Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 March 2016 2 Peter 3:18

2 Peter 3:18.   But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever Amen.

Well friends, the music has ended, and the D.J is packing up his equipment, that means the party’s over! Steups! So sad, but oh so true. 

The simple fact of the matter is that we can’t party for ever, we also have to have periods of work if we want to live balanced lives as the Lord, our Maker intended. 

And all of that is just to say that the ole fella’s vacation in paradise, on sweet Tobago is over. Chuh! But them’s the breaks! Sadly, it’s time to get back to the common task and daily grind in the cold North country. 

No longer will I be waking up to the sweet singing of the birds, coming out the front door and inhaling the fresh salt air from the sea as the waves rush foam-filled over the reef and crash against the rocky shore. No more sitting out on the patio in the early morning hours communing with the Father, watching the sun rise and feeling it’s heat permeate my very being. 

No more watching the birds and insects play amongst the bunch of young date palms on the small tree as they go about their business, God’s business of pollinating the flowers so that life can go on. 

And I have to stop and say what a wonderful and ingenious God we serve, the ingenious way He designed for nature’s reproduction. Please give Him all the glory! 

Then no more walks along the rocky coastline after devotions… Hn! No more dips in my waterhole either. No more sitting on the patio with the duchess taking in the sights and sounds of nature, as she says, enjoying the ambiance. (smile) And she certainly won’t be able to see, or hear her boats, the ferries speed back and forth along the horizon. 

And she won’t be able to have me drive miles down the road to get some of Rosie’s rock cake! Hn! Three times this past week I drove all the way down to this local bakery, in the hot sun to boot, only to discover that she was closed, or she had no drops. I wasn’t very thrilled. 

But you know what friends; the vacation might all be over in reality, but the wonderful time we had on Crusoe’s Isle will never be forgotten, will never be erased from our memories. For as Johnny Bristol says in his old song: ‘Memories don’t leave like people do. They always stay with you. Whether they’ve been good or bad, They’re always something that you have.’ 

And that is gospel truth my people! And believe me, we made many many good memories over the last few weeks. As I sit in my rocking chair during the cold days and nights, I will recall many of them, chuckle and give thanks to the Almighty for having allowed me to make them. 

And to all of you in T&T who made our stay so memorable, the duchess and I give you thanks from the very bottom of our hearts. We sincerely appreciated your warmth and kindness, and hope that we can savour some more of it next year, the Lord in favour. Can’t wait to come back! (smile) 

Anyway, today is Tuesday, so let’s get on with our Tuesday Mantra nuh. Altogether 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.’ 

Glory to God my people for those true and wonderful sentiments! Please, let’s remember that what the world says or thinks about us is of no importance, once we are sincerely trying to do the Father’s bidding. We are indeed children of God and friends of Jesus! That’s our designation; nothing else! 

And today I want to share a rather important message from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s aptly titled, ‘Worth the Waiting.’ 

Listen closely: ‘Growing spiritually is such a long, slow process! It’s painful too. Every day at the turn of the road I become acquainted with new pitfalls and heartaches. Sometimes the pain backs me into a corner. For example: There is a woman I know who is so sarcastic, so curt and unkind. Am I ever excused? Is forgiveness always a part of my growth? 

So often I feel like a spiritual midget while my husband and friends appear to be spiritual giants. I seem to shrink in my own home. Another thing: I confess that I am a coward about pain. Emotional pain. Physical pain. The pain of loneliness, the pain of grief. 

Yet, again and again it is true. What I must learn in my pain is that it is leading to something positive, something beyond what I can see in the present darkness. I do want to grow! I want to become more and more like Jesus. Even though it takes so long, surely it is worth the waiting.’ 

And friends, that is the immutable truth! Becoming more like Jesus, is indeed a long and ofttimes painful process, but believe me, it is worth the wait! 

So for all of us who have problems like those above, and we all do at some time or other, the important thing is never to give up, just keep holding on tightly to Jesus, because in due time, in His time, He will bring us through the fire transformed, more like Him. 

And the Bible Promise for that passage is also our Bit for today. ‘But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever Amen.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, the only way to handle the wickedness and the temptations of this evil world is by growing in the grace and knowledge of our great and wonderful God. Without the bulwark that His favour and word provide, we’re easy pickings for the enemy. 

