Today’s Scrip-Bit   31 July 2022 John 15:5b.

John 15:5b.      …for without me ye can do nothing. 

Wow friends! I can’t believe another Sunday has come around so quickly! And to make matters worse, today is also the last day of July, meaning that the summer of 2022 is almost over, only August left to go. And at the rate time seems to be travelling these days, that will soon be over too, and we’ll be back into the harsh reality of winter. But that’s okay, (smile) we’re true and staunch believers in Christ Jesus, that means we can handle anything that comes against, be it heat or cold, fire or flood, hell or highwater. 

Seriously though, with all the problems our world is currently facing, like the pandemic of Covid 19, which isn’t going away, but seems to be coming back again strong, the new virus of monkeypox, aided by all the strife and dissension, plus the many natural and man-made disasters, we don’t even have time to think about the speed with which the days are passing. 

But that’s one of the reasons why we gather every Sunday, either physically in God’s sanctuary, or by technological means, so that we can pray and give thanks and ask for divine help to deal with what’s going on around us. Also to encourage each other in the joy of the Lord, and be comforted and encouraged by our omnipotent God, so that we can go back out into the world and face it mano-a-mano, without fear or worry. 

Therefore, as we always do, let’s open with some worship, with a song aptly titled, ‘I can’t even walk without You holding my hand.’ And believe me friends that’s the gospel truth! Without Christ, we can’t’ do much of anything. But we’ll talk about that later, right now let’s raise our voices in sacrificial praise, sincerely singing the wonderful words that Joyce and Colbert Croft apparently penned. In a heartfelt, medium tempo, soulful, harmonious version, let’s do it justice! 

‘I thought number one would surely be me I thought I could be what I wanted to be I thought I could build on life’s sinking sand But now I can’t even walk without you holding my hand – I thought I could do a lot on my own I thought I could make it all alone I thought of myself as a mighty big man But Lord I can’t even walk without you holding my hand – Oh Lord, I can’t even walk without you holding my hand The mountains are too high and the valleys too wide Down on my knees that’s where I learned to stand Oh Lord, I can’t even walk without you holding my hand – 

I think I’ll make Jesus my all and all And if I’m in trouble on his name I’ll call If I didn’t trust him I’d be less of a man ‘Cause Lord I can’t even walk without you holding my hand – Oh Lord, I can’t even walk without you holding my hand The mountains are too high and the valleys too wide Down on my knees that’s where I learned to stand ‘Cause Lord I can’t even walk without you holding my hand Oh Lord, I can’t even walk without you holding my hand Yes my Saviour, I can’t walk without you holding my hand. Thank You for teaching me that through your Word…I can’t even walk, without holding your hand.’ 

And if you don’t believe that’s the God-awesome truth, then something’s wrong with your mind! (smile) Now, it’s not like we’re fishing and/or floundering for that truth, because Jesus said it with a straight face, a long time ago, when He told the disciples: ‘Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:4-5) 

That should make it very clear friends. Without Jesus, we’re nothing and can do nothing. But with Him…Mama oh Mama! We can do any and everything, even moving mountains with faith only as big as a grain of mustard seed! Yes friends, as Bruh Paul faithfully proclaimed to the church at Philippi: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ (Phil. 4:13) And the same thing applies to us; we can live under any conditions, adapt to any circumstances, be they good, bad or in-between, through Christ’s help and strength, most ably led and guided by the third member of the Trinity, the indwelling Holy Spirit. 

Meanwhile, in his second letter to the church at Corinth, Bruh Paul wrote these stirring words to them. ‘And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.’ (2 Cor. 3:4-5) And it’s not like we don’t know that the words of the song and the Good Book are very true, that we can’t do anything of value without Christ. But it’s just that we are so stubborn and pig-headed, we refuse to acknowledge it because of foolish pride. 

And please remember my people, one of the things the Lord dislikes with a burning passion is pride, because it detracts from His glory. It makes us feel He’s not important in our scheme of things, we don’t need Him, we are sufficient in and of ourselves. And that’s exactly how the world is feeling today, and why we have such a busload of unsolvable problems. I don’t know what more it will take to make us acknowledge that we can’t help ourselves, and without God we’re nothing; nothing but flimsy, flaking pottery spinning on the potter’s wheel. 

Now let’s look at a couple of statements from the song and see how they play out in real life. Right from the very beginning we get it wrong: ‘I thought number one would surely be me…I could be what I wanted to be…I could build on life’s sinking sand.’ But Jesus refutes every one of those ideas. To be number one in his kingdom, one must first learn to serve, as He told the disciples. ‘…but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister (servant). And whosoever will be chief (first) among you, let him be your servant (slave). Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto (to be served), but to minister (to serve), and to give his life a ransom for many.’ (Matt. 20:26-28) 

And, as per building life on sinking sand, Jesus also addressed that problem, when he preached about the two foundations for building in this life, the Rock: that’s Himself, His example and His words. And everything else, which is sinking sand, that will be washed away when the rains fall and the floods come. But those who keep His words, build on Him, their foundation will stand the test of time and nature, because it was built on solid rock. (Matt. 7:24-27) 

The same thing goes for these foolish and egotistic words: I thought I could do a lot on my own…could make it all alone…thought of myself as a mighty big man…’ No friends, those are all self-serving and untruthful words, which Cousin Sol warned us about very long ago, when he wrote: ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct (make smooth) thy paths.’ (Prov. 3:5-6) Now, those are really the only words we need to live by yes, my fellow saints! We satisfy all the requirements when we do those things. 

