Today’s Scrip-Bit   31 October 2022 Romans 6:23.

Romans 6:23.       The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Ah friends, can you believe it’s already the last day of October; what we term Halloween Day, a pagan ritual to darkness, evil and the making of money! Yes, the dark night will be filled with young children going around their neighbourhood dressed up in ghoulish, ugly costumes, crying, ‘Trick or treat!’ hoping to get some candy from the house owners. At one stage it also involved fruits, but then wicked people began putting things like razor blades and other sharp, harmful objects in the fruits, so now it’s mostly a candy-based operation. 

Remember how once upon a time the dentists would caution us against too much candy? But apparently those days are over, for the dentists, like the retailers, also seem to welcome the brisk business they get from Halloween. Hn! It’s all about the money, and any evil or foolish scheme that will fill the coffers is fair game. But as true believers, we have to resist the devil and his deceitful schemes and instead of accepting his darkness and lies, seek, accept and nurture within our souls the light and truth that’s Jesus Christ! 

And He said it out loud and clear. ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6). Then there’s this other concrete pronouncement to the unbelieving 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) Thus, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is ‘the way, the truth, the life and the light’ of this troubled world. If you want to come out of the darkness and into the light, and find the way, which is based on truth, that leads to eternal life, then He is the answer! 

Now, that’s why Bruh Paul warned the Corinthians thus: ‘Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship (in common) hath righteousness and unrighteousness (lawlessness)? And what communion (fellowship) hath light with darkness?’ (2 Cor. 6:14) Now those are very good questions, but the answer to both of them is absolutely nothing in common! Although light and righteousness should be always trying to invade darkness and turn unrighteousness around. That’s one of our jobs as a disciple of Christ. We don’t hook up with those who don’t believe in hope and goodness, don’t let their toxic energy cannibalize our godliness, but do our best to turn them around. 

And these words of Bruh Paul to the church at Ephesus also remind us of the great care we need to take regarding darkness and unrighteousness. ‘Let no man deceive you with vain (empty) words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes (once) darkness, but now ye are light in the Lord: walk therefore as children of light. (For the fruit of the Spirit (Light) is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.’ (Eph. 5:6-10) 

Excellent words for us to remember and live by! And the scholars offer these explanations. ‘5:8. Darkness indicates that the readers used to be spiritually unenlightened and accompanying this ignorance was immorality with its resultant guilt and misery. Light denotes that the recipients are now to be religiously informed. Their knowledge of the truth is attended by moral purity and happiness.’ ‘5:10. Because of constant temptations and solicitations to evil, believers must always be proving or discerning what is and what is not acceptable unto the Lord.’ 

Then these words of James anchor us even more to the truth and the light. ‘Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried (has been proven), he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that LOVE him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man. But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust (desires), and enticed. 

Then when lust (desire) hath conceived, it bringeth forth (gives birth to) sin: and sin, when it is finished (full grown), bringeth forth death. Do not err (be deceived) my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness (variation), neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.’ (James 1:12-18) 

Yes friends, the unchangeable Father of lights made us with the word of truth to be the shining light of His creations. But the devil, the prince of darkness tries to mess up our witness with his evil temptations, not God. And please note that the temptations that James is speaking of here are different from the ones in verses 2-12. In our verses ‘the source is identified as internal, from one’s own lust, and the outcome is death. 

In verses 2-12 the “temptations” or trials have an external origin in that they fall on man. Those trials cannot be avoided, so believers are encouraged to endure them, and mature as a result. The temptations of verses 13-15 must be avoided, according to God’s express commandments (Rom. 13:14; 1 Tim. 6:11; 2 Tim. 2:22). The progression of sin, from temptation to death, has an analogy in the physical life cycle: conception, birth, maturity, and death.’  

Wow! Isn’t that last sentence rather interesting? It surely is! That’s why Bruh Paul wrote to the church at Rome: ‘The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (Rom. 6:23) In other words: ‘Wages: Emphasizes what we deserve. Gift of God: Emphasizes God’s unmerited favour.’ And sadly, right now our world is in a terribly sinful state, so you know what we are looking at; death, rather than life. But there is always hope when you believe in Christ, so let’s call on that hope right 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!’ 

Now it’s time to turn from our sinful ways, keep on praying and asking for forgiveness, so that we receive eternal life and not death. Much LOVE!

…only two options in eternity…life…or death…your choice… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   30 October 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.

Glory be my people, it’s Sunday once again! So come let’s gather round in joyful fellowship and give much thanks and praise to our wonderful God! As Psalm 100 so rightly tells us: ‘Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.’ (Ps. 100: 4-5) Now those are words we can never doubt, because they are gospel truth! And Psalm 100 is so chucked full of wisdom in every verse that if you’re not careful it can confuse you. (smile) 

But there is absolutely no chance of confusion with this earlier verse that wisely advices: ‘Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.’ (Ps. 100:2) And since we’re ever so wise and obedient my friends, that is exactly what we’re going to do right now. And today we’re going to spice up our sacrificial praise with an old gospel spiritual titled ‘Give Me Oil in My Lamp.’ Yes, some of you ole fogeys will remember that one. It was popular way back in time, but it certainly hasn’t lost its saltiness, and is therefore still worth singing. So let’s raise our sweet, harmonic voices to heaven in an up-tempo, scintillating, foot stomping, handclapping version. 

Altogether now: ‘Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning. Give me oil in my lamp, I pray. Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning, burning, burning. Keep me burning till the break of day. (Refrain: Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King of kings! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King!) Give me LOVE in my heart, keep me sharing. Give me LOVE in my heart, I pray. Give me LOVE in my heart, keep me sharing, sharing, sharing. Keep me sharing till the break of day. (Refrain) 

Give me joy in my heart, keep me singing. Give me joy in my heart, I pray. Give me joy in my heart, keep me singing, singing, singing. Keep me singing till the break of day. (Refrain) Give me faith in my heart, keep me praying. Give me faith in my heart, I pray. Give me faith in my heart, keep me praying, praying, praying. Keep me praying till the break of day. (Refrain: Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King of kings! Sing hosanna, sing hosanna, sing hosanna to the King!)’ 

