Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 October 2017 1 Peter 5:8.

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

Ahoy there mates! How are your sails holding up today eh? I do hope that they are full and billowing with a strong wind so that you can be pushed smoothly along life’s wide and plentiful waterways. 

And if Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour is breathing His powerful heavenly breath upon your sails, then you can be assured of a safe journey. It won’t always be smooth sailing, for life is never completely calm, but you will reach your destination safely. With Jesus as your guide and pilot, I can guarantee you that! 

And as most of us know, (smile) it’s Friday, so it’s no surprise to hear the workingman singing his song. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! Massa slave work soon done, then my time is all mine! Glory to God! Ah going to party and sleep and laze about … then party and sleep and laze about some more…all weekend! Thank God for Fridays and weekends, for the short respite from back-breaking labour for li’l pay!’ 

Ah mih people, the ordinary man’s life is getting harder though our society is prosperously reinventing itself at phenomenal speed. Why is that eh? In an age of so much, so many have so little… 

And it doesn’t seem to be getting better though millions of voices are crying out for help. In fact it seems to be getting worse, for the rich are indeed getting richer and greedier, while the poor are getting poorer and falling further behind, if that is at all possible. 

Ah Lord eh! When will mankind ever learn to share his bounty with others eh? I guess not until Jesus comes to set up His eternal kingdom and greed and such negative things are removed from His world. 

Anyway, for believers, we do have HOPE… lot’s of it, and we just need to hold tight to Jesus and we’ll be okay. Now let’s refute the workingman’s song with our own Friday 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.’ 

And that’s a more sensible prayer, one in keeping with Jesus’ philosophy. It doesn’t allow us to go overboard in any area of our lives, but does it’s best to keep us on the straight and narrow, where we can have rest, enjoyment and fellowship, while being rejuvenated in body and soul, so we can start out strong next week. 

Wise, faithful believers will tend towards that guideline, while the unwise will want to overdo the partying and lazing around aspect, then come Monday morning and time to go back to work, they are of no use to themselves or anybody else. 

Boundaries, friends, boundaries, limits, cut offs, are very necessary in a believer’s life, for if we go too far, we’ll simply allow the enemy to gain footholds, toeholds, etc, in our lives, a situation that is totally unacceptable. 

Hence our Bit for today: ‘Be soberbe vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world.’ (1 Pet.5:8-9) 

And that is the gospel truth my brethren! Lucifer and his evil henchmen are constantly on the lookout for ways to invade a believer’s spirit and thus get him or her off of Jesus’ program of salvation and eternal life. Even the teeny, ‘weeniest’ chink in our spiritual armour will have them salivating. 

And remember that Lucifer and his bandits are no respecter of persons, they attack everybody, especially believers. So please don’t think that you are alone in facing and experiencing temptation. It’s a worldwide game. 

Now here is some invaluable insight from James into keeping the enemy at bay. ‘Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you…’ (James 4:7-8a) 

Yeh friends, keeping the enemy at bay involves two basic actions; vigorously and continuously resisting him, while drawing ever closer to God. They are not always easy actions to perform, but if we’re serious about our walk with God, and sincerely ask for His help, we can do it. 

And why are we sure of that? Peter explains. ‘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.5:10-11) 

Oh friends, I know we’ve heard this message over and over again, but it’s one we need to repeatedly hear so that we can stay on the right path, to remember that the enemy is always lurking, trying to bring us down to his unholy level. 

So today, I implore us to pay serious attention to our faith walk, stay close to God, and not give the enemy any chance whatsoever to devalue it. I pray this in Christ’s name. Amen! Much LOVE my brethren!

…be on the lookout…always…for the enemy’s wiles and lies…

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 September 2017 Luke 18:1.

Luke 18:1.   And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint. 

Ah friends, at long last a somewhat cloudy day in my area! And with it seems to be coming some heavenly precipitation. So far it’s only a slight sprinkle, but it’s better than nothing, for we haven’t seen rain around here in ages. 

And although it’s nice to have sunny days, we also need some showers of blessing to balance out the situation. The ground around here is parched and thirsty, let’s hope it gets some much needed relief today. 

But yuh see how life can be contrary? Places down south have been having oodles of rain and little sunshine, while we up here have been having lots of sunshine and no rain. The only redeeming factor is that our great and wonderful God is still in control of the universe He created! 

Glory to God! So we know that there is a purpose, a plan to every move that happens within it, because our God does not move ‘vikey vie’ (without purpose). 

