Today’s Scrip-Bit   28 March 2023 Matthew 6:12.

Matthew 6:12. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

And then it was a sunshiny spring Tuesday morning. Yes friends, today is indeed sunshiny. Yesterday wasn’t, although that’s what I wrote. Ah Lord eh! The devil does as the devil does yes! Yesterday was a rainy day, but somehow or the other I wrote that it was sunshiny. And it wasn’t that I didn’t see and experience the rain first hand and didn’t read the Bit after I had written it. The problem was that I had begun writing the Bit before the rain started, so since it was nice and dry then, and the day before had ended up sunny, I assumed that yesterday was also going to be sunny, thinking that I’d rewrite the opening if it turned out differently. 

And it did turn out differently. But I didn’t rewrite the opening. Steups! And was I ever flabbergasted when I discovered the error after sending out the Bit. That’s why I don’t like prewriting anything. I’m sure my Scrip-Bit family living in my area must have wondered if I’d gone off my rocker, because the sun was nowhere to be seen. (smile) Now, I might be headed in that direction, but I promise you, I’ve not reached that far as yet. So, my most humble apologies for such an infantile mistake. And thank you ever so much for forgiving me. It only means that the ole fella is mortal and thus fallible. (smile) 

And I guess that since we’re on the topic of forgiveness, we might as well stay there, because forgiveness is one of the most important aspects of our Christian faith. And what is forgiveness? It can mean different things to different people, but it’s basically to let go of anger and resentment on being hurt or offended. But here is a good explanation from an article on the topic by Robert Enright, from the Greater Good Magazine website. 

He writes: ‘Forgiveness can be incredibly difficult. When another person hurts us, it can upend our lives. Sometimes the hurt is very deep, such as when a spouse or a parent betrays our trust, or when we are victims of crime, or when we’ve been harshly bullied. Anyone who has suffered a grievous hurt knows that when our inner world is badly disrupted, it’s difficult to concentrate on anything other than our turmoil or pain. When we hold on to hurt, we are emotionally and cognitively hobbled, and our relationships suffer. 

Forgiveness is strong medicine for this. When life hits us hard, there is nothing as effective as forgiveness for healing deep wounds. I would not have spent the last 30 years of my life studying forgiveness if I were not convinced of this. Many people have misconceptions about what forgiveness really means—and they may eschew it. Others may want to forgive, but wonder whether or not they truly can. Forgiveness does not necessarily come easily; but it is possible for many of us to achieve, if we have the right tools and are willing to put in the effort.’ 

And right there is the crux of the problem: having the tools and being willing to put in the effort. And if we call ourselves Christian, believers in Christ, then we have the tools  and we better had have the effort, or else our witness will be immaterial and be burned up in the time of judgement like it was based on straw, hay or stubble. And why is that you ask? Because forgiveness is one of the very tenets on which our Christian faith is based. Christ came to earth specifically to die to pay for our sins, so that we could be forgiven by our heavenly Father, and thus be reconciled to Him, once again become sheep in His fold. 

And Jesus said quite clearly in His teaching on prayer, when He gave the disciples and us a sample of what our prayer ought to be like, what we call ‘The Lord’s Prayer.’  In the midst of it He stated: ‘And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’ (Matt. 6:12) Now why would Jesus put something like that in there eh? Because as we just said, it’s of the utmost importance in our faith. And after the prayer, He showed us why. ‘For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matt. 6: 14-15) 

Yes, my fellow believers, it‘s as simple as that. If we don’t forgive those who hurt us, our heavenly Father won’t forgive us. He’s made it a cardinal rule of His kingdom. In other words, He’s saying, if I can LOVE you so much, want to forgive your abominable sins so much, that I can break my heart to send my only Son to die in your place, then the least you can do is to also forgive those who hurt you. And yes, it’s all based on the mighty, unconditional LOVE of the Father, for us, His sinful children. Bruh Paul puts it best when he wrote to the church at Rome. ‘But God commendeth (demonstrated) his (own) LOVE toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom. 5:8) 

Yes, He didn’t wait for us to come to him, He came to us. That demonstrates great LOVE! And LOVE is the main tool we have to use in forgiveness. That’s LOVING God, ourselves and our neighbours enough to forgive. And these two paragraphs from that article by Robert Enright quoted above, show us how important the act of forgiveness is, especially to us. 

