Today’s Scrip-Bit   31 October 2021 Matthew 10:29.

Matthew 10:29.     Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing (that’s cheaply)? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father (knowing). 

Sunday morning! Sunday morning has come down my people! That means it’s time for us to congregate in some form and fashion to sing and praise and give thanks to our wonderful God Jehovah on this His day! It’s one of His few commands to His followers: ‘Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.’ (Ex. 20:8) And if we are true and faithful believers and followers, then we will heed His command. (smile) 

So let’s begin the begin, as we always do, with a song of praise. And today’s song is a not so old favourite, only about a hundred and fifteen years old, and it’s titled ‘His Eye is on the Sparrow.’ The words were written in 1905 by Civilla D. Martin with music composed by Charles H. Gabriel. Civilla says the inspiration for the song came from a visit to their friends, Mr. and Mrs. Doolittle in Elmira, New York. The wife had been bedridden for almost twenty years, while the husband was an incurable cripple who propelled himself to and from his business in a wheelchair. 

According to Mrs. Martin, despite their serious afflictions, they lived joyful Christian lives, giving inspiration and comfort to all who knew them. This day, while they were visiting, Mr. Martin commented on their sunny dispositions and hopefulness and asked them the secret for it. Mrs. Doolittle’s reply was simple: ‘His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.’ According to Mrs. Martin, ‘The beauty of this simple expression of boundless faith gripped the hearts and fired the imagination of Dr. Martin and me. The hymn ‘His Eye Is on the Sparrow’ was the outcome of that experience.’ 

Now that’s what you call bearing good fruit with our lives my fellow saints! If two afflicted people can be so inspirational, why can’t we who are hale and hearty eh? I guess because most of us don’t have any real problems to navigate to live a reasonably full life, since a lot of what we consider problems are simply minor and petty discomforts. It’s when we have to show what we’re really made of, like the afflicted Doolittle’s, that we can truly separate the men from the mice. 

Anyway, let’s sing the song that gospel stalwarts like Mahalia Jackson and Ethel Waters made famous. Ethel even titled her autobiography after it. Remember, it’s a song of joy, so we need to sing in a soulful, joyful frame of mind. And we will begin with the chorus, which isn’t controversial, because I saw one version where Ethel began with it. (smile) In loud, soulful harmony then, let’s raise our joyful voices in sacrificial praise to heaven. 

‘(Refrain: I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free; For his eye is on the sparrow, And I know he watches me.) Why should I feel discouraged, Why should the shadows come, Why should my heart be lonely, And long for heav’n and home; When Jesus is my portion? My constant Friend is he; His eye is on the sparrow, And I know he watches me; His eye is on the sparrow, And I know he watches me. (Refrain: I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free; For his eye is on the sparrow, And I know he watches me.) 

“Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear, And resting on his goodness, I lose my doubts and fears; Though by the path he leadeth, But one step I may see; His eye is on the sparrow, And I know he watches me; His eye is on the sparrow, And I know he watches me. [Refrain] Whenever I am tempted, Whenever clouds arise; When songs give place to sighing, When hope within me dies, I draw the closer to him, From care he sets me free; His eye is on the sparrow, And I know he watches me; His eye is on the sparrow, And I know he watches me. [Refrain: I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free; For his eye is on the sparrow, And I know he watches me… I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free; For his eye is on the sparrow, And I know he watches me.’ Amen! 

And does our Lord God ever watch over those who put their faith and trust in Him! Of that we can be very sure! It’s said that the theme of this song was inspired by the words of Bruh David and Jesus. So let’s check them out nuh. Bruh David’s words apparently come from Psalm 32 – The blessedness of forgiveness – where he writes of the Lord. ‘I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.’ (Ps. 32:8) And the Lord does that all the time, we just don’t pay attention. 

Turning to Jesus, ALL believers ought to know His words on the subject. (smile) In the Sermon on the Mount, where He talks about trusting one master, to make a point, He tells His listeners: ‘Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?’ (Matt. 6:26) And the answer to that is a resounding YES! If the Lord could look after the lowest of His creations so well, why wouldn’t He look after the best of His creations in much better manner eh? 

And later on in the gospel of Matthew, Jesus gets even more specific. He tells the disciples: ‘And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing (that’s cheaply)? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father (knowing). But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.’ (Matt. 10:28-31) 

So friends, after hearing that, why should we be discouraged and fearful eh? If the Lord is that concerned about us to number the very hairs on our heads, then there’s no need for us to worry. He has everything under control. And just a note of warning here, when Jesus spoke of being fearful of the one who can kill both body and soul, He was talking about the Father. 

Oh my people, although our lives might not be the greatest, and we are going through many difficulties, if Jesus is our portion, our constant friend, and He always watches over us, then we need to be joyful and sing, because in Him, we live and have our being, we are free! Please take heart today and don’t let the troubles of this world discourage or defeat you, for Jesus is standing in the wings, carefully watching over you. Much LOVE!

…if the Lord of Creation is watching over you…then there’s no need to fear anything in creation…                                                                                                             

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   30 October 2021 Romans 12:2.