And remember God’s basic plan for each of us is that we grow more like the Saviour each and every day, by studying His Word, praying and fellowshipping with other believers. Those things need to be constants in our lives, if we are to mature successfully. 

And we have a very relevant scripture to quote from Bruh Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians. As pertaining to the new life in Christ, he tells them. ‘That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight (trickery) of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 

But speaking the truth in LOVE, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted (knit together) by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual (effective) working in the measure of every part (of each part doing its share), maketh increase (causes growth) of the body unto the edifying of itself in LOVE.’ (Eph.4:14-16) 

Yes my brethren, the church of Christ is like the human body, to grow successfully, it needs proper food and all the parts working together in harmony. And the best way to do that is to come up over our problems with LOVE; the LOVE of Christ! Much LOVE!

…in all things…the LOVE of Christ suffices…

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 February 2016 Psalm 103:11

Psalm 103:11.   For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy (LOVING-kindness) toward them that fear him.

Once again friends and neighbours, on this bright and beautiful Sunday morning, I’m coming to you from my little cottage by the sea in sweet Tobago, aptly called ‘Sea Breeze.’ (smile) 

Got back here late last night. And is it ever so good to be back home in Tobago again! As they say, there’s no place like home. And this is my home away from home right now. 

Anyway, this morning I’m bringing words of LOVE, compassion, mercy, forgiveness, understanding, grace, and blessings from our heavenly Father; all the attributes of which He is the Supreme Possessor and Giver. 

And all God’s people declared loudly: ‘Thanks be to God, who gives us generously of all His attributes!’ And we all know that as gospel truth friends! 

Now I’ve got a lot to share today, so let’s begin right away with this quote from our friend Anselm, who delights in inspiring us to live a better tomorrow. And this rather appropriate quote tells us that: ‘Believing is seeing. You gotta believe something will happen for you before you see it. Have faith in the process of getting there.’ 

And that’s ever so true my people! In Christ’s realm, you have to believe it before you see it. With Christ, believing is seeing, not like the world thinks, that seeing is believing. That’s where those two great attributes, hope and faith come in; for without them we can’t believe without seeing. 

And to help us along in that regard, Gramps Schuller (Robert H. Schuller) from his Hours of Power Devotional tells us about our EQ as opposed to our IQ. 

Now our IQ or Intelligence Quotient is naturally related to our intelligence. However, our EQ or Emotional Quotient is related to our hope and faith. Gramps defines a high EQ as ‘a heart that has strong faith, unquenchable hope, and passionate LOVE.’ 

Glory Hallelujah! Oh how I wish that all God’s children were blessed with such a high EQ! Unfortunately though, we’re not, but fortunately it is indeed possible and very necessary that we build up that high EQ. And that is all a part of what out Bit is about; trying to keep us focused on God, His Word and His plan for our lives. 

Now remember though, that the Bit IS NOT sufficient reading and studying material for a child of God. It is a useful catalyst, but we all need to get deeply involved in the Word and fellowship with other believers on our own. That’s the only way we’ll ever truly grow to a likeness of Christ, achieve a high EQ, which is our basic objective. 

Now I haven’t kept you all up to date on my recent activities, sorry about that, (smile) but I can only write what the Lord directs me to write. And thankfully He’s given me some room for that today. 

Well you all know that I was in Trinidad for the last few days. You also know I went to the Southland by water taxi and had a great time. 

On Friday evening we also had a rollicking time as some friends and family gathered with me in the lobby bar area of the Radisson Hotel where I was staying. The hotel has a happy hour every Friday evening from 5 to 7, but our happy hour lasted from about six to eleven. Hn, Hn! 

We laughed and talked and drank and munched some chicken wings the hotel provided, shared old memories and made some new ones that we can share at a later date. Glory to God! 

I saw a couple of friends whom I hadn’t seen since I left the UWI Mona campus in Jamaica in 1969. Brother! That’s something like 45 years. But what I like about these old friendships is that though we don’t see each other often, when we meet, it’s just like we saw each other yesterday, we pick up from right where we left off. That is what true friendships and relationships are all about! 

Enough about my activities though. I’ll leave yesterday’s activities for tomorrow though, because it was truly an eye opener for me, and will take up too much time and space. 

