Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 June 2017 Ephesians 6:10.

Ephesians 6:10.    Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

Well fathers, our special day is over now, hope we all had an enjoyable day. Mine was fairly quiet, but very interesting. However, it’s now time for us to concentrate on, and get back to labouring so that we can keep a roof over our family’s head and bread on our table. It’s nice to be pampered and spoiled, but we certainly can’t forget about our bread and butter, our jobs. (smile) 

And I know that for plenty of us fathers, after all the celebrations yesterday, it’s going to be difficult to get up this morning to go and labour, but just think about it this way nuh: no work, no pay. (smile) But as always, we have the antidote for whatever ails you this Monday morning. It’s called our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, and when we sing it sincerely and joyfully, it just refreshes and renews us, gets the adrenaline flowing in our bodies. 

So let’s belt it out now nuh, with plenty gusto and expectant faith. As one big earthly choir now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle. 

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

Oh friends, that was a bit harsh and raucous, but the enthusiasm was great, and Jesus, our choirmaster understood our shortcomings. But now, with that same enthusiasm we just showed, aided by the adrenaline that’s coursing through our veins, let’s go out and face the enemy and battle them mano a mano in Jesus’ name. That’s what He’s expecting of us. 

And as Bruh Paul advises in in our Bit: ‘Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.’  

Yes my fellow believers, above everything else, if we want to go and fight the enemy, then we have to be strong in the Lord, because that’s where our strength and our help come from. As the psalmist declares: ‘My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved (slip): he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.’ (Ps.121:2-4) And that’s gospel truth my people! Our God will look after us at all times, under whatever circumstances and situations! 

Before we go further though, let’s check out some info from the scholars, re our Bit. ‘6:10. Finally may be rendered “from now on” or “henceforth.” The spiritual battle Christians are engaged in exists “from now on” until the Lord’s return: there is no quarter given, no cease fire, no temporary truce, no cessation of hostilities. “From now on” till the end there is all out war. The remainder of the verse may be paraphrased, “Let yourselves constantly be strengthened by the Lord, more precisely by His mighty power.” 

Ah mih people, how mighty is our God! The mightiest of them all!!! As we’ve said a couple times above, He made the heavens and the earth and all therein, so He must be truly powerful, and He does strengthen us to do His bidding. However, regardless of what strength we have, as warriors, we also need protective covering from the enemy’s slings and arrows, that’s why the verse after our Bit is so important. ‘Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil.’ (Eph.6:11) 

Yes friends, we need to put on our protective spiritual armour, this morning, and every morning, before we go out to fight against the enemy, so that we don’t get hurt. It’s one thing to be strong in the Lord, but it’s another to fight without protective covering.  

And the scholars offer us these explanations. ‘6:11. Put on (Greek ingressive aorist imperative) (smile) denotes a sense of urgency, demanding immediate action. To stand has military overtones. This verb was used in classical Greek meaning to resist the enemy and hold a critical positon in battle. The wiles of the devil (or, “the Devil’s strategy”). Satan carefully devises schemes and tactics against believers.’ 

So friends, it’s no joke war in which we’re involved, it’s serious business, serious stuff on which our salvation and eternal life depends. So please, let’s take it very seriously nuh, because our enemy, Lucifer, is taking it very seriously. He’s definitely out to trip us up and make us turn away from following Jesus. And that’s definitely not a wise thing to do. Therefore, let’s put on our spiritual armour, and with the strength of our great God flowing through our minds, bodies and spirits, let’s go out and battle Beelzebub – battle him to the finish! Much LOVE!

…soldiers of Christ arise…arise fully armoured and strengthened by Almighty God…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 June 2017 Psalm 37:1.

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

Ah mih people, it’s Friday and the ole fella doesn’t know what to write… Imagine that nuh! (smile) But I have no doubt that the Lord will lead me where He wants me to go eventually. 

Our world is in such a state of crisis that it doesn’t even make sense to talk about the wars and strife that are rife all over, neither the disasters, natural and man made that also abound. 

Steups! It does hurt one’s heart when one sees all the unnecessary nonsense that’s going on; the greed, the fight for power and personal aggrandizement, and the evil methods being used to accomplish those evil ends, especially when we can’t take any of it with us to our final resting place. 

Oh, I know we cannot, or will never live in a perfect world, but it certainly doesn’t have to be as warmongering and evil as it currently is. 

Such a beautiful world that God made for us to enjoy is going to waste as we rush headlong instead to foolishly destroy it …and in the aftermath, God’s greatest creation – mankind. Though sometimes I seriously wonder about that designation. 