Romans 12:2.     And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Another rainy Friday evening, Friday night and Saturday morning. Much rain, but excellent weather for sleeping and also for sleeping in. However, I could not sleep in, much as I wanted to, that’s because I went to bed early, by my standards that is, and after some four or five hours in the bed, the ole body began complaining with aches and pains, so I had to get up, because resting was becoming more problematic than staying in bed. (smile) 

Anyway, here we are talking about too much rain, while so many unfortunate others in other parts of the world are dying from drought and lack of heavenly blessings. But whoever said that life was fair eh? It certainly isn’t. Our God though is fair and just! So, with that good thought in mind, let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he tries to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And we’ll deal quickly with this one, because he also sent it to us last week. That’s ‘To accomplish great things we must not only act but also dream, not only plan but also believe.’ Back then, we spoke of the importance of dreaming and planning, but more so the overwhelming importance of belief in accomplishing anything at all. Also very important was the source of our belief, or what we placed our belief in. And we gave the example of the synagogue ruler, Jairus, approaching Jesus to ask Him to come and heal his twelve year old daughter. 

But while Jesus was on the way to do it, Jairus’ people came and said that the girl was dead. But as soon as Jesus heard it, He said to Jairus: ‘Be not afraid, only believe.’ (Mark 5:37) Meaning that Jairus was to believe He would and could do what He had promised, that is heal his daughter. And so it is with us, who claim to believe in Jesus. We must believe in the promises He’s made to give us a good future and a hope, of forgiveness of sins, leading to salvation and life eternal with Him in heaven. 

That brings us to this next quote: ‘Nothing is, unless our thinking makes it so.’ I really don’t know what context our friend Anselm means that in, be it physical or mental. As per the physical aspect, I won’t say it’s totally true, because many things exist physically although we don’t think they are. In the mental realm though, a lot of things won’t exist for us, unless we think that they truly are. 

I guess we can use the allegory of philosophical theories, where some believe and even die for them, while others don’t. For the former they exist because they think on and about them, but for the latter they are non-existent, since they don’t spend time thinking about them. And I’m chuckling here because I was just thinking that that quote might fall into the philosophical realm of uncertainty. 

Meanwhile, the next quote tells us: ‘When you visualize, then you materialize. If you’ve been there in the mind, you’ll go there in the body.’ That quote is also similar to one we had last week, re ‘Visualizing is the great secret of success.’ And visualizing is an important part of success. You have to think of and on things, see them in your mind’s eye first, if you ever hope to reproduce them in real form. The world tells us that seeing is believing, but our Christian belief tells us, you must first believe it before you can ever see it, or bring it to reality. 

That’s what great inventors do; they picture something in their minds, then proceed to bring it to reality by whatever means necessary. And it is important to note, that unless you conjure up something in your mind, flesh it out first in your mind, be it a philosophical theory or physical product, you usually can’t bring it to fruition. Because that’s just the process of life, as the last quote says: ‘Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality.’ 

Yes friends, that’s the truth in spades, whatever we continually think about and ponder on will usually come to pass, be it something we make or an attitude that we adopt. Ofttimes we associate it with the words of Cousin Sol, ‘As a man thinks in his heart so is he.’ (Prov. 23:7) And that’s quite true, although that’s not all of the proverb. The verse actually says: ‘For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.’ (Prov. 23:7) There Cousin Sol is referring to someone who tells you outwardly to do one thing, but inwardly he really doesn’t mean it. I believe we call those kinds of people, hypocrites! (smile) 

And I want to share some remarks of an article on the website by Clarence L Haynes Jr. titled ‘3 Reasons Proverbs 23:7 Says ‘As a Man Thinks, So He Is’ The article begins: ‘One of the most amazing gifts that God has given us is the human mind. The ability to learn, think, choose, and reason is the essence of what makes us human. While the ability to think makes us human, it actually goes deeper. Your thoughts become a reflection of who you really are. God certainly understands this, and he speaks to this in various places all throughout his word.’ 

Now that is the indelible truth! Whatever you steadily focus on for a length of time will eventually seep into your soul and become a part of you. That’s why the Bible warns us so much about the way we think; carnally and sinfully as opposed to godly and spiritually. So let’s check out a couple of those important scriptures on the subject. This first one is from Bruh Paul to the church at Rome, where he tells them: ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ (Rom. 12:2) 

That means we are to stop allowing ourselves to be conformed to ‘the present thinking, value systems and conduct of this world.’ And why is that? Because they run contrary to the Word of God. And what kind of thinking then are we supposed to embrace? Here are some wise and valuable words on it from Bruh Paul to the church at Philippi. 

‘Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest (noble), whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise (anything praiseworthy), think (meditate) on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.’ (Phil. 4:8-9) 

And we could not end today’s message with better words of advice my faithful saints. So please let’s spend the weekend thinking and meditating on those kinds of things, so that we can have the peace of God in our lives. Much LOVE!

…the human mind…God’s most amazing invention…let’s use it wisely nuh…  

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   28 October 2021 Proverbs 27:1.

Proverbs 27:1.     Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.

And then it was Thursday, the penultimate day of the work week, and some of us are getting excited as the work week winds down, eagerly looking forward to the weekend and all the frivolity it plans to bring. Yes sir, from the beginning of the week, all some of us look forward to is the weekend and what goodies it has in store for us. But I want to pull us up short with some wise advice from Cousin Sol on the matter of thinking too far ahead, without the Lord’s will reckoned in. He says: ‘Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.’ (Prov. 27:1) 

And that’s wise advice we all should heed my brethren, for none of us knows what lies ahead in each day for us, but we still make golden plans for them. Just check the obits to see how many of us who went to bed last night, presumable hale and hearty, but did not arise this morning. Or how many of us leave to go to work on a morning and don’t ever arrive back home in the evenings. Life is unpredictable and we should not be overly presumptuous and make sumptuous plans for our days. (smile) Now that doesn’t mean we can’t make plans, but plans that consider the will of God in them. 

