Today’s Scrip-Bit   27 November 2022 Exodus 34:6.

Exodus 34:6.        The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.

Sunday, oh Sunday! Time for God’s people to gather in praise and worship, to honour His day with thanksgiving for all that He’s done, is currently doing, and has promised to do for us! And all, with one accord said: ‘Praise the Lord for His goodness to the children of men.’ 

And that segues us right into our song of worship today, titled ‘The Goodness of God.’ It’s a song of praise to our good and faithful God, written by Jenn Johnson, one half of the worship duo Brian and Jenn Johnson. She claims that ‘the song was inspired by the process of adopting her fourth child, as she had been singing impromptu into her phone while driving on a long country road about the faithfulness and kindness of God. The song was then developed from the impromptu recording.’  

Now there have been many renditions of the song down through the years, most of them slow and soulful, but today we’re going to do a soulful but lively version a la Jenn Johnson and the Bethel Church, with plenty sincere exuberance and enthusiasm, as if we truly mean what we’re singing. So, lets’ get with the sacrificial praise to high heaven.  

‘I love You Lord Oh Your mercy never fails me And all my days I’ve been held in Your hands From the moment that I wake up Until I lay my head down, Oh I will sing of the goodness of God (Chorus: All my life You have been faithful And All my life You have been so, so good. With every breath that I am able, Oh I will sing of the goodness of God.) I LOVE your voice. You have led me through the fire. In my darkest night, you were close like no other. I’ve known you as a Father, I’ve known you as a friend, Oh I have lived, in the goodness of God. 

(Chorus: Yeahhh! And all my life You have been faithful…I will sing of the goodness of God) Yeah, yeah, it’s so good! Your goodness is running after, It’s running after me. Your goodness is running after, it’s running after me. With my life laid down, I’m surrendered now, I give you everything, cause your goodness is running after, It’s running after me. Oh cause Your goodness is running after, it’s running after me. With my life laid down, I’m surrendered now, I give you everything, cause your goodness is running after, It’s running after me. Your goodness is running after, it keeps running after me. 

And All my life You have been faithful And All my life You have been so, so good With every breath that I am able, Oh I’m going to sing, Oh I’m going to sing of the goodness of God. For all my life you have been faithful, all my life you have been so good. Oh you lead me in glory…ever-faithful, you are my anchor in the wind and the waves… you are my provider…Oh yeah…and you lead me in glory by your spirit…you are my joy…my joy…every day…Oh shepherd of my soul…what a joy to know you…Oh, the joy of knowing you God…you’re everything to me…so wonderful…so wonderful in all your ways…in all your ways. That’s why I will always sing of your goodness Lord…always sing of your goodness Lord.’  

And that’s exactly the way it ought to be my faithful brethren; be grateful for God’s amazing goodness, and continually let Him know it! And what’s this goodness, what’s it’s spiritual meaning? They say that ‘Goodness is action; it’s not something we do only for the sake of being virtuous. When we strive to be “good” only for our own benefit, it is not truly goodness that we possess. In Greek, the word goodness, “agathosune,” means “an uprightness of heart and life” And that’s the gospel truth! Jesus desires us to show goodness, or kindness to all we meet, ‘to be compassionate, understanding;  to care for others with a pure spirit; and to realize that true life only comes through Christ.’ 

That’s His basic agenda. And how do we experience the goodness of God? One commentary says: ‘It’s through the promises of God’s Word that we partake of His nature—a nature that is peace, abundance, healing, victory, guidance and protection. His promises are a pipeline that connects us with His nature. And His promises are exceedingly great and precious’ 

And that commentator referenced (2 Peter 1:3-4), which tells us: ‘According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.’ Yes friends, we experience God’s goodness through the many wonderful promises found in His Word. 

And James further tells us that ‘Every good gift and perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness (variation), neither shadow of turning.’ (James 1:17) Oh my people, ALL the good things we have in this life comes from and unchanging and ever-generous God! I like How Bruh David says it in Psalm 27: ‘I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.’ (Ps. 27:13) Can you imagine the terrible state we’d be in if the goodness of God wasn’t available in these turbulent and dangerous times? Hn! I don’t even want to think about it. 

That’s why the psalmist so avidly declares (yesss!!!) in Psalm 107: ‘Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.’ (Ps. 107:8-9) And the Lord Himself spoke of His goodness when Moses went back up Mt. Sinai the second time to receive the Ten Commandants. He descended in a cloud and passed before Moses and proclaimed: ‘The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.’ (Ex, 34:6) 

And we know our God does not lie, neither does Jesus Christ, thus His reply to the rich, young ruler who called Him ‘Good Master (Teacher)’ when enquiring how to obtain eternal life. Jesus said to him, ‘Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is God.’ (Mark 10:18) Now that’s something for us to chew on, to ponder this Sunday as we sincerely contemplate our relationship to our good God. Much LOVE!

…oh…give thanks unto the Lord…for he is good…for his mercy endureth for ever… (1 Chr. 16:34)  

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ          

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   26 November 2022 Psalm 139:17.

Psalm 139:17.       How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them!

And if I ever truly desired a lazy Saturday, today is it! The ole bones are aching, though the weather is sunny and reasonably warm. And although, by my standards, I went to bed early, my sleep wasn’t of the best quality, unable to find a comfortable position, with all kinds of annoying dreams. But I guess that’s par for the rite of passage called old age. (smile) Anyway, it’s time for us to be about our heavenly Father’s business, we’ve lazed around enough for the morning. 

Now, since it’s Saturday, we need to check out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. There were only three this week, so that should make the Bit shorter…I wouldn’t count on it though. (smile) And the first one says: ‘Extraordinary things are always hiding in places people never think to look.’ And that holds a certain amount of truth, for only the bold and courageous will dare to look in unthinkable hiding places for good stuff. 

