Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 December 2016 Matthew 6:33.

Matthew 6:33.    But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. 

Well friends, the big day of New Year’s Eve is finally here! The partying will be sensational, the food will be to die for and the alco will be flowing like water! And everybody will hug and kiss at midnight and wish everyone a Happy New Year. Our society will be overflowing with good feelings for at least one time in the year. Glory to God! 

And everybody will be making resolutions to improve every aspect of their lives. But wait, by a couple of weeks later all those promising resolutions would have unfortunately bitten the dust. Most of us will revert to our former selves and our former caustic, uncaring behaviour, for the New Year’s scene is simply one without any real substance. We create a great clamour as we ring in the New Year, but in truth it only lasts for a short while, since nothing much changes from one day to the next. 

Oh I know some of you might think I’m being pessimistic, but I’m simply being realistic. I’ve seen it happen for so many years of my life, and each year our society becomes more evil and ungodly. Now nothing is wrong with a good party, but when we place so much emphasis on it and we don’t follow through, then it becomes a waste of time. 

Now since it’s Saturday, here are a few quotes, resolutions, from our friend Anselm, who aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Here is the first one. ‘One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this – To rise above the little things.’ And that does make sense, because we should never sweat the little things. 

Then he says: ‘Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better person.’ Now that makes sense too. And the third one declares: ‘Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.’ And the last one is: ‘Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.’ 

Oh my people, all those resolutions are useful in their own way, but we don’t need so many. As I said at the end of last year, there is ONLY ONE RESOLUTION we need to make, and that is a sincere and diligent resolve to walk closer with Jesus, our Lord, Saviour, Friend, Brother, etc. etc. each and every day that His wonderful breath of life courses through our bodies! End of story! 

Walking sincerely with Jesus, and trying to be a more mature Christian encompasses everything else we need or want to do.  Why do you think He went through the trouble in the Sermon on the Mount to tell us our Bit eh? ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.’  Yes my fellow believers, all who have pledged their allegiance to Jesus, must keep on seeking His kingdom and its righteousness without ceasing. 

Then Jesus adds: ‘Take therefore no thought for the morrow (Therefore do not worry about tomorrow): for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt.6:33) 

And the scholars tell us, re those two verses. ‘6:33-34. The present imperative form of the verb (Gr. zeteo) indicates a continual or constant seeking. The contrast between the spiritual and the material is again emphasized. The believer is to seek first the righteousness that is characteristic of God’s kingdom and then all these things (material things) shall be added to him. 

When our priority is spiritual, God will take care of the material, for where God guides, He provides. We need not even worry about tomorrow, for sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. (v.34) This means that each day has its own troubles and challenges to be responsibly handled, without worrying about the hypothetical problems that could arise tomorrow.’  

And the sad part is that many of us Christians are material seekers as well as tomorrow worriers! The things of the world take first place in our lives, and consequently we have to worry about what will happen tomorrow. But if we just concentrate on following Jesus, we won’t have those things to worry about and all our material needs would be met. 

Hear what Bruh Paul told Timothy on the subject. ‘But refuse (reject) profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. 

This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. These things command and teach.’ (1 Tim.4:7-11)  

Now listen to the scholars. ‘4:8. The verse may be paraphrased, “For physical exercise is of limited value, but godliness, the result of spiritual exercise, has unlimited value, since it brings blessings for both now and eternity.’ 

Yeh friends, if we seek God first, things like physical exercise, healthy diets, and all the stuff we feel we need, they will be inculcated into our walk with Him. As we go, Jesus will see what we need and guide us and give us the wherewithal to accomplish them. 

And if you want an example of all that we’ve said, just read about Cousin Sol in 1 Kings 3:3-15, and you’ll see when he asked the Lord for wisdom and understanding to rule his people Israel, instead of riches and honour, the Lord made him both the wisest and richest man who ever lived. 

