Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 February 2021 Proverbs 4:12.

Proverbs 4:12.     ​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 (able to judge) the thoughts and intents (intentions) of the heart.

So how shall we begin this bleak and cloudy Wednesday morning eh? (smile) And since the Good Book opened this morning on the words of Cousin Sol from Proverbs, I think it’s a good idea to start with some of his wise advice on the treatment of neighbours, advice we can certainly use in these selfish and greedy times. So hear ye, hear ye: ‘Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do so. Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and tomorrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee. Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by (in safety with) thee. 

Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm. Envy thou not the oppressor, and chose none of his ways. For the froward (perverse person) is abomination to the Lord: but his secret (secret council) is with the righteous. The curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation (dwelling) of the just. Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly (humble). The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion (legacy) of fools.’ (Prov. 3:27-35) 

Oh my people, what wisdom! Wisdom for the ages! But wisdom we have not taken, thus the sorry state of our neighbourly behaviour. And here’s how the scholars summarize those verses. ‘3:27-35. The needy neighbour is to be helped (vs. 27-28); the innocent neighbour is to be respected and left alone (vs. 29-30); and the wicked neighbour is not to be envied (vs. 31-35).’ 

But sadly, so often we do the opposite of that advice, especially in times like these when selfishness, greed and personal advancement are all the rage. We do not help the needy neighbour, neither respect the innocent one, but are quick to engender strife and ill-will towards them. And oh, how we do envy and covet the things of our prosperous but wicked neighbour…what do we call it? ‘Keeping up with the Jones’…ofttimes to our own detriment and financial ruin. 

And I saw an interesting poem in our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that I think might be rather appropriate for us today. It’s titled the ‘Last Word.’ I wonder who shall have that eh? (smile) Please pray with me. ‘I read, “In everything give thanks.” I said, “Lord, I’m in deep trouble…You know I can’t thank you for this.” You said, “My word is a command And not a suggestion, dear child.” I read, “Your sins are forgiven you.” I said, Thank you for forgiving me…I repeat the same sin so often.” You said, I can deliver, as well as forgive.” I read, “Trust in the Lord at all times.” I said, “You know how earnestly I try.” You said, “My Word says Trust.” Lord, it seems to me You always have The last word.’ 

Of course! He’s the Boss, so whom do you expect to have it eh? You, or I! No way Jose! Both the first and last words belong to Almighty God, our Creator and Controller! And until we understand that deep down in our souls, we will always have problems with His Word. But we are certainly foolish to dispute or denigrate or disobey it? Why, you ask? I don’t think you really want to know nuh. (smile) 

Here’s how the Good Book describes the Lord’s Word. It’s our Bit as well as the Bible Promise for our poem above. ‘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 (able to judge) the thoughts and intents (intentions) of the heart.’ (Heb. 4:12) 

Yes friends, that’s the mighty power that God’s Word has! It’s alive and sharp and discerns the thoughts and intents of mortal man! ‘Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in (hidden from) his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do (must give account).’ (Heb. 4:13) 

Now hear the scholars.‘4:12-13. For the word of God:The reason given for one’s careful scrutiny of his life involves the reality that God is intently scrutinizing it. His word isquick(living). This word is first in the Greek and is the emphasis. God’s Word is not old or archaic; it is alive. It is not inept or inactive; it ispowerful(active). It reaches into the inner secrets of man’s mind to discern even histhoughts and intents.Likewise, God’s eyes sees man as though he were naked, unable to hide behind excuse or pretense.’ 

And I sincerely hope that last sentence opens our foolish minds and hearts and lets us know that we can’t hide from God, as so many of us try to do. Oh friends, we claim that our great God is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. That means He sees all and knows all, and NOTHING can be hidden from Him. So let’s stop trying to do that nuh, for it’s a complete waste of time. Let me tell us another li’l secret here; (smile) the Lord knows our thoughts and intentions before we are even aware of them! Hn! Put that in yuh pipe and smoke it! 

Now here is some more interesting info from the scholars as to how the author skillfully uses the human terminology to describe how God’s Word operates .‘Immaterial Part of Man. 4:12.The writer here draws an interesting parallel between the joints and the marrow, which have different functions, yet both are part of a human’s bone structure. Thoughts and intents are also two distinct activities, yet both are activities of the mind. And while the soul and spirit are distinct in function, both have an immaterial character. 

When considering the nature of humanity, we must realize a person is a two-part being, that is, with body and soul. But in activity or function the body, soul, and spirit of a person each has a different function. Paul desired that his converts “whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess. 5:2). (First Ref. Gen 2:7; Primary Ref. 1 Thess. 5:23; cf. Prov. 4:23).’ 

And since we have a whole lot of food for thought there, (smile) let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Wednesday Wail, telling all and sundry of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. Altogether now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And what a truly glorious future it will be, if we endure unto the end! Much LOVE!

…keep thy heart with all diligence…for out of it are the issues of life… (Prov. 4:23) 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 February 2021 Job 13:15a.

Job 13:15a.     ​Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him:

And after the snow comes the mild temperatures…then comes the snow again! I guess that’s how life is, how the Lord orchestrated it to happen; feast then famine, sorrow then joy, one good then bad and so on. But throughout it all He expects us to have a good attitude, to trust Him to work all things out together for our good, as His faithful promise proclaims. (Rom. 8:28) 

And yes, that good attitude is not always easy to come by, especially when the evil and trouble of the world comes against us, but if we are sincere in our trust and belief in Christ Jesus, then we will be able to do it; He will empower us to come up higher in His name. But we have to reach that level of faith where we know that we know that we know ALL His promises are faithful and leave it all in His mighty hands. 