And I’ll close with my favourite line of the song: ‘Down on my knees, that’s where I learned to stand.’ And that’s the glorious truth friends! When we get down on our knees before Almighty God and declare our sincere LOVE for Him and great desire for His fellowship…that’s when we truly begin standing; standing strong in His awesome name and glorious majesty! As Luciano’s song so rightly says: Man was made to serve Jah…and to live together forever! Much LOVE!

…only safe and secure in Christ Jesus…are we anything or anybody… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   30 July 2022 Romans 8:31.

Romans 8:31.      What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

Well, well, well…if it isn’t lazy Saturday! But let me tell you a li’l ‘secrat’ (smile) as my young daughter said when she was small. I think it’s more tired Saturday than lazy Saturday oui! That’s because I never got home from the Pan Festival until 2.30 in the morning. What an example of very poor planning and communications! The show, and by the way it turned out to be just a showcase of Pan talent, not the usual competition. Anyway, the doors were scheduled to open at six o’clock and the show begin at seven. Hn! 

Now we all know that our West Indian reference to time is poor, but this one took the cake. The doors didn’t open until after seven, and the show didn’t begin until nine. And with nine bands to play two songs each, they had to skip the intermission. Can you imagine loud pan music, in particular Afro-Pan, blasting in the heart of ole Toronto after one in the morning. They must have friends in City Hall and Police Headquarters yes. (smile). But despite all the poor management, we did hear some good pan. 

The pansides were small though and with many junior members, possibly because of the pandemic and lack of time to rehearse properly. But the reigning champions Pan Fantasy, brought their big side and their ‘A game and blew them away again! That alone was worth going to see. Enough on pan now though, let’s hope next year we’ll get back to the competition format, for that really brings out the best in all of us. 

So, finally, let’s see what interesting quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And this first one tells it true. ‘Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.’ Oh, it’s always best to begin right where you are and do what you can with what you have. Wishing and hoping for better things and times won’t make it so. The important thing is to get some action going, no matter how small or insignificant it might seem. 

And to drive the point further home, let’s think about how our heavenly Father takes us, and begins with us, right where we are, even when we are at rock bottom. Yes friends, He reaches down, stoops down and gathers us up and begins molding us into the perfect image of His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ right there. He doesn’t wait for us to improve before He takes us in. Likewise, it’s best for us to always begin right where we are, and do something useful with whatever we have. 

And if you sincerely believe in Him, and ask for His help, you’ll be amazed at what that small, insignificant beginning could become with His hands on your shoulders and His Spirit in you. That brings us to the next quote: ‘The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.’ Oh my people, with Almighty God on our side, that question is immaterial, for NO ONE is going to stop us when God is rooting for us! As Bruh Paul so emphatically wrote to the church at Rome. ‘What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?’ (Rom. 8:31) 

Not a single soul! And that’s the living truth! Because, as Bruh Paul further proclaims: ‘Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.’ (Rom. 8:37) Wow mih bredrin! There’s no greater encouragement possible than simply knowing that Jehovah God is on our side, in league with us. As they say: You and God are a majority! And there’s no disputing that. With the most powerful force in the universe on your side, anything is possible. 

That leads us to this quote: ‘If you continue to think the way you’ve always thought, you’ll continue to get what you’ve always got.’ Now that’s ever so true! You can’t keep thinking the same way and expect to get different results. As the old people would say; You can’t plant peas and expect to reap corn. It’s simple, you reap what you sow and nothing else. So, if you want to get better results, you have to change your thinking because it all begins and ends in the mind, the battlefield of our souls. It’s where all the arguments are made and the decisions formed. 

Therefore, to get positive results you must have a positive mindset, and there’s no better positivity than that that can be gained from Christianity, from the Master of Positivity, Christ Jesus! He wrote the book on the subject, the Bible, where all things are possible if you believe in Him. He said it quite plainly to the father of the boy with epileptic seizures. ‘If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.’ (Mark 9:23) And that’s the major problem we are having in our world today; not enough sincere and serious belief in Christ Jesus. That’s why our world is falling apart, one brick at a time. 

Oh, we are all waiting for things to change. But when are they going to change and how eh? We have to change them and the sooner the better. That’s why this next quote is so important to us today. ‘Don’t wait for your feelings to change to take the action. Take the action and your feelings will change.’ That’s right! Feelings are flimsy and unreliable, they can change in a moment’s notice without any good reason. So we can’t depend on them to bring us around to whatever action we desire to happen or accomplish, we need to get into the action first, and when we do, then feelings will follow. 

