Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 June 2017 Psalm 37:1.

Psalm 37:1.   Fret not thyself because of evil doers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.

Ah friends, what a world we’re living in today eh, when you can wake up and hear that a tanker truck with toxic contents overturned on a major highway in southern Ontario yesterday afternoon in St. Catherines, close by to Niagara Falls. 

Also to hear that two children under 12 were doused with gasoline and set on fire by another under 12 year old boy in the Western Province of Saskatchewan. And then to see live, an apartment building in West London, England, its 24 floors being engulfed in huge flames, and the firefighters helpless to rescue many of them. 

Ah Lord eh! Sometimes it makes you long for the supposed good, old days, when we didn’t have toxic chemicals being ferried along our highways like ordinary stuff, and apartment buildings weren’t so tall, and young children weren’t as aggressive and violent. 

But we’ve opted for supposed progress and those things come with the territory. So now we just have to grin and bear them. 

But here’s the good news; we Christians don’t have to be worried over the stuff that can, and oftimes will happen, because we know that our God, our powerful heavenly Father is in control of ALL things and He will guide and protect us from harm. 

And here is an interesting quote to help us in our daily lives, courtesy of Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882), the famous American lecturer, essayist and poet. Ralph is reputed to have said: ‘Sorrow looks back, worry looks around, but faith looks up.’ 

Oh my fellow believers, what great advice for these trying times. We can’t afford to be looking back or around, but upwards, because that is where our help comes from. 

As the psalmist so rightfully declared: ‘My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth, He will not suffer thy foot to be moved (to slip): He that keepeth thee will not slumber,’ (Ps.121:2-3)  Gospel truth friends! 

And the sad fact is that too many Christians are too worried about the sad state of our world. Now we must be concerned about it, but the truth is that most of us can do nothing to prevent the mishaps and the violence, so why worry eh? 

We need to be more concerned about the things we have control over, and make sure that they go right, and simply leave the rest to God. Our worrying will in no way change some of the awful stuff that’s happening, so we don’t need to poison our own lives with fear and worry. 

And that brings us to the wonderful advice of our Bit; immortal words of Bruh David. ‘Fret not thyself because of evil doers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.’ 

Yes, my precious people of God, it doesn’t pay to be envious of the wicked, because their time will be short, for the Lord will mow them down like grass under a mower, and burn them in the fires of hell. 

And we have a very good example of worrying about the evildoers in the words of the psalmist Asaph. He writes in Psalm 73 – The mystery of prosperous wickedness. ‘Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean (pure) heart. 

But as for me, my feet were almost gone (my feet had almost stumbled); my steps had well nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish (boastful), when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.’ (Ps.73:1-3) 

Oh my fellow believers, I know that the wicked and evil are seemingly prospering in these end times, and we all want a piece of that pie, but are we going to sell our eternal souls to Beelzebub for a little earthly wealth and prosperity, none of which we can take into the eternal spiritual realm? 

That would be incredibly foolish, though many of us are doing it. And the simple solution is that if we sincerely follow Jesus’ admonitions, we can also become prosperous and wealthy in earthly terms, as well as store up treasures in heaven. 

Listen to these faithful words of our Lord and Saviour. ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) 

Plain and straightforward friends: seek God first, and He will give you all you need to live an abundant life here on earth. For as Jesus later said: ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) 

And having been reminded of all that my faithful followers of Christ, and having inwardly digested it, let’s go home joyfully declaring our Wednesday Wail. 

In strong voice as one body, let’s wail! ‘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 let’s go out and put it all into action, because that’s the only way to make it worthwhile in the sight of Jesus. Much LOVE!

…the eyes of ALL Christians…should be looking forward and upward…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 November 2016 2 Timothy 3:17.

2 Timothy 3:17.    That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished (equipped) unto all good works.

Ah friends, that wonderful day called Sunday, the Lord’s Sabbath, has rolled around once more! It’s a day of rest and relaxation, but more importantly one also of worship and fellowship amongst Christians. 

