Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 May 2020 Genesis 2:17.

Genesis 2:17.    ​But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

 

‘Monday, Monday…Oh how I hate that day!…Come Monday morning, I’d wake up crying…Monday Monday!’ Ah friends, many of us older folks, please note I said older, not old folks, (smile) will remember those words, or some facsimile thereof (smile) from the hit song by the Mamas and Papas released in 1966, and which has become something of an institution over the years to denigrate Mondays. Thus to this day, some six decades later, Monday is looked upon as an outcast, as the poor relation, the devil day of the week, simply because it heralds the start of our work week, cuts into the good times we’ve been having over the weekend. 

But if we want to eat, some of us have to work. It’s as simple as that. And in these uncertain and turbulent times, when life is so fragile, we need a lot of help just to make it through each day. But the good news is that we have powerful help, reassuring help, our omnipotent God! So let’s communicate with Him nuh, through what we call our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, letting Him know that we desperately need His divine favour and succour. 

As one strong voice: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive, and hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. Despite the crucial lockdown, those of us considered essential, still have go to work, and we’re somewhat fearful, because we have no idea, how, when and where the virus might strike. Our anxieties have even deepened in the last few days because some restrictions have been lifted, and more of us have to go to work now. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have 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, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction. 

Please show us how to successfully handle this scourge that’s plaguing the earth, and help the scientists to find a positive solution, a sure antidote to it as quickly as possible. And for those who have already contracted the virus, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them Father. 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 all of that sounds good and proper, but yuh know what friends, we are our own worst enemy. And why do I say that? Because of the gross irresponsibility a lot of us are showing in these dangerous and unpredictable times. Good example; yesterday, Sunday, with the recent lifting of some park restrictions, and with the wonderful weather and temperature conditions, the small Trinity Bellwoods Park in the south western part of the city of Toronto saw several thousands of people picnicking and partying there, with no regard whatsoever to the terrible backlash  their irresponsible behaviour could provoke, as we still don’t have a proper handle on the virus that’s holding us to ransom. 

The only way we can control it right now is by physical distancing, which obviously wasn’t being practiced in that park yesterday. And in the U.S. on their Memorial Day weekend, there have already been numerous incidents of crowds on beaches and in parties in parks and elsewhere causing controversies with the authorities. And no doubt there’ll be more on the holiday today. 

So what’s a body to say to that kind of irresponsible behaviour eh? Yes, it’s hard been locked down for a long while, but which do we prefer, to be safe and somewhat stir crazy, or free and easy and dead eh? And it’s not like people aren’t dying in large numbers from the Covid-19 disease. So why this crazy reaction? We really shouldn’t be surprised nuh, because flouting rules and regulations seems to be the natural nature of man. Look at how our forefather’s Adam and Eve screwed it up in the Garden of Eden when they had it so good. 

Yuh know is one, ONE simple rule the Lord gave them: ‘And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest eat freely: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.’ (Gen. 2:16-17) Oh friends, according to the scholars, ‘2:16. The Hebrew words expressly emphasize, ‘you may eat to your heart’s content, of every other tree but that one in the middle.’ 

But as they say further: ‘Note Satan’s subtle assertion in 3:1. As he focused on the “one” tree they could not eat from. In so doing, he excluded the abundance in this verse.’ Yuh see how the ole serpent smart; he teased them with the one thing they couldn’t have, ignoring the abundance of all the other things they could have. And that’s the exact way we are still behaving to this day. We ‘re never satisfied with what we do have, but are always in search of what we don’t have, but think we ought to. 

It’s simply a combination of greed and stupidity. But when we suffer the necessary consequences, then we hold our heads and bawl; ‘If I’d only known eh…’ But you did know because it was spelt out in spades, but you chose to disobey it. And with Adam and Eve, death was a sure thing if they disobeyed. But Satan again weaved his deceitful web around them by blatantly denying God’s promise and saying to Eve: ‘Ye shall not surely die. For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods (God), knowing good and evil.’ (Gen. 3:4-5) 

And yes technically speaking, their eyes were opened. ‘But the problem was that their eyes were opened to behold all things in the light of their own sinfulness. They would have a fixed moral nature like God; but it was fixed in sin, not righteousness. They knew good, but were unable to do it; and they knew evil, but were unable to resist it. There has always been the temptation to be like God. Here it suggests that God is holding something back from Adam and Eve.’ 

