Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 April 2020 Matthew 10:22.

Matthew 10:22.    ​And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
 
Welcome friends, to Thursday April 30 in the year of our Lord 2020 – the year of the Coronavirus pandemic! Unfortunately, some three months in, the deadly virus is still causing havoc and confusion amongst us. Nothing much has changed. We still don’t know anything much about it, but everybody has their opinions. Hn! What a bam bam! Now the panic is increasingly becoming not only about contracting the virus, but more about work, money and food, as a serious shortage is beginning to show up in those vital areas. 

And believe me, I wouldn’t want to be a political leader in these times at all, because the virus has dropped them right between the proverbial rock and a hard place, the devil and the deep blue sea, for now the decision has to be made between the medical and economic fronts; either save people and keep social distancing going, or save the economy and open back up the business, which at this crucial time could lead to a worsening of the medical situation. You’re damned if you do either, because there are strong sentiments in the populace for both actions. So friends, let’s pray that our leaders get it right yes, else we’re in for a long, extremely difficult time. 

But here’s something I heard a preacher recently talk about, something called the Stockdale Paradox, coined by the author Jim Collins in his book ‘Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t.’ And does it ever  seem rather appropriate to our current situation. Apparently Admiral Stockdale, a Navy Pilot spent seven years as a Vietnam prisoner of war and surprisingly he witnessed that those prisoners who were optimists were dying before the pessimists, because after several disappointing episodes of predicting freedom, they lost their hope and gave up. The pessimists, already without hope just went about their business in pessimistic fashion and died off as expected. (smile) 

When asked how he managed to keep his sanity and faith, despite several severe bouts of torture, the Admiral replied: ‘I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade.’ Imagine thinking and doing that in a prisoner of war camp nuh!  And he added: ‘You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can never afford to lose—with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.’ 

What words of awesome wisdom my people! Words that I believe will certainly help us in these scary and confusing times. Faith will allow us to believe that we will eventually prevail, but we must also be wise and disciplined enough to recognize and confront the hard and unrelenting facts of what we’re currently going through. I think we saw that principle magnificently epitomized in Jesus, especially during His torment in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before His crucifixion. 

Yes, as a human being, He was terrified of having to face the cross, so much so that three times He prayed ‘Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine be done.’ (Luke 22:42.) The Good Book further says: ‘And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.’ (Luke 22:43-44) Yeh friends, Jesus certainly didn’t have it easy. 

And the scholars offer these interesting explanations: ‘22:43-44. Only Luke notes this. Jesus is borne up in His hour of greatest need, when He must intercede not only for Himself but for His followers, who are about to leave Him in the lurch. Agony appears only here in the New Testament; it points to the intensity of Jesus’ struggle. Surely Jesus wrestles, not so much with death itself, but with His own destiny to be made the sin-bearer for all mankind for all the ages. The punishment that had to be borne for our sins brings Jesus to His knees in anguish.’ 

But as the Son of Man, the Son of God, Jesus knew that was His major purpose for coming to earth was to be the sacrificial lamb for sin, and He really couldn’t escape it. He also knew though that He would win the battle eventually and be resurrected victoriously from the grave. So like Admiral Stockdale said, He didn’t lose faith, although things seemed rather dim, but also faced the reality of His crucifixion, knowing that He would win in the end. And that’s the exact kind of behaviour we believers need to exhibit in these trying times my brethren! 

We know that we will win in the end, Jesus has promised it: ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.’ So we need now to hold on tightly to that promise, while wisely facing our current reality. Remember our motto for this Covid-19 season: ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power (His Holy Spirit), and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) Let’s use them nuh. And in addition to those attributes, we also have our Thursday Blessings, such wonderful blessings that God has also given to us so we can perform His awesome work down here on planet earth. 

So let’s declare them now nuh, in strong voice, with truly sincere hearts: ‘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 let’s go out and generously share those blessings as the Lord greatly desires. Much LOVE!

…strong faith…with wisdom…and endurance…win the crown every time…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 April 2020 Daniel 2:20.

Daniel 2:20.    ​Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever; for wisdom and might are his: 
 
Isn’t it amazing friends, how the days pass quickly and quietly by, regardless of what’s taking place on the world stage? Yeh, God’s plan for nature stays right in place, continues daily, from morning to night, and back again, whether we are at war, or peace, rejoicing or mourning. Winter moves to spring, then summer shows up, with fall right on its heels, then winter is once again with us, as though it never left. And the days of the week simply follow suit and go about their business, one after the other in a most orderly fashion, despite rain or shine, snow or sleet. 

Hn! What does that tell us about Mother Nature eh? That she’s well oiled and wisely made, and her Creator was filled with knowledge and wisdom, diligence and excellence, and knew exactly what He was about! Wish I could say that about the majority of us! (smile) And who could be wiser than the One, the God, the Deity who created the world, the entire universe and all therein eh? That’s the One and Only True Living God Jehovah; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! 

And we have everlasting proof of His might and wisdom when the most powerful man then on earth, the King of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, desired his wise men; soothsayers, astrologers and all those who claimed more than ordinary wisdom to tell him his dream and then explain what it meant. The Good Book gives us this account of the situation. 

‘The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can show the king’s matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean. And it is a rare (difficult) thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can show it before (no one who can tell it to) the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with the flesh.’ (Dan. 2:10:11) 

And the speaker there was quite right, except for one thing; ‘the gods.’ There are no gods, just the ONE GOD, who made heaven and earth and all therein! Then the Good Book tells us that Daniel when he heard of the situation where the wise men would be killed if they couldn’t do the king’s bidding, he went home and prayed with his Hebrew friends; ‘That they would desire (might seek) mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish (be destroyed) with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.’ (Dan. 2:18) 

You’ll notice friends, that Daniel and his buddies prayed to ‘the God of heaven,’ to One God, the One who made the heaven and earth and all therein! Consequently: ‘Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.’ (Dan. 2:19) Oh my people, our God is not only mighty and magnificent but also magnanimous and generous and gives with an open hand to those who sincerely and humbly bow before Him with a right heart and attitude. 

