Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 February 2018 Proverbs 3:5.

Proverbs 3:5.   Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

Ah friends, it looks like it’s going to be a bleak and cloudy day in my neighbourhood, with very little, or no sun at all… But thank the Lord, the SON is always on fire, always shining brightly in the lives of His followers, so we don’t have to worry about the physical aspects of our surroundings.

That’s why, like the psalmist of old, we can confidently proclaim: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’

And not only believers are rejoicing in the day, but also the ordinary workingman, as he sings his Friday song: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Wow! The weekend’s here at last, and party time has begun! It’s going to be party time right through until Monday morning…Who cares if we go to massa work tired and stale drunk eh?

Massa doh really care about we, he just wants to milk the juice out of our bodies, in return for a measly pittance, so why should we care about him and his work eh? Look nuh man…just thank God for Fridays and weekends yes, and enjoy yuh blooming self, because nobody else is going to do it for you!’

And my people, there is a whole lot of truth to that last statement. Nobody is going to enjoy yourself for you. That is your responsibility. However, we Christians differ to the workingman in how we enjoy ourselves. They go to the fleshly extreme, but we do not. Under Jesus authority, we have guidelines and boundaries to respect. That’s why when we chant our Friday Chant, it sounds so much different to the workingman’s song.

So let’s sing it now nuh, in all sincerity and truth. ‘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.’

Now it’s obviously more difficult to adhere to that state of affairs than the workingman’s easy, carnal attitude, but with God’s help we can certainly do it. Remember, our wonderful God does not ask us to do anything that He does not give us the wherewithal to do it. So though it might seem difficult, and indeed be difficult, under His auspices we will certainly be able to perform any task that He asks of us.

That’s why our Bit, in the words of Cousin Sol, so strongly advises us to: ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.’  And if you are a serious and sincere believer in Jesus Christ, then that is indeed the epitome of wisdom and common sense! No matter what organization you belong to, you must exhibit confidence and trust in your leader, otherwise you’re wasting your time in being a member of that organization.

No wonder the psalmist also tells us in Psalm 37 – God’s works and wisdom: ‘Hear attentively the noise of his voice (thunder), and the sound that goeth out of (the rumbling that comes) out of his mouth. He directeth it under the whole heaven, and his lightning (light) unto the ends of the earth.

After it a voice roareth; He thundereth with the voice of his excellency (his majestic voice); and he will not stay (restrain) them when his voice is heard. God thundereth marvellously with his voice; great things doeth he, which we cannot comprehend.’ (Ps.37:2-5)

And isn’t that the gospel truth my people! Our omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God does numerous things that our puny, finite minds cannot dream to understand. That’s because His ways and thoughts are higher than ours. That’s why He is God and we are mere mortals. Therefore we’re not to get presumptuous and try to do our own thing if we claim to be subservient to Him.

And after our Bit, Cousin Sol continues his wise advice. ‘In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct (make smooth, straight) thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel (body), and marrow (strength) to thy bones. (Prov.3:6-8)

Oh friends, there isn’t a wiser piece of scripture in the entire Bible. If we simply follow those four verses (Prov.3:5-8) we will never go wrong. But let’s end with these words from the prophet Jeremiah as he talks about the knowledge of God being man’s glory.

‘Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise LOVING-kindness, judgement (justice), and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.’ (Jer. 9:23-24)

Ah mih people, words straight from the Lord’s mouth to us. So please, in our wisdom, let’s try and live the way He desires of us nuh. Much LOVE!

…to live a godly life…LOVING-kindness…justice…and right living…must be essential aspects of our lives…

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 January 2018 Revelation 21:4.

Revelation 21:4.   And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Greetings friends, from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! He wants us to know that this Thursday morning we are only one day away from our weekend break, and that we have done a good job so far this week, we’ve been ploughing straight furrows, so we should not give up or lose hope, because He is right there alongside us, every moment of the day, and with His help, we will certainly succeed. 

