Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 May 2010 Malachi 2:11‏

Malachi 2:11     For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the Lord of hosts.

 

Spah nah nah nah nah! The trumpet sounds! Battle stations all believers! It’s Monday morning! Another week of work warfare is about to commence, so be sure to put on your spiritual suit of armour before you join the fray. Ah Friends, what a mundane, same old, same old life most of us lead eh. Work five days, off two; work five, off two…ad infinitum. Somewhere in there, if we’re lucky, we get a couple weeks vacation. Then back to the daily task and common grind. But that’s the way of our enlightened, advanced civilization, so we’ve just got to grin and bear it, while piling up many rewards in heaven for the next life. But isn’t it grand though Friends, made all worthwhile, when we see the confident promises made by the Lord God Jehovah, centuries before, come to pass? It certainly reassures and emboldens us to realize that His words are not just mere talk or idle boasts, but that He is truly who He says He is, and can do exactly what He says He can do. Our Bit today bears that fact out very nicely. The prophet Malachi says in no uncertain terms: ‘For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the gentiles.’ Wow! And thousands of years later, it’s just like He predicted. Consequently, all God’s people shouted: ‘Glory Hallelujah! Bless His Holy Name! For His words and promises are forever faithful and true!’ Yes my brethren, the word of the Lord is steadfast and strong, able to stand the test of time. He also put similar words in the mouth of Isaiah: ‘So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard (banner) against him.’ (Isa.59:19) And that great repository of all human emotions and feelings, the Psalms, has this to say on the topic. ‘From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord’s name is to be praised. The Lord is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens. Who is like unto the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high?’ (Ps.113:3-5) NOBODY my Friends, NOBODY is like our God! Knowing the stubborn, rebellious, sinful nature of man, His choice creation, the Lord chose to start with a relatively small group, the Jews; descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to cultivate them to His way of thinking. It’s the same way we begin our projects small, then increase their size as they take solid root. But Friends, from the very beginning the Lord’s plan was to include all His creation. Isaiah implies it when talking of the future glory of Zion. ‘And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising…Then shalt thou see, and flow together (become radiant), and thine heart shall fear (swell with joy), and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces (wealth) of the Gentiles (nations) shall come unto thee.’ (Isa.60:3,5) Oh mih breddren, after reading the Good Book, how can we ever doubt it eh? Malachi continues to specify in our Bit: ‘and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering.’ Centuries later Bruh Paul began bringing the Gentiles to the Lord, through the redeeming, grace-filled, forgiving, merciful gospel of His Son Jesus, who, because of the Lord’s great LOVE for us, was sacrificed, so that we could have a chance to return to His righteous fold. In the process Bruh Paul exhorts us all to pray. In his message to Timothy, he solemnly declares: ‘I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.’ (I Tim.2:8) That means people all over the world ought to pray, with a pure life and without disputes and disagreements. Meanwhile John, in his revelation of what the last days would be like, says: ‘And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was much incense that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.. And the smoke of the incense which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.’ (Rev.8:3-4)  Today, incense also plays a large part in our prayers and religious ceremonies, making Malachi’s words true. And without a doubt my people, the last part of the prophecy has been fulfilled: ‘for my name shall be great among the heathen (nations), saith the Lord of hosts.’ Oh my Friends, answer me this riddle I this: what is the greatest name in the world today; the most revered, the most talked about, causes the most controversy and arguments? None but the Holy Trinity; the Lord God Jehovah, His Son Jesus Christ and the guiding power of the Holy Spirit! Mention any of them and sparks fly, both good and bad. And it wasn’t Malachi alone who prophesied thus, but also Isaiah. ‘For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and see my glory. And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations…to the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles.’ (Isa.66:18-19) There’s no more to say mih people, for this proves that it was no haphazard, by chance thing, but a well designed, thought out and orchestrated plan by our God. So please, don’t let anyone tell us otherwise, cause us to doubt or infer that our God is not a GREAT GOD, for He is. Let’s simply tell them thanks, but no thanks, that we’re quite happy and satisfied with our God, and we’ll be sticking with Him through thick and thin because He’s proven His LOVE for us in so many ways, that we’ll be stupid to do otherwise. Then let’s proceed to tell them all about it and live it before their very eyes. Oh Friends, if we’re to retake the world from Lucifer and his evil cronies, then right now our cause needs a mighty push to get it to the next level, so let’s try and pump it up some nuh. Just think about the sorry kind of lives our children will live if we lose this war. Oh mih people, that’s just an unthinkable proposition! Much LOVE!…stand up, stand up for Jesus…the trumpet call obey…till every foe is vanquished…and Christ is Lord indeed…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 May 2010 Deuteronomy 33:3‏

Deuteronomy 33:3     Yea, he LOVED the people; all his saints are in thy hand; and they sat down at thy feet; every one shall receive of thy words.

 

