Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 May 2017 Deuteronomy 6:7.

Deuteronomy 6:7.   And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children…

Ah friends, remember that gentle rain that I spoke about yesterday that was blessing the land? Well it might have blessed the land but it certainly didn’t bless me, because it fell all day… even into the evening, and consequently caused flooding in the laundry room in my basement. 

Steups! So instead of it being a peaceful day listening to the riddim of the falling rain, (smile) it was a tad hectic trying to mop up and barricade the water running down in my basement. And it wasn’t just one rivulet, that would have been easy to handle, but several pouring down the inside wall. 

I believe the source of the problem is my eaves troughs – they seem to be leaking in several places thus allowing the water to run down the outside wall and find its way inside. But I just had them repaired last year! 

And then there are the leaves…the bane of my existence! Everything that blows in my lane, ends up in my driveway, both snow and leaves. Thus the gutters are filled with leaves, which make them overflow rather easily. 

Ah Lord eh! But what to do? Just grin and bear it and have them fixed again. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it! (smile) The workingman’s story though is a whole lot different. He’s simply focused on it being Friday, which allows him to joyfully declare: 

‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and the weekend’s here at last! Is my time now to do as I please! No more labouring for a measly pittance, but partying for days! And who says we shouldn’t thank the Lord for Fridays and weekends eh!’ 

We should indeed friends, but constant partying will never give us sincere satisfaction. We need a more balanced approach to the weekend if we are to live successful lives, and I believe our Friday Chant provides it. 

So let’s chant it out loud and proud nuh. ‘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 friends, that’s more like what we need, if we are to do Jesus’ work with sincerity, diligence and excellence! And today we’ll talk a little about diligence, see what the Bible has to say about it. 

But before we get to that, let’s look at the dictionary’s definition of diligence. It’s characterized as being ‘Persistent effort or work: industrious character.’ 

Meanwhile diligent is seen as being ‘hard-working, steady in application, industrious, attentive to duties.’ So we have the basic idea of what we mean when we speak of diligence or diligent; a serious effort to do what one has to do. 

Now hear these immortal words of wisdom that Moses spoke unto the people of Israel when he gave them the great commandment. These are the major things they should do when they entered the Promised Land. 

‘That thou mightest fear (stand in awe of) the Lord thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged. 

Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it (be careful to observe it); that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily (multiply greatly), as the Lord God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey. 

Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is ONE Lord: and thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 

And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 

And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.’ (Deut.6:2-9) 

And there we have it friends, the basics of the Great Commandment: LOVE the Lord thy God, and keep all His commandments, and above all, teach them diligently to thy children! 

And when the Israelites obeyed, they prospered, and suffered when they didn’t. And it’s the same with us in these trying times. 

Oh my people, we are also very guilty of not doing what the Lord commanded. We haven’t been repeating the Lord’s commandments in the ears of our children or meditating on them ourselves as we walk and talk and lie down, etc. 

No wonder our society and our world is in such a mess, with a large number of our children having no idea of God, or simply not caring about God and putting the things of the world first in their lives. 

Now who do think is to blame for this current state of affairs eh? We the current parents obviously! Our parents taught us the right way, so why haven’t we taught our children eh? I guess we ourselves were also a little too taken up with the things of the world. 

But it’s not too late my brethren, if we get serious and do our due diligence, as they say in legal circles, that means paying attention to our godly duties, putting in the hard work necessary, we can still save ourselves and our children from the clutches of the evil one. 

Today, I implore us, sincerely plead with us to seek the things of God first, and point our children in that direction, that it may go well with them and us. That’s wisdom for the ages! Much LOVE!

…a society prospers in direct proportion to its obedience to God…

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 June 2016 Ephesians 6:4

Ephesians 6:4. And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture (training) and admonition of the Lord.

HAPPY  FATHER’S  DAY !

Aye mih fellow fathers, welcome to another Father’s Day! I hope it is a pleasant and happy one for all of us, but knowing the complexities of life, undoubtedly some of us will not enjoy the day. For one reason or another, things will not go the way we want them to, but like so many other unfortunate things in this life, we will just have to ban’ our jaw and accept them. 

Anyway fathers, a lot of what is happening in these sad, trying and difficult times is either directly or indirectly our fault. We have to do a much better job than we’re currently doing. 

There are too many fine women and children out there bearing our genes, who are suffering real ‘sufferation’ because of our foolish, casual, doh care, irresponsible attitudes and behaviour.  We are certainly not fulfilling our mandate to provide for and look after the many children we sire. 

Tell me nuh, how do you think the women and children that we’ve used and abused will get the necessities of life eh – food, shelter, clothing and the knowledge of Jesus Christ, if we don’t help them to do so eh? 

Now there are many good and excellent fathers in the world, but on the other hand, there are way too many bad ones, who are out to simply have a good time and consequently shirk their responsibility that proceeds from that good time. Remember friends that the father is the titular, the spiritual head of the household and as such he is responsible for setting godly parameters and living up to them by his example.  

That’s why our Bit so staunchly declares: ‘And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture (training) and admonition of the Lord.’ 

