Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 June 2017 Mark 13:13.

Mark 13:13.    And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure (bear patiently, be persistent) unto the end, the same shall be saved.

And then it was Saturday mih breddren; a day for lazing around for some lucky ones, while others will be forced to do household chores ignored during the week, or go grocery shopping… 

Chuh! It’s always something eh? Whatever happened to the glorious promises that technological innovation would make our lives easier eh? Our lives are busier than they ever were! Yes we have much more stuff, but we also have much more stuff to look after. Anyway friends, there’s no need to worry, for it’s all under God’s mighty and wise control! Glory to Him in the highest! 

But it’s Saturday, so let’s check out some of our friend Anselm’s quotes for this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow.  Hear this first one: ‘Be congruent (in harmony, together), be authentic, be your true self. Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.’ 

Ah friends, that’s how we ought to be, but in these fraudulent, selfish times, too many people are not their true selves, they are two-faced for whatever reason, thus they cannot live in harmony with themselves.  

And then there’s this one: ‘See the good in people and help them. I look only to the good qualities of men. Not being faultless myself, I won’t presume to probe into the faults of others.’ That’s a very good philosophy my people. We should always look for the good in others, but in these current times, we still need to be very careful about whom we let into our private space.  

Now listen to this quote: ‘Take care of this moment. I do not want to foresee the future. I am concerned with taking care of the present. God has given me no control over the moment following.’ Much truth lies in that. Jesus said that if we sought the kingdom of God and His righteousness, all we needed to lead a good life would be provided. 

Then He concluded: ‘Take therefore no thought for the morrow (do not worry about tomorrow): for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt.6:34) That simply means that every day will take care of itself if you are living under the umbrella of the heavenly Father. 

And I like this last quote. ‘Persist. First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.’ Yes, precious people of God,, there’s an awful lot to be said about persistence. It will get us through the most agonizing and harrowing experiences or situations when nothing else will. 

And we have one of the best examples of that in our Bit. ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure (bear patiently, be persistent) unto the end, the same shall be saved.’ 

Ah friends, those are the words of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, expressed in the course of telling His disciples about the signs for the end times. Please note that those who shall be saved, are those who endure, persist, have the patience, the belly and backbone to stand up until the end, against all the evil and unjust stuff that will come against believers. 

And we are seeing a lot of that stuff happening nowadays my fellow believers, which means we have to band our bellies and stand strong and steadfast in Jesus’ name, if we want to see the kingdom of heaven. We can’t afford to fall down, give up, and whimper out in fear now. This is the most crucial time in our history; a time when the sheep will be separated from the goats. The sheep will follow Jesus, while the goats will lust for Beelzebub. 

And we will invoke the eternal wisdom of the author of the Hebrews. Hear this classic verse. ‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance, endurance) the race that is set before us.’ (Heb.12:1) 

What a magnificent verse of scripture that is my brethren! So strong that it ought to light a fire under us in these end times! We need lots of patience, perseverance and endurance my people if we’re going to fight the good fight for Christ! 

And to boost our spirits and courage at this stage of the game, please listen to Jesus’ promise as told by Luke. ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. But there shall not a hair of your head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls.’ (Luke 21:17-19) 

What a promise mih people! Not a hair on our heads will perish if we stand up strong under the persecution that will come against us. Wow! And we all know that Jesus is ever-faithful to keep ALL of His promises. So please hold on strong, stand in unity, because together we’re much stronger than apart. 

Let’s raise up Christ’s church as we’re supposed to nuh. This is the time when all Christians must come together, regardless of colour, class, creed or race. Let’s do it for Jesus. It’s the least we can do for all that He’s done for us. Much LOVE!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 June 2015 Psalm 103:8‏

Psalm 103:8.   The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous (abounding) in mercy (LOVING-kindness).

‘Aye ah yie, mih people is Monday! (background voices) -Glory be now! – Oh yah yo, mih breddren is Monday! -Hallelujah!- That means is time to get up and get ready, ready to go out and labour; Labour for Christ Jesus, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour! -Praise His Holy Name! – Sing the chorus Friends. Aye ah yie mih people is Monday!  -Glory be now! – Oh yah yo, mih breddren is Monday! -Hallelujah…!’

Yes Friends, just a li’l ditty, a li’l kaiso to lively up ourselves, to put a li’l amusement in our spirits as we face this Monday morning at the end of June. (smile) Thankfully, the rain seems to have stopped in my area, but the ground is still soggy and the roads might still be a tad wet and slippery, so please be careful in your morning drive.