Here’s how James, Jesus’ brother puts it, referring to it as unchristian conduct. ‘Go to now (come now), ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain (make a profit): whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now ye rejoice (boast) in your boasting (arrogance): all such rejoicing is evil. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.’ (James 4:13-17) 

Yes friends, there’s a lot we can learn from those scriptures; like when we are being foolish and plan as though we control our destiny, or presume we have the resources to control it, when we don’t. Remember all the earth and what’s therein, including us, belongs to the Lord, and He doles it out to whom He wishes in what amount He desires. So, in making plans we must consider Him, at least consult Him and see what He has to say. 

For, as we’ve been told throughout the Good Book and have seen for ourselves, our lives are like a vapour, a column of steam or smoke that appears on earth for a short while, then quickly vanishes without a trace. And since we don’t know when our column of vapour will disappear, we have to take the Creator’s will into our planning as best we can. And the scholars offer these interesting explanations on those verses. ‘4:15. This, or that: This verse teaches that God does have something for Christians to do and that they should plan accordingly. James condemns only elaborate planning that omits God (cf. Prov. 16:9).’ 

And I’ll be charitable here and quote that verse for us. (smile) Cousin Sol says there: ‘A man’s heart deviseth (plans) his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.’ (Prov. 16:9) That’s because the Lord is sovereign over everything a man does, including his ungodly scheming and planning. As the ole people would say; man plans, but God laughs. And that’s the awesome truth as so many of us have found out to our detriment, when we don’t include God in our earthly plans. 

But let’s get back to the scholars and the last verse of James that we read. ‘4:17. To do good here requires including God in one’s plans. Omitting God is not merely bad planning; it is a sin.’  Now that’s a tough row to hoe, but it does make sense. If you are a Christian, a believer in God, and you know how to do good, but don’t do it, then that should automatically put a black mark against your name. And unfortunately, that happens a lot in our Christian circles today. Too many of us know the good we ought to do, but blatantly and stubbornly refuse to do it. No wonder our world is in such a mess and the unbelievers don’t take us seriously. 

And just in case you don’t believe what James says above there, then listen to this parable about the rich fool from his brother, Jesus. Having said to His listeners: ‘Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.’ (Luke 12:15) He then proceeded to tell them about the rich man whose land brought forth a plentiful crop, and he had nowhere to store it, so he decided to pull down all the old barns and build a bigger one so he could store all his harvest. 

‘And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease; eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided (stored up)? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.’ (Luke 12:19-21) Oh my people, it’s only common sense to be rich to our Creator, who owns everything and gives us everything, including the breath of life that keeps us going. 

And I like the explanation the scholars offer as per ‘12:21. Here Jesus brings out the meaning of verses 16-20. Notice that what Jesus calls for follows quite logically out of His own example (2. Cor. 8:9), as well as out of God’s graciousness toward all who seek Him (Rom. 10:12). Jesus is thus not speaking of a pay-as-you-go faith, but of participating in a relationship in which God already provides what he wishes His people to give back to Him.’ 

And I would not be a good teacher if I did not quote those verses the scholars referenced above there. (smile) It’s going to make the Bit longer, but all of us wiser. So here goes. 2 Cor. 8:9 says: ‘For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.’  In other words, Jesus was, is, and always will be the supreme example of sacrificial LOVE! Meanwhile, Rom. 10:12 tells us: ‘For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.’ 

Yes my people, whomsoever shall call upon the Lord shall be saved, regardless of race, creed, colour or class! So, having read, understood and digested all that scripture, (smile) let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!!!) our Thursday Blessings; blessings that the Lord has so benevolently bestowed on us to do His earthly work. Altogether now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

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

It’s now our duty to go out and share those blessings with others just as generously as the Lord shared them with us. Much LOVE!

…true wisdom entails…including God in EVERYTHING we do…                                                                                                                

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   27 October 2021   2 Timothy 3:16.

2 Timothy 3:16.     All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 

Wait nuh…is it really Wednesday already? But it was just Monday! Hn, hn, hn! I guess with the constant rain and darkness over the last few days, I’ve lost track of time. It seems dry now, but still somewhat cloudy. And it’s a good thing I had the Holy Spirit of Christ to keep me anchored, otherwise I might have lost track of myself too. (smile) 

Now that just goes to show how important the Holy Spirit is in a believer’s life. It keeps us anchored in Christ, our feet on the ground, so that we don’t lose our way. Without the Holy Spirit’s wise guidance we’d indeed be lost and ever so vulnerable to the enemy’s wiles and deceitful schemes. But He is our sounding block, our go to person in times of doubt and trouble, He holds our reins and guides us along the paths of righteousness. He leads us to the appropriate word of the Father when we need it, because as the scriptures tell us: ‘Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.’ (Ps. 119:105) 

And in all truth, there’s not a problem we face in this life that we can’t find a wise word from the Good Book to show us the right way, the best decision to make. Remember, it’s our Guidebook for earthly living. Just like you look at all the guidebooks when you travel to see the best places to go, likewise, we ought to continually look within the Lord’s Word to see how we ought to live our lives. 

Bruh Paul said it thus to Timothy in his second letter. ‘All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished (equipped) unto all good works.’ (2 Tim. 3:16-17) Now those are remarkable words my brethren, words that we ought to take to heart and follow as best we can, because they were written for our edification and benefit, so that we can grow and mature as true Christians. 