Yes my people, too many of us are currently living by our feelings, and our feelings are letting us down because of all the sadness, strife and disaster that’s surrounding us. But when we put our trust in Jesus, feelings fly out the window, because we now have a solid, rocklike foundation on which to build, to grow our lives, not fleeting, unreliable feelings. Jesus is the most reliable foundation in the world. Now, I can tell you that until I’m blue in the face (smile) but you’ll never know it for sure, until YOU begin to build on Him. 

Oh friends, it’s all about a personal relationship with Jesus! Yes, you can tell your family and friends about Him, but until they get personal with Him, it won’t matter at all. That brings us to this last quote: ‘Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you.’ Words of awesome wisdom my fellow believers. That’s exactly what Jesus did on His earthly sojourn, for everything was stacked against Him, but He persevered in the face of rejection, of tribulation and disbelief, even to the point of death. As the Good Book says: ‘And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself , and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’ (Phil. 2:8) 

Yes, my fellow saints, Christ came to earth to do a job, and He did not allow anything or anyone to stand in His way of accomplishing the Father’s will and purpose. Likewise, we ought not to allow anything or anyone to stand in our way of doing the Father’s will for our lives. We must always put our best foot forward, even when it seems like the whole world is against us. But, please, let’s remember that working for Jesus will always bring some rejection and hardship, but perseverance in His name, will always bring us out on the winning side! So, as His earthly ambassadors, let’s sincerely commit to stand our ground and do His bidding with diligence, excellence, perseverance and true belief! Much LOVE!

…life was not meant to be a bed of roses…for even roses have thorns…  

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   29 July 2022   1 Corinthains 13:11.

1 Corinthians 13:11.      When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 

Well, it’s here at last…so let’s shout it out nuh: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and the long Caribana weekend has begun!’ And this evening I’m going to attend the only function on the calendar that I do nowadays, that’s the Steelband competition. Yes friends, that’s what it’s finally come down to. (smile) As they so truthfully say, after one time is two. But the fact of the matter is that the ole fella can no longer handle the long walking and the pushing and shoving of the young people. 

In my time, we knew how to party, but these days that wisdom seems to have gone by the bye. And the costumes and music are not as nice as before. Like life, and so many other things nowadays, the standards have fallen and it all seems watered down now… at least in my opinion. (smile) So, since I can’t handle it physically and emotionally, I just keep myself to myself, and only check out the pan competition which is always a blast; you see people you haven’t seen in ages, plus you make new friends, and don’t forget the numerous arguments and controversies, especially over the judges’ decisions at the end. 

If you’ve ever been to a Steelband competition, you’ll understand what I’m talking about. (smile) And strangely enough, I find that one occasion satisfies my Caribana weekend. Once upon a time, if I didn’t get down to the Saturday parade early, I’d be rather unmannerly to those who kept me back. My family could certainly tell you about that. (smile) But thankfully, along with age comes that very important thing called reason. That reminds me of the scripture in 1 Corinthians that says it so wisely. ‘When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.’ (1 Cor. 13:11) 

Ah friends, that’s exactly what a lot of us need to do in these uncertain, disastrous and turbulent times; give up our childish behaviour and act like the adults we’re supposed to be. We certainly don’t need all the resentment, strife, evil-doing, back-biting and scandalous behaviour that has become so much a part of our current society. And those ungodly actions are not only running rampant in the outside world but unfortunately also in the church of Christ! Obviously, that’s not welcome behaviour in the body of Christ, but who’s going to change it eh? 

Only we, the supposed believers in and followers of Christ can do that. The problem though, is do we really want to change our unchristian ways? Some of us do, but others don’t. So what’s going to happen eh? Christ’s church obviously cannot be allowed to continue being as sinful and ungodly as the world. And the sad part is that a lot of this behaviour comes from the leaders not from the basic congregations. In fact, some leaders consciously promote that behaviour. It’s obvious that they are not obeying the words of Bruh Paul to Timothy: 

‘This is a true saying, If a man desire (aspires to) the office of a bishop (overseer), he desireth a good work (a noble task). A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant (temperate), sober (sober-minded), of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to (able to) teach. Not given to (addicted to) wine, no striker (not violent), not greedy of filthy lucre (for money); but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity (reverence); For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God? (1 Tim. 3:1-5) 

Now that’s a very good question? If a man cannot run his own house in a godly manner, how then can he run Christ’s church properly eh? And the scholars tell us this about the Pastoral Office. ‘The pastor, who shepherds’ today’s church, also fulfills the New Testament role of elder and bishop (overseer), and is responsible to God for the spiritual welfare of the church (Acts 20:28). When Christ returns, He will judge and reward these pastors (elders) according to their faithfulness in leading the church to accomplish God’s will (1 Pet. 5:4).’ And I do hope that some of those leading Christ’s flock today would read that and understand it and change from their evil ways. 

