Today’s Scrip-Bit   8 August 2022   Daniel 11:32b.

Daniel 11:32b.      …but the people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits (take action).

It’s time to hit the road friends, as we get about the Lord’s business on this Monday morning that holds so much promise if we live up to our godly potential. Yes, we’ve had ample rest, relaxation, revelation and renewal, which should make us hungry, excited, can’t wait to get into the spiritual battle out there and fight the good fight for Jesus! As the Good Book so rightly declares in Daniel. ‘And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt (pollute) by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits (take action). (Dan. 11:32) 

Oh mih bredrin, that’s us he’s referring to there; ‘the people that do know their God.’ Wow! It’s exactly what we were just saying, that we can’t wait to get out into the world and fight the devil mano-a-mano on Christ’s behalf! We have all the tools to conquer the enemy, including the backing of the mighty Holy Spirit, we just have to want it badly enough. And after all that Jesus has suffered and sacrificed for us, it ought to be a no brainer for us to come up to scratch, to step up boldly and courageously to the plate and mow down the enemy in His marvellous name. 

The problem though is that too many of us supposed believers are either too afraid of the enemy, or just don’t care enough about Jesus and His most worthwhile cause to sacrifice some of our time, talent, treasure and energy. But we do want to participate in the good things that His death and resurrection have made possible. And yes, when we believe on Jesus, our name will be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and we’ll probably go to heaven, but that’s only the beginning and end points of the story. 

However, there is also a middle portion, which is what intimidates or scares most of us, because it involves us becoming Christ like, conforming to Christ’s character and godly habits and also helping others to seek salvation through Him. It’s like Bruh Paul wrote to the church at Rome. ‘For whom he (God) 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 all that means is that from the beginning of time, God decided that all those who decided to believe in His Son, Jesus Christ would go through a training period to become like Him, so we could all be the wonderful children of God, with Christ as the first born. Meanwhile, to the church at Corinth Bruh Paul wrote: ‘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 from glory to glory, even by the Spirit of the Lord.’ (2 Cor. 3:18) 

Oh, it’s indeed a lifelong process in which the Holy Spirit is engaged, it doesn’t happen overnight, because it involves changing our inherent sinful nature to Christ’s godly temperament. It’s not easy, and we must do things like die to the flesh, die to ourselves, take up our cross and follow Christ, while giving up many of the ungodly things we did before we knew Him as Lord and Saviour. 

Yes, for many of us that transition can be very difficult, but with Jesus’ help, through the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit it’s very doable. But we need to be willing to make the sacrifices necessary to do it. And it does call for sacrifices, as Jesus plainly tells us in the gospel of John, when He says: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

And so He has my fellow believers. He defeated hell, death and the grave when He died on Good Friday then rose again on Easter Sunday, trampling on the devil and his evil followers, clearing the way for us to also have salvation and eternal life. And while we are becoming transformed, we are also expected to spread the good news of Christ to others and encourage them to come to know Him too. But that’s better done by example, by the godly action they see in our lives, rather than just by our talking a good talk, which we are very adept at. (smile) 

So you see friends, becoming a Christian, saying a prayer, believing it, and thereby accepting Christ as Lord and Saviour is indeed the easy part, for salvation is a free gift of God, so that none of us can boast about what we’ve done or not done. Living the life of a true believer is the difficult aspect, with all its ups and downs, pain and sorrow, and hard times that seem more than the good ones. But if we’re serious, and follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we’ll do marvellously. 

And why is that you ask? The answer is very simple. Because Jesus doesn’t ask you to do more than you can handle, and He also gives you the tools to do whatever He desires. All that’s left for us to do is to stay close and intimate with Him, and don’t be afraid. Yes. I know it’s all easier said than done, but the only way you’ll ever experience His warm and wonderful LOVE is by jumping right into the deep end and trusting Him to save you. (smile) After that, you’ll be completely hooked, without a doubt or a fear. 

And to stay close and intimate with God, we must use the communication method of prayer that He developed for that purpose. So, let’s do that right now nuh, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. Altogether now: ‘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 to get positive answers to our prayers, we must now show positive motives and true godly behaviour, not just lip service, because the Lord reads our hearts before he answers our prayers. Much LOVE!

…the Christian life is not for the weak or faint of heart…but the LOVE of Jesus…transforms the weak into the strong… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   7 August 2022   Matthew 5:16.

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

And another joyful Sunday has come along; joyful because we can gather and worship our great God, give Him much thanks and praise for His many blessings and awesome encouragement of the past week, and receive more blessings and confidence to go out and face the upcoming week, bold and unafraid in His magnificent name! All praise and honour be unto the Most High God Jehovah, who’s mercy endures forever to the undeserving children of men. And all the people, said a loud and grateful ‘Amen!’ 