Friends, He will do the same thing for each of us who sincerely surrenders to and trusts in Him. Now the burning question I have to ask before we close, is did we walk closer with Jesus this year, did we become more mature, more spiritually minded Christians? 

Now only you and Jesus know the answer, and I sincerely hope we did. But just in case we didn’t, I’m pleading with us to make walking closer with Jesus our ONE and ONLY resolution for 2017. Let’s seriously focus in on it nuh. So at the end of 2017, if we’re still around, and I ask that question again, this time I’ll get a joyful shout of ‘Yes, I did!’ Now that’s wisdom at its zenith! Much LOVE!

…dress up in yuh fancy dan-dan…and party hearty…but please remember…that drunk or sober…to mind yuh business…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 December 2016 Ephesians 5:18.

Ephesians 5:18.   And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation): but be filled with the Spirit.

Aw shucks friends, is it Friday already? It surely is. But that’s what happens when you only work three days of the week, you don’t realize that time is flying by. And please be careful out on the roads this morning because some snow fell again last night. Steups! Like it’s becoming a regular habit now! A li’l bit every night now. 

But that doesn’t stop the Friday workers posse from enthusiastically declaring: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday…And New Year’s Eve Friday too! So you can imagine the partying! Brother! Waters flowing for so…an’ everybody black up! With the high class ones and them drinking champagne to ring in the New Year! 

But regardless of what yuh drinking, you have plenty time to drink it, because is another long weekend. No work till Tuesday! Mama Yo! Thank the Lord for Fridays and long weekends yes!’ 

And all of that is gospel truth my people. There will be more drinking this New Year’s weekend than at any other time of the year. And we certainly need to remember Granny’s wise advice: ‘Sonny Boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’ 

Yes friends, because at this time of year, Lucifer is smiling from ear to ear, knowing that the probability of getting into our lives is much higher than normal with all the licentious celebrations planned for it. 

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

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

It’s three days this weekend, but that scenario does make more sense, and is a better-balanced way of life, which we need if we’re going to succeed in this crazy, ungodly world. 

That brings us to our rather appropriate and explicit Bit. (smile) ‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation): but be filled with the Spirit.’ Ah friends, it couldn’t be any more explicit than that! 

But before we get into our Bit, let’s look at a few verses before it. Bruh Paul told the Ephesians quite openly. ‘See then that ye walk circumspectly (carefully), not as fools, but as wise. Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.’ (Eph.5:15-17)

Yes my fellow believers, we have to be very careful how we live in these wicked and sinful times. Now here are some explanations from the scholars. ‘5:16. Redeeming the time (or “making the most of every opportunity”). 

Contextually, the specific opportunity in view is that of exposing the sins of the lost and being a witness to them. Because the days are evil assigns a reason to seize each opportunity. It is because the sins being committed during these days are so evil.’ And are they ever! 

‘5:17. Wherefore looks back to the evil days of verse 16. Since the current age is so perilous morally, Christians must clearly understand what the will of the Lord is.’ 

Then Bruh Paul got into our Bit. And the scholars provide an interesting explanation of it. 

‘5:18. This verse gives an example of what is and what is not the Lord’s will (v.17). Believers are not allowed to be intoxicated with alcoholic beverages; the reason for this prohibition is wherein is excess; that is drunkenness leads to moral intemperance. 

This is clearly contrary to God’s will. His will is that Christians be filled with (by) the Spirit; that is, they are to allow Him to fill them with God’s own life, character and virtues. 

The analogy between these two moral states is this: a person filled with wine is under its influence; similarly, a Christian is filled with the Spirit when He (the Holy Spirit) controls his thoughts, attitudes, and actions.’ 

And it all makes a whole lotta sense, for who wants to be controlled by alcohol eh, when the Holy Spirit of the Most High God Jehovah can successfully control us! 

Okay, so a small portion likes the control of the alcohol, but that’s not wisdom my brethren, because then you have no idea of what you’re doing, and it will eventually lead to some serious disaster. That’s definitely not the will of the Lord for His people. 