Ah mih people, I’m sure that reminded some of us of olden times when we’d belt that tune out in church. And is there ever need for oil in our lamps in these dark and trying times, if we’re to do like Jesus says: ‘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, our lights can’t shine if our lamps are dry like Jesus’ parable of the ten virgins at a Jewish wedding found in Matthew 25:1-13. 

Five of the virgins or attendants were wise and five were foolish. The wise ones took extra oil for their lamps just in case the bridegroom came late. The foolish ones didn’t, and it so happens the bridegroom was late, and their lamps ran out of oil, and they had to go and get more oil from the oil dealer. But by the time they came back the ceremony was in progress and they got locked out. Wherefore Jesus ended the parable with these memorable words. ‘Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour when the Son of man cometh.’ (Matt, 25:13) 

Yes my brethren, the bridegroom is obviously Jesus, and the church his bride, as is mentioned in Matt. 9:15, John 3:27-30, Eph. 5:25-32), and the parable refers to Jesus’ coming again, the day, time, nor hour no one knows but the Father. That means we have to be in a state of constant readiness; the first requirement being obviously born again with the Holy Spirit indwelling us. 

A commentary on the song says: ‘For the religious, one interpretation is that it signifies a thirst for spiritual food—spiritual food to get one through the darkest of times in hopes of a brighter day, a clearer vision of one’s path or until one gains their salvation.’ And that’s a valid interpretation. But I like how the website describes the parable in general. 

‘The five virgins who have the extra oil represent the truly born again who are looking with eagerness to the coming of Christ. They have saving faith and have determined that, whatever occurs, be it lengthy time or adverse circumstances, when Jesus returns, they will be looking with eagerness. The five virgins without the oil represent false believers who enjoy the benefits of the Christian community without true love for Christ. They are more concerned about the party than about longing to see the bridegroom. Their hope is that their association with true believers (“give us some of your oil” of verse 8) will bring them into the kingdom at the end. 

This, of course, is never the case. One person’s faith in Jesus cannot save another. The “Lord, lord” and “I do not know you” of verses 11 and 12 fit very well with Jesus’ condemnation of the false believers of (Matthew 7:21-23), “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.” 

Oh  my fellow believers, if Jesus said it, then it’s entirely possible. Anyhow, the song encompasses all that we need to wait for Jesus; namely, the oil of the Holy Spirit to light up our lives, that keeps our lamps burning, LOVE in our hearts that keeps us sharing, joy in our hearts that keeps us singing, and faith in our hearts to keep us praying. We can’t ask for more than that, because those things encompass it all. 

And I believe the end of the article from the website, also makes a fitting end for our Bit today. ‘May we not be found “going away to make the purchase” (v. 10) when Christ returns. Take the time now to fill your lamp with oil and take extra along. Keep waiting and watching with joy and anticipation.’ Now that is wisdom of enormous proportions! Please let’s take strong and serious hold of it. Much LOVE!

…the moral of the story…be not found wanting when Jesus returns…

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   29 October 2022 Philippians 1:6.

Philippians 1:6.        Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (continue doing it) until the day of Jesus Christ.

Then it was that day we call lazy day Saturday. And have I ever been lazy this bright but chilly Saturday morning despite having stuff to do. But it’s oh so glorious to just laze around, especially in bed, and allow nothing to disturb your peaceful equilibrium! (smile) Life goes on though, and if we don’t want to get left behind, we cannot allow that lazy spell to continue for too long. So here I am writing the Bit, contemplating the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And the first quote says: ‘The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts today.’ And that has some truth to it, because if we are in a doubting frame of mind today, then tomorrow we will not be as confident as we should be to move ahead with whatever God has planned for us. It’s a definite fact that doubts today will affect tomorrow’s outcomes. However, on the other hand, we need to remember Jesus’ admonition about tomorrow. ‘Take therefore no thought for the morrow (therefore do not worry about tomorrow): for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt. 6:34) 

Yes friends, we ought to consider tomorrow, but our concentration should be on today, on enjoying today as fully as possible, because what’s called tomorrow will have its own problems, which we can take care of when it’s called today. (smile) Then this next quote tells us: ‘Don’t be afraid. Because you’re going to be afraid. But remember when you become afraid, just don’t be afraid.’ That’s somewhat confusing, but in a strange way it does have a certain amount of truth. 

Oh, we will all be afraid many times during our lives, it’s just a natural fact of life, but the big difference lies in how we handle that fear. Some of us whimper and cower and are totally devastated by our fear, while others find courage to overcome their fear. And I like how Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) puts it. ‘Just do it afraid!’ Now that’s easier said than done, but believers in Christ Jesus have the awesome power to do just that, since our Lord and Saviour through His Holy Spirit enables us to overcome the fear in our lives. Remember one of His favourite pronouncements was ‘Fear not.’ 

And these two scriptures spoken by Jesus, give us the ability to handle fear. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) Yes my people, when we have the peace of God dwelling within us, through the power of his Holy Spirit, fear will come against us, but it will not incapacitate us, we will be able to do whatever needs to be done in Jesus’ will. 

Now listen to this other verse of marvellous fear limiting. ‘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! What encouragement from our Lord and Saviour. We will all face troubles in this fallen and sinful world, but if we place our sincere trust in Him, those troubles will not lessen our ability to do His will. That’s the second time we’ve said it in the last few lines, so let’s hope it makes some inroads into our consciousness. (smile) There’s absolutely no doubt that we will face fear, and we will be afraid, but with Christ in our lives, that fear won’t overcome us, we will overcome it! 

And this next quote leaves me scratching my head somewhat. ‘You have to be where you are to get where you need to go.’ I’m not sure what it’s saying, but I believe it means, philosophically speaking, whatever point you are at in life, that’s where you need to be, if you are going to go where you need to.’ In other words, to get to your preferred destination, there’s a certain place or places you must first pass through, before you can get there. (smile) 

Now this quote is much simpler and straightforward. ‘You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.’ And that’s the gospel truth my people, especially if you are a true believer in Almighty God because true believers never stop learning, growing or dreaming, for once there is the breath or the Spirit of God in their bodies, they can think, act and dream. In fact, they are expected to think, act and dream. And how did Bruh Paul put it to the church at Philippi? ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (continue doing it) until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil. 1:6) 

Yuh see my brethren, God is going to continue growing us, continue making us into the likeness of Christ, until the day Christ returns to take us home with Him. That means we are not to just sit on our laurels waiting for Jesus to come back, but to continue growing in His image, every day that we’re alive, and that means dreaming dreams, setting goals and actioning them, until the very day we die. 