Yuh see how Satan could tie us up with unsaid suggestions or intimations. And today, unfortunately, we still falling for his deceitfulness, just like Adam and Eve. Nothing’s really changed nuh friends, we’re still disobedient to the rules and regulations of both our heavenly Father and our earthly leaders. And yuh know what? The same thing, certain death is forecasted for many of us if we insist on being disobedient! Much LOVE!

 …for dust thou art…and unto dust shalt thou return… (Gen. 3:19b)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 May 2020 Hebrews 6:19.

Hebrews 6:19.    ​Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil (the Presence behind the veil). 
 

And yet for another week we are unable to gather physically in the Lord’s sanctuary for fellowship. Who knows when that will end eh? Only the Lord Himself? But though we are discomforted, we are not defeated, we can still fellowship in the virtual realm, through the wonders of modern technology. 

And you know a strange but very possible thought occurred to me a short while ago, that the Lord did not allow this Coronavirus to descend upon us before, or until we had the ability to worship Him sufficiently through technology. All yuh think we God stupid or what eh! Especially when the pandemic was a means to bring us back to Him. (smile) 

But be all of that as it may, it’s Sunday and we getting together to worship in faith through our many technical devices. So let’s get started, as usual with a song of praise and worship that is ever so appropriate for these calamitous times. And this one is for you Scotty mih brother. I know how you like your old time hymns. So I expect to hear your voice loud and clear as we sing the old favourite written by Philadelphia born Septimus Winner (1827-1902) titled ‘Whispering Hope.’ Altogether now, let’s raise our voices to heaven in rich, soulful harmony. 

Soft as the voice of an angel, Breathing a lesson unheard, Hope with a gentle persuasion Whispers her comforting word: Wait till the darkness is over, Wait till the tempest is done, Hope for the sunshine tomorrow, After the shower is gone. (Refrain: Whispering hope, whispering hope, oh, how welcome thy voice, oh how welcome thy voice, Making my heart, making my heart, in its sorrow rejoice.) If, in the dusk of the twilight, Dim be the region afar, Will not the deepening darkness Brighten the glimmering star? 

Then when the night is upon us, Why should the heart sink away? When the dark midnight is over, Watch for the breaking of day. [Refrain] Hope, as an anchor so steadfast, Rends the dark veil for the soul, Whither the Master has entered, Robbing the grave of its goal; Come then, oh, come, glad fruition, Come to my sad weary heart; Come, O Thou blest hope of glory, Never, oh, never depart. [Refrain]’ 

Oh my people, I’m sure that touched heaven’s heart, because when we talking of hope, there’s nowhere else to get a strong and sure and steadfast brand of it than from heaven itself.  And it seems that Septimus used words from Hebrews as his reference for the hymn. ‘Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil (the Presence behind the veil). Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made (having become) a high priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.’ (Heb. 6:19-20) 

And the scholars offer these explanations: ‘6:19-20. Starting at the end of verse 18, the author uses three pictures to demonstrate the security of being in Christ. First, it is described as a safe retreat for the believer, as were the six cities of refuge in the Old Testament to those allowed their protection (Num. 35:6-32). Second, our hope is sure and steadfast as is a well-placed, unbending anchor. Our anchor is not located in the deepest sea but in the highest heaven. 

The third figure is that of a forerunner. Though the figure changes, the location does not. Our forerunner is likewise positioned in the sanctuary of heaven. As our forerunner, Jesus is far different from the Old Testament priests. In the sanctuary they could intercede for the people, but they could not lead the people in themselves. As our forerunner, Jesus has opened the way before us, that eventually (and certainly) we might enter in with Him.’ 

And yes friends, most of understand that Jesus tore down the veil that separated man from God when He died and became the official sacrificial lamb for all time, making it possible for us to now go directly to God than merely through the Old testament priests. He is now our high priest! But listen to this dissertation (smile) from the Hymnary.org website on the way Septimus uses the scripture verse nuh. 