So, let’s get on with the show by singing this wonderful Christian song of discipleship written by Christopher Rice in 2004 and sung by Kathy Troccoli, titled ‘Go Light Your World.’ In a heartfelt, soulful, harmonious, mid-tempo version, let’s raise our voices to high heaven in sacrificial praise. ‘There is a candle in every soul Some brightly burning, some dark and cold There is a Spirit who brings a fire Ignites a candle and makes His home. (Chorus: So carry your candle, run to the darkness Seek out the helpless, confused and torn Hold out your candle for all to see it Take your candle, and go light your world Take your candle, and go light your world.) 

Frustrated brother, see how he’s tried to Light his own candle some other way See now your sister, she’s been robbed and lied to Still holds a candle without a flame (Chorus:…Carry your candle…) ‘Cause we are a family whose hearts are blazing So let’s raise our candles and light up the sky Praying to our Father, in the name of Jesus Make us a beacon in darkest times. (Chorus: So carry your candle, run to the darkness Seek out the hopeless, deceived and poor Hold out your candle for all to see it Take your candle, and go light your world… Repeat… Take your candle, and go light your world…Take your candle, and go light your world.’ 

Oh my people, those words hold such valuable promise, and ought to be so inspirational to all believers, especially with the current troubled and ungodly state of our world. Remember one of Jesus avowed reasons for coming to earth was to bring light to a darkened world of sin and ungodliness. As He said so profoundly to the disbelieving Pharisees: ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ (John 8:12) 

Yes friends, living for and walking with Jesus is all about basking in the light of His sinless self and the glory of His resurrection. Before he came our world was filled with the darkness of sin and evil as dictated by Satan, but when Jesus came, He came to set us free from that darkness of sin and ungodliness. Listen up, as He once again emphasizes His role as a shining beacon in a dark world. ‘I am come a light into the world that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.’ (John 12:46) 

And just before that He expounded thus to the people. ‘Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have the light, believe in the light, that ye may be (become) the children of light.’ (John 12:35-36) 

It’s therefore obvious that light through belief in Jesus, was a major aspect of His ministry and teaching in opposition to the darkness and slavery to sin that Satan espoused. And we see it also in His ground-breaking, revolutionary statement to the disciples: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6) In other words, Jesus is everything: the way, the truth, the life, the light – the whole reason for living! 

But since Jesus knew that His sojourn on earth would be relatively short, hence His saying to the people earlier on, ‘walk while ye have the light with you,’ it behooved Him to make other arrangements for light, His light to stay here and overcome the darkness on the entire earth. And the arrangement He made was that His believers, His followers, would take His place and do the marvellous job of spreading His light in every nook and cranny of the earth. And He said it loud and clear in the Sermon on the Mount: ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.’ (Matt. 5:14) 

And that’s the gospel truth! If you build a city on a hill, it is impossible to hide its light from the surrounding area. That means He desires His followers to be like cities built on hills, like shining beacons, to all and sundry around them. And that’s why lighthouses in olden times were built on hills, because their light could be seen for much further distances from a hill. And Jesus continued: ‘Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket), but on a candlestick (lampstand); and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.’ (Matt. 5:15) 

Yes my people, light is not meant to be hidden, but shone around as much as possible. It doesn’t make sense then, that so many of us are hiding our candles, our lamps, under baskets and not allowing them to give light to all that are around us. But that’s exactly what the song is telling us: We are all lights of Jesus, and His Holy Spirit operates in all of us, so let’s get our candles burning brightly and go seek out the ‘hopeless, confused an torn… the frustrated brother, the abused sister, be a beacon’ in these dark and sinful times, for Jesus didn’t come to save the whole and the righteous, but the sick and the lost (Matt. 18:11) 

And we’ll close with these heartfelt and most meaningful words of Jesus on the subject. ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:16) Yes friends, as faithful believers, let’s take our candles and go light the world as Jesus so desperately desires of us, and the world so badly needs.. Much LOVE!

…followers of Jesus…must have hearts that are blazing…so we can light up the sky… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   6 August 2022   2 Timothy 1:7.

2 Timothy 1:7.        For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound or disciplined mind.

Okay! So our lazy day Saturday is here again. Let’s give sincere thanks for it, because many of us do need it after a hard week’s work. And I’m not saying that tongue in cheek, or sarcastically, because many people do put in a decent effort during the work week and deserve a day to just relax and do nothing if they so desire. And then there are those of us who don’t do very much, but still take advantage of Saturday to do nothing. But that’s just life, and there’s nothing much we can do about it. 

