Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 July 2020 James 1:2.

James 1:2.     ​My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations (various trials),
 

‘Everything’s coming up roses…’ Well friends, it’s not really coming up nuh, it has already come up! We talking about the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and all that does and says for us poor sinners! Wow! And yes, we might be going through some rough and trying times now, but those are only here to test our faith, endurance and perseverance, because we already know the end of the story; Jesus has won the victory over the enemy! Glory be! 

James, the half-brother of Jesus puts it quite succinctly when he speaks of faith and humility. ‘My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations (various trials), Knowing this, that the trying (testing) of your faith worketh (produces) patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire (complete), wanting (lacking) nothing.’ (James 1:2-4) 

And the scholars offer these explanations. ‘1:2-3. In this epistle on Christian living, James opens with a most crucial topic: the trials of life. These verses describe the various testings – whether from the world and Satan, or from God – into which godly Christians fall, (Gr. peripipto). These “negative” experiences are to be accepted with great joy, not for the sake of the trial itself but because of the positive work God can accomplish through the testing.’ Then the scholars note, as per ‘1:4: The natural response to adversity is to escape it. But God uses trouble to mature His people.’ 

Yes friends, as a true believer in Christ, we WILL experience testing, and it is NEVER easy to accept trials and tribulations with joy, but if we hold on tightly to Jesus, be the branch that’s seamlessly welded to His vine, we can successfully withstand the rigours of those tests. And remember, He promises not to give us more than we can handle. 

Bruh Paul explains it thus: ‘There hath no temptation taken (overtaken) you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear (endure) it.’ (1 Cor. 10:13) That doesn’t mean we will necessarily escape the temptation, but He will always assist us to land safely on the other side. So as the old people would say: ‘Yuh could run, but yuh can’t hide from temptation and testing!’ (smile) 

And Peter in his first letter to the scattered diaspora of early believers stated it more fully. ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that faded not away, reserved in heaven for you. Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be relieved in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness (distressed) through manifold temptations.’ (1 Pet. 1:3-6) 

Yes my people, it’s through God’s abundant mercy, whereby Christ was resurrected, and the faith in Him that we manifest that allows us to look forward to the wonderful indestructible inheritance at the time of ultimate salvation. And though life might be hard for a season, that inheritance down the road helps us to bear these tests. 

As Peter continues: ‘That the trial of your faith (the genuineness), being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried (tested) with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing (revelation) of Jesus Christ. Whom having not seen, ye LOVE; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.’ (1 Pet. 1:7-9) 

Yeh, I know it seems deep and heavy, but remember Christ’s yoke is easy, and His burden light. We not here for child’s play and constant good times, we here to do a job for Jesus which means we have to buckle down and be diligent about it, letting the eventual rewards keep us strong and faithful. Hear what the scholars offer. ‘1:6-9. The problem of salvation looks to the present. Earthly trials constitute a problem of our salvation, but they are only for a season, or temporary. Manifold temptations means diversified trials. True faith cannot be destroyed though God is in the process of refining faith through our trials.’ 

So what can we do? As always, the number one step is prayer. So let’s pray nuh, raise up our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to heaven, in strong voice, with sincere hearts, in true and humble but confident faith. ‘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. And our anxieties have been recently deepened because some restrictions have been lifted in the lockdown, so more of us are going out to work now without any guarantees of safety. 

Then to complicate matters Father, suddenly, and unexpectedly, just like the virus, worldwide strife and protests have also struck us in this sad time of pandemic, and we don’t have a clue how to handle either situation properly. Mass confusion is currently prevailing in our world, and we desperately need your help to solve both problems, as You are the ONLY One with the power and insight to successfully handle them. 

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 these scourges that are currently plaguing Your beautiful earth. Please help our leaders to wisely quell the strife and protests, thus bringing unity, peaceful consensus and real improvement in the areas that are now sadly lacking. Please help the scientists to also find a positive solution, a sure antidote to the virus as quickly as possible. And for those who have already contracted the virus, or been injured in the strife, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. 

Father, 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 we sit and wait quietly for a while, for God’s wise direction, then we go out and obediently follow it. Much LOVE!

…to endure to the end…we need a combination of…hope, faith, belief and trust…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 July 2020 Romans 5:8.

Romans 5:8.     ​But God commendeth (demonstrated) his LOVE toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
 

It’s Sunday my fellow believers, so let’s have church nuh! And all the faithful cried out: ‘Yeah! Yeah! Let’s have church! Let’s sing and dance and give much praise and thanks unto our most merciful, gracious and forgiving God!’ Then let’s gather; either in the few physical sanctuaries that are opened, or around our technological toys, for there is no way to stop the faithful if they truly want to worship their heavenly Father. 

And as always, we begin with a song of praise, today’s being that ole faithful ‘Jesus LOVES Me!’ Why? Because that’s where the Holy Spirit led me. While contemplating a couple others, that one just flashed into my mind, and you can’t disregard zeppos like that. (smile) But before we get into it, here’s a li’l background to its creation. 

The comforting and peaceful words were first written by Anna B Warner as a poem in 1860 for a dying child on her sister Susan’s request. Then a couple years later William Bradbury put the beautiful and heartfelt words to music. And after a century and a half in existence, it’s now become one of the most popular Christian hymns around the world, and because of its simple direct message, is one of the first hymns missionaries teach to new converts. So all together now, in soulful harmony, with total sincerity, let’s make our earthly voices ring out to heaven sweet and pure, in praiseful sacrifice. 

