Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 March 2020 Philippians 2:9.

Philippians 2:9.    ​Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name.
 
One more Sunday without corporate worship my fellow believers… But that’s okay, just like our overwhelming technological society has driven us away from God, that same technology will now help us come back to Him! Glory to God and the mysterious ways in which He works! So we will worship by radio, TV, internet, telephone, whatever it takes. Believers can be very astute innovators when the time calls for it. (smile) So let’s have church nuh; with praise and worship and thanksgiving and the Word of God to keep us bright and fresh, assured and energized and courageous in these turbulent and unsure times.  And all God’s people said a loud and proud: ‘Praise the Lord!’ 

And that’s exactly what we’re going to do by opening today’s proceedings with a marvellous song. Oh my people, my people, it’s going to be a wonderful day of worship, so let’s get to singing this most appropriate contemporary song written by Brooke Ligertwood and Ben Fielding down under (Australia) back in 2015. It’s elegantly titled: ‘What A Beautiful Name!’ And it’s obvious that they are referring Jesus, for there’s no other name in all the universe as beautiful as His. And if you don’t know the song you can check it out on YouTube, The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir or the Times Square Church Choir versions. 

So let’s belt out a harmonious, soulful, rocking version a la Times Square Church Choir, beginning with (Chorus 1: ‘What a beautiful Name it is What a beautiful Name it is The Name of Jesus Christ my King What a beautiful Name it is Nothing compares to this What a beautiful Name it is The Name of Jesus.) You were the Word at the beginning One with God the Lord Most High Your hidden glory in creation Now revealed in You our Christ. (Chorus 1: What a beautiful name it is…. The Name of Jesus.) You didn’t want heaven without us So Jesus You brought heaven down My sin was great Your LOVE was greater What could separate us now. 

(Chorus 2: What a wonderful Name it is What a wonderful Name it is The Name of Jesus Christ my King What a wonderful Name it is Nothing compares to this What a wonderful Name it is The Name of Jesus What a wonderful Name it is The Name of Jesus.) (Bridge: Death could not hold You The veil tore before You, You silence the boast of sin and grave The heavens are roaring The praise of Your glory For You are raised to life again You have no rival You have no equal Now and forever God You reign Yours is the kingdom Yours is the glory Yours is the Name above all names. 

(Chorus 3: What a powerful Name it is What a powerful Name it is The Name of Jesus Christ my King What a powerful Name it is Nothing can stand against it What a powerful Name it is The Name of Jesus. What a beautiful Name it is What a beautiful Name it is. What a wonderful Name it is What a wonderful Name it is. What a powerful Name it is What a powerful Name it is… The Name of Jesus Christ my King… The Name of Jesus Christ my King…’ 

Mama, Mama! Was that ever moving my brethren! You could hear the sincerity in our voices, rising from the depths of our hearts! And the harmony was truly awesome! Wow! And as usual, Jesus sits at the Father’s side with a shy, boyish smile, acknowledging our praise and gratitude, but not really wanting to be in the limelight. And you know what? I found something written by the composers on the Hillsong Worship site explaining some of their thoughts about the song, and it sounds much better than anything I could write, so I’ll just share it. 

The core scriptures for the song were Hebrews 1:1-4 and Colossians 1:15-20, 26-27. And they go on to say: “To know God and to worship Him (“to enjoy Him forever) is the most fundamental reason for our existence. As Jesus reveals the great mysteries of God, we come to know more of who God is, glimpsing new facets of His beauty, wonder and power. “Beauty” evokes the tenderness of His LOVE and the sweetness of His presence. “Wonder” speaks to our gratitude for salvation, awe at the length of His sacrifice. “Power” affirms His supremacy and Sovereignty – an exhortation to remember our access to the power of God in every situation, as we call upon and declare the Name of Jesus. 

‘What a beautiful name it is What a wonderful name it is What a powerful name it is The Name of Jesus.’ Jesus has the Name above all others. Anything that we can name – from our greatest triumphs to our greatest challenges – comes under the authority of His Name. This song confesses that no greater beauty or source of wonder exists outside of Jesus, “the radiance of God’s glory” (Heb.1:3). The song is also a statement that Jesus has no rival or equal. His power is unmatched and absolute. Perhaps some of us understand God LOVES us through the death and resurrection of Jesus, but haven’t grasped His power, ability and will to move strongly in our present circumstances. 