Now let’s continue with Bruh Paul’s spiel to the Ephesians, re what they should be doing. ‘Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph.5:19-21) 

Yes precious people of God, those are the kinds of things expected of us! It doesn’t mean we can’t have fun, but we need to have our p’s and q’s about us if we don’t want to succumb to Beelzebub’s evil and sinful frivolities. 

So please let’s think sensibly about what kind of New Year’s Eve we are going to have nuh…whether we will bow to Lucifer or to Jesus Christ. I’m depending on us to make the right decision. Much LOVE!

…a man can only march to one drumbeat at a time…likewise…he can only have one Leader at a time…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 December 2016 Philippian 3:13.

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

And then it was Thursday, two days away from the great celebration of New Year’s Eve, with a smattering of fresh snow on the ground. It’s not a great deal, but sufficient to cause problems if we’re not careful. So please be careful on the roads this morning. 

And despite problems and otherwise, everybody is getting their dan-dan, (smile) their finery ready to go out and party and ring in the New Year with much pomp and ceremony. 

But here again, please, let’s just be careful while we’re having fun, because the slightest mistake whatever it may be, can cause disaster. And we certainly don’t want to ring in the New Year amidst a disastrous scene. 

Now here is a simple but interesting prayer I got from one of the Daily Bread Devotionals. Please pray with me: ‘Father, teach me to trust You for the strength to endure difficulties and the faith to wait for Your good purposes to be accomplished within me.’ 

Yeh friends, there’s nothing like trusting our heavenly Father and waiting with eager anticipation for His promises and purposes to be done in us, for spiritually we’re still a work in progress, and He’s continually molding and shaping us into reflections of His Son, Jesus Christ. 

No wonder Bruh Paul could declare in our Bit: ‘Brethren, I count not my self to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.’ 

Yes, he was still in that molding process. In spite of all his successes and achievements, Bruh Paul still felt he hadn’t attained that level of maturity and ‘knowing Christ,’ the way he wanted to. 

Consequently he stopped concentrating on what had gone before, accounting it all loss and dung to the wonderful privilege of advancing his knowledge in Christ in the foreseeable future. 

And to continue his noble search, he further declares after our Bit. ‘I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.3:14) 

That verse the scholars explain thus: ‘3:14. The mark is the objective of verses 10 and 11 (i.e. knowing Christ). The prize is the joyful personal satisfaction of having attained it, as well as the divine commendation and reward to be granted in heaven for having reached this goal on earth. The high calling of God is the divine summons extended to the believer for salvation.’ 

Oh my people, there can be no higher calling than that of God, which exists through Jesus Christ, bringing the wonderful gifts of grace called salvation and eternal life! 

Now the smart or wise thing for us all to do is to simply keep pressing on, reaching out for the prize, racking up rewards in heaven for the things we’ve done here on earth. 

And as Bruh Paul continues: ‘Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.’ (Phil3:15) 

And the scholars explain: 3:15. Be thus minded literally means “let us think this” or “let us hold this opinion.” Mature Christians must realize that they are not ethically perfect, but they tirelessly press onward for higher spiritual attainments (vv.13-14). 

There is present, then, a bit of irony: perfect (mature) believers are those who admit they are not perfect in any absolute sense. The apostle urges all mature Philippian Christians to hold his attitude; conceding that none has yet “spiritually arrived” but ever pressing on toward further development. 

If…ye be otherwise minded: The writer realizes that not all of the Philippian readers agree with this conviction of verses 12-15. But he is confident that God shall reveal their erroneous thinking to them.’ 

Likewise my faithful brethren, in these modern times we believers must also press on, seeking spiritual maturity in our earthly sojourn. And just like the Philippians, some of us might not agree with that path, but God will undoubtedly show us the error of our ways, if we don’t hold fast to that commitment. 

And Bruh Paul reminds us: ‘Nevertheless, whereto (to the degree that) we have already attained (arrived, reached), let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing (be of the same mind).’ (Phil.3:16) And that is simple common sense my people. 