Jesus LOVES me! This I know, For the Bible tells me so; Little ones to Him belong; They are weak, but He is strong. (Refrain: Yes, Jesus LOVES me! Yes, Jesus LOVES me! Yes, Jesus LOVES me! The Bible tells me so.) Jesus LOVES me! This I know, As He LOVED so long ago, Taking children on His knee, Saying, “Let them come to Me.” (Refrain) Jesus LOVES me still today, Walking with me on my way, Wanting as a friend to give Light and LOVE to all who live. 

(Refrain) Jesus LOVES me! He who died Heaven’s gate to open wide; He will wash away my sin, Let His little child come in. (Refrain) Jesus LOVES me! He will stay Close beside me all the way; Thou hast bled and died for me, I will henceforth live for Thee. Yes, Jesus LOVES me! Yes, Jesus LOVES me! Yes, Jesus LOVES me! The Bible tells me so. Yes, Jesus LOVES me! Yes, Jesus LOVES me! Yes, Jesus LOVES me! The Bible tells me so.’ 

And that’s the gospel truth my brethren! It’s exactly what the Bible tells us: He LOVED us so much that He came down from heaven and died to save our sinful souls. Jesus said it in His most famous words: ‘For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:16-17) Now if that isn’t a stirring and sterling declaration of LOVE, then I don’t know what is nuh! 

And furthermore, Bruh Paul declares (yeahh!) it thus: ‘For when we were yet without strength, in due time (at the right time) Christ died for the ungodly… But God commendeth (demonstrated) his LOVE toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom. 5:6, 8). Yeh friends, ALL that Jesus did for us was done out of true LOVE! Why, you ask? Because the Father’s greatest attribute is LOVE! As Bruh Paul says, ‘And now abideth faith, hope, LOVE, these three, but the greatest is these is LOVE.’ (1 Cor. 13:13) And there’s no disputing that! 

John meanwhile said it this way: ‘He that LOVETH not knoweth not God, for God is LOVE.’ (1 John 4:8) Simple and to the point my people. Then, when we add the fact that we are the Father’s creation and He did not want to lose us to the enemy, be eternally separated from us if we continued living in sin, He made a way for us to reverse that eventuality, by sending His only Son to be the propitiation, the atonement for our sins. In other words, to pay our sin debt in full and give us the opportunity to spend eternity with Him, like He had planned it from the very beginning. 

The only difference is that because sin came into our world, we now have to make a conscious choice of where we want to spend eternity. So it’s all up to us as individuals now my people: if you want to spend eternity in hell with the fallen angel Lucifer, then you simply continue living in sin. However, if you decide you want to spend eternity with Christ in heaven, then you need to believe in Him and live according to His rules, which are not onerous. As He truthfully says: ‘For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:30). 

Now let’s go home this morning energized and reassured with these wise words from the web site God Tube. ‘The Bible tells us that God LOVES each and every one of us, despite our sins and faults. Be comforted by the simple lyrics of ‘Jesus LOVES Me’ and remember that our Creator is Almighty and ALL-LOVING. He is with us each step of the day and will NEVER leave our side. We may be weak, but He is our strength.’ 

Please, let’s take those words to heart today my friends, as they are filled with eternal truth! Much LOVE!

…‘Jesus LOVES me…simply states…the profound truth of God’s LOVE.’ 

P.S. It’s short and sweet…and early! Wow! Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 July 2020 Matthew 19:26.

Matthew 19:26.     ​With men this is impossible: but with God ALL things are possible.
 

Oh mih people we finally experienced the divine power of a majestic thunderstorm yesterday evening. And was it ever a sight to behold. Around 8.30 in the evening, after supper, the duchess and I were sitting on the back deck reading, when she pointed out the sudden amassing of dark clouds on the western horizon. But knowing how the wind tends to quickly disperse the clouds nowadays, I said I’d believe it when I saw it. 

Well some fifteen minutes later, after some ominous roars of thunder, I did believe it, because I saw it. (smile) It began as a slight drizzle which caused me to come inside and head for the front porch, ostensibly to sit there and check it out. But the storm was having none of that; as I opened the front door a blaze of lightning flashed in front of me, and the wind was already blowing the rain all over the porch. Chuckling, I simply closed the door and spent the next fifteen minutes or so, just listening to God’s blessings watering His dry, parched earth. 

And we all know that there’s nothing as soothing and relaxing as being inside of an evening and hearing the rain fall outside. We obviously didn’t get as much rain or for as long a spell as Toronto did recently, but I don’t think the heavenly blessings are over as yet, because now at 8.30 in the morning, more dark clouds have so far stopped the sun from showing it’s cheery face. But since we have the cheery sunlight of Christ shining within us, we’re awright, so let’s see what quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And the first one says: ‘Manage the cause, not the result.’ And that makes sense. Many of us try to handle the results, try to manipulate them, without even knowing what caused them to turn out wrong. But you always have to first figure out the problem, then handle it properly, before you can get the desired result. Any wishy-washy managing will only give you wishy-washy results. And sadly, that is the way our world handles a lot of its problems nowadays, that’s why it’s in such a mess. We don’t take enough time to truly figure out the problem before we try to fix it. 

In this age of entitlement and now for now everything, who has the time to really look into problems eh? And consequently, this next quote hits the nail right on the head. ‘If you do not know how to ask the right question, you discover nothing.’ And that’s gospel truth. Only the right questions will bring you the right answers! And if you don’t know how to ask them, then you will not get the info you desire. Oh, you might get a whole lot of stuff, but it most likely it won’t be relevant to what you’re trying to find out. 

