Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 April 2018 Proverbs 1:33.

Proverbs 1:33.    But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet (secure, at ease) from fear of evil.

One more morning…one more Monday… to go out and face the cold, cruel and evil world! Or would you rather not be around to face it eh, have your picture staring back at you from the obits instead? (smile) Definitely not! Most of us would vote for seeing another Monday morning though they seem to cause us constant distress. 

That’s possibly because what awaits us on the other side of the river appears to be so grand, too good to be true, and nobody has ever come back from there and told us the real story.  So until we just can’t help it, do otherwise, we’ll stay on this side of the river, unhappily accepting the hell we know, instead of the heaven we don’t.  

But friends, we ought to believe God’s Word because it is true. So if He says a wonderful life awaits us on the other side, why doubt it eh? As we saw yesterday the Bible, though actually written by men, was inspired by God, and one truth from it is greater than the wisdom of all mankind. Anyway, we still on this side, (smile) and we still have Monday to get through, so let’s sing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to help us get started nuh. 

All together 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!’ 

Yeh friends, I know our pulses are beating a little faster and the adrenaline is now swiftly coursing through our bodies, so let’s get a move on before we lose the rush nuh. (smile) And today we’re going to continue talking about the great and wonderful promises of God. 

And the first one today is our Bit; wise and holy inspiration of God to Cousin Sol. ‘But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet (secure, at ease) from fear of evil.’ A promise of absolute truth my people! When we listen to God and obey Him, we are not afraid when evil comes against us. Why? 

Because as Jesus told His disciples and consequently promised us: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) Wow! What a promise! Exactly what we need in this evil, confused, hateful, ungodly and angry world. And it’s available to whosoever wants it. 

All you have to do is to accept Jesus’ Great Invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt.11:28-30) 

Glory be my breddren! How can you beat that promise eh? No way Jose! And if yuh still having doubts, then try this promise for size. The inspired words of Bruh Paul to the Philippians, after letting them know that he’s been praying for them from the first day that they received Christ. ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil.1:16) 

Yeh friends, whatever God begins in us, He will complete it, or keep it going until Jesus returns. There are no if, ands, or buts about that! And we going to end with some more of Bruh Paul’s wise and inspirational words, this time as he talks to the Roman church about life in the Spirit. 

‘Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He spared not his own son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?’(Rom.8:30-32)  

Oh precious people,  if God, gave up His only Son to save us, and if we are obediently following Christ, then God will obviously be on our side. And once He’s with us, NO ONE, or NOTHING can come successfully against us, because God and any one of us constitutes a majority in any situation.  Let’s remember that so we can live it too nuh. More on God’s awesome promises tomorrow, if He wants it that way. Much LOVE!

…God’s promises were never made to be broken…but for each and every one to be fulfilled…

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 April 2018 James 1:2.

James 1:2.    My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials).

At last friends, at long last, some of the ice that’s covered the ground from the ice storm a week ago has finally melted…Yay! And we can now see some of Mother Earth’s dirtyish brown grass with specks of green thrown in for good measure. Glory be! 

But not all of the ice has melted, there are still several patches of it all around. And from my kitchen window I can see about three or four solid boulders of ice lying at the side of the road, and the big lump of ice that clogged the entrance to my lane when they cleaned the main road last week is still there, blocking traffic and making it difficult to enter the lane. 

But God is good! Let’s remember that, and a few weeks from now when spring has finally sprung and the leaves and beautiful blossoms are out in all their glory, we’ll look back and laugh at this inconvenience. Hn, hn! Yeh mih people, it’s a good thing the Lord blessed us with short memories. 

However, it’s Saturday, so let’s turn our attention to some of this week’s quotes from our friend Anselm, as he aspires to inspire us to a better tomorrow. Here is the first one: ‘Learn to value yourself, which means fight for your happiness.’ 

Oh my people, too many of us don’t value ourselves highly enough, we have a poor self-image, thus others take advantage of us. Therefore we need to raise our self- image through Bible study and assertive action if we want to control our lives and thus our happiness. And the next quote is basically about the same thing; taking control of our lives. 

‘Don’t let other people decide whether you are going to have a fantabulous or bad day, make that decision yourself.’ Again, too many of us allow others to run our lives and decide what kind of day we’re going to have. That is counter productive friends. We have to learn to stand on our own two feet and make those kinds of decision for ourselves, otherwise we’ll always be at the mercy of others. 