Ah Friends, as I sat down here contemplating how to begin today’s message, the Spirit suddenly flashed the words of an old song through my mind. It’s a song we all know and LOVE. I believe it was first done by Edwin Star, then popularized by the Temptations. And it says: ‘War! What is it good for? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!’ And isn’t that the living truth mih people! War is of no use to those who desire peace. But to the warmongers and greedy arms merchants…hn! War is paradise, they simply revel in it. And unfortunately right now our world is definitely controlled by that sick, evil, inhumane group. Wickedness in high places is definitely the order of the day. So what can we believers, the peacemakers, the aspiring righteous do about it? Who knows? But as in everything else, our first move must always be to the Most High God Jehovah; invoke His help, guidance and wisdom, through prayer and meditation. And since they claim there’s strength in numbers, then the more believers that congregate, worship and meditate together, then hopefully the better outcome we’ll receive. What makes it even harder is that many of us are thrown into situations beyond our control. As Samuel Johnston says: ‘Very few live by choice. Every man is placed in his present condition by causes which acted without his foresight, and with which he did not always willingly operate.’ Oh Friends, that’s the simple but realistic truth. None of us are born to situations of our making, so we’re forced to play with the hand dealt us. And later on in life, only a handful of us are able to drastically change or improve our circumstances. So on one hand it seems we’re at the mercy of our destiny, but since nothing is impossible to our God, then it follows that in cooperation with Him, through His help and guidance, our circumstances can be changed. But whether our circumstances are good, bad or indifferent, whether they improve or get worse, the solution starts with acknowledging that the Lord Jesus is the director of our lives and we turn to Him first for answers. In our Bit, Moses declares: ‘and they sat down at thy feet.’ Friends, that’s what we desperately need to do. Like Jesus’ visit to Lazarus’ home. While one sister, Martha, busied herself with physical preparations, the other one, Mary, had radically different ideas. The Good Book describes the situation thus: ‘And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard his word.’ (Luke 10:39) And when Martha complained to Jesus about Mary’s lack of help, Jesus replied: ‘Martha, Martha, thou art careful (worried) and troubled about many things. But one thing is needful, and Mary has chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.’ (Luke 10:41-42)  Yes my Friends, Jesus considered Mary’s attention to His words very important, and refused to let Martha drag her away to the kitchen. Note too Friends, Legion’s position after Jesus drove the demons out of him and into the herd of swine that then ran over a cliff. ‘Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.’ (Luke 8:35) With his demons gone, Legion knew the right place for him was at his Saviour’s feet. Now hear Bruh David from Psalm 27, titled, ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation.’ ‘One thing have I desired of the Lord, that I will seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold all the beauty (delightfulness) of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.’ (Ps.27:4) There again Friends, we’re shown the importance of seeking and listening to the Lord, of drinking in His nourishing words. And here’s the ultimate word on the subject. The day after Jesus walked across the water to Capernaum, the people asked how He’d gotten there, because they hadn’t seen him take a boat to cross over. Jesus response was a gentle tongue lashing, which He was capable of doing so subtly, that one seldom took umbrage. He said that they weren’t looking for Him because of the miracles, the signs He’d shown them, but because He’d fed them, satisfied their physical hunger. Then He solemnly warned them. ‘Labour not for the meat (food) which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.’ (John 6:27) So there we have it people, straight from Jesus’ mouth; we ought not to seek food that perishes, but that which lasts forever. And where is the source of that rich and everlasting food? From Jesus of course! His awe inspiring words and philosophy based on His Father’s wonderful personality of LOVE. And as Moses said: ‘everyone shall receive of thy words.’ Yes Friends, we need to sit at His feet and receive His words. Cousin Sol was also very adamant about the reward of heeding wisdom. ‘My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide (treasure) my commandments with thee; So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding…Then shalt thou understand the fear (reverential awe) of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.’ (Prov.2:1-2,5) Why? ‘For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.’ (Prov.4:22) For sure my brethren, the wise words of God are life and health to all those who hear and apply them. That brings us back to the question of war. My people, we desperately need to lessen the amount of strife currently rampaging through our world, but it’s up to us believers to get the ball rolling, since it seems we are the main ones interested in a peaceful world. And the overwhelming conclusion is that we can only achieve any serious measure of success with the aid of Jesus; building a movement based on the rock solid foundation of His Church. That entails individual service in our neighbourhoods, combined with a joint  worldwide movement to let our leaders know, in no uncertain terms, that we’re thoroughly fed up with the strife, hunger, poverty and all the ‘sufferation’ that war brings. Let’s let our leaders know that it’s time for Peace and LOVE; time for Jesus and the LOVE Revolution. Please Friends, let’s seriously work towards that goal so that our children, and their children will have a chance of living in a decent world. Much LOVE!…it’s the parents’ job…to prepare the way for the children…be it good…or bad…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 May 2010 Deuteronomy 33:3‏

Deuteronomy 33:3      Yea, he LOVED the people; all his saints are in thy hand: and they sat down at thy feet; everyone shall receive of thy words.

 

Ah Friends, it’s the weekend again, the Memorial Holiday in the U.S. But with strife, crime, oppression, anger, grief, sickness, poverty, natural and man-made disasters running rampant in our world, what are we really celebrating?  One would think that with such an enlightened and educated populace, advanced technology and medicine, that these scourges of human kind would have been eradicated by now, or at least brought under control, minimized so they wouldn’t have such a deadly and destructive impact. Unfortunately though, because of that evil demon within us, the sinful nature with which we’re born, those negative conditions are still holding sway over our planet. Oh people, when we fellowship this weekend, and in our individual time of communication with the Father, please, let’s plead with Him to help us do better. For if we continue down this evil path we’re currently on, only death and destruction will be the outcome. Look at the nonsense that just ebbed in Thailand, and that currently happening in Jamaica, and who knows where it’s going to rear its ugly head tomorrow or next week. None of it is or was necessary. And as usual, it’s always the poor and downtrodden masses who suffer the most, who bear the brunt of these destructive situations. Ah Friends, it’s very sad, but it will never get better until we bring the majority of the world’s population to Christ, and have them living out His wonderful philosophy of peace and LOVE. Once, greed, anger, hate, resentment, crime, violence and their ilk rule, our world will continue to be a chaotic place, for those negative emotions don’t build anything productive since like us they have an innate destructive nature. But Friends, with the Lord in our lives…oh, we can most definitely overcome that sinful nature. And this is one time my people when we desperately need the Saviour to break down all those sinful barriers we’ve erected in Lucifer’s name. Only the Most High God Jehovah in His omnipotence, His gracious LOVE, mercy and forgiveness can lead us back to the tried and true path of righteousness. Regardless of what anybody says my brethren, without God working in and through us, our world is doomed! No ifs ands and buts about that! As the Good Book states; ‘Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.’ (Prov.29:18) And that’s gospel mih people!  Where there’s no prophetic vision or revelation within a society, it casts of restraint and eventually perishes; either implodes through civil strife, or explodes in external warfare. And that’s because things like morality and decency, kindness and caring are based on keeping, living in adherence to God’s revealed will. And it’s certainly obvious to all and sundry that that isn’t happening in our world today. All the godly structures and things that emphasize God in our lives have been demeaned and/or destroyed. Restraint has most definitely been cast off. The standards embedded in the word morality have plummeted so low, that they now barely exist. We’ve become and immoral, amoral, free for all, do as you please and don’t give a damn about anybody else society! So what can kind of fruit can we expect from the evil seeds we’ve sown? None but the evil kind we’re harvesting. That’s why Friends it’s of the utmost importance that the few who truly have God in their hearts and want to do His will, come up real strong in their human efforts and also their prayers to the Almighty, because it’s only with His help we can do much of anything. We need to be able to say like Moses: ‘all his saints are in thy hand,’ Be assured like Samuel declared: ‘He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in the darkness; for by strength no man shall prevail.’ (1 Sam.2:9) My people, we’ve got to remind our God of those promises. I know He hasn’t forgotten, but unless we’re proactive, and show that we’re serious about improving the situation, nothing’s going to happen. Remember in our partnership with God, we have a role to play, and until we do our part, He won’t do His. We need to remember and be secure of who we are in Christ Jesus, why He sacrificed His life for us, and the glorious future we have to look forward to as Sons of God and joint heirs with Christ: ‘Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.’ (1 Pet.1:5) Oh Friends, it’s time for all believers to wake up, cool the rhetoric, stop the plenty talking and rather stand up and be counted, meaning do something productive to fight the evil that rules our world and further God’s kingdom, because it’s only believers who seem interested in change for the better. The world at large is crying out for change for the worse. Oh my people, we certainly talk a good talk, but what’s happening to our walk? What’s happening to the LOVE Revolution that we’re all so gladly talking about eh?  Has it stalled? Have we lost the faith? I certainly hope not, else crapaud smoke we pipe! Please Friends, I’m imploring us, if we truly believe in the God of LOVE, and the LOVE of God, let’s wake up from our fear, apathy or whatever is holding us back, and get a move on with restoring, Faith, LOVE and Godliness to our world, cause that’s the only way we’ll prevent it from self-destructing. And it’s what our Leader, Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ wants more than anything else; that He loses not one single soul to Beelzebub. Let’s do our bounden duty in His Name nuh. More tomorrow, God willing. Till then, Much LOVE!…it’s high time for us believers to show the evil world…how to really and truly…LOVE Our GOD…LIVE Our FAITH…and SPREAD His WORD…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 May 2010 Deuteronomy 33:3‏