So just hang in there, keep on fighting the good fight, and all will be well! What a reassuring message my people! And Jesus is nothing, if not a ‘reassurer.’ And His promises are ever-faithful and true. So please keep on believing. 

And I have an interesting thought to share from one Erwin Raphael McManus, author, futurist, designer, filmmaker and Pastor of a Los Angeles church called Mosaic. He apparently says in his book, ‘The Last Arrow,’ that ‘The pain of life is the obstacle to our future. Do not let fear and pain limit your freedom to your future.’ 

What wise and truthful words my brethren! In this fallen and sinful world of ours, it is fear and pain that take a dire toll on our freedom to enjoy this earthly life. If we didn’t have fear or pain, we’d be home free. (smile) But we know that that situation will only be rectified after the Second Coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, when Almighty God births the new heaven and earth. What a joyful day that will be my people! 

And we have that on good info from John the Revelator, who writes, after seeing a vision: ‘And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.’ (Rev.21:1-5) 

Wow mih breddren, what an awesome promise and time we have to look forward to; living in the New Jerusalem where there will be no night or day, no pain, sorrow, or death and Jesus and the Father and the Holy Spirit will dwell amongst us in living colour! Mama Mia! I can’t wait for that day when there will be no more pain! (smile) 

Now let’s check out some explanations from the scholars’. ’21:1-2. Chapters 21 and 22 are a description of the eternal state (following the Millennium and the final judgement), centering in the new Jerusalem as the eternal habitation of the saved (cf. Heb.11:10; 12:22-24). 

The first heaven and the first earth are replaced by a new heaven and a new earth, predicted by Isaiah (cf. Is.65:17; 66:22). The present universe will thus be cleansed from all the effects of sin (cf. 2 Pet. 3:7, 10-13). Since there will be no more sea, the increased land space will be fully capable of handling large numbers of redeemed people from all ages. 

The New Jerusalem is fully described in 21:10-22:5. It is a holy city, totally separate from sin (cf. vs, 8, 27; 22:15). It is being prepared (cf. John 14:3) as the habitation of the bride of Christ (cf. v.9). From God shows its divine purpose, and out of heaven its divine origin.’ 

Yeh mih people, a new day is coming, we know not when, that means we have to be prepared and constantly on the lookout for it. As Peter warns: ‘But the day of the Lord will come as a thief (robber) in the night…Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. 

Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.’ (2 Pet. 3:10a, 13-14) 

Yeh friends, we have that awesome promise of Jesus that after He’s wrapped up, destroyed all the sin and evil in the world, He will bring us to a place of everlasting peace and joy to dwell with Him forever. But it’s imperative that we make the necessary preparations RIGHT NOW, because Jesus can come back at ANY time. Oh, and please read the references in the scholars’ explanations, for they are a treasure trove of scripture. (smile) 

And having read and digested all of that, let’s go home loudly and sincerely declaring our Thursday Blessings. As one now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! 

I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! 

I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And please remember that those blessings were granted to us not to keep and hoard for ourselves, but to share with others, so let’s go out and share them now nuh. Much LOVE!

…there is awesome power in the word of Jesus…because that’s what created the universe and all therein…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 January 2018 2 Timothy 1:7.

2 Timothy 1:7.   For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.

And then it was Saturday…somewhat late in the day though, and many of you won’t notice, because like the ole fella you also slept in some. (smile) But what’s life eh, if once in a while you can’t sleep in and not be run ragged by the busyness of this insane world? The Lord’s LOVE, mercy, grace and forgiveness will still be there when we get up. 

Oh how wonderful is the God we serve and worship my brethren! He is always thinking about our welfare, so we need to be very thankful and grateful as we walk arm in arm with Him. And remember too, that NO ONE can separate us from Him, but us. And such a move on our part would be rather foolish. Nuff said. 

