Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 June 2017 John 3:17.

John 3:17.   For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Arise oh friends and greet the new day! It’s Monday, which means it’s time to toil, to go out and labour, so that we can eventually reap the sweat of that labour. What does the Good Book say? Something like by the sweat of thy brow thou shall eat bread. 

Well then, if we want to eat bread, let’s get a move on. Enough of the dilly-dallying and complaining about we sick and/ or tired. We weren’t too sick or tired to join in the partying though. So come on, let’s be up and at ‘em! And to help us do that, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with great gusto and heartfelt belief. 

In harmony 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!’ 

Good singing friends, good singing! Our harmony wasn’t perfect, but our choirmaster, Jesus, knew that our heart was in it and He was pleased. Now let’s keep that adrenaline flowing as we get out into the evil, disaster filled world to help the needy and less fortunate, and try to right whatever wrongs we can in Jesus’ name. 

That’s our mission. Jesus states it quite plainly in our Bit. ‘ For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ 

Yes friends, if it was Jesus’ mission, then it’s also ours, seeing that we are His followers, His disciples, and ought to do what He does, or commands us to do. And you know my brethren that we never deserved that LOVING-kindness, but our God has such a soft spot in His heart for us that He just couldn’t help Himself, He just had to save us, regardless of how much pain and sorrow it caused Him. And it did cause Him much grief, but He knew that the result would be absolutely worth it. 

Give Him much thanks and praise my fellow believers for providing us with an option to save our sinful souls. And if you don’t believe me, or Jesus, then listen to some corroborative scripture. Hear what the angel said to Joseph, re his betrothed Mary. ‘And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his Names JESUS (Saviour): for he shall save his people from their sins. (Matt.1:21) 

And the scholars explain. ‘1:21. Call his name JESUS: The name of the child Jesus (Heb. Yehoshua) means “Jehovah Saves.”  This points to the very purpose of Christ’s coming into the world – to save sinners. Placed early in the New Testament, this statement becomes the foundational concept of the gospel. Jesus, by His very name and nature is the Saviour.’  

And if you still doubt, then listen to Jesus after a village in Samaria refused to accept Him, because they knew he was going to Jerusalem, and James and John wanted to call down fire and brimstone on the village. ‘But he turned and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.’ (Luke 9:55-56) 

Ah friends, I keep reminding us about the wonderful, the magnificent and magnanimous God we serve, but a lot of us don’t pay attention, we’re too busy paying homage to the evil prince of this world, seeking his frivolous and fraudulent material possessions and earthly wealth. But please, please believe me, there will come a time when the material wealth and possessions will be of absolutely no use to you, and the only saving option for you will be Jesus. 

And if you don’t sincerely have Him in your heart, then you’ll be left forlornly, on the outside looking in. And I can guarantee that that will not be a very nice place to be. So let’s close with these warning words from John. 

‘And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.’ (1 John 4:14-15) 

Yes friends, trust in Jesus Christ is the only wise and sensible option in this life. Wisdom dictates that you accept Him before it’s too late. Much LOVE!

…what separates hell from heaven…belief in Jesus…

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 November 2016 Luke 10:62.

Luke 10:62.   And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

Well friends, a new day has dawned, both literally and figuratively! Someone once said these wise words; expect the unexpected, and have we ever been hit by the unexpected – Donald Trump is the new President-elect of the United States of America. 

Ah Lord eh! I don’t know if to rejoice that a different time is coming, or to hold my head and bawl having listened to his foul, negative rhetoric over the long period of the U.S Election campaign. 

Let’s hope that a lot of the stuff he said was just bluster, and that he will work instead to bring a sense of healing to the country that’s become so severely divided over the last few months. 

Whatever happens though, this is indeed a time for ALL Christians to stand up steadfast and strong and be counted, for in one way or another our faith and its institutions will surely be affected. 

To tell the truth, the whole world be affected, because as the U.S goes, so does a lot of the world. And a lot of people all over the world are indeed shaking their heads in astonishment and dismay at Trump’s surprise win. 