He says: ‘Forgiveness is about goodness, about extending mercy to those who’ve harmed us, even if they don’t “deserve” it. It is not about finding excuses for the offending person’s behavior or pretending it didn’t happen. Nor is there a quick formula you can follow. Forgiveness is a process with many steps that often proceeds in a non-linear fashion. But it’s well worth the effort. Working on forgiveness can help us increase our self-esteem and give us a sense of inner strength and safety. It can reverse the lies that we often tell ourselves when someone has hurt us deeply—lies like, I am defeated or I’m not worthy. Forgiveness can heal us and allow us to move on in life with meaning and purpose. Forgiveness matters, and we will be its primary beneficiary.’ 

Yes friends, when we forgive, we are the main beneficiary; our souls start to heal, we become more mature, and the Lord forgives us. We can’t ask for a better result than that. So please, let’s get on with the forgiving of others and ourselves nuh, cause it’s all for our benefit, and it pleases our heavenly Father! And for those of us who are sincerely working on it, lets’ go home declaring (awright!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting all and sundry know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. 

As one sincere voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with my immediate neighbours, as well as with the whole wide world! Glory be!’ 

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

…as always…whatever God tells us to do…it’s for our benefit…He’s said to forgive…so let’s forgive… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   27 March 2023 Psalm 107:1.

Psalm 107:1.          O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy (LOVING-kindness) endureth for ever.

Aye mih people, it looks like spring has really sprung this Monday morning in the last week of March. Once again, you can hear the joyful birds singing their sweet songs of morning praises to their Creator and giving their thanks for seeing another day. Now that’s what we should also be doing, because we have even more to be thankful for than the birds of the air. The sun’s up and shining brightly, and I believe the weather is above the freezing mark, giving us another reason to be glad for the air we breathe and God’s breath of life that’s energizing our souls, our bodies, and our spirits. 

And all of God’s children said a grateful and thankful: ‘Thank you Lord for your magnanimous gifts to your underserving children!’ That brings to mind the opening verse of Psalm 107: ‘O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy (LOVING-kindness) endureth for ever.’ (Ps. 107:1) And that’s the indisputable truth friends! God’s mercy (LOVING-kindness) is from everlasting to everlasting! That’s why we are still around to tell the tell the tale. 

Unfortunately though, not as many of us as should, do truly give God thanks for His mercy and goodness. Right now, so many people and situations are crying out for the removal of God from our society, but please think for a moment, if we actually got rid of God – which by the way will NEVER happen – what would become of us eh? We certainly can’t govern or rule ourselves. Just look at the mess we’re in right now, even with God somewhat in the picture. Can you imagine if there was no God to help us up when we falter and fall, like so many of us are doing? 

And what I can’t understand, is that we can’t fix our problems, but we don’t have the wisdom to turn to God, because our foolish pride and the devil’s goading is preventing us from doing so. Oh friends, I beg of you to listen and turn back to God. Please look at what’s happening to our world; the scary, unpredictable weather conditions, with more powerful hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and so many other natural disasters than we’ve ever known at one time. Not to mention, the pervasive drought and famine all over, the economic futility and poverty in a world of plenty. 

Then add the worldwide sickness and disease in a time when we’re transplanting hearts and other organs like it were child’s play, but the scourges of cancer and stress are still consuming our young in great numbers because of the food we eat and the lifestyle we live. We’ve put man on the moon and are tearing up and down in space, like it was our own backyard, while focusing on building ever bigger and more powerful weapons of mass destruction. No wonder there are wars and turbulent times all over. It’s almost impossible to find a place on the globe where there’s no strife and serious unrest. 

And yet we look down our noses at the Israelites who had God’s goodness surrounding them, but when they became prosperous turned away from Him because of foolish pride, believing they had engineered their prosperity on their strength. In Deuteronomy 8, Moses warned the Israelites of that very thing. But they didn’t listen, and it’s the very same thing we are doing today. We’ve entirely forgotten that it’s the Lord God Almighty who has given us the power to get wealth and prosperity. (Deut. 8:18) 

But the big difference between the Israelites and us is that when they suffered their disastrous times for turning away from God, they eventuallywoke up, realized their mistake and turned back to Him, and were reinstated in His mercy. But not us. We’re so modern and inventive, twenty-first century people, we don’t need some far away, nebulous being to handle our affairs. And that’s why all the negative stuff that’s currently overwhelming our world is going to continue, with Satan forcing us down further into the mire of darkness, until we either wake up and smell the roses, or our world implodes. 

We certainly cannot continue in this negative vein, without more disastrous things happening, because each one just fuels the other. Remember the basic law of God’s economy? You reap what you sow, more than you sow and later than you sow! And we’re already reaping the harvest of our earlier negative deeds, but one day, if we persist in this negative manner, we’re certainly going to reap the big boomerang. Remember, another law of nature is what goes around comes around. 