So sometimes it’s heartwarming to hear the ordinary workingman not pay too much attention to the numerous ills of our world and simply and joyfully declare: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday…and the weekend is here at last. No more slave labour for a few measly pennies, and no evil slave master continually looking over yuh shoulder. 

Is we time now! Time to do exactly as we please… to party hearty, eat, drink and shake we bodyline to endless music! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes!’ 

Yes friends, that goes to the extreme, and we as Christians need to have boundaries, but it’s such a simple, refreshing reaction to our unfeeling way of life, where there is so much poverty, sickness, homelessness and joblessness. 

In fact, almost every week in this supposed enlightened, sophisticated and brilliant age, fewer and fewer people are able to sing the workingman’s song, because of constant job losses to technology or outsourcing to cheaper production locations. 

But everyday, we read about the rich getting richer. Oh, I know it’s in the Bible. But does it have to be so extreme, where one percent of the world controls ninety something percent of its wealth? Definitely not! 

Blessedly though, we Christians have the wonderful God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to turn to at all times, be they times of crisis or times of joy and prosperity! 

And on Fridays we declare our Friday Chant, loud and proud: ‘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 short and simple too my brethren, but it does recognize the immense role that our heavenly Father plays in our lives, gives Him the thanks and praise that He so rightfully deserves. 

And isn’t it interesting and amusing that from not knowing what to write about at the beginning, I’ve written so much! Hn, hn! But that’s the way our great God moves; in rather mysterious ways sometimes. 

And finally we come to our Bit, which reassures and gives us confidence to keep keeping on in the way of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, regardless of how the world goes. ‘Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.’ 

Words to live by my brethren, although they are not always easy to put into effect. But listen to how Bruh David ends the psalm. ‘Wait on the Lord, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off (destroyed), thou shalt see it. I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay (native green) tree. 

Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found. Mark the perfect (blameless) man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace. But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off. 

But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: he is their strength in the time of trouble. And the Lord shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.’ (Ps.37:34-40) 

That says it all friends! If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, then those words of faithful promise ought to lighten your worldly cares and have you singing for, and with joy, each and everyday of your life! Much LOVE!

…when we sincerely trust in Jesus…the burdens on our souls are truly lightened…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 June 2017 Hebrews 12:2.

Hebrews 12:2.   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 the throne of God.

Awright friends, the trumpet has sounded Monday’s battle cry! That means it’s time for us to be up and at ‘em, for Jesus is waiting at the front lines to lead us into battle. We can’t keep our leader waiting because with each passing moment the enemy is advancing closer and closer and gaining the advantage. So without further ado, let’s put on our spiritual armour and hasten to the battle lines. 

And to help raise our awareness and courage, let’s belt out our Monday Morning Battle Hymn like there was no tomorrow. And for many of us there might just be no earthly tomorrow. 

So in full voice, let’s sing. ‘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!’ 

That was good friends! It put a smile on Jesus’ face. Now let’s follow Him into battle, as we hit the highways and byways en route to the concrete jungles and brave the frantic attacks of the evil enemy, who doesn’t know that He’s already lost the battle, because Jesus died, was buried and rose from the grave, signifying the death knell of hell, death and the grave. 

Our Bit tells the story in one sentence. ‘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 the throne of God.’ 

Yes my precious people of God, our Lord and Saviour bravely endured the necessary shame and scandal to pay for our sins, by the shedding of His blood, by being the sacrificial Lamb of God on the cross of Calvary. Wow! What a selfless champion we have as our leader! 

And where is He now? Sitting at the right hand of God’s throne interceding for us, His adopted family and faithful followers. Now how can anything be better than that eh? No way Jose! 

Just imagine it nuh mih breddren: The Son of God, giving His life for us, for which He was then given the awesome title of King of Kings and Lord of Lords and raised to second in command of the universe, like Joseph was with Pharaoh, and is now sitting beside his Father pleading for us to be granted mercy, grace and forgiveness, not for anything we have done or can do, but because of the work He has already done! 

And all God’s children joyfully shouted: ‘Glory to Jesus, the Lamb of God who was slain for us! May He reign forever and ever!’ 

And He will friends, there’s no doubt about that, because the ole fool Lucifer is no match for our Saviour. Yuh don’t see what Lucifer does, walk to and fro about the earth, while Jesus sits in regal splendour at His Father’s side in the high heavens. So who is better off eh? 

Now let’s look at a few scriptures which corroborate our Bit: ‘who for the joy that was set before him…’ Now what reward could He have been promised to make Him do what He did eh? 