And the final quote says: ‘If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.’ In other words, take a chance! And that is gospel truth! If you never take chances and just stay with the tried and true, the same old, same old, then the same old, same old is all you’ll ever get. 

Our society and our Christian faith was built on our forefathers and the early Christians taking chances, even when it meant running afoul of the authorities and thus possible loss of life. And as we Christians know, whenever we step out to do something for Christ, the enemy will most likely come against us and try to prevent us from doing it. 

But because of Christ’s promises and His power to enable us to do anything, we don’t have to shy away, but press on regardless. And we do that through faith. But faith doesn’t just come like by wishing it. On the contrary it’s something we have to build, through constant hard work and adversity. 

And Cousin Bobby (Bobby Schuller- Hour of Power) says that ‘Faith is not a leap, but an enduring daily trust that God can do the impossible in your life.’ And that’s no lie! Each and every day we awaken we have to learn to keep the trust in God we earned the day before, and to build on it, so that tomorrow it will be even stronger. That’s how we build faith my brethren – from day to day, through whatever trial comes our way. 

That brings us to our Bit, some rather interesting words from James, Jesus’ brother, in his epistle to the Christians dispersed around the world. ‘My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials).’ Now who wants to find trials joyful eh? Nobody! But friends, that’s the only way we’ll grow in faith. 

As James continues: ‘Knowing this, that the trying (testing) of your faith worketh (produces) patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire (complete), wanting (lacking) nothing.’ James 1:3-4) Yeh friends, as long as we are believers, our faith will always be tested, and we need to stand fast so that we can grow. 

And the scholars got it right: ‘1:4. The natural response to adversity is to escape it. But God uses trouble to mature His people.’ Oh, we certainly know it’s rough, and do try to escape, but much to our dismay, that’s just part of the life of faith we’re trying live. 

The scholars further tell us: ‘1:2-3. In this epistle on Christian living, James opens with a most crucial topic: the trials of life. These verses describe the various testings – whether from the world and Satan, or from God – into which godly Christians fall (Gr. peripipto). 

These “negative” experiences are to be accepted with great joy, not for the sake of the trial itself but because of the positive work God can accomplish through the testing….It is not merely one’s presence in such trials but one’s victory over them that brings spiritual growth and maturity. Those Christians whom God can use the most are those whom God has bruised the most.’ 

Unfortunately mih people growing in spiritual faith is not easy, as can be seen from the lives of all great men of faith, especially Jesus. But they all kept constantly looking to the heavenly Father for the strength to carry on, and He gave it to them. Likewise, if we look to our heavenly Father for strength and wisdom to carry on in tough times, He WILL give it to us. 

So friends, whatever is coming against us right now, let’s try and think of it in joyful terms nuh, (smile) believing that God is allowing it for a greater purpose than we can imagine, and lean on Him for the help to come through it successfully. He will not disappoint us. That’s His faithful promise! Much LOVE!

…spiritual growth…is based on fleshly suffering…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 April 2018 Matthew 6:19.

Matthew 6:19.    Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal.

Oh friends, it’s bright and sunshiny in my neighbourhood today! Yay! Both the Sun and the SON are in their element! Glory Hallelujah! But it’s still cold, and the ice still remains frozen on the ground and at the curbs. 

Oh, and I received some info from my Ward Councilor yesterday explaining why the roads were not cleaned after the recent ice storm. Some nansi story about it was ice and not snow and ice is harder to clean, and then it rained and clearing it would have caused more flooding etc. Hn! 

But the bottom line is that the city’s snow clearing contract ends at the end of March and keeping it going until April would cost some four hundred thousand dollars a week, which would eventually be added to our Property Tax Bill. So who cares eh? People want to be able to walk and drive safely after those storms! The Property Tax Bill is still going up every year regardless. 

At least this way we would have some idea as to what the increase is being used for. And besides, she concludes, spring will soon be here anyway. So people have to carefully navigate the dangerous ice that has accumulated on the curbs and the banks until when ever it gets warm enough to melt it? Steups! Politicians eh! Two–tongued crooks! 

But yuh know what? It’s Friday, and the workingman isn’t concerned about that now, as he sings his song. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! The weekend…Freedom time…though is only two lousy days off! But any time off from slave labour is gladly appreciated. Our time to eat, drink and be merry! For who knows, tomorrow we may die, so let’s enjoy it to the max nuh, while we have the ability to do so. Thank God for Fridays and the weekends yes!’  