And with all that being said, the workingman has already declared his Friday anthem: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui…even though it look cloudy! But come rain or come shine, we still going to have a good time this weekend! 

Partying fuh so mih breddren! Who going to stop we eh? Nobody! Not even God in His high heaven! So we thank Him for Fridays and the weekends!’ 

Yeh mih people, the workingman, as usual, has gone a tad too far in planning his weekend reverie. All he’s doing there is opening up himself for the always-lurking enemy, Lucifer, to come in and lay siege to his life. 

We Christian brethren cannot afford to be so lax and boundary less, since we don’t want the enemy to get even a toehold in our lives. And though our Friday Chant is not as effusive as the workingman’s anthem, it surely serves our purposes better. 

So let’s chant it now with supreme 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.’ 

Yuh see friends, we’re still open to having fun and partying, but just not to the extreme degree that the workingman goes to. It’s also important that we prepare for the upcoming week, so that come Monday, we can go back out into the evil and ungodly world and diligently do the Lord’s work. 

And to do that successfully, our Christian lives need to have boundaries set by our Lord and Saviour, our Leader and High Priest Jesus Christ! And if we don’t have them, then we can’t function properly in His economy. 

Now please don’t think that we’re missing out on anything because we don’t behave like leggo- beast, (smile) lecherous and decadent, for we still have lots of good, clean fun within Jesus’ parameters. 

And one of the main ways we stay within those parameters is by taking His sage advice in our Bit. ‘And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, let’s not forget that prayer is our ultimate form of communication with our heavenly Father. And if we don’t pray, don’t communicate with Him, then we won’t know what plans and purposes He has for our lives. 

And He DOES have a plan and a purpose for every life He creates, as He says in Jeremiah. ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer.29:11) 

My brethren, our merciful and ever-LOVING God ALWAYS has good thoughts and plans for us. There’s no sense in Him creating us in His own image, then thinking evil towards us. Anyway, we’ll end this series of messages on prayer with the classic example of prayer that Jesus gave us.

The Good Book tells us: ‘And it came to pass, that as he (Jesus) was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. (Luke 11:1) 

And Jesus responded: ‘After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil (the evil one): For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.’ (Matt.6:9-13) 

Oh my fellow believers, we all know that simple but all-encompassing prayer, but do we pray it, or some version of it? Not enough I believe. On the whole, I don’t think we communicate with our great and wonderful God enough, and that’s only to our detriment. For our sakes, as well as our children’s, let’s try and improve it nuh. Much LOVE!

…wisdom dictates…that a believer prays…always…and forever…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 August 2017 2 Chronicles 15:7.

 2 Chronicles 15:7.  Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded. 

Welcome friends to a wet Caribana Friday; at least in my neighbourhood! It didn’t seem to be much of a shower though, but more like a short drizzle, and I doubt that it will last for the day. 

And even if it does, it will not stop the workingman from being exuberant in his declarations, especially on this long Civic Holiday weekend, with the numerous festivities planned for the Greater Toronto Area. 

I can already hear him proclaiming to all and sundry: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Thank Him for this long Caribana weekend, where the partying will be enormous, in fact outa sight! Pan Competition tonight…then the big Parade tomorrow…mas in yuh mas mih breddren! 

So this Carnival weekend is pure partying – Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday! Mama Yo! We go mash up the town this weekend! Thank God for this break from slave labour oui!’ 

And believe you me, some people are going to do just as he says; party the weekend away. But we all know my fellow believers in Christ that that is not such a wonderful idea, for it just invites the ever-lurking enemy to find a foothold in our souls and spirits. 

Nothing is wrong with partying, but with a modicum of circumspection, with certain boundaries that we make sure not to cross. That means Granny’s warning is ever so important this weekend, even though some of you don’t like to hear it. ‘Sonny boy; drunk or sober, please mind yuh business!’ 

And I believe that if we keep that in mind, we will not fall victim to the enemy. Now let’s chant our Friday Chant, which gives a better, or more focused reality for the weekend. ‘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 more in tune with our Christian faith. So let’s pay serious attention to it nuh, along with our Bit, the warning from the proper Azariah to King Asa and all of Judah. ‘Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.’ 

Ah mih breddren, if believers would only put their hands to the plough seriously and do what’s expected of them, what a wonderful world this would be. But as I said yesterday, too many of us have gotten soft and wishy washy, have lost whatever belly and backbone we had by living in this plush and comfortable society. 