Oh friends, we need to reach the level of faithful maturity so that we can say like Job, when his whole world suddenly came tumbling down. ‘Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return thither; the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly (accused Him with wrong).’ (Job 1:21-22) 

Yeh mih people, all of that is much easier said than done, but as believers that’s where we need to get to in this earthly life. How many of us accuse God, even curse Him when things go wrong in our lives even while we’re trying to live right eh? Too many! We need to remember that God is the BOSS, and whatever He says goes, even though it may seem unfair to us. 

And remember too that His mind and ways are higher than ours, thus His plans and purposes we will never fully understand. And if we intend to live a fairly peaceful and productive life here on earth, we need to understand, believe and live His faithful word. ‘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) 

Oh my brethren, once we can get those promises written down deep in our hearts, minds and souls, then we can live the kind of earthly life Jesus died for us to live; one of peace and abundance, with our eyes focused on the things of heaven, not those of the earth. And if you don’t believe me, then check out how God dealt with Job nuh. After He allowed Satan to inflict wrong on Job so He could prove Job’s faithfulness, He gave Job twice as much as he had in the beginning. ‘And the Lord turned (restored) the captivity (losses) of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.’ (Job 42:10) 

Please notice praying for his friends was also an important aspect of God restoring Job’s fortunes. And please note too that Satan had to go to God to get to Job. The Good Book says: ‘Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan (the Adversary) came also among them.’ (Job 1:6) 

And if we’re wondering how that was possible, hear the scholars. ‘1:6. Sons of God in this passage refers to angelic beings. Satan is considered one of them, though fallen from his original sinless state. His name means “Adversary,” and in this narrative he lives up to its meaning. The passage shows that Satan has access to God’s presence, though this does not seem to be Satan’s abode.’ 

Oh my people, nobody knows how God operates better than Satan, because he was once one of His top operatives before his pride and lofty position made him too big for his britches, and he got kicked out of heaven for trying to overthrow God. Just imagine the ‘boldfacedness’ of the created being nuh! Unfortunately though, we’re doing just like he did, trying to kick God our of our society. But a word of warning to the wise: that will NEVER happen! 

Anyhow, moving on with the story from the Good Book. ‘And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.’ (Job 1:7) The scholars tell us that refers to Satan’s activity, and though he does not admit it there, his many travels are for evil purposes. (1 Pet. 5:8) 

‘The activity of Satan indicates that he has only limited access to God. This account in Job emphasizes that God is sovereign over Satan. It also teaches that Satan is a finite being and therefore not omnipresent (be in several places at once). Nor can he touch God’s servants without God’s permission.’ 

And all God’s children said a loud ‘Amen!’ to that. Then, I like how God boasted on Job to Satan. ‘Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect (blameless) and upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth (shuns) evil?’ (Job 1:8) Oh brother, I don’t know if I want the Lord to boast so on me to the enemy nuh. (smile) 

But as the scholars explain: ‘1:8. The initiative in the conversation lies with God, but He may well have simply expressed what was on Satan’s mind. God’s view of Job is the same as the description given in 1:1.’ And Satan failed miserably in trying to get Job to curse God. 

Instead he worshipped Him. Despite all the inaccurate and hurtful things his supposed friends said against him, and the way that people despised and turned away from him, Job stood strong in the faith of his God. These word of his, say it all. ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways (defend my ways) before him. He shall also be my salvation: for a hypocrite shall not come before him.’ (Job 13:15-16) 

Mama Yo! That’s what yuh call ‘strong faith!’ And the scholars explain: ‘13:15. Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him expresses the unquenchable faith of one who lives by faith, not by sight. Even when it appears that God Himself has turned against Job, he will still trust in God.’ 

Now friends, it’s that kind of unquenchable faith that we need to have, especially in these very rough times that we’re currently experiencing. It’s not easy, and will never be easy, once we live here on planet earth with the prince of darkness it’s ruling force. But we know that Jesus will come again and eventually make everything right. 

And this note from the scholars on the turning around of Job’s life is important. ‘The point to be garnered from the book is not that God intends to deal with every servant as abundantly as He did with Job; rather, that God holds sovereign and LOVING sway over every human life. Therefore He can be trusted implicitly in all things (cf. Rom. 8:28; 1Thess. 5:18).’ And that’s what I’ve been trying to say from the very beginning friends! (smile) 

So for those of us who sincerely believe and implicitly trust, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. As one strong voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the BELOVED of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

Now let’s go and do exactly that nuh! Much LOVE!

…the Christian motto…rejoice evermore…pray without ceasing…in everything give thanks… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 February 2021 Philippians 2:2.

Philippians 2:2.     Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same LOVE, being of one accord, of one mind.

And the weekly work dance begins again – for the comparative few that still have jobs. Yes, it is a never-ending cycle, which some of us have learned to handle in what was once considered normal times. But unfortunately, this pandemic, with its lingering and deadly sickness, and all the strife, hatred and resentment that’s currently floating around in our society has a made a mockery of almost everything that we held sacred. 

So where do we go from here eh? Who knows? For there is no consolidated plan that most people agree with, but various bits and pieces of contentious solutions which means that no real progress can, or will be made sooner rather than later. Yes friends, until most of us agree on a workable solution and adhere to it, the virus and its many variants will continue to thrive in our society. 

It must be a solution that’s agreeable to ALL levels of government and a fair amount of the population. We can’t be fighting over the efficacy of the vaccines, whether we have enough, or who is getting them first, or the amount of testing we’re doing, and whether there should be partial, total, or no lockdowns at all. 

And that united front is what’s missing from our current situation. Too much passing the buck, finger pointing and irresponsible behaviour…not to mention the great amount of information and disinformation that’s out there, all claiming to be the gospel truth. As one old song so rightly claimed: ‘Too much, too much confusion!’ And another declared (steups!): ‘It’s just a ball of confusion!’ That’s exactly what our world is like right now friends. 