So let’s get to our oh so wonderful, encouraging and edifying Bit. ‘For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy (LOVING-kindness) toward them that fear him.’ 

Yes Friends what a wonderful analogy to show how great God’s mercy is towards those of us who revere and worship Him – as high as the heaven is above the earth! Wow! That’s pretty high! So just imagine how much LOVING-kindness He has stored up and pours down on us nuh. 

And all I can say in response is: ‘All glory and honour be to our magnificent and magnanimous God who is so interested in our welfare, in every aspect of our lives!’ 

The problem here though is that many of us have a problem in truly believing that Almighty God, that great entity on high, can be interested in our plain and simple, lowly and mundane lives. But my people, He truly does. He made us and has a big stake in everything that happens in our earthly sojourn. 

Listen to how Bruh David continues in Psalm 103, from which our Bit is taken. ‘As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it (remember it) no more. 

But the mercy (LOVING-kindness) of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear (revere) him, and his righteousness unto children’s children.’ (Ps.103:15-17) 

Ah mih breddren, our God’s mercy spans time from whenever it began to whenever it ends, if ever, and is available to all generations during that time. What more can we ask eh? Not a whole lot, except His guidance and strength to keep on LOVING Him and being obedient to His holy will, so that we can keep on enjoying His (LOVING-kindness.) 

Yes friends, it is somewhat of a conundrum; we have to LOVE and obey God, but at the same time we do need His strength, wisdom and guidance to do it. Yuh see how we’re inextricably tied up with our Creator! 

And we’ll end with these wise words from Bruh David. ‘Bless ye the Lord, all ye his hosts; ye ministers (servants) of his, that do his pleasure. Bless the Lord, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the Lord, O my soul.’ (Ps.103:21-22) 

Now that’s wisdom for all the ages! Much LOVE!

…yes…we do have free choice…but to wander away from God…means we’re not using that free choice wisely…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 February 2016 Philippians 2:5‏‏‏‏‏

Philippians 2:5.   Let this mind be in you, which also was in Christ Jesus.

Oh mih breddren, it’s Saturday; another beautiful day in Paradise! Glory Hallelujah! 

On second thought though, I think I need to apologize for my effusive opening to those of you who have not awakened to such a paradisaical situation as I have. (smile) 

But friends, the most important thing, regardless of our physical situations and limitations is that we have awakened. Glory to God! And once we’re alive and walking with Jesus Christ there is ALWAYS that wonderful thing called HOPE! Hope that through Jesus, our circumstances can change, can improve. 

Now that’s one of the reasons I’m in Tobago; I have the hope that the sunshine and saltwater will alleviate my physical ailments. So far though, there are plusses and minuses on the scoreboard, but I still have hope, am still believing that by the time I’m ready to leave in the next few weeks I will be healed. Or at least be in much better shape than when I came. 

That’s hope, that leads to faith. And a little reminder here that we cannot have faith without hope. So please don’t be disconsolate even though your surroundings, though your life might not be on a high note right now, because with Jesus as our guide, everything can change, sometimes in a split second. 

So NEVER stop having HOPE! And another thing too, once we’re alive, it means that God has a plan for us to carry out, otherwise we wouldn’t be here to tell the story. 

And all God’s people said a loud, proud and grateful ‘Praise the Lord! Amen!’ 

And I’m chuckling here friends, because this was not what I had planned to write, neither was what is about to come, but this is where I was guided, so who am I to complain eh? 

And I want to share something from my One More Day Devotional for People with Chronic Illness, and you can count me amongst that lot. 

Anyway, today’s quote is attributed to one Tanhuma, whom I believe is a Jewish sage from way back when. And he profoundly declares that ‘Joy waits for no man.’ And I know that all of us have found that our several times throughout our lives. 

The text goes on to tell us: ‘Joyfulness is one of God’s greatest gifts. Joy transcends all time and place. Joy causes unmeasurable and often indescribable feelings which we might only have for a fleeting moment. Joy is like opening a special present. It is a state of mind, a frame of reference for future memories.’ 

Yes my people, joy is all of those things, but more importantly joy comes from a secure and comfortable walk with the Lord. As the Good Book says: ‘the joy of the Lord is our strength.’ (Neh. 8:10) 

That’s why the ole scoundrel Lucifer tries to steal our joy; because he knows without it, we are helpless and very susceptible to his evil charms. So please let’s stand strong and steadfast in that joy that our God provides, so that we can do His will in faith, trust and obedience, like Jesus did. 