But hear the scholars’ comments. ‘3:16. Whereto we have already obtained refers to whatever level of Christian knowledge and maturity the Philippians have attained since conversion. 

They are to walk by the same rule, that is, live in accord with the same level of knowledge and maturity, if God is going to give them further light. Fidelity to the truth possessed is a condition for receiving more.’ 

Yes friends, at whatever our level of spiritual maturity, that is the standard to which we must walk, if we want to eventually move up higher. 

So let’s go home with that in our minds and our Thursday Blessings being proclaimed by our tongues. Remember, a blessing is not a blessing until it’s been spoken over someone. 

Now in full voice and strong belief: ‘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!’ 

Oh friends, we are so blessed by our wonderful God, let’s go out and bless others nuh and thus glorify His Holy Name! Much LOVE!

…God won’t give us more…until He sees we can handle what we already have…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 December 2016 Philippian 3:13.

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

Well mih people, the long Christmas weekend is finally over, and it’s time to get back to some semblance of normalcy, especially where work is concerned. Some of us might even have forgotten how to do our jobs having being off for so long. (smile) 

But not to worry, our great God is still in control of His universe and everything will fall into place as He decrees it. But we still have to get one more holiday out of the way, New Years Eve. 

Hn! And sometimes that can be even more deadly than the Christmas cheer, since it’s an out and out party scene. The coming of a new year changes nothing, for most of our resolutions get thrown by the wayside soon thereafter. But I guess it’s just a way to party hearty and fool ourselves. 

Anyway, enough of throwing my cold water on the New Year’s Eve celebrations, (smile) for the Christmas season is still with us. And please friends, when we go back out to work today, let’s keep that sense of Christmas, that sense of peace and goodwill to all, still burning bright nuh. 

Let’s not be like the radio stations; as soon as Christmas day is past, they stop playing Christmas music, but let’s continue sharing all the good things that Christ’s birth brought. Now before we get into our Bit, let’s check out a couple verses before it, so that we can have some idea of the context in which Bruh Paul is speaking. 

In verse 10, he declares: ‘That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death. (Phil.3:10) Bruh Paul wants to personally know Christ so that he can experience His resurrection power and share in His sufferings, which will make him more conformable to Christ’s death. 

‘If by any means I might attain unto (arrive at) the resurrection of the dead.’ (Phil.3:11) 

And the scholars tell us: ‘3:11. If by any means I might attain means “in order that I may attain” the resurrection from the dead. Like the preceding verse, this one also contains a literal and a non-literal interpretation. 

Paul is eager to become more like Jesus in His death (v.10) so that he can (1) progressively experience more of the believer’s resurrection life to be enjoyed now (“newness of life,” Rom.6:4), and (2) so that he can someday undergo physical resurrection from the grave, thus experiencing God’s power in one of its greatest aspects.’ 

And he continues: ‘Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which I am also apprehended of Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.3:12) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘3:12. Paul denies that he has already attained his objective of verse 10 and 11. That objective is to know Christ and all that is in included in this knowledge, that is 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 he can still die more to sin and self. He does “walk in newness of life,” but there is room for improvement. 

Either were already perfect: Unlike the perfectionists who claim to be sinless in this life, Paul admits that he is not. If the chief of the apostles does not feel he has “arrived” spiritually, then neither should we. 

I follow after…Christ Jesus. Christ “laid hold of” Paul on the Damascus road for the very objective mentioned in verses 10 and 11: “to know him.” Paul concedes that he has not yet realized this goal to the full extent possible, but he is in hot pursuit of it.’ 

Ah friends, I hope that we too are in hot pursuit of knowing Jesus, for it’s the only that makes sense in a Christian’s life. 

And finally, we come to our Bit. ‘Brethren, I count not my self to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.’ 

Oh mih people, Bruh Paul was certainly something else yes. Whatever he pursued, he pursued with lots of zeal. I only hope that we could have half of his zeal as we live our lives for Christ in these modern but evil and ungodly times. 