And talking about morning drive, please remember that as of today, all the major highways are down to one lane less, because those lanes, in somebody’s false wisdom, have been converted to HOV lanes, where only cars with at least three passengers can travel for the next month. Ah Lord eh! And all of that was done so that people involved in the Pan Am Games beginning sometime this week, can get around quicker.

Chuh! Obviously the people who pay for all the expenses and the corruption that goes on in these artificial games don’t really matter. They will just have to endure even more traffic snarls with one lane lost to the already parking lot status on our highways. Normal HOV lanes only require two people in the car, so this will force those who carpool to avoid the traffic, right back into even more congestion.

Steups! Let’s just hope I don’t get caught up in too much of it nuh. But there’s no use complaining now, since there’s nothing we can do about it, except in the next elections not vote back into power, this brazen, inept, inefficient, corrupt and two-faced government. So let’s move on and sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with much gusto, and leave them to the Lord.

Altogether 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!’

That was pretty good Friends…in comparison to last week. (smile) Jesus wasn’t as disappointed. And we’ll get right into our Bit. ‘The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous (abounding) in mercy (LOVING-kindness).’

Oh Friends, I don’t know what we would have done without such a wonderful God nuh. Just listen to this litany of wrongdoing that the Israelites committed, and yet the Lord did not destroy them totally. The scripture comes from the book of Nehemiah.

‘But they and our fathers dealt proudly (acted presumptuously or insolently), and hardened (stiffened) their necks (became stubborn), and hearkened not to (did not heed) thy commandments. And refused to obey, neither were they mindful of thy wonders that thou didst among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage: but thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness, and forsookest them not.

Yea, when they had made them a molten calf, and said, This is thy God that brought thee up out of Egypt and had wrought (worked) great provocations (wonders); Yet thou in thy manifold mercies forsookest them not in the wilderness: the pillar of the cloud departed not from them by day, to lead them in the way, neither the pillar of fire by night, to show them light, and the way wherein they should go.

Thou gavest also thy good spirit to instruct them, and withheldest not thy manna from their mouth, and gavest them water for their thirst. Yea, forty years didst thou sustain them in the wilderness, so that they lacked nothing; their clothes waxed not old (did not wear out), and their feet swelled not.’ (Neh.9:16-21)

Oh my brethren, what a wonderful God we serve and worship! No other Deity would have put up with the shenanigans of the Israelites; they would certainly have been destroyed, or just left to paddle their own canoe, as best they could. But instead our magnanimous God showed them mercy and forgiveness and looked after them in the wilderness, in spite of their gross disobedience and sinfulness.

But it was not all wine and roses, for none of those who came out of Egypt, except Joshua and Caleb, even Moses, never set foot in the Promised Land. So though our God is wonderful, there are consequences to be paid for continual disobedience.

And we’ll end with a passage from James, where he’s talking about patience in affliction. ‘Behold, we count them happy (blessed) which endure. Ye have heard of the patience (perseverance) of Job, and have seen the end of (intended by) the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful (compassionate), and of tender mercy.’ (James 5:11)

And every believer ought to be able to vouch for that because He has shown compassion, mercy and forgiveness to each and every one of us at one stage, or more like several stages of our lives. Now let’s go out and live up to the expectations and standards He expects of us, for that is indeed the zenith of wisdom and common sense. Much LOVE!

…how could anyone with even a drop of wisdom or common sense…not greatly appreciate the mercy…the long-suffering… the grace…the compassion…and all the other wonderful attributes of Almighty God eh…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 February 2015 Romans 12:2

Romans 12:2. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Well Friends and fellow believers in Jesus Christ, once again the cycle of 7 days morphing into a week has begun. This is the day of the Lord, the first day of the week, and to show proper respect and our grateful appreciation for His goodness and LOVING-kindness last week, and this coming week, we ought to go to His sanctuary and offer up praise, worship and thanksgiving with other believers and receive the strength, encouragement and confidence to face another week in this mish-mash, predominantly ungodly world.

I already had my churching for today. And Friends, the ole fella read the scripture in church and shook my tambourine with much pleasure. Mama Mia! I like this church. It doesn’t seem to have a choir or organ, but they have an African drum and tambourines and the voices really are loud and proud, filling up the whole church with prayers, praises, songs of worship and thanksgiving!