And it seems like the future might just get worse because we’re heading in the wrong direction; trending in a negative, instead of a positive movement. We desperately need to turn that around asap – or preferably RIGHT NOW! But turn it around, we must, if we expect to be victors over our current circumstances. And how do we do that you ask? As always, I believe the best place to turn to for truth and guidance is the Good Book. So let’s look at some of the scriptures that deal with coming together nuh. 

And the first one occurs after Jesus’ ascension. It says that afterwards the disciples returned to Jerusalem, to an upper room. (Acts 1:12-13) ‘These all continued with one accord (purpose or mind) in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.’ (Acts 1:14) 

Yes friends, at that time it was essential that Jesus’ followers were all on the same page, else they would have been easily disrupted, torn apart. And the same thing applies to us today, both as believers and ordinary citizens, for not much can be accomplished when brethren are not working together. 

And the next scripture states: ‘And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord (purpose or mind) in one place.’ (Acts 2:1) There again we have that divine phrase ‘one accord.’ And it’s of the utmost importance if victory is to be achieved by any group. They claim it is used 30 times in the Bible—once in the Old Testament, 29 times in the New, and 25 of those references are in the Book of Acts alone. That alone should tell us of its importance. 

Then we come to this scripture from Bruh Paul to the contentious Corinthians. ‘Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing (have a uniform testimony), and that there be no divisions (dissensions or schisms) among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgement.’ (1 Cor. 1:10) That scripture speaks for itself friends. 

And so does this one from Bruh Paul’s epistle to the Philippians. ‘If there be therefore any consolation (encouragement) in Christ, if any comfort of LOVE (consolation), if any fellowship of the Spirit, any bowels (affection) and mercies (sympathy), Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same LOVE, being of one accord, of one mind. 

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory (selfish ambition or deceit); but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves (regard your fellow Christians as more important than yourself). Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others (be as concerned for the needs and problems of others as for yourselves). Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 2:1-5) 

Oh my people, today we also need to concentrate on harmonious living, just like Jesus did, considering others as important as ourselves. Like Jesus said, ‘LOVE your neighbour as yourself.’ And that’s the ONLY way we will ever conquer the demons that are currently plaguing and terrorizing us. And the ONLY One who can bring us together in such manner is our One, True and Living God! So let’s go to Him in prayer right now nuh, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, asking Him to do just that, so we can conquer our evil enemies in this evil world and bring glory to His Holy name. 

Altogether now: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive and standing in faith despite the mass confusion that’s currently prevailing in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems; the pandemic of Covid -19, the racial, political, and religious strife that’s ignited worldwide, plus the many natural disasters that now seem more prevalent than ever. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction to bring our problems under control. 

And for those who are currently suffering from the many negative situations, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. Father, please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again we say: Amen!’ 

Now we have to make the necessary adjustments to our own attitudes, namely sincere repentance, obedience and like mindedness, or one accord, (smile) if we want to see positive results from heaven. Much LOVE!

…none of us alone…is as good as…ALL of us together… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 February 2021 Deuteronomy 33:27a.

Deuteronomy 33:27a.     The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms:

Welcome to another Sunday morning friends! Are you ready to gather for another week through technological means to give our great God some much deserved praise and worship? And all God’s children shouted out a loud, proud and grateful ‘Yes!’ Well then, let’s get started by singing this awesome hymn that resonates with courage and solace in those rough times when we are seeking comfort. It’s titled ‘Leaning On the Everlasting Arms.’ And what better place to go for comfort that in the mighty and wide open arms of Christ eh? NONE, my people! 

It’s reputed that the comforting words of Deuteronomy 33:27 engendered the thoughts for the hymn to Anthony J. Showalter in the late 19thcentury as he was replying to letters from two of his former pupils whose wives had died. Later on, with the help of Elisha Hoffman, a noted hymn writer, they penned this wonderful song. And I particularly like this bit of advice from the website Hymnary.org: ‘As the hymn is sung, contemplate what it means to find refuge in our heavenly Father’s arms in times of fear and trial, and to allow His joy and peace to replace our loneliness and anxiety.’ 

Wonderful advice friends! So let’s take it as we raise out voices to heaven in sweet sacrificial praise. In a rich, scintillating, easy rocking riddim: (smile) ‘What a fellowship, what a joy divine, leaning on the everlasting arms; what a blessedness, what a peace is mine, leaning on the everlasting arms. (Refrain: Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms; leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms.) O how sweet to walk in this pilgrim’s way, leaning on the everlasting arms; O how bright the path grows from day to day, leaning on the everlasting arms. 

[Refrain] What have I to dread, what have I to fear, leaning on the everlasting arms? I have blessed peace with my Lord so near, leaning on the everlasting arms. Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms; leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms, Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms; leaning on the everlasting arms…leaning on the everlasting arms… oh how good it is to be, leaning on the everlasting arms of Jesus.’ 

And isn’t that last statement one of significant importance and comfort my people? It surely is, because there’s no place of security and comfort like in the arms of Jesus! Mama Yo! Bless His holy name! It is indeed a ‘joy divine’ that brings such wonderful peace of mind. And when we are in such proximity to Him, there’s nothing to dread or be afraid of for He’ll keep us safe and secure from all the alarming things that are currently happening in our world. And when we know that Jesus is looking over us, He has our back, then it’s easy and sweet to walk the pilgrim’s way, for every day becomes brighter and brighter as we get closer to home. 

Now let’s have a look at the scripture that was supposedly the inspiration for this awesome hymn of comfort. Moses wrote to the people of Israel: ‘The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.’ (Deut. 32:27) That will certainly make a people stand up and take notice. 