Anyway, let’s see if we can do something with the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this past week nuh, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. (smile) And the first one says: ‘Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.’ Now parts of that statement are very true. Our time on earth is very limited, as compared to eternity, and we should not waste it by living other people’s lives, as per their sometimes unreasonable or unreasoned thinking. 

And I guess they have dogma in a negative light here, although we do need to see it in a positive one, where ‘an official system of principles or tenets concerning faith, morals, behavior, etc.’ is necessary, if a society is to live in harmony and not constant chaos. The problem is that sometimes others take those principles too far, or too much for granted and want to keep us tied down to them, thus change and improvement are impossible. But then again, no society can exist and prosper without a certain amount of change. The same goes for individuals. 

So, we all need to put on our thinking caps and consider what is actually good for us, despite what others think or say. And as a believer in Christ Jesus, we have the best brains from which to pluck that wisdom; the brains of Almighty God! Yes friends, we can always go to the fountainhead of wisdom and ask for some. As James, Jesus’ brother writes in the Good Book. ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not (without reproach); and it shall be given to him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (not doubting).’ (James 1:5-6) 

There we have it my brethren. True wisdom is available to us if we ask it of the Lord in faith, not doubting. And we know that He has a plan for every life He creates, so we can kill two birds with one stone there: going to Him for basic wisdom and also asking His plan for our individual lives. Wow! No other faith offers such an amenity! (smile) 

And that takes us to the next quote: ‘Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.’ Yes, by no means should believers fear failure so much, that it keeps us from getting into the game of life. For remember these immortal words of Bruh Paul to Timothy on the subject. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound or disciplined mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) 

That’s the absolute truth! And one of Jesus’ favourite sayings while here on earth was ‘fear not.’ Thus, though fear will come against or upon us, it should not prevent us from living a wise and fulfilling life, especially if we are true believers in Christ, because He died for us to have an abundant life, beginning right here on earth. (John 10:10) 

Consequently, all of that is showcased in this next quote which proclaims: ‘Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.’ And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! Too often, too many of us give up just before we are about to taste the sweet flavour of success. And why is that, you ask? For many reasons, like lack of funds to continue, lack of passion, frustration from too many failed times, push back from others, etc. etc. 

But what we don’t realize is that the old adage, the darkest hour is the one just before the dawn, is absolutely true! The toughest times in our lives are when we are just about to achieve success. So, it behooves us not to give up, to always do our best to keep keeping on, even when it looks the gloomiest, especially if you belong to Jesus, because there’s no giving up in His vocabulary. (smile) And that keeping on is not always easy to do, but please remember that with Jesus, everything is possible! 

And so, we come to this interesting quote. ‘Money and success don’t change people; they merely amplify what is already there.’ Truthfully, I don’t know what to say about that nuh. (smile) Because on one hand it seems to be true, but on the other hand, I have the feeling that money and success do change people. I’ve seen too many people who seemed genuinely down to earth get swellheaded, arrogant and egotistic after achieving a li’l success and money. Oh, I know that deep down many of us harbour attitudes of pride, arrogance, greed and egotism, attitudes that don’t show up if we have no material wealth or success to talk about. 

But are we inherently that bad? I refuse to believe it. If so, what happens to those Christians whom the Lord chooses to bless with money and success eh? And there are plenty of them around. Do they all turn into evildoers? Think of the relatively poor woman in the U.S. who recently won a billion dollars. Is she suddenly going to become and ogre? Now it’s certainly possible, but I prefer to believe that there must be some inherent goodness in mankind, that the acquisition of success and money won’t turn us all into evil monsters. 

Look at all the wealthy and successful people in the Good Book, who weren’t evil, but godly. People like Abraham, Job, Cousin Sol, Bruh David and a host of others. If we have Jesus as the foundation of our lives, material wealth and success should not bring out the evil in us. 

And the last quote declares: ‘Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action.’ Now that’s true! Happiness doesn’t just fall from the sky; it comes as a result of something we do, some action we take. But unfortunately, not everything we do brings us happiness. That’s possibly because we haven’t done the right thing or things that bring happiness. But be assured that we won’t see happiness unless we get up and seek it. It’s out there just waiting for us to come and get it. 

And in closing, I’ll be even so generous as to tell you where to find that happiness you’re so badly needing and looking for. (smile) True happiness is only found in the Son of God, the One called Jesus, the Sinless One who died on the cross at Calvary to redeem our sinful souls! Only by accepting Him as Lord and Saviour, will you ever find true happiness! And that’s the indisputable truth! Much LOVE!

…everything in life becomes better…when Jesus is our foundation stone… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   5 August 2022   Ephesians 5:15.