Deuteronomy 33:3     Yea, he LOVED the people; all his saints are in thy hand: and they sat down at thy feet; every one shall receive of thy words.
 
‘And this is the blessing, wherewith Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death. And he said, The Lord came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them.’ (Deut.33:1-2) Oh Friends, it just seemed rather appropriate to let the Good Book introduce Today’s Bit, with Moses recounting the Lord’s power and majesty displayed before the Israelites during their rough and rugged journey from Egypt to the Promised Land. The reference to Sinai is the Lord’s descent upon that holy mount in a hail of smoke and fire, when He called Moses up to the summit and gave him the Ten Commandments. (Ex.19:18,20) And the mention of Seir reminded him of the time they spent in the wilderness surrounding Mt. Seir: ‘and we compassed mount Seir many days.’ (Deut.2:1) They skirted or circled the mount several times until the Lord said enough, turn north, but be careful, for they would pass through the land of Esau’s descendants, Jacob’s brother, who, though they were related, would not take kindly to them passing through their land, but staunchly warning them to avoid strife. (Deut.2) The Lord’s shining forth from Paran deals with them leaving the wilderness of Sinai; ‘and the cloud rested in the wilderness of Paran.’ (Num.10:12) Can you imagine Friends, being guided by a cloud, but as you’re leaving one wild, deserted, scrubby area, your guiding cloud points you to another wilderness. No wonder the Israelites griped. And betwixt and between all of that, the Lord came a roaring with a host of His people. The scholars describe the ‘saints’ as ‘myriads of holy ones’ and the last sentences as; ‘at his right hand were warriors of God.’ Moses was most likely trying to impress upon the people the great things God had done for them, and would continue to do, if they remained faithful to Him. And why would an omnipotent God do all of that for a wayward, disobedient people? For the greatest reason of all Friends: ‘Yea, he LOVED the people.’ And the Lord really had to have a very strong LOVE for the Israelites to put up with all their shenanigans. As the psalmist declares in Psalm 47, titled, God is King of all the earth: ‘ He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet. He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom he LOVED. Selah.’ (Ps.47:3-4) Yes Friends, the Lord did redeem them out of Egypt and settled them in the land He’d promised. And you only do those things if you care greatly for people. And in talking of the Lord’s LOVE for a fickle and faithless Israel, Hosea declares: ‘When Israel was a child, then I LOVED him, and called my son out of Egypt.’ (Hos.11:1) Matthew quoted those words, applying them to Jesus, when His parents fled to Egypt to protect Him from Herod’s killing spree of young children. "And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.’ (Mat.2:15) Oh my brethren, the Bible is such an intriguing and interrelated book, that we can never grasp or understand its full significance in our lives, no matter how long we spend studying it. Every time we open it, something new jumps out at us from passages we’ve read for years. That’s why we need to constantly read and study it, so we can get new and deeper insights into its marvellous wisdom and holy guidance. That’s the only way to truly comprehend what the Lord is saying to us in it. And taking our current passage, the same way the Lord considered Israel His people, whom He LOVED and looked after, and Jesus, His Son, whom He also LOVED, but cruelly and innocently sacrificed for us unworthy sinners, proves that He also LOVES us with the same strong, powerful, unconditional LOVE. Else why would He intentionally sacrifice His only Son eh? But just like the Israelites, we’ve turned away from a merciful, forgiving and LOVING God to worship the glamorized man made idols that unfortunately only lead us down the path of death and destruction. The Lord’s therefore suffering from unrequited LOVE. And any of you who have experienced it will know that it’s the worst ailment known to man. Broken body parts hurt and pain, but Friends, there’s no pain like that of a broken heart. It’s so all consuming and causes such anguish of the very soul, that we often consider death the only reprieve. Now you can imagine how the Father and Jesus must feel when we ungratefully turn away from them and follow the foibles of foolish Beelzebub. Consider how we feel when our children disobey our dictates and follow unwise advice down foolish paths. Well our heavenly Father and our Saviour feel the same way, because they are also living Beings, and since we’re made in the Father’s image, it means He also has feelings and emotions like us, and every time we do wrong, a hurt pains His heart. And though many of us claim to LOVE Him, it’s only a superficial LOVE if we continually disobey His wishes. Consequently, we need to smarten up and do better if we truly LOVE Him. And we’ll close today with a quote from Dag Hammarskjold, the long time Secretary General of the U.N. which says: ‘Prayer, crystallized in words, assigns a permanent wave-length on which the dialogue has to be continued.’ Oh Friends, we all know that it’s through prayer we discern God’s wishes for our lives, but it MUST BE CONSTANT AND CONTINUAL. If needs be, all day, every day. We can’t get proper direction without communicating with the Lord on a regular basis, and I believe it’s something many of us don’t pay enough attention to. We simply can’t talk about our LOVE for God and don’t communicate regularly with Him or do His will; that only spells hypocrisy. Anyway Friends, we’ve run out of time and space, so tomorrow, God willing, we’ll continue this theme. Till then, Much LOVE!…the only way to show true LOVE for Jesus…is to walk it…much much more than we talk it…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 May 2010 1 Corinthians 1:27‏