Yes friends, the father is supposed to be the guiding light of the household! But if he isn’t around, or around and not doing his duty, then the rest of the family suffers. We have way too many single mothers, whether divorced or never married who are having to raise children by themselves, both as sole parent and provider when there is a father available to help. 

Now listen to how the scholars break down our Bit. ‘6:4. Fathers can provoke their children to wrath by injustice, loss of temper, undue severity, cruelty, favouritism, suppression, sarcasm, ridicule, and misuse or abuse of authority. Nurture basically means “training,” here denoting spiritual education. 

Admonition is instruction that points out one’s responsibilities and duties. Of the Lord is in Greek a subjective genitive. This indicates that behind the parents’ rearing and instruction of their children stands the Lord as the chief teacher in child education. Parents do not raise children alone.’ 

So you see my people, the great demands placed on a father. It’s not an easy job, but with the Lord’s help we can accomplish it. I haven’t been the best father at times, and haven’t always led by example, but my children never wanted for the basic necessities of life, and I tried to instill in them LOVE for the Lord and a sense of responsibility. 

The problem though today, is that sense of responsibility is fading from the entire world, which includes fathers. Now I was raised by a single mother, who worked two jobs from the time I was old enough to know what was happening, so I know the trials and tribulations of those situations. However, although my father and I didn’t see eye to eye, he at least helped with some financial support.  

Many fathers today who can afford it don’t even do that small part of their duty, and the poor women have to take them to court for child support, and even then they don’t pay it.  But when the child or children happen to turn out good and successful, they are the first ones to talk and boast about ‘my children!’ 

Steups! When left to them alone, the children would be eating ‘wind pie and nothing chops.’ Friends, I’ve seen it happen too often, and it sickens me. 

Now here is a li’l something from Cousin Sol re the situation. ‘Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.’ (Prov.22:6)  

And the scholars give us some good info here. ’22:6. Train up a child refers to the total process of moulding a child’s life. The word ‘train’ (chanak) comes from the root word meaning to “put into the mouth” and implies the idea of conditioning the palate. Thus parental training should help children develop a taste for the things of God. The biblical pattern of effective parental training emphasizes a balance of instruction and discipline (cf. Eph.6:1-4). 

The ideal parent is to be neither overly authoritarian nor overly permissive. Rather, he must balance LOVE and discipline so as not to “provoke” his child to rebellion. When he is old means simply, “when he is grown up,” or a mature adult. It does not refer to his elderly years. The verse stresses the simple principle that education in the home forms the man throughout his lifetime.’  

And isn’t that the living truth my people! The home is where our formative years are spent, and there is where we learn the things that make us who we basically are. 

And we’ll close with these words from Psalm 78, where the psalmist Asaph is reminding Israel of God’s goodness. ‘For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: 

That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born, who should arise and declare them to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments.’ (Ps.78:5-7) 

Unfortunately fathers, we have not done that very well, consequently our children are not setting their hope in God, but rather in the things of the world, and are totally lost where the commandments are concerned. 

However, where there is life, there is always hope; hope in God. So today on this Sunday, the Lord’s Day, as well as Father’s Day, let’s try an improve the situation nuh, possibly by going to church with our children, that would be the ideal setting for the much needed godly turnaround. Much LOVE!

…fathers…provoke not your children to anger…lest they be discouraged… (Col.3:21)

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 June 2016 Matthew 5:16.‏‏‏‏

Matthew 5:16.    Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Oh friends, oh friends, it’s the big day…Friday! 

And everybody burst out into song: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! Thank God for the weekend! We’ve waited all week for this! A fine time will be had by all! Thank God for Fridays and the weekend yes!’ 

Oh my brethren, it’s certainly interesting how Fridays make such a big difference in our lives. I just wish we could get Monday to make such a difference. (smile) But I guess, because of the nature of the beast, a time for ending work will always be more welcome than one to begin work. 

In any case, let’s chant our Friday Chant so than we can get a better perspective on the situation. Chanting: ‘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 Christ, furthering God’s kingdom is our duty, and we can’t perform that duty properly unless we’re well rested and properly focused. And that we definitely can’t get from hobnobbing a whole lot with the things and people of the world. 

Now here’s an interesting little poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that shows the amazing difference between man and God. This one is titled ‘You’re in My Way.’ 

And it reads thus: ‘This morning, Lord I heard a distraught mother Say to her lively son “You’re in my way – move.” This very same morning You said to me “You’re in my way – stay.” How good it is to be your child.’ 

And that’s no lie my people! It is truly awesome to be a child of God! Whereas earthly parents want us to get out of their way, our heavenly Father wants us to be in His way! Glory to God! 

And the Bible verse associated with that poem is: ‘Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of his wondrous works.’ (1 Chr.16:9) And is that ever what we should be about my people! 

Now let’s get to our Bit, which should be finished today…no promises though, because one never knows what can crop up at the last minute. (smile) 

Here is Jesus’ positive directive. ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ 

And this morning we’re going to look at some scripture from 1 Peter where he talks about being good stewards of God’s grace. ‘But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. And above all things have fervent charity (LOVE) among yourselves: for charity (LOVE) shall cover the multitude of sins. 