No wonder Daniel could then declare (oh no!) with such confidence these memorable words: ‘Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever; for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth (raises) up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know (have) understanding: He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth in him. I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired (asked) of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the  king’s matter.’ (Dan. 2:20-23)  

Yuh see friends, I wasn’t lying up above when I attributed all those mighty attributes to our God! (smile) Yes my people, He is indeed the ONE and ONLY GOD! A LIVING GOD to boot! There is none else like Him in all the world! And that’s an indisputable fact, as well as the gospel truth! And if you don’t believe Daniel, then listen to the psalmist. ‘Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah). Praise (shout Hallelujah), O ye servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord. Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and for evermore. 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, Who humbleth himself to behold that things that are in heaven, and in the earth! He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill (ash heap); That he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people. He maketh (causes) the barren (childless) woman to keep house (dwell in a home), and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah to His blessed name!)’ (Ps. 113:1-9) 

And all throughout the Good Book there are numerous examples of God’s great exploits and mercies to those who believe in Him, have constant faith, surrender their souls to him, and try their best to be obedient to His will! And He’s still in the people business even to this day friends! So whatever help you need today, or any other day, simply turn to Him and ask with a sincere heart, and He will grant your request. Now let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know of our wonderful and most enviable position in Christ nuh, so that they too can aspire to it.  

All together now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And if we sincerely continue to do all that, then the future will indeed be more glorious than we can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…to GOD be the glory…for ever and ever…for His is the greatness…the power…the honour…the victory…and the majesty…both in heaven and on earth…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 April 2020 Isaiah 33:22.

Isaiah 33:22.    For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us.
 

And it’s a cloudy, drizzly Tuesday morning…Thank the Lord for Life and some spring blessing, so that in these cold and dry northern climes, His earth can return to it its wonderful green and flowery nature! Yeh friends, whatever the situations or circumstances in our individual lives and our overall world, we need to give our heavenly Father much thanks and praise for His LOVING-kindness and mercy and grace to us undeserving children of men. For without those benefits, we’d be lost forever in a state of sin, shame, disgrace and eventual death! 

Now here’s a poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that brings home that very truth. It’s most appropriately titled ‘Wrong Question.’ Please pray with me: ‘My faithful God I see afresh this morning The grave error of my question “Don’t You LOVE me anymore?” I ought always to ask instead “How can You LOVE me so continually With such immeasurable LOVE?” Now that my fellow saints in Christ is the zillion dollar question – how can a holy, just and righteous Deity LOVE a bunch of ingrates so much eh? 

Well the answer is really quite simple: our God is also a God of LOVE, of mercy, of grace and of forgiveness, and above all, we are His own creation, created to have purposeful fellowship and communion with Him, so it’s obvious that He can’t simply throw us away even though we’re rather disobedient and sinful! Remember too that He’s also the God of second, third, fourth and unlimited chances. So it would be against His very nature to just cast us off without any form of help. As Bruh Paul told Timothy: ‘If we believe not (are faithless), yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.’ (2 Tim. 2:13) 

Yes friends, the Lord cannot deny what He is, or go against His natural attributes. And remember too, He promised to redeem mankind after He kicked our forefathers Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden for their unfaithfulness. So it’s finally come right around full circle: the Lord’s kept His word and gave us a Saviour in Christ Jesus, redemption and salvation bought and paid for by His precious blood shed sacrificially on the cross at Calvary. So alright, I said it was simple, and to the Lord it was and is; though to us it might seem rather convoluted. (smile) 

But precious people, all we need to know and believe is that Christ died to save us, and true belief in Him and His righteous cause will lead us to eternal life. And a li’l while ago, when I opened the Good Book, what positive and proactive and promising scripture do you think it opened at eh? Hear the voice of the prophet Isaiah: ‘For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us.’ Mama Mia! That says it all my brethren! The Lord God of Israel is all of those things to us, and we need to badly acknowledge Him as them if we want to see long life and good days. 

Unfortunately though, our world has turned away from God and has made the prince of darkness it’s new leader. But friends, lemme tell you a li’l ‘secrat’ nuh; the Lord is not going to allow the fallen angel Lucifer to usurp His earthly creation, just like He didn’t allow him to usurp His heavenly kingdom. So for all of those who want to put their trust in Satan now, it will be a sad day for them when that day of judgement arrives, as it most certainly will. The Good Book says it quite plainly: ‘And it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement:’ (Heb. 9:27) 

And then it will be too late to change our minds, so please, please, I beg of us, let’s disassociate ourselves from the darkness of the world nuh, and instead seek the light, the bright, shining and everlasting light of Jesus, for in Him will we find the true life, the true reason for living! And I just got a good allegory for that: like we doing social distancing now for Covid-19, the same way we ought to do social distancing from Satan! Oh yes, I likes it! It’s rather appropriate! Let’s keep our social distance from this world and all it’s sinful temptations and cling to that Master vine that’s Jesus, so that crapaud don’t smoke we pipe when the end times come. 

That’s wisdom at its highest mih people, so please let’s joyfully embrace it now nuh. As Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) defines wisdom: something you do now that will benefit you later on down the road of life! And believe me, clinging to Jesus is the most beneficial thing we can ever do in this life! And the scripture verses for the poem above is also rather apropos for today’s discussion. They’re taken from, or rather all of Psalm 117 – ‘The truth of the Lord endureth forever.’ 