I only wish I knew the unthinkable hiding places of a couple of things I’ve been looking for over the last few weeks and simply can’t find them anywhere in the house. They’re not extraordinary, but they are important enough that I would like to find them. Seriously though, some of the most exciting finds and adventures are to be found in places where most people would not look. The unbeaten path, though often difficult, and sometimes dangerous, always provides new and exciting finds. That’s because all the good finds on the beaten path have already been found. (smile) 

And if you are truly looking for extraordinary things in unlikely places then Jesus is the One you must turn to, because that’s His specialty, His forte, His strong suit. Now, being in league with Jesus can be very difficult, unless you seriously put your mind to it, for He expects you to surrender your heart, body and soul to Him. Hear how He explained it to the disciples: ‘If any man will come after (follow) me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall save it.’ (Matt. 17:24-25) 

Yes friends, that’s a tough row to hoe, but Jesus expects His followers to sacrifice themselves on His behalf, like He did for ours. But the beauty of it all is that when we do surrender our own desires and accept His, He leads us on adventures to extraordinary, exciting places and things like we’ve never imagined! However, they usually require strong faith and some belly and backbone. 

But ask anyone who’s been doing Jesus’ will for any length of time, and they will be able to regale you with extraordinary stories in unexpected places. I can tell you a few myself. And when I think of some of the unexpected places Christ has led me to and brought me out of, I just have to shake my head in awesome wonder and simply say, ‘Thank You Lord!’ 

And the next quote says: ‘I will not let anyone scare me out of my full potential.’ Now that should be a given. We should never allow anyone to scare us out of our God-given destiny, out of the desire to fulfill it completely. Ofttimes our friends and families try to talk us out of what we believe the Lord’s put in our hearts, but if we sincerely believe it, then we must follow the road set before us, despite negative criticism and naysayers. Remember the Lord has a definite plan and destiny for each life He creates. 

As the prophet Jeremiah reminds us: ‘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) So you know that whatever desires God’s put in your heart, they are for good, and He will enable you to bring them to pass. But you have to step up to the plate and do your part. 

And these verses from Bruh David’s magnificent Psalm 139 – The everlasting presence and power of God – ought to add to our belief that the Lord has a very significant and meaningful appreciation for His most magnificent creation. ‘Thou hast beset (enclosed or hedged) me behind and before, and laid thine hand on me…How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.’ (Ps. 139:5, 17-18) 

Oh my people, please, let’s never allow the devil and his evil cohorts to make us believe that our Creator and God doesn’t care deeply for each and every one of us, because it’s a total lie! He only has good intentions towards us! 

And the last quote tells us: ‘If my mind can conceive it, if my heart can believe it, then I can achieve it.’ To a certain extent yes. If it is within the strength of man to do it. But most things our mind conceive of are not doable in our own strength, because our mind is such a powerful and far-reaching instrument. It’s God’s greatest invention, and even after thousands of years of serious and continuous scrutiny, we still can’t fathom its true workings. That’s because the Lord has gifted us with the imagination of things that can only be achieved through His intercession, through us working with Him. 

Now, remember how Jesus, after telling the disciples it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven, turned around and told them: ‘With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.’ (Matt. 19:26) And likewise, this verse from John says it all. It comes from Jesus’ discourse on the branch being unable to bear fruit unless it’s attached to the vine. ‘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) 

Oh my fellow saints, I just LOVE how our Saviour doesn’t mince words, how He tells it just like it is! And I believe that on this lazy Saturday, it’s wise for us to take some time to ponder those true and down to earth sayings of His, and see how they sit, or reverberate in our own hearts, minds, souls and bodies! We can’t help but benefit from that exercise. Much LOVE!

…only in and through Jesus…can we do great exploits… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ         

Today’s Scrip-Bit   25 November 2022 Psalm 37:1.

Psalm 37:1.        Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.

So finally it’s Friday, and everyone has already shouted: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and the weekend is here!’ But many others have also shouted: ‘Thank God Black Friday is here, and the stores are filled with all kinds of sales, sales to die for!’ And believe me, over the last few years that this greedy, merchant invention on the Friday after Thanksgiving, has been in progress, several people have died when violence has broken out over stuff in the stores or in the lines outside the stores with the door crasher nonsense. But the merchants don’t care, because they are getting more foot traffic through their businesses, which means more money for them, their prime reason for living. 

And the sad part is that many of the supposed sale items are not really on sale, but just appear to be, or there are only a few on sale, which they use to draw unsuspecting customers into the store, knowing that once in there, you will buy other stuff at regular or even inflated prices. But yet still we fall for the lies and deceptions of the merchants, iniquity workers, the devotees of Satan. And then comes this Monday, or Cyber Monday, another recently invented shopping day, when the stuff is online and all the computers and servers are going a mile a minute. 

I have to laugh yes, because some people have been bugging me all week about Black Friday sales and I’ve just checked out the stuff I might have been interested in, but they are all the same prices pre the Black Friday Sale. So the great Black Friday hype is of no use to me. Once upon a time there was nothing between Halloween and Christmas, but now we’ve found a way to increase our shopping days at Thanksgiving. Hn! How ingenious are our merchants! And what does the Good Library, the Bible, tell us about iniquity workers? A whole lot my brethren. 

Bruh David said it so well in Psalm 37, that famous treatise on ‘The true state of the wicked.’ He wisely advises: ‘Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.’ (Ps. 37:1-2) And that’s wisdom in spades my people! If you are a child of God, then you don’t have to worry about evildoers for the Lord has faithfully promised that they will get their comeuppance in due time. And there are numerous scriptures that describe the eventual demise of the wicked. 