Now hear what the scholars have to say about that verse. 3:13. 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. 

Those things which are before refers to his goal of knowing Christ, with all that implies: experiencing His power and participating in His suffering, becoming more like Him in death (v.10), and experiencing the resurrected life.’ 

Oh friends, I know that the Bit is long, somewhat heavy and confusing this morning, (smile) but it is essential that as we grow in faith we also grow in scriptural knowledge. And that can only be done by taking time to read and study and meditate on God’s word. 

The important thing is that we truly want to know God, Bruh Paul style, so please let’s get serious about it and truly delve in to it, stop merely playing around the fringes. Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday wail with much zest and a strong sense of purpose. 

As one now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

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

Now please let’s go out and put all that we’ve said today into action, as true believers. Much LOVE my people!

…we can only know Jesus…if we work steadily and steadfastly with Him…forgetting what has gone before and looking to the future with Him…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 January 2016 Psalm 42:5b

Psalm 42:5b.       HOPE THOU IN GOD!

 HAPPY  NEW  YEAR!

Oh mih precious people, my fellow believers in Jesus Christ, it’s New Year’s Day 2016! Glory Hallelujah! 

It means that through the blessed kindness and mercies of our great God, we are now one year older, wiser and closer to Him in the physical sense. (smile) Let’s hope that we are also closer to Him in the spiritual sense. 

The year 2015 is now dead and gone. Good riddance! And we have a brand new year to look forward to, where we can do all that we didn’t do last year and correct all our mistakes too. Oh glory to a most wonderful God who gives us multiple chances at correcting our mistakes. 

And would you believe that for the first time in several years the ole fella went out New Year’s Eve and party, out in the east end of Scarberia (Scarborough)? I didn’t drive, so I was happy to go. 

And was the party ever good mih breddren! Mama Yo! The food was good, the company and party spirit most excellent, and the D.J. of ‘Enforcas’ fame was smart enough to play music targeted to our generation. 

And did we ever party down the place! You should have seen the ole fella stepping; stepping like he hasn’t done in many a year, but still with a modicum of circumspection, remembering Granny’s dictum; ‘Sonny Boy, please remember, that drunk or sober, to mind yuh business.’ 

And I did mind my business, and the knees, except for the occasional pain held up remarkably well. They even feel fine this morning…Glory to God! 

But it’s Friday friends, so let’s not forget our Friday Chant, which I believe we particularly need to act as an anchor for our souls in this party season. All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

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

Yeh people, we need to remember moderation in all that we do this long New Year’s weekend, plus Granny’s advice above, if we don’t want the ole crook Beelzebub to seep and/or creep into our souls and gain an undesirable foothold. It’s definitely too early in the year for that. 

And believe me friends, we really need to clean up our act in our world this year, otherwise I’m not sure if we’ll be around to see 2017. All the unnecessary strife and wars and resentment, the hate and anger, the greed and selfishness, the economic downturn, the poverty and homelessness that are currently permeating our world are NO GOOD! 

The really sad and worrisome part is that we are creating new arenas of strife everyday, but without ending any of the already ongoing ones. And we haven’t even considered the many unusual natural disasters that are occurring regularly. Put all that negativity together, and there is only one way for that to play out my people – disastrously! 

That’s why I’m calling 2016, the YEAR OF HOPE, for without it, our world will just continue its downward spiral until it simply implodes. And we definitely don’t want that. That’s why I also chose the one sentence of Psalm 42:5 as our Bit: ‘HOPE THOU IN GOD!’ 

Ah my fellow believers in Christ, that’s the ONLY place we can find true HOPE, and the ONLY person who can help us turn things around! And remember too, that we Christians are the ONLY ones on planet earth who truly desire to live in peace, LOVE and unity, so it’s all in our hands. As we go, so will the world. 