That’s why we should take these cathartic, cleansing and refreshing words of Psalm 107 very seriously. ‘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. Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron (prisoners): Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned (despised) the counsel of the most High: 

Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help. Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder (broke their chains in pieces). Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he hath broken the gates of brass (bronze), and cut the bars of iron in sunder.’ (Ps. 107: 8-16)  

Yes my people, that’s what the Lord did for the children of Israel, and what He will do for us if we get wise and ask Him. And there’s no better time to do that than right now! So, let’s go to the throne of grace, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn and place our petition before Him. Altogether now:  ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

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

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

And if we truly expect a positive answer from heaven, then now is time for us to keep our part of the covenant and turn from our evil ways. Much LOVE!

…God is the Creator and Controller of the universe… while we are only frail and fragile created beings…why do we keep forgetting that eh… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   26 March 2023 Luke 19:10.

Luke 19:10.        For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which is lost.

Well come on down friends, it’s Sunday, the Lord’s Day once more! That means fellowshipping in His sanctuary, for the giving of thanks and praise and receiving His divine blessings for the upcoming week. And I’m sure you’ll enjoy todays song, titled ‘I’m just a Nobody’ because it’s a Contemporary Christian tune that we’re going to do in a rocking, raunchy, good times version, similar to that of the Casting Crowns featuring Matthew West. There’ll be lots of clapping, dancing, and  of course singing. (smile) 

Without further ado then, let’s get rocking. And we’ll begin with some handclapping, in three fourths time, then sing the first line of the chorus three times acapella, then get into the full chorus as the music comes up. So here goes: ‘clap, clap: I’m just a nobody…clap, clap: I’m just a nobody…clap, clap: I’m just a nobody…’  And now the music comes in and everybody goes crazy: ‘I’m just a nobody, trying to tell everybody, all about Somebody, who saved my soul. Ever since You rescued me, You gave my heart a song to sing. I’m living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus! I’m living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus! 

Why you ever chose me, has always been a mystery. All my life, I’ve been told I belong, at the end of the line. With all the other “Not Quites” with all the “Never-Get-it Rights” But it turns out, they’re the ones You’ve been looking for all this time, Cause I’m just a nobody, trying to tell everybody, all about Somebody, who saved my soul. Ever since You rescued me, You gave my heart a song to sing. I’m living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus! I’m living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus! 

Moses had stage fright, and David brought a rock to a sword fight, You picked twelve outsiders, nobody would have ever chosen, and you changed the world. Well the moral of the story is, Everybody’s got a purpose. So when I hear that devil start talking to me saying, “Who do you think you are?” I say, I’m just a nobody, trying to tell everybody, all about Somebody, who saved my soul. Ever since You rescued me, You gave my heart a song to sing. I’m living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus! I’m living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus! 

So let me go down, down, down in history, as another blood-bought faithful member of the family. And if they all forget my name, well, that’s fine with me. I’m living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus… So let me go down, down, down in history, as another blood-bought faithful member of the family…That’s all I ever want to be… 

And if they all forget my name, well, that’s fine with me. I’m living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus… Cause I’m just a nobody, trying to tell everybody, all about Somebody, who saved my soul. Ever since You rescued me, You gave my heart a song to sing. I’m living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus! I’m living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus! I’m living for the world to see…Nobody but Jesus!’ 

Now didn’t that up-tempo bit of worship gladden your soul, put some pep in your step? Of course it did! And that’s what happens when we celebrate the wonderful ministry of Jesus. One commentary says: ‘The lyrics describe how God uses ordinary people to spread the Gospel of Jesus! We are all flawed, yet the Lord has a purpose for us. In our joy of having been forgiven, we excitedly point to the forgiver, Jesus Christ!’ 

And that’s the undeniable truth! When Jesus takes us up from what ever lowly place we’ve fallen and causes us to be reconciled to the Father, forgiven, justified, sanctified and all the other marvellous things His death and resurrection did for us, it’s hard not to be filled with joy; His joy, that then makes us want to go and tell EVERYBODY about what He’s done for us! And as the song says, Jesus has indeed been looking for all the “Not Quites” with all the “Never-Get-it Rights.” That’s the ones who are lost, fallen through the cracks and are wallowing in the mire of darkness of Satan and his sinful doings. 