That brings us to our Bit. ‘Let this mind be in you, which also was in Christ Jesus.’ And as we’ve been saying for the last few days, only by thinking like Jesus can we do the things He wants us to do. 

And we see the utmost importance of all that when we consider the scripture which says: ‘And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’ (Phil.2:8) 

Yes my people, Jesus became so humble and obedient to His Father’s will, that He went like a lamb to the cross for our benefit…. 

And all God’s people cried out a loud and grateful ‘Glory Hallelujah! Blessed is the lamb that was slain for us!’ 

And though we will never reach Jesus’ level of humility and obedience because of our built in sinful nature, the object of the whole living exercise is to try and get as close as possible to it. And you know what happens when we serve the Lord obediently and sincerely? He rewards us! Not always down here on earth, but He puts away some for us in heaven. 

And we have the best example of that in the next few verses of Bruh Paul’s letter to the Philippians. ‘Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil.2:9-11) 

Mama mia my people! What a wonderful God we serve and worship! Yuh see how He exalted Jesus for His selfless sacrifice on our behalf, by making Him ruler of all, where all must bow and confess that Jesus is Lord! 

But please pay close attention to the end of that sentence; ‘to the glory of the God the Father.’ Yes my brethren, ALL that we do, is ALL for God’s glory! Even Jesus’ sacrifice was to show God’s mercy and LOVING-kindness to a bunch of ungrateful sinners! 

So my fellow believers, though we are not working, not serving God because of the rewards we can get, we nonetheless have those rewards as something to look forward to. And we’ll close today by sharing a few scriptures that encourage us in that respect, beginning with Bruh David’s poignant words from Psalm 19 – The creation and covenants of God. 

He declares that the keeping of God’s statutes and judgements are ‘More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb (the drippings of the honeycomb). Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.’ (Ps.19:10-11) 

Now hear the author of Hebrews, which I believe is Bruh Paul, because it sounds too much like him. ‘For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of LOVE, which ye have showed towards his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.’ (Heb.6:10) 

And we’ll close with these most encouraging and uplifting words again from Hebrews. ‘Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience (endurance), that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.’ (Heb.10:35-36). 

I couldn’t say it any better my people, so I implore us to go out today and do God’s will with mercy, compassion and LOVE in our hearts, being mindful of the rewards that are accruing in our accounts in heaven. Much LOVE!

…for he that cometh to God must believe that he is…and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him… (Heb.11:6b)

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 February 2016 John 3:17

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

Ah mih people, it’s a somewhat rough Saturday morning because when I opened my e-mail this morning I got some info re the funeral service of my old University pardner, Paul Emmanuel Lawrence. Just like I opened my e-mail a couple of weeks ago and found out about his unexpected passing.

But what to do eh friends? Not much really, we just have to move on, while enjoying the memories we made with each other. That’s what memories are for, so please be sure to make some good ones. As Johnny Bristol says in his old song; ‘Memories don’t leave like people do. They always stay with you. Whether they’ve been good or bad. They’re never something that you had.’

And we had plenty good ones, Pablo mih brother; whether it was beating pan, going to lectures, fetes, just hanging out on the campus, or going down to your home in Montego Bay, or going to other places which I can’t mention. (smile). Anyway mih brother, you certainly had a kind and generous heart, and you’re no doubt giving free rein to it now in heaven too. Till we meet again on that great day. Much LOVE!

Yeh friends, it’s not easy when your peers are passing away, because it suddenly makes you think about your own mortality. But that’s the only thing we’re sure about in this life, for sometimes you might be able to get away from taxes, but you can never cheat the grim reaper. So let’s just live life and enjoy it under the shelter of God’s mighty arms.

And I’d now like to apologize for a typographical error on yesterday’s Bit. Hn! That’s just giving it a nice name, but it really stemmed from pure laziness on my part. I don’t know how many of you noticed that the heading of the Bit said the Bible verse was ‘Psalm 40.4’ when the actual Bit came from 1 Peter.