That means, if we are able, we ought to get together with other believers in Jesus Christ to sing and offer praise and thanksgiving for His goodness to us, to listen to His word, as well as receive encouragement and strength to face the upcoming week. 

Now let’s begin with a sacrifice of praise, the fruit of our lips, by singing the inspirational hymn, ‘The Church is One Foundation.’ With sincere enthusiasm and passion friends: ‘The church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ, her Lord; she is his new creation by water and the Word. From heaven he came and sought her to be his holy bride; with his own blood he bought her, and for her life he died. 

Elect from every nation, yet one o’er all the earth; her charter of salvation: one Lord, one faith, one birth. One holy name she blesses, partakes one holy food, and to one hope she presses, with every grace endued. Though with a scornful wonder the world sees her oppressed, by schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed, yet saints their watch are keeping; their cry goes up: “How long?” and soon the night of weeping shall be the morn of song. 

Mid toil and tribulation, and tumult of her war, she waits the consummation of peace forevermore, till with the vision glorious her longing eyes are blest, and the great church victorious shall be the church at rest. Yet she on earth hath union with God the Three in One, and mystic sweet communion with those whose rest is won: O happy ones and holy! Lord, give us grace that we like them, the meek and lowly, may live eternally.’  

Glory to God my people for such a wonderful worship song, written way back at the end of the 19th century by the British pastor Samuel J. Stone! And over a century later, it’s still a worship favourite. I wonder if the songs we’ve recently penned will be sung so victoriously a century from now eh? Who knows? That’s even if the world is still around the way we know it. 

But regardless of what exists then, right now we have to go back to our Bit of a few days ago. I fully intended to continue it on Friday, but that was Remembrance Day, and the other Bit about a man laying down his life for his friend, just fit better. Then yesterday, the scripture about the true light, also seemed to be a better fit, per the direction in which I was being led. (smile) 

So let’s refresh our memories a tad with the verse before our Bit. ‘All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.’ (2 Tim.3:16) And we said that the Bible was God’s guidebook to us for earthly righteous living, and though it was physically written by men, it was authored by God, through His divine inspiration. 

And our Bit tells us of the very important reason why the Lord authored it. ‘That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished (equipped) unto all good works.’ And the scholars told us that ‘God’s inspired Word, properly used and applied provides all we need for life and ministry.’ 

Glory Hallelujah my people! We don’t need anything else to live this life proficiently, capably, righteously than God’s Book of Answers! 

Now let’s check out some scriptures on the subject. Listen to Bruh Paul admonish Timothy in his earlier letter. After talking about the LOVE of money being the root of all kinds of evil, and how some have ruined themselves through covetousness, Bruh Paul tells him. 

‘But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, LOVE, patience, meekness. Fight the Good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art called, and hast professed (confessed) a good profession (confession) before many witnesses.’ (1 Tim.6:11-12)  

Oh friends, all of that also applies to us today, if we want to be considered a man or woman of God! 

And the scholars offer these interesting explanations. ‘6:11. Flee these things means shun a LOVE for money (v.10) and the striving for material wealth (v.9) with all its resulting woes. Follow after means pursue. Righteousness is practical correctness, conforming to God’s will in one’s thinking and acting. 

Godliness is proper reverence for, and obedience to, God. Faith is a trust in God that grows stronger. LOVE is a maturing affection for God and man. Patience is perseverance or steadfastness in life and service. Meekness is gentleness.’ 

There we have it my brethren; a chart against which we can measure our progress and success in being a true man, or woman of God. 

And the scholars continue: ‘6:12. The good fight concerns the daily struggle with sin in the Christian life, and the hardships and adversities in the ministry. A genuine believer demonstrates the reality of his faith by being engaged in this warfare. Lay hold on eternal life does not negate the fact that a believer now possesses spiritual life (John 3:36); rather, it speaks of fully realizing or appropriating salvation as the believer matures.’ 