And is this last quote ever a marvellous one. It says: ‘The simple act of listening to someone and making them feel as if they have truly been heard is a most treasured gift.’ Mama Mia! That’s the truth in spades my fellow believers! But sadly, not all of us can do it. Some of us just can’t do without hearing ourselves talk, but sometimes, no, very often, all we need to do is listen, because all our brethren need is a listening ear, so that they can get their problems off their chests. 

And this scripture of Bruh Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians enables us to do that, if we take it seriously. ‘Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble (tribulation), by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.’ (2 Cor. 1:3-4) 

Glory be my people! What a wonderful God we serve! Which other supposed god comforts their people so that they can comfort others eh? None other than Jehovah God! That’s one of the many reasons why He’s so wonderful, and why we LOVE Him so much! So today, as we go about His business, let’s take a moment to stop and give Him sincere thanks for all the many blessings He’s so generously bestowed on us, in Jesus’ name. 

As Bruh David so eloquently reminds us in Psalm 103: ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with LOVING-kindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.’ (Ps. 103:2-5) 

Now, if that doesn’t give us cause for much thanks and praise…then sadly, I don’t know what will nuh. Much LOVE!

…living for Christ offers both earthly and heavenly benefits…while living for Satan only offers the polluted and destructible benefits of earth… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   28 October 2022   1 Timothy 4:7.

1 Timothy 4:7.        But refuse (reject) profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.

Finally, at long last, it’s Friday, the day we all look forward to, because it means the end of our work week and all the frustrations and problems making a living in this crazy, strife-filled world tend to cause. That’s why this shout is heard all around the world on a Friday. ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday, and the weekend is finally at hand. No more labour for two whole big days. Wow!’ 

And we all note the sarcasm in the last sentence. What an entitled and ungrateful society we’ve become, lacking work ethic and responsibility. We want to live a good life, with all the amenities available but don’t want work or do what’s necessary to provide them. It’s like the saying goes; we want what others have but don’t want to do what they did to get it. And the sad part is that Jesus told us so clearly that running down the things of the world is counter-productive, because the same basic things are available through belief in Him and His heavenly Father, plus with them, you’ll also gain life eternal, while with Satan it’s eternal death. 

What don’t we understand about: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) If you trust and rely on God, He will provide you with all the basic necessities of life, just like He does for the birds, the bees, the flowers and all His other creations. You are His most wonderful and adored creation, so if He provides all the lesser creations need to survive and thrive, why will He refuse to do the same for his most prized creation eh? No reason whatsoever! 

But we foolishly allow the devil to tempt us into running down the things of the world, because they seem glamorous and glitter like gold, allowing him to sow doubt in our minds about the goodness and grace of God. But as a true believer, that is one thing you should never doubt because if you’ve spent any time at all under His umbrella, you’ll have certainly seen several instances of His grace and mercy. However, unfortunately, it’s only with experience, length of time you spend with someone, that you truly get to know them. 

And that’s how it is also with our great and generous God; the more time you spend with Him, the better you get to know Him, and thus come to appreciate all his many marvellous attributes. Then you will see the lack of wisdom involved in following the deceitful, and treacherous devil, who only comes to steal and destroy, while Jesus came to save us, to give us life in abundance, so much so that it will overflow. (John 10:10) 

That’s why Bruh Paul in his first letter to Timothy, his young preacher associate, so seriously warned him against the things of the world. ‘But refuse (reject) profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and that which is to come.’ (1 Tim. 4:7-8) 

And that certainly is good advice! For as the scholars tell us: ‘We may read the verse (7), “But avoid profane and fabricated myths, and exercise yourself to be godly.” These false doctrines called “myths” are described as “profane” because they promote ungodliness, and “fabricated” because they – like modern day soap operas – are silly and flighty in character. Not only must Timothy avoid false teaching, he must spare himself no pain and effort to be pious. Godliness does not come automatically. To attain holiness he must be diligent in prayer, Bible study, obedience, fellowshipping with other believers, and Christian service.’ 

And my fellow believers nothing has changed in that department. We still need to be diligent in our obedience, duty, fellowshipping, prayer, and Bible study time, for that’s the only way we can ever truly know the heart, desires and will of our majestic and LOVING God. And I’m sure the scholars’ belittling of soap operas won’t sit well with some of you soap opera diehards, but it’s the truth. They don’t promote anything but resentment, deceit and a flighty, worldly lifestyle. 

That brings us to the scholars comment on verse 8 above. They say: ‘The verse may be paraphrased, “For physical exercise is of limited value, but godliness the result of spiritual exercise, has unlimited values, since it brings blessings for both now and eternity.’ Oh my people, what a way our world would be wonderfully improved if some of us would spend just a li’l less time on bodily exercise and use that saved time instead in spiritual improvement. 

The thiefing gyms and exercise palaces are full to overflowing every day, meanwhile the churches sit empty. What does that say about us eh? Simply that we regard and appreciate our frail, fragile earthly bodies more than we do our omnipotent Creator. And that obviously doesn’t bode well for our society in the long term, because without godly vision and practices, a society flounders and eventually fails. And unfortunately, we’re currently seeing and experiencing that tell-tale floundering in our mish-mash, ungodly world. 

However, it’s not too late to make a change, a change for the better, but it all begins with sincere prayer. So, if you’re sincere about trying to improve the world for our descendants, then please join me in offering up our Friday Chant to a waiting heaven. 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 several viruses 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 viruses and the simmering unrest in our land. 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, the discontent and dissatisfaction in our land that’s threatening to boil over, as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, wake up and smell it sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Now, my fellow believers, let’s get busy with all the things we need to do if we’re going to improve our world, as soon as possible. Much LOVE!