So please friends, let’s take time to sit down and truly analyze our problems and our directions nuh, before we begin trying to fix them or rush out on some wrong path. That’s because, once we get the ball rolling in a certain direction, it’s often hard, if not impossible to change courses in mid-stream. So it behooves us to get it right from the very beginning. And the next quote continues in the same vein: ‘If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.’ 

That’s also the general truth! Sometimes we can get away with poor planning, but usually, unless you have a decent idea of how everything is going to work and fall into place, we won’t be able to do it right. Again, that seems to be a problem in our society; what with our short attention spans and our wanting everything not even right away, but like yesterday, who really lays out a serious process for what they want to achieve eh? Not too many of us, although it’s much easier to do than ever before with all the technology that’s available. 

But it’s regretful that the same technology that allows us to do so many things, also takes away our patience and desire to do them properly. Diligence and excellence are fast falling and failing in our modern-day society, as we totter down to ruin. However, this last quote gives us hope, when it says: ‘Everything can be improved.’ Yes friends, that’s true…but only if you are in true surrender and communication with Jesus Christ! 

Remember when He told the rich man to sell all his possessions and come and follow him and he would receive eternal life, but the young man balked at it because he owned so much stuff? (Matt. 19:16-22) Then Jesus told the disciples: ‘It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, then for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible: but with God ALL things are possible.’ (Matt. 19:24-26) 

And that’s the indisputable truth my fellow believers! Whatever our problems, our wrongs, our shortcomings, our disappointments, they are all within God’s mighty realm of change and improvement, if we sincerely take them to Him in prayer. And the prophet Jeremiah said it long before Jesus did: ‘Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is NOTHING too hard (too difficult) for thee.’  (Jer. 32:17) 

And remember too when the disciples could not heal an epileptic boy, and they came to Jesus and asked why? ‘And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove (move); and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.’ (Matt. 17:20-21) Yuh see friends, how with only a little faith, because a mustard seed is very small, we can move mighty mountains, though sometimes it might also take prayer and fasting. 

And as the scholars explain: ‘17:15-23. …As a grain of mustard seed: This seemingly impossible obstacle or difficulty stands in the way. Since Christ alone is the glorified Saviour, the disciples’ ability to work depends totally upon His empowerment.’ 

Now the same truth still holds today my brethren, thus our declaration (steups! can’t spell that either): ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! (Phil. 4:13) It’s up to us now to believe it, and put it work for Christ’s kingdom. Much LOVE!

…how many times must I say it eh….Jesus is the answer…to EVERYTHING…Glory be…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 July 2020 1 Corinthians 1:25.

1 Corinthians 1:25.     ​Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
 

Grace and peace and LOVE from our heavenly Father be unto you this Friday morning my fellow believers in Christ Jesus! It’s a new day and His mercies are new! Glory be! And the message is that we must abide in Him, regardless of the uncomfortable and dangerous circumstances that surround us, we must be strong and not falter, not give up, for he who endures to the end will be richly rewarded! And all God’s children said a loud and grateful ‘Amen!’ 

Yeh friends, there’s no other name in the universe like that of Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, to whom NOTHING is impossible and through whom we can do ANYTHING He desires of us! So let’s take courage, strength and assurance from those facts today nuh and keep on keeping on, keep on fighting the good fight for which we were created so that we can eventually win the crown of glory that we’ve been so faithfully promised! Sermon done! (smile) 

It’s time to hear what the ordinary workingman has to say. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! And best of all, the weekend is upon us! But what a hot week this has been! Oh brother, both outside and inside, especially in the blooming slave master factory that don’t have no air conditioning! Steups! 

What a cheap man! He refuse to spend the few dollars to put it in, even though they tell him it going to make the machinery last longer, not to mention his employees. We all lost a couple pounds this week, including him, slaving in the boiling heat! To tell the truth though, sometimes the AC not even good enough at home to quench the fiery heat during the nights and them. It’s what you call a real heatwave…and it looks like it going to last even longer. 

Just hope the weekend not too bad nuh so I can get some much needed rest… And then this pandemic and strife thing still going on, with no end in sight to them either…What a bam bam! Pandemic, strife and heat! What a glorious trio! And not even a drop of rain to put out the fire. Although Toronto got a good deluge this week for an hour or so that cause a whole lotta flooding and damage, but nowhere else on the outskirts had anything but a li’l drizzle. 

But what yuh going to do eh? Life’s never been easy…and nobody ever said it was ever going to be either. Yuh just have to live it as best yuh can…look yuh best and be yuh best, enjoy the fruits of yuh labour and say thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah mih people, the ordinary workingman might not have a lot of book learning, but he does have life experience that no amount of formal education can ever teach, and it would be very wise of us to pay some attention to his pronouncements, because remember the Lord uses the simple and foolish to upset the applecart of the wise and powerful. 

As Bruh Paul so nicely and wisely put it to the fractious, infighting and thus divided church at Corinth. ‘Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer (debater) of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching (the message preached) to save them that believe.’ (1 Cor. 1:20-21) 

Yeh friends, it wasn’t by wisdom that the world learned of Christ Jesus, but by the message of the cross preached by simple men and women, to those who chose to believe. As Bruh Paul continues: ‘For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom. But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness. But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.’ (1 Cor. 1:22-25) 

Oh my people, even on His worst day, God’s foolishness and weakness is much wiser and much stronger than man’s best! For remember, He said quite plainly that His ways and thoughts are way above ours. (Is. 55:8-9) And logically, they would have to be for Him to do all the awesome things that He’s done. So please let’s pay serious attention to Him nuh, for though it might sound like foolishness to the world’s way of thinking, it’s actually wisdom in spades. 