Yes friends, those few words do say a lot about our Christian faith, and I think it’s a good time for us to take stock of our personal faith, or maturity, whether we’re making any progress or not. So let’s take a few moments sometime today, find a quiet spot and see how we measure up against those standards of righteousness nuh.  

Let’s see if we are truly fighting the good fight, really involved in the spiritual warfare; see how we doing with shunning the LOVE of money and the material things of the world. Let’s check to see if our faith is as strong as it ought to be, if we’re persevering and steadfast and gentle…and all the other righteous attitudes and capabilities we need to live a Christ-like life, for that’s supposed to be our earthly goal. 

And as always, wherever we find ourselves lacking, let’s turn to our heavenly Father and confidently ask for His always available help. Much LOVE!

…a Christian’s life is not an easy go…but the adventure involved is worth it…and the rewards at the end are truly phenomenal…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 April 2016 James 1:25

James 1:25.   ‘But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (in what he does).’ 

And as been happening for thousands of years friends, Saturday comes after Friday, just like night follows day and vice versa. (smile) But Saturday is the day to do the household chores and shopping after a busy week of work. Then, come the evening hours, it’s party time! 

Many of us though simply lie on the couch eating junk food, imbibing alcoholic beverages and watching the boob tube all weekend. Now that is certainly not a healthy lifestyle my people. And that is partly why our society is suffering from such a high rate of obesity; lack of exercise, too much sedentary posing and posture and too much junk food. 

A lot of that is brought on by our high degree of technology, with the ever- spreading and ever-dangerous tentacles of our social media, where we sit for hours in front of a computer screen or some little hand-held device, texting and playing games and getting ourselves in trouble by posting selfies and other garbage on the media platforms. 

And the next big thing will be robots who communicate like men.  How much longer do you think we’ll last after that eh my brethren? Not long, for we are already obese and sedentary, and sensible robots will only make us more so, when we can order them around like servants. 

Please remember what a wise man once said; ‘if you don’t use it, you will lose it.’ And friends that is exactly where we’re heading. Eventually, when life gets so easy, we’ll lose the use of our brains and our limbs because we won’t have to use them. I’m sure many of you can remember the times when children, and a lot of adults too, spent much more time doing stuff outdoors than happens now. But I guess they call that progress, so who am I to question it eh? (smile) 

So let me turn you over to someone else, our friend Anselm, who always tries to inspire us for a better tomorrow. We haven’t heard from him for some time, so we’ll share two of his brilliant insights. And the first quote says: ‘The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change.’ And the second declares: ‘It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.’ 

Ah friends, both of those sayings contain oodles of truth, as many of us can attest from our own experience. But we either try to resist sensible change because it discommodes us, upsets our comfort level, and we’re not willing to pay the higher price either. 

And we all had nicknames at some stage in our lives, many of which we never liked and hopefully never responded to. And most of the time, the ones we never responded to seldom stuck. 

Now however, we are known by the fabulous name of Christian; a believer in and a follower of Christ! And that is a name to which should always proudly answer to, although many of us are ashamed of it and try to hide our affiliation. But remember friends, Christ said that if you’re ashamed of Him, deny Him and don’t own up to your affiliation with Him, He’ll do the same thing to you. (Matt.10:32-33) So it’s up to each of us to decide our own fate. 

And that falls right in line with our Bit. ‘But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (in what he does).’ 

Yes my Christian people, as true followers of Christ we must be seen to be not only hearers and talkers, but even more importantly doers! Unfortunately though, the world doesn’t look upon us like that, which brings us to the last verse in Jesus’ monologue on the law. 

‘For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case (by no means) enter into the kingdom of heaven.’ (Matt. 5:20) 

Now that’s hitting way below the belt my people, but Jesus always spoke truth, and we all know that the truth often hurts quite a bit. And it just goes to show how little He thought of the Jewish rulers.  

Let’s hear now what the scholars have to say about that verse. ‘5:20. Because of the necessity of righteousness as a requirement to enter heaven, Jesus then declares that except their righteousness should exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees they could not enter heaven. 