1 Corinthians 1:27     But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.
 
Oh Friends, the old house was as hot as Hades today, but I finally got the A/C recharged in the evening. For that I gave the Lord much thanks and praise. Now I can concentrate comfortably on the more important matters of life. (smile) But on a serious note Friends, I have a Charles Dickens quote to share that’s very appropriate to our Bit. Charles contends that, ‘There is wisdom of the head, and wisdom of the heart.’ I think it’s true because many of us are real bright where book learning and matters of high estate are concerned, but we can’t walk and chew gum at the same time, don’t have much common sense, which tends to come more from the heart and belly than the head and books. That’s why the Lord likes the underdog and very often chooses His standard bearers from amongst the poor and uneducated, using them to confound and confuse the ‘brainiacs’ of this evil world. As Bruh Paul enlightened the Corinthians: ‘For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.’ (1 Cor.1:26) And isn’t that the truth Friends! For from the beginning of time the Lord has chosen mostly lowly, simple people to do His work. Consider Noah, Abraham, Moses and many of the prophets, who weren’t brainy or of noble heritage, but they had the essential tool the Lord desired; a kind, steadfast and obedient heart. That’s the Lord’s basic characteristic for choosing His ambassadors. And he takes great pleasure in using simple, down to earth people to speak of great matters and do mighty works on His behalf. And per the scholars, Bruh Paul’s argument leads us to believe that the church at Corinth consisted of mainly the poorer sections of the society. If so, then he surely had a captive audience, as he further declares: ‘But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound (put to shame) the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty. And base (insignificant) things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought (nothing) things that are.’ (1 Cor.1:27-28) Ah mih people, the Lord just likes to humble the proud, the high and mighty, those who feel superior for whatever reason and pay no attention to His righteous law. He aims to silence man’s wisdom, thus He chooses the foolish to shame the wise, and weak, insignificant things to put to shame what the world considers great and significant. He also uses things that we don’t even know exist to thwart and counteract existing things like our stately offices and institutions made and relied on by man. The best example of that is Jesus. Everybody expected the Messiah to be a warrior king of noble birth, but the Lord confounded them by having Him born in a lowly stable to a poor carpenter’s family, living in a backwater town, Nazareth. Unfortunately, that’s possibly why many rejected Jesus. They simply could not accept a lowly, itinerant preacher as their Saviour since their great expectations coloured their thinking. That proves Bruh Paul’s point; the Lord put all the wise men to shame by sending His Son to earth as a poor preacher who could talk rings around them. And Jesus did the same thing. He chose His disciples from the lowest strata of society; the poor, lowly and uneducated; fishermen and tax collectors. He chose them to be His ambassadors to the world, the ones He expected to spread His Word near and far. Now logic would dictate that for such an important task, one would pick educated, well-rounded people, but no, Jesus, like His Father, chose to differ. Why? Because He knew they would be given all the tools they needed to do the job, first and foremost being the Holy Spirit. Once they had that and an obedient heart they needed nothing else. And when He foretold the judgement to come upon evil Galilean cities like Capernaum, He said: ‘I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.’ (Mat. 11:25) The learned would be confused, but the simple and uneducated would know and understand much more than their exalted brethren. And what does Bruh David say in Psalm 8, talking about God’s glory and man’s honour? ‘Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings (nursing infants) hast thou ordained (established) strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still (silence) the enemy and the avenger.’ (Ps.8:2) And Jesus used those same words when confronted in the temple by the chief priests and scribes, after He ran out the crooks and moneychangers and the people came in and got healed, with the children singing; ‘Hosanna to the son of David.’ They said to Him: ‘Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?’ (Mat.21:16) Yes Friends, the children and the lower strata of the society recognized Jesus’ Messianic powers, while the priests and scribes dangled in supreme ignorance, only considering their own importance, wallowing in man made artefacts and customs, preaching godliness, while hiding behind the veil of hypocrisy. Oh Friends, our Lord is no respecter of persons, especially the proud and arrogant. So don’t ever let your lowly status in society make you feel insignificant and unworthy in God’s sight. He only requires an obedient heart, and will provide the wherewithal you need to do His bidding. So look on the bright side; if you’re lowly, humble with an obedient heart, then you’re a prime candidate to do big things for God. And all God’s people sang: ‘Glory Hallelujah!’ Much Love!…why does God operate like that…So that no flesh should glory in his presence…(1 Cor.1:2)
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 May 2010 Genesis 30:13‏

Genesis 30:13     And Leah said, Happy am I, for the daughters will call me blessed: and she called his name Asher.
 