That’s because I simply copied the previous day’s heading and then forgot to change. And somehow I never notice these things until after I send them out. But it only goes to show the ole fella’s humanity and fallibility. (smile)

Ah mih people, life can be rough, but please remember that our God is good! Now here is how I had planned to open today’s Bit until I got those e-mails about Pablo’s funeral. It’s a song that I shared some time last year, and while partying out on my patio last night with the duchess I happened to play it, and got the zeppo that it was time to highlight it again, because the times they are a getting worse and Christ’s people need another wake up call.

So here are the words of Johnny Reid’s marvellous, motivational and inspirational song starting with the chorus ‘Today I’m going to try and change the world. Gonna take it one day at a time. I’ve made my resolution, opened up my eyes. Today I’m going to try and change the world.

I’m gonna say hello to my neighbour, going to greet him with a smile, and shake the hand of a stranger, sit and talk to him for a while. Gonna tell someone I LOVE them, from the bottom of my heart. (chorus) Today I’m gonna try and change the world….

Gonna make sure my children know right from wrong. Never turn my back on those in need, always gonna try to see myself through another’s eyes. Today I’m going to try and change the world. I made my resolution, opened up my eyes. Today I’m going to try and change the world.’

Oh my fellow believers in Christ, that’s just what Christ is calling us to do; to make a serious resolution to change the world with His help, because it desperately needs changing! So please let’s join together today to do that nuh! And all it takes is one day at a time!

Hear the wonderful sentiments nuh: say hello to our neighbour, greet him with a smile. That’s not difficult to do, and a simple hello and a smile can ofttimes mean so much to others. Then shake a stranger’s hand and exchange a few words with him or her. Wow! What a Christ-like act! And remember friends, our God has a welcoming heart for strangers as we see all through the Bible. That means we too must have a welcoming heart towards strangers.

Oh, then tell someone we LOVE them from the bottom of our hearts! Mama Mia! What can be more Christ-like and endearing than that eh my brethren? Nothing really, if our greeting is sincere! And I just LOVE this next sentiment: make sure my children know right from wrong!

Oh my people, that is the basic panacea for what ails our world! We’ve not done a very good job on that front at all, otherwise our children would not be so lost and fragile that they can fall for all the nonsense the evil world has to offer. And it’s not too late my people. Remember while there is life there is ALWAYS hope, hope in Jesus, who can do ALL things!

And hear this other strong point of Jesus nuh; never turn my back on those in need! Oh fellow believers in Christ, that’s exactly what He did when He came down here from heaven to save us from the fiery halls of Hades; He offered us help in our time of need! Now it’s only appropriate that we should do the same for our fellow man.

And this last sentiment will help us to do all of them; try to see ourselves through the eyes of another person. Oh Glory to God my people!

When we can truly do that, and let it control our actions and emotions, then we are indeed being truly Christ-like! For we never truly know what others are going through and why they behave the way they do. So let’s stop being as judgmental as we now are nuh, because it’s the mark of a true Christian!

Oh friends, it’s obvious that the passion is flowing through the ole fella this morning, (smile) so please, I implore us, let’s not allow it to go to waste nuh, because it will also be a sad waste of Jesus’ sacrifice. As our Bit so wonderfully proclaims, in Jesus’ own words: ‘For God sent not his Son into world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’

Oh my people, if God sacrificed His Son to save us, why can’t we sacrifice a little of ourselves to help save our children, our neighbours, our friends, our families and our badly suffering world eh? That is just simple common sense in a heart beating for Christ! Much LOVE!

…let’s open up our eyes…and make that resolution…to try and change the world…one day at a time…TODAY…


 
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 January 2016 John 3:16‏

John 3:16.  For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Ah Friends, it’s another day in the life! Glory to God! So we had better enjoy it while we have it because it’s very fragile and can be extinguished as quickly as a flame. Apparently this happened to one of my best buddies recently. 

Last Sunday evening I opened my e-mail and was greeted by one saying ‘Bad News.’ Obviously, with some anxiety, I wondered what that bad news could be. Unfortunately it informed me of the passing of my friend, and sometimes accomplice, Paul Lawrence at the University of the West Indies Hospital in Mona Jamaica. Ah Lord eh! 

