Today’s Scrip-Bit   28 February 2023   1 Thessalonians 5:2.

1 Thessalonians 5:2.       For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

Well friends, the snow mash we up yesterday afternoon, and caused havoc throughout the town! Can you imagine what the evening commute home was like? Brother! It’s a good thing I cancelled an afternoon doctor’s appointment in the big city of T.O, otherwise I would have been caught in the havoc, and at my time of life, I don’t need that nonsense. (smile) 

The weather forecasters had predicted a big one, and this one was fair-sized and upon us quite quickly. I remember looking out my window mid-afternoon, and there was no sign of the impending storm, but an hour later, the place was white as snow. (smile) Yes, when it came, it came quickly, like a thief in the night, and heavily too. And that’s how Jesus said He will be coming back, so we had better be prepared if we want to be raised to meet Him in the clouds, or what we call the Rapture of Christ’s church. 

Jesus said that only God knows the time of His return. ‘But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe (Noah) were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe (Noah) entered the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away, so shall the coming of the Son of man be.’ (Matt. 24:36-39) 

Yes, my fellow believers, Jesus’ return is so unpredictable that it could happen today, tomorrow or two thousand years in the future. It’s so up in the air, that Bruh Paul told the Roman church: ‘And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we (first ) believed).’ (Rom. 13:11) Truly, our salvation is indeed nearer than when we first believed, and every day it draws closer. But that was some two thousand years ago, Bruh Paul wrote those words. And we’re still waiting for Christ to return. 

That’s how indeterminate it is. Only the Father knows…And He’s not telling. That means we should be prepared for it to happen at any time…even right now! Jesus said it quite plainly. ‘Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman (master) of the house had known in what watch (hour) the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered (allowed) his house to be broken up (into). Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.’ (Matt. 24:42-44) 

Oh friends, I cannot overstate the importance of being ready for whenever Jesus returns, because it will indeed be like a thief in the night. He said: ‘Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.’ (Matt. 24:40-41) That means that it will all happen unexpectedly and very quickly, which necessitates the state of always being ready. However, the scholars list some conditions that suggest the Rapture might happen soon…just how soon though? No one knows. 

But here’s the list. (1) Israel’s return to the Promised Land. (I believe that happened in 1948). (2) The obvious acceleration of lawlessness. (3) The increase of apostasy – that’s turning away from God. (1 Tim. 4:1) (4) The socio-religious climate preparing for the one world church. (5) The rapid acceleration of life-threatening conditions – such as potential nuclear annihilation, population explosion, and pollution – that require Christ’s return before events run their natural course and terminate the world. Paul listed certain conditions which, though true in every age, appear to be more prevalent today (2 Tim. 3:1-5). 

And that’s the indisputable truth. All the stuff Bruh Paul wrote to Timothy is indeed happening in great prevalence. Therefore, as the Christians in Thessalonica lived in expectation of Christ’s imminent return, all Christians ought to live the same way today. Yes, the Thessalonians lived in great expectation after reading Bruh Paul’s words. ‘But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 

For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail (labour pains) upon a woman with child (pregnant woman); and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober (self-controlled). 

For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken, are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober (self-controlled), putting on the breastplate of faith and LOVE; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should lie together with him.’ (1 Thess. 5:1-10) 

And isn’t that the glorious truth my fellow saints! The Father has made provision for us to be taken out of the darkness into the marvellous light of His Son, Jesus Christ, therefore we ought to live as children of light, walking in His awesome LOVE and sharing the message of salvation and eternal life that He’s provided through His sacrificial death and magnificent resurrection! So, let’s get it together today nuh my people, and begin living like we ought to, as children of God and of light, with great expectations of Jesus‘ return, ready and waiting for whenever that momentous occasion occurs. 

Now, let’s go home 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 get out there and do just that: 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!

…all the signs point to Jesus’ imminent return…please, please be ready for whenever it happens… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   27 February 2023 James 2:17.

James 2:17.       Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

One more time around the block my people. It’s another Monday morning to get ourselves in gear and navigate our working world. But it should be a cakewalk for believers if we went to church yesterday and got refreshed, renewed and filled with the confidence of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, because that’s one of the reasons for attending the Lord’s sanctuary on Sundays. 

However, just going to church doesn’t mean that you will automatically be refreshed and renewed and refilled with the Holy Spirit. No sir! You must come with a godly mindset and play an active part in the worship, be serious and sincere about gaining something from the fellowship with the other believers, and also giving something of yourself. Just moseying along without any effort and input on our part, while hoping for some of the godliness in the service to rub off won’t cut it at all my brethren. Participation is the name of the game! 

And that’s one of the reasons why our world is in such an unruly and ungodly mess; too many of us believers are too lethargic and lazy and fearful to make worthwhile contributions to the efforts of saving our world for Jesus, of spreading His gospel and making disciples of all nations like He commanded. (Matt. 28:19-20) 

Remember, all that He’s ever asked us to do is basically for our benefit, not His. Helping to save the world is not for Jesus’ sake, but for ours; that we would have a good, godly and prosperous world for ourselves and our families to dwell in, and also be the recipients of God’s grace through salvation and eternal life. But look at what we have for a world nowadays nuh; prosperity for a few, but not much good or godly for the many. And even the prosperous few are not happy either. They have all the amenities that the world can provide, but their spirituality is sadly lacking. 

Granted, our world will never be as equitable as we desire until Jesus returns and sets up His kingdom, but there’s absolutely no reason for the world to be as inequitable as it is right now! And unfortunately, a lot of the inequity comes from the lack of sincere faith, positive action and brimming over passion of Christians! 