Hear Jesus rebuke the two followers He met on the road to Emmaus. ‘O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?’ (Luke 24:25-26) Then He proceeded to explain all that the prophets had said concerning Him down through the ages. 

And the scholars explain. 24:26. Ought (Gr. dei) bespeaks a divine necessity; what the prophets had foretold (see Is.53; Ps.16:22) must and did come to pass. The disciples had been ready to see in Jesus a glorious deliverer, But Jesus’ rebuke (v.25) relates to their unwillingness to take seriously the many Old Testament texts that speak not only of the Messiah’s glory, but also of His suffering.’ 

So friends, for the glory promised by the Father and just from the great desire to do the Father’s will, Jesus ‘endured the cross, despising the shame…’ 

And Bruh Paul tells us in the Good Book, that Jesus: ‘Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’(Phil.2:6-8)  

Oh friends, there’s nothing our God cherishes as much as obedience to His will. And look at how He rewarded Jesus for His obedience. ‘Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil.2:9-11) 

Yes precious people of God, that is how generous and magnanimous our heavenly Father can be when we obey His will. So let’s seriously ponder today in what way(s) we are not being obedient. Maybe that’s why our cups are not overflowing. Much LOVE!

…to obey is better than to sacrifice…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 June 2017 2 Corinthians 5:21.

2 Corinthians 5:21.   For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Aye mih breddren, Saturday has rolled around once again! What are your plans eh? I know I’m not planning to do much of anything productive. It will be mostly a day of rest and relaxation, especially if it’s another nice one like the last few. And it’s supposed to go up to around thirty degrees Celsius. 

Mama yo! Many will now complain that it’s too hot, and the a/c will be blasting cold air. But many others will also break out the sunscreen lotion and work on their tans. It’s a good thing that my tan is natural yes, I don’t have to work at it. (smile) Thank You Lord! 

Anyway, since it’s Saturday, let’s look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm offered this week nuh, in his marvelous effort to inspire us to aspire to a better tomorrow. Hear this one: ‘Without action you aren’t going anywhere. An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.’ 

And is that ever so true and rather appropriate to our Christian faith my brethren, because we’re certainly doing more talking, more preaching, rather than putting the preaching into action, as is most necessary in this lost and evil world. 

Then he tells us: ‘Forgive and let it go. The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind.’ I guess you have to be strong to be able to forgive and let go of hurts inflicted by others. And the eye for an eye thing will certainly make the world blind. 

What did Jesus have to say about the blind leading the blind? ‘And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.’ (Matt.15:14) Gospel truth that! For Jesus doesn’t lie. 

This next quote is a bit touchy. ‘You are in control. Nobody can hurt you without your permission.’ Technically speaking it’s true, we allow others to hurt us. But when someone does dreadful things to us, it’s not that easy to say ‘I won’t let them hurt me,’ and just turn off the hurt. 

The penultimate quote advises: ‘You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.’ The only problem there is that our current ocean of humanity has much much more than just a few dirty drops in it. 

And I’ve left the best for last. ‘A good leader is a person who takes a little more than his share of the blame and a little less than his share of the credit.’ More gospel truth friends! And there’s no better example of that than our own Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

Just look at all He did for us nuh, all the ‘sufferation’ He endured on our behalf, and from then to now, He’s never gotten the plaudits He so rightfully deserves. But he didn’t do what he did for praise and glory, but for LOVE! Can you imagine it? Hn! Most of our leaders today are simply out for their own glorification. 

However our Bit declares of Jesus: ‘For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.’ 

The Father really put Him between a rock and a hard place, but He did what He had to do without a lot of complaining. No, it wasn’t easy, even for Him as the Son of God, but it’s what the Father desired, and He wanted to please the Father. Oh, how I wish that more of us supposed Christians could feel the same way; simply desirous of pleasing the Father and doing what He asks of us without a lot of hemming and hawing. That would be the day! 

Ah friends, it’s not easy living a true Christian life, but when we put our minds to it, with the help of God, it is certainly exciting and adventurous. And I’m not talking from hearsay there, but from personal experience. 

And all I want to do today is highlight a couple of scripture verses that enhance our Bit, from the magnificent prophecy of Isaiah in chapter 53, re the Suffering servant. ‘He is despised and rejected of (forsaken by) men: a man of sorrows (pains), and acquainted with grief (sickness): and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 

Surely he hath borne our griefs (pains), and carried our sorrows (sicknesses): yet we did esteem (reckon) him stricken, smitten of (struck down by) God, and afflicted. But he was wounded (pierced through) for our transgressions, he was bruised (crushed) for our iniquities: the chastisement (discipline, self-control) of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.’ (Is.53:3-6) 

Yes friends, our leader showed us the way, by walking His talk with strength of purpose. He bore our sinful burdens selflessly and gave us His peace and righteousness. Now why can’t we just live up to the little He asks of us eh…to LOVE the Father, LOVE ourselves, not in a narcissist manner, and to LOVE our neighbours as ourselves? 

