Today’s Scrip-Bit   30 April 2022 Proverbs 18:21.

Proverbs 18:21.      Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that LOVE it shall eat the fruit thereof.

Saturday…at long last Saturday! And no work to go to; that means no traffic to fight, no annoying co-workers or ignorant bosses to put up with! Blessed be Saturday! And the weather seems good too; sunny and getting warmer. So, all in all, we seem to be in for a fine Saturday. (smile) But let’s get right to what we do here on Saturdays; that’s review the quotes our friend Anselm sends us in the past week, to see how they fit into our Christian walk of faith. 

And the first one makes this dramatic statement: ‘Where there is LOVE there is life.’ Now I guess that’s quite true if you take it in the context that ‘God is LOVE.’ John says it quite clearly in his first epistle. (1 John 4:8) And if we recognize that God is also the giver of life, as the Good Book tells us: ‘And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.’ (Gen. 2:7) Therefore, under those circumstances, where there is the LOVE of God, the possibility of life seriously abounds. (smile) 

And the next quote imparts much wisdom, when it says: ‘Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.’ That’s oh so true! And we have several warnings on that subject from Cousin Sol both as the Proverbs writer and the Preacher. Listen up, as he says in Proverbs: ‘The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion (legacy) of fools.’ (Prov. 3:35) And also from Proverbs: ‘A fool uttereth all his mind (vents all his feelings): but a wise man keepeth it in (holds it back) till afterward.’ (Prov. 29:11) 

Then there are these marvellous words of Cousin Sol as the Preacher in Ecclesiastes. ‘Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon the earth: therefore let thy words be few. For a dream cometh through the multitude of business (effort or activity): and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.’ (Eccl. 5:2-3) It couldn’t be put any clearer than that friends. Fools are known by their many words. And that takes us right back to Proverbs, where it says that ‘Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace (keeps silent) is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding (is considered wise).’ (Prov. 17:28) 

Now that segues very nicely into the next quote. ‘False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil.’ That’s gospel truth my brethren. And Cousin Sol also has a whole lot of wise sayings on that subject. Amongst them being these: ‘Bread of deceit (bread gained by deceit) is sweet to a man; but afterward his mouth shall be filled with gravel.’ (Prov. 20:17) Yes, whatever we gain through deceitful means usually turns sour on us afterward. Telling us that deceitful methods don’t pay. 

Then there is this: ‘Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.’ (Prov. 19:1) And this one takes the cake: ‘Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that LOVE it shall eat the fruit thereof.’ (Prov. 18:21) Oh my people, nowadays we talk so much, and talk so much foolishness, what we know nothing about, that there’s a lot to come back as a boomerang and bite us in the rear! 

So that’s why our enemy, the devil, Satan, Beelzebub, whatever you choose to call him deals in false words, in lies and deceit. He wants to infect our souls with evil. He wants to turn us away from Jesus, away from the straight and narrow path that leads to eternal life, to follow his evil and ungodly wide and destructive path that leads to death and damnation. That’s why Jesus describes him as ‘The thief that cometh not, but to (except) to steal, and to kill, and to destroy; I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) 

Remember now that Jesus only deals in truth, not falsehood. That’s why He could confidently say: ‘If ye continue (abide) in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’ (John 8:32) Oh my fellow saints, truth is the elixir of our very existence, and it comes only from Jesus! He is the very personification of the word! 

And that brings us to this next quote: ‘Excellence is not a gift, but a skill that takes practice. We do not act rightly because we are excellent, in fact we achieve excellence by acting rightly.’ Mama Mia! How right that is! We are not naturally or automatically excellent at anything. Like everything in this life, we only become good or excellent by practice. As the old saying goes; ‘Practice makes perfect.’ And as a Christian, a believer in Christ Jesus, it’s of the utmost importance that we become excellent in all aspects of life, as He is excellent. 

He expects it of His followers, for an organization is only as good as its weakest link. And we can only become excellent followers of Jesus if we live right, live the way that He desires of us. The same thing goes for the enemy: we can live excellently for him if we faithfully practice evil. But in whatever it is, we will never become excellent, unless and until we keep doing it over and over. 

And this last quote is also an eye-opener. It says: ‘LOVE has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get – only with what you are expecting to give – which is everything.’ And as followers of Jesus, we are expected to give a lot, but in so doing, we also receive a lot from our Lord and Saviour. He sacrificed His sinless life for us on the cross of Calvary, bringing forgiveness of sins, reconciliation to God, salvation and eternal life to anyone who sincerely believes in Him. So, when He says: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ (Acts 20:35) He knows a whole lot about giving! 

And it’s interesting to note, per the scholars that ‘Here alone is a quotation from Christ that is not recorded in the Gospels.’ Imagine an important pronouncement like that not being recorded by any of the gospel writers nuh. Makes you wonder if it’s true at all. But there’s no doubt about it, because Jesus was all about giving, about sacrificing without looking for any rewards, and so ought we to be as loyal and true followers. 

So friends, let’s go home today, on this sunny Saturday morn, the last day of April 2022, with a such joy in our hearts from all the wonderful things that we’ve received from Jesus, that we now want to share it all very generously with those around us. That’s the good life; the abundant life Christ died for us to have! Much LOVE!

 joyful giving…expresses our happiness and contentment…found in the promises of God… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8    

Today’s Scrip-Bit   29 April 2022 Philippians 4:13.

Philippians 4:13.      I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.

Oh what a beautiful day! And for a Friday to boot, the start of the weekend! And the temperature might even come up a little higher than it’s been doing the last few days. Wow! As the man says in his song: ‘It’s too much of a beautiful day not to have a good day. So hope everything is blessed my neighbour. Have a beautiful day! Doh care what nobody say, just have a beautiful day!’ 