But when you add the rest of that passage, a people will feel themselves invincible. ‘Israel then shall dwell in safety alone: the fountain of Jacob shall be upon a land of corn and wine; also his heavens shall drop down dew. Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the Lord, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency (majesty)! And thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee (submit to you); and thou shalt tread upon (tread down) their high places (places of pagan worship).’ (Deut. 33:28-29) 

Oh my brethren, what great words of comfort and promise! And Israel did find succour and promise under the hand of God when they were obedient to Him. But you also know the suffering they endured when they got too big for their britches and turned away from Him. Just like we are suffering right now. But that’s a story for another time. (smile) Right now we’re just looking at a few scriptures that highlight that God is indeed a place of refuge when times are rough. 

Hear Moses again in Psalm 90, the only psalm he ever wrote. ‘Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place (refuge) in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed (gave birth to) the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.’ (Ps. 90:1-2) And as God, He can indeed do wonderful and miraculous things! Now hear how Psalm 91 states it: ‘He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.’ (Ps. 91:1-2) What marvelous words of trust and encouragement friends! 

And Bruh David, when he was hiding in a cave, running from his enemies, and he felt all alone, he declares: ‘I looked on my right hand, and beheld (look on the right hand and see), but there was no man that would know (acknowledge) me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul. I cried unto thee, O Lord: I said, thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living. Attend (give heed) unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I. Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about (surround me); for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.’ (Ps. 142:4-7) 

And we all know the way Saul and others hunted down Bruh David, but his faith was strong in the Lord and the Lord kept him safe and secure from all his enemies. And yuh know what friends? He will do the same for us if we hold Him in the same high esteem and regard that Bruh David and other great men of faith held Him. That’s the word for today! (smile) Please ponder on it. Much LOVE!

…it doesn’t make sense…to go to any other source than our Creator for help…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 February 2021 1 Corinthians 3:11.

1 Corinthians 3:11.     ​For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Saturday, oh lazy Saturday! How I do LOVE thee! But I won’t count the ways for there are way too many. (smile) Yeh friends, for many of us, Saturday is the day we can do exactly as we please; laze around on the couch, watch the tube, take our time to do whatever, no rush on anything. But for some others it’s just another busy day in the life. 

And for me, I have to get my head around the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us the past week and try to make some sense of them in terms of our Christian life. And let me tell you, that’s not always easy, but the Good Lord, our Creator and Director, always lends a helping hand. Oh friends, His amazing faithfulness is unfathomable! So let’s ask Him now to lead and guide me as I wend my way through this week’s quotes from Anselm. (smile) 

And the first one is truly interesting. ‘Live the Life of Your Dreams: Be brave enough to live the life of your dreams according to your vision and purpose instead of the expectations and opinions of others.’ Now that is good advice, but only up to a certain point. One caveat is necessary there. We should not live our lives according to the expectations of others, meaning human folks, but we should live our lives and dreams according to the will of God! And you ask why? 

Simply because it’s God who put those dreams and desires in our hearts, in the first place. And secondly, only when we live in the will and way of the Lord can our dreams and efforts meet with true and lasting success. Now those last two words are the most important ones – lasting success. If you live according to anybody else’s will, you might achieve what the world terms success, but it will never last. You’ll always be worried and concerned about it, trying to safeguard it, and you won’t have the peace you need to truly enjoy your achievements. 

Why do you think Jesus told the parable of the two foundation eh, where one man builds his house on the sand and the other on the rock eh? (Matt.7:24-27) Because only the one built on the Rock, Him and his truth, His way of life, is sustainable! Any other is like the house built by the first two pigs in the story of the three pigs and the wolf. The wolf huffed and puffed and blew down the first two houses made of straw and sticks, but could not blow down that made of bricks. 

And the moral of the story is that your materials and foundation must be of the highest quality in erecting anything. And you can never get better materials or a more solid foundation than that found in Jesus. Bruh Paul said it in spades: ‘For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.’ (1 Cor. 3:11) Please friends, let’s keep that thought uppermost in our minds as we build our lives and dreams nuh. Wow! That was long! (smile) But I believe the Lord was trying to drive home a most salient point; that without Him, His Leadership and Guidance, our plans are not worth very much and are liable to be brought to naught by the smallest storm. 

And that brings us to this next quote which falls into somewhat of the same vein. ‘Don’t be pushed around by the fears in your mind. Be led by the dreams in your heart.’ And that’s ever so true. We must not allow our fears to drive the engines of our lives, but rather the dreams and plans that the Lord has placed in our hearts. For as Bruh Paul so plainly proclaimed to Timothy: ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind (self-control).’ (2 Tim. 1:7) 

That means that although fear will always be present in our lives, once we also have the Spirit of Christ living in us, we will always be able to master fear. Glory be mih brethren! Isn’t it wonderful to know that we don’t have to let fear run and ruin our lives? It surely is. But then again, we have to use the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us to deactivate the fear that naturally comes a calling. As Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say, we must do it afraid. For courage isn’t the absence of fear, but the ability to come up over fear. 

And per the desires of your heart, Bruh David clearly said it in Psalm 37. ‘Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.’ (Ps. 37:4) And if anybody should know about that, surely it’s Bruh David who led a life strongly dedicated to the Lord. He was not perfect, but the Lord saw His heart was right, and He will do the same for us, if our hearts are right. 

That brings us to this pen-ultimate quote. ‘Take responsibility for your own happiness, never put it in other people’s hands.’ And that’s gospel truth friends! Happiness is OUR responsibility, not anybody else’s! Just on the purely practical level, we can’t place our happiness in any other human being’s hands because they are fallible and untrustworthy. They won’t always do what’s in our best interest but what’s in theirs. As Jeremiah so rightly said: ‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked (incurably sick): who can know it?’ (Jer. 17:9) 

Oh friends, nobody but the Lord can know the true intents and motives of any human heart. That’s why it’s so important to seek our own happiness, not selfishly, but with the Lord as our number ONE guide and not humans. And Psalm 146 tells us quite plainly: ‘Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man (a human being), in whom there is no help (salvation). His breath goeth forth (spirit departs, body dies), he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is the Lord his God: Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever:’ (Ps. 146:3-6) 

It couldn’t get any better than that my fellow saints in Christ! And the last quote says: ‘Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create.’ Now that makes a whole lot of sense, especially in these troubling and worrying pandemic times. For if you can’t control it, why worry about it? For worrying gets you nowhere. And another of sister Joyce’s favourite sayings is that worry is like sitting in a rocking chair, you can sit and rock all day, but you won’t move, you’ll still be in the same spot at the end of the day. 