I had no idea that he was even sick. Apparently he was recently diagnosed with oral cancer, had surgery last week, and was recuperating nicely, then suddenly and unexpectedly passed away early Sunday morning. That’s why it’s ever so important to have our lives right with our Maker, because we never know when He’ll call us home. 

Paul and I spent a lot of good times together when I attended U.W.I in Mona, many years ago. I first saw Montego Bay when he invited me to stay down there with his family. We were in the same classes, beat pan together, and generally had a good time around the campus. Those were the days! 

Studying was not even an option. (smile) I remember at the end of our first year, Paul coming to me to teach him statistics! Hn! What a joke! I was certainly no better than him in that subject. 

And on the day of the exam, in the big, quiet room, we just looked at each other and laughed, because the questions were way above our heads. Then, long before the official end, we just gave up our papers and walked out. 

Obviously we failed that subject, but passed the make up exam a few weeks later. And on reflection, I have to assume that was through divine guidance, since we didn’t know much more than the first time. (smile) 

Aye Pablo mih brother, you might be gone but certainly not forgotten. You were much LOVED for your kindness as well as your pranks and sometimes irreverent ways. I know your family is hurting through your unexpected demise, but they are strong and will always have you in their hearts. Hope you are resting peacefully in the bosom of the Lord. Bye! 

Yeh Friends, Pablo is gone, and many of you who read the Bit knew him, and though we might miss him, we just have to enjoy the memories and move on with our lives until our day of departure arrives. Remember that weeping and sadness may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning. (Ps.30:5) 

And since it’s Tuesday morning, let’s declare our Tuesday Mantra with true feeling and sincerity. As one 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!’ 

Yes my fellow believers, above all else we are the beloved children of God, friend and brother of Jesus! That no one can take away from us. So please let’s live like it nuh. Let’s be LOVING and kind, caring and compassionate, like the Father and Jesus have been to us, as so wonderfully declared in our Bit. 

For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ 

Oh my brethren, every time I read that sentence my heart just lights up as it appreciates the awesome LOVE our Creator had, and still has for us, awful sinners that we are! 

Now let’s continue looking at the particular scripture in John’s first gospel, which so eloquently speaks of that undeniable LOVE! Yesterday we ended at verse 8: ‘He that LOVETH not knoweth not God; for God is LOVE. (1 John 4:8) 

We’ll pick it from there. ‘In this was manifested the LOVE of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.’ (I John 4:9) 

And the scholars have this to say about that verse. ‘’4:9. To grasp God’s LOVE aright, one must look to how God has demonstrated it. Here John is in total harmony with Paul (Rom.5:8).’ 

And for our edification, (smile) Romans 5:8 says: ‘But God commendeth his LOVE (demonstrates His own LOVE) toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ Now there’s no higher way that God could have shown His awesome LOVE for us my people! 

And John continues with his declaration that lends authenticity to Bruh Paul’s statement. ‘Herein is LOVE, not that we LOVED God, but that he (first) LOVED us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation  (atonement) for our sins.’ (1 John 4:10) 

That’s the gospel truth friends! And the scholars declare: ‘4:10. No human LOVE is the standard for understanding God’s great compassion, but God’s own action on man’s behalf.’ 

More gospel truth people! Our finite human minds are too small and our standards too low, to truly comprehend God’s amazing compassion for us! 

And John continues: ‘Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we LOVE one another, God dwelleth in us, and his LOVE is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.’ (1 John 4:11-13) More words of truth and wisdom friends! 

And we’ll end with this explanation from the scholars. ‘4:11-13. God’s character, through His Spirit, is to shape and progressively dominate the character of the believer. The Spirit of God imparts the will to LOVE.’ 

Please my fellow believers, let’s allow the Holy Spirit to do it’s job in is today nuh, for that is the wisdom of heaven! Much LOVE!

…when the Holy Spirit truly works in us…it produces the LOVE of God… 

P.S. Sorry about the lateness of the Bit friends, but it’s just been one of those nights. (smile) Oh, it might be even later tomorrow, because I’m going out of town tonight, and I don’t know what time I’ll actually return. But hang in there, it will eventually arrive, the Lord in favour. Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 September 2015 Matthew 9:37

Matthew 9:37.   Then saith he (Jesus) unto his disciples, the harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few.