Or perhaps, we understand God as the supreme, omnipotent Deity He is, but have never known Him close and tender, as a friend acquainted with the depths of our humanity, knowing our flaws cannot perturb His LOVE. Our prayer for this song is that we can all enter into a deeper, more lateral, revelation of the person of Jesus Christ – the epitome of beauty!” 

Wow! How is that for a sermon in these troubled times eh? I couldn’t agree more with the sentiments of the writers. This is the time for ALL of us to come to a strong understanding and appreciation of the wonderful, powerful and beautiful Lord and Saviour that we have dwelling in us, with us, and around us! Whose abounding and everlasting LOVE caused Him to selflessly sacrifice His holy life for us on the cross at Calvary, so that we could be redeemed! 

No wonder the Good Book excitedly declares: ‘Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name. That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil. 2:9-11) That seals the case friends! Matter fix! Put that in yuh pipe and smoke it! (smile) Much LOVE!

…Jesus is…El Numero Uno…no ifs, ands or buts about it…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 March 2020 Hebrews 5:8.

Hebrews 5:8.    ​Though he were a Son, yet  learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.
 
Awright mih bredrin, it’s Saturday, so let’s get busy! And I hear a hoarse groan and sad chuckle, as they ask: ‘Busy doing what eh? The same boring things we’ve been doing for the last how long?’ And I have to answer: ‘I guess so. What else yuh going to do eh? Go out the street and walk around, go to work, go to the park or the supermarket? Yes and no to all of them!’ (smile) Ah friends, it’s indeed a sad time, but also a rather important time of learning; of learning to get along with ourselves, our families and the world around us. 

This time of isolation isn’t just for helping us to stay healthy, but also for learning the Lord’s most important attribute; that of LOVE! For it’s LOVE that truly keeps us going: LOVE for ourselves, our friends and families, the world, and most importantly for God! And I believe our LOVE tank was very near empty, especially in our reverence for God, that’s why we’ve found ourselves in this untenable situation. Anyway, it’s Saturday, so let’s proceed to consider the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And the first one is certainly interesting: ‘If God gives you something you can do, why in God’s name wouldn’t you do it?’ Now that’s a very good question. And I’m being the devil’s advocate here, understanding the operative words to be ‘can do.’ (smile) If you are a believer and God gives you something you can do, why not do it eh? And I guess most of us have no real, sincere, justified answer. We might have a lot of excuses, but no good reason to not do His will. It’s not like He’s given you something that seems impossible. And even then, please remember that our wise and wonderful God, NEVER gives us anything to do without the wherewithal to do it. Matter fix! 

And this next quote is tied into the first: ‘You can’t fulfill your calling in your comfort zone!’ And that’s a fact! For our calling always requires us to get up off of our fat fannies and do something that takes some effort. You can’t just lie back and expect to do what is expected without some blood, sweat and tears. Please remember these reassuring, but also galvanizing words from Jesus: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Now when you add those marvellous words of our Lord and Saviour to the facts above, that God never gives us something to do without giving us the tools to do them through the awesome power of His Holy Spirit, then we should have no hesitation in getting up and doing what we’re called to do, since we have the assurance and strength of our omnipotent Triune Deity! That leads us into this next quote: ‘If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.’ That’s gospel truth my people! 

And we not talking about Jesus’ comment that what you put in you won’t defile you, but what comes out of you. (Matt. 15:17-20) But we’re referring to the dreams and desires and plans that the Lord has put in your personal portfolio. Yes, the Lord has a special and separate plan for each life He creates, and unless we fulfill that plan, we’re doomed to an unfulfilled life that could eventually include spiritual destruction and hellfire. That’s why it’s oh so important to know, and to hold on tightly to these words spoken through the prophet Jeremiah: ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer. 29:11) 

Oh friends, if we don’t know that scripture and believe it with every fibre of our being, then we have nothing to really serve as a proper foundation and give us the hope and faith to carry on regardless of whatever happens. And in effect, our lives would have been worthless. But when we accept the Lord promises and all that he has to offer then our lives blossom and good fruit is produced for His kingdom. For as the next quote tells us: ‘I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me.’ 