‘19. As an anchor, etc. It is a striking likeness when he compares faith leaning on God’s word to an anchor; for doubtless, as long as we sojourn in this world, we stand not on firm ground, but are tossed here and there as it were in the midst of the sea, and that indeed very turbulent; for Satan is incessantly stirring up innumerable storms, which would immediately upset and sink our vessel, were we not to cast our anchor fast in the deep. 

For nowhere a haven appears to our eyes, but wherever we look water alone is in view; yea, waves also arise and threaten us; but as the anchor is cast through the waters into a dark and unseen place, and while it lies hid there, keeps the vessel beaten by the waves from being overwhelmed; so must our hope be fixed on the invisible God. There is this difference, — the anchor is cast downwards into the sea, for it has the earth as its bottom; but our hope rises upwards and soars aloft, for in the world it finds nothing on which it can stand, nor ought it to cleave to created things, but to rest on God alone. 

As the cable also by which the anchor is suspended joins the vessel with the earth through a long and dark intermediate space, so the truth of God is a bond to connect us with himself, so that no distance of place and no darkness can prevent us from cleaving to him. Thus when united to God, though we must struggle with continual storms, we are yet beyond the peril of shipwreck. Hence he says, that this anchor is sure and steadfast, or safe and firm. 

It may indeed be that by the violence of the waves the anchor may be plucked off, or the cable be broken, or the beaten ship be torn to pieces. This happens on the sea; but the power of God to sustain us is wholly different, and so also is the strength of hope and the firmness of his word.’ 

Oh Mama Mia! How beautiful and reassuring are those words eh my fellow believers in Christ! And I won’t spoil it by trying to add anything more to it…that is if I have anything more to add. (smile) So today, please, I implore us to keep on standing strong and sure and steadfast in the eternal hope that only Christ and heaven provide! Much LOVE!

…when hope diminishes here on earth…raise thy voice to Christ in heaven…so it can be replenished…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 May 2020 1 Samuel 30b.

1 Samuel 30b.    ​But David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.
 

Well friends, it looks like another glorious sunshiny, summer-like day in my neck of the woods! And all God’s people declared a loud and grateful: ‘It’s about time! Praise the Lord!’ Yes my brethren, there’s nothing better we can do than to praise and thank our mighty Creator for all that He’s done for us, is currently doing, and has promised to do in the future. That’s our basic downfall; lack of thanks and prayer and praise! But He doesn’t change; He’s still the long-suffering, LOVING, merciful and gracious God He always was, and always will be. 

We are the ones who change, not Him. So let’s see if we can’t do better in our appreciation of His glorious majesty and magnanimity and obedience to His will nuh, so that we can enjoy even more of His wonderful blessings. Yeh, right now we can certainly use some of His awesome blessings in our fight against the tiny virus that’s got us by our manly parts, (smile) that’s holding us hostage to its every demonic whim and fancy! Ah mih people, I’m glad to see that more and more people are turning to prayer in these troubled times. 

But are we serious, are we truly repentant, or is it just a lark, to see what happens, since we can’t find any real success in our own efforts? Just remember though, that the Lord doesn’t simply listen to the words we spout out of our mouths, no matter how godly and spiritual they sound, but He investigates our hearts to see if we have the right motives, and then considers how to answer our prayer. So if you’re not sincere, don’t pray it. 

And since it’s Saturday, let’s turn to our friend Anselm and see what quotes he sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And for the second week running, the quotes are negligible. Last week I got one, this week I’ve gotten two. And don’t ask me what’s wrong? It seems like he’s alive, so I don’t know if his fount of quotes has just dried up, (smile) though I doubt it. Anyway, let’s deal with what we have. And the first quote says: ‘Your limitation—it’s only your imagination.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth friends! The limits of our imagination are the only limitation in our lives! Wherever our imagination takes us we can go…with the Lord’s help obviously! Just think about all the wonderful inventions that we’ve enjoyed down through the years; things like the printing press that made books, including the Bible, more easily available, the telephone, telegraph and radio, which made communication so much easier, and our social media and technological revolution right now, which brings almost instant communication. 