The significance of this is seen in the fact that the Jews of Jesus’ day considered these people to be the most religious in all Israel. However, their religion was largely an outward show of self-righteousness. 

In communicating the depth of His message, Jesus used a series of contrasts between outward behaviour demanded by the law and the inner attitude of the heart desired by God. Here we discover the practical application of genuine Christian character to true spiritual living. Here we see the gospel in action:

Law                                                 Spirit                                                                                                                                       

No murder                                      No anger

No adultery                                       No lust

No divorce                                          Commitment

No oath taking                                     Speak the truth

No retaliation                                        Forgiveness

Hatred for your enemy                         LOVE for your enemy 

(tradition allowed it)                                   (commanded) 

Awright friends, enough for today. I know it’s Saturday and our minds are all played out by the hectic week of work. (smile) However you do see the comparison between the Mosaic Law and what Jesus desired spiritually. All of the old law still stood, except hatred for your enemy, which Jesus changed to LOVE. 

He basically refined them, moved them up to a higher, finer, more acute level. But the Ten Commandments still stood as the Basic law, and still do today.  So as Jesus said, He didn’t come to destroy the law, but to fulfill it. And as His followers, we ought to do the same in our own little way, and thus promote the wisdom of heaven. Much LOVE!

…the coming of Jesus…didn’t change the basic intent of God’s laws…they just became more refined…moved up to a higher level…

 

                                                       

                      

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 April 2016 James 1:23

James 1:23.   For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding (observing) his natural face in a glass (mirror).

Oh friends and neighbours, would you believe that yesterday afternoon, around 5 o’clock, the ole fella was outside catching some rays, working on my tan, making some natural vitamin D! Oh all praise and glory be to our wonderful God! 
It was actually around an abnormal 23 Celsius yesterday, although with a strong wind. We haven’t seen temps like that in the northern climes in over six months. Hn! And truthfully, I don’t believe we’ll see them for another couple months yet on a regular basis. 
Today however, has also dawned bright and sunshiny, but with eventual temps only around 15 or so. But that’s more like normal, and much better than the cold wintry stuff we’ve been experiencing so far. So you can come and check out my tan anytime…and there are no tan lines. (smile) 
Now let’s check out our Tuesday Mantra or the Prayer of the Beloved. Let’s declare it loudly and sincerely. ‘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.’ 
Oh my fellow believers that’s indeed who we are – the beloved of God and friends of Jesus! 
And I heard a testimony on that recently from Cousin Bobby (Bobby Schuller – Robert Schuller 111) grandson of Gramps Schuller (Robert H Schuller), who now runs the Hour of Power T.V. Programme. He said that when he began saying that prayer everyday, he began to become more secure and self-confident in his Christian walk. 
So if it could help him, it can surely help many of us who just don’t feel that confident in who we are and whom we belong to. So it might indeed be worthwhile to pray it everyday. 
And now I want to share a quote from the well-known American Rabbi, Bernard S Raskas (1924-2010). He is reputed to have said these interesting words: ‘Any real progress in the tangled world of emotions must be made by the individual. Each of us must hold the mirror to our own soul and gaze intently at what we see there.’ 
And that’s oh so true, my brothers and sisters in Christ, especially in our Christian faith, because it all begins with an individual relationship with Christ. The church, the body of Christ is made up of individual believers, who look to Him for salvation and eternal life. 
But unless, and until, you have made that individual decision to follow the Lord and Saviour of mankind, you’re simply not a part of His flock and won’t have any of the benefits provided therein. 
And it’s not only in our Christian walk that we need to check ourselves in the mirror, but also as a normal human being. There are decisions to be made, and reactions to be framed, whether positive or negative, and in the natural course of life, a lot of this is based on our individual approach. 
So though we live in a plural society, much of that plurality is based on individual thoughts, feelings and sentiments. Consequently, whatever we do or think or feel, will have a substantial bearing on our lives and the lives of those around us.
That’s why it’s ever so important for us to make wise, Christian based decisions, controlling our natural emotions with self-discipline and circumspection. 
That brings us to our Bit, which reflects what we’ve been talking about. Let’s listen to it in its full context. James solemnly declares: ‘But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding (observing) his natural face in a glass (mirror). For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.’ (James 1:22-24) 
Yes my people, that’s oh so true of many of us. And it’s not that hard to do either, when we are wrapped up in the things of the world, as so many of us are. 
We can either look at ourselves in a real mirror and consider the good and kind person that we are, or think of our wonderful Christian persona, then shortly thereafter forget it all and go out and behave unwisely and against all our Christian principles. 
Friends, the pull of the flesh in this evil and ungodly world is great, and we have to be ever so careful of falling into the traps that Beelzebub designs and lays before us.
That’s why James continues: ‘But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (in what he does).’ (James 1:25) 
And the scholars offer this explanation of that verse. ‘1:25. The perfect law of liberty probably refers to the teachings of Christ and His apostles. This law is perfect since Christ brought to completion the teachings and work of the Mosaic Law (c.f. Matt.5:17-20; Rom.10:4). 
It is a law of liberty because it frees from the principles of sin and death (Rom.8:2-3); Gal.5:1,13). James also describes it as the royal law (2:8) for it is the law of the Messianic King (c.f. Gal.6:2).’ 
Ah mih breddren, it would be real nice and comforting if you’d check out all those references. I just did and found them all quite interesting and they helped me to better understand what we’re talking about. 
Now I’m not going to hold my breath thinking or expecting that that’s going to happen, (smile) but one can surely live in hope, which our faith so greatly and wisely espouses. 
And on that note of hope, we’ll end today. (smile) Now may the Lord bless and keep us all my people, and guide us wisely and safely along our earthly pilgrimage, until we come to finally rest in Him, on that wonderful day! Much LOVE!
…our outer man ought to reflect…the true Christian principles of our inner man…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 January 2016 Psalm 78:11