Ah Friends, this life can be real frustrating yes! Have you noticed, that generally speaking, one problem crops up before, or as soon as you fix another, and that there is very little peace of mind between these occurrences? Well, a few days ago I discovered that the A/C in my car wasn’t working, although I fixed it last summer. And to make matters worse, last night I found out that the A/C in my house wasn’t working either, after spending a pretty penny to have it replaced last year. And it’s not always the money to repair or replace these problems that ticks you off, but oftimes it’s the aggravation of putting off other stuff already scheduled, the time and energy spent waiting to get them repaired, or having to go out of your way to do so. I guess in the big scheme of things it keeps us on our toes, and teaches us some lesson. But Friends, I’m tired learning of lessons now. (smile) I’ve learned enough to last me several lifetimes. I need a break from the constant merry-go-round. But after calming down from the discovery that my house A/C wasn’t working, I rationalized that if that’s my biggest problem then I should be praising and thanking God instead of being angry, for there are numerous others not as blessed as I am. There’s so much homelessness, sickness, poverty, oppression and suppression all over our world, and here I am worried about air conditioning. Oh Friends, that only goes to show our lack of real important priorities in this Western World. And the only way to improve that situation is for us to stop concentrating so much on our minor challenges and more on the larger, more serious problems facing so many of our fellow humans. With that in mind, here’s a short, but powerful quote from Helen Keller that points the way. And it simply says: ‘Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.’ It’s not rocket science mih people, but it’s the gospel truth! Our individual efforts can only take us so far, but collectively we can change the world. That brings us to the selfish attitudes of Leah and Rachel as they vied to see who could produce more sons for Jacob. Granted, the situation wasn’t the greatest, and it was not really of their making, but they were sisters and as such should have realized that working together was the only sensible way to have it work out decently. But instead they were consumed by their own, petty, selfish desires. I’m sure if they had worked together, the family would not have suffered half the problems they later encountered, because selfishness and jealousy always cause major turmoil. Anyway, ah know all yuh dying to get into the final episode of ‘Jacob’s Harem,’ so let’s get to it nuh. Yesterday we stopped where Leah seemed to be winning the children’s sweepstakes hands down. Her family had 9 offspring, while Rachel’s only had 2. But people, the great scriptwriter wasn’t done yet. ‘And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb. And she conceived, and bare a son; and said, God hath taken away my reproach. And she called his name Joseph (He will add); and said, The Lord shall add to me another son.’ (Gen. 30:22-24) And the Lord did remove the reproach of her barren state, and also added another son, Benjamin, to her household later on. So the eventual count of Jacob’s sons was 12. And Friends, you know what all this excitement, treachery, scandal, resentment and jealousy eventually produced; the 12 tribes of Israel. I’m sure the Lord could have devised a less contentious and confusing plan, but for whatever reason that He alone knows, He did it that way. Anyway Friends, from those four women; Laban’s two daughters, Leah and Rachel, and their respective maids, Zilpah and Bilhah, out of the loins of Jacob, the Lord built His Chosen People, Israel. It just goes to show that the Lord has an open mind and often chooses those we consider least suitable for certain jobs. If He could choose an ole crook and con artist like Jacob to be the father of His people, then anything’s possible for you and I. And Friends, all Jacob’s family or their progeny went on to play important parts in the Lord’s overall plan. We’ll just mention two of the most important aspects here. First up is Bruh Joseph, Rachel’s son, who underwent much innocent suffering as a teenager, initially at the hand of his brothers, then in slavery and prison in Egypt, but who held steadfast to the faith of his fathers, and rose to be the second most powerful person in Egypt, behind only Pharaoh himself. Through that position he was able to save his family from the ravages of famine, brought them down to Egypt, set them up well, and thus began its Hebrew heritage. As for Leah, she became the ancestral mother of Jesus through her son Judah, who sparked the Davidic line through his son Pharez, from whom Boaz was descended. Boaz married Ruth, whose son Obed was the father of Jesse, Bruh David’s father. For a full account of the lineage, see 1 Chronicles 2. Ah Friends, our God is such a genius at relationships, that in spite of all the drama and confusion, He still worked it out that both sisters ended up being happy in their own minds, and the four women’s offspring all played valuable and prominent roles in His production. One other point to note here is the Lord’s great foresight, where in the union of Boaz, the Jew, and Ruth, the Gentile, He created that image of oneness, that would serve as a platform for His Son Jesus to build His Church upon, many years hence, where all believers became one, regardless of colour, creed or race. With our God, my people, all things are possible, so please listen well, pay close attention, for despite your many foibles and follies, He might just call you to do something important for Him. And sadly Friends, this is the last episode of that engaging and entertaining saga titled ‘Jacob’s Harem.’ Hope you enjoyed it. And if you want more heart-racing drama, then just open the Good Book and read, cause it’s one big, excellent dramatic work, from Genesis 1 right through to Revelation 22. Much LOVE!…remember…happiness is what you make it…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 May 2010 Genesis 30:13‏

Genesis 30:13     And Leah said, Happy am I, for the daughters will call me blessed: and she called his name Asher.
 