They are all products of someone’s imagination! They had the idea, then worked on it, despite many naysayers and discouragers. They might have failed often, but they never gave up, and kept refining their ideas until…Bingo! They worked. Walt Disney was ridiculed, Thomas Edison failed at his numerous inventions several times, but eventually succeeded. So did Henry Ford with his gasoline powered horseless carriage, that eventually became our modern-day motor car. So please my fellow believers, let’s not say we can’t do it, or it’s impossible. If the Lord puts it in our minds, then it’s certainly doable. And furthermore, let’s remember that with God, NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE! 

That brings us to our second quote, which nicely resonates with the first. It tells us: ‘Push yourself, because no one else is going to do it for you.’ And to a certain extent that is quite true, but a lot of us are pushed by others, although in many of those cases it’s not in the direction we want to go. The long and short of the story though is that we need to have some basic push and determination for ourselves, especially if we have serious goals that we want to reach or there are wonderful desires that the Lord has placed in our hearts to accomplish for His name’s sake. 

And we have that glorious scripture of Bruh David’s from Psalm 37 which categorically states: ‘Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.’ (Ps. 37:4) Yes friends, when we go with God, He will indeed enable us to fulfill the dreams He’s put in our hearts. And I know that it’s not always easy to find that push, that determination in ourselves, that we all need, for the enemy is always fighting against us. And ofttimes those around us are not willing to push and encourage us either, in fact they might just want to do the opposite, discourage us and pull us down, disparaging our efforts in the difficult process of bringing our dreams to reality. 

But my people, even when we’re at the lowest point, the very ebb of our determination and the last dregs from our fountain of hope, let’s never forget that there’s always One person who’s always there to encourage us, especially if you’re doing His holy will; that’s the Lord God Jehovah, our Creator and wonderful Provider! We never lack for encouragement when we turn to our great God! But that last push has to come from us; we need to turn to him, to sincerely seek Him. 

And the best example of that in the Good Book, I believe is when Bruh David’s men considered stoning him, after they came back from war and found their city of Ziklag burned to the ground by their enemies the Amalekites, and all their kinfolk and worldly possessions taken captive, including Bruh David’s two wives and his children. And everybody; all those brave and mighty men cried like babies. But then, something changed in Bruh David’s men. And the Good Book relates it thus: ‘And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved (bitter), every man for his sons and his daughters…’ (1 Sam. 30:6a) 

So what happened there eh? Why stone their leader eh? Didn’t Bruh David lose his sons and daughters too? Of course! But that’s just the blaming nature of mankind. We always need to find someone else to blame beside ourselves, where often the blame really lies. So imagine Bruh David’s situation now nuh: he’s lost his own family, and his men are threatening to stone him. So what does he do? With everybody against him, he does what we all need to do at times. The Good Book says: ‘But David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.’ 

Mama Yo mih bredrin! It doesn’t get any better than that! So please, today, if any of us are suffering the painful pangs of discouragement and lack of hope, let’s do the wise and sensible thing like Bruh David did nuh; let’s turn to our great God and encourage ourselves in Him, for in Him there is always hope and the prospect of peace and joy despite discouraging circumstances. Much LOVE!

…when despair and hopelessness threaten…turn to God…for He’ll surely keep His promise…to comfort and guide you in such times…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 May 2020 Proverbs 26:27.

Today’s Scrip-Bit   22 May 2020   Proverbs 26:27.
 
Proverbs 26:27.    ​Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon (roll back on) him.
 

Well, well, well! Wonders never cease, but daily they increase! Yes friends, the ole fella actually went to bed early last night, before midnight, and thus got up fairly early this morning! Hn! Strange, but true! And I must admit I definitely don’t feel as tired as in the past few days when I burned the midnight oil. But as a creature of habit, it’s hard to change your modus operandi in mid-stream. (smile) But I won’t say never, because when you’re working with and for our omnipotent God, anything is possible. 