But let’s look at some deeper explanations of the duties Bruh Paul associated with a godly leader. ‘Blameless means irreproachable, that is, impeccable in reputation. The husband of one wife, faithful to his wife. Vigilant means temperate. This speaks of spiritual sobriety; not intoxicated or controlled by fleshly passions and sensual appetites. To be sober is to be of sound mind; that is, not of frivolous disposition, but serious and possessing good judgement. Of good behaviour means orderly in life, habits, and work. One who is given to hospitality receives strangers warmly and treats guests generously. 

To be apt to teach is to be skillful in teaching Scripture. Not given to wine means not addicted to wine. No striker means not physically violent. Not greedy means not fond of dishonest gain. Patient means not quarrelsome, peaceable; that is does not argue over minor matters or always seeks to have his own way, but defers to the wishes of others when no cardinal doctrine or policy is sacrificed. Not covetous, literally, “not a lover of money.” His main priority is not the acquisition of money. Materialism ill befits one called above to care for the spiritual welfare of souls.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth! However, unfortunately many of our current leaders do display too many of the ungodly traits described above. Now, it must be stated that a lot is expected of them, and since they are mere men like us, they do have human drawbacks and frailties, and will have occasional lapses in godly behaviour, but the unfortunate truth is that too many of our leaders have poor leadership qualities and are thus leading Christ’s church astray, that’s why it’s in such bad shape today. 

But we cannot put all the blame and responsibility on our leaders, we the congregation also need to take some of it, for both allowing the leaders to do some of the ungodly stuff they do, and also for following them when we full well know that their actions are wrong and totally ungodly. And the only way for the church to get cleaned up is by both congregation and leaders deciding to clean it up. That’s seriously looking at themselves and doing the things they know that ought to be done. This will have to be an internal cleansing, coming to terms with our misdeeds and deciding to change our ways, with God’s help obviously. 

And there’s no better time to start than right now. So, let’s go to God in prayer, through our Friday Chant, laying our cards sincerely before Him. 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!’ 

And now that we’ve pleaded for divine help and made promises, let’s go out and keep those promises, otherwise we won’t receive that divine help. It’s as simple as that. Much LOVE!

…promises are not made to be broken…but to be kept with a sincere and honourable heart… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   28 July 2022 Philippians 3:14.

Philippians 3:14.      I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

And then it was Thursday, the penultimate day in our workweek, but around here in the Greater Toronto area, not many people are thinking of work, but of the upcoming Caribana weekend and the Simcoe holiday on Monday. Yes friends, this is T.O’s big weekend, where it’s parties galore and the big street parade on Saturday. Oh, sorry, I believe I called the celebration by the wrong name. It’s now something like Toronto Caribbean Carnival, or some such moniker, because of the legal dispute over the ownership of the ‘Caribana’ name. But call it what they will, it will always be popularly known as ‘Caribana.’ End of story! (smile) 

Now, today we are going to consider an interesting writing from our One Year Book of Bible Promises authored by Ruth Harms Calkin, titled ‘It Takes a Lifetime.’ Please read with me. ‘How I LOVE the words of the apostle Paul. ‘I don’t mean to say…that I have already reached perfection! But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be. 

No, dear brothers and sisters. I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.’ (And it’s noted there that that passage comes from the New Living Translation of Phil. 3:12-14.) 

But then the writing continues: ‘What tremendous encouragement! Paul, who knew Jesus Christ so intimately, whose consuming desire was to please Him, who endured illness, imprisonment, shipwreck, beatings, mockery, and heartache all for the sake of Christ – this very same Paul confessed he hadn’t “arrived.” God was still growing him! I see again, while my conversion took but a moment, my growth takes an entire lifetime. In God’s great wisdom and knowledge He anticipates the finished product while He LOVINGLY takes me through the long, long process.’ 

And is that ever the glorious though difficult truth my fellow believers! It certainly is! Yes, coming to Christ takes but a moment, but becoming like Christ takes an entire lifetime because it is not an easy process. And that is what a lot of us don’t seem to understand. God’s eventual purpose is to make us all over in the image of Christ, as the Good Book says: ‘For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his son, that he might be the first-born among many brethren.’ (Rom. 8:29) 

And to be made over into anything at all doesn’t happen overnight, and to be made like Christ…brother! That will obviously take ages! And, as the writing intimates, if Bruh Paul was so closely involved with Christ, knew Him so intimately and still didn’t consider himself ‘arrived,’ then it’s obvious that those of us who are not as intimate still have a long way to go. As Bruh Paul says in 2 Corinthians. ‘But we all, with open (unveiled) face beholding as in a glass (mirror) the glory of the Lord, are changed (transformed) into the same image (that of Christ) from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.’ (2 Cor. 3:18) 

Yes, it’s the Lord’s Spirit that transforms us into Christ’s likeness from glory to glory or step by step, not all at once. And Bruh Paul assures us earlier on in his missive to the Philippians: ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it (complete it) until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil. 1:6) Oh isn’t that wonderful to know my brethren! God will not stop transforming us into the image of His Son, until his Son comes back to take over His kingdom! Glory Hallelujah! 