Ah Friends, like the man said: ‘The party is over now, time to call it a day.’ Hope you all didn’t over do it, and that those going out to join the fray for the first time this week are well protected with the spiritual armour of Christ. Remember, without it, we’re like sitting ducks for Lucifer and his evil cronies. Anyway, let’s get right into the continuing saga of ‘Jacob’s Harem.’ Yesterday we left off where Leah couldn’t leave well enough alone, and after Rachel gave her maid, Bilhah, to Jacob and she bore him two sons, Dan and Naphtali, Leah also gave her maid, Zilpah, to Jacob, who in turn bore him two sons, Gad and Asher. That made 8 sons Jacob sired between the four, well really three women. I guess Leah was finally satisfied, seeing that she had again bested Rachel in the children’s sweepstakes, that led her to call her last son, Asher, Happy. In truth though Friends, that didn’t solve anything, for the scriptwriter, our God, wasn’t quite done. And it’s certainly interesting how He instigated the continuation of the feud. ‘And Reuben went in the days of the wheat harvest, and found mandrakes in the field, and brought them unto his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, Give me, I pray thee, of thy son’s mandrakes. And she said unto her, Is it a small matter that thou hast taken my husband? and wouldest thou take away my son’s mandrakes also? And Rachel said, Therefore he shall lie with thee tonight for thy son’s mandrakes. (Gen.30:14-15) Eat your hearts out, you nowadays soap opera writers! Would you believe they were sisters! Brother! And some of you are wondering what’s all the fuss over some mandrakes? No, it has nothing to do with the comic book character, Mandrake the Magician or male ducks. The scholars say it’s a herb of the belladonna family, with a yellow fruit the size of a small apple. So? That still doesn’t explain its importance in the story. Well take time nuh people! Remember more haste, less speed. I’m a writer, and in the age-old tradition of the most accomplished writer ever, our God, I’m just trying to string out the drama a little. (smile) Awright Friends, the truth is the mandrake was considered to have aphrodisiac properties. Yes! The ancients of the Eastern world believed it stirred up the sexual psyche, and of even more importance to our story, thought it aided in female conception. Thus Rachel’s great desire to have the mandrakes, hoping it would stimulate her fertility and help her conceive. But even in such a little matter the stupid feud between the two sisters continued. And poor Jacob, he seems to be just a pawn in the silly game being played by these angry, resentful jealous and envious women. ‘And Jacob came out of the field in the evening, and Leah went out to meet him, and said, Thou must come in unto me; for surely I have hired thee with my son’s mandrakes. And he lay with her that night.’ (Gen.30: 16) What a crazy situation eh! Just imagine the scene nuh: Jacob comes in from a hard day’s labour in the fields, undoubtedly tired and hungry, simply wanting a good meal and some rest, only to be met at the gate by wife number one informing him that he has to perform his husbandly duties with her that night, because she’s paid for the pleasure by giving wife number two, her son’s mandrakes, which she hopes would make her conceive. And yuh know what Friends, our God surely likes the underdog. ‘And God hearkened unto Leah, and she conceived, and bare Jacob the fifth son. And Leah said, God hath given me my hire, because I have given my maiden to my husband: and she called his name Issachar (Hire).’ (Gen.30:17-18) The Lord was certainly helping Leah to rub salt in Rachel’s wound, with more to come. ‘And Leah conceived again, and bare Jacob the sixth son. And Leah said, God hath endued me with a good dowry (endowment); now will my husband dwell with me, because I have born him six sons; and she called his name Zebulun (Dwelling). And afterward she bare a daughter, and called her name Dinah (Judgement).’ (Gen.30:19-21) Leah then had a household of nine children, six sons and a daughter she’d borne herself; Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun and Dinah, plus two other sons; Gad and Asher, through her maid Zilpah. Meanwhile Rachel, Jacob’s favourite, could only come up with two sons, Dan and Naphtali, through her maid Bilhah. Oh mih people, can you imagine the confusion and ill will in that family! No family under the sun could have such constant confrontation, petty jealousy, dislike and ‘one upmanship’ between the duelling matriarchs and not cause serious repercussions amongst their offspring as the Bible later outlines. Oh my people, it just goes to show the real debilitating and long lasting effects the green eyed monster and its negative companions can have on us and our families, if we’re not truly careful. But we’ve also got to give plenty credit to Jacob for standing up strong under the constant stress and strain the situation must have involved. Not too many men, especially those of today, could have lasted as long and as successfully as he did, under the same conditions. However Friends, unfortunately, that’s the end of today’s episode of ‘Jacob’s Harem.’ But be sure to tune in again tomorrow, God willing, for the concluding episode of this scintillating, heart-racing, knock your socks off, one of a kind, dramatic feature scripted by the Most High God Jehovah! Till then, Much LOVE!…the Good Book…the best reading and writing ever…
 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 May 2010 Genesis 30:13‏

Genesis 30:13     And Leah said, Happy am I, for the daughters will call me blessed: and she called his name Asher.

 