…worldly pleasures last but for a moment…but godliness gives grace for eternity… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   27 October 2022 James 5:13.

James 5:13.        Is any among you afflicted (suffering)? let him pray. Is any merry (cheerful)? let him sing psalms.

Well my Scrip-Bit friends and family, what’s up with you this Thursday autumn morn eh? I sincerely hope that my missive finds you all in good health, and if not, that you are getting good medical help as well as prayer from your fellow believers. For, as James, Jesus’ brother, writes in the Good Book: ‘Is any among you afflicted (suffering)? let him pray. Is any merry (cheerful)? let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 

And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual (effective) fervent prayer (supplication) of a righteous man availeth much.’ (James 5:13-16) And all of that to say, that prayer is also extremely important in the life of a believer when he or she is sick. We all run to the medical people, or the medicine cabinet as soon as we feel somewhat off kilter, but friends, the first place to run is always to Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals. 

Now, He might send us to the medicine cabinet or the doctor, but it is ever so important to get Him involved in whatever sickness we are experiencing. For though we have come a long way in terms of medical technology, there are many times when man and man-made medicine can’t cure our illnesses, but Almighty God certainly can, if He so desires. It’s happening all the time around our world, where doctors sign off on patients, claiming they can’t do any more for them, but eventually through faith and prayer they get healed. 

So, it’s not like it doesn’t or can’t happen. Much of the time it’s because we don’t try, that’s ask for divine healing, or we don’t believe that we will get it. Remember Jesus’ admonition. ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.’ (Matt. 7:7) And James corroborates his brother’s words by stating: ‘…ye have not because ye ask not.’ (James 4:2) And even when we ask: ‘Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts (pleasures) . (James 4:3) So my people, persistent asking, seeking and knocking isn’t always successful unless our motives are right, because God looks at our hearts before He contemplates our pleas. 

Anyway, getting back to our subject of healing through prayer. Here’s what the scholars say on those verses above: ‘One of the Old Testament names of God is Yahweh-Rapha, meaning “The Lord That Heals You” (Ex. 15:26). Illustration: The healing power of God is evidenced in a number of instances in Scripture. God heals by preserving health (Deut. 8:4), and advising good nutritional habits (Ex. 15:26; Lev. 11) and a healthful life-style (Lev. 12-14) and through the application of medical treatment (James 5:14), forgiveness of disease-causing sin (Num. 12:13), and the prayer of faith (James 5:15). 

Application: Although God does not always choose to heal, He sometimes does. When a Christian is sick, he should confess his known sins, and God may heal him if the sickness is caused by sin. He may also be led to ask his elders to anoint him with oil and pray for his healing. Some diseases experienced by Christians today could be prevented by trusting God as Yahweh-Rapha, and allowing Him to deal with those things in their lives causing stress, anger, and worry. (First Ref. Ex. 15:26; Primary Ref. James 5:14-16; cf. Matt. 19:14)’ 

Now, that should certainly give us much food for thought, especially with the way sickness is still paralyzing our world despite our high level of medical technology. And I think it’s imperative to quote this very meaningful verse of scripture that the scholars referenced above. It comes after Moses made bitter water sweet for the Israelites at Marah after all their complaining. He said to them: ‘If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.’ (Ex. 15:26) 

Now, that should give us even more food for thought. Remember all the plagues that the Lord sent down on Egypt because Pharaoh refused to set the Israelites free? Like the plague of blood, where all the water in Egypt was turned to blood, the plagues of frogs, of lice, of boils, of darkness, the death of the first born of every Egyptian family, which led to the Jewish Passover, still celebrated to this day, because Jehovah Rapha saved the sons of the Israelites by getting them to put the blood of an unblemished lamb on the lintels of their doors, and the angel of death ‘passed over’ those doors that had blood on them. 

Consequently, for argument’s sake my brethren, let’s look at the kind of life we are currently living; sinful, disobedient, idol worshipping, denying the authority, even the existence of Almighty God, then put that in context with what Moses said to the Israelites. Isn’t it highly likely, very logical, that a lot of our problems stem from our sinful, disobedient, ungodly behaviour? It surely is! But the only way to find out is if we turned back to Jehovah God, He of many, many wonderful attributes, especially those of grace, mercy and forgiveness. It’s high time we revert to godliness, because our current behaviour is getting us nowhere, but destruction. 

And I believe this verse of scripture should also be very instructive in our thoughts and ponderings. It comes after Cousin Sol built the first temple in Jerusalem dedicated to the God of his forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The Lord said unto Cousin Sol in a night vision: ‘If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.’ (2 Chr. 7:14) 

There again my fellow believers, it’s clearly spelled out that God requires righteous and goldy behaviour from us, strong and true belief in Him and His glorious power, constant communication with Him, and obedience to His will and Word. And any society that’s lacking in those requirements will never truly prosper. We can deny it all we want in this new age of supposed human renaissance, but the truth still remains that if we don’t serve our Creator, Almighty God, the way He desires, we won’t have a joyful or prosperous society. 

And what’s so sad is that despite trying all our man-made solutions, which any fool can see aren’t working, we still refuse to try a return to God’s fold. But as they say, we reap what we sow. And that’s the gospel truth, as we are indeed reaping the strife, sickness, and economic problems of our ungodly behaviour. But for those of us who are still hanging in there, trying to fight the good fight, the Lord has bestowed many undeserved blessings on us, what we call our Thursday Blessings, tools to help us do His earthly work. However, they need to be declared so that they can be activated. 

So as one strong and sincere voice, let’s declare them right 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!’ 

Now, it’s time for us to go out and use those divine blessings to bring others to Christ. Much LOVE!

…the wages of sin is death…so why the surprise at the dying of our sinful society… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   26 October 2022 Zechariah 9:12.

Zechariah 9:12.       Turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render (restore) double unto thee.

So we rolling along on the hump day of Wednesday, which has opened somewhat cloudy, but my genius computer has told me that it will eventually turn out to be a sunny day. And how can I doubt such good news eh? No way! But as always, be it sunshine, snow or rain, I’m thankful for having seen another blessed morning, in my already long life. Hope you are too. 