So please declare (steups!) with me: ‘O Praise (glorify) the Lord, all ye nations (gentiles): praise (glorify) him, all ye people. For his merciful (LOVING) kindness is great towards us: and the truth of the Lord endureth forever. Praise (glorify) ye the Lord.’ (Ps. 117:1-2) And it couldn’t be said, any sweeter or shorter than that nuh mih bredrin. So let’s do it right now nuh; praise and glorify our magnificent and magnanimous God by declaring (Steups! Like I have to go back to school and learn to spell declare (yeah!) and its derivations yes!) our Tuesday Mantra. 

So in strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ And though the Coronavirus and social distancing might bridle us a bit, they certainly won’t stop us from sharing Christ’s LOVE and friendship with the many others who desperately need it in these calamitous times! Much LOVE!

…it’s definitely foolish…for one created…to trust another created…more than their common Creator…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 April 2020 Psalm 63:3.

Psalm 63:3.    Because thy LOVING-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.
 

And then it was Monday… a new day and a new week, but the world was still in panic and pandemic mode. However, true believers in Almighty God were calm and peaceful, as they faithfully declared like Bruh David did when he was running in the wilderness of Judah from his many enemies: ‘O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.’ (Ps. 63:1) Ah friends, many of us figuratively feel like we’re in a wilderness without water today because of our many unsolvable problems, some of us might even be literally in a dry desert. 

But please take heart, the Lord knows our situations, and He’s in the process of fixing them, we just have to remain faithful and stick close to Him, as Jesus so powerfully and truthfully declared: ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) He couldn’t have put it any plainer than that. So there are two basic things we need to do this early Monday morning, in fact every morning. The first thing is to stick close to our great God, then the next is to seek His face early with prayer; hopefully as soon as we are consciously awake. 

Yes, we don’t even have to get out of bed, before we offer some thanks and praise, and asking for health and wisdom to have a good day while being obedient to His will. And that will usually set the tone for our day; allowing the Lord to get into our soul and spirit first, rather than give Beelzebub the first chance to corrupt our fragile and tender souls. For as Bruh David continued, two verses down: ‘Because thy LOVING-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.’ 

Wow mih people! What a powerful, and oh so truthful statement! The Lord’s mercy is indeed better than life…in fact it is life giving, in the sense that without His abundant mercy, we wouldn’t have any life at all, since we have all sinned and come short of His glory, and the penalty for sin is death. But because mercy is not receiving what we deserve, He’s been merciful to a fault and allowed us to have salvation and eternal life! And yes, I did digress a tad there, (smile) but I thought it was important to point out that small matter. Hn, hn! 

So where were we? Oh yeh! We were talking about sticking to Jesus like white on rice, and seeking His face in prayer early everyday. Now assuming that we’ve already stuck to Him, let’s seek His face in prayer through our Monday Morning Covid-19 Battle Hymn nuh. As one body now, with sincere hearts: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive, and hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. 

Despite the crucial lockdown, those of us considered essential, still have go to work, and we’re somewhat fearful, because we have no idea, how, when and where the virus might strike. Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction. 

Please show us how to successfully handle this scourge that’s plaguing the earth, and help the scientists to find a positive solution, a sure antidote to it as quickly as possible. And for those who have already contracted the virus, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. Father, please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again we say: Amen!’ 

And yuh know what friends, because the Lord judges us by the state of our hearts and not our mouths, and our hearts just now were truly sincere, we know that the Lord will answer our prayer, just in His own time! And that’s the part that gives us trouble; the waiting for His timing. But as He says, His thoughts and ways are higher than ours, so if we’re smart, we’ll just wait with a good attitude, until He achieves whatever He desired to achieve when He allowed the deadly virus to proliferate in such a worldwide manner. 

Consequently, wisdom decrees that we declare and behave like Bruh David continues after our Bit. ‘Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow (the best; lit. fat) and fatness (abundance); and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips; When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches. Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. My soul followeth hard after (close behind) thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.’ (Ps. 63:4-8) 

And that last clause is the gospel truth my fellow saints in Christ – the Lord’s strong right hand is what upholds us in this earthly pilgrimage. And when we remember all that the Lord’s already done for us, is now doing, and has promised to do in the future, then ought our mouths to loudly sing His praises through joyful lips, and our attachment to Him, never falter, as we constantly seek His face, early in the morning, during the day, and late at night. That’s how true saints, true believers ought to live my brethren! Much LOVE!

…to know, know, know Him…is to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Him…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 April 2020 Matthew 28:19.

Matthew 28:19.    Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 
 

Aye mih bredrin, we’re back to Sunday, the Lord’s Day, and we still don’t have the option to fellowship together in the Lord’s sanctuary because of the social distancing business, but that’s never stopped us before, and believe me, it won’t stop us today either because we have technology! Technology, the wizardry that allows us to communicate live and in person across major distances, so though we can’t hug and kiss and shake hands, we can still celebrate the Lord’s Day with thanks and praise and reading of His Word and getting His assurance and confidence to successfully handle our difficult circumstances. 

I don’t know how our forefathers managed during their time of plagues and pandemic problems. But they still managed to hand down the gospel to us. Yet we, with all our technology, can’t get it into our children’s heads. But that’s another story for another day. So let’s get to some praise and worship to open the proceedings. And today’s song is of the contemporary Christian genre, titled ‘I’m just a Nobody.’ 

Now there seems to be at least two versions, each with different lyrics in the verses, one a soulful version by the Williams Brothers, but we’re going to follow the Casting Crowns version featuring Matthew West; a rocking, raunchy, good times one, with lots of clapping, dancing, and of course singing! (smile) We’ll begin with some hand clapping, in three fourths time, then sing the first line of the chorus three times acapella, then get into the full chorus as the music comes up. So here goes: clap, clap: ‘I’m just a nobody…clap, clap: I’m just a nobody…clap, clap: I’m just a nobody…’ and then music and everybody going crazy! 