Ah Friends, it’s Monday, so you know what that means; time to ensure we have on our spiritual armour before heading out to do battle with Beelzebub and his flunkies in the new work week. Luckily though, some of us in the old British Colonies won’t have to do that until tomorrow, because today we’re celebrating the birthday of good, ole Queen Vic (Queen Victoria), that hardnosed monarch who ruled her domain with an iron fist and morality to match. This is really a special weekend in more ways than one, for it’s also Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit invaded the bodies of the disciples as they sat together in a house in Jerusalem, giving them some hitherto unheard of supernatural abilities. (Acts 2) It can also be considered the beginning of the Church as we know it, for previously the disciples were scared to move around after Jesus ascended, plus He’d told them to stay in Jerusalem until they were imbued with the Holy Ghost. Once that happened, they were rejuvenated, then boldly went out spreading the gospel. This Whitsuntide weekend was also the busiest when I was growing up in Tobago, with a big track and field and cycling show down at Shaw Park, where athletes from all over the world came to showcase their talents. But like the dodo bird, that’s been extinct for many years, replaced, I believe, by a boat race called the Great Race. Here in Ontario it also marks the start of the gardening, boating and cottage seasons. So there are lots of celebrations and activities in the Western hemisphere this weekend. And though summer isn’t officially due for another month, the summer madness has surely begun. It’s also time to continue looking at the highly dramatic life of Jacob while living in Padan-aram. Yesterday we saw how the great fraud artist was outsmarted by his father-in-law Laban, getting Jacob to work fourteen years for him and to marry his two daughters, Leah, the oldest, and Rachel, his heart’s desire. Having done all that without consulting the Lord, Jacob then showed public preference for Rachel. That obviously displeased the Lord and He intervened by blessing Leah with four sons, Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah, before she stopped having children, while Rachel remained barren. Unfortunately Friends, all of that was small time drama compared to what came later. And since nobody tells a story like the Good Book, let’s pick it up from where we left off yesterday. ‘And when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and said unto Jacob, Give me children, or else I die.’ (Gen.30:1) Yes my people, as expected, the green eyed monster (envy, jealousy) raises its ugly head, bringing its bosom chums of discontent, depression and death wishes with haunting suicidal inclinations. ‘And Jacob’s anger was kindled against Rachel: and he said, Am I in God’s stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb?’ (Gen.30:2) Poor Jacob! Though he was partly responsible for his dilemma, I wouldn’t wish that type of situation on my worst enemy. But Rachel refuses to give in or be appeased, and this is where the modern day soap opera writers are put to shame by the Good Book. ‘And she said, Behold my maid Bilhah, go in unto her; and she shall bear (to be) upon my knees, that I may also have children (be built up) by her. And she gave him Bilhah her handmaid to wife: and Jacob went into her.’ (Gen.30:3-4) Oh Friends, yuh see what kind of perverse and evil actions the green eyed monster can cause if we’re not very careful. A fourth party is now introduced into the equation; Rachel’s maid, Bilhah, along with adultery and infidelity, more ungodly behaviour. ‘And Bilhah conceived, and bare Jacob a son. And Rachel said, God hath judged me (my case), and hath also heard my voice, and hath given me a son: therefore she called his name Dan (Judge). And Bilhah Rachel’s maid conceived again, and bare Jacob a second son. And Rachel said, with great wrestlings (of God) have I wrestled with my sister, and I have prevailed: and she called his name Naphtali (My Wrestling). (Gen.30:5-8) What a bam-bam mih breddren! Apparently after all the hoopla, Rachel is quite pleased with herself, for she’s given her husband two sons, though they were conceived through her maid. Yuh see people, that’s another thing we didn’t start; surrogate motherhood, one woman bearing a child for another. The Good Book was way ahead of us. (smile) But just like yesteryear, surrogate motherhood is still causing all sorts of problems today. Ah Friends, if only the stupid rivalry had ended there, but unfortunately, human nature being stubborn, selfish and always wanting to prevail, it continued, in fact it got worse. ‘When Leah saw that she had left bearing, she took Zilpah her maid, and gave her to Jacob to wife.’ (Poor fella!) ‘And Zilpah Leah’s maid bare Jacob a son. And Leah said, A troop (fortune) cometh: and she called his name Gad (Fortune). And Zilpah Leah’s maid bare Jacob a second son. And Leah said, Happy am I, for the daughters will call me blessed: and she called his name Asher (Happy). (Gen.30:9-13) Hn, hn! Jacob surely was a man of plenty parts yes! I guess in some circles today he would be considered a hero; a man amongst men, for his dalliance with four women in the same household at the same time. But all I can say is, better him than me yes! I want no part of such a relationship. Living with one woman is hard enough, much less four. Steups! But people, yuh see the long line of unholy events that one single act of deceit can trigger. If Laban had not deceived Jacob into marrying Leah, then probably none of the jealousy, intrigue and ungodliness would have happened. Anyway Friends, that’s today’s episode of ‘Jacob’s Harem.’ Tune in tomorrow, God willing, for the next episode in the continuing saga of Jacob’s unconventional life. Till then, Much LOVE!…in each life there must be sunshine and rain…but only God knows…how much of each…where and when…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 May 2010 Genesis 30:13‏

Genesis 30:13     And Leah said, Happy am I, for the daughters will call me blessed: and she called his name Asher.

 

Please Friends, ‘Don’t worry. Be happy!’ Many of you will remember that li’l ditty made famous some years ago by the now deceased Bobby McFerrin. Many turned up their noses in disgust when it made number one on the music charts, because in their highfalutin, pretentious belief it was too trite, simple and clichéd. But in reality the music charts today contain so much garbage, it’s not funny. Anyway Friends, though things may be trite, simple and clichéd, nonetheless they are very often true, and that’s what we should always be seeking after; the truth. And our current, whiny, angry, resentful, miserable, unhappy world would be a whole lot better off if we’d simply adopt the saying. The problem though is that what accounts for happiness is different for everyone. And here’s a quote from George du Marier that excellently describes that phenomenon. ‘Happiness is like time and space – we make and measure it ourselves; it is as fancy, as big, as little, as you please; just a thing of contrasts and comparisons.’ Yes my people, that’s why the man with a million dollars can be unhappy, while the pauper trills with happiness. We all set our own standards of happiness, and each one can be different, but still capable of bringing immeasurable happiness to each individual. I’m tending to liken happiness to the song that says the Promised Land is not a physical place, but a state of mind. The same way happiness depends on our state of mind, what we consider it to be. It can be the same for many, yet different for everyone. That brings us to our Bit. Hn! I had to chuckle when I re-read the account of Jacob’s life as a sort of indentured servant to his father-in-law Laban. It would make a great soap opera with all the elements of drama; deceit, infidelity, bigamy, greed, distrust, resentment, envy, anger, and whatever else your li’l ole heart desires. It’s got it all! And there we go with our presumptuous selves thinking that we invented the soap opera! (smile) Anyhow, the gist of the story is that Jacob worked for Laban for seven years, with the promise that he would then be allowed to marry Laban’s younger daughter, Rachel, whom he LOVED. But when the time comes, Laban outsmarts Jacob and he ends up marrying Leah, the older daughter instead. Leah wasn’t bad looking, but apparently Rachel was beautiful and more importantly, Jacob LOVED her. As expected, Laban, the perpetrator of the ruse, had the perfect excuse: ‘It must not be so done in our country, to give the younger before the first born: Fulfill her week, we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years.’ (Gen.30:26-27) So Jacob, finding himself between a rock and a hard place, spent the customary week feasting and partying, then he married Rachel and spent another seven years serving Laban. Wow! As the scholars point out, Jacob accepts both wives without seeking God’s direction in the matter. And characteristically, he was deceived the same way he deceived his brother Esau to get their father, Isaac’s blessing. (Gen.27) ‘The deceiver had been out-deceived at last!’ What goes around, certainly does come around, boomerang style! Mr. Hotstuff Jacob then had not only two wives at the same time, but also two sisters as wives, not always the wisest move, and compounded it by glaringly showing his preference for Rachel. And we all know that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned! So from the very start, the sisters tried to outdo each other with all the by-products of greed, enmity, envy and the host of negative stuff that crops up in that kind of situation. The negative seeds of drama and unhappiness were sown from the word go. And Friends, as I keep reminding us, the Lord is the best dramatist ever. Hear this next verse. ‘And when the Lord saw that Leah was hated (UNLOVED), he opened her womb; but Rachel was barren.’ (Gen.30:31) Now isn’t that fertile soil for much confusion, especially in a society that prized children, while the barren was despised? Ah mih people, the Spirit is at work here yes. I never intended to get so deep into the story, that’s why I spoke about the gist of it earlier on, but now the Spirit’s showing me that to do it justice, I have to go deeper. And since the Spirit is wisdom personified, and I pride myself on my obedience, I have no choice. (smile) So let’s take it straight from the Good Book. ‘And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben (See, a Son): for she said, Surely the Lord hath looked upon my affliction; now therefore my husband will LOVE me. And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Because the Lord hath heard that I was hated, he hath therefore given me this son also: and she called his name Simeon (Heard). And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Now this time will my husband be joined (become attached) unto me, because I have born him three sons: therefore was his name called Levi (Attached). And she conceived again, and bare a son: and she said, Now will I praise the Lord: therefore she called his name Judah (Praise); and left (stopped) bearing.’ (Gen.30:32-35) Ah Friends, haven’t we all seen that kind of thing, even possibly been involved in it too? However, like Leah, we have to stop writing here for today. Come tomorrow though, God willing, we’ll continue this juicy tale. And who says the Good Book isn’t a worthy read eh? Even if you take out the religious aspects, no other book ever written can match it for story telling. It has all the essentials of the craft, and in abundance too. Whatever ideas man has come up with over the years, the Good Book already has them. That’s why it’s still considered the BEST BOOK ever written. But what else would you expect from a great God like ours eh? Much LOVE!…to obtain wisdom and knowledge…don’t watch the tube…read the Good Book..