And though our problems might seem rather overwhelming and unsurmountable at times, and we feel like we don’t want to wake up another day to deal with them, that’s just the enemy playing his usual games with our feelings and emotions. But you know what Jesus said about Satan and his evil doings. ‘The thief cometh not, but for to (except to) steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10) 

Yes friends, Jesus came to give us life, and so much life, that it overflows. So why then would we to listen to the enemy and not want to wake to see another day eh?  The truth is, as long as there is life, there’s always hope. Hope that our problems will be solved; hope that our hurts would be comforted and our wounds healed through the great and good auspices of Jesus Christ, the Great Healer, the Great Comforter, and the giver of much Hope, as witnessed by His many other great attributes. 

And you know what they say about hope. ‘Hope is a revolution, a powerful presence that breaks us from the future and transforms today. Jesus’ arrival has brought God’s destiny for humanity crashing into now, in an explosion of life. Into a world marked by death. It changes everything.’ Wow! What a powerful force hope is. And that definition of hope comes from an article by Joshua Ryan Butler, aptly titled, ‘Prisoners of hope.’ 

Now the Good Book also refers to us by that name in the Old Testament writings of the Zechariah. After his people were defeated by the Babylonians and taken into captivity, he comforted and reassured them by talking about the coming of Zion’s future King, Jesus Christ. He passionately declares (steups!!!) to them: ‘Turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render (restore) double unto thee.’ (Zech. 9:12) 

Oh my people, there’s nothing better than being a prisoner of hope in Christ Jesus! For He is the Be All and End All of everything and every life that’s on planet earth. And we saw that He came once to prepare the soil of human life for planting, then sowed the seeds of righteousness and godliness through His Holy Spirit in anticipation for when He comes a second time to reap the fruit of His Spirit that’s grown up beautifully and bountifully on God’s great earth. 

So please, whatever else we might do, let’s not lose hope or give up, because Jesus has faithfully promised to return and take us back to heaven with Him, and ALL of His promises are faithful and true. Listen to this most marvellous one that deals with His coming again. He says to the disciples: ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions (dwellings): if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.’ (John 14:1-3) 

Wow! What a mighty promise my fellow believers. That’s why we simply cannot afford to lose hope in Christ, for whatever needs to be done in our lives, He can accomplish it. Why do we think that? Because He told the disciples a little later on: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father but by me.’ (John 14:6) 

And that’s the gospel truth! Please believe it fervently my people, for if we don’t, we’re sitting ducks for Satan to just come and pick us off, one by one and immerse us in evildoings, that will only lead us eventually to eternal damnation and the lake of fire, where the devil is slated to go on judgement day. But first, we have to give Jesus the chance, the opportunity to work in our lives by turning to Him in sincere trust and faith, otherwise all our own efforts will be in vain, because, as Jesus puts it so short and telling: ‘for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) 

Now here is this interesting excerpt on the subject ‘Prisoners of Hope,’ from an article by Mark Batterson found on his website He writes: ‘The prophet Zechariah declared this double blessing to Jewish prisoners of war, but he called them prisoners of hope. Those are polar opposites, are they not? So which is it—prisoners of war or prisoners of hope? That depends on your perspective, doesn’t it? If you let your circumstances define the way you see God, you are a prisoner of perspective. Or worse, a prisoner of your past mistakes! But if you let God define the way you see your circumstances, you are a prisoner of hope. 

Please don’t let anyone name you except God. You are not the labels people put on you. You are who God says you are! You are the apple of God’s eye. You are the object of His affection. You are more than a conqueror. Israel had experienced a bitter defeat at the hands of the Babylonians. They were at the mercy of their captors, who had defiled their temple and mocked their God. But God reminded them of who would have the last laugh. For their pain, He prescribed the promise of double blessing.’ 

Yes my faithful brethren, our great God, though He chastise us for our wrongdoings, He is still always offering us encouragement. That’s because He LOVES so deeply, and never wants to lose even one of His creations. But for that to happen successfully, we also need to play our part in the partnership; that’s show our sincere hope, faith, trust and obedience to His Word and will for our lives. And for those of us who are sincerely trying to do just that, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 

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

And believe me friends, if we endure with Jesus until the very end, then that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! Mama Mia! That gives us even more cause to endure! (smile) Much LOVE!

…you can’t have faith without first having hope…for faith is based on hope… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   25 October 2022 Psalm 46:1.

Psalm 46:1.       God is our refuge and strength, a very present (an abundantly available) help in trouble. 

It’s another beautiful, warm, sunshiny day in paradise friends! Please give thanks that we have been blessed to see it. For no matter how grave and unsurmountable our problems might seem, I’m sure we are all mighty glad that we woke up this morning to have another go at solving them. (smile) And please don’t forget that we follow the greatest problem solver ever, Jesus Christ, He who calms the stormy seas and quiets the howling winds. 

And believe me, if He can quiet the seas and the winds, then He can most certainly handle any of our mortal problems. But first we have to believe that He is able to do it, and then take those problems to Him, for He can’t solve what He doesn’t know we need solving. Oh, in His omniscience He certainly knows our problems, and might solve some of them of His own accord, but in general we need to take them to Him, not just wait on the off chance that He will do it on His own. 

And I guess that’s one of the problems many of us face in these trying times; for whatever reason, we don’t take our problems to Christ, or at best we only take them when we cannot solve them in our own strength. But that’s not wisdom my people. The first place we should take our troubles to is at the feet of Christ, not the last place, like so many of us unwisely do. 

