Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 July 2018 Lamentations 3:22-23.

Lamentations 3:22-23.   It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

And the world continues to unfurl as it should; that’s according to Almighty God’s universal plan! Oh, for sure we don’t understand it; why all the strife, anger, hatred, poverty, sickness and economic deprivation eh? 

But we need to understand that God’s mind and ways are so much higher, bigger and greater than ours, so that if He even explained it to us, we would not be able to understand it with our comparatively puny and finite minds. And all we really need to be concerned about is simply doing whatever He asks us to do, both as individuals and as the body of Christ, His Holy Church. Amen! 

That’s why the workingman doesn’t pay too much attention to the strife-filled world we currently live in, even on Friday the 13. (smile) Hear him sing his weekend song. “TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! And I don’t care whether it’s Friday the 13th, or whatever other day they have with a set of poppycock notions about evil befalling you if you do some foolishness like walking under a ladder, or a black cat crossing your path! That’s pure nonsense! 

But let them believe whatever they want yes! That’s their business! All I know is that we going to be eating and drinking and having a good time once it’s a Friday and the weekend and we have some time off from the massa slave-work. Thank God for Fridays and the weekends oui!’ 

Yes friends, it’s indeed Friday the 13th, and a lot of superstition is going to be running rampant today. It’s a good thing, that like the ordinary workingman, we are not troubled by such stuff. We too are going to celebrate the weekend, but not just to the outrageous limits that he does. So let’s chant our Friday Chant nuh, which tells exactly how we will spend our weekend. 

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!’ 

Yes my brethren, ours is a much more relaxed and responsible kind of weekend, preparing ourselves to go back out and do Jesus’ work the next week. If we overdo the weekend, then we’ll be of no use whatsoever to ourselves or to Him. And you must have noticed that we’re still on the compassion Bit. (smile) 

Well that’s because there are so many scriptures on compassion and it’s oh so important in our Christian faith and we are definitely not as good at it as we ought to be. Just look at our topsy-turvy world nuh! Don’t you think that if we had just a bit more compassion circulating in it that it would be a much more wonderful place to live? It surely would be! 

Here’s what Jesus wants, what He came to earth and practiced and died for; so that we could have compassion on each other, forgive others the way that God forgives us. And remember His words: ‘But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matt.6:15) That puts it so plain and straightforward; if you don’t forgive, you won’t be forgiven. And showing compassion is just one part of the plan. 

Listen to how Jeremiah puts it. ‘It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.’ 

Oh friends, I do hope that seeing that scripture every day for the last few days has caused our compassion meter to rise up some, else these messages would be all for nought. But let’s get to the compassion scriptures before time and space run out on us. Listen to the Good Book, re our Lord and Saviour, the Master of compassion. 

‘And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt (are willing), thou canst make me clean. And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean. And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.’ (Mark 1:40-42) Glory be mih breddren! How wonderful is our Saviour eh? Most wonderful! 

And the scholars offer these explanations. ‘1:40. The leper assumes a respectful, if plaintive, posture. His beseeching is not based on Jesus’ ability but on His willingness.’ Yuh see friends, even the leper knew and recognized Jesus as the Great Healer. He didn’t doubt that He could heal, just whether He was willing to. 

Unfortunately though, many of us believers today don’t have the kind of faith that leper had, and are not completely convinced that Jesus could heal us even in these times of calamity and untold frustration. How sad! 

‘1:41. Jesus is moved with compassion to help. Mark’s picture of Jesus is not of an unmoved problem-solver sweeping serenely and unemotionally from incident to incident. See Hebrews 4:15.’ 

No friends, our Jesus was, and is as emotional as one can get! And we’ll end today with that most appropriate scripture the scholars just quoted, because I know most of us won’t look it up, and it’s very important to our understanding of Jesus and our faith. 

‘Seeing then that we have a high priest, that is passed into (through) the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession (faith). For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (our weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb.4:14-16) 

Oh mih people, there’s no better remedy for our problems than taking them to Jesus in prayer, because He experienced temptation and frustration just like we do, but in His status as God too, He did not sin. That’s why He could pay for our sins and now sits as an intercessor for us at the right hand of God, being able to empathize with our earthly problems. Won’t you come to Him today, and experience His compassion. It’s the antidote for all that ails you. Much LOVE!