And that’s more awesome gospel truth my believing brethren! We can only conquer this evil world when the fire in us burns brighter and hotter and longer than that of the world! And remember Jesus said that the world is full of tribulation but in Him we can find peace since he’s overcome hell death and the grave… And all His followers declared a loud and proud: ‘Thank You Jesus!’ And John reassures us of this fact when he reminds us: ‘Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them (the spirits of the antichrist): because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.’ (1 John 4:4) 

Mama Mia! That’s why the fire inside believers burns brighter than that that’s in the world: our Lord and Saviour, through his Holy Spirit dwells within us and He’s a million times stronger and hotter than Beelzebub who rules over the world! Thus we come to this last quote: ‘Grow through what you go through.’ And that’s the motto for the true believer. You can only grow when you go through something that flexes your muscles; physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally. Without a testing of our strength and endurance, there is NO GROWTH! 

So for those of us who want to grow in faith and do great things for Christ without going through some rough and struggling times, forget it. Even Jesus, though he was the Son of God went through serious ‘sufferation.’ As Hebrews so plainly puts it: ‘Though he were a Son, yet  learned he obedience by the things which he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.’ (Heb. 5:8-9) Yes my people, we can only learn obedience by going through things that challenge our sinful fleshly nature. 

And remember that Jesus though God, was also fully man, so His man side had to learn by going through tough times. And that’s why now, since He knows and has experienced the same things we experience, He is fit and capable to sit beside the Father’s throne and advocate on our behalf. Yes, living a life for Jesus is not easy, but following His obedient example and with His strength and power, we can become good and solid Christians and make this evil world a better place! Much LOVE!

…only a few of us will suffer like Jesus…but ALL of us will suffer some…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 March 2020 Isaiah 59:2.

Isaiah 59:2.    ​But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

 

As the Genius – Ray Charles, would sing: ‘Here we go again. Another day of Coronavirus lockdown again… Wonder when this live play, this serious tragedy, will end? Oh, by the minute, it just seems to be getting worse…No light at the end of the tunnel yet!’ Ah friends, it is indeed a pretty rough and serious situation, but please remember that we worship the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Creator and Controller of the universe! And He has promised us that we should not fear, for anything that comes against us, He will be right there to guide, lead and accompany us through it. 

Remember these awesome words of promise declared through His prophet, Isaiah. ‘But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon (scorch) thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour; I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.’ (Is.43:1-3) 

Yes friends, though Israel deliberately rejected the Lord as their king, He yet reassured them of His eventual redemption from earthly spiritual and physical bondage, as well as that to come in eternity. And He has kept His promise to one and all, including we, the Gentiles, by sending His one and only Son Jesus to die for our sins and redeem us. But as it was from the day our forefathers sinned in the Garden of Eden and listened to the voice of the evil serpent, sin has separated us from our Holy God. And sometimes, when we get so sinful and corrupt on a national, and like now, a worldwide basis, the Lord has to remind us of our very unbecoming behaviour, which He won’t tolerate forever. 

Listen to His words to Israel, through Isaiah again. ‘Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood (bloodshed), and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness. None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity (empty words), and speak lies; they conceive mischief (trouble or evil), and bring forth iniquity.’ (Is.59:1-4) 

Oh my people, just like the Israelites sins separated them from God, so do ours right now! And there’s no one around, and in their right mind who can truthfully say that our world is currently not a sinful cesspit; possibly the most sinful it’s ever been! And I don’t know why we think that other sinful societies suffered the Lord’s wrath, but we will not. And it’s amazing how the Lord could point out our iniquity through such a small and yet very dangerous germ. His ways of working are indeed very mysterious…but also very productive! (smile) 

And it’s good to see that people are taking it seriously and are remembering that God is still on His throne, still controlling things, and at least trying to turn back to Him. Enough preaching for the day though. (smile) It’s Friday, so let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! Thank God for the Coronavirus yes…! Well not really, except for the fact that it’s my second week off work with pay, and that’s nice. But you can only take your family being always around you for just so long, then everybody begins to get on everybody else’s nerves. And you can only go around the block so often in a day. 