But as I’ve been saying all along, too many people in the U.S believed what Donald Trump said, and his rallies were getting bigger all the time, plus the media gave him so much attention that we had to respect the possibility that he could pull off the win. 

It’s a done deal now though; the Lord in His own mysterious way has allowed it to happen. He obviously has a plan and a purpose in mind, so the sooner we stop questioning it and try to work with or around it, the better off we’ll be. 

And all God’s people said a loud and somewhat less than genuine ‘Amen!’ 

Oh my people, it’s not the end of the world, just a hump in the road, though possibly a significant one. That doesn’t mean we have to give up on our faith, we need to keep keeping on, possibly even more than before. 

And to help us do that this most significant Wednesday morning, let’s declare our Wednesday Wail with a strong sense of purpose and enormous enthusiasm. 

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!’ 

Ah mih people, though times may be difficult and somewhat unnerving, there is no reason to be afraid, it’s still great to be alive; to feel that awesome breath of God just pumping through us. But that also means there are plans of God in place for us to accomplish on this earthly journey. 

That brings us to what I think is a rather appropriate Bit for today: ‘And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.’ 

And the scholars explain: ‘9:62. Fit, occurring elsewhere only in 14:35 and Hebrews 6:7, means “suitable” or “usable.” One who makes life’s lesser matter of greater priority than God’s work is of little use to him.’ 

Now when and why did Jesus use those words? Several people were coming to Him, wanting to be His disciple, but first wanted to go and do something else. This one fellow said to Jesus: ‘Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.’ (Luke 10:61) 

Sorry friends, when we become Christians, it’s not just for the pleasure and promise of going to heaven, but also to serve the Lord faithfully down here on earth. His work must always come first, not the world’s. 

As Bruh Paul pointed out to Timothy: ‘Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: For Demas hath forsaken me, having LOVED the world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.’ (2 Tim.4:9-10) 

Yuh see friends, Demas found the world more interesting than Christ’s work and forsook the ministry. Unfortunately, that’s what happens to many of us; we are drawn to the glitter and glamour of the world and thus place Christ’s work last. 

Remember what He said about trusting one master. ‘No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and LOVE the other; or else he will hold to (be loyal to) the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.’ (Matt.6:24) 

And the scholars tell us: ‘6:24. This kind of spiritual double vision causes one to believe he can serve two masters. Total loyalty to God cannot be divided between Him and loyalty to one’s material possessions. A master (Gr. kurios) is a lord or an owner. 

That God claims total lordship over His own is obvious in this passage. Therefore Jesus rightly proclaimed, Ye cannot serve God and mammon. 

The term ‘mammon’ is derived from the Aramaic term for possessions of wealth. Jesus is not condemning money or possessions in and of themselves, but the improper attitude of enslavement toward wealth.’ 

And sadly friends, these days a lot of us, too many, both Christians and non-believers, are enslaved by the material possessions of the world. It’s thus impossible for us to put God’s work first. 

And we’ll close with this other edifying statement from Jesus. ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:32) 

And that’s gospel truth my brethren! So if we want to experience the goodness of God, then we have to make Him, NUMBER ONE, in ALL aspects of our lives. That’s the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!

…true and total loyalty to Christ… should be the Christian’s number one aspiration…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 September 2016 Joshua 1:6a.

Joshua 1:6a.   Be strong and of a good courage…

Well friends, it’s Tuesday, the day after Monday. (smile) Hope you had a good Monday, but even if you didn’t, it’s time to let it go into the past where it belongs and greet today with new enthusiasm and faith, by declaring, ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.’ Yes my people, it’s the only way to keep a joyful, positive spirit in these end times. 

Now here is something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that’s ever so timely for many of us Christians, as well as unbelievers. It’s simply titled ‘Seek First.’ 

And it says: ‘O Lord How futile, how foolish To attempt to keep up with the Joneses On the gold-studded ladder of success. Even if we make it (Setting high, competitive goals) We awake one dismal morning To discover the Smiths have bypassed the Joneses So it starts again – the goading competition. 

God, Your objective is far more rewarding. You want us to “keep up” with Your Plan For our individual lives. “Seek first the Kingdom of God” Is Your shining word to us. Forgive us for moments and days (Even months) When our LOVE of money Has exceeded our LOVE for You. 