…in earthly or heavenly form…Jesus just exudes compassion…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 July 2018 Romans 8:1.

Romans 8:1.  There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Well friends, it seems like the heat wave is finally over! Thank the Lord! Some rain fell yesterday evening and in the night and cooled down the place some, but the heat wave certainly wreaked havoc in the Province of Quebec, where it seems thirty something people died during that excessively hot time. 

Steups! When it’s not one thing, it’s certainly another. Meanwhile down in the U.S. some places had an exceeding amount of rain that caused extensive flooding. And out in Northern California that wildfire we spoke of yesterday is expanding its reach with a vengeance. 

But yuh know what friends, all is not lost because of these negative circumstances, since we know that our omnipotent, omniscient, omni-present God is still on His heavenly throne overseeing things, and in His own time and way, everything will be made right. Glory to God! 

And anyway, today is Friday, and nothing is going to stop the workingman from declaring his heartfelt song. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! Brother! Don’t know if I could have made it one more day nuh. What with all the partying and lack of sleep from last weekend’s Canada Day celebrations, and the hard work on massa slave job, the ole body was really tired. 

Glad that this was just a short week yes! Anyhow, is still the weekend, and the summer weekend calls for getting out there and making exciting things happen. And that’s what we’ll do, tired or not. Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’  

Ah mih people, I’m sure many of us feel the same way; tired after a long weekend of celebrations, then straight into a week of work under hot and exhaustive temperatures. But hopefully, we will not do like the workingman and continue in excessive celebrations over the weekend, because it doesn’t fit who we are. 

We are followers of Jesus Christ and we have boundaries, limits to how far we can go along the continuum of celebrations…certainly not as far as the workingman goes. So let’s declare our weekend song, our Friday Chant, which is entirely different to that of the workingman. 

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 friends, ours is a much more responsible situation. Oh we can party and such, but not to extremes, and we’re always on the lookout for ways to increase Christ’s kingdom and not denigrate it. That’s why we do not live by the flesh, by the wicked, ungodly ways of the world, but by the pure Spirit of Christ. 

As Bruh Paul tells us in our Bit: ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.’ 

Oh my people, my people, what a delicious situation! Wow! If we live in Christ’s Spirit, under His law, we are no longer condemned, just convicted; not sentenced to die, but merely reminded and possibly punished, but given another chance, a much better situation. ‘For the law of the Spirit of life in Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.’ (Rom.8:2) 

Glory be mih breddren! Christ’s sacrificial death paid for our sins, and when we place our sincere trust and belief in Him, we no longer live under the negative law of sin, which says: ‘For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (Rom.6:23) Praise Christ’s Holy Name for all that He’s done for us undeserving children of men! 

As Bruh Paul continues to the church at Rome: ‘For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for (on account of) sin, condemned sin in the flesh. That the righteousness (righteous requirement) of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.’ (Rom.8:3-4) 

And all God’s people gave out a loud and sincere ‘Thank You Jesus!’  And so we should, because it’s only through Jesus becoming human and coming to earth, but not committing sin, and dying on our behalf, in our place, that we’ve been set free from the weak law of the flesh. 

As the scholars explain: ‘8:3. Law…was weak: There is nothing inherently wrong with the law. The presence of sin renders the believer powerless to do what the law demands. The likeness of sinful flesh: Christ was truly human but not a sinner (2 Cor.5:21).’ 

And instead of asking you to check out that scripture, which most of you will not do, we’ll just end with it instead. Oh, the spoon-feeding! (smile) ‘For he hath made him to be sin for us (to bear our sins), who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in (through) him.’ (2 Cor.5:21) 

Oh friends, please remember and be very appreciative of the fact, that whatever we are today; righteous in the eyes of God, justified, sanctified, etc. etc. it’s all because of Jesus and His enormous selfless sacrifices! Much LOVE!