Aye Friends, as they say, after one time is two yes…and sometimes even three. (smile) What brought up that saying is my not remembering that today is Labour Day and thus a long weekend. That means I also forgot to give you Granny’s spiel about; ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober please mind your business.’ (smile) 

Ah mih people, life and times certainly do change yes, as in my earlier years I never forgot two seminal days, Caribana Saturday and Labour Day. But I guess as my physical self deteriorated and I was no longer able to participate as physically as I would like, I just stopped paying any attention to them. 

At one stage every Labour Day I would be in New York, checking out the Pan Competition with my Uncle John and Auntie Anne, and trawling the Eastern Parkway from top to bottom, but no longer, those days are simply memories, good ones. 

In any case the festivals are not as good as they used to be. Everything is now watered down; the costumes and the music are mere shadows of their earlier years. However, please be careful as you ramp up the celebrations this Labour Day weekend, and remember Granny’s wonderful advice. 

And to make matters even more interesting, today is also Election Day in T&T. I wonder how many people have left to go to New York for Labour Day, instead of staying and fulfilling their societal obligations? Whatever happens though, I just hope that we elect a responsible government, because it’s time to cut out all the crime and corruption and get our beautiful twin islands back to a state of godliness and thus prosperity. 

Now, to help those who have to go to work on this Labour Day, let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with much energy and enthusiasm. 

As one soulful choir 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!’ 

Oh Friends, that was truly energetic and enthusiastic but somewhat hoarse and scratchy, like an old vinyl record on a turntable. I guess many of you have been into celebration mode long ago, and your voices were the loudest because you don’t have to work today. But just remember to be careful, because Beelzebub is out there prowling like a hungry wolf amongst a flock of sheep, just waiting for one of us to go astray, so that he can pounce on us. And we definitely can’t allow that to happen. 

And isn’t it upsetting, disturbing and disappointing that on this Labour Day of 2015 there is a dearth of labour for the many labourers? It brings to mind our Bit. ‘Then saith he (Jesus) unto his disciples, the harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few.’ Only now the tables are turned; the harvest is scanty and the labourers are plentiful. 

Yes Friends there is indeed a scarcity of jobs for an extremely large labour force. Even people with higher education have to take menial jobs for which they are over qualified. And the sad fact is that the captains of industry don’t care about the social cost of joblessness to the society, they are only interested in the bottom line and their fat, undeserved remuneration, with golden and platinum parachutes et al. 

There is no reason in God’s world why a captain of industry should be making three to four hundred times that of a lowly shop floor worker. But unfortunately that is today’s norm. And when they want to cut costs, the first place they cut is the workforce. Ah Lord eh! 

And they wonder why there is so much dissatisfaction and angst, anger and rebellion across the whole world. And then the seething strife and numerous wars that are currently dominating the earth don’t help matters either, for they just cause more unnecessary calamity and provoke refugee situations like we’re now experiencing. 

But what annoys me most about the situation is that everybody is so concerned about finding somewhere for the refugees to go, when the best solution would be to end the strife and war in the countries from which they are fleeing. That’s where our efforts should be concentrated so there would not be such a big influx of refugees. 

Anyway Friends, that’s just my humble take on the situation, which brings us back to our Bit. Before Jesus said it, the Good Book tells us: ‘But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted (were weary), and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.’ (Matt.9:36) 

And sadly, that is exactly what’s happening in our world today, both with the refugee situation as well as in many countries, third and also first world. And it certainly seems that we Christians are the only ones who have the compassionate hearts to help stem the roaring tide of ‘sufferation.’ That’s why we need to do as Jesus says afterward. ‘Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.’ (Matt.9:38) 

Yes Friends,  the only way that we comparatively few Christians can make a substantial difference in this troubled and severely hurting world, is with the Lord’s august help. So please, let’s sincerely pray for His help and guidance and wisdom to enable us to make a worthwhile difference and thus glorify His Holy Name. Much LOVE!

…how can men eat…support their families…if they can’t get work eh…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 August 2015 Philippians 3:13

Philippians 3:13.  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. 

Top o’ the morn, mih breddren! A glorious day lies ahead of us, filled with all sorts of wonderful goodies prepared by our wonderful God, especially for this Saturday in August 2015. Glory to God! 