Remember what James says: ‘What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.’ (James 2:14-18) 

Ah friends, that is the gospel truth! We can’t have true faith without some good works to back it up. We can’t quote scripture and tell people about Jesus when they’re hungry, naked and destitute. We need to feed and clothe them first, because we cannot expect them to believe that Jesus came to save the poor and lowly, the sick and suffering and all the other good things that comes from His ministry and leave them without the basics of life. And sadly, that’s what’s happening too much around our world. A lot of us are preaching to unfortunates, but not giving them the basic life-giving stuff they need to survive. 

Jesus said after dining with the tax collector Zaccheus, who repented after their meeting. ‘For the Son of man is come to seek and save that which was lost.’ (Luke 19:10) And He philosophized on that through the parables of the Lost Coin, the Lost Sheep and the Lost Son. (Luke 15:1-32) And when He sent out the disciples to proselytize, He instructed them: ‘And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils (demonic spirits): freely ye have received, freely give.’ (Matt. 9:7-8) 

Yes friends, faith without works is indeed dead! And with our sloppy faith and paucity or insufficiency of works, we’re playing right into the devil’s hands. Which is not what Jesus expects of His followers, His ambassadors, His agents and stewards down here on earth. That means we badly need to raise the level of both our faith and works, if we are to make any worthwhile inroads into the wickedness and evil of our current world. And to help us do that, let’s take it all in prayer to the throne room, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

In strong and sincere 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!’ 

Our next move now is to wake up to the reality of the sad situation in our world and do something about it! And as a group of serious and sincere believers, with the Holy Spirit of Christ dwelling within us, we can do quite a lot, if we set our hearts and minds to it! Much LOVE!

…it’s time for believers to stop merely talking the talk…and walk the glorious walk instead… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   26 February 2023 Psalm 73:28.

Psalm 73:28.       But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.

It’s that time once again friends, to come on down to the Lord’s sanctuary and join other believers in worship, praise and thanks to our Creator and Provider, Jehovah Jireh! Yes, there’s no better place to be on the Lord’s Day than in the Lord’s house. And as often as possible, we should endeavour to pay a visit to His house on Sundays, because that’s where and when we are renewed, refreshed and made ready to face the upcoming work week and all the ungodly stuff that will come against us out there in the crazy, turbulent world. 

And today’s song of worship is an interesting one, in that it tells us about both the highs and lows of life, and is aptly titled ‘God on the Mountain.’ It’s a song written by Tracy Dartt and made popular by the gospel artist Lynda Randle. So, let’s offer up our sacrifices of praise in a soulful, mid-tempo harmonious version, making note of the simple but very important sentiments it offers. 

Singing: ‘Life is easy, when you’re up on the mountain And you’ve got peace of mind, like you’ve never known But things change, when you’re down in the valley Don’t lose faith, for you are never alone For the God on the mountain, is still God in the valley When things go wrong, He’ll make them right And the God of the good times, is still God in the bad times The God of the day, is still God in the night 

We talk of faith way up on the mountain But talk comes easy, when life’s at its best Now it’s down in the valleys, trials and temptations That’s where your faith is really put to the test For the God on the mountain, is still God in the valley, When things go wrong, He’ll make them right And the God of the good times, is still God in the bad times The God of the day, is still God in the night The God of the day, is still God in the night.’ 

Yes my fellow saints, it’s short, simple, sweet and to the point. Our God is the same God whether it’s day or night, whether we’re on the mountain top or down in the valley, whether things are going right or wrong. He’s the same one we must turn to in ALL circumstances, for He is the ONLY ONE that has all the answers!, and who’s promised to work everything out eventually for our good. (Rom. 8:28) 

And none of us can ever get away from the comparison between life on the mountain and life in the valley, because we all visit either place at some time or other in our earthly lives. For as the song says, ‘Life is easy, when you’re up on the mountain And you’ve got peace of mind, like you’ve never known But things change, when you’re down in the valley.’ 

Now isn’t that the awesome truth! We talk a big talk when we’re living high on the hog, but when our circumstances fail, that’s a horse of a different colour. We don’t talk as big, sometimes we even lose our voices and go dumb. (smile) But that’s exactly when we ought to allow our faith to rise up and keep us steadfast and strong, because although we might be down in the dumps, we’re never alone. No, our wonderful God is always with us, wherever we are, whatever our situation, be it day or night, it’s the same great God that controls our lives. 

And we couldn’t find a better scripture to encourage us when we’re in the depths of the valley than these marvellous words of Bruh David from the magnificent Psalm 23. ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.’ And Bruh David, being a shepherd, could write with sure testimony of the value of the shepherd’s rod and staff in taking care of the sheep. And like a kind and compassionate shepherd, Our God uses the Holy Spirit to do His shepherding in our lives; leading and guiding us in the best ways possible to do His will and accomplish His plan for our destiny. 

Now here’s another excellent scripture on much needed faith during adversity. It comes from the psalmist Asaph, when he almost fell prey to the prosperity of the wicked. But after he caught himself, and in the sanctuary of the Lord to boot, he wrote: ‘So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee. nevertheless, I am continually with thee: thou hast holden (held) me by my right hand. Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. 

Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart (my rock), and my portion for ever. For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee (are unfaithful to thee). But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.’ (Ps. 73:22-28) 

Ah mih people, how can we quarrel with those words and sentiments eh? We can’t, because they are the living truth, it’s what our great God is all about. And both Bruh David and Asaph, and also many of us can speak from personal experience of God’s help in both the rough and the good times. The important thing is that we NEVER GIVE UP! I like to say those words are not in Jesus’ vocabulary, so we can’t ever use them. (smile) 

And when we talking about comfort in the tough times, brother, there’s none better at that than our ever-LOVING God. Listen to how Bruh Paul describes it to the church at Corinth in his second missive. ‘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) 

Now how can you beat that eh? Our God comforts us so that we can comfort others with the comfort that He comforted us! Mama Mia! And how can I not LOVE and worship Him!  And here’s a most fitting scripture to close with today. It’s from Bruh Paull’s second letter to Timothy, when he knew that his time was running out. 