And if you don’t believe her, then listen to Jesus. ‘Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for (do not worry about) your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat (food), and the body more than raiment (clothes)?’ (Matt. 6:25) It surely is. And then Jesus goes on to point out how the birds and the rest of nature survive without worrying, because their heavenly Father takes care of them. 

And hear this most important question He asks His listeners. ‘Which of you by taking thought (worrying) can add one cubit unto his stature (height)?’ (Matt. 6:27) And the obvious answer is NONE of us! So why worry then over something we can’t control? Because we’re scared and faithless. 

And what’s the solution to it all? As usual Jesus gives it in plain and simple language. ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) That’s the answer to EVERYTHING in this life people: put God FIRST! Much LOVE!

…God will never cede His divine power to anyone or anything…He will remain El Numero Uno forever…you can count on that…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 February 2021 Psalm 119:34.

Psalm 119:34.     ​Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.

Sorry friends, I had intended this to be another aberration, (smile) because I had some more early morning tests scheduled for today at the hospital. But unfortunately I got up too late to finish it and get to my appointment on time, so I decided to leave it until I got back. So here I am now, all fit and sound and not too thrilled because I thought that I was finished with this constant hospital and doctor scene, but apparently not. Steups! And in these Covid times, going to the hospital is like visiting at the jail; more security and checks than anything else. But I guess that’s all for our benefit. 

Anyway, since it’s Friday, let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say for himself nuh. And in a touchy manner, he declares: ‘I don’t have nothing to say for myself nuh! I don’t have no work, so I don’t have no money, so how can I say TGIF! Thank God is Friday eh? I’m home every day, with little or nothing to do. You can only fix so much, and after you fix what’s broken, what then? My wife is tired with me being underfoot all the time. My children tired playing with me too. They want to go out and play with their own friends, not their old man father. 

And if we thought it had confusion before, now it’s even worse with the new virus variants showing up, that supposedly more dangerous, and nobody knowing how to handle them. What’s wrong with the people in power, the ones who get the big bucks to make big decisions eh? Why can’t they be consistent and agree with one another eh? We have the government saying one thing, to open up the place, and the scientist saying another, shut it down because it have a third or fourth or how much ever wave coming. And one day they say they have enough vaccines, then the next day not. 

And then they can’t decide who to give it to first, but the rich and powerful getting them though. So how they expect the ordinary man to trust and have faith in them eh? That is why so much people acting out, although the virus still killing plenty people. And the school situation…Steups! That is another total muck up. Look, doh even ask me my opinion nuh, because all it does is get mih blood stirred up and liable to cause me to go and do something stupid. So a good day to you yes sirs!’ 

Ah mih people, the pandemic lockdown and the contentious uncertainty is certainly getting to the ordinary man, and you really can’t blame him, for everything he says is true. Yes, it is difficult to balance the need for the economy staying open and the need for people to stay safe, but there are definitely too many officials speaking with forked tongues. So what are we to do eh friends? 

I guess the wisest thing is always to turn to the Lord God Almighty in times of uncertainty and trouble, through prayer and scripture reading on the subjects that are puzzling us. And since we’re basically suffering from a lack of understanding, I believe this part of Psalm 119, which is titled ‘Give me understanding’ is a fine place to begin. 

So please pray with me: ‘Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end. Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart. Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight. Incline my heart unto (cause me to long for) thy testimonies, and not to covetousness. Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity (looking at worthless things; and quicken (revive) me in thy way. Stablish (establish) thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear. Turn away my reproach which I fear: for thy judgements are good. Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken (revive) me in thy righteousness.’ (Ps. 119:33-40) 

And now that we have read and meditated on the relevant scripture for our predicament, it’s time to go to the Lord and sincerely expose our heart and soul to him in personal prayer. So let’s do that through our Friday Chant nuh. Altogether now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. Yuh know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus, the racial and political strife causing. We not accustomed to that kind of life Lord, and it really telling on us. And we know we can’t handle it on our own, that we desperately need your help. 

Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. It’s also a good opportunity to introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

And all it takes friends to change our world is sincere confession of our sins, true repentance and thenceforth obedience to the word and will of God. The ancient Israelites foolishly toyed with the Lord’s word and will and suffered serious consequences for it. But we, oh so wise and brilliant moderns, think that we are above the Lord’s law, no wonder we’re suffering for disobeying it too. The only difference between us and those ancient Israelites is that they were smart enough to repent and turn back to God when the going got real rough. But we so biggish and full of ourselves, our oversized ego will not allow us to consider that wise move. 

Ah mih people, why is it so difficult for us to truly understand that the Lord created us and still controls our overall lives, and He doesn’t countenance willful disobedience for long. And the sad but true fact of the matter is this: only when we stop trying to kick God out of our society, repent and return to His fold, will our society recover from the many problems that it’s now facing! Put that in yuh pipe and smoke it! Much LOVE!

 …you reap what you sow…later than you sow…and more than you sow… (Uncle Charles – Dr. Charles Stanley) 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 February 2021 2 Corinthians 1:3.

2 Corinthians 1:3.     ​Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies (compassion), and the God of ALL COMFORT.