Let’s check out a few. Psalm 92 declares: ‘O Lord how great are thy works! And thy thoughts are very deep. A brutish (senseless) man knoweth not; neither doth a fool understand this. When the wicked spring (up, sprout) as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is that they shall be destroyed forever: But thou Lord art most high for evermore. For, lo, thine enemies, O Lord, for, lo, thine enemies shall perish; all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered. But my horn (strength) shalt thou exalt like a unicorn (wild ox): I shall be anointed with fresh oil.’ (Ps. 92:5-10) 

Yes friends, the Lord will destroy the wicked but exalt the righteous in His own time. Then there are these knowledgeable and wise, warning words form Asaph in his famous psalm – The mystery of prosperous wickedness. He says: ‘Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean (pure) heart. But as for me, my feet were almost gone (I had almost stumbled); my steps had wellnigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish (boastful), when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.’ (Ps. 73:1-3) 

Oh my brethren that’s what envy of the prosperous wicked does to us. And if a supposed holy and righteous man like Asaph could be tempted to be envious of iniquity workers, we ought to pay close attention to ourselves too. And please note that although he knew of his folly, he had a hard time getting rid of that envy (vs. 12-16) he only found solace from that envy ‘Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood their end. 

Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction, How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! They are utterly consumed with terrors…For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed them all that go a whoring from (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. 73:17-19, 27-28) 

And that’s exactly how it ought to be my faithful brethren! Now listen to this last scripture, words from Jesus Himself, when talking about false prophets who at the end times will be calling out to Him for mercy, claiming that they had casted out devils (demons), prophesied, and done many wonderful works (miracles), all in His name. But Jesus declares: ‘And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity (lawlessness).’ (Matt. 7:23) 

Oh friends, I know it’s difficult watching the wicked and greedy grow from strength to strength, while you in your righteousness are not progressing as the world understands progress, but please don’t let the prosperity of the evildoers bring you down to the point where you want to join them, because their prosperity is only for a short time here on earth, while the prosperity of the righteous shall go on right down through eternity, if we don’t give up. And it all comes together, through strong faith, ceaseless prayer and plenty thanksgiving. So let’s indulge in all of that right now nuh, through our Friday Chant. 

As one strong and sincere voice: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the several viruses and our many other problems are causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means we desperately need your help. Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the viruses and the simmering unrest in our land. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, and avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. 

And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic, the discontent and dissatisfaction in our land that’s threatening to boil over, as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, wake up and smell it sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

That means we must now devote ourselves to having a clean heart and right motives, so that the Lord can positively answer our prayer. Much LOVE!

…let’s trust in the Lord…and do good…so that we shall dwell in the land…and be well fed… (Ps. 37:3) 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ        

Today’s Scrip-Bit   24 November 2022 Psalm 103:2.

Psalm 103:2.       Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:  

                       HAPPY THANKSGIVING  U.S. OF A !         

And a Happy Thanksgiving Day to our friends, families and neighbours in the U.S. of A! Today’s their biggest holiday, with monumental celebrations all over the country. Let’s hope that you all have good weather and abundant joy, with peace and good cheer, and that much thanks is truly given where it belongs, to Almighty God, the Keeper and Provider of all your good things. And on this foggy Thursday morning, as the month of November and the unforgettable year of 2022 draw to a close, I believe it will be extremely wise and beneficial to ALL of us to remember who gives us life, health and wealth; Jehovah God! 

And on this Thanksgiving Day, there’s no better scripture for us to delve into and write indelibly in our hearts, bodies and souls than Psalm 103 – Thanksgiving for God’s mercy. So please read with me, these awesome words of Bruh David as he opened his heart to the Lord so long ago. ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with LOVING-kindness and tender mercies; who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.’ (Ps. 103:1-5) 

Yes friends, all that we have, all that we are and do, is based on the Lord’s mercy and LOVING-kindness. Everything that we will put into our mouths today, the clothes we wear, the rooves over our heads, and EVERYTHING else in our lives belong to and comes from Almighty God. Unfortunately though, too many of us don’t know and/or appreciate that fact, thus we are not very thankful, and thus our lives are not as joyful and abundant as they could be. 

Why do you think there’s so much strife, anger, greed, resentment, hatred, poverty and sickness in our world, despite the highest level of technology, education, medical achievements and other worthwhile inventions we’ve ever attained? Because we have not acknowledged the sovereignty and supremacy of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and shown gratefulness for all He’s done for us poor sinners and frail humans. 

Now let’s continue reading those marvellous words of Bruh David from Psalm 103, where he further informs us of God’s goodness and mercy. ‘The Lord executeth righteousness and judgement for all that are oppressed. He made known his way unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel. The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous (abounding) in mercy (LOVING-kindness). He will not always chide (strive): neither will he keep his anger for ever. 

He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy (LOVING-kindness) toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame (understands our constitution); he remembereth that we are dust.’ (Ps. 103: 6-14) 

Oh my people, if many more of us would only realize that fact; that we are dust, created, molded from the dust of the earth by the hands of God, who then breathed His Spirit of life into us. It means we’re not the strong, solid God-like entity we believe we are but, frail and fragile creations who insist on fooling themselves. Please note we have no control over the length and breadth of our lives. Despite all the earthly wealth and power we possess, they can’t save us when the Grim Reaper comes a calling; one moment we’re here, then the next we’re not. That ought to teach us a very important lesson, but sadly it doesn’t, and we keep on seeking and searching for what we’ll never find, at least without God’s help. 

And Bruh David hits the nail on the head when he continues: ‘As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more (shall not remember it). But the mercy (LOVING-kindness) of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children; To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.’  (Ps. 103:14-18) 

That says it in spades my brethren! The Lord created us for His pleasure and fellowship, and the rewards to those that remember and do His commandments are exceedingly abundant. He casts away our sins, and even gave the life of His Son, Jesus Christ to pay for them. That shows how much He cares for us. So why are we so reluctant to return that LOVE and reverence eh? Because we are stubborn, foolish and hard-headed! 