He wrote: ‘For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure (death) is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim. 4:6-8) 

Oh, my fellow believers, please let’s raise our level of faith, good works and whatever else we need to raise, so that at the end of our days, we will be able to make such a positive declaration. (steups!!!) Much LOVE!

 the Lord God Jehovah is all we need…in this life…and the next…

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   25 February 2023 Isaiah 10:1.

Isaiah 10:1.        Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness (misfortune) which they have prescribed.

It’s snowing, it’s snowing, on a lazy Saturday morning! Yes friends, some of that white stuff is floating down from the heavens in my area. Wasn’t expecting it, but there it is, some good ole snow in the winter time. (smile) And again, this past week I did not receive any quotes from our friend Anselm, don’t know what’s wrong, don’t know if he’s decided to stop aspiring to inspire us for our tomorrows. The long and short of the story though, is that I have to wing it on my own again. (smile) So let’s see what the Lord has to say to us on this first Saturday in Lent of 2023. Let me open the Good Library and see where it directs us. Soon come. 

Oh Mama! The Good Library opened in the book of Isaiah to a section that’s titled: ‘Woe to the Abusers of Justice.’ And that’s still a very good topic to talk about today because the abuse of justice and the abusers are so very prevalent in these evil and ungodly times. And what does Isaiah say on the subject. He declares (ah Lord eh!!!): ‘Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness (misfortune) which they have prescribed.’ (Is. 10:1) 

And I don’t need to tell or remind us, that in this time of ours, there are so many unrighteous and grievous decrees being written, promulgated and eventually made law that Isaiah would have laughed at the comparatively small amount in his day. That’s because almost every law that’s written and passed nowadays is selfish, greedy and for the benefit of a handful of power brokers. And what’s the consequences of that kind of law making ? Isaiah said it very clearly on the Lord’s behalf. ‘To turn aside (deprive) the needy from judgement (justice), and to take away the right (what is right) from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless.’ (Is. 10:2)

We couldn’t have put it any better my people. The poor, widows and orphans are suffering terribly in these times of plenty, because the rich and powerful are greedier than ever and enabling the system to give them more than they already have, while making it ever so difficult for the rest of the people to rise up and live a decent life, a life like what Christ died for them to have. The wickedness in our society is ever so rampant that it’s unbelievable. It’s like Bruh David describes it in Psalm 58, titled ‘Unjust Judges.’ 

He says: ‘Do ye indeed speak righteousness, O congregation (ye rulers that represent God)? do ye judge uprightly, O ye sons of men? Yea, in heart ye work wickedness; ye weigh the violence of your hands in the earth. The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies. Their poison is like the poison of the serpent: they are like the deaf adder (cobra) that stoppeth her ear; which will not hearken to the voice of charmers, charming never so wisely (ever so skillfully).’ (Ps. 58:1-5) 

Oh my people, our world is in such an ungodly uproar with all the wickedness and evil that’s being perpetrated each and every day in it. I don’t believe we’ve ever seen the levels of hate, anger, violence, strife, greed, selfishness and ungodliness that now permeates it. And the sad aspect is that the entire world is caught up in that evil and negative scenario, not only a few nations. With all the new technology and quick means of travel and moving information, our world has indeed become more like a global village than a far-flung entity. 

That means information and people, both good and bad can be moved around and across our world with ever increasing speed with the good or bad news they bring. And that’s exactly what’s happening. The purveyors of evil are spreading their greedy tentacles far and wide in their ungodly desire to control the world. That’s why there’s so much simmering as well as unleashed tension all over the globe right now. Consequently, nobody’s happy, and everyone has oodles of complaints, they consider legitimate. And in fact, many of them are. 

But here’s an interesting question that Isaiah posed to the wicked way back when. ‘And what will ye do in the day of visitation (punishment), and in the desolation which shall come from far? to whom will ye flee for help? and where will ye leave your glory?’ (Is. 10:3) Ah my fellow believers, that’s a very interesting question. What will happen to evil-doers when the Lord is ready to settle His accounts eh? 

But before we get to that, here’s what Bruh David asked the Lord to do to the wicked in Psalm 58. ‘Break (away) their teeth, O God, in their mouth: break out the great teeth of the young lions, O Lord. Let them melt (flow) away as waters which run continually: when he bendeth his bow to shoot his arrows, let them be as cut in small pieces. As a snail which melteth, let every one of them pass away: like the untimely birth (stillborn child) of a woman, that they may not see the sun. Before your pots can feel thorns (burning thorns), he shall take them away as with a whirlwind, both living, and in his wrath (as in his living and burning wrath).’ (Ps. 58:6-9) 

Wow! Bruh David didn’t make joke in asking the Lord to dispose of the wicked, both quickly and painfully. But here now is Isaiah’s answer to the fate of the wicked, as decreed by the Lord. ‘Without me they shall bow down under (among) the prisoners, and they shall fall under (among) the slain. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out (in judgement) still.’ (Is. 10:4) 

Yes friends, we bleat about how God is long-suffering, and He is, otherwise we would have been wiped off the face of the earth a long time ago. But nonetheless, He punishes for wrong behaviour in His own way. And that time the Lord allowed the Assyrians to dominate Israel for a number of years, for their disobedience, greed and injustice. So, if He can allow His chosen people to feel His wrath, what’s to prevent Him from doing the same to us eh? Absolutely nothing! 