‘Chorus: I’m just a nobody, trying to tell everybody, all about Somebody, who saved my soul. Ever since You rescued me, You gave my heart a song to sing. I’m living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus! I’m living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus!)  Why you ever chose me, has always been a mystery. All my life, I’ve been told I belong, at the end of the line. With all the other “Not Quites” with all the “Never-Get-it Rights” But it turns out, they’re the ones you’ve been looking for all this time, (Chorus:  Cause I’m just a nobody… living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus!) 

Moses had stage fright, and David brought a rock to a sword fight, You picked twelve outsiders, nobody would have ever chosen, and you changed the world. Well the moral of the story is, Everybody’s got a purpose. So when I hear that devil start talking to me saying, “Who do you think you are?” (Chorus: I say, I’m just a nobody… living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus!) So let me go down, down, down in history, as another blood-bought faithful member of the family. And if they all forget my name, well, that’s fine with me. I’m living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus… 

So let me go down, down, down in history, as another blood-bought faithful member of the family…That’s all I ever want to be… And if they all forget my name, well, that’s fine with me. I’m living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus… Cause I’m just a nobody, trying to tell everybody, all about Somebody, who saved my soul. Ever since You rescued me, You gave my heart a song to sing. I’m living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus! I’m living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus! I’m living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus!’ 

Oh yes friends, that was indeed a happily sung ditty; one of hope, faith and rejoicing! And I like what one web site says about the song: ‘The lyrics describe how God uses ordinary people to spread the Gospel of Jesus! We are all flawed, yet the Lord has a purpose for us. In our joy of having been forgiven, we excitedly point to the forgiver, Jesus Christ!’ And all God’s people said a loud and grateful ‘Amen!’ And that’s indeed our main purpose in this life my brethren; to ‘excitedly point to the forgiver;’ to spread the gospel of Christ with unyielding zest and holy enthusiasm. 

As Jesus declared to His disciples: ‘All power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:18-20) And that my people is what we refer to as ‘the Great Commission!’ And moreover, against all odds, the disciples were indeed able to do that seemingly impossible task; twelve poor, uneducated men charged with proselytizing the entire world! 

And they certainly laid a good foundation for us to further build onLet’s not forget that we are Christ’s arms, legs, head, hands and body in this dark and sinful world, and that He’s depending on us to show the lost the light of His gospel and lead them to Him so they can be saved; forgiven, granted salvation through grace, which leads to eternal life. Remember Jesus memorable words about why He came into the world: ‘For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.’ (Matt.18:11) And that philosophy hasn’t changed down through the ages friends, which means we still need to show interest in and help those lost in the darkness of Satan’s world. 

Jesus also made His Father’s intentions quite clear in these momentous and memorable words that we all know: ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:16-17) 

Let’s remember that this Sunday friends, as we are unable to worship in physical proximity, and realize in that sense, we are still the lost, and that we still need saving from the Coronavirus, and that Jesus is the ONLY ONE who can do it! Much LOVE!

…without Jesus…we’re all hopelessly lost…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 April 2020 Mark 6:50b.

Mark 6:50b.    Be of good cheer (take courage); it is I; be not afraid.
 
And the world keeps turning, like the Lord planned it to: it’s pages quietly and unconcernedly rolling along from one day to the next, regardless of what happens from one day to the next! (smile) And it’s finally rolled around to this Saturday in what’s supposed to be spring time, but we haven’t seen any rain in such a long time that the old adage ‘April showers bring May flowers’ is in danger of not being true this year of the Coronavirus. But what else is new eh? Cousin Sol said long ago that there’s nothing new under the sun. Yes: ‘The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.’ (Eccl. 1:9) 

And yuh know, if the wisest man ever said that, then it ought to be so. (smile) But it also shows up in our age old cliché that ‘History repeats itself.’ And that is oh so true. If we look back we can see every powerful society that ever walked the earth making the same mistake of getting too full of themselves, too big for their britches, replacing God with man made idols as they obtained some basic knowledge of life, and then getting fat and lazy off of their prosperity, which meant they stopped growing and began falling behind into eventual oblivion. 

And the same thing is happening in our current society, and our current worldwide trouble is simply a reflection of our stubbornness, hard heartedness and highly egotistical nature. It’s a wake up call from the Creator to the created, warning that we’re on the edge of a terrible precipice, and if we don’t heed the warning and repent and turn back to Him, a whole lot more damage will be done to our world. He who has ears to hear, let him hear! End of sermon! And friends I’m chuckling here, because I never came out to preach this morning, but that’s where I was led, so please take it easy on the ole fella nuh. 

But moving right along, since it’s Saturday, that lazy, late wake up day – most days are like that now though – let’s see what interesting quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a brighter tomorrow…and do we ever need one! And he seems to have been on progress kick this past week. Hear this first quote: ‘Delay is the enemy of progress.’ And so it is! Laziness and procrastination, and anything else that keeps us from doing what we have to do, is in fact delaying our progress. We can’t progress unless we get up off our fat fannies and do what we need to do! 

And the next quote also declares a great truth: ‘Comfort is the enemy of progress.’ Yes my people, as we said above, that’s why most societies eventually die. We start out by working hard and making progress, then when we reach a certain point of prosperity, we believe we can now rest on our laurels and enjoy what we have. But the sad fact of the matter is that continued prosperity depends on continued hard work, and resting comfortable on one’s laurels only eats away at said prosperity. 

It’s like your savings in the bank. The more you put in the more you will have, but when you stop putting in and only withdraw, then it will wither away li’l by li’l until it runs out. Well it’s the same way with progress and prosperity. Unless you keep building, working and saving, you will stop making progress and eventually fall. 