Ah mih breddren, the complexities of this modern life eh! Life was so much simpler and clearer when we didn’t have as much as we now have, and overall I believe people were happier, at least more contented with their lot. They weren’t as worried and perplexed. But now, we’re just hurrying and scurrying, walking over each other to make a living that’s not much better in quality than what our parents enjoyed. 

Oh we have more amenities, but we have to spend more time servicing those same amenities, and work like crazy to pay for them, thus the complaints in the workingman’s song. However, as Christians, true believers in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we have a different take on the situation as stated in our Friday Chant. Let’s declare it now nuh with much zeal and strong sense of purpose. 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Yeh friends, believers don’t go overboard, we have boundaries which prevent the enemy from getting any footholds in our souls and thus wreaking havoc in our relationship with Christ. I know it’s hard sometimes to hold back from the leggo beast attitude, but hold back we must, if we are to be good and true representatives of Christ. In the long run though, it will pay enormous dividends. If not down here on earth, then certainly in heaven. 

We therefore need to be more heavenly minded or centred than we currently are. That’s why we need to take serious heed of Jesus’ warning in our Bit. ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal.’ Such wonderful advice from the Master! 

However, to be wise and faithful servants, Jesus advises: ‘But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves do not break through and steal.’ (Matt.6:20) Yeah mih people, treasures in heaven are theft proof, rust proof and moth proof. 

So where will you rather secure your treasures then, down here on earth, where you can lose them or they be destroyed through natural wear and tear, and you have to leave them behind when you die anyway, or in heaven where they are completely safe? The obvious answer would be heaven. 

Please note though friends, that there is nothing bad about having or gaining earthly wealth and power, Jesus will indeed grant them to us if it’s in His plan for our lives. The problem is when we begin treating the earthly stuff as our god, when it becomes more important than the real, One True God, our heavenly Father. 

And anytime we allow someone or something to become more important to us than God, then we’re in serious trouble. For remember our God is a jealous God, as He so blatantly states in Exodus 20:5. ‘For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God…’ And His very FIRST Commandment reflected that in spades: ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before me.’(Ex.20:3) 

So friends, it’s all well and good to live a good life down here on earth, because that’s part of the reason why Christ died for us. But we have to realize and recognize that God must come before everyone and everything else. And to do that without too many problems, we have to do it consciously, for as Jesus so rightly warns: ‘For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ (Matt.6:21) 

And that’s no lie my people! Just check your own life. Don’t you think about your earthly treasure a lot, whether it be money in the bank or costly artifacts you have already accumulated, or are in the process of accumulating? We certainly do! But today I’m imploring us not to make them more important than our heavenly Father, for we’ll certainly be on the losing end if we do. Much LOVE!

…true wisdom…live a full life on earth…but think a whole lot more about heaven…which will last much longer…like forever…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 April 2018 Psalm 73:3.

Psalm 73:3.    For I was envious at the foolish (boastful), when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

Ah mih people, it’s a good thing that we have the light, the power, peace and LOVE of Jesus residing within us yes, otherwise when we look outside all we’d see is the beginning of another cold, damp and dreary looking day. Steups! 

Thank the Lord for Jesus oui! Shout ‘Hallelujah!’ and praise His most wonderful and holy name. The name that’s above every other name and to which every knee must bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord, to the glory of our heavenly Father. 

Mama Mia! How beautiful is our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ eh? There are no words in the human vocabulary to do Him justice! And when we add all the sad and disgusting situations existing in our current world and it’s exceeding ungodliness, it just makes us want to LOVE and live for Jesus even more. 

Now over the last two days we have spoken about Jesus’ Great Commission and His Great Invitation, but yuh know what friends, too many of us Christians are not taking those very important aspects of our faith seriously enough.  

Unfortunately we are turning to the things of the world to bring us joy, peace and happiness; seeking to accumulate the wealth of the world, so that we can leave lots of it behind for our families and lawyers to fight over when we depart this life. 

Oh my breddren, too many of us are behaving like the psalmist Asaph when he wrote Psalm 73 – The mystery of prosperous wickedness. Hear how he opens it: ‘Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean (pure) heart. But as for me, my feet were almost gone (I had almost stumbled); my steps had well-nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish (boastful), when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.’ (Ps.73:1-3) 

Yeh friends, just like Asaph, many, too many of us are looking at the prosperity of the wicked and are being envious and jealous of them and trying to be like them. But that’s not our calling my people. We are called to be righteous and to do good in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour! 