So, as a result, Christianity is steadily losing ground in the spiritual warfare in which we’re engaged. Friends, we have to pick up the slack, be strong if we want to see Jesus’ LOVE Revolution win the day! There’s no two ways about that. 

Consequently, I’m imploring us, asking us to remember our bounden duty as Christians, to be strong and work sincerely and diligently for Christ Jesus! Otherwise our faith will surely crumble and all Jesus’ sacrifices would be a waste of time. And I know you wouldn’t want that. So let’s ramp up our efforts nuh. 

And to help us do that, here are a couple of examples of scripture which corroborate our Bit. And the first, possibly the most important, comes right at the beginning of God’s word, His promise to Abram. He was still known by that name. Abram had just won a battle for the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah and had refused their reward. (Gen.14:1-24) 

The Good Book tells it thus. ‘After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.’ (Gen.15:1) 

And the scholars explain: ’15:1. Thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward: This chapter introduces the Abrahamic covenant by which God promises him an heir and eventual descendants who will one day possess the land of Canaan. The word ‘shield’ is translated in other passages as “believed.” 

Thus, God is the object of Abram’s faith and thereby the source of his confidence. The promise of reward is especially significant in view of the fact that Abram had just refused a reward from the king of Sodom. God Himself would be Abram’s true reward (cf.Ps.127:3).’ 

And what greater reward can there be than Almighty God Himself eh mih people? None whatsoever! 

And we’ll end, most appropriately, with the words of Jesus Himself, words of wisdom from the Sermon on the Mount, from the Beatitudes. 

‘Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.’ (Matt.5:11-12) 

And the scholars offer these explanations. ‘5:11. Again, Jesus warns that men shall revile you, and persecute you. This became true during His own ministry, in the lives of the apostles, and throughout the history of the church. The persecution spoken of here is twofold. First, it involves a physical pursuing of the persecuted, and second, a personal attack of slander against them.’ 

And that is still happening today, and will continue to happen until Jesus comes again. All we can do is simply grin and bear it, and think about out rewards accruing in heaven for the unfair and unjust persecution. 

But now hear this other explanation: ‘5:12. Rejoice is the command that grows out of the blessedness of the believer. The phrase ‘rejoice and be exceeding glad’ means even more, exult! Great is your reward in heaven focuses attention on the eternal destiny of all things. 

If God is as real as He claims, if the Bible is true, if heaven is to be gained, then no temporary earthly trouble or persecution can dispossess the child of God of joy in the prospect of the eternal glory that lies ahead.’ 

Wow mih breddren! Isn’t that marvellous? Nothing can stop us! So let’s get strong and retake the world for Jesus nuh, for that’s what He expects of us! Much LOVE!

…believers should concentrate more on their rewards…than their problems…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 July 2017 Psalm 86:11.

Psalm 86:11.   Teach me thy way, O Lord; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart (give me singleness of purpose) to fear (have reverential awe for) thy name.

Ah mih friends, what can I say this beautiful summer’s morn eh? Nothing but God bless! Enjoy it and give thanks! (smile) 

Yeh, we’re alive and hopefully going about God’s plan for our lives in a successful and productive manner, for that’s what He desires of us, each and every day He causes us to see the light. 

Walking out of His will is downright foolish, and sadly a lot of people are planning to do that today, as their weekend furlough begins. Just listen to their shouts of ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes! 

Mama Yo, the weekend is here, party time is here, plenty eating and drinking and smooching! We call it the just do what you want to do time, ignoring both man and beast! Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui, otherwise we’d just go out we mind with worry!’ 

Oh my faithful brethren, it is quite all right to ignore man and beast, but ignoring God, as the weekenders are planning to do, is an entirely different matter, one fraught with serious consequences. Taking a break from work is fine, indeed it’s necessary and beneficial, but we have to pay careful attention to the limits to which we go. 

Our Friday Chant provides a much more sensible approach to the weekend, so let’s declare it now nuh, in all sincerity and truth. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

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

Yeh friends, that is more in keeping with our Christian faith; making sure that we have and respect some boundaries in our lives, and not just going whole hog after the carnal lusts of the flesh, which are so prevalent today. 

And as we’ve been seeing for the last couple of days, declaring and adhering to the glorious words of our Bit is one way to keep us safely grounded in God. ‘Teach me thy way, O Lord; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart (give me singleness of purpose) to fear (have reverential awe for) thy name.’ 