And if the Holy Spirit of Jesus dwells within us that should be automatic, with only peace and LOVE pouring forth from us, no hatred whatsoever. So, with the sunshine shining all around us physically, and the awesome light and LOVE of Jesus shining through us…Oh Mama! There’s no reason not to have a good and blessed day, regardless of whatever comes against us! 

And I know that some of us will complain and say, you don’t know my circumstances, and that’s true, but I’ve had rough circumstances too, and the Lord brought me through them because I trusted in Him to do so. And He will do the same for you, if you put your total trust in Him, because it’s all a matter of faith and trust! And yes, He’s promised to bring you through it all eventually, safe and sound, but also a tad more mature. 

However, you’ve got to learn to accept and believe the Lord’s promises, some three thousand in the Good Book, despite the turbulent circumstances. And that only happens by constant association with Him, that’s prayer, and serious meditation on His word, and remembering all the other times that He’s brought you through the storm unharmed…and doing it all with a good attitude too. (smile) 

No, it’s not easy, and it doesn’t happen overnight. But listen to these encouraging words of Bruh Pal written to the church at Philippi when they began helping him again financially, after some lean times in their church. ‘But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last your care of (concern for) me hath flourished again (been revived); wherein ye were also careful (though you surely did care), but ye lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.’ (Phil. 4:10-11) 

Yes friends, Bruh Paul was in a disgusting Roman jail when he wrote this, but he did not come upon that sentiment overnight, but through much hardship and suffering, aided and abetted by the Holy Spirit and the supreme trust in God’s promises that He would bring him through it all. 

And the scholars tell us that ‘Paul’s ability to be content despite the circumstances assures the readers that his joy of verse 10 is not solely over his “need” being met at their expense. He implies that he could have done without their financial aid. For justifies this implication. I have learned …to be content: The Greek here suggests that contentment is a lesson learned neither in a classroom nor overnight, but through many practical experiences in life.’ 

Consequently, he could say quite sincerely: ‘I know both how to be abased (live humbly), and I know how to abound (live in prosperity): every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.’ (Phil. 4:12) And all of that simply means he’s disciplined himself to ‘to tighten his belt in lean times,’ and to live good in the prosperous times. In other words, he’s learned the secret of how to be satisfied in all circumstances. 

And I like how the scholars say: ‘Paul has acquired the skill for successfully living with little and with much, the latter probably being harder.’ Then they quote Thomas Carlyle, the Scottish writer, in support of that last assertion. ‘For one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity.’ And we just have to look around us in our confused and crazy society and see that it’s true. But then Bruh Paul throws out his real mainstay, the real reason he can accomplish all those tough things. ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.’ (Phil. 4:13) 

Oh mih people, that’s it right there! Only with the strength of Christ working in us can we do those tough things, especially in tough times! But please note that that strength which emanates from Christ is not to do anything that we please, like lustful or greedy pleasures, but to do what’s in His will for us. That’s something we should all be very clear on. Christ’s strength imbues us to do His will, not our sinful desires. 

And though we might be able to manipulate some situations, please remember there will always be negative consequences for going against God’s will. That’s why Uncle Charles (Dr. Charles Stanley) keeps drilling it in our heads that the best way to live this life is to ‘Obey God, and leave all the consequences to Him!’ And you cannot find a better all-around philosophy than that! 

So, hopefully having made our point that Christ is the greatest thing since sliced bread, (smile) let’s end today’s session by going to the throne of grace in prayer, through our Friday Chant, seeking help in these serious times of need. As one 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, the only way to ensure that the Lord will look down on us with a positive answer is to keep whatever promises we’ve just made. Let Him see them truthfully written in our hearts and manifested in our outward behaviour. Much LOVE!

…only with Christ working in and through us…can we live a truly successful life… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​   

Today’s Scrip-Bit   28 April 2022 Psalm 1:1.

Psalm 1:1.       Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly (wicked), nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 

It looks like another beautiful day is in the offing, although it’s still a tad chilly for this time of year, but we certainly won’t refuse the sunshine, especially after the recent inclement and topsy-turvy weather in our area. And today friends, we are going to look at the type of person who warms the cockles of God’s heart as it is written in Psalm 1 – titled ‘Blessed are the Righteous.’ 

And with no mincing of words, right at the very beginning the psalm tells us that, ‘Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly (wicked), nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate (ponder) day and night.’ (Ps. 1:1-2) 

Those two simple verses say it all my people. The man who will find God’s favour doesn’t cavort with the wicked, but ponders on God’s word continually, and tries to live by what it says. Remember God’s warning 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 (shall constantly be in 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) 

That tells us one thing; that a successful life depends on knowing God’s word intimately and putting it into action! And you can see that God was quite serious in His warning to Joshua, because He tells him the same basic thing in verses 6-9; be strong and courageous, read my word and live it, then you will have success. And that’s why the psalmist could confidently write those first verses of our psalm, and it’s perhaps why so many of us supposed believers are not having much success in our lives today. We are possibly hanging out with the wrong crowd, and thus are not knowledgeable enough in God’s word, so we cannot put it into proper action. 

For as the psalmist continues about the blessed man: ‘And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers (channels) of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in season; his leaf shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.’ (Ps. 1:3). Glory be my brethren! Can you imagine that? A person who does the will of God will never suffer want. Whatever the circumstance, they will be successful. 