Please remember these strong and encouraging words of the sons of Korah from Psalm 46. ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present (an abundantly available) help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst (the heart) of the sea. Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.   Selah.’ (Ps. 46:1-3) 

Yes friends, our Creator and omnipotent God has all the parts to solve any problems in which we find ourselves immersed. Why not take them to Him eh? And His Word tells us so often, that that’s the very thing to do when troubles arise. So, let’s take a look at some of the many scriptures that encourage us thus nuh, hopefully then we’ll remember and go to God first, the next time we are tried and troubled. (smile) 

Now, these next verses, wise words of Cousin Sol, are ones we all know and claim to LOVE, but obviously don’t sufficiently put into action, otherwise our problems would not be as overwhelming as they are. He wisely advises us to: ‘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 thy paths.’ (Prov. 3:5-6) 

And if we truly believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, then that is Scripture 101! It’s the very essence, the very purpose of believing. Yes, you ought to trust and surrender your life to the one you claim to believe in, otherwise believing is just a figment of your imagination. And sadly, it’s that way with many of us supposed believers, because we only talk a good talk, but don’t walk it, and continue to live our lives in our own strength…until the heifer dust hits the fan. Then we run crying to God to fix it, and expect Him to do it, and do it immediately too! 

Oh, what a bunch of sad, hypocritical ingrates we are my people! That’s why our lives and our world is so messed up. And why shouldn’t it be eh, when some of us are trying to push God out of His own creation, while some of us who claim to believe are not walking in true faith, not doing what true faith calls for, either sitting on the fence or happily fornicating with the enemy. What we unfortunately lack is unity, true unity, not just talk unity. And where there is no unity, there cannot be peace or prosperity, only confusion, strife, and all the negative problems those things bring. 

And that’s why Bruh Paul so painstakingly advised us in his letter to the Philippians: ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:6-7) 

Yes my brethren, if we desire true peace in our souls, then we have to begin by taking EVERYTHING, yes EVERYTHING to God in prayer! And it doesn’t matter whether it’s big or small, significant or insignificant. Once it’s in our lives, then it’s also a concern of our God, for He is interested in EVERYTHING that goes on in our lives. 

Why do you think the Lord caused the prophet Isaiah to write to his people in the time of their trouble: ‘Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.’ (Is. 41:10) And why do you think Peter wrote these wise words to the early believers? ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.’ (1 Pet. 5:6-7) 

Yes my people, our Creator, our God, our heavenly Father indeed cares for us, else why would He send his sinless Son, Christ Jesus to die on the cross of Calvary to save our sinful souls eh? But we must take what He says and what He expects of us seriously, meaning be obedient to His Word, to His dictates. It’s foolish to expect to be disobedient, yet blessed with divine attention. And when we talk about our God so intently caring for us, how can one get any more explicit and understanding than these comforting words of Jesus from His Great Invitation. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ (Matt. 11:28) 

Oh my fellow saints, that says it all! Jesus is the answer to ALL of our problems, for EVERYTHING in our lives! And until we get that straight in our hearts and minds, and begin truly behaving in the appropriate manner, our trials and tribulations will continue to perplex and discombobulate us. Anyhow, for those of us who are sincerely trying to live for Jesus, let’s go home now declaring (awright!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. 

As one strong 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 my immediate neighbours, as well as with the whole wide world! Glory be!’ 

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

…true trust and surrender are not found in mere talk…but in sincere, heart-felt action… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   24 October 2022 Romans 8:37.

Romans 8:37.       Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors, through him that LOVED us. 

Oh gee, it’s Monday! Chuh! Another day of repetitive and non-uplifting work… But wait, please note that it’s also another day of enjoying God’s awesome mercies and compassions, that are created brand new for us each and every morning! And believe me, with those powerful, encouraging and confidence building tools of God in our tool kit, we can handle anything that comes against us, have a positive, godly attitude regardless of the situations in which we find ourselves. 

Remember Jehovah’s promise through the prophet Isaiah a long time ago. ‘No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgement thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of (from) me, saith the Lord.’ (Is. 54:17) Now that’s a mighty promise, and since we are the Lord’s servants, then it’s still applicable to us today. And those are the kinds of encouraging and uplifting scriptures that we need to write indelibly in our hearts and minds so that we can recall them when the times get rough and our spirit and confidence are lacking. 

Then there are these magnificent verses from Bruh Paul explaining to the church at Rome, the marvellous unbreakable bond we have with Almighty God through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. He confidently writes: ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors, through him that LOVED us.’ (Rom. 8:35-37) 

Oh my faithful brethren, what uplifting and confidence building verses! Yes! In all these things we are indeed more than conquerors. Though the enemy tries to overcome us they just can’t because they don’t have the power nor the authority for Christ has already won the victory over hell, death and the grave, leaving Satan a toothless lion with only a loud growl, but no real bite since he can’t inflict any damage with just gums. (smile) Oh, by the way, verse 36 above comes directly from Psalm 44:22. 

And I like this simple explanation on ‘we are more than conquerors,’ offered by an article on the website. It reads: ‘To be more than conquerors means we face the trials of life with the certainty that we are not alone. We have a mighty Father who fights for us. We approach the darkest valleys with confidence, knowing that nothing can happen to us that is not permitted by our LOVING Father for our good (Psalm 23:4; Romans 8:28). 

We have His promise of eternal life (John 3:16;Titus 1:2; 1 John 5:11) and the presence of Almighty God every moment of every day until we see Him face to face (Psalm 139:7-12; Deuteronomy 31:8; Hebrews 13:5; Matthew 28:20). No sin of ours and no attempt of the enemy can steal the LOVING care of God from our lives, and that makes us more than conquerors through Christ who LOVES us.’ 

So true my people, so true! And don’t forget to check out those scriptures referenced above, because they too are also powerful and encouraging verses that keep us strong and confident in the Lord. But Bruh Paul’s not done. He continues his missive to the Romans, delving even deeper into the subject, leaving us in absolutely no doubt on the matter. He says: ‘For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom. 8:38-39) 

Glory be my people! Bruh Paul leaves no stone unturned. In the first few verses he addresses the earthly things and trials that can beset us, then in the last two, he deals with the spiritual aspect of the situation. And isn’t it joyful and faith-building to know that NOTHING whatsoever can separate us from God’s LOVE? Indeed it is! 

And the scholars offer their two cents worth on the subject by saying that ‘We cannot be separated from God’s LOVE, because it is set forth in a person who is God Himself, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. God’s desire to redeem believers cannot be frustrated, because He is infinitely greater than any potential enemy. His plan will be realized because it is His purpose. (Rom. 8:28).’ And all of that’s gospel truth friends, so for our sake, our peace of mind and salvation, we had better believe it! 