Now let’s go home showing true wisdom, falling on our bended knees and offering up prayerful sentiments to Him in the form of our Friday Chant. All together now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. It’s been pretty rough…some of it from work, as many of us are now back to work in varied ways, but most of our anxiety still comes 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. 

And now, on top of all that, we have racial riots and protests to put up with. Oh Lord, yuh know we can’t handle it on our own and desperately need Your help. Yes, heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the 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 must 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 and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

And having said all of that, our only recourse now is to be faithful believers, both in word and deed! Much LOVE!

…whether times are good or bad…Christ is ALWAYS the answer…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 July 2020 Isaiah 30:21.

Isaiah 30:21.     ​And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right, and when ye turn to the left.
 

Oh precious people, our enemy the devil is still out there roaring like a false lion with his toothless gums, and sadly, many of us are listening to him, and becoming anxious and afraid about all that’s currently going down. But I’m here to tell us on this sunny Thursday morning that all he has is bark and NO bite! The only way he can really harm us is if we give him that power. But please remember Jesus’ most often used words, were ‘FEAR NOT!’ And as His followers that’s what is expected of us. 

And we all know it’s harder said than done, so we need some encouragement, and today we’re going to turn to the best place for help, the Lord God Almighty – where else eh? Isaiah appealed to his people Israel to turn to the God of their forefathers after they had stopped relying on Him and were turning to Egypt for help. Hear these words re the futility of relying on anyone else but the Lord, and please do not let them fall on deaf ears. 

‘Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering (devise plans, weave a web), but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin: That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth (my advice); to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt! Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion (humiliation). (Is. 30:1-3)

 Oh friends, rather unwisely, that is the very same thing we have done. We have turned to various other gods and idols and seek advice from everywhere else except from the Lord God Jehovah. To the point that we are trying to get rid of Him from the society He created.  What utter foolishness! Do you think He’ll allow us to just throw Him out without a fight? I guess so, otherwise we wouldn’t be trying to win an unwinnable battle. It resembles Satan’s futile efforts to defeat Jesus over the battle for hell, death and the grave! Jesus came out victorious with the keys to all of Satan’s dominions! And so will the Lord God Jehovah, despite our best efforts to annihilate Him from our society; His creation! 

It’s also obvious that we don’t believe what He says. Remember He says in the Ten Commandments that He is a jealous God. (Ex. 20:5) And the same thing is mentioned all through the Old Testament. Remember when He was heartbroken because his special people Israel desired a human king like all the other nations? (1 Sam. 8) Yes friends, the Lord made us for Himself; to be His people, to fellowship with Him, for Him to be our God, and anytime we desire to change that, we WILL get some kind of opposition from Him. 

Thus says He: ‘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) That should tell us ALL we need to know, but it obviously doesn’t. So we keep on trying to uproot God from our midst and are now suffering serious adversity, the consequences of our ungodly behaviour, like Israel did back then. And like Isaiah did, so am I appealing to us to turn back to Him in these rough and unprecedented times, for He is indeed the ONLY ONE who can get us out of this earthly hell in which we’re now totally ensconced. 

Hear these words: ‘And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers. And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right, and when ye turn to the left.’ (Is. 30:20-21) Oh my people, are we hearing the Holy Spirit whispering in our souls, actively seeking to show us the right way? That’s what He’s there for. And I know He’s sincerely doing His thing, but apparently we’re not listening, for we’re going in the wrong direction; away from God, rather than towards Him. 

Oh friends, hear this other verse from just before nuh. ‘And therefore will the Lord wait that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgement (justice): blessed are all they that wait for him.’ (Is. 30:18) 

And the scholars offer these explanations. ‘30:18-33. Because God is gracious and has been willing to wait for His people to return to Him, He will certainly bless those who wait for Him. “Waiting” is a confident and dependent trust in God. The reference to the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction shows that God teaches us lessons through circumstances when we will not listen to our teachers who call us to walk in the way (i.e. the way of God).’ 

Oh my people, there’s absolutely no doubt that our great and merciful God is trying to teach us some very useful lessons right now in these times of much sickness and strife! But are we conscious of that though? And if we are, are we learning anything from it? For all of our sakes, and those of our descendants, I do hope so, otherwise we’ll pay a great price for our disobedience and utter disregard for the Lord, His Holy Word and righteous desires for our lives. 

But for those of us who are aware, and sincerely trying to learn those lessons, let’s go home now declaring (awright!!!) our Thursday Blessings which the Lord has so generously and graciously bestowed upon us to help those who need it. So in strong belief, as one 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 everyday! Amen!’ 

And now, let’s go and share them very generously, for this is the time; that of sickness and strife,  for which we were made and so blessed! Much LOVE!

…the earth is the Lord’s…and the fullness thereof…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 July 2020 Zechariah 9:12.

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

Well friends, it’s Wednesday the 8th of July already! I can’t believe how the days are flying by, although that’s how the summer usually passes, like in a blur of time, barely noticeable, then the cold winter season comes along and lasts for ages. But that’s life, and however it comes, we must learn to live with it, in fact conquer it! 