Use hospitality one to another without grudging (grumbling). As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 

If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles (utterances) of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in ALL THINGS may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Pet.4:7-11) 

Yes friends, that is how we ought to behave as mature and true Christians; in LOVE, in prayer and hospitality, sincerely using the talents granted unto us, so that whatever we do, our heavenly Father will be glorified. Remember, it’s ALL about Him, not about us! 

And Peter continues: ‘Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as (to the extent that) ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. 

If ye be reproached (insulted) for the name of Christ, happy (blessed) are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of (blasphemed), but on your part, he is glorified.’ (1 Pet.4:12-14) 

Oh my people, I know those are some hard scriptures to accept, but accept them we must if we want to be true believers and truly glorify God! It’s a simple philosophy; if you suffer for and with Christ, then when His kingdom comes you will rejoice with Him. 

And remember Christ didn’t say that bad or wrong things wouldn’t happen to us down here on earth, but rather He warns of tribulation. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

However my brethren, if we stay in Christ, we can have peace despite our tribulations, despite the fiery trails that try us, because He has already overcome the world. So although times will occasionally be rough, let’s not focus on our circumstance, but on our magnanimous and magnificent God, who is able to give us peace and calm, even in the midst of the storm. 

And all God’s people declared, loud and proud! ‘Praise His Holy Name, for He indeed worthy to be praised!’ 

Yes friends, our God is indeed worthy to be praised, so let’s go out today and do whatever He’s called us to do nuh, with a song of praise in our hearts and mouths and His wonderful peace in our souls. Much LOVE!

…our God offers such a high level of peace…that it verily surpasses our finite and limited understanding…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 March 2015 Psalm 27:10

Psalm 27:10.     When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up (take care of me).

Well Friends, it certainly seems as though the days, weeks and months of this year are in a real hurry to get somewhere, or simply to go by as quickly as they can. Chuh! It was just Saturday… and already it’s Monday!

Can you imagine too that we’re already into March, and it seems like only yesterday we were singing Old Lang Syne, and wishing each other a Happy New Year. It’s already been a couple of weeks too since we were singing: ‘Mas in yuh mas! Play mas!’ (smile)

And Lent will soon be over and then we’ll be lustily singing ‘He is risen! Jesus Christ has risen from the grave.’ Most appropriate sentiments for the Easter season.

And all of that was just to say my people that time is swiftly moving by and who knows what will happen, or when, so it is essential that we get our house in order, just in case…just in case Jesus returns unexpectedly and we’re not ready. The same way we’re seldom ready for Monday mornings. The big difference though is that we have something to counteract our Monday morning blues – our Monday Morning Battle Hymn.

However, if Jesus returns and we’re not ready, there will be nothing to counteract our sad, unfortunate demise; our eternal separation from the Father, because we never truly embraced the Son. And as I keep saying Friends, that’s the worst fate that could ever befall a human being.

Anyway, let’s get our Monday morning adrenaline rush from singing our Battle Hymn with much fervour, in loud, harmonious voice. ‘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!’ Not bad, not bad at all my people, though heaven didn’t clap and clamour for an encore! (smile)

But please don’t let that get us down, for we have an even more important promise to concern ourselves with in our Bit. ‘When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up (take care of me.’ 

What a wonderfully refreshing and encouraging statement my brethren! Though our earthly parents might forsake us the Lord won’t ever do such a heartless and unthinking thing. Bless His holy name! And in Isaiah 49 – in the section which assures that Israel will be restored to Zion- the Lord binds that promise on His heart by pronouncing it publicly through His mouthpiece Isaiah.

‘But Zion said, the Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her suckling (nursing, breastfeeding) child, that she should not (and not have) compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven (inscribed) thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continuously before me.’ (Is.49:14-16) What a marvellous promise from a most faithful and magnanimous God!

And now listen to Bruh David from Psalm 103 – Thanksgiving for God’s mercy. ‘As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children: so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame (understands our constitution); he remembereth that we are dust.’ (Ps.103:12-14)

Yes Friends, the mercy of our God is ever working on our behalf. He knows from whence we came and what we really are because He made us and thus knows what we can and cannot bear. And from way back when, the Lord through Moses, promised the Israelites: ‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee, he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Deut.31:6)

And when not talking to the band of Israelites, the Lord was assuring His men of faith individually. We all know the famous words He spoke to Joshua after Moses died and Joshua took over leadership of the band of intransigent Israelites. ‘There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so will I be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’(Josh.1:5)

So Friends, please don’t worry or be afraid, for the Lord will LOVE and protect His children from anything or anybody that comes against them. That He has promised, and we know that our wonderful God is very faithful to His promises.

So my brethren, let’s take a little time from our busy worldly lives nuh and confront any fears or anxieties we may have, and get rid of them, for our omnipotent God has promised that He will never leave nor forsake us, and He who has promised is ever-faithful. Much LOVE!
 

…God specializes in LOVING and caring for sinners…not leaving or forsaking them…