We need to stand up strong and steadfast and fight the negativity that’s strangling our world. We need to uplift, to motivate, to encourage others to join the one movement that can save us; the LOVE Revolution of Jesus Christ! It’s now or never my brethren! 

So, having said all of that, I just want to fill our minds today with scriptures of HOPE. And there’s no better place to begin than with God’s faithful promise from Jeremiah that we all know, but our actions say we don’t truly feel in our hearts and souls. 

‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a HOPE.’ (Jer.29:11) Well let’s truly feel it this year nuh friends. 

And we have this other faithful promise from Zechariah. ‘Turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of HOPE: even today do I declare that I will render (restore) double unto thee.’ (Zech.9:12) 

Yes my precious people, I want us ALL to become prisoners of HOPE in this year of 2016 and wisely turn to the stronghold that’s the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! 

Now hear these encouraging words of Bruh David from Psalm 16. ’I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest (dwell securely) in HOPE.’ (Ps.16:8-9) 

Now here is another famous scripture that we all know, this time from the pen of our zealous brother, Bruh Paul, as he talks about life in the Spirit. ‘For we are saved by HOPE: but HOPE that is seen is not HOPE: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet HOPE for? But if we HOPE for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) (eagerly) wait for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) 

Meanwhile, in his call to Christian dedication, Peter tells us. ‘Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind (prepare your mind for action), be sober, and HOPE to the end for grace (rest your HOPE fully upon the grace) that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.’ (1 Pet.1:13) 

And I think the scholars’ explanation here will be very useful. ‘1:13. The exhortation to set one’s HOPE involves an inward resolution. Gird up the loins of your mind: The imagery is that of personal discipline and outward conduct. Be sober  (Gr. nephontes): be free of every sort of mental and spiritual intoxication. The revelation of Jesus Christ is the Second Advent when Jesus returns to earth to set up His kingdom.’ 

Yes friends, we desperately need to get that resolve, discipline and stick-to-itiveness if we are going to raise the level of the LOVE Revolution! 

Now here is something from Jeremiah’s Lamentations. ‘The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I HOPE in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both HOPE and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.’ (Lam.3:24-26) 

And we’ll end with these most encouraging words from Bruh David from Psalm 31- In thee O Lord, do I put my trust. ‘Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that HOPE in the Lord.’ (Ps.31:24) Gospel truth that my people! 

So let’s go out this New Year’s Day, and forever more, HOPING in our great God, for that is wisdom at its very zenith. Much LOVE!

…remember…you can’t have faith without HOPE…and while there is life…there is ALWAYS HOPE in Almighty God….  

P.S. It’s obvious the ole fella went to bed late, so the Bit is somewhat tardy. (smile) HOPE you enjoy it, as much as I enjoyed writing it. Much LOVE!

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 December 2015 Luke 2:33‏‏‏

Luke 2:33.  And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which were spoken of him. 

Well Friends, it’s Old Years, New year’s Eve; 2015 is on its last legs. And it’s a day that many of us have been looking forward to, hoping to come out from under its suffocating shroud and shadow into a new year that promises so much. 

But let’s remember friends that a new year is just another day, and nothing much changes from one day to the next. And though we might have several areas of our lives that need upgrading, let’s not burden ourselves with too many resolutions. 

As I said sometime before, there’s only ONE that we really need to make, and that’s being a stronger and more faithful follower of Jesus!  

When we accomplish that, everything else will fall into place. So just enjoy the partying and don’t be overly concerned about New Year’s resolutions, just concentrate on Jesus, and everything will be fine. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit, because I want to finish this series of messages on Mary today. ‘And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which were spoken of him.’ 

Ah mih people, what an interesting and no doubt sometimes frustrating experience Joseph and Mary had as Jesus’ parents. And none was more frustrating than this one. We’re talking about the time when Jesus was twelve and his family went up to Jerusalem as usual for the feast of the Passover. 

Because of the big gathering of the extended family from Nazareth, when they left for home they automatically thought that Jesus was in the company of his relatives. But unfortunately he was not. When they realized this they turned back to Jerusalem. 