…if you know about Jesus…and don’t LOVE and worship Him…then something’s sadly wrong with you and your mind…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 June 2018 2 Kings 22:2.

2 Kings 22:2.   And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left.

Ah friends, the ole fella’s shaking it a tad on the rough side this morning. My ole nostrils were blocked up again last night, so I had to breathe through my mouth, with the attendant dryness, disturbed sleep, etc. etc. Ah Lord eh! This one step forward, half backward is becoming a bit much yes! 

But what to do eh? Nothing but grin and bear it, knowing that the Lord is in control on the throne, doing what He does best, rule with our best interests at heart. And sadly, the workingman isn’t interested in my negative circumstance, (smile) he’s just come out to sing his song of freedom: 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday and we soon get a break from the new slavery with mental chains instead of the real ones! The weekend is here…and it’s summertime…and the living is easy…and we certainly going to enjoy every moment of it, as long as we can. Pure carousing and having a good time, with no thought about work until Monday morning! Oh, the weekend, the weekend! Give God thanks for Fridays and the weekends yes!’ 

For sure my people, we ought to give thanks to Almighty God not only for Fridays and weekends, but for each and every day that we’re alive! For it’s through His largesse, His LOVING-kindness that we keep on drawing the breath of life that He first instilled in us at birth. 

But if we are believers, we need to have limits and responsibilities to the way we live our lives. Excessive and limitless carousing does not go over well in Jesus’ society. That’s why our Friday Chant is so much different to the workingman’s song. And as we chant it now, let’s seriously think about it and make plans to sincerely follow it. 

Altogether now, let’s chant: ‘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, it contains most of the elements in the workingman’s song, but just on a more level-headed and responsible note. And speaking about level heads and responsibility, I opened the Good Book and immediately saw a most appropriate passage, for today’s Bit. ‘And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left.’  

Ah mih breddren, we couldn’t find greater disparity in behaviour than in the kings of Judah back in olden times. The above passage is talking of Josiah, who began ruling Judah when he was 8 years old and ruled for 31 fruitful years. His mother’s name was Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah of Boscath, a city in Judah. 

Now hear how the Good Book describes the reign of Amon, Josiah’s father. ‘Amon was twenty and two years old when he began to reign (became king). And his mother’s name was Meshullemeth, the daughter of Haruz of Jotbah. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, as his father Manasseh did. And he walked in all the way that his father walked in, and served the idols that his father served, and worshipped them: And he forsook the Lord God of his fathers, and walked not in the way of the Lord.’ (2 Kin.21:19-22) 

Oh precious people, there is no certainty that we will take after our fathers, or do what they did, as we can see by the difference in those three kings of Judah’s behaviour. Now Josiah did not take after his father Amon, who took after his father Manasseh, who did not take after his father Hezekiah. So obviously Judah was a mess, moving from godly to ungodly and back again, according to the whims and fancies of their kings. 

Hear how the Good Book describes Manasseh: ‘Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Hephzibah. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, after the abominations of the heathen, whom the Lord cast out before the children of Israel. 

For he built up again the high places (places for pagan worship) which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he reared up altars for Baal, and made a grove (wooden image) as did Ahab king of Israel; and worshipped all the host of heaven (gods of the Assyrians), and served them.’ (2 Kin.21:1-3) 

And I wonder, since the Good Book names their mothers, if, or how much they had to do with the godly or ungodly behaviour of their sons. It’s a note for thought. (smile)  

And the scholars give us some further explanations. ‘21:1-2. Manasseh’s 55 year reign was the longest of any of the Old Testament kings. Unlike his godly father, Hezekiah, he reproduced the wickedness of his grandfather Ahaz. He emulated Ahaz’s spiritual evil by bringing pagan altars into various places of the temple complex and placing the Asherah (Canaanite fertility goddess) symbol within the temple itself (vs.3-7).’ 

Now what could be worse than placing a pagan symbol inside of the Lord’s sanctuary eh friends? Nothing really! And then they wondered why life was so rough with them. Unfortunately we are doing the same pagan stuff today and also wondering why life isn’t better. 