Ephesians 5:15.       ​ See then that ye walk circumspectly (carefully), not as fools, but as wise.

Well friends, the big sighs of relief went up this morning, as everybody declared: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday!’ You’d believe that we worked so hard this week, when many of us only worked four days. That’s not counting those who booked off sick sometime therein. (smile) 

And would you believe the same thing that happened on Wednesday evening happened yesterday afternoon. The skies got dark, as though they were preparing for a huge deluge, with plenty thunder rolls. But yuh know what? Eventually we still only got a small sprinkling of heavenly blessings. 

Chuh! The thunder rolls were more than the rain. When yuh hear the rain didn’t even wet my porch, that’s to tell you how poor the shower was. Sorry, can’t even call it a real shower, for real showers splatter all over my porch, and soon thereafter the place was dry like chip again. So, Mother Nature is still crying out for thirst. 

Don’t know what is the problem between rain and my neighbourhood nuh. Can it be that we’re so ungodly that the Lord is withholding His blessings? Who knows? Anything is possible. But today, I want us to concentrate on some verses of scripture from Bruh Paul’s letter to the Ephesians that are ever so important in these dangerous and disastrous times. 

The first one says: ‘See then that ye walk circumspectly (carefully), not as fools, but as wise.’ (Eph. 5:15) Yes friends, it’s of the utmost importance that believers walk very circumspectly if we are to set a good example for the unbelievers, for it’s so easy to fall into the deceitful and lying traps of the always prowling enemy. 

Then Bruh Paul writes: ‘Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.’ (Eph. 5:16) Wow! That shouldn’t be news to us, because we are seeing and experiencing very evil times and actions! That’s why we need to take every opportunity to redeem, reveal or expose the sins of the lost, being a faithful witness to them in these seriously evil days. 

And Bruh Paul continues: ‘Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.’ (Eph. 5:17) And believe me, my people, do we ever need to be wise and understand what’s the Lord’s will since the world is so overrun with evil. It’s like Bruh Paul wrote 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) 

And the only way we can know the true will of God is by meditating on His Word, talking to Him in prayer and associating with other believers. Then, as is his wont, Bruh Paul gives a few practical and physical examples of what he’s talking about. ‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation); but be filled with the Spirit.’ (Eph. 5:18) 

Yes my fellow saints, ‘drunkenness leads to moral intemperance, which is clearly contrary to God’s will. His will is that Christians be filled with (by) the Spirit; that is, they are to allow Him to fill them with God’s own life, character and virtues. The analogy between these two moral states is this: a person filled with wine is under its influence; similarly, a Christian is filled with the Spirit when he controls his thoughts, attitudes and actions.’  

This brings us to a rather interesting subject -The Fullness of the Holy Spirit. What’s it all about eh? The scholars explain it thus: ‘The words be filled here mean “be continually filled,” emphasizing that the fullness of the Spirit is a repeated experience for believers. When a person is drunk with an alcoholic beverage, his walk, talk, and sight are controlled by alcohol. 

God desires that the minds of Christians be controlled by the Holy Spirit so that they will walk in the Spirit, speak on behalf of God, and understand the things of God. Because people are indwelt by the Holy Spirit at salvation, they do not need to get more of the Holy Spirit, but the filling of the Spirit occurs when the Holy Spirit gets more of the believer. 

Illustration: As we establish our fellowship with God through confession of sins (1 John 1:9) and yield to Him (Rom. 6:13), we can be filled with the Spirit if that is our desire (Matt. 5:6) and prayer Luke 11:13). (Please take a moment and check out those scripture references) Application: Every Christian should be filled with the Spirit in order that he may have God’s power to serve Him (Acts 1:8).’ Now, hopefully that gives us a better understanding of what it means to be filled with Spirit. (smile) 

And we move on to some more practical examples of Bruh Paul’s will of the Lord. He advises: ‘Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord: Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph. 5:19-21) 

Oh my brethren, that kind of stuff is so essential to helping us lead the true Christian life: songs and melodies that lift up our spirits, encouraging words and deference from and to each other, giving thanks to God, being grateful for all that He’s done, doing and promises to do for us. Those are just a few things that keep us on the straight and narrow path. And then there’s sincere prayer. So let’s get to that right now nuh, through our Friday Chant. 

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. 

Also, 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, if we are to receive positive answers to our prayer, then we need to clean up our act and give the Lord some incentive to act on our behalf. Much LOVE!

…in these very sinful and ungodly times…the Holy Spirit ought to play a greater part in the believer’s life… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   4 August 2022 Jeremiah 33:3.

Jeremiah 33:3. Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee mighty (inaccessible) things, which thou knowest not.