Steups! I’m getting stir crazy! And ah have to laugh too, because I’m actually missing work and my buddies down there. Chuh! I can only drink so much by mihself too! And the wife has definitely gone stir crazy, since she’s not accustomed to having all of us underfoot the whole bloody day, every day! And to make matters worse, all you can hear on the radio and tv and social media is about the virus; how so many people have it, and how it killing so many people. And we still don’t have no real way to fight it. No wonder people panicking! But what can I say or do in my li’l corner eh? Nothing but thank God for Fridays and weekends yes, and hope they find a cure soon!’ 

Ah friends, I’m sure a lot of people feel useless like the ordinary workingman there, but we all are useful in these trying times. And the first and most important use we can put ourselves to is that of prayer. And then if we can help anybody else in whatever safe shape or form, then please do so. And since it’s Friday, let’s chant our rejigged Friday Chant in answer to the workingman’s song. All together now, with strong voices and sincere hearts: 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. As usual, it’s been kinda rough, but a different kind of roughness than normal. All this confusion with the Covid -19 virus and the monumental storm and the seemingly unending havoc it bringing…we not accustomed to that Lord. But with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat this virus. 

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 use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, and also 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 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!’ 

Now, let’s put our faith into action, as Jesus so desperately desires of us. Much LOVE!

…pray without ceasing…and remember…to give thanks too…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 March 2020 Psalm 103:11.

Psalm 103:11.    For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy (LOVING-kindness) toward them that fear him.
 
Well it’s another brand new day in the life! Let’s give thanks and praise to our great and mighty God for it, despite the many problems we face in these trying and uncertain times. There’s no need to fear or worry for our God can handle any circumstance and has promised to do so once we cry out to Him for help. That is our most serious problem; not crying out to Him sincerely for help. But thankfully, this Covid-19 virus seems to be slowly changing our outlook. We’re supposed to be a faithful people, and now it’s time for us to show that faith in true blue colours. 

And I got a very interesting note from a friend yesterday which encourages us to do just that. It reads as follows: ‘In three short months, just like He did with the plagues of Egypt, God has taken away everything we worship. God said: “You want to worship athletes, I will shut down the stadiums. You want to worship musicians, I will shut down Civic Centres. You want to worship actors, I will shut down the theatres. You want to worship money, I will shut down the economy and collapse the stock market. You don’t want to go to church and worship Me, I will make it where you can’t go to church.” 

(And then there’s a quote directly from the Bible; God’s guiding Word and light to mankind:) “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14) And the message continues: ‘Maybe we don’t need a vaccine; maybe we need to take this time of isolation from the distractions of the world and have a personal revival where we focus on the ONLY thing in the world that really matters: JESUS!’ 

Oh my people, that’s what I’ve been saying for the last little while. This Covid-19 stuff is no happenstance circumstance, but a warning from our God! And there’s no MAYBE we should turn back to Him. It’s the ONLY Solution to our problem, for even if and when we do discover a vaccine, it might just be too late. Remember God’s promise: ‘If we humble ourselves and pray, and seek his face, and turn from our wicked ways, then He will hear us, forgive us, and heal our land.’ Now humbling ourselves, praying and seeking His face is comparatively easy, but if we don’t change our wicked ways, then nothing’s going to improve. 

It’s mostly the wicked ways, or in everyday parlance, the overwhelming SIN in our world, that causes our problems. And if, as we’re currently doing, venerating everything and everybody else besides Almighty God, in blatant and blaspheming disobedience, then eventually He will take us to task. Just think about all the times God’s Chosen people, the Israelites turned aside from worshipping Him nuh, and how each and every time they suffered some significant dilemma and disaster. Why won’t He do the same to us now eh? Oh yes! He’s still sits on His heavenly throne and still controls the great and wonderful universe He made. 

And in a significant expression of hope, the College of Bishops of the Anglican Diocese of Toronto are encouraging ALL believers to a day of prayer and fasting TODAY, Thursday March 26. And you can turn to the Diocesan Day of Prayer & Fasting, March 26, on the website that follows. You will have to type it in manually, because my limited technological knowledge would not allow me to just copy it for your ease of use. (smile) And there you will find some suggested prayers for morning, noon and evening, and guidelines for fasting. (smile) www.toronto.anglican.ca/2020/03/20/diocesan-day-of-prayer

Oh friends, I cannot stress how important the need is RIGHT NOW for sincere prayer and true repentance! And I just had a thought that made me chuckle. Yuh notice when the Lord start this whole Covid -19 ball rolling – in the season of Lent, when we’re supposed to be more contemplative and godly and into Him and His ways! Remember, NOTHING happens with us and our God without a reason and a purpose. And you know what I LOVE about our God, is that although He punishes us for our disobedience, He never gives us more than we can bear. 