Let’s see what our friend Anselm has to say on this bleak and gloomy Saturday morning. First off, he tells us that ‘Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.’ 

I have serious doubts about that yes, because in this society there are oodles of people right now with lots of formal education, who can’t even get a job, much less earn a living. And if and when they do get one, the wage is definitely not in line with their standard of education. It’s surprising that in this supposed first-world economy, the number of university grads who are making minimum wage. 

And in my province of Ontario, at the beginning of the year, the government raised the minimum wage from eleven something to fourteen something, and as expected all the business people are up in arms, threatening all sorts of retribution. 

Some Tim Horton’s franchises have already cut back paid breaks, tips and stuff, taking away what little the employees already had, in their greedy desire to keep their profit margins high. So who knows, self-education might just be the answer. 

And I like this next quote. ‘If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.’ That’s oh so true my fellow believers. I’m sure most of us have had that experience at some time(s) in our lives. 

Times when we actually buckled down and did stuff we had to do, and was surprised at the quality and quantity of work we accomplished because we had set our minds to it. Many of us never reach our full capability, because we’re either not challenged to, or we just settle for average results. 

That leads us to this quote. ‘Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.’ And there’s much truth in that advice, especially in these modern times, where a lot of supposed successful people add li’l or no value to the society. Check out the celebrity culture that currently rules the world. 

How many of them add anything worthwhile to the society eh? Not many. That’s a big reason why the world is in such a mess. So friends, in our lives, please let’s concentrate on adding value to our lives and our society. Value usually means success in the real world, but not necessarily the other way around. 

And finally Anselm tells us that ‘Fearlessness is like a muscle. I know from my own life that the more I exercise it, the more natural it becomes to not let my fears run me.’ There is indeed substance to that remark, because the more we practice not being afraid, the more we will learn to conquer fear. 

But the basic foundation for conquering fear comes from our association with Jesus Christ. That’s who gives us the strength and wisdom to conquer fear. Oh friends, throughout the Good Book there are numerous warnings about fear. And one of the most powerful is that found in our Bit; Bruh Paul’s admonition to Timothy. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ 

And that’s gospel truth friends! Our wonderful God has not given us a fearful spirit, we allow the enemy to put fear into our hearts. And all I want to do today is highlight a few scriptures where God warned us not to be afraid. And one of my favourites is the one He commanded Joshua, when He made him leader of the Israelites after Moses’ death. 

Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.’ (Josh.1:9) Ah mih people, the Lord could not have been more explicit. 

Then in Isaiah, re the final restoration of Israel, He warns His people the same way. ‘Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be thou not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.’ (Is.41:10) 

Now hear one of the first ‘fear not’ instructions; that from Moses when the Israelites were preparing to leave Egypt. ‘And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation (deliverance) of the Lord, which he will show to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace (be quiet).’ (Ex.14:13-14) 

And so said, so was it done. The Lord drowned the Egyptians in the closing of the Red sea. And we’ll end with these words of Jesus as He talked about care and anxiety and seeking God’s kingdom above all else. ‘Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’ (Luke 12:32) 

And it is indeed the Lord’s desire to give us the kingdom, if we seek Him above all else. So friends, there is no need to fear man nor beast once we are walking hand in hand with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Please, let’s therefore rid ourselves of all the unwanted and unnecessary fear that is secreted in our hearts, by giving it to God. That’s wisdom of untold proportions! Much LOVE!

…fear can only be conquered by faith…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 December 2017 1 Samuel 16:7.

1 Samuel 16:7.   Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused (rejected) him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.

Eight days friends, eight long days to Christmas Day! And can you imagine the loud voices raised in glorious  song, in praise and worship all over the world as that day draws nigh, and we gather in the Lord’s house this and next Sunday to fellowship with joy and gladness! And when you add heaven’s rejoicing with their own songs of praise and worship, what a joyful cacophony of harmonious singing there will be in the universe! (smile) 

So let’s not waste any time in joining that awesome choir of celebration, let’s declare our own joy by offering up our rendition of the old but much beloved hymn, ‘Hark the herald angels sing,’ written by Charles Wesley in the early 18th century. With much pomp and pride and heartfelt sincerity, let’s open up our mouths, and with sacrificial praise let the world know how glad and grateful we are for Jesus’ birth.  