He made it very clear that He came to save and not to condemn when He said: ‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:17) And furthermore, He was mostly interested in the sick, the lost and suffering as He declared (chuh man!!!) several times. For example, when He ate at the house of Zaccheus, the publican. Zaccheus repented after lunching with Jesus. ‘And Jesus said unto him. This day is salvation come to this house forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which is lost.’ (Luke 19:9-10) 

He also told His audience the parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son, noting that the owners of the lost sheep and coin searched diligently for what they had lost, while the Father of the prodigal son was always on the lookout for his lost boy coming back home, so he saw him as soon as he crossed the horizon, ran an hugged him and forgave him and made a celebration on his return. Likewise the owners of the lost cheep and coin also had celebrations when they found their lost property. (Luke 15) 

And in the midst of those parables, Jesus made the following observation twice. ‘I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just (upright) persons, which need no repentance. (Luke 15:7) And then three verses later Jesus again declares (yesss!!!): ‘Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.’ (Luke 15:10) 

And if you still don’t believe that Jesus came for the lost and hurting souls, then listen to Him again, this time after the scribes and Pharisees murmured against Him for eating and drinking with the publican (tax collector) Levi and other sinners. ‘And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole (healthy) need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.’ (Luke 5:31-32) 

Yes my fellow saints Jesus came to save those that are lost, those who cannot help themselves, so if you are amongst that unfortunate lot, then please, I urge you to look to Jesus and take His free offer of salvation through the gift of grace, asap! It will be the wisest decision you’ve ever made, and can ever make. Much LOVE!

…ONLY in Jesus…can one find…one’s lost soul… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   25 March 2023   1 Thessalonians 5:18.

1 Thessalonians 5:18.        In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Well, well, what a wet and gloomy Saturday morning! But to some of us, it’s the most appropriate weather if we plan to spend a lazy, indolent Saturday, one averse to any activity whatsoever. (smile) On the other hand, that type of weather might just lead some of us to a sad, sorrowful, discouraged mood, especially if we already have circumstances or situations that are tending to such a negative mindset. And furthermore, with the negative, evil and ungodly times in which we’re living, many of us do have that niggling sense of uncertainty and doubt already eating away at our souls. 

And though, as true children of God, we’re not supposed to let the dark sides of our nature triumph over the light of Jesus in us, it’s not always easy to do. So, to help us in that undertaking, today I want to share a few words on the subject of ‘Discouragement,’ from Dr. Robert H. Schuller’s book, Hour of Power. The particular piece is most appropriately titled, ‘Don’t Get Discouraged.’ I’m sure that I’ve shared it before, but I do believe that the time has come to share it again. (smile) It was written for a time such as this, and we can all, always use a pleasing word on discouragement. 

So please read and inwardly digest with me. ‘Do not be discouraged if you do not accomplish everything that you set out to accomplish. Surely if you do not expect to succeed you will hold back your full power, investment and enthusiasm. Immediately the kind of people who could help to move you on to victory begin to draw back. Your conservative and cautious attitude will reflect itself in an anxious look on your face that will disturb and discourage people from helping you. 

There are two major reasons why people fail. Both stem from a lack of mountain moving faith. (1) People who fail are often people who are indecisive. They cannot make decisions swiftly and surely. The fast-moving opportunity is past before they decide – too late – to take hold. (2) Then some decisive people fail because after making the decision, they fail to move forward with an expectant confidence. They grab the opportunity, only to lose nerve, get cold feet, and begin to wonder if they have done the right thing. They have gripped the plow but now they are looking back. Want to be a success? Develop the ability to appraise opportunities intelligently, seize opportunities swiftly, and promote these opportunities confidently.’ 

Wow friends! I couldn’t have said it any better myself. (smile) And if you all know anything about Dr. Schuller, you’ll know that he was a man who tried to practice what he preached, and thus built the Crystal Cathedral in California, the largest all glass building in the world at the time. Everybody said it couldn’t be done, but by his tenacity and mountain moving faith, he got it done. And if you don’t know what mountain-moving faith is, then listen to him tell it in what He called ‘The Possibility Thinker’s Creed.’ 

Please read with me again. ‘When faced with a mountain, I will not quit! I will keep on striving until I climb over, find a pass through, tunnel underneath, or simply stay and turn the mountain into a gold mine – with God’s help.’ Yes my brethren, that’s what mountain-moving faith is all about. Never giving up. Always finding a way, with God’s help! And I just want to let us know that in these trying and very turbulent times we can always find a way out of or through our difficulties with God’s help. Remember He hasn’t given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, LOVE and of a sound or disciplined mind, that’s self-control. (2 Tim. 1:7) 

So we’ve no need to fear, as Jesus told us so many times, neither should we get discouraged, which is the very basis of the Bible. We have an omnipotent God and a Saviour who is always there for us. They will not always bail us out of every difficult situation completely, but if they don’t, then they will enable us to go through them so that we can grow and become more mature believers. For we only grow when we go through difficult situations. The problem though is that we’ve become so soft and flaccid with the good life that we’re now accustomed to, that most of us can’t imagine going through tough times, and when tough times do come, we quickly fall apart. 

