 

And now, having heard all these truths re our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and having them refresh our souls and spirits, let’s go home announcing to the world our sincere faith and trust in Him, by declaring our Wednesday Wail with plenty enthusiasm and much chutzpah. (smile) 

Wailing: ‘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 friends, that’s the answer to all our problems right there; a wonderful present and future relationship with Jesus! Much LOVE!

…only Jesus saves…only Jesus redeems…only Jesus can open the door to heaven…that’s why He is indeed…the Way, the Truth and the Life…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 July 2017 1 Peter 5:8.

1 Peter 5:8.   Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

So the celebrations continue apace! Yeh friends, Canada’s 150th Birthday Party is still going strong. It ought to wind down today, but tomorrow is the U.S. 4th of July Independence Day Celebrations, and whoever in the U.S was lucky enough to get today off would have a wonderful real long weekend! 

Hn, Hn! That means this is a big partying weekend in North America. But nonetheless, because the society runs 24/7,  some people have to go to work today, so they still need some encouragement to get up and go out on a Monday Morning, especially when so many of their co-workers don’t have to. So let’s give them a rousing sendoff nuh, with a rousing rendition of our Monday Morning Battle Hymn! (smile) 

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!’ 

And wasn’t that a blast! Lots of enthusiasm and hoarse, croaking voices from those who are staying at home, while those headed for work, could only resignedly shake their heads in jealousy. Jesus, our choirmaster, sighed wearily and shook His head too. 

But friends, please let caution be our watchword in these long days of celebration, and let Granny’s advice be front and centre in our minds and souls: ‘Drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’ I know some of us are tired hearing that bit of wisdom, but if we heed it, it will keep us out of a lot of problems, some of which can be very serious and life changing, as well as life ending. 

That’s why Peter warns us so strongly in our Bit: ‘Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.’ 

Yeh friends, Lucifer is always on the lookout for those of us he can infiltrate. That’s all he does; walks to and fro in the earth looking for people to destroy, especially in times of celebration when all our weaknesses are most exposed. And he gets the most pleasure from destroying Christians. That’s why it is ever so necessary for us to keep our p’s and q’s about us, and don’t give him a chance to get into our lives. 

And Peter continues his advice. ‘Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) by your brethren that are in the world.’ (1 Pet.5:9) So the enemy doesn’t choose us specially to come against, he comes against everybody, all Christians, wherever he might spy an opening. That’s why we have to be strong in our faith and resist his evil overtures, otherwise we’ll just muddy up our heavenly situation. 

Now earlier on, Peter took a broader look at the situation when, in talking about Christian dedication, he declares: ‘Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind (prepare you minds for action), be sober, and hope to the end for the grace (rest your hope fully upon the grace) that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 

As obedient children, not fashioning (conforming) yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance. But as he which hath called you is holy, so ye be holy in all manner of conversation (conduct.)  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.’ (1 Pet.1:13-16) 

That’s the way it is my brethren. If we intend to follow Christ, then we need to be serious, well-disciplined and as holy as possible, because that’s what Christ is about. And in any case, the best way to foil Lucifer’s unwanted advances is to stick close to Jesus. And Peter acknowledges that, as he puts the finishing touch on today’s story, a couple verses after our Bit.

‘But the God of all grace, who hath called us into his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.’ (1 Pet.5:10-11) 

Ah mih people, this life is not easy to handle, but if we are serious about following Jesus, then He will give us the wherewithal to handle the prince of this evil world and all his evil cohorts. So please keep standing strong and walking tall for Jesus and the glory of God. That’s the greatest state to which we can ever attain! Much LOVE!

…in proportion to our groundings in Christ… will be our ability to resist the enemy

 

 

 

 

 

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