And Jeremiah reinforces that picture with these marvellous words of promise. ‘Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is, for he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see (fear) when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green and shall not be careful (anxious) in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.’ (Jer. 17:7-8) It couldn’t be put any better or simpler than that friends. The Lord favours those who walk in the wisdom of His word and power! 

And the scholars offer this interesting explanation of Psalm 1. They say, ‘The key word in the psalm is the word blessed. It serves as a pronouncement upon a man – but a certain kind of man. In essence, the psalm is teaching that the blessed or happy man is the righteous man. The happy man avoids evil influences, deeds, and attitudes (vs.1); he delights in God’s word (vs.2); therefore, God causes him to prosper (vs.3).’ 

That makes total sense. If you do what God desires, lives the way He wants you to live, then He will make your way prosperous. It’s just simple common sense, especially when we consider that the Lord is our Creator, the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe and has ultimate control over our lives and everything that happens therein! But these days, we seem to be forgetting those basic facts and rebelling against His rule, even trying to remove Him from our society. It’s utter foolishness my people, because God has made it so clear that He will not allow anybody to overthrow him or usurp His awesome power. 

Just consider what happened when the proud and foolish archangel Lucifer tried to overthrow the Lord. Him and his foolish cohorts were unceremoniously kicked out of heaven and the good life they lived, to walk the earth in sorrow and pain, till the Lord is ready to finally destroy them. And that’s what will happen to those of us who refuse to accept the risen Christ as Lord and Saviour, and instead bow down to the prince of darkness and this evil and ungodly world. 

The psalmist puts it thus: ‘The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgement, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.’ (Ps. 1:4-6) Very simply and precisely spoken my fellow saints. 

But, as the scholars explain: ‘On the other hand, the ungodly is worth no more than chaff (vs.4), and his destiny is judgement (vs. 5). Finally, the evaluation by the Lord Himself is described (vs.6). For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous (and it will be blessed), but (He also knows) the way of the ungodly (and it) shall perish. The psalm forms an appropriate introduction to the Psalter since it sets before the readers the three characters who will figure mostly in the psalms: the righteous, the ungodly, and God.’ 

And just for good measure (smile) we are going to add these precious words of another psalmist to the mix. ‘The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. they shall bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat (plump) and flourishing (green).’ (Ps. 92:12-14) Yuh see that friends, even in old age the righteous shall be fat and flourishing because they live by the word of the Lord. 

So let’s remember that nuh as we go home today declaring (steups!!!) our Thursday Blessings that our wonderful God has 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!’ 

And now, having invoked those blessings, it’s our bounden duty to go out and activate them in the service of the Lord, in the lives of others, just as generously as the Lord has shared them with us. Much LOVE!

…the prevailing options for living life…are in righteousness and in evil…but the smart money will always be on the former… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   27 April 2022 Luke 15:17a.

Luke 15:17a. And when he came to himself…

Wednesday’s looking good! But would you believe that the temperature right now is close to freezing, and there was some frost on the land last night, and a few flurries a while ago? That at the end of April. But that’s how it goes these days; nothing sure and steadfast except Jesus. We need to remember that, every day we awaken and His breath of life still flows through our body…ONLY Jesus cares…and ONLY He has the power to do anything different. 

And today we’re going to check out a rather interesting poem written in the early 20th century by Toronto’s ‘Jail Poet.’ That’s John McDonagh, who according to a recent story in the Toronto Star Newspaper, in the days leading up to Easter 1907, was fined $5 for selling his poem ‘The Prodigal’s Return (Written from Real Life)’ on the streets of Toronto without a license. I guess we could call him Toronto’s first Poet Laureate, because it seems like he made a decent living from his many writings. 

And the ‘Jail Poet’ name apparently came from his being incarcerated several times at the Langstaff Jail Farm north of the city, where convicts served short sentences and did agricultural work, and then writing the very popular poem ‘The Man Behind the Wheelbarrow.’ Unfortunately, not much was known of McDonagh’s background, but he seemed to travel much in the province selling his work, and most of his poems have apparently been lost. It seems he spent his money on food and stuff for others. He also appeared to have addictions and mental problems, and was sentenced to confinement at the mental hospital at 999 Queen Street. 

But the poem we’re going to read today was published by the Star in 1907. It’s aptly titled ‘The Prodigal’s Return,’ with the subtitle (Written from Real Life.) Please read with me: ‘For a great many years I wandered about and I lived on the husks as they fell, Yes, the wages of sin it surely is death As the Lord in His word doth us tell. Yes, I wandered about, from pillar to post, and my substance in riotness spent. But the Lord followed up, and laid on the stripes No matter wherever I went. 

I’m the Prodigal son, and I came to myself; I’d been “feeding the swine” as of yore, But I turned ‘about face’ and started for home with a heart that was bleeding and sore. My father saw me while yet afar off, He knew ‘twas His Prodigal boy, He fell on my neck, and kissed his poor child While his heart was o’er flooded with joy. With a ring for my finger and a chain for my neck My Father did welcome me home. Yes, he welcomed me back though a poor erring child And no more from my Saviour I’ll roam. 

For I tell you, dear friends, if you sow to the wind ‘Tis the winds you surely shall reap For ‘tis thus that we read in the Lord’s Holy Word And his word with a vengeance he’ll keep. For ‘vengeance is mine’ he also hath said And he says, “I will surely repay.” ‘Tis a great stubborn fact, and millions on earth Are reaping the whirlwind today. So I say to you youthful when starting in life Trusting in Jesus, make heaven the prize, And don’t ever list to Old Nick’s luring voice For he’s surely the “father of lies.” 