In other words, we take our hands off the plough and look back, which automatically disqualifies us. But let’s recall some appropriate scriptures nuh, that ought to help us deal with our fears and doubts. As Dr. Schuller said so correctly in his discourse, one of our major problems is anxiety, that’s an overshadowing feeling of doubt, and possible failure. But please listen to these ever so encouraging words that Bruh Paul wrote to the church at Philippi. 

‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing; But in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:6-7) Yes friends, our first move in any situation should always be to our great and wonderful God. And please, don’t be restrained by the foolish thinking that God’s not interested in our affairs. It’s the exact opposite: He is interested in EVERY SINGLE THING THAT CONCERNS US! Be it very big or very small, and is willing to help in ALL circumstances. 

It’s therefore to our benefit to take all our problems to God in prayer. And as Bruh Paul wrote to the Thessalonians: ‘Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess. 5:16-18) Oh my fellow saints, that is indeed God’s will for us through Christ Jesus! Why do you think He sent Jesus to be our Lord and Saviour eh? So that we could be reconciled to Him and have good relationships and communication with Him. 

Remember, one of the main reasons God created us in the first place, was to have a good relationship with Him. But the spectre of sin raised its ugly head and separated us. However, since God LOVED us so much, He sent His only Son Jesus to die on the cross at Calvary so that we could be saved and thus return to His fold, to a good relationship. Jesus Himself said it in John 3:16. ‘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.’ What more do we need to hear or see to believe that the Lord LOVES us in all sincerity and truth eh?  

And there’s no better way to end today than with this all-encompassing promise that the Lord made long ago to the children of Israel as they were in the wilderness slowly wending their way to the Promised Land.. ‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Deut. 31:8) And we all know that He kept that promise, seeing the Israelites through numerous problems, most of them caused by their rebellious and disobedient attitude, and finally brought them into the Promised Land. 

He will do the same for us, if we stay obedient to His commandments and do His holy will. It’s all up to us. Yes my people, the ball is now in our court, please let’s make good use of it. Much LOVE!

…the Lord’s provided all we’ll ever need…it’s up to us to claim it… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   24 March 2023 Matthew 7:21.

Matthew 7:21.Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Well, here we are again on another new day, filled with God’s new mercies and compassions. But since this is Friday, the end of the work week, which we look forward to so much, on account of the couple of days off from work, when it finally arrives, we offer special thanks for it. ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday!’ And that’s an utterance heard all around the world. Whether it’s a sincere prayer or not, well that’s another question. (smile) 

But let’s get down to business. Yesterday, we promised that if the Lord gave us life and strength to see today, then we’d continue looking at some of the last things Christ said in his Sermon on the Mount. We spoke of the two foundations on which to build our lives, Jesus, the Rock, and Satan, the sinking sand. Also of the two paths that we can take in living this earthly life: the strait and narrow road that leads to Jesus and eternal life, or the broad and wide way which leads to hellfire, damnation and eternal separation from Almighty God. 

Then we ended on the note about the false prophets who come around to entice us into sin and following the wrong path. And unfortunately, just as back in Jesus’ time there were many of those false prophets, that Jesus referred to as sheep in wolves clothing, there are many of them today too. Those preachers who have denied or distorted the truth of the gospel, and we follow them to our own demise. But thankfully, Jesus, with His great skill as a Teacher, didn’t just tell us about the false prophets and leave us hanging there. 

No. He also gave us a way to divine them. He says: ‘Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil (bad) fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil (bad) fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast in the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.’ (Matt. 7:16-20) 

Yes friends, the true test of a prophet or preacher is their fruit. In other words, their conformity to the scriptures, both by their doctrines and the actions of their lives. And we see what happens to the false prophet. His unfruitful life causes him to be cut down and thrown into hellfire, eternal punishment. Now there’s one last thing to talk about today. That concerns these very important words of Jesus. 

‘Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in thy name have cast out devils (demons)? and in thy name done many wonderful works (miracles)? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.’ (Matt. 7:21-23) 

That’s the gospel truth my brethren, and it is a tough nut to crack. But as the scholars explain: ‘Not everyone professing Christ is genuinely saved. Even the outward verbal acknowledgement of His Lordship is in itself not enough to save the unbeliever apart from true repentance and faith. A genuinely saved person is one that doeth the will of my Father. That means continually living in obedience to the will of God as the normal course of his life.’ 