And with the power of Christ’s Holy Spirit dwelling within us, we can and do and will conquer everything that comes against us, for our heavenly Father has decreed that NO weapon formed against us will prosper, and that through Christ Jesus we can do whatever is necessary because He strengthens us! 

Wow! And all of God’s children declared a loud, proud and grateful: ‘Glory Hallelujah! All praise and glory to the King of heaven and earth, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, whose name is higher than any other name, and to whom ALL heads will bow when He comes to reign in His holy kingdom!’ And if that sacrifice of praise doesn’t uplift us fellow saints in Christ, I don’t know what will nuh! (smile) 

Ah mih people, it’s so good to be alive on another glorious summer day, that thanks is all that ought to flow out of our mouths. Yes, life is rough for many of us, but again, once we have life, then we can have hope that things will turn around, as they say: ‘better must come!’ And so it will, if we hold on tight to our faith and hope and surrender and trust in Christ Jesus! For He has promised to make our lives worthwhile, and He is indeed faithful to keep all His promises. 

And if there’s one thing the Bible is chocked full of is verses on hope. That’s why this morning I want to remind us of some of them, in particular this one that touches my heart ever so much. The words of the prophet Zechariah to his people Israel, and words that are ever so appropriate in our current time of pandemic and strife. ‘Turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render (restore) double unto thee.’ And some of us ask, who or what is our stronghold, where can it be found, and why should we be prisoners of hope? 

Well my people, Bruh David answered those questions for us long ago. Listen to him. ‘I will LOVE thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (stronghold, fortress).’ (Ps. 18:1-2) 

Oh mih bredrin, is there a more comprehensive and powerful entity than that described by Bruh David? Certainly not! Just look at how many positives he’s laid at the Lord’s door nuh: his strength, his rock, his fortress, his deliverer, his buckler or shield, the horn of his salvation, his high tower! Mama Yo! How could there ever be another being with such power and strength and authority eh? NEVER! That’s why such awesome wisdom lies in putting our entire hope in the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 

As Bruh David continues: ‘I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.’ (Ps. 18:3) Glory be people! If we can’t call upon such an omnipotent Deity with perfect assurance, then whom else can we call on eh? That’s also why Bruh David could later on write: ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?’ (Ps. 27:1) 

And I am proud to say the answer to those questions is definitely NOBODY! Yes friends, when we reverence the great God of Israel, put our sincere trust in him, we need not be afraid of anything or anyone. For as Bruh David proudly and most assuredly proclaims: ‘When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up (devour) my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though a host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.’ ( Ps. 27:2-3) 

Oh my people, my people, in these troubling times that’s the kind of confidence and assurance we need to show in our God! And what I truly LOVE about Bruh David, is that all the endearing and confident words he speaks about his awesome God are not based on hearsay, but on his personal experience. And I’m sure that most of us have some, enough of that same kind of experience of Jehovah God’s everlasting faithfulness, which ought to enable us to completely surrender to Him and place our eternal trust in His mighty hands. 

Friends, Bruh David surely knew on which side his bread was buttered, and so too should we, if we’re wise and thinking straight, not ensnared by the lies, deceits, the evil and the plentiful poppycock that’s currently running through our society. But as the psalmist asserts: ‘Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word. Depart from me, ye evildoers: for I will keep the commandments of my God. Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope. Hold thou me up (uphold me), and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto (observe) thy statutes continually.’ (Ps. 119:114-117) 

What more can I say eh friends… except to add these momentous words of Cousin Sol to our mix: ‘Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.’ (Prov. 13:12) Yes fellow saints, when we lose hope, we become sick, get depressed. But when our hope is realized… oh me oh my, we are refreshed, revitalized, renewed, and move on with a new vitality. And I know that these anxious times tend to dry up our hope, but please, please, let’s not allow that to happen nuh, let’s stay full of the hope that God has placed in our hearts, and remember that this too shall pass, it’s only a matter of time. 

And having said that, let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. With sincere hearts and strong voices: ‘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 don’t let our hope die, we WILL enjoy a glorious future with Christ! Much LOVE!

…the Lord is my shepherd…I shall not want…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 7 July 2020 1 John 2:15.

1 John 2:15.     LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in Him. 
 

And the glorious summer days of 2020 keep rolling along like the tumbling tumbleweed! We could certainly use a li’l rain though to cool the parched ground… and even more, some respite from the ever-present pandemic and the strife and protests that are stirring up our world into a maelstrom of bitterness, hate, resentment and violence. Ah Lord eh people, when the history of this summer – well not only of the summer, but the entire year of 2020 is written, it will consist of nothing but disturbing events – and we still have the important U.S. presidential election to come later this year. 

Bubba! Can you imagine how that will resonate around the world, regardless of how it ends up! Ah Lord eh…! Will mankind ever learn? Or do we have to wait until Jesus comes back? It certainly seems like the last proposition is the correct one! (smile) And that brings us to this most appropriate poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. It’s titled ‘Divided Heart.’ 

Please pray with me: ‘Lord I am so often tormented By my lack of direction – So often disturbed By my divided heart. I am like a little child Who wants to rock her doll And jump rope at the same time. I want to obey You in part If I can choose the area of obedience. I want to be real except at those moments When compromise is more appealing. 