He’s an oily tongued monster, with poisonous fangs. A fact which I’ve proved real well, Yes, he lured me right on, ‘till I stood, my dear friends, On the verge of a fierce, yawning hell.” And I say to you aged, who are still out of Christ, ‘Tis a terrible place where you stand, The Lord in his mercy is beckoning still Oh, why not reach out for his hand? So pray for me, brothers, and pray for me sisters, The Master’s great cause to maintain And help me win souls for heaven above since I’m back to my Father again.’ J.J.M. McDonagh. Belleville, June 28, 1907. 

Wow! What more can I say friends? I like it, a sermon in poem form. He hit all the right spots in Jesus’ parable of the Prodigal Son found in Luke 15:11-32. He certainly knew God’s Word better than many of us do today. I like how he talks about spending his substance ‘in riotness’ and then living on the husks as they fell, referring to the Prodigal son after wasting his wealth on riotous living, feeding pigs in a foreign land, the lowest state a Jewish person could ever come to. Jesus said it thus: ‘And he would fain (gladly) have filled his belly with the husks (carob pods) that the swine did eat, and no man gave unto him.’ (Luke 15:16) 

But please note what McDonagh says: ‘But the Lord followed up And laid on the stripes No matter wherever I went.’ Ah friends, our wonderful God allows us to roam freely, but at a price, and if we’re lucky, blessed and wise, we’ll reach the point like Jesus said: ‘And when he came to himself…’ Oh my people, so many of us in these tempestuous and turbulent times so badly need to come to ourselves and realize that Jesus is the ONLY way to go and accept Him as Lord and Saviour, like the prodigal son finally did. ‘How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father…And he arose and came to his father.’ (Luke 15:17b-18a, 20a)

I like how McDonagh puts it: ‘But I turned “about face” and started for home with a heart that was bleeding and sore.’ Yes friends, that’s where Jesus excels; in healing wounded and broken hearts, of giving comfort to the comfortless! He’s the Master of that! He’s Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals! And please Remember ‘the Great Invitation’ (Matt. 11:28-30) So, if today you’re wounded and hurting and needing comfort, then the best place to turn is to Jesus! He will never turn you away…for remember, that’s who He came to save, the sick, the hurt and wounded. 

And just like the prodigal when you come to Jesus, He knows all about you. ‘My Father saw me while yet afar off, He knew ‘twas His prodigal boy, He fell on my neck, and kissed his poor child, while his heart was o’er flooded with joy.’ And that’s the exact reaction that Jesus has when we come to Him! He knows us because He’s been keeping watch over us all the time, just waiting for us to come to our senses. And oh, the joy that flows in heaven when we come to Him. Listen to Jesus on the subject. ‘I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just (upright) persons, which need no repentance.’ (Luke 15:7) 

Yes friends, there is indeed great joy in heaven when the lost is found, when the wayward comes home and those living in darkness, see the light! And it’s our job to help those who don’t know Jesus and His marvellous attributes to see the light, the error of their ways and turn to Him for succour, salvation and eternal life. And for those of us who are sincerely trying to do that, let’s go home now declaring (chuh!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 

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

And a gentle reminder to us all…if we endure unto the end, then that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine. Wow! That means enduring to the end my people! Much LOVE!

…even when we walk away from Jesus…He keeps us in His sights…patiently waiting…for our prodigal return… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​  

Today’s Scrip-Bit   26 April 2022 Romans 12:2a.

Romans 12:2a.       And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,

It looks like it’s going to be a good Tuesday, but who knows with the contrary weather patterns that now seem to exist. Yesterday began and ended with rain, with some sunshine thrown in for good measure in between. (smile) Things are just not what they used to be; everything’s now in a state of upheaval and controversy. What a good thing though that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever! That means we can place our utmost trust in Him to always react the same way under the same circumstances. 

And it’s ever so important in this life to have something or someone that’s steadfast and sure, that we can depend on for good guidance and safe refuge, that doesn’t change from one minute to the next. And the ONE person who fills that position so marvellously in the believer’s life is none other than the risen Christ! 

Give Him thanks and praise for His selfless sacrifice on our behalf! He died for us, rose from the dead, and ascended back to heaven, where He now sits at the Father’s right hand advocating in our favour, while His Holy Spirit dwells quietly, but purposefully within us to lead and guide us in His ways and desires. 

That’s the best hand we could ever be dealt in this topsy-turvy world my brethren! So please, let’s be wise and hold on tightly to it nuh, because the only other option available, that of Satan and his evil ways is not a good one. Oh, his pleasures seem so wonderful on the outside, but deep down they are filled with misery and pain. His is just a façade to inveigle you to join in sin and foolish pleasures that in the end only bring pain and sorrow, with death and eternal separation from our Creator. 

And that’s certainly not something to look forward to. In fact, it’s the worst thing than can ever happen to a created being! But the enemy wants us to go to hellfire and damnation with him, so he makes his stuff alluring and sensual, working on the weakness of our minds, through the lusts of our flesh to bring us into his camp. And that’s where it all begins and ends friends, in our minds, for our minds are the battlefields of Jesus and the enemy. And whoever controls our minds controls our desires and behaviour. 

Thus, it is imperative to take control of our minds and keep them going along the straight and narrow path outlined by Jesus, and not the wide and destructive one used by the enemy. That’s why Bruh Paul seriously warns in his missive to the church at Rome. ‘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) 

Yes friends, we are to stop conforming to the evil and lustful pleasures and desires that this world now hold so dearly, because they do not hold God’s will for us. We must stoutly resist being poured into the mold of this world’s value systems and thinking and therefore its conduct. 