End of story my people. We can talk and carry on about Jesus all we want, but at the end of the day, if our fruit is not good, and we haven’t been doing God’s will on a steady basis, our witness will not be recognized. Yes, it’s simple to believe in Jesus, but it takes a concerted, serious and total effort to live sincerely for Him. As Bruh Paul, when talking about God’s Righteous Judgement, says in his letter to the Roman church: ‘For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.’ (Rom. 2:13) 

Now, there’s neither time or space to get into all the scripture surrounding that verse, but the scholars’ explanation will suffice. ‘God can judge on the basis of works because He is impartial and because the law is immaterial. The Gentile will not be judged on the basis of the Jews’ law, and the Jew will not be excused by the Gentiles’ lack of law. Works demonstrate the heart’s true condition. Conscience is sufficient grounds for condemnation because it establishes a framework of right and wrong and reflects the law written in their hearts.’ 

That means having the Holy Spirit living in us to lead and guide us into all righteousness and truth, is a sufficient basis on which the Lord can judge us. And it brings us to these similar words of James. ‘But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word , and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding (observing) his natural face in a glass (mirror): For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (what he does).’ (James 1:22-25) 

Oh friends, it all comes right back to Jesus’ statement: ‘Ye shall know them by their fruit.’ Whether we be Gentile or Jew, false prophet or true, our works will speak voluminously about the state of our hearts. And no, we won’t get salvation by our works, because that’s only available as a free gift of God’s grace, and we must believe, but what happens after we believe eh? God needs to see the fruit of our belief from a true heart, not just works for works sake. That means earthly works will have some say in our heavenly rewards. But the works must be built on the foundation of Jesus, because, as Bruh Paul says, all works will be tried by fire, and only those found to withstand the fire will be rewarded. (1 Cor. 3:10-15) 

Now, let’s go to the throne of grace, in prayer, through our Friday Chant asking for divine guidance and wisdom to help with our many problems. As one voice: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the confusion and anxiety caused by the pandemic and our many other serious problems. We can’t fix them on our own Lord, so we desperately need your help. Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat the simmering unrest in our land. 

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

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

Now, it’s time to sincerely keep our part of the covenant, so that God can keep his. Much LOVE!

…living for Christ calls first for belief…then showing it in good works… 

P.S. Yes, it’s long…but it’s early…and oh so LOVERLY! (smile) Much LOVE!

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   23 March 2023 Matthew 7:15.

Matthew 7:15. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening (ravenous) wolves.

So it’s a wet and cloudy Thursday morning, hopefully a true harbinger of spring and not merely a date on the calendar that announces the beginning of that beautiful season of green. Yes, a couple of days ago, the calendar said that spring had finally sprung, but with the weather situation being so precarious and volatile, who knows what to expect these days. It’s a good thing that we have Jesus on whom to build a solid foundation, One who never changes, but is the same today, yesterday and forever! 

And it’s certainly sad that so many people choose not to believe in Him, after all He’s done for mankind. And like He so simply explained in some of His last words on the Sermon on the Mount. ‘Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them, I will liken them unto a wise man, which built his house upon a (the) rock (Jesus): And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a (the) rock (Jesus). 

And every one that heareth these words of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.’ (Matt. 7:24-27) 

Oh my fellow believers that is such a serious warning for all mankind, although it’s couched in simple everyday language, because Jesus is in fact saying, if we don’t build our lives on Him, the Rock of Ages, then our lives will not be very fruitful or worth anything. All we do or hold dear will be washed away when the inclement weather comes. However, when we build our lives on His words, then we will prosper and live the abundant life, despite all the inclement weather and disasters that occur. 

But there’s more to it than just believing. Remember Jesus first words in the above scripture: Whoever hears His sayings and does them. Now that’s the crux of the problem. Not only hearing His words, but much more importantly, doing them. So, let’s look at some of the things Jesus said that that we should pay attention to and do. 

The first thing we need to consider are His words re the Strait and Wide gates. He adamantly advised, seriously warned us to: ‘Enter ye in at the strait (narrow) gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait (how narrow) is the gate, and narrow (difficult or confined) is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’ (Matt. 7:13-14) 

Ah mih people, Jesus is simply saying that we must come through the narrow gate to reach the path that leads to eternal life. Unfortunately though, many are on the wide path that leads to destruction or eternal separation from Almighty God. And even worse, the gate that leads to eternal life is so narrow that only a few people find it. 

Let’s remember though that Jesus is indeed the gate and the way as He said in John 14:6. ‘I am the way the truth, and the life. No man cometh unto the Father but by me.’ And furthermore, God enables men to find that gate as He says in John 6:44. ‘No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.’