I want to be half-motivated And half-satisfied with things as they are. I want to walk a straight path If now and then I can enjoy A few side trips into the far country. I don’t want to be a miserable sinner But neither do I feel excited About being a stoic saint. I want to be partly Yours And partly my own. But in the secret chamber Of my divided heart I am so often disquieted By the pointed question “Why do you so foolishly Mix weeds with seed?” 

And yuh know what my friends, we all do just that! We want to sit on the fence and do a li’l to please God and a li’l to please ourselves. But the problem with that situation is that God doesn’t want our leftovers, or what we so generously choose to give Him. He wants ALL of us or NOTHING at all! Remember Jesus’ words as part of our discipleship: ‘For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?’ (Matt. 16:26) Those are very good questions that we should all consider my people! 

And Remember Jesus’ earlier advice: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) Yeh friends, if we seek God and His righteousness first, He will give us all the worldly things we need to make it comfortably in this world. Believe me, there are quite a lot of well off, even filthy rich Christians in this world, so it’s not like God isn’t generous when we try our best to walk the straight and narrow path and not sit churlishly on the fence. 

And remember also when Jesus prayed for the disciples… ‘I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them… They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them (set them apart) through thy truth: thy word is truth.’ (John 17: 9-10; 16-17) Yes friends, Jesus was very plain and straightforward about it. He knew we had to live in the world to do His will, but He did not want us to be a part of it. Instead, He desired of the Father that we be set apart for godly purposes! 

But because of our naturally sinful nature, we are so enamoured of the world and all its sinful things, so easily fooled by their pretty but false, empty and deceitful facades. Oh, I know it’s not easy to bypass all those outwardly beautiful things that the world favours, but as true followers of Jesus we must do our best to stay on the straight and narrow road. That’s why John in his first epistle seriously warns us. 

‘LOVE not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man LOVE the world, the LOVE of the Father is not in Him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.’ (1 John 2: 15-17) 

Oh my people, it couldn’t be put any clearer than that nuh! The world and all its supposedly beautiful things are run by the enemy and he wants nothing better than to get us saints of Christ, so bemused and in LOVE with his stuff that we forsake the things of God and thus besmirch or tarnish our godly reputation and testimony. But my people we need to be strong and ignore all the empty and false advances of the enemy. 

And to help us, hear this explanation of the scholars re Temptation. ‘2:16. Though all people are tempted differently according to their individual weaknesses, temptations follow patterns. They appeal to three fundamental areas of life: (1) the lust of the flesh (physical desires); (2) the lust of the eyes (personal desires); and (3) the pride of life (self-interests). 

Illustration: when Satan caused the fall of the race, he appealed to each of these areas of weakness (Gen. 3:6). He also appealed to them when he tempted Christ (Matt. 4:1-11), who defied Satan’s temptations by relying on the authority of the Scriptures. Application: The Christian today should also depend on the Scriptures to defeat temptation. (First Ref. Gen. 3:1-6; Primary Ref. 1 John 2:15-17; cf. Rom. 5:12.)’ 

And we all have been thus tempted, and it’s not always easy to refute or refuse them, but let’s hear our Lord and Saviour one more time. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Wow! What assurance my brethren! That means we can go home today in such good spirits declaring (steups!) our Tuesday Mantra. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘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!’ 

So what we waiting for eh? Let’s go and do just that nuh! Much LOVE!

…for where your treasure is…there will be your heart also… (Matt. 6:21) 

P.S. Don’t pay attention to the lateness, just check out the great substance! (smile) Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 July 2020 Psalm 27:14.

Psalm 27:14.     Wait (in faith) on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait (in faith), I say, on the Lord.
 

Oh my people, please sing this soulful ditty with me: ‘One Monday morning, I won’t be around to answer the call. Ohhh…One Monday morning, I won’t be here, to answer the tolling bells of work. (Repeat) But while I’m here…while God’s awesome breath of life, still surges through my body and soul, I’ll do my best, to answer the call, of those tolling work bells, on as many Monday mornings as I can.’ 

Yes my brethren, as true believers in Christ Jesus that should be our heart’s desire. (smile) Not the opposite reaction, hardening our hearts to the tolling work bells, as so many of us practice in these crazy times. As the ole people would say, ‘work never kill anybody yet nuh…. But plenty people die from starvation when they don’t work!’ 

But be that as it may, in these unprecedented times, when many of us are mired in anxiety and want because of all the stuff that’s happening, and some can’t work even though they want to, we have to look at the situation in an entirely different light. Nothing that’s happened before has prepared us for the complexities involved, so we have to come up with entirely new ways of handling it. And we know that this too shall eventually pass, the problem though is how and when is it going to pass, and what will be the resultant situation when it does? 

Unfortunately, there’s only one Being right now who knows the answers to those questions, our omnipotent God, but in His infinite wisdom, He’s not telling. So our best shot is to bow down, surrender our hearts and lives to the Creator and Controller of our great universe; the Supreme Being who created us from the dust of the earth, then breathed His Spirit of life into us, and earnestly pray that He will extend a helping hand to our troubled world. He has said that when problems overwhelm our finite minds, we should turn to Him to get His supreme wisdom and guidance. 

So as one strong voice, with sincere hearts, let’s invoke our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, asking for His mercy, grace and divine guidance in the worldwide problems that we’re now facing. ‘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. And our anxieties have been recently deepened because some restrictions have been lifted in the lockdown, so more of us are going out to work now without any guarantees of safety. 

Then to complicate matters Father, suddenly, and unexpectedly, just like the virus, worldwide strife and protests have also struck us in this sad time of pandemic, and we don’t have a clue how to handle either situation properly. Mass confusion is currently prevailing in our world, and we desperately need your help to solve both problems, as You are the ONLY One with the power and insight to successfully handle them. 