And believe me people, if we keep on living the evil and ungodly way we’re currently doing, sooner or later we will indeed feel the wrath of God! Perhaps we’re even feeling it now, with all the global tragedy that’s happening. But the Lord has promised to protect the righteous, that’s why some (a remnant) of the Israelites survived the Assyrian domination and returned to the fold of God. ‘The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God.’ (Is. 10:21) 

Meanwhile Bruh David was somewhat more vociferous when he spoke about the rejoicing of the righteous. He writes: ‘The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked. So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth.’ (Ps. 58: 10-11) And so it should be…and so it is! The Lord protects the righteous, but punishes the evil doers. Please, please, let us not be numbered amongst the latter. That’s wisdom of eternal proportions! Much LOVE!

…to go against God’s will…is to feel His wrath…to do His will…is to enjoy His blessings… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   24 February 2023 Philippians 1:6.

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

Oh boy, it’s Friday! Cold but sunny! That calls for a ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday, and the weekend is here!’ Yes, it’s all well and good to thank God that it’s Friday and the start of the weekend, but please remember we’re in the Lenten season now, and we’re not supposed to get into all the partying and the other things of the flesh that we usually lust after. It’s a time for serious introspection, seeing where we’re falling down, or falling short in our Christian walk, then turning to God and asking for His divine help to correct our mistakes, forgive our sins, and lead us once more on the right path in a more intense and mature manner. 

Oh my people, Lent is a great time to grow up in Christ, to attain a more mature spirituality, as we read, study and contemplate God’s word and get into closer, more affectionate contact, greater intimacy with Him. Remember His basic goal is for all of us to become more Christ-like, as Bruh Paul wrote to the Roman church. ‘For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.’ (Rom. 8:29) 

Now isn’t that wonderful? It surely is! The Lord wants a family of brothers and sisters like Christ, who will be the elder brother, the first-born sibling. And you can only become like Christ if you study about Him and try to do what He says, do as He did and still does. God’s purpose, from the fall of Adam, has always been to bring us back to Him, back to Him in the likeness of Christ. He preordained that. And this scripture from Philippians ensures it. Bruh Paul writes: ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil. 1:6) 

Wow! What an awesome reassurance! Once God has embarked on changing us to Christlikeness, that is slowly, from glory to glory, He will NEVER stop until Christ returns. We can bet our bottom dollar on that! Then there is this associated scripture: ‘But we all with open (unveiled) face beholding as in a glass (mirror) the glory of the Lord, are changed (being transformed) into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.’ (2 Cor. 3:18) 

Ah friends, the Spirit of the Lord is the enabler in our changing into the likeness of Christ. Yes, the Holy Spirit is the workhorse, so to speak, of our Holy Trinity. He does all the work now that Jesus has done His part; dying for us and having us being reconciled to God, justified, sanctified, made righteous and all the other good stuff we receive through His sacrificial death. The Holy Spirit is now in charge of leading, guiding and changing us. 

The only problem though in this whole scenario is that we have to be willing to follow the dictates and leading of the Holy Spirit, to go the distance, the extra mile, to endure the difficulties and whatsoever stumbling blocks that crop up along the way. And yuh better believe they will. Jesus said it quite plainly: ‘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) 

There again is reassurance from Jesus. Although we will certainly endure problems and trials, we can always find the peace and fortitude to bear them through His grace and mercy. But we have to believe all of that. And it’s ofttimes a problem for many of us when the world seems to be falling down around us, but please remember that Jesus died so that we could live, that we could live the abundant life, and it will not always be wine, roses and song, because that’s not the face of the real world. 

And above all, Christianity is not for cowards. If we want to follow Christ, then we must stand tall and courageous like He did. Remember the cost of discipleship is high. Jesus said it thus: ‘If any man, will (desires to) come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.’ (Luke 9:23) Yes my people, that’s what it takes to truly follow Jesus; sacrificing one’s own will for His, and doing it on a daily basis too. Nothing less will do. 

But we should not allow that to scare us from becoming true disciples of Jesus, for it’s not every day we are actually called on to sacrifice something big, neither do we have trials and tribulations every day. It’s just that when the occasion calls for us to come up higher, we must be prepared and willing to do so. 

And remember too that Jesus never asks us to do stuff and doesn’t give us the wherewithal, or the anointing to do it. So although life can be very difficult at times when we sincerely want to follow Christ, overall, it’s not a bad as it sounds, and very interesting and rewarding, for with Jesus, you’ll go places and do things that other humans will never go or do. And besides, if we follow the leading of the Holy Ghost, we won’t find ourselves in as many tough spots as if we don’t. (smile) 

Now here is this other verse that falls in well with our transformation to Christ-likeness. John says in his first epistle. ‘Beloved, now are we the sons (children) of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.’ (1 John 3:2) Yes my fellow saints, we know we are changing, becoming more like Christ in discipleship, but until He shows up the next time, our transformation will not be complete, and then we’ll see who He really is, see Him face to face, and truly become like Him! All glory be to God my people! 

Now, let’s go home with a word of prayer, our Friday Chant, placing our entire life and world in God’s capable hands. As one voice: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the confusion and anxiety caused by the pandemic and our many other serious problems. We can’t fix them on our own Lord, so 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 the simmering unrest in our land. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, without further serious setbacks. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to return backsliders to your fold, show them the error of their ways. And please introduce a new flock of believers, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. 

Yes Lord, please use this pandemic, the bubbling discontent and dissatisfaction in our land, 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, to achieve all we desire, it’s imperative that we keep our part of our covenant with God. And we all know what that entails; basic obedience to His holy will. Much LOVE!