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 May 2010 Matthew 14:27‏

Matthew 14:27     But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.

 

Well it’s the weekend again Friends, so don’t forget fellowship in your short downtime of fun and frolic. I know that’s very easy to do, but if we want to grow in Christ, we need to congregate with others; we can’t do it just by ourselves, in a sort of vacuum. Now yesterday we saw how fear can strangle us, while suppressing it and emboldening ourselves with courage allows us to do even supernatural feats, such as walking on water, like Peter. But note, as soon as his fear returned and surpassed the intensity of his courage, he lost that ability, causing him to start sinking and fearfully calling out to Jesus to save him, which He did. And we also heard Jesus’ light rebuke: ‘O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?’ (Mat.14:31) And right there is the crux of the whole problem people; the question of faith, which is closer to being the opposite of fear than courage, for it is faith that gives us the courage to overcome fear and all our obstacles in life. Peter’s faith was strong when he first stepped out of the boat, so he was enabled, but as soon as the reality of the situation really hit him, his faith quickly dissipated and his enormous fear returned, so he lost that ability. And so it usually is with us all in our many walks of life. When we staunchly believe, embrace a strong faith in Jesus, we are empowered to do many things. But likewise, when our faith is at low ebb, we find it difficult to accomplish any thing worthwhile, because we simply don’t believe we can do it, there isn’t that essence of reassurance within us that’s only placed there by strong, unwavering faith. And the next two verses of scripture paint an interesting picture. ‘And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.’ (Mat.14:32-33)  The difference here is that the disciples believed and worshipped Jesus after, or because they saw Him walking on the water, and the strong winds immediately ceased after He entered the boat. I guess that’s faith in the sense that seeing is believing; once you see, then you believe. But according to Bruh Paul true ‘faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (conviction) of things not seen.’ (Heb.11:1) If we have to see something before we believe it, then that’s not true faith. ‘For we walk by faith, not by sight.’ (2 Cor.5:7) So one could argue that the disciples on the storm tossed sea didn’t abound in true faith, for it was only after they saw Jesus do things that an ordinary man couldn’t do (walk on water, still the wind) that they truly believed He was the Messiah. However, here is a true testimony of real faith. It deals with Bruh Paul, who had no dealings with Christ while he was on earth, but turned out to be one of the most faithful believers. After he’d been arrested in Jerusalem and brought before the Jewish Council, soldiers had to take him away to safety in a nearby castle for the crowd was ready to lynch him. ‘And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul, for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.’ (Acts 22:11) Now there was nothing for Bruh Paul to see, he just had to go on his gut feeling; the faith built up in him during his time of service to the Lord, and all the eventful situations that the Lord had safely guided him through. Then what happens? A young man overhears that a group of more than forty dissidents were plotting to lynch him when they took him back to the council and he warns Bruh Paul and the soldiers and other arrangements are made. (Acts 23:12-22) Again on Bruh Paul’s voyage to Rome, the ship encounters a terrible storm and it seems that they would all perish, but after a bout of fasting and prayer, he confronts the others on board, and says: ‘And now I exhort (urge) you to be of good cheer (take heart): for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship. For there stood by me this night, the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. Wherefore sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.’ (Acts 27:22-25) Now that’s what you call faith my Friends! Bruh Paul believed that he would end up alive in Rome, regardless of the adversity along the way. My people, can we dial up that unwavering kind of faith when we’re faced with adversity? We should…well possibly not as much as Bruh Paul, because he was in a class all by himself, but we should surely be able to call up enough to stand strong in tough times, by remembering all the Lord’s done for us in the past, what He’s now doing and all His awesome promises for the future. If we can’t do that my people, then our faith isn’t serving us well, for that’s one of its most important purposes. It’s therefore necessary for us to build up our stock of faith if we want to endure as true believers, because it’s out faith that really makes us strong in times of tribulation. In fact we’re only as strong as our faith. The stronger it is, the better we can bear tribulation. The catch 22 situation though is that faith is built on the back of adversity; it needs adversity to strengthen it. However, don’t worry, as Jesus said; ‘Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.’ But we need to keep reading and meditating on His Word, talking to Him and storing His promises deep in our souls, so that when the trials do come, as they surely will, Jesus will be well entrenched in us, and we can calmly reassure ourselves and others: ‘Don’t be afraid; Jesus is here and he will certainly help us.’ Oh Friends, that’s the kind of mountain moving faith we need to aspire to, if we’re going to be successful in this ungodly, evil world. So let’s start seriously building it nuh! Much LOVE!  …only faith can conquer fear…

 

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