The li’l free-will He gave us has gone to our heads and made us believe that we’re the greatest thing since sliced bread, when in fact, we’re nothing without Him, like a flower in the field that grows up proud and strong in the early morning dew, but then fades and dies when the hot midday sun hits it. When are we going to learn eh, that most of our troubles stem from resisting the call and the power of Almighty God? 

I don’t know, because we’re now bent on removing Him completely from our society, which is a total joke and simply shows how much our brains are addled and the enemy has successfully fooled us. Yes friends, Satan knows that He’s lost the war; in fact he never had a chance from the beginning, but he knows our weakness and keeps pounding away at it. You have to give him and A for perseverance in the face of such total defeat. If only we could be as persevering on the Lord’s behalf. 

Anyway, let’s hope that during these Thanksgiving Day celebrations, many of us will take a moment to ponder the true reasons for our thanks and gratitude and wake up to the fact that God is indeed Lord, and the devil is a defeated foe. And to help us do His work down here on earth, the Lord has generously bestowed numerous blessings, which we call our Thursday Blessings. But they have to be declared out loud to activate them. So, let’s do that right now nuh. 

As one strong and sincere voice: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

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

And if we truly believe that, then we must now go out and use those blessings to teach others about Christ and help them to come to know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…it’s good to give thanks…but before doing so…one must know…to whom thanks is truly owed… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ       

Today’s Scrip-Bit   23 November 2022   1 Thessalonians 5:2.

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

And then it was Wednesday…already, I complain. (smile) Yes, but it’s a beautiful day in my neighbourhood; with bright sunshine, you can even feel a dash of heat from the glowing orb, no snow and temps around 7 Celsius. For this time of year, around here that’s gorgeous weather. So, let’s do like the psalmist did and declare out loud: ‘This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps. 118:23-24) 

Yes friends, we had better enjoy this day the Lord has given us, for who knows if we’ll ever see another one. Remember, God’s mercies and compassions are new every day, like fresh bread, He gives them to us for our enjoyment. So let’s show some gratitude and appreciation by enjoying them nuh. 

And yesterday we were talking about a very important topic in the believer’s life; that of being ready for whenever Jesus returns, which to all intents and purposes will be sudden and unexpected. Please don’t laugh, it’s no joking matter, like some people think it is, because if you’re not ready when He returns, you will be left behind to suffer all the evils and persecutions of the Great Tribulation. And who wants to really suffer those indignities eh, when we can go home with Jesus in the Rapture of the church. 

But that means we have to be ready and waiting in faith whenever He returns for His bride, the church. And there are a few other scriptures we ought to look at, besides those we studied yesterday. First of all, there is the parable of the unfaithful servant (Matt. 24:45-51) who was abusing his authority in his master’s absence, when the master suddenly returned home unexpectedly and caught him red-handed. And Jesus ends that parable by declaring (steups!!!): ‘there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ And so there shall be when He returns and many are not ready. 

Then there is the parable of the ten virgins: (Matt. 25:1-13) five who were smart and took oil for their lamps to wait for the bridegroom’s coming to meet his bride, and five foolish who took no oil, and eventually got locked out of the ceremony when the bridegroom came late, and they had gone looking for oil for their lamps. And friends, Jesus ends that parable with this warning again. ‘Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.’ (Matt. 25:13) 

Now just in case you didn’t get Christ’s warning, then please check out chapter 5 of Bruh Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians, where he writes: ‘For ourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.’ (1 Thess. 5:2) Jesus also issued that warning, though in a slightly different way when talking about the thief coming at an unexpected time to rob the master’s house. ‘Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.’ (Matt. 24:44) 

Then Bruh Paul goes on to warn the Thessalonians: ‘For when they shall say, Peace and safety (slogans of the Roman Empire); then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail (labour pains) upon a woman with child (a 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. 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, putting on the breastplate of faith and LOVE; and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ. Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together (encourage each other), and edify (build up) one another, even as ye also do (are already doing.’ (1 Thess. 5:3-11) 

Wow! What a momentous passage of scripture my fellow believers! It’s educational, encouraging, comforting and a serious warning, all at the same time. And that warning still holds good for us today, possibly more so than back then since Jesus hasn’t returned yet and can do so at ANY TIME; day or night, today, tomorrow…or even a hundred or a thousand years from now! But return He will! And it is certainly time for us, the supposed children of light to awaken from our lethargy and get ourselves ready for Jesus’ return. 

Meanwhile, the scholars explain that ‘The day of the Lord is an all-encompassing term to describe the period that begins with the Great Tribulation, and includes the second coming of Christ, and the millennial kingdom.’ So, there’s plenty stuff that’s coming, but exactly when, no one but the Father knows, that’s why we have to be in a state of constant preparedness! 

Then there’s this last scripture which Jesus relates to John in the Book of Revelation. ‘Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.’ (Rev. 16:15) That’s ‘an exhortation to the surviving believers after the last great war, Armageddon, to be watchful and alert, and to remain faithful and loyal to Christ during a time of intense persecution. To have garments rather than be naked, relates to spiritual preparedness.’ 

Yes my fellow saints, from today, right down to when Jesus actually sets up His millennial kingdom, we must remain spiritually prepared. And for those of us attempting to do that, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Wednesday Wail. Altogether now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And believe me, if we endure right down to the end with Christ, then that future will be even more glorious than we can either ask or imagine. Now that’s good encouragement to keep us living for Jesus! Much LOVE!

…a lot of the believer’s time…should be taken up with…watching and praying…

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ      

Today’s Scrip-Bit   22 November 2022 Matthew 25:13.

Matthew 25:13.       Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

And the days roll along unconcernedly, just as they were programmed to do, while we wise ones get into winter mode. Yes friends, it’s true wisdom to get oneself ready for the winter season; mentally, physically, and emotionally, for if you don’t, winter will have you going stark raving crazy after a li’l while. (smile) That’s because it’s a very aggressive season; always in your face, with the cold, and either ice, wind or snow, and if you’re not prepared for it on all fronts, you will have a most miserable time. 