And the scholars offer some interesting explanations on those verses. ‘3:14-17. Inspiration of God (lit. “God-breathed”) describes the unique character of Scripture. It is not only written by men, but authored by God. Inspired by the supernatural guidance of the Spirit of God, so that what they wrote was the divine Word of God, transcribed accurately, reliably, and without error in the original manuscripts. 

For doctrine means to tell one what to believe. For reproof means to tell one what is wrong. For correction means to tell one how to correct wrong. For instruction in righteousness means to tell one how to live. Perfect (proficient, capable) is having everything to do what God wants. Thoroughly furnished means “thoroughly equipped.” God’s inspired Word properly used and applied, provides all we need for life and ministry.’ 

And the most important words there my brethren are ‘properly used and applied.’ Yes, if we don’t learn the Word of God and apply it properly it will be useless, just like any other guidebook not followed properly. And that’s one of the problems facing the church these days; too many different interpretations and directives of the same scripture. 

That means different doctrines and guidelines, which consequently lead to serious disputes amongst the brethren. And since no one wants to believe or admit that their interpretation is wrong or faulty, or that there could possibly be a meeting of the minds, Christ’s church is filled with dissension and disunity, strife, anger, and all the negative stuff that pleases the enemy and has Him laughing all the way to his lair in hell. 

Oh my fellow believers, we cannot win souls for Christ, or even get them to consider living for Christ if we as Christians can’t live in peace with each other. And to make matters even worse, the way our society functions today does not lend itself to godliness. As Bruh Paul so accurately described it to Timothy. ‘For men shall be LOVERS of their own selves, covetous (money LOVERS), boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 

Without natural affection, trucebreakers (irreconcilable), false accusers (slanderers), incontinent (without self-control), fierce (brutal), despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady (reckless), high-minded (haughty), LOVERS of pleasures, more than LOVERS of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.’ (2 Tim. 3:2-5) 

And if that isn’t the gospel truth regarding our current society, then I don’t know what is! Yes friends, apostasy, or the rejection of Christianity is happening in droves, since the culture of the society will not tolerate our standards of godly living. And as Bruh Paul told Timothy, re a form of godliness, where all we have is mere religion and no power or true spiritual life, is exactly what’s happening today! 

Our world has certainly gone bonkers with supposed Christian leaders watering down the Word and using it for their own evil purposes. The enemy even has flowering organizations working under Christ’s name. So, what else can we expect but strife and confusion in our unanchored, storm-driven society. It’s truly unfortunate friends, that when civilization has reached its highest pinnacle in terms of learning, of knowledge and understanding in things like science and technology, it has also reached a sad low point in godliness, truth, peace and LOVE! 

However, there is yet hope for some turn around through our relatively small group of faithful believers. And size doesn’t really matter, since we have Almighty God working with us. Remember what the twelve…or eleven disciples of Jesus did, a couple of thousands of years ago? They began proselytizing the world, saving it from sin and Satan, and it’s our bounden duty to continue that awesome work. So please, let’s stand strong and work smart, guided by the Word of God and His Holy Spirit! 

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

Now, having said all of that, we also need to remember that if we endure with Jesus to the very end, that the future will be even more glorious than our puny, finite minds can ever imagine! Much LOVE!

…a Christian’s lifeline…read the Word of God…believe it…and live it through His Holy Spirit…                                                                                                              

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   26 October 2021 John 15:12.

John 15:12.     This is my commandment, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you.

Oh brother, when it rains, it does rain yes! All day yesterday, last night, and it’s still wet and drizzly now with no apparent let up in sight. But our God is a good God, and through His most wonderful Son, Jesus Christ, He allows, or rather, enables us to handle any negative aspects of the weather, or for that matter anything else that comes against us in this crazy and mixed-up world. All praise and glory be to the Most High God Jehovah, Creator and Controller of the universe and all therein! 

So what’s happening with us this rainy Tuesday eh my brethren? Are we putting God first and foremost in our lives like Jesus advised, when He said: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) And hopefully, if we are doing that, then we are also leaning wholeheartedly on this promise from Bruh Paul that ‘my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:19) And that He will too. 

But then, we come to the next important aspect of our Christian faith; the way we treat each other. Now that’s something I don’t believe we’re doing such a good job at, for there’s too much dissension, disunity, feuds and strife amongst the brethren, even amongst the same denominations and cliques. Whatever happened to this directive of Jesus eh? ‘This is my commandment, That ye LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you.’ (John 15:12) I don’t think you have to look very far to realize that that’s not a prominent aspect of our Christian fellowship. 

Yes friends, whatever happened to the Golden Rule, that so many of us were brought up to uphold? Jesus also decreed it: ‘Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 7:12) Oh my people, that wasn’t something new Jesus was teaching, but it was the law and had been preached by the prophets since the beginning of time. 

And furthermore, it’s just simple common sense; you do to others what you want them to do to you! You can’t want to abuse and reject people, but then when the shoe falls on the other foot, you cry out for injustice and mercy! But that’s the way of our current world, for selfishness, anger, strife and injustice rule the roost. And yet we expect to live good, healthy and sane lives. 

Hn! Look at the world my fellow saints; it’s in a total uproar. Nobody’s happy about anything. Everybody has some kind of axe to grind; some injustice to be corrected, some right to be fulfilled, but in the meanwhile, we don’t care that we are causing injustice to others, and trampling on the God-given rights of others. No, we just want what we believe we are entitled to, and crapaud smoke the pipe of those who get in our way of achieving it! We couldn’t give a ‘darm’ about their interests or betterment! 