Ah mih people, life as a society never gets better until we begin to truly and sincerely follow the laws and edicts of Almighty God, who created us, gave us His breath of life, and takes it back when ever he desires. And until we understand that and live by it, our lives will always be some sort of fluctuating, topsy-turvy melodrama. Much LOVE!

…no matter how hard he tries…the created can NEVER be greater than the Creator…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 March 2018 1 Peter 5:8.

1 Peter 5:8.   Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

Well, well, well, if it isn’t Friday, that much looked forward to day! And a grateful sigh can be heard all over the land. Hn, hn! How we do look forward to our couple of days off eh. And no one gets more excited about it than the ordinary workingman, as he sings his song and does his li’l jig. 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! The last day of work for this wretched week! The massa and foreman were both in nasty frame of minds, so they come down on us especially hard this week. Hn! But yuh know what? Is my time, we time now! Nobody to give us orders and talk to us rough and ready, like we foolish. 

For two whole long big days, we going to do exactly as we want. So as the man says…let the good times roll! Roll on good times…roll on! And thank God for Fridays and weekends, that give us a much needed break from the bondage of work!’ 

Yeh friends, some weeks of work are definitely harder than others, but as Christians, with God’s help, we are expected to take them all in stride. Our Lord and Saviour expects much more from us than the ordinary workingman. We have to be a glowing example to them of grace, and mercy, of LOVE and forgiveness. 

That means we have to come up higher, which isn’t always easy. Consequently, our Friday Chant is so much different to the workingman’s song. We can’t let our hair down completely as he can. We need to be more circumspect and conscious of the world around us. 

So let’s chant up a storm now nuh. In unison, with a strong sense of purpose: ‘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.’ 

Ah mih breddren, our faith dictates, that we, as Brother James Brown said so long ago, ‘stay on the good foot!’ (smile) Yes, we need to be on the lookout for anything that will try to turn us away from Jesus. And believe you me, there are indeed lots of things and people in this evil world that will be only too glad to do so. 

But please remember, we are soldiers in the army of Jesus, fighting against the evil spiritual foe, and every soldier is always temperate and cautious, on the lookout for the enemy, especially in the least expected places. That means we can’t go about this life in a willy-nilly fashion, but need to have our wits about us all the time, because the enemy is at work ALL THE TIME! 

Thus the call to remember Peter’s serious warning in our Bit: ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.’ 

Yeh mih people, the ole crook Beelzebub is always on the lookout for even the smallest way to cause trouble in our lives and steal our joy. And as Jesus said: ‘The thief cometh not, but for (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy…’ (John 10:10a) And that’s Lucifer’s whole purpose and intent, when he tries to get into our lives. 

However, Jesus continues: ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10b) So whom are you going to trust eh; someone who is only out to cause havoc, or someone who comes bringing joy and abundant life? Wisdom and common sense shout ‘Choose Jesus!’ 

Unfortunately though, a large portion of our world are listening to the evil voices that keep tantalizingly whispering in their ear; ‘Choose Lucifer…and get all the wealth, fame and power in the world!’ But yuh know what friends, those things are fleeting, just like the world is, and they will not last, nor bring you salvation or eternal life. 

So what happens to your spirit, when your body departs this mortal life and returns to the dust from whence it came eh? The ONLY thing possible then will be eternal separation from Almighty God and living in hell fire and damnation with Lucifer, whom you chose above Jesus. 

Let me remind us friends, that our mortal bodies will soon shrivel up and die, but our spirits will live forever. That means we need to make wise provision for eternal living. That’s all I can say. And we’ll end with the continued warning from Peter. 

‘Whom (the devil) resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.’ (1 Pet. 5:9-11) 

Yes my fellow believers, we will ALL suffer some in this world, but if we are serious about Jesus, through His grace we will be able to withstand the evil wiles and taunts of the enemy, and come out victorious. So please, let’s hang in there nuh, don’t lose faith, stand strong and steadfast, and keep Jesus first place in our lives. Much LOVE!

