Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 September 2017 Luke 12:32.

Luke 12:32.   Fear not little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 

And another one bites the dust…well possibly two! Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic have recently felt the wicked lash of hurricane Maria, and who knows where it’s going to land next. Meanwhile, they are still trying to come to terms with the earthquake in Mexico City… 

Ah mih people, these are certainly rough and tough, but also interesting times in the annals of mankind. How will we end up, what will our society look like after the devastation eh? 

Will it be more of the same evil, godlessness, or will a wiser, repentant and godlier society rise from the ashes of our calamity? Only God knows. And only time will tell. For all our sakes though, let’s hope our future is based sincerely on the latter option. 

But with all that misfortune going on, it still doesn’t stop the workingman from declaring his Friday anthem: ’TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and the weekend is finally here! Regardless of what’s happening in the rest of the world, we going to party hearty…eat, drink and be merry! 

For who knows, tomorrow, or even today we shall die! So bring on the good times, especially in this extra summer weather we getting here! Let the waters flow…the food pile up…and the music blast out! Thank God is Friday and we done work for another week!’ 

Oh friends, that is exactly the kind of attitude we’re trying to counteract. There’s nothing wrong with celebrating the end of the workweek, but the limits to which we go is another story. The workingman’s definitely goes overboard. A more sober and constructive one would be like our Friday Chant. 

So let’s chant it with nuff enthusiasm nuh! ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

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

Yeh mih breddren, to many of the young folks that might sound too retro for them, but it’s the kind of thing that the Lord desires; we enjoy His blessings, but keep our feet on an even keel so the enemy doesn’t get any leeway into our lives. 

And quite rightly, though we are all concerned about what’s happening worldwide, and also close to home, if we are living with and for Jesus then we should not be disturbed or blatantly afraid. 

For as He said, if we seek God’s kingdom as our priority, the Lord will satisfy all our needs. And as a lagniappe, or extra encouragement, Jesus tells us in our Bit: ‘Fear not little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’  

And if Jesus says it’s so, then it’s obviously so, for He has no reason whatsoever to lie or lead us astray. However, our natural sinful nature encourages fear much more than faith, so today we’re just going to concentrate on a few passages from God’s word on the subjects of fear and faith, beginning with this famous verse from Deuteronomy. 

‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee nor forsake thee.’ (Deut.31:6) Oh my faithful followers of Jesus, our God can’t say it in any plainer language than that. 

But in Isaiah, He unfailingly repeats the promise, the invitation to partner with Him. ‘Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.’ (Is.41:10) 

And friends, if we truly believe the Lord of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the Creator and controller of the universe, then we should not have any problems believing His word. But my favourite verses on fear and faith come from God’s command to Joshua, when He made him leader of the Israelites after Moses’ death. 

‘This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shall meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. 

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.1:8-9) 

And if that doesn’t grab you right in your heart my people, then I don’t know what will. But we’ll end with these uplifting words from Ethan, the Ezrahite from Psalm 89 – God’s sure promises to David. 

‘Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance. In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted. For thou art the glory of their strength: and in thy favour our horn (strength) shall be exalted. For the Lord is our defense; and the Holy One of Israel is our king.’ (Ps.89:15-18) 

That’s for certain sure my fellow believers in Christ. Now let’s stand strong as soldiers of Christ, and fight the good fight of faith, as He desires of us nuh! Much LOVE!

…one can only stand strong…if one is bolstered by faith…and not debilitated by fear…

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 September 2017 Psalm 50:15.

Psalm 50:15.   And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

Oh friends, it’s shaping up to be a good-looking day in my neighbourhood, and the workingman was out early singing his song. ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday! And soon, no more work! It’ll be a beautiful weekend, with all the good stuff happening; like eating and drinking and carousing, paying no mind to the problems that surround us. 

God gave us the weekend so that we could relax and enjoy it, not to work or worry. So that’s exactly what we going to do. Eat, drink and be merry! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes!’ 

Ah mih people, a lot of what he says is true; God did give us the weekends to rest and relax, but not to go overboard. Remember, we need to have certain boundaries that we don’t cross and thus allow Beelzebub to gain a foothold in our lives. A much better incantation would be our Friday Chant, which contains those boundaries. 

Let’s declare it now nuh, with the same enthusiasm that the workingman declared his song. ‘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 people, we always have to be cognizant of what comes after the weekend. Otherwise, come Monday morning, when we have to go back to work, we’ll be too tired and wasted and of no use to either God’s kingdom or ourselves. That’s why ‘a modicum of circumspection’ is always necessary my brethren. 

But unfortunately, today, many of our fellow men around the globe won’t have the luxury of enjoying good weather or the weekend, because of hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes or some such natural disaster. 