Psalm 78:11.    And forgat his works, and his wonders that he had showed them.

Oh friends, as I listen to the church bells peal in my mind this frosty Sunday morning, I am reminded of my youth, when the church bells actually did peal on a Sunday morning with a glorious invitation to gather at the Lord’s house to praise and worship Him, to give thanks for the past week, and pray for a safe and secure journey in the upcoming one. 

How sad that church bells no longer ring out on a Sunday morning eh? But I guess in our foolish, politically correct society that would disturb and encroach upon the rights of others. Ah Lord eh! And we wonder why our society is going to hell in a hand basket?  

But I’ll dwell, reminisce on the better days of old, when the church bells were a staple in our society and people were glad to hear them ring because it woke them up and reminded them that it was time for church. (smile) 

Now at one stage I lived fairly close to the church, so like most young people, I never hustled until I heard the last bell ringing, because it only took me a couple minutes to get there. And I’d get there just in time for the proceedings to begin. No waiting around, sitting on the hard pew benches, fidgeting and talking with your friends, only to be told to shut up by your elders. 

Hn! You couldn’t try that with the young people nowadays, instead they’d tell you to shut up. Steups! But I guess that’s what we call progress nuh.  

Anyway, on a brighter note, here is a gem from our friend Anselm, who always aspires to inspire us. ‘I realize there’s something incredibly honest about trees in winter, how they’re experts at letting things go.’ 

And isn’t that a fact my people! The trees know that winter is coming and they don’t stand a chance of staying alive in the cold, mucky season if they want to keep all their greenery. So it’s all a matter of simple survival. Shed your leaves and go naked in the world for a few months if you want to stay alive, to fight another day.  

The same thing goes for us my brethren. If we want to run our race of life as smoothly as possible, then we have to give up, get rid of the baggage that’s dragging us down; be it friends, family, business associates or some activity, and keep God first place in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls. 

We definitely cannot afford to do like the Israelites in our Bit did. ‘And forgat his works, and his wonders that he had showed them.’ 