Oh precious people of God, if we approach the Living God of our fathers, sincerely and ask for His help and guidance, He will NEVER turn us down! 

And Bruh David seems to have known that principle and used it quite often in His talks with the Almighty. Listen to him from Psalm 25 – A prayer for guidance and protection. ‘Show me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all day.’ (Ps.25:4-5) 

Ah friends, do we ever call on God in such sincerity? If not, then perhaps we should. It might just change our whole perspective and consequently our lives for the better. Now hear Bruh David again from Psalm 27 – The Lord is my light and my salvation. 

‘Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain (smooth) path, because of mine enemies. Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty (violence).

I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait (in faith) on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait (patiently and in faith), I say, on the Lord.’ (Ps.27:11-14) 

Yeh mih breddren, it all boils down to faith and trust and patient but expectant waiting with a big dollop of perseverance, when it comes to dealing with Almighty God. And we’ll close with this last entreaty from Bruh David from Psalm 143- Teach me to do thy will. 

‘Teach me to do thy will, for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness. Quicken (revive) me, O Lord, for thy name’s sake: for thy righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble. And of thy mercy cut off (put an end) to mine enemies, and destroy all them that afflict my soul: for I am thy servant.’ (Ps.143:10-12) 

And the most poignant words in all of that friends, are the last ones: ‘for I am thy servant.’ Unless we are prepared to be God’s servant, as well as our fellow man in God’s name, our cries for help will not be answered. Remember Jesus said He came to serve, not be served. 

And also bear in mind the greeting of the lord in the parable of the talents: ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of the Lord.’ (Matt.25:23). 

Let’s not forget our purpose today my brethren as we walk in faithful service to out Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Much LOVE!

…to faithfully serve Jesus…in any manner He desires…is our Christian calling…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 March 2017 Psalm 107:29.

Psalm 107:29.   He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.

And then it was Monday; that dreaded day of the workingman! But as we keep saying friends, if you want to eat, then you have to work. And if you want to work without too many problems, then you have to live a decent lifestyle. 

You can’t expect to be carnal and licentious and lustful all weekend, then get up bright and early and perky on Monday morning and head out. But many of us still do it, somehow expecting to make the same mistake and see an improved result. Sorry friends, it just doesn’t happen that way. 

But we have some help for you; it’s called our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. It wakes you up, rejuvenates you, and gets you ready to hit the road, refreshed and energetic. So let’s sing it now nuh, with plenty enthusiasm and verve and chutzpah and all those other good things which enhance a song. 

In strong voice and perfect harmony: ‘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!’ 

Now that was good friends; a li’l bit raucous and rough, but certainly not lacking in enthusiasm! And most importantly, it brought a chuckle to Jesus, our choirmaster’s spirit. He appreciated the energy we put into it. So now we’re ready to go out and do battle with the infidel in Jesus’ name, because it’s only in His name are we ever going to be victorious! 

And today my brethren, we have a very interesting, truthful and awesome Bit, but before we get to it, let’s hear it in context. It comes from Psalm 107 – God’s wonderful works to the children of men. 

The psalmist writes: They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in the great waters; These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. 

They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end. Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then they are glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired heaven.’ (Ps.107:23-30) 

Oh friends, what an omnipotent but merciful and magnanimous God we serve and worship! He has power to cause storms both on the seas and also in our lives, but He also has the awesome power to still, to calm those same raging storms! 

The important thing to note is that when the storms rage around us, and we stagger and reel like drunks, we need to call out to Him for help and mercy. And you’ll notice that’s exactly what we’ve done in our opening this morning. 

We’re faced by a storm of not wanting to get up to go to work, but we know we have to, so we cried out to Him in our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, and He mercifully gave us the grace and strength to go out and do His will. How awesome is that eh my people? 

There’s NO OTHER GOD LIKE OURS! In fact our GOD, IS THE ONLY GOD THERE IS!  Matter fix! (smile) 

So please, let’s not allow the storms, the trials and tribulations of life to get us down, or rather keep us down, for we have the most powerful Being in the universe as our God to turn to, and He has faithfully promised never to leave nor forsake us, once we stay under the protection and safety of His mighty wings. 

And if you don’t believe me, listen to Ethan the Ezrahite, as he talks about God’s sure promises to David from Psalm 89. ‘O Lord God of hosts, who is a strong Lord like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee? Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them.’ (Ps.89:8-9) 

Yes my brethren, the universe is the Lord’s and all therein! Let us never forget that and like true and wise believers, act accordingly during the storms of life that we all must face. Much LOVE!