That’s why these words of Bruh Paul are so important. And we’ll read them in the more powerful King James version. (smile) ‘Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended (arrived): but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 3:13-14) 

And all of that simply means that he has given up all his earlier accolades, like his great education and position as a powerful Pharisee, in his determined pursuit to know the risen Christ. As he also said earlier on the same letter: ‘But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ….and do count them but dung (rubbish) that I may win Christ.’ (Phil. 3:7-8) So knowing and winning Christ, and the divine prize, that’s ‘the joyful and personal satisfaction of having attained it,’ is all that he was then focused on. 

And it’s all that we should also be focused on, truly knowing Christ should be our life’s goal. So much so that when we come to the end of this earthly stage of life, we can say like Bruh Paul did to Timothy. ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto them also that LOVE his appearing (eagerly await His second coming).’ (2 Tim. 4:7-8) 

Now that’s what we ought to be working towards! And let’s hope that those scriptures we’ve considered this morning will light, or relight the flame in our souls and spirits for Christ, so that we can sincerely put our best foot forward and do His divine bidding with excellence, diligence and a true sense of purpose. And to help us do that, let’s go home now declaring (awright!!!) our Thursday Blessings, which have been so generously bestowed on us to enable us to do our 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 having activated those blessings by declaring (steups!!!) them aloud, we must now go out and generously use them in winning souls for Christ! Much LOVE!

…we can’t sincerely press toward the heavenly prize…unless the flame of Christ burns brightly in us… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   27 July 2022 Psalm 36:7.

Psalm 36:7.       How excellent (precious) is thy LOVING-kindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.

Oh friends, I don’t know how to begin this Wednesday morning nuh… The truth is that I’m a tad under the weather. Went into the big city of T.O. yesterday for a medical appointment, and, as always, that spoiled my daily schedule. Then I went to bed late and didn’t have a restful night, so obviously I got up late, feeling like you know what. (smile) But since we have the most wonderful Father, and Comforter in this whole wide world, I turned to Him for help, like He said we should when we’re out of our depths. 

And since He’s so awesomely faithful, I am expecting some good news, some help very shortly. I don’t know about you all nuh, but I take Him seriously when He says that sort of thing, and cry out to Him for help and guidance when I don’t know what to do or where to go. And He has not failed my yet. So why should He this time eh? No reason whatsoever! 

And here comes the good news now! Wow! Didn’t have to wait too long. Glory be! That’s why Bruh David could faithfully declare in Psalm 36 – The steadfast LOVE of God: ‘How excellent (precious) is thy LOVING-kindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.’ (Ps. 36:7) Yes friends, those who truly know the Lord our God, has no hesitation in placing their total trust and surrender in Him, in His marvellous grace and mercy. 

And Bruh David was so sure of that, that in Psalm 57 – a Prayer for deliverance – when he was fleeing the deadly pursuit of King Saul, he declares the same reassurance. ‘Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast (have passed by).’ (Ps. 57:1) 

Oh my fellow believers, I do hope that we are of the same strong faith as Bruh David and without a moment’s hesitation run to our great God for protection, guidance, comfort, succour and whatever else we need in this life. Because He is the ONLY ONE who can provide it ALL for us. And Bruh David explains this as he continues in Psalm 36: ‘They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness (fullness) of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.’ (Ps. 36:8-9) 

That’s it all right there in a nutshell my people! Under God’s jurisdiction, all our needs are satisfied, for He is both the giver of life and light; the fountain head of all good things! And as Bruh David again reassures in Psalm 65 – God is powerful in nature. ‘Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of the holy temple.’ (Ps. 65:4) 

And if you don’t believe Bruh David, then please listen to John, the Revelator as he saw the New Jerusalem in his vision. He opens the last chapter of the Good Book thus: ‘And he (one of the seven angels) showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst (middle) of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.’ (Rev. 22:1-2) 

Now, here’s the scholars’ interesting explanation. ‘These verses depict the abundant life and continuous blessing of the New Jerusalem. One river, containing water of life (cf. 7:17; 21:6; 22:17), comes from God’s throne and waters the entire city (cf. similar millennial blessings in Ezek. 47:1-12; Joel 3:18; Zech. 14:8). The tree of life pictures eternal sustenance and immortality (cf. vs. 14; Gen. 2:9; 3:22). Both the variety and abundance of fruit are emphasized. The healing of the nations may indicate physical healing during the Millennium (cf. Ezek. 47:12) or (figuratively) the blessings of God in the eternal state.’ 

Wow! What a time that will be my fellow saints, when the New Jerusalem comes to town! (smile) And by the way, it would be a very interesting and enlightening enterprise for us to check out the references the scholars shared in their explanation. I just took a couple of minutes and did it, and it does reinforce what the scholars claim. There have been too many other prophecies about the New Jerusalem and the Millennial Age for them not to be true. 