…it takes two to tango…God has already done His part through Jesus…it’s now our time to get on the floor…..and show our stuff…  

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   23 February 2023   2 Corinthians 3:5.

2 Corinthians 3:5.        Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.

And then it was Thursday, the penultimate day of our work week…Wow! Already! This week seems to have passed rather quickly, I guess that’s because of the Family Day holiday on Monday. Today however, although we’re alive and kicking and thankful for the breath of life flowing through our bodies, we need to concentrate on cleaning up the snow from yesterday’s storm. 

Thankfully too, it wasn’t of the killer variety, (smile) but it left enough deposits to make life difficult and dangerous. That reminds me of the ice pellets that kept knocking against the windows all during the storm. And no doubt the morning’s commute was not easy. Let’s hope by the time the evening session happens, most of the roads will be cleaned and salted. 

I don’t know if we would call it a rather auspicious beginning or not to our Lenten Season, but as true believers we have to keep plodding on through all kinds of weather and situations, obviously with the help of the Holy Spirit of Jesus that indwells us. For without Him we can do nothing. And it’s not me saying so, but Jesus, in His famous comment on the vine and the branches. ‘I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.’ (John 15:5) 

And that’s the gospel truth my people! Without Jesus we can’t do much of anything, much less do it successfully. And Bruh Paul wisely reminds us of that with these few words from his second letter to the church at Corinth. ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.’ (2 Cor. 3:5) And it would do us a great amount of good to remember that and stop thinking that we are so much more than we are, because overwhelming pride and self-reliance are a couple of the many serious problems in our world. 

Now, that’s why this Lenten season, in this year of 2023, one of unknown trials and tribulations, but already with a lot of worldwide disaster in only the first two months, Christians desperately need to get closer, to get right with God, so that we can do the big things it will take to reverse the fortunes of our world. Of course, there must be much sincere praying, and self-searching, of repentance, of meditating on the Word, of fasting, if that will help you get closer, of congregating with other believers and studying the Word, of encouraging each other in these awful times of negativity and desperation. 

Yes, my faithful believing friends, it’s our duty to both spread and then regenerate the Word of the Lord on the earth; be the salt and light that guides it to Christ, salvation and eternal life. And Lent is a time when we renew our souls, bodies and minds so that we can blossom forth at Easter with the amazing resurrection of Christ our Lord and Saviour and take the world by storm! Oh, for certain, Easter is when the monumental glory of God shines forth, when His greatest work on earth was done, when He raised His dead Son from the depths of Hades and caused Him to walk victorious once more on planet earth, as the conqueror of hell, death and the grave! 

But before the good times, before the harvest comes, there must be a dry spell, a season of watching and waiting and hoping and praying that the Lord will energize the harvest and increase it at least a hundredfold. And this is that time of watching and waiting and praying and hoping and giving thanks for God’s enormous and undying grace and mercy. But yuh know friends, nothing much will ever change until we do what God desires of us. And what’s that you ask? 

Moses said it long ago: ‘And now Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear (have a reverential awe of) the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to LOVE him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul. To keep the commandments of the Lord, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?’ (Deut. 10:12-13) Yes friends, that’s what the Lord demands of us. Now please note the last three words of that demand: ‘for thy good.’ It’s ever so important for us to realize and totally understand that whatever God asks, or expects of us, it’s ALWAYS FOR OUR GOOD! Not for His benefit, but for ours! 

And after Moses, the prophet Micah also spelled out the Lord’s desire for His people, in somewhat simpler but ever so clear terms when he said. ‘He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to LOVE mercy (LOVING-KINDNESS), and to walk humbly with thy God.’ (Mic. 6:8) That’s it in a nutshell my brethren! All our God desires of us is to walk in humble adoration of Him, and live good and just with our fellow man. 

But unfortunately that’s not the way our world turns today. Instead, it is filled with injustice, hate, strife, jealousy, envy, and above all godlessness. No wonder the Lords’ not listening to our selfish prayers, for as James says: ‘Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.’ (James 4:3) Yes my fellow believers, too many selfish, lustful, unwarranted prayers are being floated up to heaven, that’s why so many are left unanswered. 

And unfortunately, those unanswered prayers upset us, but we’ve got to realize that if our prayers are not in God’s will, they won’t be answered, and the truth is that too many of them are not in His will. That’s why we’ve got to buckle down this Lenten season and study, meditate, pray and simply talk to the Father about what’s happening with us, both personally and with the world around us. 

There’s one good and excellent thing though amidst all the confusion; our wonderful God has generously bestowed several blessings on us that we refer to as our Thursday Blessings, which He expects us to use in our work for Him here on earth. So, let’s declare them in loud and sincere voice so that they can be activated. ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

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

And having activated those blessings in our lives, it’s now our bounden duty to go out and share them with others just as generously as the Lord shared them with us! Much LOVE!

…without true LOVE for Christ…we are nothing but empty, broken vessels… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   22 February 2023 Daniel 9:3.

Daniel 9:3.        And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:

Behold my people, it’s Wednesday, the middle of our work week, and I’m chuckling here because my computer is telling me that snow’s a coming. The truth is that the snow is already here in the form of freezing rain. But anyway, snow or not, today is a big day in the life of believers, Ash Wednesday; the beginning of the 2023 Lenten season! And yes, all the carnival and the bacchanal done now for another year! Now it’s time to seriously turn to God and take a break from all the joys of the flesh that we’ve indulged in over the last few months. 

Let us find our own wilderness to repent and come clean and clear with our God, for remember He is a Spirit, and to worship Him properly we need to worship Him in spirit and in truth. Therefore, on this Ash Wednesday morning,  it’s of the utmost importance that we believers open up our souls and spirits to our great God and allow Him to come into them and refresh and renew them. It’s a time to do like Daniel and seek inward things, where he said. ‘And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:’ (Dan. 9:3) Then he went on to open his heart to God. 