But before we get into our Bit, I wonder how many of you noticed the mighty and wonderful work I did yesterday eh? In the middle of the Bit, I took the Israelites out of Israel instead of out of Egypt. Hn, Hn! What a mighty work! And I read the Bit at least three times before publishing it yes. Just goes to show that the ole fella is human after all and thus fallible. 

Anyway, let’s get to the story of the Israelites, their forgetfulness and unfaithfulness. Now yesterday we ended with them wondering if God, who had provided water for them in the wilderness could also provide food.  (Ps.78:20) 

What a bunch of selfish, lustful, ungrateful people! ‘Therefore the Lord heard this, and was wroth (furious): so a fire was kindled against Jacob, and anger also came up against Israel; Because they believed not in God, and trusted not in his salvation: 

Though he had commanded the clouds from above, and opened the doors of heaven, And had rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them of the corn (bread) of heaven. Man did eat angels’ food: he sent them meat to the full (food to satiation). He caused an east wind to blow in the heaven: and by his power he brought in the south wind. 

He rained flesh also upon them as dust, and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea: And he let it fall in the midst of the camp, round about their habitations (dwellings). So they did eat, and were well filled: for he gave them their own desire.’ (Ps.78:21-29)  

Oh my people, our God is truly something else yes! Remember how the Israelites were murmuring and complaining in the wilderness about food, and the Lord sent them manna. But that didn’t satisfy them, they wanted meat, flesh. So the Lord rained down a torrent of quails upon them, so they ate until they were satiated. (Ex.16) 

I guess it’s like we do with our children sometimes: when they want some kind of food so badly, we give it to them until they are stuffed and uncomfortable and possibly get sick. That usually cures them of the greed and lust for that particular food. But the manna and quails did not satisfy the Israelites. 

For as Asaph continues: ‘They were not estranged from (deprived of) their lust (craving): but while their meat was yet in their mouths, The wrath of God came upon them, and slew the fattest (stoutest) of them, and smote down the chosen (choice) men of Israel.’ (Ps.78: 30-31) 

Yeh friends, our God is not a skylarking God, but a serious deity. Yuh see before they could even finish eating the flesh of the quail, He struck down some of the mightiest men, because of their disbelief and unfaithfulness. (Num.11:33) 

But in spite of all that, Asaph declares: ‘For all this they sinned still, and believed not for his wondrous works. Therefore their days did he consume in vanity (futility), and their years in trouble.’ (Ps.78:32-33)  

Oh what a foolish, stubborn and hard-headed people! But please don’t laugh and try to put them down, because we are doing the very same thing now. God is trying to talk to us, but we’re not listening. We’re just interested in going our own way. He’s showing us signs and wonders, natural and man-made disasters, warning us of things to come if we deviate from His path. But we’re not paying any attention, because we’re too wrapped up in the lusts of our flesh. 

Oh friends, if God’s chosen people paid a most serious price for their disobedience, why do you think we won’t for ours eh? And I’ll leave us to ponder on that most vital question today. Much LOVE!

…he who doesn’t hear…will certainly feel…rest assured of that…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 January 2016 Hebrews 12:1‏

Hebrews 12:1.  Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance, endurance) the race that is set before us.

Aye Friends, can you believe that it’s already the middle of January. These days surely seem to be rushing by quickly yes. But don’t worry, it’s Friday, which you already know, because long before I came around the corner, I heard you all enthusiastically mouthing: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! 

Mama yo! The work was backbreaking this week yes! But now is time to party; to chase away all our cares and fears with some drinks and some frolicking! Thank God that today is Friday oui! I don’t know if I could have handled another day under that slave driver, Massa nuh! Thank God for Fridays!’ 

Ah mih people, I know we – well some of us (smile) – work hard during the week and do deserve some respite from our labour, but drinking and carousing is not the way to overcome it. 

And you certainly can’t trust the brown girl in the bottle, because she just doesn’t play fair. She’ll just addle your brains and have you doing all sorts of wrong things, even life threatening stuff. 