…when storms rage…let Jesus take the helm…for He is the best sailor there is…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 December 2016 Luke 1:46.

Luke 1:46.   And Mary said, My soul doth magnify (exalt) the Lord.

Well friends, all the excitement of the Christmas season is finally coming to a head. Soon the shopping and the wrapping of gifts will end and the partying will start in earnest. Hn! That is if it hasn’t begun already. 

And you know Sunday is the worst day that Christmas can fall on in terms partying, because a lot of people will be off from Friday to Wednesday, so that they can have the Christmas and Boxing Day Holidays to which they are entitled. 

However, let’s hope that the real reason for the season, the birth of Jesus Christ shines through it all, and we don’t simply make this most memorable day merely a secular time of eating, drinking and gift giving. Now those things are an important part of it, but not the MOST important. We have to get in some spiritual time in there too. 

But no doubt by the time the sun rises in the east this morning, we’re going to hear the myriad voices declaring ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! And Christmas Friday to boot! We have almost a whole week to do what we want! No massa looking over we shoulder and giving us a setta chupid orders! 

The drinks will be flowing like water, and the Christmas food… Oh Lord! Look how it spread out and looking pretty nuh! Oh thank you Lord for this Friday that falls in the Christmas weekend! Is party everlasting!’ 

Ah mih people, let’s hope that’s not how most of us see it. Jesus has to be light shining in the dark, the prominent figure, because it’s His birthday. 

Now let’s chant our Friday Chant which is not devoid of good times, but has a more moderate and Christian perspective. 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.’ 

Ah mih breddren, this weekend we have more than two short days off yes, so please let’s use them wisely and remember Granny’s saying: ‘Sonny boy, drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’ 

Because for certain sure the evil one will be out on a serious hunting spree this long weekend, especially since we celebrating Christ’s birth. He won’t desire anything better than to catch a few of us offside. So please be careful. 

Now we come to a piece of news that’s not so great. I’m hearing this kind of thing too often these days yes. I just heard today that another of our Scrip-Bit family, Keith Noel, had a massive stroke in Jamaica some three weeks ago. 

Apparently his brother had died a few days earlier and he took it so hard that it brought on the stroke. So he couldn’t go to his brother’s funeral. Ah Lord eh! But the good news is that he was allowed out for two hours to celebrate his 40th wedding anniversary. Glory be!

Oh friends, please let’s send up some fervent heartrending prayers for our family member Keith, hoping that he will soon be back on his feet, praising the Lord for His goodness. It’s the least we can do. 

Finally, let’s turn to our Bit for today, the faithful and amazing words of the teenaged girl Mary, so rightly chosen it seems to be Christ’s mother. I guess the Lord would not have made a mistake there at all. (smile) 

‘And Mary said, My soul doth magnify (exalt) the Lord.’ 

Yuh know people, every time I consider the magnitude of Mary’s faith at so tender an age, in those dark and difficult times, it just boggles my imagination. But listen to her song of praise after she joyfully accepts her upcoming role with all the enormous problems it entailed. 

She begins with our Bit, then gladly declares: ‘And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate (lowly state) of his handmaiden (maid servant): for behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. 

For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. He hath showed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. 

He hath put down the mighty from their seats (thrones), and exalted them of low degree (the lowly). He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath holpen (helped) his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.’ (Luke 1:47-55) 

Oh friends, can you imagine a young girl speaking such enlightened words. The Holy Ghost must surely have been upon her to bring out that kind of reaction. And what we just read is known as ‘the Magnificat.’ 

The scholars tell us that it’s ‘based on the first word of the Latin translation (the Vulgate). It is rich in Old Testament imagery: Jesus’ coming was the fulfillment of Old Testament promises.’ And indeed it was my fellow believers! 

After Mary’s declaration, the Good Book tells us: ‘And Mary abode with her (Elisabeth) about three months, and returned to her own house.’ (Luke 1:56) 

Yuh see the wisdom of our God at work! He left Mary to bond with Elisabeth, to give her the required strength and whatever else she may have needed to perform the task He had set before her. And He does the same thing up to this day my people. He never gives us a task to do without giving us the wherewithal to do it. 

So please, let’s learn from Mary, and instead of complaining and carrying on about our God-given tasks, let’s rejoice and give Him praise instead nuh, especially in this wonderful Christmas Season. Much LOVE!