And just for added protection (smile) let’s add this other uplifting promise from our omnipotent God, this one when the Lord called Jeremiah to be His spokesperson. He told him in no uncertain terms. ‘And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee: for I am with thee, saith the Lord, to deliver thee.’ (Jer. 1:19) More food for spiritual strength my people! (smile) And can we ever use all the help possible. And when yuh talking about help, well brethren, there’s only one place to go: to the throne room of heaven with confident, sincere prayer. 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 after asking for divine favour through prayer, it’s then wise to keep whatever promises you’ve made, for as Cousin Sol says as the Preacher in Ecclesiastes: ‘When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer (delay) not to pay it: for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.’ (Eccl. 5:4-5) No wonder Cousin Sol is considered the wisest man who ever lived. (smile) Much food for thought today friends, please don’t let it go to waste. Much LOVE!

…if you sincerely believe in God…then God won’t let you down… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   23 October 2022   Lamentations 3:22-23.

Lamentations 3:22-23.        It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Here it is again my people, Sunday, The day of the Lord! The Sabbath Day, that we should keep holy and gather in sweet fellowship to praise and give thanks to Almighty God our Creator and Provider for all that He’s done, is doing, and has promised to do for us. And all God’s children gave a mighty and grateful shout of ‘Praise the Lord!’ 

Now, today’s song is a very popular one amongst the brethren, and is aptly titled ‘Great is Thy Faithfulness.’ And would you believe we’ve never sung it in our Sunday worship. I was most amazed when I decided to sing it today and went looking for it amongst the archives. But it was nowhere to be found, so I had to research it from scratch. The song was written by Thomas O. Chisholm born in Franklin, Kentucky – (1866-1960). He wrote the poem in 1923 about God’s faithfulness over his lifetime and sent it to William Runyan in Kansas, who set it to music. It was published the same year by the Hope Publishing Company with which Runyan was affiliated and soon became popular among church groups. 

So let’s put our hearts and voices together and sing a rousing, mid-tempo, soulful, but oh so scintillating version of this amazing song, so that heaven will have no doubt that we are indeed grateful for God’s awesome faithfulness. Singing: ‘Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father, there is no shadow of turning with thee. Thou changest not, thy compassions, they fail not; as thou hast been, thou forever wilt be. (Refrain: Great is thy faithfulness! Great is thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see; all I have needed thy hand hath provided. Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!) 

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest, sun, moon, and stars in their courses above join with all nature in manifold witness to thy great faithfulness, mercy, and LOVE. [Refrain] Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth, thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide, strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside! [Refrain] Great is thy faithfulness! Great is thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see; all I have needed thy hand hath provided. Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!)’ 

That was wonderful my brethren! Now there’s no doubt in heaven about our sincerity. So let’s look at some background info on the song. It seems that Chisholm’s life was ordinary. He grew up on a farm, was converted to Christianity at age 26, then became a minister in 1903, and according to one article ‘His aim in writing was to incorporate as much Scripture as possible and to avoid flippant or sentimental themes.’ And He’s certainly done that in this one. 

Then, in 1994, Greg Scheer wrote these words about the song and it’s author. ‘Unlike many hymns that have heart-wrenching stories behind them (for instance “It Is Well With My Soul”), “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” is inspired by the simple realization that God is at work in our lives on a daily basis. He (Chisholm) wrote, “My income has not been large at any time due to impaired health in the earlier years which has followed me on until now. Although I must not fail to record here the unfailing faithfulness of a covenant-keeping God and that He has given me many wonderful displays of His providing care, for which I am filled with astonishing gratefulness.” The hymn reminds us that God doesn’t only work in dramatic or miraculous ways, but also in simple, everyday ways. It also reminds us that Jesus has never failed us in the past, so we have no reason to doubt his faithfulness in the future.’ 

And isn’t all of that the God-awesome truth my fellow saints! It certainly is! For we serve a marvellous God filled with compassion and faithfulness. And apparently it’s these heart opening words of truth found in Jeremiah’s Lamentations that the song is based on. ‘It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.’ (Lam. 3:22-23) And believe me, that’s the gospel truth, for if our God wasn’t merciful and compassionate, we’d have been destroyed long ago. 

And I like how this second commentator compares Chisholm’s experiences to that of Jeremiah. He says: ‘Jeremiah, on the other hand, was in tumultuous circumstances when writing Lamentations. The people to whom he prophesied did not listen, and he was ostracized and completely alone because of what God called him to do. He also lamented the consequences of their faithlessness. God allowed them to be conquered by the Babylonians, resulting in their entire world being laid to waste. 

But in the midst of that utter devastation, Jeremiah still offers them hope on the horizon: they are not completely destroyed because of the LORD’s compassion and faithfulness, and in the morning, after this “dark night of the soul,” things will be better. So whether we are at a place in our lives where everything is pretty ordinary, or whether we are in a period of grief: no matter what our circumstances, God never changes and is faithful to us, sustaining us in his compassion and faithfulness each and every day.’ 

More gospel truth friends, for which we should be eternally grateful. Now let’s look at a few scriptures that corroborate and solidify what we’ve been saying. And I like this first one from the prophet Malachi, when talking to his people about the payment of tithes. ‘For I am the Lord I change not: therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. But ye said, Wherein, (in what way) shall we return?’ (Mal. 3:6-7) 

And yuh know what friends? It’s the very same thing the Lord is saying unto us today. We have turned away in great droves from Him, being sinful and disobedient, but He’s still pleading with us to  return to His fold, where we will find goodness and mercy, rest and peace. And do we ever need those things in these turbulent times. But we stubbornly refuse to accept His call, despite the serious problems in which our world is currently floundering and going down for the count. 

Then, there’s this verse from the pen of the psalmist Asaph. He writes: ‘But he (God), being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath.’ (Ps. 78:38) Oh my people, we cannot dispute those sentiments of Asaph, because they are totally true. How many times have we turned away from the God of our forefathers eh, and He has not completely destroyed us? We shouldn’t even be alive to tell the tale right now, but for His mercy and compassion for his frail and foolish creation. And yet we claim that He does not LOVE us. Hogwash! 