And per our Dedication to the Will of God, as spoken of by Bruh Paul, the scholars tell us: ‘God’s will refers to His purpose for the life of the believer. It implies His guidance or direction in ALL of life’s decisions. Dedication is an act of surrender or submission to His will for our lives whereby we become a “living sacrifice.” Daily dependence on God results in our transformation into the image of Christ. 

Illustration: When we seek to discern the will of God we must also be committed to doing the will of God as it is revealed in the Word of God (John 7:17). Application: The believer should evaluate every decision on the basis of biblical principles, knowing that obedience brings God’s blessing. (First Ref. Gen. 22:12. (Abraham’s obedience to sacrifice Isaac) Primary ref. Rom. 12:1.)’ 

All of that simply means living for Jesus includes ALL aspects of our lives, without any exceptions whatsoever. And that is ofttimes hard, especially for new believers, but it’s something we must attain to, set our sights on, if we are to truly live for Him. And thus Bruh Paul wrote these words in his second letter to the church at Corinth which was then undergoing a lot of controversy. ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. and all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.’ (2 Cor. 5:17-18) 

Ah my people, those are words for us to treasure, and even more so to follow! (smile) That’s because when we come to Christ, all our old sinful behaviour must be cast aside, left behind, and we must become new people in Christ, living the way He expects of us. The scholars explain that ‘when a man comes into vital union with the risen and glorified Lord, he is a “new creation.” (cf. John 3:3; 15:5; Rom. 8:1,9; Gal. 6:14-15) and perceives Christ in a new way. Old things are passed away, indicates a decisive break with the old life at the moment of salvation. Behold, all things are become new, stresses the abiding results of the Christian’s union with Christ (cf. Is. 43:18-19; 65:17; Eph. 4:24; Rev. 21:4-5)’ 

Yes, my fellow saints, once we come to Christ, we need to continually abide in Him if we want to see the fruit of the Spirit develop in our lives. And Jesus made that quite clear through these decisive words to the disciples. ‘Abide in me, and I abide 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) 

Now I don’t think that needs any explanation, for Jesus said it as clearly and simply as it could be put; without Him, we can do nothing! And that’s a fact that should be written indelibly in our hearts, and thus kept uppermost in our minds as we go about our day’s tasks. And I believe we’ve said enough for today, we have enough to consider and contemplate upon. (smile) So, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. 

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

Now, it behooves us to go out and share that amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do. Much LOVE!

…in Christ…we put our everything…because He is our EVERYTHING… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8​ 

Today’s Scrip-Bit   25 April 2022 Ecclesiastes 3:1.

Ecclesiastes 3:1.      To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.

And on this last Monday of April 2022, the second one after Christ’s triumphant resurrection at Easter, although the sun is shining under a slight cloud cover, we are not in any doubt of our past, present or future. And why is that you ask? Well, obviously because we are alive and kicking through the awesome mercies and compassions of our great God, which are new every day! And all God’s children gave out a loud, proud and grateful ‘Glory Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! Praise His Holy Name!’ 

And yes, we ought to be everlastingly grateful that He’s not consumed us in our iniquity, but even more so that He gives us a brand new start every day! Wow! Yes mih bredrin, our great God doesn’t believe in stale, left over stuff, so He gives us a new burst of His spiritual energy every single day of our lives, just enough to get us successfully through that particular day. And some of us might be greedy and want more than a day’s worth, but He knows just how much is sufficient for us. 

Remember Jesus’ words in the prayer He taught the disciples? ‘Give us this day our daily bread.’ Yes, all we need is one day of God’s provision at a time, like He did with the manna He gave to the Hebrews in the wilderness. If they picked up more than a day’s worth, it was spoiled by the next day. (Ex. 16) And we must learn to be satisfied with what God gives us every day, don’t try to go running ahead of Him, because then we only screw up all His well laid plans for us. And sadly, our impatience, and our ability to wait on God and His impeccable timing is exactly why so many of us are getting nowhere fast. 

One commentator puts it simply and succinctly: ‘For us, God’s timing often feels like a long, desperate delay. God’s perfect timing does two things: It grows our faith as we are forced to wait and trust in God and it makes certain that He, and He alone, gets the glory and praise for pulling us through.’ That’s gospel truth my people! And Bruh David said it in Psalm 31: “My times are in Your hands …” (Ps. 31:15) More gospel truth! 

And there are so many scriptures in the Good Book that teach us about waiting on God’s perfect timing. So, this Monday morning, let’s remind ourselves of a few of them nuh. It can’t possibly do us any harm, and it will certainly do us much good. (smile) And we begin with this marvellous and true statement from Cousin Sol writing as the preacher in Ecclesiastes, where He wisely declares: ‘To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.’ (Eccl. 3:1) And that’s no lie, for God has planned His universe with perfect perfection (smile) and nothing happens outside of His plan. 

And we ought to remember that, for as Cousin Sol writes in Proverbs 16: ‘A man’s heart deviseth (plans) his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.’ (Prov. 16:9) And the Lord is indeed sovereign over man’s planning and scheming, as so many of us have found out to our detriment. 

But these marvellous words from the prophet Jeremiah on God’s behalf, ought to boost our faith and trust in God, although they don’t seem to do so, otherwise we wouldn’t be as impatient and disobedient as we are. ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer. 29:11) Now, if God gives such a great promise, why would He do anything contrary to it eh? No reason whatsoever! 

And if He does allow us to go through hardship it’s only to test our faith and to grow us. And for that, He’s given us this magnificent and everlasting promise. ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom. 8:28) So as children of God, we ought to know and believe that He will indeed work out everything for our good eventually and wait patiently for His awesome timing. But our current behaviour doesn’t reflect that promise enough. 