Now hear this one: ‘Some quit due to slow progress. Never grasping the fact that slow progress is progress.’ That’s more gospel truth my brethren! Good progress is usually a creeping thing that includes some failure in between. We don’t just begin something today, if it’s a worthwhile project, put in a li’l elbow grease and declare victory or significant progress tomorrow. No friends, progress is a time consuming thing, and ofttimes needs a lot of blood, sweat and tears before it can be significantly achieved. 

And that’s a major problem for this generation. We the parents have not taught the children sufficiently about waiting and working and being satisfied or contented with a little, that’s why they’re all going crazy, feeling entitled to everything while not wanting to work for or make a sacrifice for anything! That thing called true progress is ever so slow my people that sometimes you can’t even see it, although you know you’re making it. So let’s not quit when it looks like positive things are not happening for us nuh. It just means that the Lord is working in the background, doing the hard and dirty work that’s necessary to move us forward. 

In light of all that, it is therefore necessary for us to quickly befriend this next quote and hold on to it tightly, as our very lives may depend on it. ‘Courage means to keep making forward progress while you still feel afraid.’ And isn’t that the living truth! All of us feel afraid at some time or other in our lives, so it’s not a matter of never being afraid, or never having fear, for fear is a natural aspect of human life. But the important thing there is like Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) puts it: ‘doing it afraid.’ That’s what courage is really all about; doing what we need to despite the fear or anxiety we might feel. 

And the only thing that really conquers fear is faith! That’s why the most used command or warning in the Good Book is ‘Fear not! Do not be afraid!’ Moses said it thus to the Israelites when they were leaving Egypt and the massive Egyptian army was hot on their heels: ‘Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation (deliverance) of the Lord, which he will show to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more for ever.’ (Ex. 14:13) And that promise did come true in spades as the entire Egyptian army was drowned in the Red Sea when the Lord closed it back up. 

And the psalmist gives us this small but everlasting treasure: ‘The Lord is on my side, I will not fear: what can man do unto me?’ (Ps.118:6) Yes friends, if the Lord is on our side, man cannot prevail over us. And Isaiah drives it home on the Lord’s behalf. ‘Say to them that are of a fearful heart, be strong, fear not: behold your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense: he will come and save you.’ (Is. 35:4) And he did exactly that through His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

And when Jesus walked on water towards His disciples and they were afraid, His comforting words were simply: ‘Be of good cheer (take courage); it is I; be not afraid.’  Yes my people, simple, but oh so reassuring words from our Master. That’s the beauty of His philosophy and words! 

And we’ll end with this most important warning from Bruh Paul to Timothy in his tough times, which we all ought to know by now, even if we didn’t know it before Covid-19. (smile) ‘For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power (His Holy Spirit), and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) Now let’s go out and use those marvellous gifts in His work nuh! Much LOVE!

…fear and courage…two sides of the same coin…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 April 2020 Matthew 4:4.

Matthew 4:4.    ​It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
 

Aye mih people, it’s another day in the life; another uncomfortable and unpredictable day in the sojourn, the pandemic and panic of Covid-19, with no end really in sight as yet, just more confusion, so let’s do the wise and smart thing and begin our day with some age old encouragement nuh, some acclamations that have been tried and tested and found rather useful down through the ages of time! And if that isn’t a Bruh Paulian sentence, I don’t know what is! (smile) 

So please declare out loud with me: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps. 118:24) And on top of that: ‘God will supply ALL of my needs according to His riches in glory through Christ Jesus, our wonderful Lord and Saviour!’ (Phil. 4:19) Mama Yo! What could be more encouraging than that eh? Well this: ‘I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me!’ (Phil. 4:13) And yuh feel that divine and supernatural strength just flowing through your veins now mih people? I know you do! Because we just know that ‘If God is for us, who the hell can be against us eh? (Rom. 8:31) Not a single, bloody soul my faithful brethren! 

Because He is the most powerful being in the universe, and if He’s got our back, then we’re safe like nobody or nothing else can make us! Therefore, with ALL of that wonderful stuff going for us from and through our omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent Creator, we can truly and faithfully declare these marvellous words that Joshua declared so long ago: ‘As for me and my house, we WILL serve the Lord!’ (Josh. 24:15) Yes, precious people, as long as we draw breath on this earth, regardless of whatever trials and tribulations may come against us, let us not stray from that tried and true path that leads through Jesus Christ, right to the throne room of Almighty God in the high heavens! Amen! 

And I don’t know about you all, but that has certainly energized me! (smile) So, since it’s Friday, let’s hear what the ordinary, most likely out of work, workingman has to say nuh. And as always, he opens with: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday!’ (but not with his usual enthusiasm and expectant tone.) ‘Chuh! But that sounds so hollow though, since there’s nothing to look forward to. Friday’s become just like any other day, not the prelude to the weekend, like it was when I was working. Doh even remember when last I worked. This Covid-19 nonsense been going on for so long now. 

Thankfully though, I’m now getting a few dollars from the government that helps to pay the mortgage and put some food on the table…but it’s definitely not enough to do everything. I can’t even work a li’l overtime to get me over the top. Ah Lord eh! When it all going to end eh? Like we all in jail yes! Can’t even go outside and talk to nobody…got to keep this social distancing foolishness…oh I know it’s necessary, but it’s still seems foolish…staying six feet from people when yuh see them, even though yuh ent see nobody in a long time! Steups! But ah guess we still have to give God thanks that we still alive and kicking some, and as they say, this too shall pass…just hope it don’t take too much longer to pass nuh…’ 

Yes my fellow saints in Christ Jesus, that’s how this lonely, anxious and unpredictable time is affecting a lot of us, believers included. That’s why it’s ever so necessary for us to delve into God’s Word and find encouragement to keep us going strong in faith and courage. Remember Jesus’ rebuke to Satan when he tempted Him in the first time in the wilderness about making bread from stone. Now that would have been a piece of cake for Jesus to accomplish, but then He would have been bowing to Satan’s request, which as the Son of God, He could not do; therefore He replied: ‘It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.’ 