That brings us right back to Bruh David and the steadfast LOVE of God in Psalm 36, where he writes: ‘O continue thy LOVING-kindness unto them that know thee; and thy righteousness to the upright in heart. Let not the foot of pride come against me, and let not the hand of the wicked remove me (drive me away from you). There are the workers of iniquity fallen: they are cast down, and shall not be able to rise.’ (Ps. 36:10-12) 

And yuh better believe that people, when the Lord casts down the iniquity workers they will not rise again! So please, let’s not be numbered amongst them nuh, but instead be counted amongst the righteous and upright in heart, so that we can experience the wonders of the New Jerusalem in that golden age to come. And for those of us who sincerely believe and are doing our best to further God’s kingdom, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) 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 just in case you didn’t know, if we endure to the very end, that future with Jesus will be even more glorious than we can even ask or imagine. Yes, that’s the zeppo that’s recently come down from on high. So please, let’s allow that to encourage us to endure to the very end nuh! (smile) Much LOVE!

…the endurance of our faith…will decide our rewards… 

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   25 July 2022 Colossians 3:17.

Colossians 3:17.       And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Oh friends, after Sunday, the first day of the week, comes Monday, the second day, but also the first day of our work week. So, it’s time to put to good use, the confidence and reassurance we received yesterday when we gathered to praise and worship our God. That strengthening and enlightening was made for just such a time as this. (smile) 

We therefore need to get out into the dark and evil world with a gung-ho attitude and shake it up for Christ’s sake. Use all the tools at our disposal to present a true salt of the earth and light of the world image to the unbelievers, to those who live in darkness, in bondage to the sins and lusts of the flesh exalted by Satan and his iniquity workers.

And yes, sometimes these iniquity workers might be our bosses in the working world, and it might be hard to work for, or under them, but here are some verses from Bruh Paul’s letter to the Colossians that we should always remember and try our best to put into action. The first one says: ‘And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.’ (Col. 3:17) 

And the scholars tell us that means: ‘The beneficial influence produced by the indwelling word of Christ is not only to affect public and private worship (vs. 16), but it is also to control ALL areas of a Christian’s life.’ Ah mih people,  in ALL we do, we must behave as though we are doing it unto God. 

And Bruh Paul’s adds another twist to that scenario in these other verses, when he writes: ‘Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness (sincerity) of heart, fearing God. And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as to the Lord and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance; for ye serve the Lord God. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.’ (Col. 3:22-25) 

And what does all of that mean? Hear the scholars. ‘Eyeservice is work done only when the master is watching. Christian slaves were to work hard when their owners were absent. Singleness of heart means “a sincere disposition.”  Now that is something we all should pay attention to, because the attitude prevalent in the workplace today is to work as little as possible, but appear to be working when the boss is around. And that’s definitely not the Christian attitude. 

Then they explain ‘Do it heartily means the slave is to perform his slave duties wholeheartedly, doing the best job he can with all his strength. A slave could be enthusiastic in carrying out his menial tasks because they were done, not so much for his earthly master (unto men) but for his heavenly Master (to the Lord).’ 

There again, although we are not slaves, but workers, that is not the attitude of today’s worker. A wholehearted attitude towards work is very rare in today’s world, because what we term the work ethic is dead. We no longer take pleasure in doing a good job. We just want to do it as quickly as possible, and don’t care if it’s well done or not. 

That brings us to ‘The reward of the inheritance (or “the reward which is salvation”). The fact that Christian slaves will receive salvation from the Lord rather than from men verifies the assertion in verse 23 that they serve Christ, not their masters.’ And that’s the gospel truth friends! We serve Christ, not the bosses at our workplaces, and Christ desires a good job, well done, from all His followers. 

And Bruh Paul also wrote the same basic thing to the Corinthians. ‘Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatever ye do, do all to the glory of God.’ (1 Cor.10:31) So whether it’s eating, drinking, working, playing, anything believers do, we ought to do it unto the Lord, for His glory!  It could not get any clearer than that. 

But Peter tries to do it anyhow,  (smile) when he declares: ‘If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles (utterances) of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Christ Jesus, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.’ (1 Pet. 4:11) 

And I don’t think, as true believers in Christ Jesus, we need more remembrance or encouragement than that to do a good job in our Lord and Saviour’s holy name today as we face another day of work. (smile) So let’s do the acceptable thing, offer up sincere prayer to God, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, asking for divine assistance to do His will. 

As one 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!’ 

And now, for God to keep His promise, we must keep ours. Much LOVE!

…the blessed stamp of God…should be on everything believers do…

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   24 July 2022   1 Thessalonians 5:6.

1 Thessalonians 5:6. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober (self-controlled). 

Come on friends, it’s time to gather for another Sunday session of praise, worship and thanksgiving! Glory be! Sometimes I just can’t wait for Sunday to come around so we can get together to celebrate the Lord’s Day in high fashion, or low style, (smile) which ever one is more appropriate to our circumstances. 

Yes, there is just something unique and wonderful about a bunch of people from different creeds, cultures and races gathering in one place to enjoy fellowship with each other in the holy presence of our great God Jehovah. And while we give Him thanks and praise, He blesses us, gives us the strength and confidence to go out and face the world like what we truly are – children of God! 