And these words of Peter remind us that our God works on an entirely different timeline than us. ‘But beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.’ (2 Pet. 3:8) Now that should make us put on our thinking caps. (smile) And furthermore, as Peter continues: ‘The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.’ (2 Pet. 3:9) 

That explains why we’re not consumed but receive new mercies and compassions every day. If the Lord wasn’t long-suffering, that’s patient, we would have been destroyed long ago. So please let’s give much thanks that patience is one of His many virtues. And I think that these words from Jeremiah in his Lamentations is a wonderful scripture to close on. ‘The Lord is my portion, saith my soul: therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.’ (Lam. 3:24-26) 

Now friends, there’s absolutely no way we can doubt those scriptures because they are the indisputable truth of God’s word. So please, let’s get ourselves together nuh, for our sakes and those of our children, and begin truly believing in what we read and waiting patiently on God’s timing, because He always has what’s best for us. There’s absolutely no doubt about that! And in keeping with all that we’ve said today, let’s go to our wonderful God in prayer, right now nuh, letting Him know our wants and desires through our Monday Morning battle Hymn. 

As one strong and confident but humble 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 it’s time to show our sincerity by living the way we promised…provided we want to receive a positive answer from God. Much LOVE!

…living this earthly life is very simple…simply obey God…and leave all the consequences to him… (Uncle Charles – Dr. Charles Stanley)                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 April 2022 Isaiah 43:11.

Isaiah 43:11.       I, even I, am the Lord, and beside me there is no saviour…. 

It’s time to come together friends, for our weekly tete a tete, our weekly heart to heart with our heavenly Father, where we offer up our praise and thanksgiving, while He showers us with renewed strength and confidence to face another trying week in this evil and ungodly world. And today, this first Sunday after Christ’s miraculous resurrection, we are going to open our worship with a heartfelt but oh so true song. It’s titled ‘God Will Make a Way.’ Its author is Don Moen, the music professor and long-time choir director for the Hour of Power Religious Programme. 

The story goes that some years ago, he received a phone call late one night, informing him that some of His family members had met in a fatal vehicle accident. We all know what that kind of phone call can bring, and deep in sorrow, he says, on his way to the accident scene, while contemplating what to do, the Lord placed these comforting words in his heart. Let’s sing them now nuh, with a real heartfelt and soulful feeling, knowing that they are true, because we too have experienced the marvellous comfort and LOVE of our great God in our times of sorrow. 

So, in true sacrificial praise: ‘God will make a way Where there seems to be no way He works in ways we cannot see He will make a way for me He will be my guide Hold me closely to His side With LOVE and strength for each new day He will make a way, He will make a way. By a roadway in the wilderness, He’ll lead me And rivers in the desert will I see Heaven and Earth will fade but His word will still remain And He will do something new today Oh, God will make a way Where there seems to be no way He works in ways we cannot see He will make a way for me He will be my guide Hold me closely to His side With LOVE and strength for each new day He will make a way, He will make a way. 

By a roadway in the wilderness, He’ll lead me And rivers in the desert will I see Heaven and Earth will fade but His word will still remain And He will do something new today Oh, God will make a way Where there seems to be no way He works in ways we cannot see He will make a way for me He will be my guide Hold me closely to His side With LOVE and strength for each new day He will make a way, He will make a way With LOVE and strength for each new day He will make a way, He will make a way.’ 

And if you are true and faithful believer, then you know that that is the God-awesome truth! Our God will ALWAYS make a way for us to handle whatever comes against us. Bruh Paul said it so well in 2 Corinthians. ‘Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble (tribulation), by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.’ (2 Cor. 1:3-4) What an awesome God we serve my people! 

And if we are only new believers and haven’t had much of that kind of experience with God, His word is literally littered (smile) with occasions where He’s made a way, where there seemed to be no way. Look at how He told Noah to build and ark. Poor Noah didn’t have a clue about building an ark, but ended up building a big and sturdy craft that would have been a wonder of the world, even by today’s standards, by simply following God’s directions. The story can be found in Genesis chapter 6. 

The same thing goes for Abraham: God told him to pick up his family and leave for parts unknown, and at seventy-five years old, Abraham did as told, and God showed him the way to where He wanted him to go. Genesis 12 tells us that story. And what about when God told Abraham to sacrifice his only child Isaac, that’s after promising that Isaac would be his road to greatness. Abraham must have wondered what God was about, but again he remained faithful, and just as he was about to plunge the knife into Isaac’s heart, the Lord stopped him, and instead provided a ram tangled in the nearby bushes for the sacrifice. That you can find in Genesis 22. 

Then check out the descendants of Abraham, the Hebrew children enslaved in Egypt. The Lord heard their cry for freedom and after several hundred years, sent Moses to do the job. Moses was rather reluctant, but the Lord stood beside him all the way. And when Pharaoh finally allowed the Egyptians to leave, how did He do it? By parting the Red Sea and allowing the Hebrews to walk through on dry land, but then closing up the trench and drowning the Egyptians when they pursued them. Exodus 14 tells that rather interesting story. 

And God didn’t take them the easy route to the Promised Land, for fear that they would encounter warlike tribes and lose heart and return to Egypt. He took them the long, hard way, through the wilderness. ‘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) Wow! What an innovative and resourceful God is our Lord!  

And then, when it seemed they would die of thirst in the wilderness, they came to the bitter waters of Marah, and complained to Moses, who in turn cried out to the Lord for direction. He had Moses cast a tree into the waters, and the waters were made sweet. (Ex. 15:23-25) And when the children of Israel were hungry, the Lord sent them manna from heaven and quails enough to choke them. (smile) Ex. 16 tells that story. And though the Lord kept them in the wilderness for forty long years because of their stubborn disobedience, until all those who had come out of Egypt died, except Joshua and Caleb, He did so without their clothes or shoes wearing out, or them becoming sick. 