He was referring there to Moses earlier warning to the Israelites way back when they came out of bondage from Egypt and the Lord was teaching them how He wanted them to live as His Chosen People. (Deut. 8:3) And that provision still stands today my people. In the Word of God is where we find ALL that we need to successfully live this life! It’s our Guidebook for earthly living! And the Lord specifically said it to Joshua when He made him the leader of the Israelites after Moses’ death. 

‘This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then shalt thou have good success.’ (Josh. 1:8) Oh my people, my fellow saints in Christ, what more has the Lord God Almighty has to say to us to make us listen and get into His most marvellous Word eh? He’s stated it as clearly as possible: when you read it consistently and study it, then put it into practice, then you’ll be successful and prosperous! That’s a no-brainer! 

But we’ve become so blooming full of ourselves and figure the li’l knowledge we have is so great, that we refuse to follow the simple, but tried and trusted way set out in the Lord’s guidebook. That’s foolish friends, especially in these disturbing and scary times. So let’s get wise and return to the Good Book nuh, where we can find enormous encouragement, assurance, grace, mercy, forgiveness, salvation and eternal life! It’s the ONLY answer to ALL our problems! Now let’s go home doing what we’ve also been encouraged to do, communicate with Holy God through prayer; our rejigged Friday Chant. 

As one sincere voice now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. It’s been pretty rough…though not from work, but from all the confusion and havoc that the Covid -19 virus causing. We not accustomed to that Lord, and it really telling on us. 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!’ 

And then we do what the Good Book says: wait expectantly, displaying hope and faith; keep on reading and praying, and doing good and not evil. Much LOVE!

…without bread…the body dies…but the spirit lives by…the Word…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 April 2020 Psalm 46:1.

Psalm 46:1.    God is our refuge and strength, a very present (abundantly available) help in trouble.
 
Now bless the Lord, we ‘ve moved on to Thursday, which used to be important as the penultimate day of the work week, because it heralded Friday, which in turn heralded the much looked forward to and desired weekend! But now that work is such a scarce and nebulous thing, mostly virtual, (smile) Thursday has become just like any other day…bland and unappealing, with mostly the same ole, same ole nothing to do – except to delve into social media with even more gusto than before. 

Hn! And is there a lot to delve into! Here’s some more rhetoric that’s traversing the social media. It’s reputed that Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni said these words as he warned against people misbehaving during this Covid-19 period. “God has a lot of work, He has the whole world to look after. He cannot just be here in Uganda looking after idiots…’ Now who knows if he really said that eh? But it does make for interesting reading. Now there was another part attached to the message I received, but the sender wasn’t sure if it was the Ugandan president speaking, so we’ll just report this message separately, cause it’s also an interesting message. 

So read with me: ‘In a war situation, nobody asks anybody to stay indoors. You stay indoors by choice. In fact, if you have a basement, you hide there for as long as hostilities persist. During a war, you don’t insist on your freedom. You willingly give it up in exchange for survival. During a war, you don’t complain of hunger. You bear hunger and pray that you live to eat again. During a war, you don’t argue about opening your business. You close your shop (if you have the time), and run for your life. You pray to outlive the war so that you can return to your business (that’s if it has not been looted or destroyed by mortar fire). 

During a war, you are thankful to God for seeing another day in the land of the living. During a war, you don’t worry about your children not going to school. You pray that the government doesn’t forcefully enlist them as soldiers to be trained in the school premises now turned military depot. The world is currently in a state of war. A war without guns and bullets. A war without human soldiers. A war without borders. A war without cease-fire agreements. A war without a war room. A war without sacred zones. The army in this war is without mercy. It is without any milk of human kindness. It is indiscriminate – it has no respect for children, women, or places of worship. 

This army is not interested in spoils of war. It has no intention of regime change. It is not concerned about the rich mineral resources underneath the earth. It is not even interested in religious, ethnic or ideological hegemony. Its ambition has nothing to do with racial superiority. It is an invisible, fleetfooted, and ruthlessly effective army. It’s only agenda is a harvest of death. It is only satiated after turning the world into one big death field. Its capacity to achieve its aim is not in doubt. Without ground, amphibious and aerial machines, it has bases in almost every country in the world. 

Its movement is not governed by any war convention or protocol. In short, it is a law unto itself. It is Coronavirus. Also known as Covid-19 (because it announced its destructive presence and intention in the year of our Lord 2019). Thankfully, this army has a weakness and it can be defeated. It only requires our collective action, discipline and forbearance. Covid-19 cannot survive social and physical distancing. It only thrives when you confront it. It LOVES to be confronted. 

It capitulates in the face of collective social and physical distancing. It bows before good personal hygiene. It is helpless when you take your destiny in your own hands by keeping them sanitized as often as possible. This is not a time to cry about bread and butter like spoilt children. After all, the Holy book tells us that man shall not live by bread alone. Let’s obey and follow the instructions of the authorities. Let’s flatten the Covid-19 curve. Let’s exercise patience. Let’s be our brother’s keeper. In no time, we shall regain our freedom, enterprise and socializing.’ 

Phew! That was long, but certainly interesting. I know many of us can’t associate with the pictures of war that the author draws, but coincidentally, I am currently reading a book about the Nigerian civil war when the nation of Biafra was born for a short while – May 1967- January 1970, and one of the fears of the populace was indeed young men being forcibly drafted in to the army that was training in previous school compounds, as well as a serious shortage of food and housing. 