A good Thursday morning to all you my faithful Scrip-Bit friends and family! As Bruh Paul would put it: ‘Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.’ (2. Cor. 1:2) Yes my brethren, it’s through the grace, peace and mercy of God that we are alive today! So let’s be thankful for it nuh, regardless of whatever problems we are currently undergoing, for our God is big enough, great enough and LOVING enough to get us through them safely, and even grow us spiritually while we’re undergoing the adversity. 

And Bruh Paul continues thus:; ‘Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies (compassion), and the God of ALL COMFORT.’ (2 Cor. 1:3) And that’s an indisputable fact my people! Our God is the Father of Comfort. There’s no one as comforting as Him. He is characterized by mercy and compassion. Bruh David describes it like this in Psalm 86. ‘For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.’ (Ps. 86:5) 

Meanwhile Daniel declared: ‘To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against him.’ (Dan. 9:9) And just for argument sake (smile) hear how Micah describes it. ‘Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by (over) the transgression of the remnant pf his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy (LOVING-kindness, compassion) (Mic. 7:18) Now that should convince us that one of our God’s many characteristics is compassion. 

And if it doesn’t, then just check out all the scriptures where those needing comfort cried out to Him and He comforted them. The psalmist said: ‘In the multitude of my (anxious) thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.’ (Ps. 94:19) Yes friends, even when anxious thoughts conflict and bombard us, the comforting presence of our God is there to deflect them. Bruh David reminds us in Psalm 34. ‘The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The Lord is nigh (near) unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit (crushed in spirit). Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.’ (Ps. 34:16-19) 

Oh my people, these are indeed rough and unprecedented times for most of us, and we all have fears and anxious thoughts, but the best place to take them, as with everything else in this life, is to the God who made us, knows us better than we know ourselves and still cares for us with a LOVE beyond compare. We live in a sinful and evil world, therefore troubles and adversity must come against us, most devastatingly at times when least expect them. But God is ALWAYS there for us, if we cry out to Him. Jesus said very plainly: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Oh friends, I know that isn’t always easy to do, and no doubt the pain will hurt, possibly for some time too, but the Lord has a purpose for everything He allows in our lives. We may not know or understand it, but that’s why He is God. His ways and thoughts are higher than ours, for He is the Creator and we are the created. Yes, I know you don’t want to hear about pain and suffering and reasons for them etc. etc., but that is all a part of the Christian life. However, getting back to the comforting aspect, hear how Bruh Paul continues his epistle to the church at Corinth, after telling them that our God is the God of all comfort. 

‘Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble (tribulation), by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.’ (2 Cor. 1:4) Glory be mih people! What a magnificent and thoughtful God we serve! Wow! He comforts us so that we can use that same godly and divine comfort to comfort our fellow human beings! Now isn’t that very thoughtful of Him? It surely is! Now just a few more scriptures to cement the fact (smile) that our God is indeed the God of all comfort. 

Hear Isaiah as he talks about the faithful being comforted. ‘I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a (mortal) man that shall die, and the son of man which shall be made as grass?’ (Is. 51:12) Good question that friends. Please think on it. And from Psalm 119 comes this verse. ‘Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant.’ (Ps. 119:76) And the amplified version of that is: ‘May your unfailing LOVE be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant.’ 

Meanwhile, Bruh David says it simply and heartfelt like no one else besides Jesus can. ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.’ (Ps. 23:4) Yes my faithful saints in Christ, our God is always near and always ready to comfort us in times of trouble, but we need to cry out to him, come to Him with our tears and prayers. And there’s no better invitation in all the world than this one made by Jesus so long ago and is still in effect. 

‘Come unto me, all ye that are 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 unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:28-30) That is as simple and explicit as it can get my brethren. So the rest is up to us. We can only comfort or help ourselves so much, likewise our fellow man, but the God of ALL COMFORT can do a much better job than us. So let’s wisely turn to Him in these dark and tremulous times nuh. 

Now, for those of us whom He has comforted and given us the opportunity and tools to comfort others, let’s go home declaring our Thursday Blessings, exulting with thanksgiving, for the wonderful tools He’s bestowed on us. Altogether 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 every day! Amen!’ 

Now let’s use those blessings to uplift ourselves and others in Christ’s name nuh! Much LOVE!

…comfort ye oh my people…comfort ye…says our God… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 February 2021 1 Thessalonians 5:6.

1 Thessalonians 5:6.     ​Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober (self-controlled).

Well it’s another new day, another Wednesday, with lots of new mercies and compassion for which we are eternally grateful! Therefore we will give the Lord much thanks and praise and enjoy the day as we sincerely, diligently and efficiently do His holy will! And His children’s voices were raised in a loud, grateful and spontaneous ‘Amen!’ 

Today is also Ash Wednesday, the day in our religious calendar that begins our season of Lent. And what is Lent, you ask? Basically it’s a time of fasting and praying, of reflection and thanksgiving, of abstinence and self-denial, of desiring to get more intimate with our God, of giving up some of the things that we enjoy, but which keep us from giving our all to Him. It corresponds to the forty days that Christ spent in the wilderness fasting, being tempted by the devil, while preparing Himself for His upcoming earthly ministry. (Matt. 4:1-11) 

Likewise, every so often, not necessarily in the Lenten season alone, we ought to empty ourselves, get serious and talk as intimately as possible with our great and wonderful God; go to Him with life changing and puzzling questions and await His faithful answers. Oh friends, it’s only as we sincerely seek God that we can ever get answers. For as Jesus said so plainly: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33). 

That’s why we should always endeavour to keep God in first place in our lives, for without Him in that Number One position, we will not be beneficiaries of all the wonderful and immeasurable benefits that He has prepared for us. And one of those immeasurable benefits is life – both earthly and eternal! 