Please, God Be our Financial Advisor And deliver us from a thousand “if onlys.” May we never be defeated By the lack of money Or captivated by the lure of it.’ 

Oh my brethren, in this ever more greedy, selfish and competitive world, that is the path a lot of us are following; the lure of money and material possessions. But our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ has in no uncertain terms told us: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) 

Yes friends, if we first seek the spiritual realm, then the material will be forthcoming to us. And the Bible promise used for that poem is one we know all too well, but still neglect to follow properly. Listen up to these monumental words of Bruh Paul to Timothy. 

‘And having food and raiment (clothing) let us be therewith content. But they that will be (desire to be) rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful (harmful) lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition (ruin and destruction). 

For the LOVE of money is the root of all (kinds) of evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith (for which some in their greediness have strayed from the faith), and pierced themselves through with many arrows.’ (1 Tim.6:8-10) 

Oh my people, the world is strewn with the rotting carcasses of so many of us who have made being rich in money and material things our life’s goal. It’s certainly not a goal that’s worth striving after because it causes too much stress and strain and invites too many negatives in our lives. 

However, as Bruh Paul continues to Timothy: ‘But thou, O man of God, flee these things: and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, LOVE, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, where unto thou art also called, and hast professed (confessed) with a good profession (confession) before many witnesses.’ (1 Tim.6:11-12) 

Yeh friends, as true believers in Christ, that is the path we ought to follow. But unfortunately, the lure of the world, its material possessions, and lustful pleasures are so strong that we can easily get caught up in them. That’s why our Bit is so important in these times of much agitation. ‘Be strong and of a good courage…’ 

It doesn’t have many words, but it says a whole lot in terms of our spiritual life. Without strength and courage we won’t be able to withstand the attacks of the evil one. And that spiritual strength and courage can only be gotten by having the truthful word of God dwelling securely in our souls. 

As Jesus said: ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ (John 8:12) Oh my people, are we walking in the light of Jesus or the darkness of the world? For all our sakes, I sincerely hope it’s the latter, otherwise crapaud smoke we pipe (ours will be a very rough landing). 

Now let’s look at a scripture that encourages us to seek the Lord’s strength. And nobody exemplified that more than Bruh David. Hear him: ‘I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait (in faith) on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait (in faith), I say, on the Lord.’ (Ps.27:13-14) 

Bruh David was anointed king of Israel in his teenaged years, but never got to sit upon the throne until many years later, after going through many trials and tribulations not of his own making. He only succeeded by staying strong in his faith in the God of his forefathers. And that’s the only way we will succeed too my friends. 

Now let’s go home by declaring our Tuesday Mantra with lots of conviction and passion, because, without conviction and passion in our lives we are just like the living dead. 

All together 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!’ 

So having said all of that, let’s now go out and behave like the beloved of God and share the LOVE of our friend Jesus with the rest of the world. That’s wisdom of untold dimensions! Much LOVE!

…the only fountain of true strength…is that which is found in Jesus…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 September 2016 Hebrews 11:1.

 Hebrews 11:1.    Now faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.

Welcome my Scrip-Bit friends and family to this glorious Thursday morn; the first day of September 2016! Our God is alive and well in His heaven, faithfully looking over His people here on earth. And all God’s people said a loud and grateful, ‘Thank You Lord!’ 

Now the 1st of September in the northern climes usually means that the summer is technically over; the free paper burn, holidays are over, no more weekends at the cottage, it’s back to school and work, and begin thinking about the winter weather that will be upon us in another couple of months. 

But before we get to that (smile), I want to share ‘A Prayer for Solutions,’ from Gramps Schuller’s (Dr. Robert H Schuller) Hour of Power Devotional. 

Please pray with me. ‘Lord, thanks for assuring me that you’ll solve the problems if I’ll exercise the faith and make the right decision! Forgive me for waiting for all the difficulties, real or fanciful, to be resolved before deciding to make my commitment. 