And you know what? Even when you think you’re fully prepared for it, it throws you a curved ball and blows your mind. And yuh see what happened in Buffalo this past weekend…and this is only the start of the season…so please prepare yourself. Just like we need to be prepared the next coming of Jesus, if we want to see heaven with Him till eternity. Please remember this serious warning of Jesus, when he speaks of His return to earth. ‘But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.’ (Matt. 24:36-37) 

Now there are two important facts there; only the Father knows when the Son will return, and it will take place like it did in the times of Noah, at a time of much carousing and evil doing, when the judgement day is totally unexpected, like Noah’s associates were when the earth cleansing flood occurred, wiping out all mankind except Noah and his family. 

So, Jesus continues: ‘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 my people, Jesus couldn’t have been any plainer or more explicit unless He had added the exact time of His return. 

And the scholars explain. ‘24:35-38. Verses 35 and 36 warn against attempts to set an exact date for Christ’s return at the end of the church age. To speculate that “day” and “hour” do not eliminate “year” is a gross oversimplification. The Father only knows of the Christ’s return since it has been set by His authority (cf. Acts 1:7). However, we are given a comparison to the days of Noah (and the Flood), which illustrate and prefigure the condition of humanity at the time of Christ’s return. The last generation, like the one of Noah’s day, is pleasure oriented and self-gratifying by eating and drinking. The reference to marrying and giving in marriage (vs. 38) may refer to carrying on the normal course of life without heeding the impending judgement.’  

And yuh better believe that they are speaking there of a generation eerily similar to ours; pleasure-oriented and self-gratifying, for lawlessness and licentiousness are the norm of our current society, and very few have time for God. Like Bruh Paul so knowingly wrote of the coming apostasy (abandonment of faith in God) in his second letter to Timothy. 

‘This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous (money lovers), boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy. Without natural affection, trucebreakers (irreconcilable), false accusers (slanderers), incontinent (without self-control), fierce (brutal), despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady (reckless), high-minded (haughty), lovers of pleasures more than LOVERS of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof; from such turn away.’ (2 Tim. 3:1-5) 

Ah mih bredrin, you’d think that Bruh Paul was living today and describing our current lifestyle, for he’s hit the nail right on its proverbial head with his description of what’s happening in today’s world. As the scholars say of verses 1-4: ‘The last days began with the birth of Christ, and will culminate in Christ’s return to earth to set up His kingdom. The prediction of perilous times indicates that apostasy will characterize the final days of the church age.’ And if that is so, then we had better get ready for Christ’s imminent return, because we are currently experiencing ‘perilous times’ and our world couldn’t get any more godless than it is already.

 And per verse 5, the scholars explain: ‘A form of godliness is mere religion without power or spiritual life. Paul commands Timothy to turn away from those false teachers who prey upon women laden with sins, who are susceptible to false teachers.’  And are we ever seeing the prevalence of false teachers, those who talk a good talk, but like the Pharisees of old, don’t walk the spiritual walk, because they lack the true spiritual power of God. 

Ah my fellow saints, there is more I’d like to say on the subject, but it’ll make it way too long, and knowing our short attention spans, (smile) we’ll stop there for today, and continue it on the morrow, the Lord willing. In the meanwhile, for those of us attempting to stay prepared, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) 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 friends, let’s go out 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!

…the Christian’s motto should be…watch and pray… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ     

Today’s Scrip-Bit   21 November 2022 Proverbs 24:17.

Proverbs 24:17.       Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth:

Prologue: Please excuse the lateness of the Bit, but I had some personal stuff that needed immediate attention, and it took longer than I expected. But as they say, ‘better late than never.’ (smile) 

Now friends, let’s just be glad and ever so thankful that we didn’t get the terrible snowstorm that the city of Buffalo, across the U. S. border got this weekend. The city was shut down for the entire weekend. Oh, we got a decent amount of the beautiful white, but ever so dangerous stuff, but God be praised that this Monday morning, as the work week opened, our roads were dry and clean and the sun’s shining ever so brightly in a cloudless sky! 

Let’s not laugh though at Buffalo or crow over their misfortune for sooner or later we will get our fair share of the winter blues. (smile) And that just draws my attention to the wise words of Cousin Sol on the subject of mocking one’s enemies from the Book of Proverbs. Please listen carefully, as he wisely advises: ‘Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: Lest the Lord see it, and it displease him (be evil in his eyes), and he turn away his anger from him.’ (Prov. 24:17-18) 

Oh my people, that is such a wise scripture, especially in these turbulent times, of strife, envy and greed and autocratic behaviour. And I like how one commentary explains it. ‘God commands you to LOVE your personal enemies, and it is one of the chief measures of a true Christian. Such LOVE includes being grieved when your enemy falls or stumbles in life. If you are glad or rejoice when he is hit by adversity, you have sinned.’  And I know some of us will find that a hard scripture to accept, but it’s one of the basic tenets of our faith. As Christ said, LOVING our neighbour as ourselves is the second greatest commandment in the law of God. (Matt. 22:39) 

And just look at how God LOVED us when we were totally clothed in sin and disobedience. He could have laughed and gloated and turned away from us, but He didn’t. The Bible tells us that instead, ‘But God commendeth (demonstrated) his LOVE to us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom. 5:8) That means, if we want to be like God, show grace and mercy, then we cannot gloat over the demise of our enemies. 

And I guess one of the best examples of that is found in the Book of the prophet Obadiah, when the Lord threatened Edom, the descendants of Esau, for failure to help their cousins, the sons of Jacob, that’s Judah when they were besieged by their enemies, as well as their constant hostility towards them. 