Now it’s Friday, and another beautiful summer-like day seems to be in the offing, so let’s see what the ordinary workingman has to say for himself nuh. And he does cry our with some of his old enthusiasm: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! It was good to go back to work…though ah tired like ah dog now, because I haven’t worked in such a long time. The body’s no longer accustomed to that kind of hard work. And it’s a good thing it was a short week too, with the Queen Vic holiday on Monday. Don’t know what I’d do if I really had to work the whole five days nuh. 

And yuh know what, although we complain when we have to work, this week everybody was happy to come back to work. And I think my lockdown was tough…Hn! Some single fellas had it real rough because they had nobody to talk to, and some of them middle aged and doh have no real computer skills either, so like it was lonely as hell for them. Even the slave master was happy and somewhat pleasant! But it just shows you the real value of real work for our human race. We wasn’t made to just sit around and twiddle we thumbs and live like parasites off of others. 

And after so long apart, the physical distancing and no shaking hands or hugs was somewhat hard, but for the safety of all, we managed. Leh we hope that people stay responsible and we don’t have to go through another lockdown nuh! I couldn’t stand it!  Oh brother, you’ll never hear me curse work again nuh! Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

And that’s what I like about the ordinary workingman; he always tells it like it is, no setta B.S. and beating about the bush, but straightforward and to the point. And I do hope and pray that we stay responsible with the lifting of some of the restrictions, because that’s the only way we’ll avoid a second wave of illness and another lockdown. And having said all of that friends, let’s now add our two cents worth of hope and encouragement to the ordinary workingman’s as we humbly, but confidently come before our merciful Creator with our Friday Chant. 

As one now, in strong voice, with sincere hearts: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. It’s been pretty rough…some from work, as some of us went back out this week, but a lot still from all the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus still causing. We not accustomed to that Lord, and it really telling on us. But with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat this virus. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and 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 have to go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. It’s also a good opportunity to introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Ah mih people, what a wonderful world this would be if we’d just stop being selfish and greedy and trust wholeheartedly in the Lord God Jehovah, our Creator and Provider! But we have free will, free choice, so we can do whatever we want. The trouble is that we like to do as we please, but can’t stand to pay the resulting consequences, because friends, there are always consequences to our every action. As Cousin Sol wisely points out: ‘Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon (roll back on) him.’ 

And when we do, or plot to do evil, it usually ricochets or boomerangs back on us. That’s why the Jamaican saying, when yuh dig a pit, yuh should dig two, one for yourself too. And we have an exceptionally good example of this from the Good Book, in the story of Esther. ‘So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king’s wrath pacified (subdued).’ (Esth. 7:10) As they say in, it’s Hamlet, I believe: ‘He was hoist with his own petard (small bomb)’ Yeh, he was hurt by the very thing he made to hurt someone else! 

And Bruh David says it so plainly of the wicked in Psalm 7. ‘Behold, he travaileth with iniquity (walks in sinful ways), and hath conceived mischief (trouble), and brought forth falsehood (encouraged lies). He made (dug) a pit, and digged it (dug it out), and is fallen into the ditch which he made. His mischief (wicked scheme) shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate (the crown of his own head).’ (Ps. 7:14-16)  Fear not my brethren, the wicked will receive their just comeuppance in due time, the Lord has promised it, and we all know He’s a stickler when it comes to keeping His promises. 

That’s why Bruh David ended Psalm 7 with these wise and awesome words. ‘I will praise the Lord according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the Lord most high.’ (Ps. 7:17) Yeh friends, wisdom decrees that we do the same in these turbulent and troubling times! Much LOVE!

…you can’t run from your wrong doings…for they usually come back to haunt you…at some stage of life…and when you least expect them…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 May 2020 Psalm 66:12.

Psalm 66:12.    Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy (an abundant) place.
 
Wow mih bredrin! Another bright, warm and sunshiny day like yesterday seems to be in the offing, with somewhat of a coolish breeze! (smile) Yes, it’s days like those we desperately need to lift our spirits and help carry us through these unexpected and uncertain times of crisis. And here’s some more good news this Thursday morning, from a friend on the good news trail. 