Hear this awesome promise, He makes through Bruh Paul. ‘There hath no temptation taken (overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.’ (1 Cor. 10:13) 

And to those inspiring and reassuring words of Bruh Paul, let’s add these momentous words of Bruh David’s. ‘The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous (abounding) in mercy (LOVING-kindness).  He will not always chide (strive): neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy (LOVING-kindness) toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.’ (Ps. 103:8-13) 

Yes friends, the Lord is a most merciful and magnanimous God… but to those who fear, who reverence, who sincerely seek and worship Him! The wicked He will cast away like trash, but the righteous He will comfort and care for. And you definitely can’t say that our world has recently been a place of righteousness, but one of infernal wickedness. 

And just a li’l side story on the subject. Yesterday afternoon I went up the street for a walk; the sun was shining brightly and it was somewhat warm, but much to my surprise along the sidewalk somebody or bodies had drawn smiles, and hearts and sunshine in different colours of chalk, as well as written messages like: ‘Thanks to anyone who is helping others.’ Thanks to all the health care workers.’ ‘Stay healthy – keep moving.’ Well that is exactly what I was trying to do, along with a few other people, but nowhere near the amount you would normally have seen out on such a lovely spring-like day. 

And those messages also show that people are caring. Let’s see if we can’t ramp up that caring nuh. And we do have the tools for doing so; our Thursday Blessings, generously bestowed on us so we can do the same to others. So, in strong voice, with sincere hearts, let’s loudly and proudly declare them: ‘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!’ 

Now, with those awesome tools, let’s do whatever we can in our lockdown state to further the kingdom of Jesus nuh! It is our bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…seek ye FIRST…the kingdom of God…and His righteousness…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 March 2020 Hebrews 11:6.

Hebrews 11:6.    ​But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is (He exists), and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
 
Oh friends, the birds are singing their Hallelujah Chorus… but sadly there’s no one out and about to hear their beautiful song of praise and thanksgiving to their omnipotent Creator and ever-generous Provider! And Jesus made it quite clear about the birds when He said in the Sermon on the Mount: ‘Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?’ (Matt. 6:26). 

I guess in the big picture the answer to that question might be yes, but in relation to our reactions to our heavenly Father, the answer is certainly no! That’s because we don’t worship and praise and give as much thanks to our Creator and Provider as they do, or as we should. We seem to feel that He doesn’t do anything for us, that all we have and have achieved have come through our own efforts. But that’s not true, for remember Bruh Paul assured us that ‘my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:19) And He will…if we follow His Word and Will. 

But instead, we foolishly still insist in going our own way. We foolishly shout: ‘Yippee! We have free will, so we will use it as we please!’ But what good has that done us eh? None whatsoever! For from the day Eve bowed to the duplicity of the wily ole enemy, Satan, he has used that free will to dupe us into doing his desires instead of the Lord’s! And because of it, we are engaged in constant strife, resentment, anger, war and a host of other negative actions and activities. Because we refuse to listen, as per the Bill Gates warning yesterday, we’re caught up in another germ attack, this one seeming to be the most pervasive and widespread yet. 

Ah mih people, what’s wrong with our minds eh? Why have we been caught flat-footed by Aids, Sars, Ebola and now the Coronavirus eh, when there’s enough brain power, wealth and technology in the world to either prevent them, or stop them sooner in their tracks? I guess because we concentrate on the things of the world too much and not enough on the things of God. Too many of us apparently don’t take Jesus’ words as seriously as we should. When He says earlier on in the Sermon on the Mount: 

‘No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and LOVE the other; or else he will hold (be loyal) to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (riches, material things). 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 than raiment (clothes)?’ (Matt. 6:24-25) Yes my faithful and precious people of God. Life certainly is more than food and clothing. 