 So it’s obvious that if we want to spend eternity with, or even have a relationship with the Father, then it’s necessary to go through Jesus. Let’s understand that right up front. First we have to find the narrow gate and walk along the narrow path to get to Jesus. But then He also said: ‘Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening (ravenous) wolves.’ (Matt. 7:15) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘The warning Beware of false prophets fits appropriately with the concept of the two ways above. Since many are being led in the wrong way, they are obviously being led by the wrong people. False prophets were prevalent in the Old Testament, whereas God’s true prophets were often in the minority.’ 

And I’d like to add that it’s still the same today. Nothing much has changed in that respect. There are still more people preaching falsehood than those preaching the truth. You just have to listen to the numerous people supposedly spouting God’s word, and the different stuff they all are saying. If it’s the truth, everybody should be saying basically the same thing, which they are not. 

And as per false prophets appearing in sheep’s clothing, but are actually ravenous wolves, the scholars say: ‘This is a perfect description of those preachers who have denied or distorted the truth of the gospel. They look like lambs but act like wolves. Their description is similar to that of the great False Prophet in Revelation 13:11)’ Now, I would strongly advise us to take a look at that scripture and see how eerily similar that False Prophet would be to Jesus, being able to do miracles and such, though of an evil nature, but nevertheless quite capable of fooling us. 

Ah friends, there’s more I’d like to say on the above subjects, but we’re already late, and it will get too long, what with our short attention spans, (smile) so we’ll leave that for tomorrow, God willing of course. For those of us though, who are sincerely trying to live for Christ, the Lord has most generously bestowed several blessings on us to enable us to live that life. We call them our Thursday Blessings. So let’s declare (yesss!!!) them now, that they can be activated. 

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!’ 

Now, to show our sincerity, let’s go out and share those blessings with others, just as generously as Christ shared them with us! Much LOVE!

…living for Christ isn’t easy…but it sure brings deep and lasting joy… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   22 March 2023 Micah 6:8.

Micah 6:8. He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to LOVE mercy (LOVING-kindness), and to walk humbly with thy God.

And then it was Wednesday all over again! Thank the Lord! Ah friends, the days are rolling along, just like the Creator programmed them. They will continue to roll along as long as the earth exists, but we will not, because we have a finite time to experience the earth before we return to the dust from which we were made.  

As Bruh David says in Psalm 103: ‘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 (not remember it). But the mercy (LOVING-kindness) of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear (reverence) 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. 103:15-18) 

Yes my people, man’s life is unpredictable. He can be here today, then gone tomorrow. It all depends on the Lord’s plan. We grow up quickly and wither just as quickly. But while we are here, it behooves us, it is wise to enjoy the largesse of our great God. That means keeping His commandments, revering and LOVING Him, the way He desires us to. And what does all that mean, you ask? I think the prophet Micah puts it best, in simple language. ‘He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to LOVE mercy (LOVING-kindness), and to walk humbly with thy God.’ (Mic. 6:8). 

Yes friends, that is basically all that the Lord our God asks of us. To be just and merciful and walk humbly before Him. And yes, doing those things can get somewhat complicated and difficult at times, especially when we are goaded by the devil to do otherwise. But with the help of the Lord’s Spirit that dwells within us, we can do them, if we are serious about living for Christ. And possibly the most important of those three things listed above is to walk humbly before God. Why? Because there’s nothing the Lord dislikes as pride and a haughty nature, because it says that you don’t need Him. 

Remember Cousin Sol remarked in Proverbs that there are seven things the Lord dislikes, that He considers an abomination unto His Spirit. And the first is ‘A proud look or haughty eyes.’ But just for our information and remembrance, let’s check out all seven things the Lord considers abominable nuh. (smile) ‘A proud look (haughty eyes), a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations (devises wicked plans), feet that be swift in running to mischief (evil). A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.’ (Prov. 6:17-19) 

And yuh know what? Unfortunately, in these turbulent and disastrous times, our world is flooded with all those abominations. They are all ever so prevalent, because our current society is built on pride, lies, evil plans, the shedding of innocent blood, injustice, gossip, false witness and those who stir up trouble for their own evil and ungodly purposes. In other words, our current society is built on abomination in the Lord’s eyes. No wonder He’s allowing all sorts of misfortune and disaster to happen in our world. 

And we have gotten so big for our britches nowadays with the great advancements in our society, that we’ve come to the opinion that we no longer need God. Therefore, we are trying to get rid of Him. But that’s an impossibility. For He will not allow it. And we need to wake up and realize that, otherwise we’ll sink even further down into the mire of Satan’s evil world and draw even further away from God, until we end up eternally separated from Him, which I keep reminding us is the worst fate that can ever befall a human soul. 