I confess I have too often allowed problems instead of possibilities to take over leadership of my life – to make my decisions – and take command over my destiny. I know, now, what faith is, Lord! It’s making the right decisions before I see solutions to all the problems! Increase my faith! Amen.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my people? It surely is! We allow the problems, rather than the possibilities to run our lives.  Remember, we live; we walk by faith and not by sight. (2 Cor.5:7) So as our faith goes, so go our lives. 

If our faith is strong, then we walk comfortably with the Lord. If our faith is weak and we have many doubts, then our walk of faith is not as strong and we are liable to take more missteps and make more mistakes than we ought to. 

And I sincerely believe that lack of true faith is one of the Christian’s biggest problems nowadays. With the world and all its evil and lustful pleasures and demand for material possessions coming against us so strongly, it’s very easy to falter, to lose faith and sight in God and succumb to the temptation. 

That’s why faith is so crucial in our everyday lives, something we need to keep at the forefront all the time, since it’s so easy to lose faith when the trials and tribulations beset us. And what is faith you ask? 

Well the Good Book gives us this definition, which is also our Bit for today. ‘Now faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ Yeh friends, technically, it’s about hoping for and believing what we cannot see. 

But here is an excellent explanation on our Bit from the scholars. ’11:1. Verse 1 is not so much a definition of what faith is, as it is a description of what faith does (cf.11:6). Two truths concerning its activity are stated here. First, faith provides substance (Gr. hypostasis). Though broad in its usages, this Greek word normally has the meaning of “assurance” in the New Testament (cf. 3:14, 2 Cor.9:4; 11:17) and this seems to be the best sense here. 

Second, faith provides evidence (Gr. elegchos). It is evidence in the sense of proof that results in conviction. The difference between assurance and evidence would be minimal were it not for the phrase qualifying each: of things hoped for and of things not seen. 

The first involves future hope; the second involves present realities that are unseen. The first includes the hope of the resurrection, the return of Christ, and the glorification of the saints. The second involves unseen realities, such as forgiveness of sin through Christ’s sacrifice and the present intercession of Christ in heaven. Hope is faith relating to the future; conviction is faith relating to the present.’ 

Oh friends, I know that is somewhat convoluted and might prove confusing, but please take your time and reason it out, and it will eventually become clear. Faith is the biggest thing in our Christian walk. It’s what keeps us attached to our awesome God; to the Holy Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Only by faith can we believe it all! 

As the Good Book tells us: ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ (Heb.11:6) 

So my brethren, it’s all about hope and belief. Remember, you can’t have faith if you don’t first have hope, for hope is what stirs the pot of faith and keeps it bubbling up strong and positive. 

Now let’s truly acknowledge our hope and faith by enthusiastically declaring our Thursday Blessings, for a blessing is not a blessing until it’s been spoken. 

Altogether now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Wonderful my people! Now let’s go out and put our faith into action nuh, because it’s useless unless and until it is acted upon! Much LOVE!

…faith calls for works…and works demand faith to do them…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 August 2016 Deuteronomy 4:29.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 August 2016 Philippians 4:11.

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

Aye mih people, another bright, sunshiny day is in the offing… And it’s Friday to boot! So you can imagine the raucous shouts worldwide of ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! Hurrah for the weekend! Get yourselves together to party! No more slaving for two, whole big days! Mama yo! We going to mash up the place! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, you can’t help but voice those sentiments after facing the endless traffic jams, both morning and evening, that result from everybody commuting to work these days and working in the li’l fishbowls that so many of us toil in, five days a week. 

But we have a better perspective on the usage of the weekend. It’s called our Friday Chant. So let’s chant it and raise the stakes to a higher level nuh. As one 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.’ 

Yes my fellow believers in Jesus Christ, that is a much better way to spend the weekend. It provides some semblance of balance and circumspection, along with some godly intentions, not merely a free for all of worldly lusts and pleasures. 

Now here is an interesting quote from my ‘P.S. I LOVE YOU’ Poster. It says, quite straightforwardly; ‘Almost all of our unhappiness is the result of comparing ourselves to others.’ 