He is so good to us that there are no words to truly do Him justice. Magnificent, majestic, magnanimous, mercurial, come close, but still leave something unsaid. His unconditional LOVE, and the undeserved blessings, mercies, forgiveness and compassion poured out on us, especially the sacrifice of His only Son Jesus… 

Oh Friends, they are indescribable. (smile) And the least we can do is return His LOVING-kindness with that of our own, to the best of our ability, through obedience, praise, worship, thanksgiving and glorification. 

And having said all of that, here is an interesting quote from Laura Palmer. It seems that she was a character on the 1990 hit TV. show Twin Peaks, which apparently is being revived.  I guess there is also a book called the Secret Diary of Laura Palmer with a number of her quotes. 

This one says that, ‘The past should be culled like a box of fresh strawberries, rinsed of debris, sweetened judiciously and served in small portions, not very often.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my people. The past should not be dwelt upon, as so many of us do, thereby hampering the present and shortchanging the future.  Like Laura says, we ought to just wrap it up nicely and occasionally trot out the good parts. 

And my One More Day Devotional for People with Chronic Illness, from which I got the quote, further states. ‘Fond memories are healthy when they remind us how our lives are formed and shaped by our experiences. Memories reveal our development into the productive people we are today. Life does get better every day because we have both the joys of the present and some sweet memories of the past.’ 

But Friends, we MUST NOT LIVE IN THE PAST, but rather concentrate on each day as something new and alive with lots of wonderful promise. Too many of us look to the past too often and either dredge up the distasteful bits, or talk too much about the good old days. 

Certainly the old days were good, but believe me my people, our best days are still out in front of us. And until we realize this, our days will be gloomy and miserable reminiscing too much  on what’s already past, and not making new and wonderful dreams for today and tomorrow. 

That brings us to our very appropriate Bit from Bruh Paul to the Philippians. ‘Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.’ 

Yuh see that Friends, though Bruh Paul had reached some glorious heights in his ministry and walk with Jesus, he still maintained that he hadn’t reached where he really wanted to be. His objective is to know Christ as fully as can be; ‘experiencing His power, sharing His sufferings, being made like Jesus in death, and experiencing resurrection from the dead. 

At this point in his life the apostle does know Christ, but not to the full extent possible. He has experienced His power, but not to the degree he desires. He has been made like Jesus in His death, but can still die more to sin and self. He does “walk in newness of life,” but there is room for improvement.’ 

And so is there for all of us my fellow believers. Those are some explanations from the scholars on verse 12. Therefore since Bruh Paul has not attained his objective, he’s intent on putting everything behind him, so that he can concentrate on what is coming on the next wave.  

The scholars explain verse 13. thus: ‘3:13. Forgetting those things which are behind refers both to his religious credentials (vs. 5-6), now counted “as loss” (v.7), and to his past Christian achievements and successes. In ever pursuing his goal to know Christ, (v.10), he refuses to let past guilt pull him down, or to rest on past laurels. Either could spell spiritual disaster.’ 

Oh my fellow believers are we pursuing the things of Christ, pressing on towards the mark, reaching out to those things which are in front of us, not letting the past distract us from the future, wanting to know Christ so badly that we can think of nothing else? 

Oh, I know that not all of us can have Bruh Paul’s zeal, knowledge and perseverance, but we can all do much better than we’re currently doing. If we are truthful with ourselves, many of us are not really concentrating on maturing in our Christian walk, but are just ambling along, without any real zeal or purpose. That certainly is not good enough Friends. 

As believers in Christ, we have to have a hunger for Him, for the things which pertain to Him. ‘That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable to his death.’ (Phil.3:10) That’s what Bruh Paul desired, and what we should also be desirous of; that strong feeling to get to know Christ as well as we possibly can. 

It’s not easy, as Bruh Paul certainly found out, but he never gave up on his quest, and neither should we, for as we know, all things are possible with Jesus who strengthens us. (Phil.4:13) 

So today my brethren, please let’s stop living in the past and look to the glorious future that Jesus has in store for us. Remember too what He said way back when, in talking about the tests of discipleship. ‘No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of heaven.’ (Luke 9:62) 

Yes Friends, anyone who puts other matters before God’s work, is of little use to Him. Please don’t forget that, for it’s the wisdom of heaven!  Much LOVE!

…but his wife (Lot’s) looked back…and she became a pillar of salt… (Gen.19:26)

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