Now we don’t do much sackcloth and ashes in this modern era, but for those who think fasting helps them to get into deeper contact with God, then go ahead and fast, but not merely as an outward ritual, to show off your supposed spirituality to others, like the Pharisees of Jesus’ time did. But let it be a sincere process that has you earnestly seeking God and His holy will for your life. 

Jesus said it this way: ‘Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites (pretenders), of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father, which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.’ (Matt. 6:16-17) 

Remember friends, you can fool the people and yourself, but you can’t fool God. So whatever steps we take this Lenten Season to renew and deepen our spirituality, please, let’s make sure that it’s a conscious and true decision to really get right with our heavenly Father. Those forty days and night that Jesus spent fasting and praying in the wilderness, and being tempted by Satan, were not a mere ritual, but a means whereby He could be strengthened and made ready for the awesome but ever so difficult public ministry on which He was about to embark. 

Likewise, whatever discipline we choose to embark on for this Lenten Season, in whatever wilderness we find ourselves, it ought to strengthen us, mentally, emotionally and spiritually so that we can continue doing a good job on Jesus’ behalf on this evil and godless earth, for that’s our avowed purpose. But whatever we do, be it more Bible study, or meditating on the word, or deep searching of our souls, fasting, sackcloth and ashes, (smile) let’s ensure that we spend more time with our wonderful Father these next forty days and nights of Lent. 

And it doesn’t have to be anything heavy, but even just spending more quiet time with Him, talking to Him, opening our hearts to Him, and then listening to what He has to say in answer. Like Peter advises: ‘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) Oh for sure, sometimes that’s the best way to go about it, for our God enjoys those li’l one on one tete a tetes with us, where we don’t hold back anything, don’t pretend to be who we are not, we just lay all of our cards on the table before Him. 

You’ll be surprised at how cleansing and far-reaching that kind of approach can be. Because we stop hiding, stop dissimulating, stop pretending and free up our spirits and souls. And that’s when the Lord is able to do great work in us, when our spiritual arteries and veins are free and unclogged, not burdened by all the foolishness of this crazy world. Now let’s listen to this interesting conversation about fasting between God and the nation of Israel, through the prophet Isaiah. 

As per Israel’s way of fasting, God said: ‘Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact (exploit) all your labours (labourers). Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite (strike) with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.’ (Is. 58:3-4) Basically nothing changed with Israel’s fasting, life went on as usual. 

But here’s God’s take on fasting. ‘Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day of the Lord? Is this not the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens (bonds of the yoke), and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal (share) thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out (wandering) to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him, and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? 

Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health (healing) shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward (rear guard). Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am.’  (Is. 58:5-9a) Yes my fellow believers, that’s what the Lord expects from us when we fast and cry out to Him: a return to righteousness, looking after the poor and needy, breaking the yokes we have on others and coming to Him with clean and contrite hearts. So, let’s ensure that whatever we do this Lenten season, it is in God’s will and brings true glory to Him. 

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

Then there’s li’l promise tacked on to that. If we endure right to the end with Jesus, then that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine. Wow! We all surely want to see that, which means we’re going to endure to the end! Glory be my people! Much LOVE!

…Lent…a time to bestir ourselves…and delve deeper into God… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   21 February 2023 Matthew 4:7.

Matthew 4:7.       Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt (test) the Lord thy God.

And it’s a cloudy Tuesday morning after our Family Day holiday, with a winter storm on the horizon. But let’s hope that we used yesterday to rebuild the dying embers of the family unit that’s oh so important to the smooth, safe and steady running of our society, and not simply as a day to party hearty. But yuh better believe that a lot of hearty partying will going on in places like Brazil and T&T because today is the biggest, as well as the last day of the Carnival festival, and everybody will come out to play their biggest and best mas today. For come tomorrow that sacrificing, self-denying season of Lent begins. 

And it never ceases to amaze and amuse me how one day we have no qualms about anything, anything goes, then next day, we so pious and holy and trying to be like Jesus as He spent forty days in the wilderness fasting and praying. Now, the sad thing is that I’ve been hearing that many people no longer even celebrate or recognize the Lenten season; every day is just like any other. What’s next eh? 

At least with Lent in our spirits, we had some vestige of God still remaining, but when you remove that too, then there’s nothing at all. Oh, we do celebrate Easter and Christmas, but even those celebrations have become so commercialized and secular that many supposed believers don’t even pay much attention to the spiritual aspects, but like the unbelievers use them as simply another chance to get their jollies on. 

And why is Lent so important to believers eh? Because it’s a time of spiritual cleansing of removing ourselves from all the frivolity and idolatry of the world. A lot of Lenten activity is based on fasting, but I believe the most important aspect is actually seeking God during those times of fasting. Fasting by itself means nothing. As one commentator on the Got website puts it: ‘Fasting is a practice found throughout Scripture. A fast in the Bible is usually a voluntary, total abstinence from food for a set time for the purpose of devoting oneself to seeking God. Fasting denies our flesh what it wants so that we can focus more clearly on strengthening our spirits.’ 

And therein lies the rub: just denying the flesh doesn’t automatically bring God closer. It has to be a conscious decision to turn to God during those times of turning away from fleshly pursuits. And there is no better example of that than Jesus, who, as soon as He was baptized in the River Jordan by John the Baptist, and He heard the voice from heaven saying, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,’ (Matt. 3:17) was immediately led away, by none other than the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to fast and be tempted by the devil. 