In perfect harmony now: ‘Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King; Peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!” Joyful, all ye nations rise, Join the triumph of the skies; With th’angelic host proclaim, “Christ is born in Bethlehem!” (Refrain: Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!”) Christ, by highest Heav’n adored; Christ the everlasting Lord; Late in time, behold Him come, Offspring of a virgin’s womb. Veiled in flesh the Godhead see; Hail th’incarnate Deity, Pleased with us in flesh to dwell, Jesus our Emmanuel. (Refrain) 

Hail the heav’nly Prince of Peace! Hail the Sun of Righteousness! Light and life to all He brings, Ris’n with healing in His wings. Mild He lays His glory by, Born that man no more may die; Born to raise the sons of earth, Born to give them second birth. (Refrain) Come, Desire of nations, come, Fix in us Thy humble home; Rise, the woman’s conqu’ring Seed, Bruise in us the serpent’s head. Now display Thy saving pow’r, Ruined nature now restore; Now in mystic union join Thine to ours, and ours to Thine. (Refrain) 

Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface, Stamp Thine image in its place: Second Adam from above, Reinstate us in Thy LOVE. Let us Thee, though lost, regain, Thee, the Life, the inner man: Oh, to all Thyself impart, Formed in each believing heart. (Refrain).’

Ah friends, how beautiful it is to give thanks and praise to our heavenly Father! Nothing moves our heart like that. And it also moves the Father’s heart when He sees the outpouring of real LOVE from the very depths of our hearts towards Him, not just us spouting inane platitudes to try and win His attention. That’s why it’s ever so important to have right motives in our hearts at all times my brethren. 

Remember what the Lord said to Samuel in our Bit when He sent him to anoint one of Jesse’s sons to be the next king of Israel. ‘Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused (rejected) him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, we can carry on with all sorts of righteousness and holiness in public, like the Pharisees did, but if our heart isn’t right, then the Lord will simply ignore us. And unfortunately, in this current version of our society, outward appearance is a very big factor in how we react to and treat each other. That’s why there are so many outwardly good-looking ungodly, incompetent, simple-minded and evil people in our world today. Oh we can certainly put on a good outward show, be kind and generous and all that, but when the Lord checks us out and realizes that we’re only doing it just for our personal benefit, He’s simply going to cut us off at the knees. 

And a very good example of that is Jesus’ position on the offering of a poor widow and that of the rich folks. ‘And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites (small copper coins), which make a farthing.  And he (Jesus) called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury. For all they did cast in of their abundance (surplus); but she of her want (out of her poverty) did cast in all that she had, even all her living (her whole livelihood).’ (Mark 12:42-44) 

Yeh friends, in the Lord’s eyes, it’s not always about how much you give, but more often what sacrifice you make to give whatever it is. If we have plenty, we can always give plenty. But it’s when we don’t have plenty, then we see the true nature of our hearts. As the scholars say: ‘12:43-44. God does not measure giving by conventional human standards.’ And that’s gospel truth! 

Thus friends, it’s ever so important for us have the kind of heart that the Lord approves of, and the best way to get that is by going to Him in sincere prayer and asking for His help, like Bruh David did at the end of Psalm 139 – The everlasting presence and power of God. He humbly pleads: ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart: try (test) me, and know my (anxious) thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’ (Ps.139:23-24)

Yes my people, that’s the best way to acquire a right heart…go directly to the Father! Much LOVE!

…a man whose heart is not right…will not find favour with the Lord…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 December 2017 Matthew 5:14.

Matthew 5:14.   Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.