So where does that put us in respect to these words of John in his first epistle? ‘If a man say, I LOVE God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that LOVETH not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he LOVE God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who LOVETH God LOVE his brother also.’ (1 John 4:20-21) 

Now that’s a very good question! And in our current society we see that very thing playing out to a great extent. Even in many biological Christian families, there is serious hate churning amongst the members. The same with Christian congregations. So where is the LOVE and affection we spout about so much eh? And how do we expect others to come to Christ through our unchristian-like examples eh? 

Oh my fellow saints, please, please, let’s remember these telling words of Jesus. ‘For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.’ (Matt. 5:20) Yes friends, the scribes and Pharisees were considered the most religious and righteous people back then, but their righteousness was mostly an outward show of self-righteousness. And outward shows of righteousness profits no one anything! It’s what inside a body that really counts. 

That’s why the Lord looks at our hearts before He even listens to our words. And sadly, in these times when believers are supposed to be standing strong and steadfast and bearing much good fruit, too many of us are like the blooming scribes and Pharisees, only outward show! We talk a most excellent talk, but our walk leaves a lot to be desired. Oh my people, whatever happened to these heartfelt verses of scripture from Bruh Paul to the Ephesians? 

‘Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.’ (Eph. 4:29-32) We have either forgotten them, or simply chosen to ignore them, because today, when they are so badly needed, they are not being practiced by believers as much as they ought to. 

Oh friends, there are so many verses of scripture that deal with treating each other good, that I could go on for the whole day, and still not be done. It’s one of the most important topics in the Good Book; in fact it’s the second most important as Jesus pointed out when questioned by a pompous, arrogant Pharisee lawyer about the most important commandment. ‘Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:37-40) 

And just for our information friends, our neighbour is anyone with whom we come into contact! So why is there all this bad blood betwixt and between us eh? As believers in Christ Jesus, there is no justified reason for it. So please let’s move to cut it out nuh…asap… for if we don’t, when Jesus comes back, many who thought that we’d be herded to His right side with the sheep, will unfortunately find ourselves herded to the left with the goats. (Matt. 25:31-46) And friends, if you don’t know that scripture, then please read it as quickly as possible, because it is very important. It has to do with your earthly behaviour and where you will spend eternity on account of it. 

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

Well then, let’s go out and do exactly that; share the LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…A friend LOVES at all times…and a brother is born for adversity… (Prov. 17:17)                                                                                                              

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   25 October 2021 Deuteronomy 8:6.

Deuteronomy 8:6.     ‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go before thee; he will not fail thee nor forsake thee.’ 

A good Monday morning to you my faithful friends and neighbours! Grace and peace from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to all those who sincerely trust and believe in Him. And since the breath of life continues to run through our bodies on this fateful Monday, it means that there is still important work for us to do down here in Christ’s name. Some of us know what that work is, and should faithfully put our shoulders to the wheel and do it without complaints, for He will greatly enable us to perform whatever He calls us to do. 

Meanwhile, for those of us who don’t know our particular purpose, it’s ever so important for us to seek it out with the Lord’s help, for one day we shall all come before Him to answer for what we’ve done with our lives. And I don’t believe that ignorance of our earthly purpose will be a satisfactory answer. (smile) Remember, heavenly rewards are based on the fruit of our earthly labour, and if we didn’t bear any good earthly fruit, how can we expect to reap heavenly rewards eh? 

And how do you find out your earthly purpose, you ask? Simple. Go to God and ask Him. Find a quiet place and some quiet time to spend with Him; read His word, think on it, and talk to Him like you’d talk to a friend, and He will answer your questions. Possibly not all at once, or in a loud voice, but quietly, in your spirit, you will eventually feel a nudging in a certain direction…or it might even be much more than a nudge, a direct command. 

But remember too, that after we pose our questions to God, like in every other conversation, we need to be quiet and listen for His response. And that’s where so many of us fail, and complain that God doesn’t speak to us. It’s obvious that if we don’t listen, we can’t hear Him speaking. However, with the impatience of our current society, we expect to receive the answer right away, but that isn’t how our God operates. Unless it’s a dire emergency, He expects us to be patient and contemplative, not rushing around aimlessly like so much of our world is doing. 

There’s no need to worry friends. If you ask God for directions, He will give them to you, just in His own time and fashion. Don’t worry about Him being late either. He knows what’s important and when and operates on the just in time principle. From personal experience, I know that’s an aggravating principle, but after the first few times, you’ll realize that God is faithful and will not let you down, He will arrive just in time. 

But that means putting your trust in Him, which means spending quality time with Him, getting to know Him as intimately as possible, because trust can only be built through intimacy and sincerity and time spent together. And that trust can’t be built overnight either. It will take time, as much or as little time as you choose to put into the relationship. Remember, our heavenly Father is always there, ready, willing and able to talk to us, and when He feels the need, He will open a conversation with us, but basically, it’s our responsibility to get the ball rolling. 