And there is indeed a lot of truth in that statement friends! Comparing ourselves to others is one of the big problems in our current society. Keeping up with the Joneses causes more confusion, debt and jealousy than we can ever imagine. 

The world’s wrong definition of who and what we are, which depends on our material possessions, social standing and level of power, drives too many of us to levels of debt, work, lies and pretensions that we cannot safely manage. 

I thank the Lord everyday, that though I may desire some of the things and standards of living that others have, I’m not envious, neither do I try my level best to become like them. And the sad part is that oftimes we don’t know what others have sacrificed to get what they have and where they are. 

And if we knew, we wouldn’t be so quick to want to be like them, because many have sold their souls to Beelzebub for their power, social standing and material possessions. So friends, let me strongly dissuade us this Friday morning from comparing ourselves to others, because it’s just a fool’s game. 

The Lord in His absolute wisdom made us each different for a purpose. If He wanted us to be all the same, He would have done so. And trying desperately to be like others only drives a negative wedge in our lives. So please stop it! End of sermon. (smile) 

That brings us to our rather appropriate Bit. ‘Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.’ 

Oh my brethren, learning that, takes so much stress and strain off of our frail human shoulders, especially in this show-off society of ours. 

Hear the scholars take on our Bit nuh. ‘4:11. Not that I speak in respect (because) of want: Paul’s ability to be content despite the circumstances assures the readers that his joy of verse 10 is not solely over his “need” being met at their expense. He implies that he could have done without their financial aid. For justifies this implication. 

I have learned …to be content: The Greek here suggests that contentment is a lesson learned neither in a classroom nor overnight, but through many practical experiences in life.’ 

And indeed so it is my people! Contentment is a learned way of life, through many trials and tribulations. Bruh Paul was here acknowledging the financial aid he’d received from the members of the Philippian church. 

‘But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of (concern for) me hath flourished (revived) again; wherein ye were also careful (though you surely did care), ye lacked opportunity.’ (Phil.4:10) They were concerned about him, but lacked the opportunity to minister to him. 

That leads Bruh Paul to continue after our Bit. ‘I both know how to be abased (live humbly), and I know how to abound (live in prosperity): everywhere 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) 

And we’ll end with some interesting explanations from the scholars. ‘4:12. By listing some specific examples, this verse elaborates upon the very general and broad “in whatsoever state I am” of verse 11. Be abased means literally to discipline oneself, that is, to tighten the belt in lean times. 

To abound means to live in prosperity. Everywhere and in all things I am instructed (or, “in all circumstances I have learned the secret of how”) to be full, that is, “well fed.” To abound means to have plenty. To suffer need means to go without. 

Paul has acquired the skill required for successful living with little and with much, the latter being harder. “For one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity.” (Thomas Carlyle).’ 

Yeh friends, for many of us, living in prosperity is indeed harder than living in adversity. When we have plenty, we often don’t know what to do with it. However, when we only have a little, we just have to make do. 

Now please don’t get the idea that we’re supposed to live miserly or stringently, because Christ said He came that we might have life, and have it more abundantly, but by the same token, we also need to know how to live when we don’t have abundance, and not be greedy or envious of those who have. 

So let’s go out there today and begin learning the life lessons we need to live as we ought nuh. (smile) Much LOVE!

…contentment can only be had through the peace of Jesus…

 

  

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 May 2016 Joshua 24:14

Joshua 24:14.    Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood (The Euphrates River), and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord.

Oh my beautiful believers in Jesus Christ, it’s the first day of May, as well as the Lord’s Day, better known as Sunday! 

That means it’s time for church; time for praise and worship, for thanksgiving and fellowship, for rejuvenation of spirit, encouragement and steadfastness of purpose, plus all the other good things that our magnanimous God pours out on those who LOVE Him, diligently seek Him and obediently do His will! 

Now I’m not going to harangue or lecture us about going to church today. That shouldn’t be at all necessary, for if you’re a true believer, then you’ll know that’s your bounden duty, so I’ll just leave that up to you and your heavenly Father. (smile) 

What I’ve been guided to do though, is to share a prayer which I shared a long time back, so many of you would not have heard it, but it’s one of my favourite prayers. From the first time I found it in my mother’s Bible after she died, something about it just touched me, and I’ve prayed it almost every day after that.  