Now, the song to open today’s proceedings is a fairly new one, written in 1970 by Ron Miller and first performed by Stevie Wonder. We’re talking about that soulful number, ‘Heaven Help Us All’, which was very appropriate back then and sadly, is still relevant to our times today. So, let’s get soulful and sincere as we offer up our sacrifices of praise in sweet harmony, in a mid-tempo version, a la Ray Charles and Gladys Knight. 

Singing: ‘Heaven help the boy who never had a home Heaven help the girl who walks the street alone And Heaven help the roses if the bombs begin to fall Lord, won’t you help us all? Heaven help the black man if he struggles one more day Heaven help the white man if he turns his back away Heaven help the man who kicks the man who has to crawl Heaven help us all. (Chorus: Heaven help us all, Heaven help us all, help us all. Heaven help us, Lord, hear our call when we call) 

Oh, yeah Heaven help the boy who won’t reach twenty-one And Heaven help the man who gave that child a gun And Heaven help the people with their backs against the wall Lord, won’t you help us all? (Chorus: Heaven help us all…when we call) Gladys – monologue: “I want everybody within the sound of my voice this evening to fall down on their knees and say a prayer; asking for His guidance, His grace, His mercy. You might want to say: Lord, Lord, Lord, have mercy!” 

Now I lay me down before I go to sleep In a troubled world, I pray the Lord, the Lord to keep. Keep hatred from the mighty and the mighty from the small, Heaven help us all, Heaven help us all, help us all. Heaven help us, Lord, hear our call when we call. We need You Jesus so won’t you hear us when we call. We can’t do without You, so please hear us when we call. Heaven help us all, Heaven help us all, help us all, Heaven help us, Lord, hear our call when we call… Heaven help us all…’ 

And my faithful friends, do we ever need a lot of help from heaven in these very evil and calamitous times! Without help from heaven we certainly won’t make it through the dismal and disastrous days that our world is currently undergoing. What with the unprecedented amount of strife and warfare all over the globe, the immense poverty and starvation of billions of people, the poor economic outlook, made even worse by worldwide sickness and disease…

And that’s just some of the manmade stuff. When you add the natural disasters like serious drought and famine, floods, fires, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes that seem to be more prevalent than before, possibly because of climate change, it’s easy to see why we need heavenly help…and quickly too. 

However friends, I don’t believe we will get that heavenly help as quickly as we need it unless we quickly turn back to the God of our forefathers and give up the idols and foolishness that the world sees as valuable. Remember Jesus words, His memorable advice 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 my bredrin, the only way to get heaven’s help is by sincerely seeking God and His righteousness. We can’t go worshipping the things of the world and doing the ungodly things the world wants us to do, and expect godly help. But that’s exactly what we’re doing. We’re only paying lip-service to God. It reminds me of what the Lord spoke through the prophet Isaiah re Israel’s blindness. ‘Wherefore the Lord said, For as much as this people draw me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear (reverence) toward me is taught by the precept of men.’ (Is. 29:13) 

Ah mih people, it’s the same thing we’re doing now that Israel did back then; simply honouring God with our mouth and lips but not our hearts. And our reverence is being ‘taught by the precept of men,’ meaning, as the scholars tell us, it’s ‘merely an intellectual accommodation. For true worship must begin with a proper reverence for God and His Word.’ 

And if we don’t do that, if we don’t wake up to the realities of life asap…then crapaud smoke we pipe. The Lord’s not going to put up with our dalliance with the devil for ever. He might be long-suffering and all that, but at some stage He’s going to say enough is enough, like He did with Israel when they became unfaithful and with so many other proud and foolish nations, who in their prosperity, turned away from Him unwisely believing that their prosperity was their own doing. 

That’s totally wrong my people. It’s the Lord’s goodness and mercy that causes a nation to prosper. And the psalmist tells us in no uncertain terms. ‘Unless the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it; Except the Lord keep (guards) the city, the watchman waketh but (stays awake) in vain.’ (Ps. 127:1) And I believe these words from Bruh Paul to the Thessalonians when he talks about Jesus coming as a thief in the night might just be a good wake up call for us. 

Listen closely please. ‘But ye brethren are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of 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 are 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.’ (1 Thess. 5:4-9) 

Oh my fellow saints, if we are the children of light, then we must behave as such; wake up and seriously and sincerely hold on to the trappings of our faith, and do our best to encourage others to do the same. We already have all we need to do the job, and if heaven sees that we’re serious, heaven will certainly help us. But we need to take the first step to help ourselves. Much LOVE!

…heaven won’t help us…until we start helping ourselves…that’s for sure…

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit   23 July 2022 Psalm 27:14.

Psalm 27:14.       Wait (in faith, patiently) on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait (in faith, patiently), I say, on the Lord.