Please, let’s remember to pray for them sincerely. We can’t help them all with money or other worldly stuff, but we CAN help them all with PRAYER, the most powerful force in the universe. 

What a heartbreaking situation it is to see your fellow man suffering the ravages of disaster, like Hurricane Irma is causing down in the Caribbean, and you can’t do much to help them physically. But as true believers we can call on our great God to help them in their time of need. 

Our God said it: ‘And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.’ Yeh friends, that’s the faithful invitation of our omnipotent God! And in these very trying end times, it’s the most sensible solution we can ever consider. 

As we keep saying, who knows whether all the numerous disasters occurring around our planet right now are warnings from God? They might be, as well as they might not be. But the wisest path we can take is to consider them warnings as our sinful and ungodly world plunges down to hell with one unwise step after another. 

Oh friends, please take note of the Israelites, who, when they found themselves in trouble for turning away from the God of their fathers, repented and turned back to Him, and he welcomed them back with opened arms. We desperately need to do the same. 

Listen to this scripture where Job’s friend Eliphaz after accusing him of sin, implores him to repent. ‘Acquaint now thyself with him (God), and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee. Receive, I pray thee, the law (instruction) from his mouth, and lay up his words in thine heart. 

If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up, thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles (tents). Then shalt thou lay up gold as (in the) dust, and the gold of Ophir as the stones of the brooks. Yea, the Almighty shall be thy defense (gold), and thou shalt have plenty of silver. 

For then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face unto God. Thou shalt make thy prayer unto him, and he shall hear thee, and thou shalt pay thy vows. Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways. 

When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, There is lifting up (exaltation); and he shall save the humble person. He shall deliver the island of the innocent (the one who is not innocent): and it is delivered by the pureness of thine hands.’ (Job 22:21-30) 

Oh my people, there it is, the solution for all our problems, written in the Good Book ages ago, and nothing about it has changed. So what are waiting for eh? 

Come on Christians, we need to up the ante in these disastrous times and get Jesus’ LOVE Revolution running full steam ahead. That’s the ONE and ONLY answer to our lost and ungodly world! Much LOVE!

…in times of trouble…man’s best bet is to…PRAY… 

P.S. Please accept my apologies for the lateness of the Bit. Though I went to bed early, by my standards, (smile) some new medication kept me bogged down for longer than I expected. But better late than never! Much LOVE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 July 2017 Matthew 6:13.

Matthew 6:13.   And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Well my people, we did not get the rain that we were expecting in my area yesterday, it just remained drab and cloudy, showing promise, but nothing else. However, shortly after midnight, heavenly showers came pelting down in a big way and finally the thirsty ground was watered and refreshed. Praise to God! 

Right now it’s still damp and cloudy outside, and who knows what will happen later on. But nonetheless it’s Friday, and the weekend looms large and the ordinary workingman can’t help but shout: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! It seems like the weekend would never come! And massa work so blooming hard…and the pay so li’l bit! 

But for the next couple days we don’t have to worry about massa and he work at all, at all nuh. It’s we time to do what we want… where and with whom. And believe me, come rain or shine, we going to party hearty for the next couple days! Oh Thank God for Fridays and the weekends! Party people, let the party begin!’ 

And who doesn’t like a party eh, especially after a hard week of work? But the boundaries, friends, the boundaries must be tighter than those the ordinary workingman seem to be proposing, else we’re liable to fall into too many evil, ungodly and carnal acts of the flesh, which won’t sit right with our supposed Christian character. 

Our Friday Chant contains a much better intent, so let’s declare it now 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!’ 

Oh people, I know that it seems to take all the fun out of living, out of the carnal aspect of life yes, but it reinforces our Christian values, which we need to keep firm and steadfast so that we don’t fall to the endless temptation that the evil enemy constantly throws at us. 

That brings us to our Bit, immortal words of Jesus, a part of what He gave us as a blueprint for prayer. ‘And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.’ 

Yes, precious followers of Christ, we indeed need to seek the power of God to help us resist the entreaties of the evil one, who constantly comes bearing worldly, carnal, sinful gifts to entice us into foregoing our righteousness. 

We can’t do it on our own, for our sinful and lustful flesh naturally leans towards the ungodly things of the world. And it’s only through the amazing power of God, His Holy Spirit working in us, that we can resist the fleshly pleasures and beautiful looking things of the world that are constantly held up to us for participation and acceptance. 

Now listen to the scholars’ explanation of that verse. ‘6:13-15. Lead us not into temptation is a plea for the providential help of God in our daily confrontation with the temptation of sin. God does not tempt us to do evil, but we are tempted by our own lusts (James 1:13-14). 

However, God does test us in order to give us the opportunity to prove our faithfulness to Him. He never desires to lead us into evil itself. Therefore if we resist the Devil, we are promised that he will flee from us. 