…so whom will you choose…as for me and mine….there’s no contest…we choose JESUS…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 February 2018 Philippians 4:6.

Philippians 4:6.   Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

And then it was Friday…and a lot of grateful sighs punctuate the universal skies. None more enthusiastic and exuberant than that of the ordinary workingman: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui mih people! The end of backbreaking labour for a few days! Time to celebrate a li’l freedom from the cruel mental lash of the criminal slave master! 

Our time now is ours to do what we want with it. And believe you me, we going to do just that; we going to party and celebrate and be thankful for this short freedom from unfair work for unfair pay. And whatever happens after that happens! Who cares eh? Just be thankful for Fridays and the weekend that eases we pain!’ 

A lot of sad truth in there mih friends, but as believers, we are encouraged to handle the situation differently. We have Jesus in our corner, so though many of us might suffer the same injustice, we have a different recourse, a different way, to alleviate our problems. 

We turn to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who has faithfully promised to look after us from the time we are saved until eternity. That’s why our Friday Chant differs so much from the workingman’s song. Let’s chant it now nuh, with heartfelt sincerity and a strong sense of purpose. 

‘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 faithful believers, our God wants us to abide within certain boundaries so that we can be rejuvenated and continue His awesome work without missing a beat. The workingman’s song invites Beelzebub and his carnal addictions, our Friday Chant invites Jesus and His eternal spiritual salvation. 

Wow! What a good and mighty difference! It frees us from having the judgement of Hades constantly hanging over our heads, like the infamous sword of Damocles, suspended by a single hair. Instead, as true believers we can focus on the wonders of heaven and the amazing life to come that Jesus promises. 

But that means sincerely following Him; consistently reading and meditating on His word, offering up prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, and generally being obedient to His law. And the good part is that He knows we’re not perfect, but He is ever so willing to work with us on becoming more mature and Christ-like. 

And in this season of Lent, where we seem to be somewhat more prayerful than at other times, (smile) I guess this is as good a time as any to remind us of Bruh Paul’s admonition to the Philippians, as reflected in our Bit. But first, the two verses before it. 

‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.’ (Phil.4:4-6) 

Ah mih breddren, what wonderful and wise advice! And the scholars have this to say about those verses. ‘4:4. The mention of believers’ names being recorded in heaven (v.3) causes the author to write rejoice in the Lord always. Harmony among church members, as Paul assumes will be the result of his plea in verses 2 and 3, is another reason to “rejoice.”  

In adding and again I say, rejoice, it is as though the apostle looks into the future, considers all possibilities of sorrow, and in spite of them all repeats “the command.” This command to rejoice at all times and in all circumstances is nothing less than a call to faith. For if the Christian believes that his life and all its circumstances are in the hands of a sovereign, wise and LOVING God who is always working to accomplish good for him, then he can indeed “rejoice always.” 

Oh friends, there is no disputing that logic! If we have the faith to believe it, then there’s all the more reason to rejoice! 

As for 4:5. Moderation means “graciousness” or “sweet reasonableness.” The believer who is at peace with his fellow Christian (v.2) and who rejoices always (v.4) is indeed a gracious, reasonable person. The Lord is at hand means two things. First, His return to earth is near. 

His imminent coming as a judge encourages the Christian to be “gracious” unto all men, for He will judge the believer for all his actions toward all people, and will avenge all wrongs committed by others against him. Second, the “Lord is at hand” spiritually. The Lord’s being presently near should free the Christian from fear and anxiety. Hence the command of verse 6.’ 

And that says: ‘4:6. Be careful for nothing means “don’t worry about anything.” The Lord’s nearness (v.5b) leads Paul to forbid his readers from worrying. This is no summons to irresponsibility or an invitation to dismiss legitimate concern. The solution to undue anxiety is to be prayerful about everything. While God is eager to hear our requests, they are to be accompanied with thanksgiving.’ 

And if we do all that, then ‘the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:7) 

Oh my people, what a glorious promise!  So today, let’s try and stop worrying and complaining nuh, for if we believe in our faith, then there is no reason for them.  Instead, let’s pray and give thanks nuh, because there’s a whole lot for us to be grateful about. Much LOVE!