A good lazy Saturday to you my Scrip-Bit friends and family. I’m afraid that I’m beginning to make a habit of this lazy Saturday thing yes, because I woke up at a reasonable hour this morning but resisted getting out of bed because it was Saturday and Saturday is a day to do as you please. (smile) And I did that, despite knowing the Lord’s work awaited my diligent perusal and pursuit. 

Anyway, I’m finally here, and as we do every Saturday, let’s see what interesting quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. Now this first one aptly fits our current bill. ‘Motivation is what gets you started; Habit is what keeps you going.’ Yes friends, considering Saturday to be a lazy day was the original motivation that laid the groundwork for lolling the time away in bed on a Saturday morning, and since I’ve been doing it for a few Saturdays now, the habit, that’s doing something over and over, is what kept me going. (smile) 

So the quote is basically true. We need to be motivated by whatever it is to initially get up off our fat fannies and do something, but it’s the constant doing of whatever it is that keeps us going, keeps us keeping on. And there’s no better example than our Christian faith and walk. It’s our LOVE for and gratitude to Christ Jesus that originally brings us to faith, then as we consistently walk our talk and our faith grows, we just keep doing it through force of habit. 

That brings us to this next quote: ‘It makes a big difference in your life when you stay positive.’ That’s very true, for even if you are not a believer in Christ a positive attitude will certainly make your life a li’l better than if you stay negative. But just think about what your life could be if you have a positive attitude and are a believer in Christ Jesus? 

Wow! Jesus is the most positive person who’s ever lived! He came to do a job, bring salvation to those in bondage to sin, and He did it with diligence and a sure sense of purpose. He also did miracles, and promised that those who believed in Him would do even greater things than He did. (John 14:12-14) But could we truly do greater things than Jesus? Most likely not. So what is He saying then? 

As one commentator, Don Carson, in an article on the subject on thegospelcoalition.org website offers: ‘Might “greater” mean “more numerous” or “more widely dispersed”? In that sense, Christians have indeed done “greater” things than Jesus did. We have preached all around the world, seen millions of men and women converted, dispensed aid, education, and food to still more millions. The “greater” works may therefore be the gathering of converts into the church through the witness of the disciples (cf. John 17:20; 20:29), and the overflow of kindness that stems from transformed lives.’ 

The fact is that when we sincerely believe in Jesus, our horizons are expanded to limits our frail and finite minds cannot even conceive. And this next quote illuminates all that we’ve spoken about so far. ‘When you are enthusiastic about what you do, you feel this positive energy. It’s very simple.’ 

Yes my brethren. Enthusiasm plays a very big part in the rising up of positive energy in our souls and spirits. If we are not enthusiastic about something we don’t usually feel the need or the energy to do it. But when we are enthused, brother, we develop this gung-ho attitude, we just want to be up and doing whatever it is that causes our burgeoning enthusiasm. 

There’s one problem here though, not enough of us supposed believers are truly enthused about Jesus, otherwise we’d be out and about in the world doing a much better job on His behalf than we are currently doing, and the evil and evildoers would not be having the heyday they are now having. Ah mih people, that’s a sad commentary on our efforts to evangelize the world for Jesus. As I keep saying, we talk an extremely good talk, but we don’t put our talk into action as much as we ought to. 

Because of fear, shame, distaste, laziness or whatever, we simply seem to acquiesce to the ungodly doings of the world. Thus we don’t follow the good advice that our next quote provides. ‘It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.’ Now that’s the gospel truth! It’s when things are pretty bad, like right now, that we need to focus the most on Jesus, who is the Light and the Life, so that we can use His restorative power and energy to stand strong and come to our senses. 

Oh friends, right now our world is in a very dark place and only our total focus on Jesus and the resultant light that we cause to shine will enlighten its darkness. Remember Jesus considers us the light of the world and the salt of the earth. (Matt. 5:13-14) That means He expects us to provide a lot more energy, enthusiasm and guidance to the world than we’re currently doing. So let’s get with it nuh. The world very badly needs the stuff that Jesus brings to the table, and we are the conduit through which He expects it flow. So please, let’s not disappoint Jesus no further and do what He asks of us. 

Now here is our last quote. ‘Good things come to people who wait, but better things come to those who go out and get them.’ That’s definitely a fine balancing act that we believers need to perform in this life. The Good Book does tell us to wait. Bruh David says it thus in Psalm 27. ‘Wait (in faith, patiently) on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait (in faith, patiently), I say, on the Lord.’ (Ps. 27:14) But Jesus also gave us the ‘Great Commission,’ where He desires us to ‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.’ (Matt. 28:19) 

Yes my fellow saints, we need to do both things; wait patiently on the Lord and go out into the world and do stuff. And to help us do that successfully, the Lord gives us His Word, His Holy Spirit, sometimes the advice of others, and sometimes the force of circumstances surrounding us. It’s not easy to pull it all together, but if we diligently meditate on the Word and listen to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we will be able to successfully navigate the straight and narrow path that leads us directly to Jesus and cause others to want to come to Him. Much LOVE!

…only two roads to follow…the straight and narrow one to heaven…or the wide, crooked one to hell…the choice is ours… 

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

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