And if we do that, we’ll end up as Jesus promised: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt.6:33) Yes, if we look to God first, He will provide all that we need. As Bruh Paul said to the Philippians: ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by (through) Christ Jesus.’ (Phil.4:19) 

It’s obvious though that many of us either don’t know those promises or don’t believe or adhere to them since we are so busily seeking the things of the world, which eventually perish and we have to leave behind anyway. We seem to think like Asaph did, even though he was a highly spiritual man, as he continues after our Bit. 

‘For there are no bands (pangs or pain) in their death: but their strength is firm. They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men. Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain (serves as a necklace); violence covereth them as a garment. Their eyes stand out with fatness (bulge with abundance): they have more than heart could wish.’ (Ps.73:4-7) 

Yeh friends, the ungodly and wicked are currently prospering in this evil world, but it won’t be forever. Listen as Bruh David tells about the true state of the wicked. ‘Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.’ (Ps.37:3) 

And the scholars explain: ‘Psalm 73: This psalm is another dealing with the problem of the prosperity of the wicked. Unlike Psalm 37, however, it does not emphasize the brevity of that prosperity. The author observes that sometimes the bounty achieved by the wicked does in fact last throughout life (v.4). 

He emphasizes every believer’s need to test his own personal relationship with God. That alone provides the ultimate satisfaction available to the believer who witnesses the affluence of the wicked. That’s a fact that almost caused him to stumble spiritually and lose his faith.’ 

Ah mih people, I know that we suffer from the same problem, but like Asaph, we can also overcome it. And how did he do so? Hear him: ‘Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.’ (Ps.73:17) 

Yes my fellow believers, as the scholars further explain: ‘Not until the psalmist entered God’s sanctuary and received a divine perspective on the wicked’s prosperity did he find his answer to the problem (vs.17-28) He saw the destiny of the wicked (vs.17-20); therefore he repented of his foolishness (vs.21-22) and found his happiness solely in a warm and growing relationship with God (vs.23-28).’ 

And so can we my brethren, if we look solely to God for our earthly sustenance and not be envious of those who seem to have it all, for who knows if they sold their souls to achieve that power and abundance. And eventually, like Asaph, we will also be able to declare: ‘My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength (rock) of my heart, and my portion for ever.’ (Ps.73:26) 

And having said that, let’s go home now declaring our Thursday Blessings, those wonderful attributes the Lord pours down on those sincerely believe and stand steadfast with Him. All together now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

And the corollary to that, is to now go out and generously share those blessings with the less fortunate, as Jesus intends for us to do. Much LOVE!

…evil doers shall be cut off…but those that wait upon the Lord…shall inherit the earth… (Ps.37:9)

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 April 2018 Matthew 3:2.

Matthew 3:2.    And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Well friends, it’s been a helluva weekend in North America! From the Gulf of Mexico all the way up to Canada, it’s been a succession of high winds, rain, snow, sleet, ice, tornadoes, and any other kind of bad weather one can experience, and it has caused havoc in all areas of life, especially travel and power outages. And in some places in the U.S it hasn’t eased up yet. 

In the Greater Toronto Area we had mostly ice, high winds and rain, and outside still looks like the frozen tundra of the Arctic. At one stage at the Billy Bishop Airport in Toronto they experienced winds of 90 km/h per hour. Wow! Why would one want to be flying, or even be out in winds that strong eh? Let’s hope that the rising temps today along with the rain will melt and wash away all of that ice. 

I can imagine the state of the commute this morning. And the warning still stands; if you don’t have to go out, don’t go out. And yuh better believe I’m going to take my advice, because I have a doctor’s appointment in the city at lunchtime, but I can guarantee you it’s not happening. Anyway, enough about the weather, let’s turn to our faith, which helps us to handle the inclement stuff. 

And this is one day that we definitely need our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to raise our adrenalin level as we contemplate the severe negative aspects of getting to work safely. So with sincere heart and strong voice, let’s sing: 

‘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 ought to raise our level of confidence and courage and energize us this dreadful looking morning. And please remember that regardless of the outward circumstances, the SON is still shining brightly, and is always there to help us in whatever area we may need it. 