Is that so hard to do my Christian brethren? What a wonderful world we’d truly have! And there would be supreme joy both in heaven and on earth! Let’s try and make that a reality nuh my people. With God’s help it’s possible. But we have to sincerely want to do it and then put out the great effort necessary. Much LOVE!

…that tremendous gift of atonement…paid for with Jesus’ blood…should have us chomping at the bit…to do God’s bidding…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 June 2017 2 Corinthians 5:21.

2 Corinthians 5:21.   For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Oh friends, like another sparkler of a day is in the offing in my area! Wow! Three sparkling days in a row! We need to give the Lord plenty thanks for such wonderful weather! 

I know for some of you the good weather is small potatoes, because you receive it most of the time, but we’ve had such chilly and rainy days the last couple weeks that some warm, sparkling, dry weather is greatly appreciated. 

And you certainly won’t hear the workingman complain. He is even zestier in his attitude as he unabashedly declares: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! The weekend is upon us… And it going to be hot like hell too! Temps in the thirties! Oh party time…party time… 

Steups! Look, forget the chupid slave driver and his work yes. Work never dead yet! Just let me loose here now, so we can get the party going! Much thanks to God for Fridays and the weekends!’  

Oh mih breddren, how our flesh would LOVE to participate in such interesting endeavours, (smile) but our minds and spirits are crying out for us to resist such fleshly activity. And as sincere Christians, we ought to have some boundaries to our behaviour, not allow ourselves to go to such extremes. 

The Christian way is more like our Friday Chant, so let’s put the lust of the flesh behind us and chant it heartily 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.’ 

And that’s the way it ought to be my people, especially when we take our Bit into account. ‘For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.’ 

Yeh friends, after Jesus paid such an enormous price for us to be freed from sin, we just can’t go back and commit sin willy-nilly again. Oh, we are all still susceptible to sin, but with the Spirit of Christ dwelling in us, we ought to have a strong enough conscience to resist it. 

And we have these powerful verses of scripture from Bruh Paul to the Roman church to help explain the situation and consequently uplift us. Hear him pontificate (smile): ‘For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely (without any cost) by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 

Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation (a mercy seat) through faith in his blood, to declare (demonstrate) his righteousness for the remission (passing over of) sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.’ (Rom.3:23-26) 

Oh friends, right within those verses lies the basis of our salvation… Glory to God! Let’s see if, with the help of the scholars we can get a good understanding of what Bruh Paul is saying there. 

‘3:23. For all have sinned: The human need and the divine provision are alike applied universally. Come short of the glory of God: Man can exceed his own standards but never, left to himself, can he attain God’s standard of righteousness.’ 

Ah mih breddren, regardless of how good we are, we will NEVER reach God’s standards. But He is so wonderful, that knowing that sin pervades and invades all our souls, He wisely provided provision for everybody, if we’d only believe in His Son Jesus Christ, who paid for our sins by the sacrifice, the shedding of His sinless blood on Calvary. 

‘3:24. Being justified (Gr. dikatoumenot) indicates being declared righteous. It signifies the believer’s judicial standing before God. Freely: There is no just cause in man to warrant justification. By his grace: Unmerited favour is bestowed through the redemption (release on payment of ransom). Christ’s death is the ransom. The sinner is released on the basis of the ransom having being paid.’ 

So yuh see friends, we don’t have a leg to stand on, it’s all through God’s grace and Jesus paying the ransom for our sins by the shedding of His blood at Calvary. 

‘3:25-26. Through faith: Christ’s death satisfies the Father’s righteous demands. Its benefits are appropriated only through faith in His finished work. In his blood: The emphasis is not on the blood as it coursed through Christ’s veins, but as it was shed for our sins. This is how the propitiation was accomplished. 

Just, and the justifier: God can remain just (true to His nature) and still declare sinners to be righteous only because Christ has paid for sin and satisfied (propitiated) His holy law. The sinner is not rendered guiltless but pardoned. Christ has taken the sin on Himself and has imputed His righteousness to the sinner.’ 