And that’s when Jesus spoke about the fowls of the air. Then asked: ‘Which of you by taking thought (worrying) can add one cubit unto his stature (height)?’ (Matt.6:27) And the answer is not a single one of us! So Jesus continues: ‘And why take ye thought for raiment (do you worry about clothes)? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed (clothed) like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe (clothes) the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith.’ (Matt.6:28-30)

 Oh friends, we do not serve a stupid or unconcerned  God! Whatever He’s made, He will take care of! That’s all Jesus is trying to point out to us. So if He looks after the birds and flowers so wonderfully, and they are low down the totem pole, why wouldn’t He look after us, His children even better eh? But the problem seems to stem from Jesus’ last words above: ‘O ye of little faith.’ That seems to be the tantamount problem with God’s children; a sad lack of sufficient faith. 

And the Good Book says it right up front: ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is (He exists), and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ That’s what it’s all about friends; belief and faith! We talk a lot about having faith, but when the time comes to put it into action we falter and fail. And that’s exactly why Jesus directed us in the Sermon on the Mount: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow (do not worry about tomorrow): for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt.6:33-34) 

He wasn’t joking my brethren. He was quite serious. We ought to concern ourselves first of all with spiritual things, make God our first priority, and then He will give us all the material things we need. For as the scholars so wisely say: ‘Where God guides, He provides.’ And that’s the gospel truth my people…but we must have sufficient faith to live it. And hopefully, this dreadful time in which we’ve found ourselves, will have a lot more people sincerely crying out to God for help, and will help to build the faith of those of us who already believe. Now let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know of our serious and faithful position in Christ. 

As one, in strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘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 is that ever something to look forward to friends: the day when there’ll be no more pain, sorrow, sickness, death or tears, just eternal joy and life with Jesus! Much LOVE!

…he who has ears to hear…let him hear…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 March 2020 Proverbs 1:7.

Proverbs 1:7.    ​The fear (reverence, reverential awe) of the Lord is the (principal) beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
 
It’s like a ghost town; like a lockdown in jail! Mama! The whole country is now in a state of near immobility. There’s been directives from the Prime Minister, the Premier, the Mayor, even my City Councillor to shut it down, stay home and practice social distancing. Hn! What a bam bam! Around my house, only the birds are singing, and hopefully the garbage truck will soon pass by to pick up the garbage. Nothing or no one else seems to be moving. I don’t know if our world has ever had so many states of emergencies at the same time, even in times of serious warfare. But that’s what it seems it will take to help defeat this Coronavirus. 

And life is so strange and mankind so foolish, stubborn and full of himself, that I want to share something that if it’s true, and there’s no reason to doubt it, could have avoided a lot of this disaster. It’s a video of an apparent warning from Bill Gates, back in 2015, at a conference about the Ebola Virus; another virus that caught us flat-footed and without any protection.  His words were: ‘Today, the greatest risk of global catastrophe doesn’t look like this…’ and the video shows a huge nuclear cloud mushrooming in the atmosphere. ‘Instead, it looks like this…’ and the video shows a microscopic enlargement of a germ cell. 

‘If anything kills over ten million people over the next few decades, it’s most likely to be a highly infectious virus rather than a war. Not missiles, but microbes. Now part of the reason for this is that we’ve invested a huge amount in nuclear deterrents, but we’ve actually invested very little in a system to stop an epidemic. We’re not ready for the next epidemic! You can have a virus where people feel well enough while they are infectious that  they get on a plane or they go to a market. The source of the virus could be a natural epidemic like Ebola or it could be bio-terrorism. And so there are things that would literally make things a thousand times worse. 

In fact, let’s look at a model of a virus spread through the air, like the Spanish flu back in 1918. So here’s what would happen: It would spread throughout the world very very quickly…’ And a graph comes up showing how quickly the virus spread back then – some 36 million in 263 days – ‘And you can see that over 30 million people died from that epidemic. So this is a serious problem. We should be concerned. But in fact we can build a really good response system. We have the benefits of all the science and technology that we’ve talked about here. 

We’ve got cell phones, to get information from the public and to get information out to them; we have satellite maps, where we can see where people are, and where they’re moving; we have advances in biology that should dramatically change the turn around time to look at a pathogen and be able to make drugs and vaccines that’s fit for that pathogen. So we can have tools, but those tools need to be put into an overall global health system…and we need preparedness. The best lessons I think on how to get prepared, are again what we do for war. 