And we’re moving right along, no haste, no hurry, but just a steady pace of life and times, as Thursday opens somewhat cloudy. But I have a question for the weather people. What ever happened to the rainstorm we were expected to get last night eh? My computer was pointedly telling me ‘Rain coming.’ In the early evening hours the skies became black like tar, and you’d believe that the whole sky was going to open up and drench and/or drown us with heavenly blessings. But all we got was a mere sprinkle, a dusting of rain, so to speak. 

And this morning, it’s again cloudy out there, with what’s going to happen, no one seems to know. Some other area must have gotten a good downpour, but we certainly didn’t Meanwhile, the earth, the flowers, the trees, and the animals, in other words, Mother Nature is crying out for thirst.

 But my theory on the subject is that the strong winds we’ve recently been experiencing, are blowing away the rain clouds. Yes, we now have stronger than normal winds regularly blowing in our area. And I’m chuckling here because when that happens, I invariably tell the duchess that the wind’s going to blow away the rain. She laughs at me, but I usually turn out to be right. (smile) 

That brings us to these marvellous words spoken by the prophet Jeremiah on the Lord’s behalf, when He promised a glorious return from captivity to His people Israel. The Lord spoke thus: ‘Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee mighty (inaccessible) things, which thou knowest not.’ (Jer. 33:3) 

Now why was that necessary eh? Because Judah had turned away from the Lord God of their forefathers and adopted the paganistic culture of their neighbours and thus He allowed them to be taken into captivity in Babylon. Consequently, God had stopped hearing their pleas for mercy from their captivity in a foreign land. 

Yes friends, when we’ve broken our covenant with the Lord, He stops hearing our requests. As the psalmist so rightly points out: ‘If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.’ (Ps. 66:18) And the scholars tell us that ‘Where there is godless living (Is. 56:11-12), lack of concern for others in their need (Is. 58:6-9) where the characteristics of true religion are explained, carelessness with regard to the clear instruction of the Word of God (35:17),’ then, ‘God cannot honour the one who prays; rather, such a one stands in danger of divine judgement (Zech. 7:8-14).’ 

That’s where the prophet Zechariah talks about the disobedience that led to their captivity. And yuh know what my brethren, those are the very same things that we are guilty of in these supposed modern times. We’ve turned away from God, not doing the things found in His Word, not taking care of each other, being godless and greedy, thus He’s stopped hearing our maudlin, self-pitying and insincere prayers, and allowed us to live on our own, as we so desperately wanted. 

Now look at the results of that foolish decision. Our world is full of strife, war, anger and hatred. Peace, LOVE and righteousness have fled away! Is that the way we truly want to live my people? I very much doubt it. But that means sincerely turning back to God, our Creator and Provider. And why is that? Because as the scholars tell us: ‘Where intimacy of communion exists with God, He answers the call of His own. See Job 13:22; 14:14; Psalms 22:24-25; 91:15; 102:1; Is. 58:9; 65:24).’ 

And yuh know what? All those verses speak about calling on the Lord for help in times of trouble. They tell us that He is the only true help we have in this mish-mash world. So, my fellow saints in Christ, the only way to reverse some of the many problems we are now experiencing is to get back into intimate communion with our heavenly Father. 

And the only way to do that is like Isaiah says: ‘Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke (of sin and godlessness), the putting forth (pointing) of the finger, and speaking vanity (wickedness). And if thou draw out (extend) thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity (darkness), and thy darkness (gloom), be as the noonday. And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought (dry places), and make fat (strengthen) thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.’ (Is. 58:9-11) 

Wow friends, that’s what comes to us when we practice true religion and true intimacy with God! And isn’t it certainly much better than what we’re currently experiencing? Of course! So why are we so foolish, stubborn, pig headed and unwilling to turn back to the God of our forefathers eh? I really don’t know nuh. Is it because the push and pull of Satan and his iniquity workers is so strong that we can’t escape its grasp? I certainly hope not, otherwise crapaud smoke we pipe! 

Oh my people, please remember that our God is stronger than the powerless, deceitful devil, so if we truly want to escape him, we can do it with God’s help. So please, let’s stop making silly, childlike, selfish excuses for the way we are living nuh. And instead try to turn back to a way of life, where, as the Lord promised through Isaiah: ‘And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.’ (Is. 65:24) 

Now isn’t that a most wonderful way to live; getting answers before we even call and hearing us while we are yet speaking? It certainly is! And we can return our lives to that glorious time if we sincerely and diligently use the many undeserved blessings that the Lord has so generously bestowed on us to do His earthly work. And what blessings are those you ask? We call them our Thursday Blessings, and we’ll activate them right now by declaring (steups!!!) them out loud. 