And all believers shouted a loud and most grateful ‘Thank You Jesus! Thank You ever so much for redeeming us from our abominable sins! We LOVE You, and give You plenty thanks and praise! Please help us to walk steadfast in Your everlasting LOVE! Amen!’ 

Yes friends, I hope we all understand now that it was all the doing of the Father and Jesus, no thanks to us whatsoever. 

So please lets be wise and accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life that’s been offered nuh. Otherwise Jesus’ sacrifice would have been all for nought, a complete waste of time. And I’m sure we don’t want that to be the case. Much LOVE!

…remember the old adage…waste not…want not…

P.S. It’s long and late, but full of redemptive grace (smile) Much LOVE!

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 June 2017 John 10:11.

John 10:11.    I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. 

Oh my people, when I got up and looked outside a li’l while ago, the day seemed so beautiful that I simply had to go outside and say a sparkling ‘Good Morning’ to the Lord and give Him some thanks and praise for causing me to see such another wonderful day! 

Ah, the sun is shining brightly, playing off the green leaves as the flowers in the Duchess’ garden bloom and give off a beautiful sexy aroma, which causes the birds and the bees to helplessly gather around them, so that nature can further be procreated. (smile)

What a wise and wonderful God we serve my brethren! Please give Him some rightfully deserved thanks for allowing us to enjoy His nature walk today; so many others did not awake to that blessing. 

And since it’s Friday, you know the workingman is declaring at every spare moment: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! Mama Yo! Freedom time soon come! Time to dance and sing…and do every li’l thing that I can’t do without the slave driver constantly watching over mih shoulder! Dust in yuh eye massa! Dust in yuh eye! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends oui!’ 

Ah friends, the sentiments are indeed touching and true, but the reaction is somewhat extreme. As Christians, we need to be more disciplined and controlled than that. Our Leader, Jesus Christ expects us to show the way in propriety and excellence, and taking it to the max will certainly not be considered such. 

Our Friday Chant better displays and reflects the behaviour needed. So let’s chant it nuh with sincerity and a strong sense of purpose. In unison 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 friends, that’s a much more appropriate way to approach and handle the weekend! We need to be always somewhat circumspect, so that we don’t give the enemy any leeway in our lives. For once he gets in, it’s like hell, like pulling teeth to get him out. But if our faith is strong, we need not be too concerned about the enemy, for he has already been defeated. 

Listen to out Bit: ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’  

And that is exactly what the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ did: He gave His sinless life for us, so that we don’t have to be afraid of the toothless devil Beelzebub. Glory to God my people! Jesus took all of our sins on His powerful shoulders and wiped our sin slate clean as a whistle, white as snow! How can we not be everlastingly thankful eh? 

Christianity is the only faith that offers such a simple but powerful release from sin: ONLY BELIEVE, it says! Yes friends, if we sincerely believe in the Good Shepherd, He will lighten our burdens and cause us to have salvation and eternal life with the Father. 

Hear him, as He extols His purpose after our Bit. ‘But he that is a hireling (hired man), and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is a hireling, and careth not for the sheep.’ (John 10:12-13) 

And that’s ever so true my people, as all of us have had cause and occasion to run away from situations and from stuff because we simply were hired personnel and didn’t feel that emotionally attached to whatever was happening. 

But our Lord and Saviour is certainly not like that. He sincerely and genuinely declares further: ‘I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and are known of mine.’ (John 10:14) 

Friends, do we know our shepherd? He knows us, but the most important question is do we truly know Him? If we don’t, then crapaud smoke we pipe! 

And the Good Shepherd further states: ‘As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold (flock), and one shepherd.’ (John 10:15-16) 

Oh friends, do you realize that the Good Shepherd was there referring to us, the Gentiles, the heathens, the non-Jews? Yes, He’s such a wonderful shepherd that He wants to include everybody in His kind and LOVING fold!  

No wonder he could continue: ‘Therefore doth my Father LOVE me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself; I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I receive of my Father.’ (John 10:16-17) 

Please notice friends, how important the Father was in the life of Jesus, His Son, and likewise He should also be very prominent, in fact first and foremost in our lives too, because EVERYTHING begins and ends with Him! 

Please notice too that Jesus shows His deity by having the awesome power to give up His earthly life and take it up again! Wow! Nobody took it from Him; He gave it up for us because the Father in His great LOVE, asked Him to, so that we poor sinful wretches could be saved. 

Please remember that my brethren and be suitably grateful and thankful and unified in the ONE flock of the Good Shepherd. That’s wisdom of everlasting proportions! Much LOVE!

…there are shepherds…and there are shepherds…and then there’s JESUS…

 

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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