‘Get ready to rise. When that storm is over, you’re not going to be defeated. You’re going to rise up, healthy, blessed, prosperous. You’re not going to look like what you’ve been through. Nobody is going to be able to tell that you went through a difficulty. What I LOVE about God is He doesn’t just bring you through the storm, He makes the enemy pay for bringing the trouble.’ Mama Mia! What a mighty, magnificent, merciful and magnanimous God we serve! 

Oh friends, everyday we wake up and see another day, we ought to be ever so thankful and grateful, because it’s only through His wonderful mercies, new and heart-warming everyday, that that’s possible. We ought to rise up and sing, shout His praises, give Him much honour and glory, because He is indeed a great and generous and ever-LOVING God! Yes, without a doubt He is! 

And all His children declared a loud and proud: ‘Praise the Lord! For He is indeed mighty in the heavens and on the earth! Forever merciful and generous to the undeserving children of men! Amen!’ 

And per the encouraging news above, it’s the gospel truth, because the Good Book says it. Hear the author of psalm 66 -re the Great Works of God. ‘O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard: Which holdeth our soul in life (among the living), and suffereth not our feet to be moved. For thou, O God, hast proved (tested) us: thou hast tried (refined) us, as silver is tried. Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy (an abundant) place.’ (Ps. 66:8-12) 

Yes friends, though the Lord might allows us to be afflicted and tried and tested, His thinking is that it will always be for our betterment. And I don’t usually like some of these new fangled translations of the Bible, but in this instance I think the new translation of verse 12 above hit the nail on the head, does it real justice. It says: ‘You’ve allowed our enemies to prevail against us. We’ve passed through fire and flood, yet in the end you always bring us out better than we were before, saturated with your goodness. You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water; yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.’ 

And believe me friends, there is no other God in the world who can and will do such a thing, because there is NO OTHER LIVING GOD in this whole wide world, but the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! All the other supposed gods are either man-made objects, or mere figments of man’s imagination. That’s why we need to stay close to Jehovah God, worship and praise and obey Him, because He holds the very breath of our lives in His mighty hand. Please remember and take sure hold of these promises through the Lord’s prophet Isaiah, as he talks about ‘The Lord, the ONLY Redeemer.’ 

‘When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon (scorch) thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee (in thy place). Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable (honoured), and I have LOVED thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.’ (Is. 43:2-4) 

Oh my people, our God still finds us precious and still LOVES us, and He gave His only Son for us, so there’s no doubt that He fulfills ALL of His promises. It’s therefore necessary for us to read and study and meditate on His Word, so that we can know what’s in it and be able to use it for our earthly, everyday life, and also talk to Him on a regular basis, so that He can keep us strong and completely focused on Him. But enough sermonizing for today (smile), let’s go home declaring (ah Lord eh!) our Thursday Blessings which the Lord has so generously bestowed on us to do His earthly work. 

All together in strong voice, believing: ‘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 everyday! Amen!’ 

And I shouldn’t need to remind us, but I will, (smile) that those glorious blessings are not for us to selfishly hoard, but to generously share with others, just like the Lord generously shared them with us! So let’s get to doing just that nuh! Much LOVE!

…walking with God…brings trials and testing…but in the end…abundance and everlasting life…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 May 2020 John 6:39.

John 6:39.    ​And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 
 
Ah mih people, life really not fair nuh, and it is indeed a bully-boy. Just when you’re down, it chooses to put you even further down! Steups! Good example. A few minutes ago I came down with my coffee, already feeling lousy from lack of sleep, and telling the Lord that I needed His help ever so badly this morning because of my poor state. Next thing I know, I put down the coffee and spill it! Chuh man! That only made me more aggravated and later than I already was, because I had to spend some valuable time cleaning up the mess. 

And would you believe in all the years I’ve been doing this, I can’t remember ever spilling the coffee, even one time before now. But as they say, after one time is two. And I have to chuckle, because I didn’t have any opening remarks in mind, so the Lord gave me something to write about. Oh, how He does move in ever-faithful but ofttimes mysterious ways eh! (smile) How then can we not LOVE and adore Him eh? The One who LOVED us so much that He gave His only Son as a sacrifice for us while we were yet sinners and had no positive relationship with Him? 