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 these scourges that are currently plaguing Your beautiful earth. Please help our leaders to wisely quell the strife and protests, thus bringing unity, peaceful consensus and real improvement in the areas that are now sadly lacking. Please help the scientists to also find a positive solution, a sure antidote to the virus as quickly as possible. And for those who have already contracted the virus, or been injured in the strife, we pray that You will ease their suffering and heal them. 

Father, 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!’ 

Yes friends, we’ve done the first part of our task; pray. The next part is to do whatever is in our power to help the situation, with faith and earnest expectation that our prayer will be positively answered in the near future. That brings to mind Bruh David’s prayer from Psalm 27 – The Lord is my light and my salvation. 

‘Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me. When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek. Hide not thy face far from me; put (turn) not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation. When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up (take care of me). 

Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain (smooth) path, because of mine enemies. Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty (violence). I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait (in faith) on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait (in faith), I say, on the Lord.’ (Ps. 27:7-14) 

Unfortunately, I can’t give any better advice than Bruh David’s my fellow saints in Christ. And it certainly worked for him, so I don’t see why it won’t work for us too. Much LOVE!

…in troubled times…God must be our FIRST refuge…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 July 2020 Acts 4:12.

Acts 4:12.     ​Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
 

It’s the Sabbath Day friends! And hear what the Lord had to say about its observance through the prophet Isaiah nuh. ‘If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places (hills) of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.’ (Is.58:13-14) 

Glory be mih people! That’s how important the Sabbath is to our God! So let’s be wise and do as He says nuh, so we can enjoy His delights; yuh know there’s nothing that compares to them! (smile) And as always, we begin with a song of praise and worship, today’s being the ever popular hymn ‘I Need Thee Every Hour.’ But before we get into it, here’s the story behind it, according to the website GodTube. 

Annie Sherwood Hawks was an American poet and gospel hymnist who wrote a number of hymns with her pastor, Robert Lowry. The hymn by which Hawks is most widely known, “I Need Thee Every Hour”, was written in 1872. It is said to have been translated into more foreign languages than any other modern hymn at the time of her death. Hawks stated: — “For myself, the hymn was prophetic rather than expressive of my own experiences, for it was wafted out to the world on the wings of LOVE and joy, instead of under the stress of personal sorrow.” 

Lowry, who wrote the music, went on to say: “I believe it was the expression of her own experience. It came to me in the form of five simple stanzas, to which I added the chorus to make it more serviceable. It inspired me at its first reading. It first appeared in a small collection of original songs prepared for the National Baptist Sunday-school Association, held in Cincinnati, Ohio in November 1872, and was sung on that occasion.” Now, knowing some of its history, let’s offer up our sacrifice of praise with strong, sincere, harmonious voices in a heartfelt and soulful rendition of this wonderful hymn. 

‘I need thee every hour, Most gracious Lord, No tender voice like thine, Can peace afford. (Chorus: I need thee oh I need thee, Every hour I need thee, Oh bless me now my Saviour, I come to thee.) I need thee every hour, Stay thou near by, Temptations lose their power, When thou art nigh (Chorus) I need thee every hour, In joy or pain, Come quickly and abide, or life is vain. (Chorus) 

I need thee every hour; teach me thy will, and thy rich promises in me fulfill. (Chorus) I need thee every hour, Most holy one, Oh make me thine indeed Thou blessed Son. (Chorus: I need thee oh I need thee, Every hour I need thee, Oh bless me now my Saviour, I come to thee. I need thee, Oh I need thee, Oh bless me now my Saviour, I come to thee…I come to thee…’ 

That was wonderful friends! And it is the living truth: we need Jesus so badly, that as He rightly says, without Him, we can do nothing. (John 15:5) And that’s the understatement of the ages! In the first place it’s only through Him that we can be saved. As Peter so boldly informed the high priest: ‘This is the stone which was set at nought (rejected) by you builders, which is become the head of the corner (chief cornerstone). Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.’ (Acts 4:11-12) 

And as the scholars explain: ‘4:12. The name of Jesus Christ is the centre of contention (vs. 7, 10, 12) and ever will be. Salvation for the Jew and Gentile alike is exclusively through the name of Jesus Christ (cf. John 14:6).’ And here’s what that amazing and true scripture says: ‘Jesus saith unto him (Doubting Thomas), I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.’ (John 14:6) What a confident proclamation! But it’s true, whether you believe it or not. 

And besides Jesus being our Saviour, He is also our Prince of Peace, through whom we get the divine peace that passes all understanding. (Phil. 4:7) Not the kind of peace that the world gives, but the one where we can rise above the circumstances that daily confront us. ‘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) What awesome reassurance! 

And don’t talk about comfort and rest…Jesus is the everlasting fount of those things. He promised us through the Great Invitation: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek and lowly in heart (gentle and humble): and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matt. 11:28-30) Oh friends, how can it be any plainer than that eh? 