And the Good Book details it thus: ‘And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the midst of the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors (teachers), both hearing them and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.’ (Luke 2:46-47) 

Wow! Imagine a twelve year old reasoning intelligently with the rabbis and teachers of the Jewish nation nuh. That also begs the question where did He eat and sleep and wash for those three days? Hn! 

The scholars explain that last verse by saying: ‘2:47. This may be due not only to Jesus’ person but also to a careful upbringing by His parents. The Old Testament placed great responsibility on parents to saturate their children’s minds with Scripture. (Deut. 6:7).’ 

And yuh know what my people? That responsibility has never been cancelled! It’s still our duty today to inculcate the Scriptures into the minds of our children. It’s jut that we have shrugged it off. That’s why our children are the godless way they are right now, and we have no one else to blame but ourselves. 

But anyway, can you imagine the concern, the anxiety Jesus’ parents must have had, no doubt blaming them selves for not paying closer attention to his whereabouts? Unlike a lot of us today who don’t know where our children are, and don’t seem to care. 

And the Good Book continues the story: ‘And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us (done this to us)? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing (anxiously). And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist (know) ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?’ (Luke 2:48-49) 

Ah Lord eh! Imagine at twelve years old talking to your parents like that nuh! Hn! Some of us would have been begging Santa to bring us some new teeth. (smile) 

The scholars explain that bit of impropriety by saying: ‘2:49. Wist ye not or “Did you not realize?” There is a certain tension between Jesus’ responsibility to parents on the one hand and to His heavenly Father on the other.’

I guess you could quite rightly say that, although at twelve years of age it does seem a bit much. 

However the Good Book goes on to say: ‘And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.’ (Luke 2:50-52) 

Poor Mary and Joseph didn’t know what was really happening, and though Jesus went home with them and seems to have behaved properly after that, Mary still kept all those things in her heart, and no doubt pondered them regularly. 

And again, like after His circumcision, we see that Jesus grew strong and wise and found favour with everybody. 

The scholars tell us there: ‘2:52. The picture is one of consistent and well-rounded growth. There follows a gap of nearly two decades in Jesus’ life. When we see Him again, He is prepared for the task set before Him.’ 

He certainly is, and thus set to cause His poor mother more grief when they lock up Him up for sedition and blasphemy. How do you think she felt when she saw or heard about His beatings and scourging and the crown of thorns upon His head, traipsing back and forth between Pilate and Herod like a common criminal, being made a pappyshow instead of a royal show? 

And how do you think she felt when she saw Him faltering under the heavy load of the cross, struggling up Calvary’s hill? 

But most of all, what do you think it did to her very heart and soul when she saw her wonderful son, all battered and bruise, impaled on that wooden cross, His life blood slowly ebbing away in the hot noonday sun? 

I’m sure it brought back to her memory the fateful words of Simeon some three decades before, re the division and anguish His life would cause, but especially the words ‘(Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also).’ (Luke 2:35) 

And I guess what must have hurt Mary the most is that she couldn’t do anything about her son’s situation, because deep down inside she knew that that was His destiny, that is what He was born for. 

And regardless of how His earlier acts might seem, Jesus did have a soft spot for His mother, because He knew that was the only one who even had an inkling of His true earthly purpose. 

Listen to the Good Book. ‘Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he LOVED, (John) he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.’ (John 19:25-27) 

Ah mih people, though Jesus caused Mary some worries in His life, in His death, He made sure that she had somewhere safe to go, like all good sons ought to. 

That brings us to the end of Mary’s story, and I do hope that I was able to bring home to us, just how important she was and is to our faith, for without her strong and unbroken faith, the story of Jesus might have turned out differently. 

Now let’s ring out the old year and ring in the new, prepared to embrace Jesus even deeper in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls. Much LOVE!