Oh friends, the time is drawing ever nearer to that most significant day – Christmas Day – when our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was born! Glory Hallelujah! Give God the Father all thanks, praise and glory for the awesome miracle that He wrought in the lives of, and on behalf of sinful men that day some two thousand years ago! 

And even more importantly, please, we need to see that thanks and glory reflected in our homes as the poem ‘You Cannot Be Hid,’ from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin so avidly describes. 

Please pray with me: ‘Lord, I’ve discovered it’s never a secret When You live in a home For You simply cannot be hid. The neighbours soon know You are there Even strangers learn of Your presence. When You are the Great First in a home 

There is a radiance that speaks of joy There is gentleness, kindness Laughter and LOVE. There is commotion mixed with contentment There are problems mixed with prayer. Lord, Your own word says it so vividly: “It was known that He was in the house.” 

Yes my people, anytime the Lord God Almighty is the ‘Great First’ in our homes, that most excellent and welcome fact cannot be hid, because it shows in the way the family interacts with each other and with those who come around them! 

Wow! What a joyful home that becomes! That doesn’t mean that problems and other negative aspects of life don’t exist in the homes where God is FIRST. It just means that they are dealt with in a healthy, godly manner, and a continual strife-filled environment doesn’t exist there. 

Oh how I wish many many more of our homes, especially the Christian ones, were truly like that. Yeh friends, we all know that a lot of homes that seem Christian on the outside don’t really behave in good Christian fashion on the inside. 

So please, for this Christmas season, in these ongoing strife-filled and negative times, let’s try and bring a true Christian feeling, a true Christian environment to our homes nuh. Let our neighbours and the stranger just passing through see it written loud and clear in the way we interact, so that they can appreciate our way of life and come to know Jesus too. 

Remember, it’s not just the presents, the food, decorations and outward atmosphere that are important at Christmas time, but also the internal, the spiritual accent, for they bring the true Spirit of Christ to the situation. And the Bible promise for that poem is also our Bit, the well-known words of Jesus to His disciples and also to us. ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.’ 

Oh my people, that is exactly what Jesus expects from us; to be a blazing light of holiness and righteousness to the evil and sinful world that surrounds us! Then He continues with an addendum: ‘Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket), but on a candlestick (lamp stand); and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.’ (Matt.5:15) 

Yeh friends, Jesus expects us to show our Christianity to the whole world, so that they can see and believe the awesome benefits inherent in becoming His follower. 

And furthermore, in the verse before our Bit, He declares another truth that He expects from His followers: ‘Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour (flavour), wherewith (by what) shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot by men.’ (Matt.5:13) 

Oh friends, yuh better believe that Christians, as a unified and righteous body have lost their salt and their light is not shining as brightly as it ought to! Who knows exactly why? 

But there are some reasons that definitely contribute to the unfortunate situation; reasons like fear of what man can do to us, disunity between Christians, too many factions and divisions of Christians, unnecessary compromise with the world, and simple sloth and laziness, with the avowed intention to just enjoy the things of the world and the things of God be put on the back burner. 

But friends, our avowed intention ought to be what Jesus demanded of us: ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt.5:16) That’s the crux of the matter right there my believing brethren! We simply need to come up higher in our Christian living. 

And this Christmas season is the best time to do it. So please, let’s all promise our God, and ourselves, that this Christmas, Christ will truly be in our houses and our lives, and be clearly visible to all and sundry. And having made that promise, let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the whole world know our position in Christ. 

In truth and sincerity now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. 

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

And what a truly glorious future that will be my people! And it all began with Christ’s birth at Christmas! Much LOVE!

…if Christians don’t advertise their wonderful faith…then who will eh…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 December 2017 Isaiah 2:8.

Isaiah 2:8.   Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their fingers have made.

And behold friends, it’s a bright and sunshiny morning in my neighbourhood! But it’s cold! And that’s the big difference between the light of the Sun and the light of the Son. 