And the female lay reader preached a mighty powerful sermon this morning on the meaning of Lent; a time for introspection, for growing, for giving up things of the world, so that we can get closer to God. And as usual, I saw people from my youth, people I have not seen in many a day. I guess there’s no place I can go in Tobago without meeting someone who knows me, my, mother, my father or my grandfather.

Unfortunately it will be my last visit on this trip. Next Sunday I’ll be back in my cold St. Francis church back in the North Country, but it’s only the surroundings that are cold, the people are warm and lovely and friendly! Hi there my people back at St. Francis! I missed you all, but not the cold weather. (smile)

And since Lent is a time for us to grow in the nature and image of Christ, this morning when I read this most appropriate passage from The One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, I obviously couldn’t pass it up. It’s titled ‘Grow Up.

And it says: ‘Picture with me: a piece of gnarled bark tossed to and fro over the crashing breakers. First one direction, then another, back and forth, over and under. Aimless. No set purpose. Drifting… always drifting. What an accurate picture of an immature Christian. Nothing but spiritual puttering. Up and down, in and out. One study group for a few weeks, then another. One church for a while, then another.

Undisciplined, unsteady, one day soaring, the next day wading in self-pity. No consistency. The apostle Paul tells us to grow up! Not grow older, but grow up into Christ. What we are today is more important to God than what we were yesterday. Our life journey with Jesus is now – this very day, this very hour. Why yearn for change if we’ve made no effort to follow the direction God has already given us?

To grow spiritually we must be single-minded. Our one goal? To be conformed to the image of Christ. He longs for our willingness to let Him root us, cultivate us, water us. Above all, God wants our total commitment. He will take anything we give Him, except second place.’

Oh my people, those are such moving words of truth that I don’t see how we can ignore them if we truly want to be a mature Christian. Like everything else in this world, it takes, diligence, patience, perseverance, endurance, faith, prayer and the sweat of our brow to grow, to come up higher in Christ too. That means we can’t be wishy-washy and wavering, sitting on the fence, jumping down to one side or the other as the fancy takes us, or where the grass seems greenest.

And the promise for that passage is our inimitable Bit, memorable words from Bruh Paul to the Corinthians. And we’ll start with the first verse of the chapter. ‘I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable (rational) service.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ (Rom.12:1-2)

Oh Friends, that is the perfect recipe for the wandering, wavering, wishy-washy Christian! In fact for any Christian at all, because that’s how we become true children of God, reflecting the true image and character of Jesus Christ, which is God’s eternal plan. And the scholars have some very good explanations on those verses, so let’s check them out.

’12:1. By the mercies of God summarizes all that God has accomplished for the believer in Romans 1-11 in justifying the believer (chs. 1-5), enabling the believer to live a righteous life (chs 6-8), and being faithful to Israel (chs 9-11). That ye present refers to a definite act of presentation. The verb is used of offering a sacrifice that became “holy” under the Levitical system (cf. Ex.29:37).

This shows that the Christian life begins with total commitment and irrevocable presentation. Your bodies: The body has been an instrument of sin (ch 6). Now it is to be presented to God as a channel through which the righteousness of God is manifested.’

12:2. Be not conformed (lit. “stop conforming yourselves”). They are to resist being poured into the mould of the present thinking, value systems, and conduct of this world. This term is used only here and in 1 Peter 1:14.’

Oh my brethren, that last sentence says it all! We supposed Christians, followers of Christ are being too influenced by the mores, vales and conduct of this evil and ungodly world. So how can we expect to be true Christians when we’re not following the will and work of Jesus Christ eh?

That’s why so many unbelievers look down on us with scorn and serious misgiving, comparing us to the hypocrite Pharisees of Jesus’ time and thus refuse to attend church or commit their lives to Jesus. And they’re quite right too! How can we expect people to join something that’s so conflicted, divisive and two-faced?

In other words Friends, we’re not helping God’s cause with that kind of behavior, but driving it into the ground. And there’s no better time than this Lenten Season to check ourselves and see where we may be coming up short for Jesus, and seriously communicate with Him to help us change, grow, mature, and thus do better in furthering His glorious kingdom.

So let’s concentrate on that today nuh my people, for all of us can use God’s help to improve our earthly witness. Much LOVE!

…the best testimony for Jesus…is through our true and righteous lives…anything less is not good enough…