The Bible tells us: ‘Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.’ (Matt. 4:1) Can you imagine that? One minute being feted as being a wonderful Son, then next sent to endure severe hunger and temptation. But there was good reason for Jesus’ fasting and temptations. It was preparing Him for his public ministry and all the tough times He would have to undergo while thus involved. 

And I like how the Got questions.Org commentator explains it. He says: ‘During those forty days, when Jesus’ flesh was at its weakest, He endured relentless temptation from Satan. Satan offered Him alternatives to God’s plan, compromises that would satisfy His natural desires, and attacks upon His very identity as the Son of God (Matt.4:3). Jesus used the Word of God, not His own strength, to defeat those temptations and remain victorious over sin. He demonstrated for us that fasting can strengthen us spiritually when we use it to draw closer to God.’ 

Now that’s the basic benefit of fasting; giving up some of the flesh to help us draw closer to God. When there’s not a whole lot of fleshly stuff bothering us, then we can indeed get closer to our heavenly Father. And believe me it’s ever so important to do that on a regular basis. I’m not talking about just regular praying, but times when we get downright spiritual, so hungry for the things of God, that we just drop everything else and sincerely go searching for Him. That’s when we lay out our whole heart and soul before Him; empty ourselves and ask Him to cleanse, to rejuvenate us, to heal our brokenness, and give us new strength and faith to keep on keeping on in His holy will. 

And there’s one very important thing to note about Jesus’s time of fasting and temptation. When the devil tempted Him, He quoted the scriptures in rebuttal. For example, when Satan commanded Him to make bread out of the stones, He simply replied: ‘It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.’ (Matt. 4:4) Now that scripture can be found in Deut. 4:3. 

Then, when the devil took Him up to a pinnacle of the temple and told Him: ‘If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt (test) the Lord thy God.’ (Matt. 4:6-7) And that can be found in Deut. 6:16. 

Now that’s the way we ought to counter the devil’s temptations, with cutting words of scripture, then He leaves us alone for a spell, but only for a spell, because once we’re alive, he’ll keep coming back with more temptations. He doesn’t give up, and neither should we.

 Note what the Bible says after the devil took Jesus up on a high hill and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and promised them to him, if He would bow down and worship him. Jesus staunchly reprimanded him. ‘Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and behold, angels came and ministered unto him.’ (Matt. 4:10-11) And again that answer of Jesus can be found in either Deut. 6:13, or 10:20. 

But friends, we cannot get rid of the devil for a spell with scripture unless we know the scriptures. That’s why it’s ever so important to read, meditate and learn them. And I believe that this Lenten season is an excellent time for us to hunker down with the Good Library and devour its monumental wisdom. It will do us more good than we can ever ask or imagine! 

Now, for those of us who are sincerely on board with Jesus, let’s go home declaring (steups!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting all and sundry know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. As one 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!’ 

And it’s now our bounden duty to go out and do just that; share the amazing LOVE and friendship of Jesus with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…the weak and willing flesh…must be countered by a strong and resolute spirit… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   20 February 2023 Micah 7:5.

Micah 7:5.        Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide (companion): keep (guard) the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom.

As the man in the song sings: ‘Mas, mas: mas in yuh mas! Play mas!’ And that’s exactly what’s happening in countries like Trinidad and Tobago and Brazil where big Carnival Celebrations are now taking place, where, for the next two days, the streets will be filled with all kinds of floats, all kinds of music bands, all sorts of performers in pretty costumes and thousands of onlookers there to enjoy the party. Yes, it’s going to be bacchanal fuh so! 

Meanwhile, in the U.S it’s President’s Day, and in staid Canada we are celebrating a holiday known as Family Day in some Provinces and by local names in others. I guess the day is held in recognition of the importance of home and family to the founding Fathers of the nation. And in these desperate and trying times, do we ever need the foundations, the groundings of a strong family situation in our nation, as well as our world. That’s because the breakdown of the original family unit is one of the main causes of the godlessness and hooliganism that’s terrorizing the earth today. 

Once upon a time the family was the backbone of our society, the intimate group that raised us, taught us about God, and good principles of living. But then the family unit began falling apart as our lives got busier, where mothers now went out to work, so the family could make ends meet, and thus they could not pay as much attention to their children. Then, with the rate of divorces on the rise, it meant many single parent homes with less fathers around to bring discipline and proper structure. 

Unfortunately, it was aided and abetted by the removal of all aspects of God from schools, and public places. It also meant less families, and less people overall going to church. Obviously that elemental family unit could not be sustained under all the pressures of our modern lifestyle, and so it eventually crumbled, leaving us with no proper single unit to curate a godly lifestyle. No wonder we are now in a state of chaos and lawlessness, despite the many amenities and advancements we’ve achieved. 

It’s like the prophet Micah described when talking about no goodness or trust in the land of Israel. ‘The good man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net. That they may do evil with both hands earnestly (successfully), the prince asketh (asks for gifts), and the judge asketh for a reward (bribe); and the great man he uttereth his mischievous (evil) desire: so they wrap it up (scheme together) (Mic. 7:2-3) 

Ah friends, that’s exactly the picture in our world today; selfishness, greed and evil schemes rule the roost! That’s why Micah continues with these words of wise advice: ‘Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide (companion): keep (guard) the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom. For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house.’ (Mic. 7:5-6) 

And sadly, in way too many cases, that is the indisputable truth! We don’t only have a lot of national and worldwide strife; we also have more strife and family feuds than we’ve ever had before. It’s truly pitiable to see how siblings and parents behave towards one another these days. Whatever happened to that first commandment of promise which so boldly stated: ‘Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.’ (Ex. 20:12) It has obviously gone the way of the dodo bird…become extinct. 