…there’s no human LOVE…to beat a mother’s LOVE… 

P.S. Friends, I know it’s long, but I couldn’t shorten it without having it run on for another day. You can’t have it both ways. (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 December 2015 Luke 2:33‏‏

Luke 2:33.  And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which were spoken of him. 

And then it was Wednesday! Yes friends, the day before Old Year’s, before New Year’s Eve, when we make such a big hoopla about things changing for the New Year, when in fact they mostly remain the same. (smile) 

For the first few days we might try to keep our resolutions, but invariably we end up back at the same spot we were at, at year’s end. 

Now it’s good to make sincere and productive resolutions and all that, but the trouble is that most of just talk for talk sake, without any serious intention of making the changes we talk about. Or if we’re serious, when the enormity of the situation truly hits us, we just give up and revert back to our former state. 

Anyway, I’m not going to bad talk New Year’s resolutions anymore. (smile) Instead, let’s wail our Wednesday Wail with sincerity and a true sense of purpose. ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

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

Oh my people, that’s all the New Year’s resolution we need right there; looking ahead to a glorious future with Jesus! 

And I’d like to plead guilty to not checking with us during the year, as I used to, and ought to, as to whether we are keeping up with our New Year’s resolutions, especially the only one I claim that we need, forging a prosperous relationship with Jesus. 

However, I do hope that all of us did improve our relationship with Christ during this past year; that we grew and matured in Him, even if it was just a li’l bit. 

Yes my fellow believers, I sincerely hope that all of us came up a little higher in living for Christ this year, and that we’ll keep on pursuing that beautiful dream in the coming year, because it’s simply the BEST option that exists. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit. ‘And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which were spoken of him.’ And how could they not eh mih breddren when every time they turned around, somebody had some glorious insight into Jesus’ future? 

And we’ll go back to that day in the temple when they brought Jesus to be circumcised, how the old prophet Simeon was so ecstatic at seeing the Messiah, and the Good Book invokes our Bit. But the old man wasn’t finished. 

‘And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set (destined) for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against. (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.’ (Luke 2:34-35) 

Ah friends, as if Mary needed to hear any more contentious talk re the life of her first born. Remember she was still just a teenager without a whole lot of life experience. And who knows what dire thoughts fled through her young, inexperienced mind when Simeon spoke about a sword piercing her soul? 

The scholars though explain those verses thus: ‘2:34-35. Jesus’ coming will bring deliverance, but also division and anguish. Both redemption and judgement are bound up in His advent.’ And His coming certainly did bring all those things. 

And if listening to all the stuff that Simeon said wasn’t unnerving enough, as soon as he was done, and old prophetess by the name of Anna came on the scene. 

The Good Book tells it like this. ‘And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.’ (Luke 2:37-38) 

Ah Lord eh! As though the poor parents didn’t already have enough to put up with. 

And the scholars tell us: ‘2:36-37. Like Simeon, Anna was of unusual commitment, and had been blessed, being a prophetess, with special spiritual insight.’ 

Now how would you like to be the parent of such a child eh? Many of us would have been tearing out our hair, and wondering what kind of child we had given birth to. But Mary and Joseph didn’t, because they knew that Jesus was special, though just not how special. 

And the Good book ends this period of anxiety and surprise by simply saying: ‘And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth. And the child grew and waxed (became) strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.’ (Luke 2:39-40) 

Yes friends, they certainly needed a break from all the attention. But don’t think that through those years of Jesus’ growth that their minds weren’t filled with wonder and worry. 

And can you even imagine Mary’s thoughts as she watched Him feeding at her breasts, drawing the life enhancing milk from her body? They must have run the whole gamut of imagination; from good to bad and back again. 

No doubt over those early years, she kept pondering all the unlikely things that had happened. But we do know that her faith was strong, and she would not give up though her trials and tribulations were plentiful. Hopefully the same can be said of us my fellow believers. Much LOVE!

…a Christian’s reaction to trials…should not be giving up…but a turning to… and crying out to God in faith…for help and mercy…as He has decreed…

 

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