Ah mih people, it’s so good when you can wake up another day and don’t see your name listed in the obits. (smile) Yes, heaven might be wonderful and all that, but I’m sure that most of us are not quite ready to go there. There’s something about earthly living; could be the enticing promises of sinful living, (smile) or better yet, the desire to do God’s work here on earth. But whatever it is, in most of our hearts and souls, we’re not ready just yet to give up this tempestuous, troubled, evil, dangerous and uncertain earthly life. (smile) 

I pray though, that we’re all ready, just in case the Grim Reaper shows up unexpectedly and calls our name, or Jesus happens to come again to receive His own unto himself. That is all important friends; the preparation, the readiness for heaven whenever it calls. We cannot be found wanting when Christ calls us to come home, whether it be in death or His Second Coming. When either of those times arrive, He must be our Lord and Saviour, or else we will not spend eternity with Him, and that will indeed be a crying shame, with much weeping and gnashing of teeth, but then it will be too late. 

As Jesus clearly stated; when He shall return, and when we shall be called home, no man knows it. ‘But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only…Watch therefore; for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.’ (Matt. 24:36, 42) And since ALL options will be off the board when either of those situations occur, it’s of the utmost importance to always be in a state of readiness for either occasion. 

‘Be prepared; be ready,’ should be our watchwords and motto in this earthly life, for we don’t want to miss out on the eternal and heavenly one with Jesus. The only other option; hell, eternal darkness and the lake of fire with Satan is unthinkable! So let’s just concentrate on being with Jesus nuh, which means putting Him first place in our lives, and doing whatever He requires of us. 

And Bruh Paul spelled it out quite clearly in his first epistle to the Thessalonians. ‘For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night…But ye, brethren are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children (sons) of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober (self-controlled). 

For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and LOVE; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.’ (1 Thess. 5:2, 4-10) 

Yes my brethren, that’s exactly why we do what we do; so that we can live together with Jesus forever! And one of the ways to ensure that in this evil world, comes from Bruh Paul’s last command. ‘Wherefore comfort yourselves together (encourage each other), and edify (build up) one another, even as also ye do (are now doing).’ (1 Thess. 5:11) 

Oh my people, it’s ever so important for the saints of Christ to encourage, teach and build up each other, especially in these times of rampant sickness, evil, loneliness, depression and inhumanity. So like now, when isolation is the norm, let’s try and stay in touch with each other nuh. We have the means and the technology to do it, but we need to dig down deep and find the will, for it’s what Jesus desires of us. 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. As one strong and sincere voice: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And let’s not forget that if we endure to the end, that future will be even more glorious than our puny minds can even contemplate. Much LOVE!

…when the roll is called up yonder…will you be there…that’s the most important question… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 February 2021 Psalm 107:8.

Psalm 107:8.    ​Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men.

Please note friends, that this is simply an aberration, not a regular occurrence. (smile) I’m talking about receiving the Bit so early on a Tuesday morning. But it has been forced upon me by an early morning appointment for some tests in the hospital, and with the bad weather out there and the confusion in the hospitals, I’m not sure when I’ll be back. 

And believe me, if it was in normal times when tests were fairly easy to come by, I would certainly have cancelled this one after the snowstorm passed by last night and dropped a few inches on us. But things have changed so much during these pandemic times that I am forced to brave the beautiful white, but oh so dangerous stuff this early morning. (smile) And since this Bit will be short and sweet, let’s get going with something Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) called ‘The Possibility Thinker’s Creed,’ a li’l encouragement for a cold and snowy Tuesday Morning. 

Please read with me. ‘When faced with a mountain, I will not quit! I will keep on striving until I climb over, find a pass through, tunnel underneath, or simply stay and turn the mountain into a gold mine – with God’s help.’ Now that should liven us up this morning, and give us some strength and strong desire to keep keeping on and NEVER to give up, because Christians don’t do that sort of thing. Hn! And I do hope that I find a pass through the mountain of snow when I get out there, because I really don’t feel like climbing over it, tunnelling underneath or staying and turning it into a gold mine. (smile) 

Now here is something else I’d like to share, one of my favourite prayers. It’s titled ‘Lord, Please Accept My HeartfeltThanks!’ It was prepared by the Life -Study Fellowship, Noroton, Connecticut some years ago, and I’ve shared it already, but I think the time’s come to share it again. (smile) So please pray with me. ‘Dear Lord, You are so good to me! And Ithank Yousincerely for the many blessings You send me! I’m very glad to have You in my life day in and day out – whatever I do and wherever I go! 

You are the One who always does what is best for my happiness! How grateful I am to be able to turn to You for guidance and comfort when troubles come my way! If any situation arises that makes me feel discouraged, You let me know I can lean on You for support! And because of YourLOVEfor me, somehow I seem to find the strength to keep going – even through the most difficult of times! I’m grateful, too, for peaceful moments like these when I’m all alone with You in prayer! 

Talking with You never fails to reassure and uplift me! Nothing I say to You goes unheard. You listen with great concern to everything I confide in You! For You truly care about me! As I look to 2021, I pray that You will continue to watch over me – and grant me even more of Your wonderful blessings! And may I serve You well in my every word, my every deed! Be my Guide hour by hour, I pray! Amen.’ 

Oh friends, as far as I am concerned you could not get a much better overall prayer than that! It certainly covers all bases. And it’s based on this wonderful scripture from Psalm 107.‘Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men.For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.’ (Ps. 107:8-9) 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my people! If mankind was a li’l more thankful and praiseful and grateful to the Lord God Almighty, I’m sure we would not be in the terrible mess in which we’re now in! But we like to use our free will, be proud of our independence and do our own thing. Hn! Therefore, when we make the wrong decisions, we have to pay the price, But unfortunately, though we doLOVEto be proud and arrogant, we don’t have the concomitant parts to stand our bounce when we do wrong and the tough consequences come a calling. Only then do we know God and cry out to Him for help! 