And when we talk about comfort, we talking about His Holy Spirit that He sent to comfort us, to lead and guide us and help us have a close relationship with Him and the Father! Hear Him as He said to the disciples. ‘If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.’ (John 14:15-16) And that is exactly what He did. The Holy Ghost came on that Pentecost day after His ascension like a roaring wind with cloven tongues of fire and descended on the disciples and now indwells every believer! (Acts 2:1-14) 

Mama Yo! How then can we not need Jesus continually eh my people? He’s our ALL in ALL: Our God, Saviour, Prince of Peace, Comforter, Intercessor, High Priest, etc. etc.! Annie Sherwood Hawks definitely knew what she was talking about when she wrote that hymn! So in these difficult and dangerous times, let’s show true wisdom and come to Him in true trust and surrender nuh, for He is indeed the answer to ALL our prayers! Much LOVE!

…JESUS…the ONLY name…for One Stop Shopping…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 July 2020 Philippians 1:10.

Philippians 1:10.     ​That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ. 
 

Another glorious summer’s day has dawned in my area as we wish a Happy 4th of July to the U.S. of A! Let’s hope and pray that they will celebrate it in a safe and responsible manner and not foolishly increase the problems they are already experiencing. But as they say, a people without proper direction is doomed from the start, and furthermore, you get the kind of government you deserve. 

Nuff said. It’s Saturday, so let’s turn to those quotes of our friend Anselm which so many of you anxiously wait for all week. (smile) Let’s see what words of wisdom he has imparted this week as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And I think this first one is boss: ‘If you define the problem correctly, you almost have the solution.’ Although I wouldn’t go as far as to say that you have the solution, but you are definitely on the right track, for how can you solve a problem if you don’t know what it really is eh? 

And sadly, that’s where so many of us go wrong in these dangerous times; we set out to solve the problem without first considering its true aspects. Contrary to popular opinion, problems are like pains, they might seem to be coming from one spot, but are actually being caused by something in an entirely different spot. So please, let’s analyze our problems fully before we begin to solve them nuh. That’s wisdom for all the ages! 

Then there’s this: ‘Before you say you can’t do something…TRY IT.’ Now that’s also a useful behaviour. In these times of much laziness and entitlement, we’re quick to say we can’t do things without even considering them properly. And ofttimes all we need to do is apply a li’l elbow grease, or even some blood, sweat and tears. But who knows, or even cares about those nowadays eh? Not a whole lot of us! And it looks so bad on us believers when we just wave away actions because they seem difficult, especially when we like to spout about how we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us! 

Hn! With Christ in the picture, everything is possible, so we ought to shy away from stuff until we at least try them! That means this next quote is also important. ‘A relentless barrage of “why’s” is the best way to prepare your mind to pierce the clouded veil of thinking caused by the status quo. Use it often.’ I don’t know about ‘a relentless barrage,’ but we must always ask ‘why’ and ‘why not?’ Because that’s the easiest and best way to find out answers to our questions. 

The human mind must always be searching, always be reaching for higher levels, that’s how we advance our civilization. And a mind that is not constantly searching and growing, regardless of the body’s age, is one that is figuratively dead and dying, since it’s not being challenged. 

Yes, from the days of Adam and Eve, the status quo has been challenged by those small but rather powerful words, ‘why’ and ‘why not.’ That’s what Eve asked: ‘Why can’t we eat from the tree of life?’ And you know what happened after; the bottom fell out of the basket. That’s why it’s also important to consider who we ask those questions of, and seriously consider their answers, because we can easily get into a whole heap of trouble otherwise, just like Eve did. (smile) 

Now I don’t know what our friend Anselm is trying to do to me with this next quote nuh. ‘The thing is, continuity of strategic direction and continuous improvement in how you do things are absolutely consistent with each other. In fact, they’re mutually reinforcing.’ It might just be a bit too cerebral and philosophical for me. (smile) 

So let’s see. What I believe he’s saying is that one needs a strategic direction in one’s life, or whatever one is doing. That’s knowing where you’re going, or want to go, on a particular project, or over the long haul, but then as you grow and move in that strategic direction, you must also improve on how you do things. 

As we were saying above, the human mind must always be in a challenged mode for it to improve. And contrary to what some might believe, having a strategic direction and improving as you go along are not inconsistent desires, but actually complement each other. And that’s certainly true! It’s all about making good plans whether it be for a single project or for our lives, and improving them as we go along. You have to know where you want to go, and how you’re going to get there, before you embark on your journey. 

And that brings us to this last and most important quote: ‘Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.’ Oh my people, how I wish that that quote could enter the minds of our entire world today, because quality, in almost everything, has taken a marked decline down through the years. 

At one point things were built to last, but today they’re built to fall apart quickly so you need to buy a new one in a relatively short space of time. And even the more expensive stuff that’s supposed to be of better quality doesn’t always hold true to Confucius’ maxim: ‘cheap thing no good, and good thing no cheap.’ (smile) 

But friends, as true believers in Christ Jesus, that’s exactly what’s expected of us’ sincere efforts along with diligence and excellence of product, whatever it may be. Christ doesn’t do cheap and shoddy stuff! And Bruh Paul said it in so many words to the Philippian church. ‘And this I pray, that your LOVE may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgement; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ. Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.’ (Phil. 1:9-11) 

Yes friends, as believers we must think of things that really matter and do things in an excellent manner, for that is Jesus’ desire for His followers. And later on in his letter to the church at Philippi, Bruh Paul qualified it with these awesome words. ‘Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest (noble), whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise (anything praiseworthy), think (meditate) on these things.’ (Phil.4:8) 

I could not put it any better my people. So in these dangerous and uncertain times let’s get to practicing that kind of stuff nuh, it’s what is expected of us. Much LOVE!

…to follow Jesus…diligence and excellence…must be at the top of your list…

Previous Older Entries