The light of the sun can be so intense, you can’t even look at it without eye protection, but at the same time, depending on what part of the world you are, in certain seasons, there is no warmth in its brilliance. 

The light of the Son though is an entirely different story: His light is ALWAYS warm and comforting, regardless of where you are in this great big world! It could be in the mind-numbing cold of the Arctic or Antarctica, or the excessive heat of the Equator; Jesus is, and will forever be a warm, shining light that you can look at without eye protection. 

And all of God’s people declared a loud, proud and grateful: ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ Yeh, so even though the workingman has bright sunshine in which to declare his anthem today, he still has to be bundled up to do so. 

And it doesn’t stop him, as he vociferously declares: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and another week of slavery done! And I don’t understand it nuh; the slave master could be so evil and unkind, even as he claims to be a man of God. He want to fire me because I refuse to work overtime on the weekend. Steups! 

But what he expect eh? The weekend is the one li’l time I have off to do my business, and he expect me to give it up for the few lousy cents he want to pay me. Chuh pool! But not to worry, I going to enjoy my weekend, eat drink and be merry, and some way, get my pound of flesh from that ole crook, who call himself a Christian! Hn! That’s why I have to say thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes!’ 

And right there we have one of the problems that exist in our Christian faith; supposed Christians behaving in an un-Christian-like manner. Now we don’t have to give in to all the requests of our employees, but we do have to treat them in a fair and Christian manner, otherwise that’s the conception they develop of us; an hypocritical one, and rightly so. 

And talking about being unfair and unkind, listen to this scenario. You all know the Republican Party in the U.S is trying to pass a very bad Tax Bill, very much weighted in favour of the already rich, but one element of that Bill is supposedly removing the provision of deductions for loss of property from things like wildfires and earthquakes. Hn! 

Can you imagine the devastating effect that will have on those people in California who have already been through wildfires earlier on in the year, and those who are currently undergoing the tremendous calamity of the now raging, out of control fires in that State? 

No wonder we say that man’s inhumanity to man, makes countless thousands mourn. In this case though, it will be more like countless millions. Let’s hope wiser minds prevail, and that Tax Bill, or at least that provision does not get passed. Let’s pray on it please friends. 

Now let’s chant our Friday Chant, which is a tad more spiritual than the workingman’s song. (smile) All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

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

Yeh mih people, that’s more in tune with our Christian heritage; seeking God’s will rather than ours. That brings us to a rather appropriate Bit, where Isaiah talks about the day of the Lord, His judgement on the proud. ‘Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their fingers have made.’ 

And isn’t that the living truth friends? In this sinful and secular society today, we worship the things we have made, running behind the wealth and other foolish trappings of the world, instead of seeking God and His awesome righteousness. In fact we’re trying our hardest to remove God completely from our society. 

How foolish is that eh? How can you remove the One who created you? And how can you worship something that you have made with your own hands eh; something that has no life or power? 

As the psalmist so wisely and rightly puts it in Psalm 115 – Trust in God, not in idols. ‘Their idols are silver and gold, the work of man’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.’ (Ps.115:4-8)  

That says it all friends! Why worship the inanimate objects that you yourself have made eh? That makes absolutely no sense. What makes sense is to do as the psalmist says afterwards. ‘O Israel, trust thou in the Lord: he is their help and their shield.’ (Ps.115:9) 

And with those words of awesome wisdom, we’ll close today. Please, my brethren, let’s take them to heart and follow them nuh, for they will be exceedingly beneficial to us. Much LOVE!

…what’s the use of worshipping idols…if they have no power to do anything for you…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 December 2017 Psalm 118:5.

Psalm 118:5.   I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me, and set me in a large (broad) place.

Oh precious people of God, it is Christmas time; the season of peace, LOVE and goodwill to all men, in honour of the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

And what a magnificent time it can be, if we don’t forget that Jesus is the reason for the season and keep Him first place in our hearts as we busily rush around making preparations for this joyful occasion. 