And you need to have your wits about you all the time, otherwise our enemy, that roaring lion, seeking frail and feeble prey, will invade your soul and cause you to stray from the straight and narrow path. 

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

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

Yes my precious people, that’s the more sensible approach to the weekend, especially in light of our Bit. ‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance, endurance) the race that is set before us.’ 

Oh friends, the race of life that we’ve been given to run is much more important than just partying and having a rollicking good time, especially if you’re a believer in Jesus Christ. 

It’s not an easy race to run, because it’s a marathon, fraught with all kinds of dangers and problems, like high mountains to climb, swollen rivers to cross, deep and dark valleys to descend and a host of other everyday stuff, many of which come upon us without any warning. 

You’ll notice in chapter 11, the writer of Hebrews, whom I sincerely believe is Bruh Paul, gives us all kinds of examples of those witnesses that have gone before us, who had it difficult but never gave up, but through, and by faith just kept concentrating on their heavenly abode. 

‘But now they desire a better country, that is a heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.’ (Heb.11:16) 

And my fellow believers in Christ, our Creator has also prepared a city for us, so we can’t afford to be lackadaisical about this race of life. As Bruh Paul told the Corinthians: ‘Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.’ (1 Cor.9:24) 

Yeh friends, we need to run hard and true, casting aside all and everything that impedes our progress, be it clothing or excessive body weight, as well as any sin(s) that hold(s) us in bondage. But most important of all my people, we must remember that this life race of faith is not a sprint, but for many of us a difficult marathon. 

Therefore we need to run it with patience, with perseverance, with strong endurance. For as the saying goes, the race is not for the swift of foot, but for the one that endures…and just keeps enduring, right to the end and wins the prize, which in our case is the crown of life. (James 1:12) 

Yes my precious brethren, that’s where so many of us fall by the wayside; sadly our endurance is not sufficient to keep us going. However as the author of Hebrews tells us, we have the best example of that endurance in our Lord and Saviour Jesus. 

‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of God.’ (Heb.12:2)

Yeh folks, Jesus knew what was waiting for Him on the other side of the cross, an everlasting seat at the right hand of the Father, so He handled the shame of being crucified naked, mocked and ridiculed, injured and beaten, loaded down with our sins, so that we could enjoy reconciliation and salvation with the Most High. Don’t you think the least that we can do is be grateful for His sacrifice and show it by our faithful and true lifestyles? 

Please friends, this year of 2016 will be a watershed year; our world will either get better or go up in flames, and Christians are the ONLY ones who can make the first option come true. 

But we need to be strong and steadfast, standing up to wrongs, making them right, having plenty belly and backbone, staying on the straight and narrow, repelling the enemy on every front, otherwise crapaud going to certainly smoke we pipe! 

Now let’s close with these awesome enlightening and inspiring words of Bruh Paul to the Romans. ‘Be kindly affectioned (affectionate) one to another with brotherly LOVE (agape); in honour preferring (giving preference to) one another; 

Not slothful (lagging in diligence) in business; fervent in spirit (boiling over); serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope, patient (persevering) in tribulation; continuing instant (steadfast) in prayer.’ (Rom.12:10-12) 

Yes precious people of God, those ingredients are all essential and necessary for us to run and eventually win this race of life. Please, let’s stand up and be counted in these most troubled and uncertain times nuh. Much LOVE!

…stand up…stand up for Jesus…the trumpet call obey…till every foe is vanquished…and Christ is Lord indeed…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 January 2016 Matthew 22:37

Matthew 22:37.   Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

Oh Friends, I’m getting better! Glory to God! Yeh mih people, on this cold, snowy, Wednesday, winter morn, the ole fella’s getting over this flu bug, but just not as quickly as I would like. (smile) 

I managed to nip most of the sneezing, runny nose and coughing in the bud, but the ole cold instead took a toll on me in the form of bodily weariness and a constant desire to sleep. 