And yuh know what, Jesus did respond to one of Satan’s temptations in the wilderness with the man should not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.’ (Matt. 4:4). So let’s find some suitable words from God’s mouth that we can live by in these turbulent times nuh. What about these from Psalm 46, titled ‘God is our refuge and strength?’  The words of the sons of Korah are indeed encouraging and reassuring, so please recite them with me: ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present (abundantly available) help in trouble. 

Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst (the heart) of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.   Selah. … Come behold the works of the Lord, what desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in fire. Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.   Selah.’ (Ps.46:1-3; 8-11) 

And there is nothing stronger or more reassuring than knowing that our great God is with us my faithful brethren! He will end this crazy war – in His own time! So let’s not fear! Instead let’s loudly and joyfully declare our Thursday Blessings, that He so generously bestowed on us to do His awesome work in tough times such as these. All together now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! 

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

So what we waiting for then eh? Let’s go out and generously share all that stuff… or rather, share it through social media and social distancing! (smile) Much LOVE!

…this is not a war we can win on our own…we desperately need the Lord’s help…so let’s repent…and pray for it…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 April 2020 Matthew 5:16.

Matthew 5:16.    ​Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
 

So the caffeine’s hot and strong and sweet and plentiful…just the way I like it, (smile) and everything remains the same. Yes the Covid-19 still has a stranglehold on us and we are still fighting amongst ourselves to determine the truth about it, rather than putting all of our combined energies into finding a cure or something that will stop its rapid spread. Steups! But that seems to be the way of our current world, even when we’re dropping like flies in vinegar or honey and we don’t know why. 

Oh, and that raucous wind we said had died down yesterday…well that was only for a time. By midday it had picked up again, squealing through the leafless trees and the over the rooftops. I went out in mid-afternoon to run some errands and did it play games with me. At one stage I dropped a glove and the wind just kept moving it further away from me. Then it blew off my hat…and it was a joke to see me running down the middle of the street after my ole dungaree hat. It’s a good thing the road was empty of traffic. One fellow who saw my epic run, told me that I had gotten my exercise for the day. 

And would you believe that in the wind storm, there were also flakes of that white stuff twiddling down from the sky yesterday afternoon, and that this Wednesday morning, the 22nd of April there are remnants of that white stuff on the ground and on the rooftops! Granted, it’s not a lot, but it sure is noticeable, and it surely makes you sit up and wonder…Hn! Makes you think of Mother Nature and ponder on her eccentric ways. (smile) But getting to more important matters; here is this rather interesting and oh so truthful message I got from a friend a couple days ago, re the Coronavirus…what else eh! (smile) It’s titled: ‘We Are Not In The Same Boat.’ 

So let’s read together. ‘I heard that we are all in the same boat. But it’s not like that. We are in the same storm, but not in the same boat. Your ship can be shipwrecked and mine might not be. Or vice versa. For some quarantine is optimal: moment of reflection, of re-connection. Easy, in flip flops, with a whisky or tea. For others, this is a desperate crisis. For others it is facing loneliness. For some, a peace, rest time, vacation. Yet for others, torture: How am I going to pay my bills? Some were concerned about a brand of chocolate for Easter (this year there were no rich chocolates). Others were concerned about the bread for the weekend, or if the noodles would last for a few more days. 

Some were in their “home office”. Others are looking through trash to survive. Some want to go back to work because they are running out of money. Others want to kill those who break the quarantine. Some need to break the quarantine to stand in line at the banks. Others to escape. Others criticize the government for the lines. Some have experienced the near death of the virus, some have already lost someone from it, some are not sure their LOVED ones are going to make it, and some don’t even believe this is a big deal. Some of us who are well now may end up experiencing it, and some believe they are infallible and will be blown away if or when this hits someone they know. 

Some have faith in God and expect miracles during 2020. Others say the worst is yet to come. So, friends, we are not in the same boat. We are going through a time when our perceptions and needs are completely different. And each one will emerge, in his own way, from that storm. Some with a tan from their pool. Others with scars on the soul (for invisible reasons). It is very important to see beyond what is seen at first glance. Not just looking, more than looking, seeing. See beyond the political party, beyond religion, beyond the nose of your face. 

Do not underestimate the pain of others if you do not feel it. Do not judge the good life of the other, do not condemn the bad life of the other. Don’t be a judge. Let us not judge the one who lacks, as well as the one who exceeds him. We are on different ships looking to survive. Let everyone navigate their route with respect, empathy and responsibility.’ ~Unknown Author~ 

Yes friends, it’s all gospel truth! And it’s sad that author’s name isn’t known, because I think he, or she, covered the situation quite well. It’s a sad time for sure, and there are different realities for different people; from being able to enjoy moments of peace and reflection in a prosperous manner, right down the line to facing severe want, even poverty, hunger, homelessness, and total destitution. And we do need to treat this most serious and very dangerous situation with respect, empathy, and responsibility, for our situations can change in the blink of an eye, and then we’ll need others to respond that way to us. 

But as always, as firm, and true believers, in these desperate times, we desperately need to turn to our Creator and heavenly Father who has sincerely promised to never leave nor forsake us: ‘He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.’ (Is. 40:11) Yes friends, this is a time of faith testing! And we believers do have to answer that call in a true manner; like Jesus says, be the salt and light of the earth! Now is not the time to hide our lights under a bushel, but be like those proud sentinels of earlier times; the lighthouses on the rocky shores with the waves crashing mercilessly against them. 

And there’s many a sad tale that those lighthouses prevented from happening because of their protective and warning light, and we also need to be like lighthouses right now my people. Let’s step up to the plate, reignite our passion, and obey Jesus’ heartfelt declaration: ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ And there’s never been a time in our generation when that has been ever more necessary than now! So please my faithful brethren, let’s stand up and show our true colours nuh, the beautiful colours of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

And we’ll begin by declaring (chuh man!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our true and oh so enviable position in Christ. All together now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And if we are true and faithful to the end, then that glorious future will be even more glorious than our finite and foolish minds can think or imagine! Much LOVE!