The One who created us from the dust of the earth, then breathed His miraculous and marvellous breath of life into our mortal souls eh! The One who makes a way, where there seems to be no way, and eventually works everything out for our good, despite the prevailing circumstances! And yuh know what friends, our great, merciful and miracle working God is the same one who will find a way for us to withstand the rigours and trepidation and calamity of this Coronavirus pandemic that has so many of us living in fear. As He says, this too will pass! 

But as Jesus told His disciples when they could not cure a young epileptic boy: ‘Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.’ (Matt. 17:21) Likewise, this pandemic will only pass through sincere prayer and repentance! Oh friends, I don’t know whether I’m right or wrong nuh, but I feel it deep down in my soul that this plague is a serious wake up call from our heavenly Father. Yes, He is long-suffering and merciful and all that, but there comes a time when even He must get tired of our disobedience and say enough is enough! 

And I believe this is what He’s saying right now. He’s tired and fed up with our efforts to throw Him out of our society and the awful sinful way in which we’re currently living. Remember, He’s a living God, with feelings and emotions just like us, and He’s promised that NO ONE will ever take away His glory: ‘I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.’ (Is. 42:8) And right now in our sinful, idol worshipping society, that’s exactly what we’re trying to do; rob Him of His awesome might and power and honour and glory! 

So don’t be surprised that He might be fighting back. I can assure you, He’s not going to go down without a major fight. That again just goes to show how much He LOVES us, that He’s not willing to see us waste our lives and end up eternally separated from Him, dwelling with the fallen angel Lucifer in Hades, and being eventually destroyed in the lake of fire. Oh friends, Jesus came to earth to save us from sin, and as our Advocate in heaven right now He’s still fighting to save us and give us eternal life. 

Hear these wonderful, reassuring words He spoke down here on earth nuh. ‘I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.’ (John 6:35). Yeh mih people, Jesus is the One through whom eternal life is found! Glory be! And remember what He told the Samaritan woman at the well? ‘Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water (fountain) springing up into everlasting life.’ (John 4:13-14) 

And how can we consider ourselves wise and not want that eternal life eh? But here’s the crux of the matter. Jesus said: ‘All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise (certainly not) cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up the last day.’ (John 6:37-40) 

Oh my fellow saints in Christ, what wonderful and encouraging sentiments! And if that doesn’t touch you, then listen to these further words of Jesus to the doubting Jews: ‘My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck (snatch) them out of my hand. My Father which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck (snatch) them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.’ (John 10:27-30) 

And the scholars say of those verses: ‘10:27-29. Never perish: These verses declare the assurance that all believers will be utterly safe from any creature that might wish to destroy them.’ Mama Yo! That’s the best news I’ve heard for the day mih bredrin! No one can take us away from Christ or destroy us if we walk sincerely with Him! So why wouldn’t I want to walk in company with him eh? Ah friends, to me it’s cut and dried that the best way to live this life is by following Christ. 

But we each have to make our own decision on that matter, that’s why the Father gave us free will. But please remember that whatever decision we make, once we depart this earthly life, or Jesus comes again, we cannot change our minds then, and we’ll have to bear whatever consequences those decisions bring, come eternity. Matter fix! 

Now for those of us who choose to follow Christ, let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Wednesday Wail, telling the world of our wonderful and secure position in Christ. All together now, in strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘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 if we endure until the end, then it will be even better than we can ask or imagine! Much  LOVE

…let him who has ears to hear…hear…else he’ll certainly feel…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 May 2020 Psalm 46:1.

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

And after a rainy and soggy Queen Vic holiday, Tuesday has dawned dry, but cloudy, with blustery winds! And rather unfortunately, it’s under those unfavourable conditions that many of us have to return to work after several weeks of being home under the Coronavirus lockdown. It’s good that some restrictions have been lifted, but there are still a whole lot of unknowns and uncertainties surrounding this virus. So let’s not be rash and irresponsible as we go about our newly gained freedom. 