…there is no other God besides ours…great, faithful, LOVING and true…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 December 2016 2 Timothy 4:7.

 2 Timothy 4:7.   I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith.

Ah mih people, at long last a semi-serious snowfall has hit my area. Chuh! And the time was going by so nicely! But that’s the nature of this good country Canada; wintertime means snow is very likely to disrupt the situation. (smile) 

However, it wasn’t too bad a snowstorm, and hopefully by now the roads would have been cleared and salted. But still, please be careful if you have to drive because there is liable to be some icy sections out there. 

And you’d think that the snow would dampen the weekend enthusiasm…not on yuh life! The shouting of  ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday, and the weekend is upon us!’ still rings out. ‘A li’l snow can’t stop the party. We’ll just have to stay inside and keep warm, while the drinks and whatnot flow! Thank God for Fridays and the weekends oui!’ 

Now that’s the song of the heathen, let’s sing that of the righteous; our Friday Chant, with as much, if not more verve and enthusiasm than the heathen. 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, that’s a much better way of handling the weekend, than simply giving into the lusts of the flesh and celebrating with gay abandon. 

Anyway, let’s turn to our Bit; Bruh Paul’s immortal words, for the last time. ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith.’ 

Oh precious people of God, it is essential that we believers in Jesus Christ, fight a good fight against the evil of this world! The world will not simply allow us to live our lives according to God’s will, because it doesn’t fit into their programme of sin and iniquity. 

That means, at each and every chance they get, they will try to dissuade us from following the righteous path with lustful and fleshly temptations. But we have to learn to resist it. 

As we saw Bruh Paul tell the Corinthians yesterday: ‘But I keep under (discipline) my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway (disqualified).’ (1 Cor.9:27) 

And I worked that verse in there because I want to share a very interesting explanation of the scholars on it. ‘9:27. I keep under my body (i.e. discipline my body): The expression I keep under loses much of the original sense. It has the idea of to “give one a black eye,” “buffet,” or “bruise.” 

Paul’s readers knew that in the Isthmian Games, the boxers wore gloves consisting of ox-hide hands covered with knots and nails, and loaded with lead and iron. To prepare for such an event, a man would have to brace himself to endure all forms of physical abuse. 

Lest that by any means …I myself should be a castaway (lit. “So that …I myself should not be disqualified”): Paul was afraid of losing his salvation: his subject is still Christian liberty. The point is that the believer must discipline himself to avert both being disqualified from Christian ministry, and forfeiting the rewards for such service.’ 

Oh friends, can you imagine the bloodied bodies of the boxers in those olden times. One would have to be very brave and single minded to take part in such a carnal sport. But that’s the kind of mentality we need to have to fight off the temptations of this world and eventually win the victor’s crown. 

We can’t afford to be disqualified from Christ’s ministry and also lose the rewards earned through doing it. Now hear what Bruh Paul told Timothy in his first message re the good fight of faith. 

‘But thou, O man of God, flee these things: and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, LOVE, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed (confessed) a good profession (confession) before many witnesses.’ (1 Tim.6:11-12) 

And the scholars explain: ‘6:11. Flee these things means shun a LOVE for money (v.10) and the striving for material wealth (v.9) with all its resulting woes. Follow after means pursue. Righteousness is practical correctness, conforming to God’s will in one’s thinking and acting. 

Godliness is proper reverence for, and obedience to God. Faith is a trust in God that grows stronger. LOVE is a maturing affection for God and man. Patience is perseverance or steadfastness in life and service. Meekness is gentleness.’  

‘6:12. The good fight concerns the daily struggle with sin in the Christian life, and the hardships and adversities in the ministry. A genuine believer demonstrates the reality of his faith by being engaged in this warfare. 

Lay hold on eternal life does not negate the fact that a believer now possesses spiritual life (John 3:36); rather, it speaks of fully realizing or appropriating salvation as the believer matures.’ 

Ah friends, the life of a true believer is not an easy one. As Jesus told the disciples, we’d be persecuted just for believing in Him: ‘but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.’ (Matt.10:22) 

So it’s up to us to keep persevering, keep fighting the good fight, keep maturing, obviously with God’s help, until we reach the end and are presented with the victor’s crown. 

Wow mih people! What a day that will be! It will certainly be worth all the trials and tribulations endured in this earthly pilgrimage! Much LOVE!

…to fight the good fight successfully…one must have plenty belly and backbone…

 

 

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