…it’s time…for ALL believers to stand up and face the music…be shining lights for Jesus…in this dark, evil  and very dangerous world…  

P.S. There’s still some coffee left in the cup, but it’s cold now…Steups! I’m still drinking it though… (smile) Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 April 2020 Proverbs 4:7.

Proverbs 4:7.    ​Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. 
 

Yes, it’s Tuesday, the penultimate one in this contrary and unpredictable month of April, in this disastrous year of 2020! And weather-wise, today looks like it’s going to be rather unpredictable too. The sun’s shining but there are some dark clouds hanging around, and the ground’s still wet from rain that obviously fell earlier on. However, the crazy wind that’s been causing an unholy ruckus during most of the night appears to have now settled down. So like everything else, who knows what will happen to day eh? 

Only the Lord God Jehovah! Thus it is imperative that we stay close to Him; in fact cling to Him for dear life! Jesus said it so well: ‘Abide in me, and I in you. as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:4-5) 

That’s telling it like it is friends! Jesus laid it all on the table right there; without Him we can do nothing, we’re helpless to bear any good fruit! So why are we so reluctant to get close and stick to Him like stick-to-itis, like white on rice eh? Because we’re either foolish, high-minded and stubborn, or severely led astray, or even all of those things! And that’s why our world is in the mess that it’s currently in. 

But what we ought to be doing is listening to, and putting into action these wise words of Cousin Sol. ‘Hear ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments and live. Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline (turn away) from the words of my mouth. 

Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: LOVE her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to (place on) thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver thee.’ (Prov. 4:1-9) 

Oh my people that’s more exceedingly wise advice from the Good Book – the Book of Life! What don’t we understand about ‘keep my commandments and live’ eh? Likewise, what don’t we understand about wisdom being the principal thing eh? If we don’t have wisdom we can’t live this ofttimes cruel and deceitful life wisely. But we have to seek it, and get it, and then hold on to it tightly for goodness sake! 

And the scholars offer this explanation on those verses. ‘4:3-4. Three generations are linked together in the transmission of wisdom: (the one that’s going out, the one that’s currently in ascendance, and the one that’s coming up). Note too that it is (wisdom) transmitted by personal influence, especially in the home.’ 

And that’s where we’re falling down badly my people. The Word of the Lord is no longer taught in our schools or written in public places, and neither are we teaching or practising it sufficiently in our homes, so how can the young people learn wisdom eh? And yuh see the good things wisdom and understanding will do in our lives when we adhere to their wise ways and commands? They’ll promote us, bring us honour, give us a bundle of grace, and a crown of glory! Now who wouldn’t want those things in this crazy and confusing life eh? All of us obviously. But it doesn’t just happen by osmosis my brethren, we have to make it happen. 

And how do we make it happen? Cousin Sol also gives us that info: ‘The fear (reverential awe) of the Lord is the (principal) beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.’ (Prov. 1:7) And isn’t that the awesome truth! Wisdom comes from the Lord, and it’s oh so important in our world and life, because it’s the same wisdom the Lord used to create our universe. Hear Cousin Sol again: ‘The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. By his knowledge the depths (deeps) are broken up, and the clouds drop down dew.’ (Prov. 3:19-20) 

So friends, if the Lord God Almighty used wisdom to create our world, why wouldn’t we, in heaven’s name, need it to live in that self-same universe eh? No reason whatsoever! Except that we’re stubborn and hard-headed and like to do what we want to do, figuring that with our puny minds and free will, we know best. And perhaps to disavow that false thinking, is why Cousin Sol wrote the Book of Proverbs Here is it’s stated purpose: ‘To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding (understand or discern); To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgement, and equity; to give subtilty (prudence) to the simple. To the young man knowledge and discretion.’ (Prov. 1:2-4) 

But unfortunately too many of us shy away or simply refuse to accept those provisions for earthly living, and therefore we fail badly at it. Now let’s look at some explanations the scholars provide on the words used. ‘1:2. Wisdom is the key word of the book (of Proverbs), and basically means “skill in living.” It refers to the skill to live life successfully. Instruction refers to the moral discipline of one’s life, not to classroom instruction. Understanding means the capability to distinguish between true and false, good and bad, what matters most and what does not matter at all.’ 

‘1:3. Wisdom, a different Hebrew word from that used in verse 2, means “wise behaviour,” “wise dealing,” “good sense.” Justice is the same word as righteousness and refers to conformity to God’s law. Judgement is a legal term used of a judge’s verdict and refers to right behaviour. Equity is fairness in one’s dealing with others.’ ‘1:4. The simple are naïve young people open to any influence, among the chief addressees in the book. Knowledge mean the apprehension of reality, including an experiential knowledge of God. Discretion refers to the power of formulating and carrying out the right measures.’ 

‘1:7. The fear of the Lord means submission to the Lord and His revelation. When one is afraid of something, he either runs from it or submits to it. The latter idea is in view here. It is a healthy fear, like the fear of electricity or the fear of one’s parents, which causes one to act in an appropriate manner. The beginning does not mean that “the fear of the Lord” is left behind in the course of acquiring wisdom, but that it is the controlling principle of wisdom.’ So there we have it friends, some basic descriptions on the basics of living this earthly life in a Christian manner! (smile) 

Let’s hope that these disastrous times will help draw us closer to those precepts and principles from which we have too long and too far gone astray. Now let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Tuesday Mantra, proudly letting the whole world know who and whose we are. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Now we need to go out, or stay in social distance (smile) and action those sentiments! Much LOVE!

…simple common sense dictates…the created must reverence the Creator…

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