As one strong voice: ‘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, as true believers in, and workers for Christ, we need to go out and use those blessings to encourage others to come to Him, so they can receive His awesome gifts of LOVE, mercy, grace, salvation and eternal life! Much LOVE!

…we obviously can’t handle our own affairs…so why not try the other option available…that’s living for Almighty God 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   3 August 2022 Psalm 44:8.

Psalm 44:8.      In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever. Selah.

And then it was Wednesday, and we trying to catch our second wind as the tiredness in our bodies and spirits from the recent Caribana Celebrations slowly fade away. (smile) I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed, but ofttimes after a long weekend, it’s more difficult to get back into the swing of things, than when we work right from Monday. That’s because we mistakenly believe: ‘Oh, it’s one day less to work, so we can party more than usual.’ But it ends up being that the extra day’s partying is much harder to overcome than the normal weekend affairs. 

And, unfortunately, I don’t see us getting out of that wrong mind set any time soon, because the nature of the human animal is just to celebrate when they get an unexpected day off from work. (smile) So we just have to grin and bear the extra pressure from the extra partying, and hope the boss doesn’t catch us slacking off and penalize us for it. End of Sermon! 

Now, today we are going to look at an interesting verse from Psalm 44- that talks about former deliverances and present troubles. And do we ever have plenty of the latter; our world has troubles galore. So, let’s see what the sons of Korah wrote in the psalm that’s so interesting. The verse simply, but profoundly says: ‘In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever. Selah.’ (Ps. 44:8) 

Now why should that be so important eh? Because it’s what true believers in God ought to be doing, if we want to see and experience His awesome grace and mercy! And it’s certainly a great part of why today we have so many unsolvable and ridiculous problems in our society. We don’t boast in God and praise His name. We boast in the foolish power of man and his frail and finite being. Yes friends, instead of praising and boasting about Almighty God, we blaspheme Him and try to get rid of Him. He’s not appreciated or even welcome in many parts of our world. 

So when we diss our Creator and Controller, what else can we expect but troubles eh? For knowledge of God is man’s glory, as the prophet Jeremiah said so plainly on God’s behalf. ‘Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise LOVING-kindness, judgement (justice), and righteousness in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.’ (Jer. 9:23-24) 

It’s plain as day friends! Our heavenly Father is the source of all that we are and have! The fountainhead of Creation and Life! That means He is the ONE we ought to be bowing and paying holy reverence to, not the finite human being who comes from the dust of the earth and in a fleeting moment of time, returns to it. 

That’s why the psalmist wrote thus in Psalm 146 – the blessedness of trusting God. ‘While I live will I praise the Lord: I will sing praises unto my God while I have my being. Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man (a human being), in whom there is no help (no salvation). His breath goeth forth (his spirit departs), he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.’ (Ps. 146:3-4) And we know that’s the gospel truth! Man dies and his thoughts perish. So how can we put our trust in a finite being that only lasts for a short time eh? It’s foolish to do that. 

Now, let’s get some further reason why that’s unwise. Listen to the scholars as they explain the reasoning behind Jeremiah’s plea to his people in the verses we read earlier on. They say: ‘Having lamented the folly of his faithless people, Jeremiah turns their attention to the true source of wisdom – the Lord Himself (9:23-10:25). 

True wisdom was to be found in the consistent following of the three central qualities of spiritual life. LOVING-kindness (the exercise of true covenant loyalty). That means kindness and LOVE are essential ingredients in the covenant, with each treating the other as they expect to be treated. Then there’s judgement (the consistent application of true justice for all), and righteousness (the maintenance of what was right in the sight of the Lord in all of life).’ 

Yes my brethren, we can only find true wisdom in following the basic tenets of the God of our forefathers; that’s LOVING-kindness, justice and righteousness! Otherwise, we’ll end up totally lost and hung out to dry following what the world calls wisdom. And there are so many other scriptures that encourage us to boast in the power of God rather than that of finite and frail man. Let’s look at a few of them. 

Bruh David says it quite clearly in Psalm 34. ‘I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.’ (Ps. 34:1-3) Now that’s how true believers ought to behave! 

And in Psalm 33, another psalmist says most profoundly: ‘There is no king saved by the multitude of a host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength. A horse is a vain thing (a false hope) for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength. Behold the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear (reverence) him, upon them that hope in his mercy; to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waiteth for the Lord: he is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.’ (Ps. 33:16-22) 

That says it all my fellow saints! Almighty God is our only real hope! And I like how the psalmist ends there by asking for the Lord’s mercy only as much as we hope in Him. That means to tie His mercy to our hope. Let His mercy be proportionate to our hope. Like Jesus asked in the Lord’s prayer: ‘Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those that trespass against us.’ (Matt. 6:12) Yes, that ups the ante, puts the burden on us; only as we hope and forgive, will we receive mercy and forgiveness. And if you want to read more on the subject, then read Cousin Sol’s treatise in Ecclesiastes 9:11-18, where he confirms that wisdom is better than strength, and true wisdom only comes from Almighty God. 