And without fail, all down through the ages, the Lord has looked after those who bowed down to Him in all sincerity and truth. And the most important promise, He made through the prophet Isaiah in speaking of the Lord as their only redeemer. The Good Book tells it thus: ‘When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon (scorch) thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee (in thy place).’ (Is. 43:2-3) What a mighty promise that is friends! 

And later on in that chapter the Lord further declares: ‘I, even I, am the Lord, and beside me there is no saviour…. Yea, before the day was I am he, and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let (reverse) it?’ (Is. 43:11, 13) Now that’s a very good question. And the answer to it is NOBODY! 

Yes my fellow saints, our God is great and powerful enough to make big promises and to also keep them. And did He ever keep that big one about being the redeemer, which He fulfilled through the death and resurrection of Christ in the Easter Season, which we’ve just celebrated, in fact are still celebrating! (smile) 

So, if you are a true believer in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, then there is no reason to fear anything this world can throw against us, for the Creator of heaven and earth, and all therein, has promised to protect His people who are called by His name. Glory Be! That means we can be assured of the Lord’s grace and mercy in any and every circumstance, of His making a way, where there seems to be no way, for He is the God of marvellous miracles! Much LOVE!

…I am the first…and I am the last…and beside me there is NO God… (Is. 44:6b) 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8          

Today’s Scrip-Bit   23 April 2022 John 8:32.

John 8:32.      And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. 

And then it was Saturday; the Jack of all trades day, meaning you can work, rest and/or party comfortably, without any self-recriminations on Saturdays. (smile) Some of us choose to work, especially around the house, doing the personal things we don’t have time for during the work week. Others choose to be simply couch potatoes for the entire day, in front of the boob-tube. And then there are those of us who think that Saturdays were simply made for partying…and nothing else. 

For us though here on the Bit, Saturday means checking out the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this past week as he aspires to inspires us for a better tomorrow. And the first one says: ‘Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.’ And that seems true enough, for you can’t do something or go somewhere unless you’ve first decided what you’re going to do or where you’re going to go. It all begins in the mind’s eye. And that’s also the first law of Christ’s kingdom: You’ll see it when you believe it. That means walking by faith and not by sight. (1 Cor. 5:7) 

Remember Jesus’ words to Martha before He raised her brother Lazarus from the dead. ‘Said I not unto thee, that if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?’ (John 11:40) The same thing applies to us today my faithful brethren; we won’t see the glory of Almighty God unless and until we believe that He is able to do anything and everything. Likewise, in our personal lives, we won’t bring anything to reality unless we first envision it in our minds and then believe, with God’s help we can make it real. 

That brings us to this next quote: ‘On any given Monday I am one sale closer and one idea away from being a millionaire.’ And that’s no lie! On any new day it’s possible to do great things, because we are always, only one step away from greatness, from doing the improbable, especially if the Lord God Jehovah is in our corner and He thinks the time is right for a monumental blessing. And surprisingly, it often takes only ONE of anything, to propel us to lofty heights. Which seems sort of contrary to this next quote, which tells us that ‘If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.’

 Now that’s gospel truth, especially in the entertainment business. Somebody who we’ve never heard of before comes up with a hit song or something, and we quickly claim that they’re an overnight success. But we never hear of the years they been toiling in the trenches for a pittance, begging for breaks they never got, or being ripped off by unscrupulous promoters. Most of them have done their time, have spent time learning their craft, living hand to mouth, doing odd jobs so they can survive. But we never hear about that, just the seemingly quick path to success. 

However, there are some true overnight successes, but they never last. They are here today and gone tomorrow. And the truth is, if we want to make it big in anything at all, and remain at a decent level, we have to put in the time, the elbow grease, the disappointments, the wondering if we will ever succeed, or if we made a mistake doing what we’re doing. But remember too, that without perseverance and endurance you will never get to the winner’s circle. 

And there’s no field of endeavour in which that’s truer than in our Christian walk of faith. Without taking up our crosses and bearing them with a good attitude, which can only be fuelled by serious meditation on God’s word and serious time spent talking to Him, we will never become model Christians for others to see and want to emulate. It’s why Christ calls us, or rather desires us, to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. We are needed to add flavour and light to a dark and desolate world, which, unfortunately, we are not doing such a good job at, otherwise the world would still not be as dark and desolate as it is currently. 

This Easter Season, we’ve made a big fuss over Jesus, His death and resurrection, just like we do over his birth at Christmas, but then in the twinkling of an eye we forget all the wonderful things we claim He’s done, is doing, and will do for us, and we revert to our normal behaviour; that of living more in the world than in the kingdom of God. No wonder the world doesn’t get any better. Shame on us friends! 

Then we come to this quote: ‘There is no harm in repeating a good thing.’ Technically speaking, that’s true, especially where learning is concerned, but in our current society nobody wants to hear, see, or do the same thing over and over. Our penchant nowadays is for something new, with new seasons for cars, clothes, phones, even for people, (smile) although we have not understood or hardly used the last new thing. That’s made us into a ‘throwaway society.’ And then we wonder why there is so much junk in our world and why our environment is being so badly abused. 