For soldiers, we have full time – waiting to go. We have reserves that can scale us up to large numbers and NATO has a mobile unit that can deploy very rapidly. NATO does a lot of war games to check, are people well trained, that they understand about fuel and logistics and the same radio frequencies, so they are absolutely ready to go. So those are the kinds of things we need to deal with an epidemic. And what are the key pieces? Our first is, we need strong health systems in poor countries. That’s where mothers can give birth safely, where children can get all their vaccines, but also where we’ll see the outbreak very early on. 

We need a medical reserve corps; lots of people who’ve got the training and background; who are ready to go with the expertise. And then we need to pair those medical people with the military; taking advantage of the military’s ability to move fast, do logistics and secure areas. We need to do simulations; germ games, not war games, so that we see where the holes are. The last time a germ game was done in the United States was back in 2001, and it didn’t  go so well. So far the score is germs one, people zero. Finally we need lots of advance R&D in areas of vaccines and diagnostics. There are some big breakthroughs like the adeno associated virus that could work very quickly. 

Now I don’t have an exact budget for what this would cost, but I’m quite sure that it’s very modest compared to the potential harm. The world bank estimates that if we have a worldwide flu epidemic, global wealth will go down by over three trillion dollars, and we’d have millions and millions of death. These investments offer significant benefits beyond just being ready for the epidemic; the primary health care, the R&D, those things will reduce global health equity and make the world more just, as well as more safe. 

So I think this should absolutely be a priority. There’s no need to panic. We don’t have to hoard cans of spaghetti, or go down into the basement, but we need to get going, because time is not on our side. In fact, if there’s one positive thing, that can come out of the Ebola epidemic, is that it can serve as an early warning, a wake up call to get ready. If we start now, we can be ready for the next epidemic. Thank you!’ 

Ah mih people, what words of wisdom eh! But the sad part is that we never took Bill’s advice. Now if we don’t take the advice of the richest and one of the most powerful men in the world, who’s are we going to take eh? You can say all you want about him, and how he got his wealth and how he can afford to sit in his ivory tower and talk, but like a prophetic warning, his words have come through, a mere five years later. And we were not ready! And besides, the virus is not a respecter of persons, it takes both the rich and powerful as well as the poor and needy. 

So we’ll see oodles of deaths, let’s hope not millions, and the world economy has already been devastated, by more than 3 trillion, since most things and places around the world have been shut down. What’s the next step eh? We now fighting to do the R&D, and hopefully sometime develop a suitable vaccine, but all of that takes time, and until then, people will die, and the world will become more like a death camp and poverty stricken place than a thriving and prosperous hotspot. 

Oh my people, it’s the same thing with the warnings in the Good Book: tribulation and calamity will befall us if we don’t reverence, worship and obey our Creator. Cousin Sol said it in spades: ‘The fear (reverence, reverential awe) of the Lord is the (principal) beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth! That’s why we find ourselves in disasters such as these. But our foolishness, and consequently our calamities, can be minimized, if we will follow true wisdom and turn to our great, forgiving and merciful God in prayer. 

Friends, it’s our ONLY hope! Even if we find an antidote for this current virus, something else will soon assault us if we don’t get ready for it with constant and sincere prayer. So please, I implore us, not only in these calamitous times, but when they pass. ‘To pray without ceasing. And in every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess. 5:17-18) Much LOVE!

…there’s lots of truth to the old saying…if you don’t hear…you’re going to feel…

P.S. Yes I know it’s long and late, but I got up late, and the warning might be a tad late for now, but if we survive this, there will be a next time. So let’s be wise and learn from it nuh! Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 March 2020 Psalm 107:6.

Psalm 107:6.    Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses.
 
So it’s a new day…in a new week, and the war continues between the Coronavirus and mankind. And sadly, right now the virus seems to be holding the upper hand because mankind never expected this war, and thus were not prepared for it. But there’s one thing I know, that Jehovah God made His greatest creation strong, tough and resilient, with the attitude of never giving up, of being able to rebound even from a fight which they never expected and thus were ill prepared for. Thus I can safely say that though the virus is winning the battle right now, it WILL NOT, I repeat, it WILL NOT win the overall war! 