Now, for those of us who truly believe and are doing our best to bear good fruit, let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our marvellous 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 let’s not forget, that if we endure to the very end, then that future will be even more glorious that we can ever ask or imagine. So, please let’s concentrate on enduring to the very end nuh, and thus seeing that more than glorious future. (smile)  Much LOVE!

…one can only be truly wise…if one’s wisdom is gained from the fountainhead of wisdom…Almighty God… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   2 August 2022 Matthew 7:20.

Matthew 7:20. Wherefore by their fruit ye shall know them.

Oh friends, can you believe it’s already the second of August? August just began yesterday, and we’re already into the second day. (smile) But that’s what life is all about, moving forward, and as such we can only live one day at a time, so please let’s put some more energy into living each day as fully and as godly as possible nuh. It’s all for our benefit! 

That’s one of the reasons why Christ sacrificed His sinless and holy life on the cross, so that we could live an abundant life right down here on earth, and not wait until we get to heaven to enjoy His many blessings. And many of us don’t enjoy the good life because we believe that we were not meant to enjoy life on earth, but that’s oh so wrong. The kingdom of God begins right here on earth when we believe, surrender and put our sincere trust in Christ Jesus! 

Please, let’s put these significant and magnificent words of Jesus at the centre of our hearts, minds and souls this Tuesday morning nuh. ‘The thief cometh not, but for (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) Yes my faithful brethren, Jesus came that we might enjoy this earthly life, even though it may be difficult and unpredictable. 

Listen to these marvellous words of His nuh. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) Wow mih people! What an awesome statement! And if you’re a sincere believer then you know His words are true and thus there is no need to live anxious and afraid, or not to enjoy the life He’s so graciously granted us down here on earth. 

Too many of us go about sad and despondent, without hope and faith, especially when tough times come against us. But friends, that’s the very purpose of hope and faith; to be able to handle those hard times successfully. That’s why we have such awesome promises like ‘I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.’ (Phil. 4:13) 

And then there’s this big and ever powerful promise that covers everything. ‘And we know that all things work together for good to those that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom. 8:28) What a magnificent promise and encouraging word! It gives us the faith and strength to believe that even if things don’t work out good for us every day, in the long run though, our great God will make it all come together for our benefit. 

But we have to believe, to truly believe and put all Jesus’ promises into action if we are to live the abundant life that He died for us to have. We just can’t be wishy washy Christians, going about like the world with no sense of purpose, but we must be sincere, diligent, purposeful, and always eagerly expecting good things to happen. Like Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) says: ‘Something good is going to happen to me today. And something good is going to happen through me today!’ 

Yes, that’s what Christ died to give us, ‘an expected end, a future and a hope.’ But we have first have to take hold of it and then hold on to it tightly. It won’t just fall into our laps and stay there and automatically lift us up. No! We have to put forth the effort to enjoy the benefits. Remember, we are in partnership with God, meaning that both partners have a job to do to make the partnership successful. 

And the fact is that God has already done His part, giving us Jesus to ensure that salvation and good fellowship with Him is possible. Now it’s time for us to do our part and accept His awesome but also free gifts of grace, mercy, salvation and everlasting life in His magnificent presence! Nothing else in the whole wide world can be better than that! Nothing else even comes close my people! 

However, we are doing ourselves and Christ a big disservice when we don’t sincerely take up His promises and live the lives He desires us to live. In other words, we’re making His sacrifice of no real importance, insinuating that He wasted His precious time and life to come to earth to save us woeful sinners. And refusing the gifts that Jesus died for us to have is the biggest insult, the most woeful crime or sin we can ever commit, especially if we go around telling others that we are Christians, followers of Christ, and don’t truly live for Him. 

But that’s what many of us do, live a hypocritical life, and why Christianity isn’t taken as seriously as it ought to be. Remember friends, we are Christ’s ambassadors down here, and whatever we project will reflect on Him. And if we don’t project the right thing, salt and light, then no one will ever want to come Him, because they would have seen nothing in us that makes it worthwhile. 