Yes friends, if we want to prevent another serious outbreak, we still need to maintain that careful cleansing and physical distancing and mask wearing routine as more of us move around outside and come into close contact with each other. It’s as simple as that. And yes, it might sound simple in words, but in deeds and in actions, it’s a completely different matter; a horse of a different colour. (smile) 

Ah mih people, I know that our faith has already been tried and severely tested with the sudden appearance of this unknown virus and the shutdown it’s caused, and now it’s going to be further tested with going out and working and behaving in a brand new way. And since we’re only human, mere mortals, we’re therefore subject to fear, especially fear of the unknown and the untested. But please, let’s rely on our strong faith to lead and guide us as we ought to nuh, for it’s in these fearful and uncertain times that we need our faith to come forward and lift us up. 

Remember that’s one of the basic purposes of faith, of God’s indisputable Word in our lives. And we need to allow faithful and promising scriptures like this one to keep us strong and confident in our great God Jehovah! In the majestic and faith lifting words of Bruh Paul to his young protégé Timothy, let us confidently remember: ‘For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power (His Holy Spirit), and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) Yes friends, in these sad and doubtful times we need to have that scripture amongst many others continually echoing in our hearts and souls to keep us strong and faithful. 

And to help us do that, today, we’re featuring this encouraging and reassuring poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s appropriately titled: ‘You Did All the Rest.’ So please pray with me: ‘O Lord God! I did what You asked me to do: I just opened windows Wide… Wide… And You did all the rest! You poured into my heart A blessed, blissful contentment. You saturated my mind with gigantic thoughts of You. You struck an artesian well within me Until sheer joy sprang forth. 

You led me out of the valley of despair Into a succession of incredible happenings. Problems which seemed insurmountable Melted like wax before my eyes. Fears faded away like threatening clouds. You startled me You amazed me With the glory of Your revelation. It is true Gloriously true…I have literally walked and breathed with God. I just opened windows Wide… Wide… God, You did all the rest!’ And that’s exactly what our wonderful, great, magnificent and magnanimous God will do my faithful brethren if we open the windows of our hearts and souls WIDE… WIDE.. to Him! Glory Be! 

So as the Word faithfully promises: ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup (dine) with him, and he with me.’ (Rev. 3:20) Oh friends, I’m sure that Christ is knocking on many doors of many of our hearts today; Right Now! So please, please, let’s not turn Him away nuh. Let’s open the doors and windows and whatever openings there are wide, wide, so that He can come in and be with us and relieve us of whatever fears and problems and troubles and uncertainties that have flooded our souls! 

Remember Christ is the ANSWER! The ANSWER to whatever ails us! And the scripture verse that buoys up our poem, comes from Psalm 46, mighty words indeed that show how great a God, our God is. Hear the psalmist tell it like it is nuh: ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help (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 my faithful friends in Christ, let’s stop for a moment and ponder those words of enormous faith nuh. Let’s allow them to sink into our hearts, bodies and souls and strengthen and encourage us! For there is nothing else in this world that can lift us up like the unerring and ever-truthful Word of God! And I recommend that after reading the Bit, we should all get out our Bibles and read Psalm 46 in its entirety, because it is such a powerful and encouraging  piece of scripture. So much so that I’ll share what the scholars say about it. 

‘Psalm 46. This psalm expresses thanks for the deliverance of Jerusalem, the city of God (vs. 4). It contains three key ideas. First. God is a place of security when all else is insecure (vs. 1-3). Second, God protects His city, giving its people assurance and comfort (vs. 4-7). Third, all men are called upon to consider God’s works and submit to His authority (vs. 8-11). The unshakeable confidence with which the psalm leaves the believer prompted Martin Luther (a German priest, one of the Leaders of the 16th century Protestant Reformation) to pen one of the greatest hymns of all time, ‘A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.” 

 Oh my people, my people, it’s that unshakeable confidence I want us to display today…and every day!  And we can do it today, when in strong voice with sincere hearts we declare (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting all and sundry know who and whose we are. Wow! 

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

Now let’s go out, or stay in, (smile) and do exactly that now nuh! Much LOVE!

…ONLY in Christ…can we ever find…ALL that we ever want and need…

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