The prophecy reads: ‘For thy violence against thy brother Jacob shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever. In the day that thou stoodest on the other side, in the day that the strangers carried away captive his forces, and foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots upon (for) Jerusalem, even thou wast as one of them. But thou shouldest not have looked, (gazed on, gloated over) on the day of thy brother in the day that he became a stranger (captive); neither shouldest thou have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; neither shouldest thou have spoken proudly in the day of distress. 

Thou shouldest not have entered into the gate of my people in the day of their calamity; yea, thou shouldest not have looked on their affliction in the days of their calamity, nor have laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity; Neither shouldest thou have stood in the crossway (crossroads), to cut off those of his that did escape; neither shouldest thou have delivered up (made captive) those of his that did remain in the day of distress.’ (Obad. 10-14) 

I guess that solidly states the case for not rejoicing over the demise of one’s neighbours. (smile) And as always, God’s prophecies do come true. It seems that the Edomites who lived in the fortress-like hill country neighbouring Judah, were brash and bold, figuring that they could not be subjugated because of their hilly terrain. They also seemed to have gotten wealthy by taxing those who passed through their land. The scholars tell us the ‘Edomites remained a constant threat to the Israelites until Bruh David conquered them (2. Sam. 8:13-18). 

Ah friends, you should read that scripture and see the mighty warrior king Bruh David became with God’s help, as he subdued all those nations around him and united Israel for the first time. However, when Israel again became a divided land, the monarchy was broken up, the Edomites regained their independence and their constant hostility towards God’s people, their cousins, was frequently denounced by Israel’s prophets. But as the Lord had promised, they were later subjugated by Assyria and eventually overrun by the Nabateans in the third century B.C. 

Wow! That should teach us never to doubt the promises and prophecies of God, no matter how long they take to come to pass, for, like He told the prophet Habakkuk: ‘For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.’ (Hab. 2:4) That’s why, as we raise our voices in prayer through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, let’s understand that it’s all about God’s timing, not ours, and our duty is simply to pray and then wait for His answer. 

Altogether now: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

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

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

Now, my fellow saints, let’s do our part, and wait patiently, expectantly, with strong faith, for the Lord to do His. Much LOVE!

…recompense to no man…evil for evil…be not overcome of evil…but overcome evil with good… (Rom. 12:17, 21) 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ          

Today’s Scrip-Bit   20 November 2022 Psalm 122:1.

Psalm 122:1.        I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.

Once again friends, it’s time to gather round and lift up our voices and hearts in praise, worship and thanksgiving to our wonderful God! It’s Sunday, the Sabbath, the Lord’s Day, that makes it the most important day of the week! Let us not forget His warning, in no uncertain terms: ‘Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.’ (Ex. 20:8) 

And that’s exactly what we’ll be doing today, beginning, as we always do, with a song of praise. Today’s song is a li’l ditty we all know and LOVE, titled ‘Crying in the Chapel.’ Most of us might know the Elvis Presley version, but there have been numerous versions down through the years since Artie Glenn wrote it in 1951 for his son Darrell to sing. However, it apparently languished in a desk drawer for two years until Darrell, while still in High School, finally recorded it in 1953 with Artie’s Band, the Rhythm Riders. 

From the time it was released it became a favourite, possibly because of the deep sense of peace and contentment it radiates. I believe Elvis’ version in 1965 was the biggest chart topper, but today we’re going to do a version by the First Lady of song, Miss Ella Fitzgerald. It’s a more light and airy, bluesy, mid-tempo, but still very soulful treatment, not as dark and dirge-like as some of the other versions. (smile) So let’s open our hearts and voices and lift sacrificial praise to high heaven. 

‘You saw me crying in the chapel. The tears I shed were tears of joy I know the meaning of contentment Now I am happy with the Lord. Just a plain and simple chapel Where humble people go to pray I prayed the Lord that I’ll grow stronger As I live from day to day I searched (I searched) and I searched (I searched) but I couldn’t find No way on earth to gain peace of mind Now I’m happy in the chapel Where people are of one accord (One accord) Yes, we gather in the chapel Just to sing and praise the Lord – 

Meet your neighbors in the chapel, Join with them in tears of joy, You’ll be happy with the Lord – You’ll search and you’ll search but you’ll never find No way on earth to gain peace of mind Take your troubles to the chapel Get down on your knees and pray Then your burdens will be lighter And you’ll surely find the way (and you’ll surely find the way) Yes, you’ll surely find the way.’ 

Oh my fellow believers that’s exactly why we are gathered here today in the Lord’s sanctuary; so that we can get down on our knees and pray, have our burdens lightened and find the way, which leads directly through Christ Jesus. Remember His fateful words. ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:8) 

And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! No one can enter into the Father’s presence unless they first go through the Son, Jesus, for He’s the Father’s gate keeper. As the psalmist says of children in Psalm 127: ‘Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.) (Ps. 127:5) Yes, friends, that’s what Jesus does for His Father; speaks with the enemies that come to the gate and drives them off, unless they bow to His wishes. 

Now that’s where we come in. We were once enemies of the Father, but once Jesus arrived on the scene, His sacrificial death on the cross killed all enmity, brought reconciliation and forgiveness, and now we’re LOVING Jesus and bowing to His every wish. (smile) But on a more serious note my people, the words in today’s song ring oh so true that we can’t help but pay attention. Listen to them nuh: ‘You’ll search and you’ll search but you’ll never find No way on earth to gain peace of mind.’ 

And isn’t that the awesome truth! But when you turn to Jesus, then you’ll find the peace that passeth all understanding. That’s His peace. As He so clearly defines it. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) Wow! There’s no peace on earth like Jesus’! 