Yes friends, we need to keep ourselves reminded of that all-important fact, otherwise the incredible noise and the hullabaloo of the secular world and their avowed intention to remove Jesus from our society, will drown it out of our hearts, minds and souls. 

And today I want to share a quote that resounds with the atmosphere of the season. It’s attributed to Dag Hammarskjold (1905-1961), Swedish, diplomat, economist and author, who served as the second Secretary General of the United Nations, and was killed in a plane crash in Zambia, while on his way to investigate some irregularities. 

He reputedly said that: ‘Forgiveness is the answer to the child’s dream of a miracle by which what is broken is made whole again, what is soiled is again made clean.’ 

And doesn’t that perfectly fit this Christmas season, when Christ came as a child, the miracle that was to fix our broken and fallen sinful nature, offering forgiveness, while eventually washing us white as snow, and thus making us clean again, so that we could communicate in holiness and righteousness with our heavenly Father? It sure does to me! 

And I guess that’s why Christmas is such a time of forgiveness, where joy and laughter, peace and goodwill triumph over the usually selfish, morose and negative rest of the year. The wonderful Spirit of Jesus is in the air my brethren! Glory to God for His LOVING-kindness to the children of men! Let’s keep His wonderful Spirit alive as we keep shouting, ‘Merry Christmas to All…and to All a Happy New Year!’ 

That brings us to our Bit: ‘I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me, and set me in a large (broad) place.’ 

Ah friends, isn’t it wonderful to have the Lord to cry out to in times of trouble? It surely is! No other faith has that divine promise of hearing and responding in positive fashion to our requests. And we see it in so many places in the Good Book. Yesterday we saw Bruh David crying out for help, and receiving it. 

Now let’s look at a couple of other situations where heartfelt pleas were made to the Father, and He responded positively. The psalmist in Psalm 120 – Prayer for deliverance from lying lips – begins by declaring: ‘In my distress I cried unto the Lord, and he heard me. Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue.’ (Ps.120:1-2) 

Oh my fellow believers, in these deceitful, strife filled and ultra-talkative times, many of us need to cry out to the Lord for help in that area, for truth is sadly lacking in our society. And one of the best examples of our Bit is Jonah’s cry from the belly of the fish after he had disobeyed the Lord’s directive to go and preach to the people of Nineveh. 

‘Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish’s belly, and said, I cried by reason of mine (because of my) affliction unto the Lord, and he heard (answered) me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice. 

For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst (the heart) of the seas; and the floods compassed me about (surrounded me): all thy billows and thy waves passed over me. Then said I, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.’ (Jon.2:1-4) 

Yeh friends, I am sure being in that fish’s belly for three days and nights was certainly hell for Jonah. But please note that though he was disobedient and being punished for it, he never lost faith in the LOVING-kindness and forgiveness of his God. 

Later on in the chapter he declares: ‘When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord: and my prayer came in unto (went up to) thee, into thine holy temple. They that observe lying vanities (worthless idols) forsake their own mercy (LOVING-kindness). But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord.’ (Jon.2:7-9) 

Oh my people, yuh see even when we are in the most desperate and distraught situations, it is never too late to call on our wonderful God. Jonah did it, as it were from the very depths of hell. And what was the response? ‘And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.’ (Jon.2:10) 

Even so will the Lord cause us to be released from our misery if we call upon Him in humility and sincere belief, because that’s what He is all about; LOVING-kindness, mercy and forgiveness. Friends, oh friends, please remember that and NEVER lose faith in Him, regardless of the circumstances! 

Now let’s go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, boldly letting the world know of our faith and our wonderful position in Jesus Christ. As one strong and solid voice now. ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! 

Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And what a glorious future that will be my fellow believers! Much LOVE!

…Christmas…the time of joy and LOVE…celebrating the miracle of the coming of Jesus…

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