And why is that? Because with God’s help, we WILL produce an antidote for it, and we WILL be the eventual winners, although by then, our world might have been severely ravaged by the enemy virus!  But undoubtedly, then we will rebuild and come back even stronger than we were before, having learned valuable lessons from this lack of foresight. Yes friends, that’s the belief we Christians need to foster in these sad and trying times, for despite all our difficulties, as believers, we must always remain hopeful and faithful. 

That’s because we have been made in the spiritual image of the Most High God Jehovah, and have not been imbued with a spirit of fear, but one of mighty courage through the power of the Holy Spirit, and the unmatchable attribute of LOVE, plus a sound and disciplined mind. Consequently, we won’t run from any fight, because we have all the tools to win any battle… with the Lord on our side. For remember the battle is the Lord’s, the eventual outcome is always in His hands. But with the very sinful and disobedient state of our current world, it is difficult to picture the Lord being on our side right now. 

Oh yes, He still LOVES us, that won’t ever change, but fighting for us in this our time of serious need is another matter. But my people, we have so many examples of Israel’s disobedience and subsequent punishment, then eventual repentance and return to God’s favour and grace that I strongly suggest right now is such a time for us. Oh my faithful brethren, if this isn’t the time for serious repentance, I don’t know when it will ever come nuh. Right now, we’re like the Israelites, wandering aimlessly in the desert. 

As the psalmist says: ‘They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary (desolate) way; they found no city to dwell in. Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses. And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation.’ (Ps.107:4-7) Oh friends, right now this virus is running us ragged, our souls are sore afraid, we’re dropping like flies stuck in honey, and many of us don’t know which way to turn. 

But we, the faithful, do know where to turn, to our great God and Father in heaven. It’s a no-brainer, but it does call for sincere repentance. We can’t continue being stubbornly sinful and pigheaded and expect Him to help us. As Asaph says in Psalm 50 – God is the judge – and He certainly is; though we seem to keep forgetting that most salient fact. ‘Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the Most High: And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.’ (Ps. 50:14-15) 

It couldn’t be any clearer than that my people! Pay the vows we promised; in other words, sincerely repent and begin doing the things we should have been doing all along, and when trouble comes, like now, we can call out to Him in strong confidence, knowing that He will hear us and alleviate our problems. But yuh know what, some of us are so stubborn and foolish, we will refuse to turn to God, our Creator, and the most omnipotent Being in the universe, and instead choose to wait on man to find a solution to our problems. 

Hn! Man; whose life is short and worthless like a vapour, and whose power, the li’l he has, comes from the same Almighty Creator. And friends, this can’t afford to be insincere repentance nuh, because if the Lord doesn’t intervene on our behalf soon, the virus going to tear us up and spit us out like chawing tobacco. Yuh see the sad state Italy is in, and also the mighty U.S. of A; whose claim to fame as the greatest power ever on the face of the earth was said to be because of God’s wonderful favour and grace. But unfortunately, instead of staying aligned with God’s purpose, it has now become the standard bearer for sin and ungodliness. 

One time when Israel’s repentance was insincere, hear the Lord’s comment through Hosea. ‘I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge (confess) their offense, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early (diligently).’ (Hos.5:15) Oh friends, it is of the utmost importance that we diligently seek the Lord’s face RIGHT NOW! So please join me in a sincere prayer of thanksgiving, repentance and a soulful cry for help. 

‘Heavenly Father, we come to you on bended knees, in humble adoration, giving you thanks for keeping us alive this Monday morning. We know that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we also 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 humbly come to you now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading for assistance in stopping this Coronavirus that’s wreaking havoc all over our world. 

Gracious Lord, we don’t know how to handle it, but with Your remarkable help, we know that we can stop, can successfully handle this scourge that’s plaguing the earth. So Father, we ask that you graciously and mercifully grant our leaders, scientists, and medical personnel wise guidance and direction, so that they can lead us aright and develop a sure antidote as soon as possible. 

In closing Lord, we ask that You keep the promise in Your Word, that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. That’s what we’re pledging to do now Lord. So please 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 my fellow believers, let’s go out and do our part nuh, so that the Lord won’t have any excuse not to do His. Much LOVE!

…if a disastrous situation like this…doesn’t bring true repentance…then who knows what will eh…

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