The hard fact of the matter though is that we only learn anything by repetition, doing it over and over. And again, that is oh so true of our Christian faith. We can only learn God’s ways by reading and studying His word over and over. And that’s exactly what He said to Joshua when he made him leader of the Israelites after the death of Moses. ‘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 I guess that explains why so many of us supposed Christians aren’t prosperous and don’t have good success: we don’t meditate on God’s word, and therefore don’t do what it says. That brings us to this last quote. ‘No one is more hated than he who speaks the truth.’ And I’m in a quandary over that one, because we all hate those who tell lies, but at the same time if we consider the word of God as being the truth, then many are disliked when they speak it. And we are all supposedly searching for and seeking truth, which is basically facts, the actuality of things or events and reality. 

But with Jesus, truth comes from Him, as He says, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life…’ (John 14:6) His truth stems from the fact that we are all purveyors of sin, but He tells us that, ‘If ye continue (abide) in my word, then ye are my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’ (John 8:31-32) But by the same token, Jesus warned about those who hold to His truth. ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.’ (Mark 13:13) 

Yes, my fellow saints, there’s no better way to end this Saturday morning than on those words of truth. The world doesn’t like followers of Christ and will do its best to make our lives miserable, but we know the truth, that’s Jesus, and that awesome knowledge has set us free, and we WILL abide in it right to the very end! Much LOVE!

…in this world…EVERYTHING revolves around Jesus…from Creation to Salvation…that’s the truth…

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8         

Today’s Scrip-Bit   22 April 2022 Lamentations 3:22.

Lamentations 3:22.      It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

And so, Friday has opened bright and sunshiny, but somewhat chilly, not as warm as it ought to be at this time of spring. But that’s okay, we can handle anything that comes against us because of the Holy Spirit of Jesus that indwells us. It gives us the boldness, the confidence to declare: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday!’ 

And since it’s a day He has made, we shall therefore rejoice and be glad in it! So, please give our great God some thanks and praise for His wonderful works to us undeserving children of men. Let’s gratefully remember, as Jeremiah said in his Lamentations: ‘It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.’ (Lam. 3:22-23) 

Oh my people, it is indeed because of the Lord’s compassion, His mercy and faithfulness that we are not totally destroyed. And He especially showed His great LOVE and compassion for us in this past Easter Season when He sent His Son, Jesus Christ to die on the cross so he could justly and righteously have reason to forgive our sins! No greater LOVE than that can ever be found! 

And in explaining ‘faithfulness,’ the scholars tell us that: ‘The word root from which it comes stresses that real faith is more than inner belief, even more than whole-souled committal. It is a condition of the soul marked by such a stable character and an attitude of total trust that the believer’s whole life is imbued with consistent, responsible service to God (c.f. 1 Sam. 26:23; Ps. 37:3-6). From the biblical standpoint, true faith results in faithfulness in one’s life.’ 

Yes friends, just like God has been faithful throughout His long existence, so we His creation and joint-heirs with Christ need to be faithful in all walks of our lives. And I believe that shows up positively in Jeremiah’s life when he remembers how he was mistreated, locked up and derided for preaching God’s word, and though he tried to get rid of it, the fire of the word still burned in his belly. ‘And I said, My strength and my hope is perished from the Lord: Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall (bitterness). My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled (bowed down) in me. This I recall to mind, therefore have I hope.’ (Lam. 3:18-21) 

That’s when he talks about the Lord’s compassions and mercies that we’ve spoken of above. Yuh see, once you’ve been associated with our wonderful God, and seen His faithfulness, it’s difficult to lose faith in Him, even when you go through real tough times on His behalf. That hope He imbues within us just doesn’t die, because deep down, we know that He is Almighty God; omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present, to whom all things are possible, the One who can bring us through any untoward situation if He so chooses. 

Sometimes though, unfortunately, He doesn’t choose to make us escape the difficulty, because He has some good reason for us experiencing it. But the wonderful thing about our God is that He will NEVER allow us to go through something alone; He is always beside us monitoring our progress through the particular situation and through life itself. 

That’s why the psalmist could also confidently declare in Psalm 130. ‘I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning. Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy (LOVING-kindness), and with him is plenteous (abundant) redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.’ (Ps. 130:5-8) 

Wow! What hope, and trust in God the psalmist shows there! His soul is waiting more deeply for God, than those who are keeping watch for daybreak. And he says it twice, for us to know how deep His trust and faith are in the God of his forefathers! Now that’s the kind of faith that we modern day believers ought to be showing, especially in these contrary and oh so difficult times, which seem to mimic the beginning of the last days that Jesus spoke about. 

‘Take heed lest any man deceive you: For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ: and shall deceive many. And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet. For nation shall rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers (various) places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows (birth pangs)…And the gospel must first be published among all nations.’ (Mark. 13:5-8, 10) 

But Matthew is more explicit per that last verse. He recalls Jesus saying: ‘ And the gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.’ (Matt. 24:14) And we are indeed seeing the beginnings of those sorrows for all that Jesus spoke about is currently happening, with wars and rumours of wars, famines in a world with wonderful farming skills and technology, deception everlasting, pestilence, sickness and natural disasters like we’ve never seen before. 

And above all, with our wonderful technology the gospel has already been preached or proclaimed to most of the world, and it should not take very long to do as Jesus desires; proclaim it to ALL the world. But in the meantime, we the faithful, must remain faithful and true to His name, and do what He desires of us. And the first thing in our arsenal is always prayer, that awesome method of communication between us and our heavenly Father. So let’s go to Him in prayer right now nuh, through our Friday Chant, seeking His divine help in these rather difficult times. 

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 that means cleaning up our act and having our hearts sincerely reflect what our mouths have just spoken. That is, if we want to receive a positive response from Almighty God! Much LOVE!

…commit thy way unto the Lord…trust also in him…and he shall bring it to pass… (Ps. 37:5) 

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