And the psalmist thought that our Bit was so important that he included it three more times in the one psalm; verses 15, 21 and 31. Now here’s what he says after verse 15; ‘For he hath broken the gates of brass (bronze) and cut the bars of iron in sunder (asunder). Fools, because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted.’ (Ps. 107:16-17) And that’s no lie friends, as we and all our foolish and evil doings, can all attest to. 

And after verse 21, the psalmist declares (yes!) ‘And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing (joyful singing).’ (Ps. 107. 22) Oh how much better off we’d be my people, if we did more joyful singing and thanksgiving than the inordinate amount of complaining we do. And after verse 31, the psalmist makes another profound statement. ‘Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.’ (Ps. 107:32) 

More sound and wise advice my brethren. Let’s try and take some it this Tuesday morning nuh. It would be oh such sweet balm to our tired and wounded souls. And now it’s time to go home declaring (awright!) our Tuesday Mantra, proudly telling the whole world who and whose we are. 

Altogether in strong, sincere voice now: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’  

So let’s mosey on and do just that nuh.Much LOVE!

…the Lord gave us free will…so that we would use it wisely…not foolishly… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 February 2021 Hebrews 12:6.

Hebrews 12:6.     ​For whom the Lord LOVETH He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

Oh mih people, is J’ouvert morning! So we sing: ‘Mas, mas! Play mas! Mas in yuh mas! Play mas! Ole mas!’ Yes it’s Carnival Monday in T&T, time for plenty fete, much wining and drinking, plenty pretty costume and half-naked women too as Carnival rolls around for 2021. But yuh know what? Unfortunately, because of the Covid-19 virus, there’ll be no official carnival this year. Who would have ‘thunked’ it eh? And the Police are adamant that they will have no nonsense in the streets, no fetes and liming or any such gatherings. 

According to the newspapers, one high ranking Police official said there must be no paint, powder or mud on the streets… What? So how yuh going to play ole mas eh? (smile) No drunken sailor awash in baby powder; no jab-jab, no red-devil all painted up, blowing His whistle ‘pay the devil;’ no pan on the avenue either? The police officer also claimed that some foolish people are planning to come out for J’ouvert, but those who intend to “test the waters”, they will “drown”. 

Tough words from Babylon. I certainly wouldn’t want to test them, but it is a given fact that some brave, or foolish Trinidadian (take yuh pick) going to ‘test them waters.’ Some die hard fanatic going to claim: ‘No mas! Deh crazy?’ And then come out to prove their point. Make no doubt about it, the police will be busy, because Trinbagonians won’t take their lack of mas very easy and polite. When coming to their carnival, T&T has never been known to be the quiet, obedient type, so my bet is that they going to give Babylon a run for their money. (smile) 

And I searched for a while to find a scripture that could be used in this scenario. Finally, the Lord led me to this one about His discipline. From the author of Hebrews, who quotes Cousin Sol from Proverbs 3:11-12. ‘Ye have not yet resisted unto blood (bloodshed), striving against sin. And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children (sons), My son, despise not thou the chastening (discipline) of the Lord, nor faint (be discouraged) when thou art rebuked of him. For whom the Lord LOVETH He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.’ (Heb. 12:4-6) 

Yes precious people, the Lord is a disciplinarian, and there’s nothing wrong with that, as the scholars explain. ‘12:6. Whom the Lord LOVETH, he chasteneth: God’s principle of disciplining His own people is completely congruous (in agreement or harmony) with human practices. This quotation from Proverbs 3:12, stating God’s practice, corresponds to the commands God gave to fathers. “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that LOVETH him chasteneth him betimes (promptly)” (Prov. 13:24; cf.22:15, 23:13). LOVE and corporal punishment are not incongruous (incompatible); they are two complimentary and necessary aspects of training.’ 

Ah friends, all of that is oh so true! But unfortunately, our world has gotten so soft and fearful that many of us refused to discipline our children, consequently we have ended up with a lot of undisciplined, entitled, rowdy, selfish, unmannerly children in this generation. And please remember that chastening doesn’t mean abuse, or even necessarily corporal punishment, but it certainly means holding children accountable and finding some useful punishment in cases of gross disobedience. 

Hear how the author of Hebrews continues. ‘If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then ye are bastards (illegitimate) and not sons.’ (Heb. 12:7-8) Oh, we have certainly bastardized a lot of our children by not chastening them for whatever mistaken reasons. 

‘Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence (respect): shall we not much rather be into subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure (what seemed best to them); but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.’ (Heb. 12:9-10) 

Yes my brethren, we respected those earthly fathers who disciplined us according to their timetable, so why won’t we accept God’s discipline eh, which is meant for our betterment, so that we can be partakers of his holiness? That’s a very good question? And the answer might just be that we are naturally rebellious and don’t like to be disciplined. But hear this last verse which sets the table right. ‘Now no chastening (discipline) for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised (trained) thereby.’ (Heb. 12:11) 

And that does bring the matter to a head: chastening never seems good when it happens, but it’s always useful in the future. In hindsight, many of us parents would now admit that the chastening we received in our youth was indeed beneficial in our older years, so why did we spare the rod and spoil our own children eh? And why are we also disobedient to God eh when He only has good things planned for us? I don’t have answers to those questions, but I do know that the first requirement to fix any of them is going to God in prayer and baring our souls before Him. 

So let’s do that right now nuh, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. As one voice: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive and standing in faith despite the mass confusion that’s currently prevailing in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems; the pandemic of Covid -19, the racial, political, and religious strife that’s ignited worldwide, plus the many natural disasters that now seem more prevalent than ever. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction to bring our problems under control. 

And for those who are currently suffering from the many negative situations, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. Father, please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again we say: Amen!’ 

Now we just have to wait and see the Lord’s response, while being obedient and patient. Much LOVE!

…disobedience…ALWAYS has…negative consequences… 

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