And the good thing about it is that you don’t have to stand on no ceremony to receive it. As the song says: ‘ Take your troubles to the chapel Get down on your knees and pray Then your burdens will be lighter And you’ll surely find the way.’ Yes friends, it’s that true and easy. Why yuh think Bruh David said in Psalm 122: ‘I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.’ (Ps. 122:1) 

And furthermore, it doesn’t have to be no fancy chapel, but ‘Just a plain and simple chapel Where humble people go to pray.’ Oh my, my! And what happened there eh? ‘I prayed the Lord that I’ll grow stronger As I live from day to day.’ Plain and simple, straightforward, heartfelt communication. And what was the result of that communication? ‘You saw me crying in the chapel. The tears I shed were tears of joy I know the meaning of contentment Now I am happy with the Lord.’ 

Ah mih people, there are no tears like tears of joy, because they just refresh our souls, wash them clean, and bring contentment. But all of that can only be achieved when one is in strong league with Jesus Christ. Please remember that. The world and its evil sinful self cannot offer it. And before we end, I want to point out one very important fact in the song. ‘Now I’m happy in the chapel Where people are of one accord.’ 

Oh my fellow saints, being of one accord, of one spirit, mind and agreement is ever so important in the Christian life. Bruh Paul thought it so important that he noted it in several of his missives to the churches. Like this one to the Philippians. ‘If there be therefore any consolation (encouragement) in Christ, if any comfort (consolation, solace) of LOVE, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels (affection) and mercies (sympathy). 

Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same LOVE (showing no partiality), being of one accord (united in spirit), of one mind (the whole church with the same values and goals). Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory (selfish ambition or conceit): but in lowliness of mind (humility) let each esteem other better than themselves (regard his fellow Christian as more important than himself). Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others (be just as concerned for the needs and problems of one’s brother believer as for one’s own affairs).’ (Phil. 2:1-4) 

Yes friends, that’s how Christianity ought to work. It seems the church at Philippi overall wasn’t bad, but there was some disunity and lack of harmony, which Bruh Paul needed fixed for his joy to be complete in them. And oh, is there ever a great deal of disunity and disharmony in the current church of Christ, that He desperately needs fixed for His joy to be complete. So please, I implore us, for our children and their children’s sake, let’s get together seriously and sincerely nuh, and start working on narrowing our differences and divisions, many of which are selfish and petty and can be easily corrected if we truly want to be sincere saints of Christ. Much LOVE!

…nothing will warm the cockles of Christ’s heart…like His church truly being of one accord…                                                                                                                                

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   19 November 2022 Proverbs 3:5.

Proverbs 3:5.       Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

Saturday, oh lazy Saturday, so glad to see you! And the good thing about Saturdays in the winter time, is that you don’t go out unless you really really have to! (smile) Especially if, as my computer tells me, it’s snowing now, which it isn’t in my area, although it might be in some other area, but that’s just one more excuse to enjoy a lazy Saturday. (smile) Anyway, enough laziness, let’s get to the Lord’s business and see what we can make of the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Now, he only sent us three quotes, so today’s Bit ought to be short…Hn! I wouldn’t count on it, with my penchant for being long-winded. (smile) And the first quote says: ‘Being vulnerable is a strength, not a weakness.’ And that’s the gospel truth! For although the word ‘vulnerable’ is defined as ‘susceptible to, or able to be easily physically or mentally hurt, influenced, or attacked,’ in another sense, when one is vulnerable, one isn’t fearful of being hurt or abused, but steps into the fray in spite of one’s vulnerability. 

And that comes out most forcefully in the emotion of LOVE, for when one LOVES, one is open to all kinds of negative things, but it doesn’t stop one from LOVING. And I think we also see a vulnerable strength in the word ‘meek, or meekness.’ Used in a negative manner it means weak and/or submissive, but used in a positive or biblical manner it means strength under control. And who are more vulnerable than Christians eh, if we truly follow Christ’s advice, like LOVING our enemies, going the extra mile, turning the other cheek, etc. etc. 

As Bruh Paul quotes Ps. 44:22 to the Roman church. ‘As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.’ (Rom. 8:36-37) Yes, believers may seem vulnerable, but that doesn’t mean they are weak. In fact, we are the strongest group on earth, as we fight the devil and his iniquity workers with goodness not evil. Just look at the Beatitudes, in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. His descriptions of those who are heavenly blessed all seem to be weak, passive and very vulnerable, but in fact they show an active strength clothed in humility, peace and godliness. 

Listen to this Beatitude from Jesus: ‘Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.’ (Matt. 5:5) He didn’t mean blessed are the physically or spiritually weak, but blessed are those who have humbled themselves before the Lord God Jehovah! And to be truly humble, one must have a strong spirit, because by nature humans are not created as beacons of humility, especially in this age of greed, selfishness and advantage taking. 

As ‘Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has said: “Meekness is strong, not weak; active, not passive; courageous, not timid; restrained, not excessive; modest, not self-aggrandizing; and gracious, not brash.’ In other words, to be vulnerable means to not be afraid of being human, of living for Christ. 

Now,  the next quote says: ‘We have to let go of who we think we should be and embrace what is.’ I don’t know about that nuh. We should certainly live in the present, but the important question is what’s our present life like, is it intertwined with Christ, or is it just running loose and lustful like the world? Remember, God has a plan for each and every life He creates, and if we’re not living in His will for our lives then we’re on the wrong side of the fence. The truth of the matter here is that we should first ascertain from our heavenly Father His will for our life, then put it into action, not do what we think we should in our own strength, or meekly (negative use) follow the world. 

And Cousin Sol wisely warns in Proverbs: ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct (make straight) thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear (reverence) the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel (body), and marrow (strength) to thy bones.’ (Prov. 3:5-8) Yes friends, it’s only when we buy into God’s plan for our lives that we truly blossom and are able to reach our destiny. 