It always amuses and annoys me that we can cure so many serious maladies, but not the simple, common cold. We just have to allow it to run it’s course. And in this case I have to practice what I preach, just grin and bear it. 

I don’t understand God’s reason(s) for allowing it – we never want to get sick – but since our’s is not to question why, just do and hopefully not to die, I’ll put my best foot forward and lean on God’s strength and goodness. Glory Hallelujah! 

Now let’s wail our Wednesday Wail as though we truly mean it. ‘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 yes my brethren, that’s where our focus ought to lie; straight ahead, under the light and easy yoke of Jesus! It couldn’t get any better than that my people. Looking back at the past, as so many of us are wont to do, only stifles and retards our progress, growth and maturity in Christ. And that, we definitely don’t want to happen. 

So please, let us just keep looking to the future, where God has wonderful plans for each of our lives, filled with blessings and goodness untold. And the best way I know to do that is by following Jesus’ command in our Bit. ‘Jesus said  unto him, Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.’ 

Yes Friends, when we focus our thoughts and plans and everything else on God, then we are able to stay on the straight and narrow path. Now Jesus declared that statement after some smart-alec Pharisee lawyer tried to trap Him by asking: ‘Master, which is the great commandment in the law?’ (Matt.22:36) 

And we have the first part of Jesus’ reply above. But then He continued. ‘This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt.22:38-40) 

And my fellow believers, Jesus was quite right! If we’d only focus and concentrate on those two things, our lives would be way better and our world would not be filled with so much hatred, anger and strife. But obviously we are not taking those commandments to heart. 

And strangely enough, a prayer I read at the back of my mother’s Bible last night brought about this Bit. I know I’ve shared it before, but last night it just touched a concerned chord in my heart and made me want to bring it up again. 

It says: ‘Father, we confess that we do not always respond to your LOVE as we should. By the power of your spirit living in us, teach us to LOVE you as we ought to LOVE. In Christ. Amen.’ 

And isn’t that first line the gospel truth friends? It surely is! LOVE, the ‘agape,’ brotherly, caring kind is almost non-existent in our world today! And that’s why we’re in such dire straits, plummeting down to the bottom, rather than rising to the top. 

I heard someone say recently that at least 27 nations are at war in our world right now. Hn! How could that ever amount to LOVING and caring for God and each other as Jesus has directed us to eh? Under those negative circumstances it’s just impossible my people. 

So what are we going to do about it eh? There’s only ONE right and sensible thing to do; that’s start LOVING God, ourselves and our neighbours more! That’s the only thing that will turn our negative, resentful, cantankerous world around! 

Oh my people, what kind of world are we going to bequeath to our descendants eh? I do hope it’s not the one we’re currently living in. But that can only be avoided if all of us Christians, supposed believers in Christ, were to seriously come together, take up the banner of Christ’s LOVE Revolution and seriously and sincerely fight to make it come true! 

Remember our Bit: it’s LOVE that conquers all! And not the lustful, romantic type either. 

Oh Friends, I don’t know what else to say to get us worked up enough to truly fight the LOVE Revolution nuh, but in ending I want to point out one distinction that Jesus made in His declaration. 

Moses told the Israelites: ‘And thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.’ (Deut.6:5) 

However Jesus changed the last part to ‘with all thy mind.’ He recognized that it all begins in our minds with our thoughts and ulterior motives. 

Yes my precious people, the major battlefield is right there in our minds, and until we start thinking right and LOVING thoughts, the enemy will continue to have a stranglehold on us. 

So please, let’s wake up and smell whatever it is we need to smell nuh, so that we can come together as the ONE body that Christ desires and fight for the LOVE Revolution tooth and nail, to provide a better day and life for our offspring. That’s what true wisdom is all about. Much LOVE!

…and the supreme call is…for Christians to come together…right now…in Jesus’ name…and walk our walk…  

P.S. Please excuse the Bit’s tardiness, but between the cold and my usual late night shenanigans, it does make getting up early a tad difficult. (smile) But as they say: better late than never. Much LOVE!

 

 

Previous Older Entries