The prayer closes with a doxology of praise: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen, which is a liturgical ending similar to 1 Chronicles 29:11. Though omitted in some manuscripts, these words constitute a fitting and climactic affirmation of faith.’ 

Yeh friends, it’s faith and hope; hungry hope and expectant faith that carries us through the dark times, as well as the good times. Let’s not forget our awesome God when things are going well with us, as we are so tempted to do. Remembering all the good things He has done for us in the past helps to strengthen our faith. 

Now let’s end with the magnificent prayer of Bruh David to which the scholars alluded, after he encouraged his people to give generously to the building of the Lord’s sanctuary. 

‘Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty; for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all. 

Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.’ (1 Chr.29:11-13) 

What beautiful words of praise and thanksgiving friends! Please, let’s allow them to seep into our hearts and souls today, and gently simmer there as we go about doing the work of Jesus. That’s wisdom of eternal proportions! Much LOVE!

…God does not tempt…He combats temptation…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 June 2017 Ephesians 6:11.

Ephesians 6:11.   Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil.

And then it was Friday, which was heralded by some pretty intense thunder showers in my area during the night. The ground should certainly be well watered this morning. 

And even if we don’t see the Sun all day, just remember folks, the SON is ALWAYS shining brightly, both day and night, and He is ALWAYS readily available to come to for succour and comfort, or just a friendly chat. 

Wow! What an awesome Saviour we have my brethren! Please give Him some well-deserved thanks and praise! 

Even the workingman does that in His own misguided way, when he joyfully declares: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! Thank Him for the break from slave labour…even if it short…Thank Him for the time we have to party and carouse and shake we bodyline! Thank Him for the waters that will flow like water…Mama Yo! Thank God for Fridays and the weekend yes!’ 

Ah friends, to some extent, we can all understand those sentiments, and in our lustful days, before we were filled with the Holy Spirit, many of us might have even participated in that kind of riotous living. But they are way too extreme for the true Christian. 

So let’s declare our Friday Chant nuh, which gives us a more sober view (smile) of how we ought to spend the weekend. As one now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

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

Now that’s much more in line with true Christian behaviour! And without further ado, let’s get to our Bit. ‘ Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (evil schemes) of the devil.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, that’s the first thing we need to do, if we intend to successfully fight and overthrow Beelzebub! Please remember that without God’s protective armour, we are no match for the enemy. 

And once again we’ll include the verses that describe the Lord’s armour, so we can have them right in front of us as we try to explain and understand them. ‘Stand therefore, having your loins girt about (girded your loins) with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness. And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. 

Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye may be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked (one). And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:14-18) 

And we’ll continue today with the fifth piece of God’s armour: ‘The helmet of salvation (vs.17a): Since the readers are already Christians (2:8), they are not here urged to be saved. First Thessalonians 5:8 describes this helmet as “the hope of salvation” that is the certainty (assurance) of salvation.’ 

So my people, once we are saved, and thus assured of salvation, nothing or no one can take that from us, but we have to make good use of it, by keeping it first and foremost, front and centre in our minds, using it as a helmet. 

And now we come to the sixth and last part of God’s protective armour: ‘The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (vs.17b). The Greek term rendered “word” is not ‘logos’ referring to the whole Word of God, but ‘rhema’ referring to certain portions or selected verses of Scripture.’ 

And the author of Hebrews tells us in no uncertain terms: ‘For the word of God is quick (living), and powerful and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of (is able to judge) the thoughts and intents (intentions) of the heart.’ (Heb.4:12) 

That’s how powerful the word of God is friends! And when we use it in all aspects of our daily life it mightily assists us in staying centred in God. And though my brethren, we put on all the armour of God, there is one more thing that’s absolutely necessary in successfully fighting Lucifer and his evil buddies; that’s Praying in verse 18. 

And the scholars tell us: ‘Praying is grammatically linked to “stand” in verse 14. Without prayer God’s armour is inadequate to achieve victory. Prayer is indispensable. Always means “on every occasion,” that is, when Satan attacks. 

In the spirit signifies that with the Spirit’s help such prayer for divine aid is to be made. Watching thereunto means “being vigilant in this very matter” of prayer. They are to pray not just for themselves but also for all saints; spiritual combat is both an individual and corporate matter.’ 

Hope you all got that my people: Prayer is indispensable! It must be used with the armour of God, for us to be successful! And we need to pray for not only ourselves, but for all believers! 

So basically, God’s armour consists of our assurance of salvation, our helmet; our belt of truth; knowing the truth of God’s Word, plus our breastplate of righteousness which enables us to live a godly and moral life. 