And we’ll end with these words from Psalm 36, where Bruh David declares: (yesss!!!) ‘Thy mercy (LOVING-kindness), O Lord, is in the heavens, and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds. Thy righteousness is like the great mountains (mountains of God): thy judgements are a great deep (ocean): O Lord, thou preservest man and beast. How excellent (precious) is thy LOVING-kindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.’ (Ps. 36:5-7) 

And if we want to alleviate the sure destruction that seems in store for our world, if we continue on our current path, I can assure us that there is no better place for mankind to put their trust right now, than in the Lord God Jehovah! So please my people, I am pleading with us to take time and sincerely and seriously ponder that wisdom today. For it will do us a world of good. Much LOVE!

…a word to the wise…is usually sufficient…  

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   22 October 2022 Psalm 146:5.

Psalm 146:5.       Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God.

Awright friends, it’s another colourful, sunshiny autumn morn in my area! All thanks and praise be to our great and merciful God! Yes, I’m surely thankful for being able to see this lazy Saturday morning unfurl. And wherever you are, whatever the weather or your personal situation, if you opened your eyes this lazy Saturday morning, then I’d strongly advise you to also give much thanks for that heavenly blessing, because there are many others who did not get that awesome opportunity of seeing a new day. 

Please remember these immortal and very wise words of the psalmist from way back when. ‘Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.’ (Ps. 100:4-5) And with that wise and wonderful scripture under our belt, (smile) let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Now this first quote tells an awesome truth. It says: ‘We generate fears while we sit. We overcome them by action.’ And I know that many of us can identify with that, because it’s when we are not productively engaged that we get into the most trouble and feel the most fearful. As the old saying goes, the devil finds work for idle hands to do. And it’s quite true, for when you are inactive your mind wanders to all sorts of unlikely places and scenarios, many induced by the enemy’s suggestions and deceptions, and thus you are more susceptible to fear and anxiety. But when we are busy doing stuff, especially God’s will for our lives, there’s little or no time for fear to intrude into our hearts, bodies and souls. Glory be! 

Then there’s this interesting quote: ‘What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.’ And I believe there’s much truth in that, for in achieving one’s goals, provided they are worthwhile in God’s eyes, then your personal growth is also enhanced in ways you cannot see or even imagine. But that’s exactly what the Lord desires of us, has planned from day one for each of His creations; growth and maturity in His fold, steadily moving forward to a likeness or uncanny resemblance to His Son Jesus Christ. 

As Bruh Paul writes in Romans: ‘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) Yes friends, from the very beginning God planned to make every Christian increasingly more like Christ, moving them along life’s path from glory to glory. (Eph. 3:18) So technically speaking, whenever we achieve goals, be they bad or good, we grow either in godliness or evil, but God’s avowed purposed is for all to grow in likeness to His Son, and I guess Satan also wants those under his control to grow in evil-doing like him. 

And it all segues quite nicely into this next quote. Yes, the second quote is like unto the first. (smile) ‘Dreams don’t have to just be dreams. You can make it a reality; if you just keep pushing and keep trying, then eventually you’ll reach your goal. And if that takes a few years, then that’s great, but if it takes 10 or 20, then that’s part of the process.’ Now that’s what we’re talking about! Dreams become goals, and goals become reality, but not necessarily in a short time, for early on there are usually mistakes and failures, but through persistence, and strong belief in God and one’s goal, you can eventually succeed. 

If you look around our world at the many stunning inventions and amenities we enjoy, they all began with a dream, that was then turned into a goal, and then worked hard and long at to achieve. From the dream to the reality, it’s all a process, more often long than short, and it’s the same with our becoming like Christ; it doesn’t happen overnight, or easily, but it’s a lifelong process with plenty of ups and downs, however, there’s a marvellous reward of salvation and eternal life at the end. 

And this next quote amplifies it all. ‘The moral of my story is the sun always comes out after the storm. Being optimistic and surrounding yourself with positive LOVING people is for me, living life on the sunny side of the street.’ Now isn’t that what we are all seeking and searching for? To be surrounded by positive LOVING people, that will help us live on the sunny side of the street. Unfortunately though, that’s one of the most difficult things to do in this current evil, ungodly world, because Satan’s appeal is so widespread that people can no longer be trusted to have your back. 

We’re becoming increasingly greedy and selfish, behaving like ungodly crabs in a barrel, all struggling to reach the top without regard to the welfare of those around us. So, we must be optimistic, for that’s what Christ, our Leader teaches, but we must also be very careful in these treacherous times of whom we let into our private sanctuaries. And yes, after a storm, there’s usually the sun shining brightly, but please note that there are more storms in the forecast, because storms are simply a natural part of life. 

We just have to be as prepared as we can be, and trust our Lord and Saviour to lead and guide us through them successfully, since we don’t have the power to do so on our own. That’s why the Good Book warns us in Psalm 146: ‘Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man (a human being), in whom there is no help (salvation)…Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God.’ (Ps. 146:3, 5) Now that says it all friends: Mankind can’t help us with salvation, and his trustworthiness in earthly matters also leaves a lot to be desired. Only Jehovah God can be trusted to help us fix our lives in a worthwhile manner. 

And that brings us to this last and very interesting quote. ‘When you’ve seen beyond yourself, then you may find, peace of mind is waiting there.’ And my fellow believers, the only time and place you can truly see beyond yourself is when you see yourself through the eyes of our gracious and merciful God. When you are convinced that salvation is yours, that you have been reconciled to the Father, have become a child of God, made righteous through belief and faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, with total surrender to His awesome will for our lives. 

That is the pinnacle God wants us all to desire, to reach for with perseverance and trust, and eventually achieve. So please, let’s keep reaching forward for said pinnacle nuh, because it’s where the Prince of Peace dwells, and only when we get there, will we ever find true peace. Much LOVE!

…peace I leave with you…my peace I give unto you…not as the world giveth…give I unto you…let not your heart be troubled…neither let it be afraid… (John 14:27) 

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