And the last quote tells us: ‘In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present.’ I guess there’s truth to that statement for we cannot discern light unless darkness is first present. That brings us to Jesus, who is the light of the world. He said it Himself: ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ (John 8:12) 

Oh my people, isn’t that wonderful? It surely is! Jesus came to earth so that we could have the option of eternal life in the light of His heavenly Father and not merely the option of succumbing to the darkness and evil of Lucifer, the fallen angel, and ending up in hellfire and damnation with him. Unfortunately though, that darkness is covering our world right now with an overwhelming black cloud of sin and ungodliness, and it’s only as we accept Jesus and His bright shining light that the darkness of our world will lessen, for darkness is inherently evil, while light shows up goodness and godliness. 

And what better way to end today than with the words of John the Revelator, as he saw the new Jerusalem coming down from heaven in his vision. He joyfully declares: (yesss!!!) ‘And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.’ (Rev. 21:3-4) 

What a marvelous, bright and shining day that will be my fellow saints, when the very presence of God will be with us, His redeemed people. And from thence, He will forever dwell with us in the eternal state of a life without pain and sorrow, just joy and gladness in His shining light. So, let’s wake up and reach for that glorious goal nuh my brethren! Much LOVE!

…oh when the saints go marching…I want to be in their number…oh when the saints go marching in…  

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   18 November 2022   2 Timothy 1:12.

2 Timothy 1:12.       For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against (until) that day.

Then it was Friday, and we all gleefully shouted: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday, and the work week is finally finished! It’s time to begin the weekend party!’ But not so fast friends, the activities of some of us in the wintry climes will probably be curtailed by flurrying snow this weekend. So please check your weather reports and make sure you are well protected if you do go out. And if you don’t have to go out, then don’t! This is the time of year that that phrase comes in very handy. (smile) 

Now here is something else that will also make us smile cheerfully. It’s a poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, aptly titled ‘I Do Know.’ So, please read with me. ‘There is much I cannot begin to fathom concerning the vast, indescribable universe created by our majestic God. There is much I will never comprehend. I want to sing and shout, so utterly overwhelmed I am with the magnitude of God. But I do know with confident certainty that I belong to the God of the universe – the Creator of all that exists. 

I know that I, a mere mortal, am forever linked to divine destiny. I know that my life has purpose and dignity. I know that God has chosen me as the object of His lavish LOVE; that His thoughts toward me are thoughts of kindness and mercy; that He has inscribed me in the palms of His hands. I know that all the LOVE of the Father, and the life of the Son, and the power of the Holy Spirit are freely, inseparably mine – now and throughout all eternity. This I do know!’ 

Oh my fellow believers, what beautiful and oh so true sentiments! And I like how so many important scriptures are intricately and dextrously weaved into it. However, the question now is do we believe all of that? Do we know it in spades, without any doubt whatsoever? We know that with our finite minds we can never truly comprehend the vastness of the universe, but are we overwhelmed by the magnitude of our mighty God? Do we believe that we are truly ‘linked to divine destiny’ and that our lives have ‘purpose and dignity’ built into them by our heavenly Father? 

And do we truly believe that we are the ‘objects of His lavish LOVE’, with wonderful thoughts of kindness and mercy focused in our direction? And what about the fact that He has inscribed us in the palms of His hands eh? Does that ring true in our spirits, bodies and souls? For our sakes I hope so, otherwise we are lost and sadly in great danger in this evil and terribly sinful world. And one last question, possibly the most important; do we know that ‘all the LOVE of the Father, and the life of the Son, and the power of the Holy Spirit are freely and inseparably ours – now and throughout all eternity?’ 

Yes my brethren, that’s the billion dollar question this cold and snowy Friday morning in the middle of November 2022. Do we know the One True God, He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? The One who created the universe and all therein? The One who LOVED us so much that He sent His only Son to die on the cross at Calvary, using His precious, sinless and holy blood to purchase our sin debt in full? Yes friends, that’s the same God who LOVED us so much while we were yet sinners, that He couldn’t wait for us to change, but had to give us a good reason to change, through the coming of His Son Jesus Christ to earth in human flesh to show us what a great and merciful God He truly is. 

But enough of my yakking, (smile) let’s see what scriptural promise that poem was based on. And it comes from Bruh Paul’s second letter to Timothy, where he is exhorting the young preacher to endurance. He encourages Timothy early in that section, by telling him: ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world (time) began.’ (2 Tim. 1:7-9) 

Oh my faithful brethren, the Lord God has purposed our lives through Jesus Christ from even before He created the universe and all therein. That means we’re not placed in these times by chance, but by God’s perfect design, and are expected to do His will for our lives. But finally, here’s the verse on which our poem is based. Bruh Paul goes on to tell Timothy: ‘Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher unto the Gentiles. For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against (until) that day.’ (2 Tim. 1:11-12) 

Now, it’s that last verse on which all of our poem and our lives turn! Are we ashamed of the gospel of Christ, the One we claim to believe in? And are we fully persuaded that He can keep all that we have committed to Him until the day of judgement? I won’t get into it, but leave us all to contemplate our own situations. Here are some thoughts on the subject though from the scholars. ‘Persuaded: The perfect tense indicates that “I was persuaded in the past and remain so now.” That he is able to keep refers to the assurance of salvation which is committed…against that day, when we will stand before the judgement seat of Christ.’  

And today is a good a day as any other to ponder what that scripture means in our individual lives. But as a group of believers, let’s go to the throne room in prayer, offering up our Friday Chant with thanksgiving, pleading for divine guidance. Altogether now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the several viruses and our many other problems are causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means we desperately need your help. 

Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the viruses and the simmering unrest in our land. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, and avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic, the discontent and dissatisfaction in our land that’s threatening to boil over, as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, wake up and smell it sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Now my fellow saints, we need to make the necessary changes in our lives and our hearts, that will convince the Lord that we are serious in what we’ve just prayed. Much LOVE!

…to live for Christ…means to suffer with…and if necessary…die for Him…  

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