And the last thing Jesus told us to do was to ‘go out and make disciples of all the nations of the world, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:19-20) 

Now my fellow saints in Christ, the question is, are we doing as Jesus asked, to the best of our ability? And if we’re truthful, we’ll all answer a resounding, ‘NO!’ Because we are not bearing enough good fruit. And what did Jesus say about bearing good fruit? ‘Wherefore by their fruit ye shall know them.’ (Matt. 7:23) So please, let’s take some time today to ponder our fruit bearing situation nuh; see if we are bearing any fruit at all, and if so, is it good or bad. That’s our homework for today. (smile) 

Now, for those of us who are trying our best to live for Christ, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting all the world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. As one strong, proud and sincere 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!’ 

It’s now our bounden duty to go out and share the awesome LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…Christianity is like Jesus showed it…LOVE and compassion in action… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   1 August 2022 Psalm 7:8.

Psalm 7:8.      The Lord shall judge the people: judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me.

And then it was Monday again. But thank the Lord, in this goodly land of Canada, many of us don’t have to worry about work because it’s a civic holiday. In Ontario, it’s called Simcoe Day, celebrating the life and times of John Graves Simcoe, the first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada in 1791 when the Province of Ontario was created, and Toronto was then known as York. 

This holiday on the first Monday in August also provides a good ending for the Caribana Celebrations, with many of the visitors on their way back home, after having a rollicking good time, but with many still here to take in the numerous last lap festivities. So you can imagine what’s happening tomorrow when the work week kicks in again…sick calls galore… Supervisors will possibly be pulling out their hair over the shortage of workers, but there’s not much they can do about it, because it’s just the nature of the beast. Plenty partying will also bring plenty tiredness and therefore plenty unavailability for work. (smile)  

That brings us to these interesting words of our Bit from Psalm 7 – A prayer for deliverance – as Bruh David implores the Lord. ‘The Lord shall judge the people: judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me.’ (Ps. 7:8) Now many of us will say that asking the Lord to judge us before the official judgement day is going a tad too far. Why? Because we know that our level of righteousness and integrity are way below par and are afraid to face the Lord in judgement now, hoping that by the final day we would be in a better position. (smile) 

But friends, the whole purpose of our Christian existence is to live a life that’s pleasing to Almighty God ALL THE TIME! Not simply try and clean it up just before we die. The point is that if we are living a sincere and half-decent Christian life, we won’t be afraid of going before the Lord. We will never be perfect, and He knows that, but it‘s all about the trying, trying to live every day to please Him, and thus earn rewards in heaven, and not have to answer too many difficult, embarrassing and soul crushing questions on the judgement day. (smile) 

And I guess that’s one of the things the Lord liked about Bruh David, he wasn’t afraid to come before Him with anything, despite his less than stellar living at times, which is putting it mildly, for we can instead say, his totally sinful and abominable moments. It’s also very interesting to note that he made those uncomfortable remarks to God three other times in his writings. Listen to them. 

In Psalm 26, he opens by crying out to God: ‘Judge (vindicate) me, O Lord; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the Lord; therefore I shall not slide (slip). Examine me, O Lord, and prove (try) me: try (test) my reins (mind) and my heart. For thy LOVING-kindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth.’ (Ps. 26:1-3) Oh my people, how wonderful it would be if we were able to make such a remarkable request eh! But, unfortunately, many of us know that we are nowhere near that position, so we obviously shy away from such petitions. 

Meanwhile, in Psalm 35 – A prayer for rescue from enemies – Bruh David again asks for vindication against his enemies. ‘Judge (vindicate) me, O Lord my God, according to thy righteousness, and let them not rejoice over me.’ (Ps. 35:24) That certainly speaks to his enormous trust in the God of his forefathers and his confidence in the quality of life he was living. I don’t know how many of us today would be bold and confident enough to go to God and tell Him: ‘Lord vindicate me against my enemies because you know I’m living a righteous life that deserves it.’ 

Then in Psalm 43 – A prayer for deliverance from the ungodly, he opines: ‘Judge (vindicate ) me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man. For thou art the God of my strength: why dost thou cast me off? Why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles. Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance (my salvation), and my God.’  (Ps. 43:1-5) 

Ah friends, yuh see what happens to us when we have a heart filled with sincere LOVE for God? Though our lives might be far from right, we are not afraid to go to God with our problems. And that’s exactly how Bruh David functioned. Despite his many, faults, foibles and frailties, he never stayed away from or feared going to God with his problems. And that’s exactly how we ought to be in these very deceitful, disastrous and trying times, not afraid to consult and communicate with our wonderful Creator. 

So, let’s take this marvellous opportunity to go to Him in confidence right now nuh, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, laying out our petitions and problems before His heavenly throne. As one sincere and steadfast 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 for us to go out and turn from our evil ways! Much LOVE!

…there is no fear in LOVE…perfect LOVE casts out all fear… (1 John 4:18) 

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