And we definitely need a shield to protect us from Satan’s arrows, in this case our strong faith. Neither can we go into battle barefooted, we need the shoes, the eagerness that the gospel of peace offers us. And we surely can’t fight without a weapon; namely God’s word that’s so sharp and powerful, it can cut anything and discern whatever is necessary. But it must all be anchored by continuous prayer. 

Now let’s hope this brief refresher course, re God’s armour, reminded of stuff we might have forgotten, enlightened us some, and also raised our consciousness, so that we can run our earthly race more efficiently and successfully than before. Much LOVE!

…onward Christian soldiers…but remember…a soldier never goes to war…without his armour…his weapon…and prayer…

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Christian way is more like our Friday Chant, so let’s put the lust of the flesh behind us and chant it heartily nuh. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our Friday Chant better displays and reflects the behaviour needed. So let’s chant it nuh with sincerity and a strong sense of purpose. In unison now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

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

Yeh friends, that’s a much more appropriate way to approach and handle the weekend! We need to be always somewhat circumspect, so that we don’t give the enemy any leeway in our lives. For once he gets in, it’s like hell, like pulling teeth to get him out. But if our faith is strong, we need not be too concerned about the enemy, for he has already been defeated. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 May 2017 Deuteronomy 6:7.

Deuteronomy 6:7.   And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children…

Ah friends, remember that gentle rain that I spoke about yesterday that was blessing the land? Well it might have blessed the land but it certainly didn’t bless me, because it fell all day… even into the evening, and consequently caused flooding in the laundry room in my basement. 

Steups! So instead of it being a peaceful day listening to the riddim of the falling rain, (smile) it was a tad hectic trying to mop up and barricade the water running down in my basement. And it wasn’t just one rivulet, that would have been easy to handle, but several pouring down the inside wall. 

I believe the source of the problem is my eaves troughs – they seem to be leaking in several places thus allowing the water to run down the outside wall and find its way inside. But I just had them repaired last year! 

And then there are the leaves…the bane of my existence! Everything that blows in my lane, ends up in my driveway, both snow and leaves. Thus the gutters are filled with leaves, which make them overflow rather easily. 

Ah Lord eh! But what to do? Just grin and bear it and have them fixed again. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it! (smile) The workingman’s story though is a whole lot different. He’s simply focused on it being Friday, which allows him to joyfully declare: 

‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and the weekend’s here at last! Is my time now to do as I please! No more labouring for a measly pittance, but partying for days! And who says we shouldn’t thank the Lord for Fridays and weekends eh!’ 

We should indeed friends, but constant partying will never give us sincere satisfaction. We need a more balanced approach to the weekend if we are to live successful lives, and I believe our Friday Chant provides it. 

So let’s chant it out loud and proud nuh. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

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

Yes friends, that’s more like what we need, if we are to do Jesus’ work with sincerity, diligence and excellence! And today we’ll talk a little about diligence, see what the Bible has to say about it. 

But before we get to that, let’s look at the dictionary’s definition of diligence. It’s characterized as being ‘Persistent effort or work: industrious character.’ 

Meanwhile diligent is seen as being ‘hard-working, steady in application, industrious, attentive to duties.’ So we have the basic idea of what we mean when we speak of diligence or diligent; a serious effort to do what one has to do. 

Now hear these immortal words of wisdom that Moses spoke unto the people of Israel when he gave them the great commandment. These are the major things they should do when they entered the Promised Land. 

‘That thou mightest fear (stand in awe of) the Lord thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged. 

Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it (be careful to observe it); that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily (multiply greatly), as the Lord God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey. 

Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is ONE Lord: and thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 

And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 

And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.’ (Deut.6:2-9) 

And there we have it friends, the basics of the Great Commandment: LOVE the Lord thy God, and keep all His commandments, and above all, teach them diligently to thy children! 

And when the Israelites obeyed, they prospered, and suffered when they didn’t. And it’s the same with us in these trying times. 

Oh my people, we are also very guilty of not doing what the Lord commanded. We haven’t been repeating the Lord’s commandments in the ears of our children or meditating on them ourselves as we walk and talk and lie down, etc. 

No wonder our society and our world is in such a mess, with a large number of our children having no idea of God, or simply not caring about God and putting the things of the world first in their lives. 

Now who do think is to blame for this current state of affairs eh? We the current parents obviously! Our parents taught us the right way, so why haven’t we taught our children eh? I guess we ourselves were also a little too taken up with the things of the world. 

But it’s not too late my brethren, if we get serious and do our due diligence, as they say in legal circles, that means paying attention to our godly duties, putting in the hard work necessary, we can still save ourselves and our children from the clutches of the evil one. 

Today, I implore us, sincerely plead with us to seek the things of God first, and point our children in that direction, that it may go well with them and us. That’s wisdom for the ages! Much LOVE!

…a society prospers in direct proportion to its obedience to God…

 

 

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