And in building trust, you must learn to rely wholeheartedly on His promises; promises like His grace is sufficient for us (2 Cor. 12:9); Temptation will not overtake us (1 Cor. 10:13); Victory over death (1 Cor. 15:57) To supply us with every need we have (Phil. 4:19) Eternal life. (John 3:16, 10:28) All things work together for good for those who love and serve Him faithfully (Rom. 8:28) 

But yuh know what my people? Sincere trust also calls for bravery and courage. And believers need them each and every moment of every day if they are to be faithful to God’s desires. They are not easy to come by in this evil and ungodly world either, but God in His everlasting wisdom has also made provision for that. Remember these words of Moses to the Israelites. ‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go before thee; he will not fail thee nor forsake thee.’ (Deut. 8:6) 

And that’s gospel truth, for you see how He led the Israelites when He brought them out of bondage in Egypt. The Good Book tells us: ‘And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:’ (Ex. 13:21) But to acquire that bravery and courage, trust and surrender, here’s what the Lord said to Joshua, when He made him 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 thou shalt have good success.’ (Josh. 1:8) And therein lies the secret to success in God’s kingdom; learn His Word and put it into action. 

That’s it in a nutshell friends. If you don’t know His Word then you can’t keep His commands. And to truly truly know it, you must also have good and frequent communication with the Lord so He can explain the parts you don’t understand. (smile) And communicating with God is called prayer, and there is never a better time for prayer than the moment you think of it. So, since it’s in our thoughts right now, I think it’s appropriate that we approach the Lord in prayer through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, laying out our problems and desires before Him. 

As one strong voice: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has 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 wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems.  

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

Now remember that God not only listens to our words but also checks our hearts to see if our motives are right and true, before He answers our prayers. Much LOVE!

…to truly live for the Lord…one must put a sincere effort into it…meaning blood, sweat and tears…like Jesus did…                                                                                                            

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   24 October 2021 Matthew 11:28.

Matthew 11:28.     Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 

Come on down my fellow believers in Christ Jesus, it’s time to get together and worship on this the Lord’s Day! And today we have a wonderful song to open our praise and thanksgiving session. It’s an old favourite titled ‘CRYING IN THE CHAPEL.’ The story goes that Artie Glenn wrote the song in 1951 for his son Darrell but left it in a drawer for two years, until Darrell recorded it while still in high school in 1953, along with Artie’s band the Rhythm Riders. After some rejection, it finally became a local hit and was then picked up by other artists. 

There have been numerous versions over the years, but my favourite has always been Elvis Presley’s, that is until yesterday when I was listening to some other versions and came upon one by the Norwegian singer Sissel Kyrkjebo, simply known as Sissel. Her version blew me away with its simplicity and the uniqueness of her voice, as she is supposedly one of the world’s best sopranos. 

And it seems like I’m not the only person who’s been impressed by her version, for in the comments section of the video, Cliff Glenn, Artie Glenn’s oldest grandson writes: ‘Sissel.  I have never heard this beautiful lady sing Crying in the chapel till just now. Wow! my grandfather would have loved her version. My grandfather actually wrote this song in 1951, stuck it in a drawer for 2 years, until my dad, Darrell Glenn recorded it in 1953. I’ve heard an unbelievable amount of different versions in my life, including my own. but never one soooo beautiful, “sorry dad, and Elvis. is this lady single by any chance, lol!’ 

Unfortunately, she is not Cliff. (smile) And please don’t think that Sissel is a newcomer to music, although her version was recorded sometime in the 1990’s, since then she’s sold some 10 million albums of all kinds of music. And just one more accolade before we sing, this from another admirer. ‘Angelic. The sweet siren like sound I had only previously heard from Elvis’s back-up singer- Kathy Westmorland.’ (smile) 

So now that we know Sissel is easy on the eyes and can also sing, let’s do her version. Unlike Elvis’s soulful but dark version, hers is soulful but joy-filled and bright, like a sparkling spring morning, as opposed to a dark winter evening. Therefore, without further ado, let’s fill the fall morning air with sacrifices of praise to heaven. 

‘You saw me crying in the chapel The tears I shed were tears of joy I know the meaning of contentment Now I am happy with the Lord. Just a plain and simple chapel Where humble people go to pray I prayed the Lord that I’ll grow stronger As I live from day to day I searched (I searched) and I searched (I searched) but I couldn’t find No way on earth to gain peace of mind 

Now I’m happy in the chapel Where people are of one accord (One accord) Yes, we gather in the chapel Just to sing and praise the Lord You’ll search and you’ll search but you’ll never find No way on earth to gain peace of mind Take your troubles to the chapel Get down on your knees and pray Then your burdens will be lighter And you’ll surely find the way (and you’ll surely find the way)…yes, you’ll surely find the way.’ 

Yes friends, it’s short but sweet and soulful, touches you right down in the very depths of your being! And that’s because it’s oh so true. We can find peace, contentment and the lightening of our burdens in God’s house, in prayer, since that’s what He invites us to do. Please note Jesus’ Great Invitation. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:28-30) 

Oh my people, it could not get any better than that…but it does! (smile) Listen to Jesus again, as He offers even more incentive to accept His way of life, when He proclaims: ‘I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.’ (John 6:35) Yes, Jesus is the bread that gives life, spiritual and eternal life. You can’t get those from anywhere or anybody else, for He also lets us know with supreme confidence: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6) 

So what is left that Jesus can’t give, or doesn’t provide eh? And what about peace and comfort and good cheer you ask? Oh, He has all of that covered too. Hear these marvellous words of encouragement. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) And if you still desire more encouragement, then listen up as our Lord and Saviour gives it. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

And indeed He has, by taking away the keys of hell from Satan, through His death on the cross, His resurrection and ascension to heaven, where He now sits at the right hand of the Father, interceding on our behalf. Wow, mih bredrin! What more can you ask eh? Nothing! 