Now let’s turn to our Bit: ‘And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 

Yeh friends, those were the warning words of John the Baptist as he began his ministry foretelling the coming of Jesus. And I think we’d do well to seriously consider them in these evil and ungodly times. Too many out of the ordinary things and circumstances are happening all over the world for them to be just coincidence or happenstance. 

And as believers, we know that NOTHING just happens by accident or chance, the hand of the Lord is always involved somehow or the other. And remember how He destroyed the world when it was so sinful in the time of Noah? Well He only promised not to destroy it by water again – possibly by fire and brimstone next time. And it just seems that we’re playing with a lot of fire and explosive material these days. 

A lot of destructive stuff is happening in these especially sinful times, and I just wonder if the Lord is not giving us a not so subtle message to beware, He’s getting fed up with our endless shenanigans and trying to rid our society of His presence. Friends, I’m suggesting that we be safe, rather than sorry, and REPENT, give up our evil ways and return to the Lord’s fold. 

As the scholars explain: ‘3:2. Repent (Gr. metanoeo) means a change of mind that results in a change of conduct. Repentance is not merely sorrow. It involves a complete change of attitude regarding God and sin and is often accompanied by  a sense of sorrow and a corresponding change in conduct. Such repentance does not arise in man himself, but is the result of God’s mercy in leading man to it. (Acts 5:31; Rom.2:4; 2 Tim.2:25).’ 

Oh my people, please look at those scriptures and let them work in our hearts, for the end times are drawing nigh, and if we are not prepared then salvation and eternal life will be denied us, and that’s the worst thing that could ever happen to a human being. 

The world is too sinful and ungodly for the Lord to put up with it much longer. And if we keep going the way we are, with or without His help, we’ll either implode or explode. But the status quo cannot last much longer. Remember too, that Jesus can return at any time, like a thief in the night, and once He comes back, all bets are off. 

So it behooves us, believers, to talk to the world, to spread the message, to get it ready. Saying, let’s repent, let’s change our sinful, blasphemous attitude towards our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, be born again, and accept His free offer through grace, of salvation and eternal life. That’s the wisest and best offer going! Otherwise…crapaud smoke we pipe! Much LOVE!

…a word to the wise is sufficient…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 April 2018 John 17:15.

John 17:15.    I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil (one).

And as one working day morphs into the next, we suddenly discover that it’s Friday…but another Friday with a twist; Friday the 13th, considered by many as an unlucky day, where all sorts of disasters happen. Hn! 

For a society that prides itself on being so advanced in our thinking, we surely don’t seem so forward thinking when we consider the many superstitions we still live under, like believing that 13 is an unlucky number, and Friday the 13th is a day unleashed from hell itself. 

And the sad part is that no one really knows where most of these superstitions originated from, but they do abound in the most advanced society of mankind’s long history. But that particular superstition seems lost on the ordinary workingman as he sings his Friday Song. 

‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday…and we don’t care if is Friday the 13th or whatever you want to call it. As far as we concern, Friday is the beginning of our party time, freedom from the bondage of work. So you can do what you want with your superstitions and them, but they won’t stop our having a good time come Friday. Wow! The weekend is here at last! Party animals get ready! As we thank God for Fridays and the weekend!’ 

Ah mih people, what a crazy world we live in, one where almost anything goes, as in the workingman’s song. But as followers of Jesus, we Christians cannot afford to be so footloose and fancy free. Yes, we are allowed to party and have fun, but with some rules and restrictions, where the workingman has none whatsoever. 

We’re in a spiritual battle for our eternal lives, and if we cater to the hedonism and licentiousness of the world we can get ourselves in serious trouble by allowing the enemy to breech our walls. That’s why Jesus set some boundaries for His followers. And consequently, our Friday Chant differs substantially from the workingman’s song. Let’s chant it now nuh with heartfelt gratitude. 

‘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 my believing brethren, we can never be reminded too often of the necessity to keep ourselves out of the evil clutches of Lucifer’s world, because he and his cronies are always looking for a way to inveigle us into something that doesn’t fit our status and standard as believers.

That’s why Jesus prayed in our Bit: ‘I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil (one). 

Yeh friends, Jesus doesn’t want us to be taken out of the world, because we can only spread the good news of His gospel by being IN the world, but we should not be OF the world. In other words, a part of the evil world system, for how can we change it, if we are a part of it eh? Not very likely. So precious people of God, we need to live IN the world, but not do as the world does. 