…worrying and complaining invites Lucifer…prayer and thanksgiving… makes Jesus shine forth…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 January 2018 Psalm 28:7.

Psalm 28:7.   The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.

Ah mih people, 2018 has certainly come roaring in like a ravaging lion with a wicked winter storm mashing up the East coast of North America, after we’ve already been in a deep freeze for the past two weeks. 

Boston is apparently a mess from snow and flooding caused by surging sea tides. Places in Florida that have not seen snow in decades have certainly seen it now. All the snowbirds that left Canada to winter in Florida must be pretty annoyed. 

They’re calling this extraordinary winter storm a ‘Bomb Cyclone!’ Why I don’t know, but it’s certainly living up to its name. Let’s hope that my li’l area doesn’t get any of it, because all we’ve been seeing and feeling recently is white and cold! Hn! 

But I must say that the ordinary workingman does have an extraordinary resilience to this type of weather, for it has not stopped him from boldly declaring his song: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday and the weekend reach at last! So it cold and snowy, so what? Is winter in the north country, that’s what it’s all about! 

We not going to let a li’l bit of snow and cold stop our partying, stop us from enjoying we two days off from slave labour! Hell no! We going to go outside and play in the snow, then come inside and warm up with some hot toddies! (And his beady eyes twinkle at the thought) What a wonderful weekend it’s going to be! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah Lord eh! I daresay that not all of us are feeling that way. Definitely no playing in the snow…but the hot toddies…well…maybe… (smile) Now let’s chant our Friday Chant, which runs somewhat contrary to the workingman’s song, because our emphasis is not on play and our carnal appetites. 

‘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.’ 

Oh friends, it’s not that we Christians don’t or can’t have fun, but fun is not our goal; working and living for Jesus is. And though that includes having fun, it also means being more focused and cautious about overstepping certain boundaries that can get us in serious trouble. And some of that trouble can have serious lifetime consequences. So it’s not advisable for believers to just go overboard in their leisure time. 

Anyway, enough preaching; (smile) here is our Bit: ‘The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.’ And that’s the awesome truth my brethren, as Bruh David found out during his rough times. Who else are we going to turn to in our time of need and trouble eh? Obviously the One who made us and still cares for us! 

Bruh David said before our Bit: ‘Blessed be the Lord, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications.’ (Ps.28:6) And it only makes sense to turn to someone who hears your cry for help. And we’ve seen throughout the Good Book that it was to the God of his forefathers that Bruh David turned when the enemy came a calling. 

Hear him from Psalm 18 – A prayer for deliverance. ‘I will LOVE thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength (rock), in whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (stronghold). I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.’ (Ps.18:1:3) 

What powerful sentiments my people! But that’s because Bruh David didn’t only turn to God in times of need, he kept Him in his heart ALL the time! And that’s why the Lord saved him from his enemies. Oh friends, it’s the same thing the Lord desires of us; to be with Him all the time, not just when life gets rough to remember Him and cry out for help and expect it to come right away. 

Please note that Bruh David was not exempt from trials and tribulations, he had more than his fair share, but the Lord made sure that he came through them safely. Likewise friends, we will experience trouble and heartaches in our lives, but if like Bruh David, we stay anchored in the Word and faith of our great God, then He will also bring us through the fires of our lives unscathed. 

Remember how he brought out the three Jewish boys, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from the fiery furnace, without them even smelling of smoke. And more importantly, while they were in the furnace, king Nebuchadnezzar saw four people in there. Obviously the fourth was either the preincarnate Christ who often appeared in the Old Testament, or an angel of the Lord sent to protect them. (Daniel 3) 

So my faithful brethren, it only makes good sense, it’s eternal wisdom to place our trust in the One who created us and still cares for us. And there’s no better way to end today than with the ever-faithful promise of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) Words to live by my people! Much LOVE!

…with the Spirit of the Lord dwelling in us…there’s  absolutely no need to be afraid…

 

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…

 

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