But our Saviour Jesus is ever so generous that He offers us even more than that, as He faithfully promised the disciples, and consequently us. ‘And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever. The Spirit of truth… I will not leave you comfortless (as orphans): I will come to you.’ (John 14:16-18) And that promise was fulfilled on Pentecost Day when the Comforter, the Holy Ghost fell upon, baptized all the believers in the upper room, and thereafter indwells ALL believers. (Acts 2:2-4) 

So you can see Jesus has all the bases covered. He’s left nothing to chance. It’s just for us now to accept His Invitation to come to the Father through Him, to receive salvation and eternal life. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity my people, so please, please, let’s not waste it nuh, for the only other option available is eternal separation from the Holy Trinity, and that’s the worst mistake we can ever make, for the wages of sin is death…eternal death! Much LOVE!

…and…lo…I am with you always…even unto the end of the world… (Matt. 28:20) 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   23 October 2021 Mark 5:36.

Mark 5:36.     Be not afraid, only believe.

Saturday, oh Saturday, the day of leisure…and hopefully pleasure! Yes friends, it’s the big day called Saturday, where we party and play and do things we can’t do on workdays, including housework, laundry and grocery shopping. (smile) Yeh, some of us work harder on a Saturday than we do all week at our workplaces. But that’s all a part of our wonderful modern life. On Saturdays, we also turn to the quotes our friend Anselm sent us during the past week and see if we can make sense of them. So let’s get with that task nuh. 

And the first quote tells us: ‘Everyone visualizes whether he knows it or not. Visualizing is the great secret of success.’ And we all do visualize stuff, see it in our mind’s eye, see it the way we would like it to look in reality. But I don’t know if I will call it the secret of success, though it is an important aspect of being successful, because we can’t bring something to pass successfully unless we have some idea of how the project will look and operate. And that falls right into the lap of this next quote, which says: ‘To accomplish great things we must not only act but also dream, not only plan but also believe.’ 

That’s the gospel truth! Dreaming is a part of visualizing, of looking forward to what can be, or what you’d like to see come to pass or accomplish. And after you’ve dreamt about it, looked at it from all different angles, then you formulate a plan to make it a reality. But in all those stages, one thing is absolutely necessary for success, that’s belief that the project will be successful. You must believe it deep down in your heart and soul, else you will not put the necessary energy and effort, the plenty elbow crease, and constant starting over that some projects need to bring them to fruition. 

Belief, strong belief is vital in all we do! The problem though is often the source of our belief, whether it can actually do what it promises, or we believe it can. Note what Jesus said to Jairus, one of the rulers of the synagogue, who came and pleaded for Him to come and heal his sick twelve-year-old daughter. On the way there, Jesus healed the woman with the blood issue who came through the throng and touched his clothing. (Mark 5:21-34) But while He was talking to the woman, Jairus’ people came and said that his daughter had died. However, as soon as Jesus heard it, He said to Jairus: ‘Be not afraid, only believe.’ (Mark 5:37) 

Now what did Jesus mean there eh? Basically, that Jairus was to believe that Jesus would and could do what He had promised, that is heal his daughter. And so it is with us, who claim to believe in Jesus. We must believe in the promises He’s made to give us a good future and a hope, of forgiveness of sins, leading to salvation and life eternal with Him in heaven. 

The problem with belief is that it must be based on something solid, like tying a rope to big, sturdy rock, or a ship to a big anchor. And the sturdiest, safest and surest thing in this world is Jesus! He’s shown how strong, sturdy and reliable He is by His death on the cross, His resurrection and ascension back to heaven, and His sending of the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us in His place. Wow! You couldn’t get any more reliable than that. 

Meanwhile, the next quote says: ‘Most people are thinking about what they don’t want, and they’re wondering why it shows up over and over again.’ And is that ever so true, for what we focus on is what we usually get. Cousin Sol said it long ago in Proverbs. ‘As a man thinks, so is he.’ (Prov, 23:7) That’s why, if we don’t want to reap negativity, then we need to stop concentrating on the negative aspects of life and instead concentrate on the positive ones, so that we can reap positive actions or results. 

And that segues right into the following quote. ‘Be thankful for what you have, you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never ever have enough.’ Words of heavenly wisdom my brethren! Especially in this society of plenty, where we all have so much stuff, stuff that we don’t use or can’t find, yet we still desire more. It’s a symptom of what we just spoke about; what you concentrate on is what will happen. If you keep thinking about more earthly stuff, then you will go out seeking it. With that kind of mindset you will never be satisfied with or appreciate what you already have. 

That recalls Jesus words from the Sermon on the Mount: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) Yes friends, the wise action is to seek God first; above everything else, and He will provide all that you need. Remember Bruh Paul’s words to the Philippians? ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:19) And He is a God who faithfully keeps His promises, as we can see from this last quote: ‘Stop waiting for somebody to elevate your game. You are already equipped with everything you need to manifest your own greatness.’ 

And if you are a believer in Christ Jesus, then that’s the indisputable truth! And you ask in a perplexed manner, what am I talking about? I’m talking about the fruit of the Holy Spirit my people; that’s LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness) meekness, temperance (self-control). (Gal. 5:22-23) Yes, it was all deposited in us when we received Christ, now it’s just left for us to water, prune and nourish those seeds so that they can grow and bear bountiful fruit, so that others can see and also believe. 

As Bruh Paul advises us, ‘work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.’ And it’s not to work for salvation, because you can’t do that, since it’s a free gift of grace from God. (Eph. 2:8) The scholars explain it thus: ‘2:12. Work out your own salvation does not mean that you should work for salvation in order to obtain it. The Greek phrase “work out” denotes the expression, manifestation, or actualization of something one already possesses. The Philippians are to “work out” the salvation God has already wrought in them (vs. 13), carrying it to its logical conclusion. 