It’s a special prayer prepared by the Life Study Fellowship, Noroton, Connecticut.  It’s titled ‘Lord, Please Accept My Heartfelt Thanks!’ And the sub-title is ‘Praise the Lord for His Goodness.’  – Psalm 107:8’ 

Now please pray with me: ‘Dear Lord, You are so good to me! And I thank You sincerely for the many blessings You send me! I’m very glad to have You in my life day in and day out – whatever I do and wherever I go! You are the One who always does what is best for my happiness! 

How grateful I am to be able to turn to You for guidance and comfort when troubles come my way! If any situation arises that makes me feel discouraged, You let me know I can lean on You for support! And because of Your LOVE for me, somehow I seem to find the strength to keep going – even through the most difficult times! 

I’m grateful too, for peaceful moments like these when I’m all alone with You in prayer! Talking with You never fails to reassure and uplift me! Nothing I say to You goes unheard. You listen with great concern to everything I confide in You! For You truly care about me! 

As I look to 2016 (or whatever year) I pray that You will continue to watch over me – and grant me even more of Your wonderful blessings! And may I serve You well in my every word, my every deed! Be my Guide hour by hour; I pray! Amen.’  

Oh friends, I do hope that prayer touched you all! I guess what I like about it is that it covers all the bases, it’s so all encompassing, plus everything it says is true and relevant. Some of you may not like it, but that’s okay; it’s your choice. As they say, different strokes for different folks! (smile) Anyway, that’s my contribution for today. 

Now let’s turn to our new Bit, a part of Joshua’s farewell address to the Israelites. He had just finished reminding them about all the good things the Lord had done for them, giving them houses they didn’t build, vineyards they didn’t plant etc. 

Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood (The Euphrates River), and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord.’ 

Ah mih people, that verse is even more appropriate and relevant in this New World Order than it was thousands of years ago when Joshua spoke those fateful words. That’s because the worshipping of other gods, plus basic ungodliness is so rampant in our current society. 

Unfortunately, the ONE and ONLY TRUE and LIVING God; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is not held in respect nor reverence by a rather large part of the world. Many people know of and about Him, but yet they steadfastly refuse to honour and obey Him. How sad that is my people, for our world could be truly such a beautiful place if more of us sincerely worshipped and revered the Most High God Jehovah. 

Now why the blatant refusal to accept the God of heaven eh? I believe there are two main reasons. First of all, the pull of the material, lustful and sinful world is rather strong. We feast our eyes on all the supposed glitz and glamour and possessions available, and our hearts clamour for them, and the evil one just makes it so easy for us to fall into his sinful trap.  

And the second reason is that we believers, supposed ambassadors and disciples of Jesus, who have been assigned the Great Commission (Matt.28:19-20) to teach and baptize and spread the wonderful gospel of Jesus all over the world, are not doing as good a job as we should. The hypocritical examples of our lives are turning people away from Jesus instead of drawing them closer to Him. 

So there we have it; Lucifer and his evil cronies are doing a good job on selling sin, while the followers of Jesus are not doing a good job of selling righteousness. No rocket science involved at all friends. 

So what are we doing, or going to do to change this rather unpalatable situation eh my believing breddren? All I can say is that we need to pull up our britches and do a better job of spreading the good news of Jesus, and backing it up with perfect, well not quite perfect, but much better examples of true Christian living. 

Remember friends, examples speak more forcibly than words, and we can talk all the talk in the world, if we don’t walk that talk, then it’s useless, just wasted talk. And we’ll close with these precious and fateful words of Joshua, declared after our Bit. 

‘And if it seems evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood (The Euphrates River), or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’ (Josh.24:15) 

Yes friends, that’s the big and serious decision we all have to make. And like Joshua, I surely hope that we will all decide, with our families, to serve the Lord God Jehovah, for that is indeed the wisdom of the ages! Much LOVE!

…until more believers get truly serious about the Great Commission…both talking and living it…the good news of Jesus will be sadly lacking in this ungodly world…

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