As Bruh Paul wrote to the church at Rome: ‘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.12:2) 

Oh my people, please remember that the battle for supremacy is basically waged in the mind, so whatever the mind holds worthy, that is what we will do. That’s why, when we are born again we have to transform our minds, change our way of thinking from that of the world, to that of Christ, so that we can do God’s perfect will. 

And James puts it thus: ‘Pure religion and undefiled before God the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.’ (James 1:27) 

Oh friends, it is indeed difficult to keep ourselves unspotted from the world since it is so all-pervasive, abounding in every aspect of our lives. But if we are sincere and try our best, with God’s help, we certainly can. Now let’s close with these beautiful and encouraging words of John from His first epistle. 

‘LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.’ (1 John 2:15-17) 

How very true all of that is my fellow believers! All the stuff that the world holds dear will eventually be destroyed, but God’s will won’t.

So please, let’s stop kowtowing to the things of the world nuh; stop engaging in the lustful aspects of our sinful human frailty, stop allowing our flesh, our eyes and our pride to make us a part of the world. That’s wisdom at its highest level! Much LOVE!

…only by following God’s will…can believers be IN the world…but not OF the world…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 April 2018 Psalm 1:1.

Psalm 1:1.    Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly (wicked), nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

Awright mih people, one more time around the track, remember is a marathon we running here, and the race is not for the swift, but for the sure of foot…and the wise ones who depend on Almighty God! 

Yeh, I guess we all realize it’s Monday, and the work merry- go-round begins again. But wisdom dictates that we look at it this way; we at least get a two day break every five days, so there is something to look forward to in the short run, and eventually heaven and eternal life with Jesus in the long run. 

Mama Yo! Now just that promise alone, ought to keep us motoring along each day with no thoughts of worry or pressure or pain since we’re only focused on the bright lights of heaven. (smile) Well we all know it looks good on paper, but it’s not that easy to do in reality, that’s why we have our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to lively us up, so that we can go out to labour with a good attitude, the peace of Jesus in our souls and His joy in our hearts. 

So let’s sing up a storm this morning nuh. ‘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 hopefully that kicked in the adrenaline and we’re feeling the feeling; the feeling of Jesus working a substantial change in our attitude toward the work day. Remember, if we don’t work, we won’t get pay, and then we can’t maintain our families and ourselves in the standard to which we’ve become accustomed. 

That alone should strike a note of caution in our hearts, especially with decent jobs so hard to find nowadays, and the economy lurching unsteadily back and forth, like a drunken man. So although we may not like our jobs, we ought not to trivialize them, we have to take them seriously, because they are what cause us to survive in this dog eat dog world. 

And the best way to accomplish all that is by living the kind of life put forth in our Bit. ‘Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly (wicked), nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.’ 

It’s obvious friends, that if we take the broad way to wherever we’re going, we’ll end up in destruction, because the broad way is the foolish way and only leads to negative circumstances.  So what’s the alternative, you ask? 

But that should also be obvious: living for Jesus, following the straight and narrow path, not usually the easiest way. This is how the psalmist describes it. ‘But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate (ponder, think on) day and night.’ (Ps.1:2) 

Now that isn’t always easy to do either, but if we are true and sincere believers, we will wisely go to the Lord for help. And He will help us, since He NEVER turns away anyone who comes with a sincere heart seeking His assistance. 

And the awesome result of pondering on God’s word and trying to live it, is this: ‘And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers (channels) of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.’ (Ps.1:3) 

Yes friends, remember we serve the Creator of this universe, and He is not only omnipotent, but also magnanimous. Thus when we live for His glory our lives will become prosperous. And that’s not so much in terms of money alone, but also in family, friend and work relationships. 

Our lives will be basically stress and worry free, and though we will encounter problems, we’ll be able to handle them in an efficient manner, again with God’s ever-present attention and help. 

So what think you this Monday morning eh? Are we seriously going to live for Jesus; pondering His word and following His most excellent example? I do hope so, for all of our sakes, otherwise we will definitely pay a serious price for our disobedience. 

As the psalmist ends: ‘For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.’ (Ps.1:6) And that’s the living truth my people! So please, let’s be wise, rather than foolish nuh, and follow God’s law. Much LOVE!

…enter not into the path of the wicked…and go not in the way of evil men… (Prov.4:14)

 

 

 

 

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