God has granted them salvation not just for their own profit, but for the good of others as well. If they work out and manifest the new life divinely worked in them, they will live lives worthy of the gospel (1:27), in harmony with each other (vs. 2), seeking the progress of the gospel. They will also regard one another as more important than themselves (vs.3), be concerned with the needs of their fellows (vs. 4),and make the appropriate sacrifices in obedience to God, as did Jesus, In doing all this they will work out or express the new life they have through Christ.’ 

And it’s the same thing we need to do my fellow saints in Christ, even more so in these desperate and dangerous times we are now living in. If we are to be true believers, then we need to raise the level of our faith and faithful action right now, obviously with God’s help! Much LOVE!

…if you don’t believe in Jesus…the King of Kings…Lord of Lords…the Prince of Peace… and the Son of Jehovah God…in whom then will you believe eh…                                                                                                      

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   22 October 2021   1 Thessalonians 5:5.

1 Thessalonians 5:5.      Ye are all the children of the light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 

And it’s an indecisive Friday morning; the sun seems to be fighting through the dark clouds. Who will be the winner is yet to be determined, (smile) but at least it’s dry so far. And as I like to remind us, the physical state of the day doesn’t really matter once we have the wonderful light of Jesus shining in and through us. For He is more than sufficient to meet all of our needs! Thank You Jesus! Yes friends, we desperately need to keep remembering that once Jesus is in our lives, that darkness is no longer a part of us. 

As Bruh Paul reminded the Thessalonians. ‘Ye are all the children of the light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober (self-controlled). For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and LOVE; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation. 

For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort (encourage) yourselves together (each other), and edify (build up) one another, even as also ye do (are doing).’ (1 Thess. 5:5-11) 

That’s a great and rather timely message my fellow believers, for in these dark, dangerous and evil times, filled with sickness, strife and all kinds of disaster and ungodly stuff, we need to heed it more than ever. Yes my people, we must wake up and embrace the light of Christ, bathe ourselves in it, otherwise the darkness will overtake us, and then we will be subject to the wrath of God. 

For the day of the Lord comes like a thief in the night, and we should not allow ourselves to be found wanting whenever that happens. We need to be always prepared, for we are the children of light, and consequently not subject to the wrath of God. That’s why we need to be sober, keep close watch, ‘putting on the breastplate of faith and LOVE, and for a helmet, the hope of salvation.’  

It’s very important in these crucial and critical times that we be ready, that we do like Bruh Paul advised the Ephesians. ‘Wherefore take unto you (put on) the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’ (Eph. 6:13) And yuh better believe my fellow saints that this is indeed the evil day! For evil, ungodliness, strife and disaster are running rampant in our world like never before! 

And once we are clothed in the spiritual armour of God, then we need to stand up strong, because that’s the whole purpose of the armour; to enable us to stand up against the formidable foe that we face. As the scholars explain: ‘We must avail ourselves of God’s provision (that’s His spiritual armour) lest the enemy destroy our Christian witness and ministry. The evil day refers to the periodic demonic onslaughts and Satanic assaults. Having done all includes both dressing oneself in God’s armour and resisting Satan. Having done all these, be ready, for the devil will attack again and again.’ 

Of that you can be very certain my brethren! The devil is a very persistent foe, and will keep coming back whenever we best Him, like a bothersome insect or an itch that never goes away, despite how much you scratch it. (smile) Yuh see how he was persistent against Jesus, the same way he will be persistent after us, who have even less will-power than Jesus had. And please notice too the words of Luke after the temptation of Jesus. ‘And when the devil had ended all the temptation (testing), he departed from him for a season.’ (Luke 4:13) 

That means until another opportune time. It’s the same way he will come against us, time after time, so we always have to be prepared and ready to withstand the evil one. And we can only successfully resist the enemy when we are clothed in God’s armour; namely, having the truth of God’s word firmly girded around our waist, with the breastplate of righteousness safeguarding our chest, and on our feet, shoes made of the gospel of peace. 

The shield of faith to withstand the fiery arrows of the enemy is also important, then the helmet of salvation to protect our heads, and in our hands the mighty sword of the Spirit, that two-edged sword,  the Word of God, that is so powerful it can divide asunder soul and spirit. Wow, mih bredrin! Nothing the enemy has can stand against the spiritual forces of our God. 

However, there is one more very important aspect of our heavenly armour, that being, ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph. 6:18) Oh my people, prayer is ever so important in our daily walk. 

As the scholars tell us: ‘6:18. Prayer is grammatically linked to “stand” in verse 14. Without prayer God’s armour is inadequate to achieve victory. Prayer is indispensable. Always means “on every occasion” that is when Satan attacks. In the Spirit signifies that with the Spirit’s help such prayer for divine aid is to be made. Watching thereunto means “being vigilant in this very matter” of prayer. They are to pray not just for themselves but also for all saints; spiritual combat is both an individual and corporate matter.’ 

And since there’s never a better time to pray than at the very moment (smile) let’s do so nuh, let’s take our problems to God, through our Friday Chant. As one strong but humble voice. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and our many other problems are causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means we desperately need your help. 

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

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

Now, we need to remember the promises we made…and keep them, if we want the Lord to keep His. Much LOVE!

…we can’t go into battle against the enemy…without God’s protective armour…                                                                                                         

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