The same seems to be the fate of Bruh Paul’s words to the Ephesians. ‘Children obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and thy mother: which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And ye fathers provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture (training) and admonition of the Lord.’ (Eph. 6:1-4) 

But then, the Lord is no longer as important a part of our society even as He was just a generation ago. So, if that’s the case, there must then be a dearth, a shortage or scarcity of children being brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, thus our family units remain broken. But as we keep saying, while there is life, there is hope in Jesus, and today, this Family Day holiday, is one of those days when we believers have to step up and take the bull by the horns and begin bringing the godly family back into our world. That’s the only way our world will ever survive and prosper. 

And the first phase in any revival is always prayer. So, let’s go to the throne of grace through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn and place our problems before our wise and compassionate God. As one voice: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

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

Our next move is now to keep our promises, turn from our evil ways, so that the Lord an do His part. Much LOVE!

… family is God’s wise desire for His children…devoted mothers, fathers and children…

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   19 February 2023 Jeremiah 29:11.

Jeremiah 29:11.        For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).

Well hello there you beautiful believers in Christ Jesus! As you’ve probably guessed, (smile) it’s that blessed day again, Sunday, the day of our Lord God Jehovah! That means it’s time once more to gather in brotherly fellowship and celebrate with worship, praise and thanksgiving, Jehovah’s amazing, unconditional LOVE and mighty deeds to His children!  

And there’s no better time in the lives of believers than when they gather to honour and acclaim our wonderful Creator, for then our faith, hope and dreams are revitalized and our confidence in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is renewed, and we can go out and face the evil world with overwhelming vim and vigour, letting the unbelieving world know that Christ is the answer: the answer to all of life’s questions! 

And today’s song is a gentle reminder to all of us, of where to turn when the problems of life get us down, and our faith is somewhat on the low side. It’s a song by the late Olivia Newton-John titled ‘Let Go – And Let God,’ from her album ‘Grace and Gratitude,’ something we ought to have a lot of because of the awesome grace we receive from God. So, let’s offer up our sacrificial praise this morning in an easy, soulful, heartfelt version of the song. 

Singing: ‘When you can’t find your direction, and your heart won’t guide you home – Let go – and let God. When your dreams are broken in the dust, and you’ve lost the will to trust – Let go – and let God. (Chorus: Let the signs remind you, we are passengers. Let the signs remind you to surrender, to surrender – Let go- and let God. (Background vocals – When you’re holding in, when you’re holding in, when you’re holding in, when you’re holding in.) When your faith is a dying fire, and there’s no spark to feed the flame – Let go – and let God. When your courage fails you, and the well of hope runs dry – Let go – and let God. 

(Chorus: Let the signs remind you, we are passengers. Let the signs remind you to surrender, to surrender – Let go- and let God. (Background vocals – When you’re holding in, when you’re holding in, when you’re holding in, when you’re holding in.) Let the signs remind you -to surrender, to surrender, to Let go – and let God, let go- and let God’ 

Oh my fellow saints, those five words – ‘Let go – and let God,’ are ever so important in lives. In fact, they are very crucial and critical, because we cannot access God’s goodness and mercy unless we let go, unless we surrender our will to His! That’s the only way He can help us. The problem though is that too many of us want to hold on to our will and also have God’s grace and mercy. But unfortunately my brethren, it doesn’t work that way. God has specified many times in the scriptures that it’s either His way or the highway! 

Remember how the prophet Isaiah stated it, when reminding his people, Israel, that God abundantly pardons. He said: ‘Seek ye the Lord while he may be found. Call upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.’ (Is. 55:6-9) 

That puts the whole thing in its proper perspective my people. God calls the shots, not us! He is the Creator, and we are simply the created. And if we know our place, then He will overwhelm us with His goodness and grace, as He said through the prophet Jeremiah. ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer. 29:11) 

That’s the second aspect of the situation; God has wonderful plans in store for us, if we will only listen and follow His will. But the truly marvellous and awesome thing about our God is that He forgives, and doesn’t ever turn anyone away. So even if we are bent on doing it our way and encounter problems, if we turn to Him, surrender our will to His, He will enable us to keep on keeping on. 

As the song says, let the signs remind us that we are only passengers, and instead of holding in our doubts, fears, anxieties and whatever negative stuff that’s baffling us, to surrender, to let go and let God handle it, for He is omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present, which means He can handle any and everything! And it’s sad, because God gave us free will, hoping that we would be wise enough to walk this life with Him. However, we’ve taken that free will and abused it, foolishly thinking we could do it all on our own. 

But that’s impossible, because God made us so that we can only live this life successfully with Him as our guide and enabler. And it’s because we don’t walk in His light that we get lost, lose our direction and our courage, while our faith withers, as our dreams lie broken in the dust, our well of hope runs dry and we can’t find a spark to feed the flames of our passion. 

And Jesus said it all, when He read from the Book of Isaiah on the Sabbath Day in His hometown of Nazareth. ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised (oppressed), To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.’ (Luke 4:18-19) 

Now that’s what our wonderful God is all about through His Son Jesus! That’s why He allowed Him to be crucified on the cross of Calvary; so that the lost could be found, the blind given sight, those living in darkness, light, those without hope, strong faith, those bound in the captivity of sin, freedom and eternal life. But we must surrender to God’s will, let Him fill that empty space in our souls that He’s reserved especially for Himself, that ONLY He can fill. 

Please realize friends, that God didn’t create us on a whim and a fancy, but on a well thought out plan, that took everything that could possibly happen into account. So He’s not surprised when we get lost and go astray, because He’s already planned for that eventuality; for all eventualities. But the ball is still in our court, we must play our part before He can play His. Much LOVE!

… surrender and repentance must be made…before forgiveness and grace are offered…  

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