And James, Jesus’ brother spelled out our current predicament very well way back then, when He wrote: ‘From whence come wars (conflicts) and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts (desires for pleasure) that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill (murder), and desire to have (covet), and cannot obtain: ye fight and war (battle), yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts (pleasures). Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of (with) the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will (wants to) be a friend of the world is (makes himself) the enemy of God.’ (James 4:1-4) 

Oh my fellow saints, unfortunately that is indeed the current state of our world. If James thought things were bad back in his time, he wouldn’t want to see them now. But while showing us the error of our ways, he has also instructed us in how to turn things around. Listen up as he writes. ‘Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy (yearns jealously)? But he giveth more grace, Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 

Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted (lament), and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness (gloom). Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. Speak not evil of one another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?’ (James 4:5-12). 

And is that ever the gospel truth! So now that we know our problems and the solution to them, it’s up to us change, or just remain with the ungodly status quo. But if we sincerely desire to see godly change, then we’ll begin doing those things that James has advised, like humbling ourselves, turning away from the lustful things of the world, stop speaking lies and doing evil, etc. etc. And for those of us who have already made that decision to live for God, let’s go home declaring (chuh!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our marvellous position in Christ Jesus. 

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 it’s been promised that if we endure right down to the very end with Jesus, that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine. And who doesn’t want to see a glorious future eh? So let’s endure nuh! Much LOVE!

…it’s ever so foolish to fight against God…on the side of Satan…an already vanquished foe… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   21 March 2023 Matthew 5:16.

Matthew 5:16. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Oh my people, it’s so good to be alive on this bright and sunshiny Tuesday morning, despite the chill in the air! There’s something about the shining sun that awakens, or raises up good vibes in our souls and spirits. I guess it’s just the goodness of our great and generous God that comes to the forefront when we see the sun. (smile) That’s why we need to offer a few words of thanks and praise for His wonderful kindness to us, His undeserving children. 

So please pray with me. ‘Lord, we give you thanks for allowing us to see another day on this earth, confused and ungodly as it might be. We ask for the grace and wisdom to allow your Holy Spirit to lead and guide us as we go about our daily tasks, doing your will and not ours. Help us to make a godly difference in our chaotic world. This we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.’ 

Yeh friends, do we ever need God’s grace and wisdom to be able to make a dent in the stranglehold that the enemy currently has on our world. I don’t know if evil and ungodliness has ever been so pervasive all over the globe as it now is. But it’s our job, as followers of Jesus to help turn that most undesirable situation around. And since evil is so prevalent, I know you’re wondering how we might accomplish such an apparently Herculean task. 

Well, the first thing to realize is that we can’t change it completely or soon, because the power of Satan on earth here is enormous. But we can make valuable inroads into the evil doing both on a small individual scale as well as on a larger scale as the church of Christ. As the communal church we cannot do a whole lot until we are united and not separated and bickering over mostly petty matters. 

And the enemy is using our disunity as a weapon against us, the usual divide and conquer routine. We are fighting amongst ourselves more than against the enemy, and if we spend our resources in internal struggle, then there won’t be much left to fight externally. Now, bringing the church back together is a huge task, which will take time and a lot of serious effort because it’s so divided. But we don’t have to wait for that to happen since individually we can also make a difference. 

Yes friends, as individuals, we simply need to go about our business in our neighbourhoods in a godly manner, be the salt and light that Christ desires us to be. Let’s recall His words, so that they can remind us of our duty. As is His wont, He explained the situation quite simply and clearly, when He said: ‘Ye are the salt of the earth, but if the salt have lost his savour (flavour), wherewith (by what) shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.’ (Matt. 5:13) 

And sadly, my fellow believers, for whatever reason or reasons, many of us have indeed lost our salty flavour and are of absolutely no use whatsoever to God’s kingdom. We’ve lost the zeal and passion we once had for Christ, through fear, unfortunate personal situations, or just simple laziness and lack of interest. And men are indeed figuratively trodding us underfoot because of our lacklustre Christian witness. But let’s remember Bruh Paul’s immortal advice and assurance to Timothy. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) 

Now that ought to keep us grounded and rooted in the power of God. And if, or most likely, when fear does come calling, we send faith to answer it’s call. Jesus said it several times, ‘Fear not, Fear not!’ And He wrapped it up with these mighty words of reassurance. ‘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) And I know that’s sound good in theory, but it’s not always easy to do in real life, but when we do encounter fear, then we need to go to God and ask for His help, not just sit around moping, and wallow in the mire of fear. 

So, my fellow believers, it’s of the utmost importance that we regain our saltiness, regain that beautiful flavour we had for Christ, because He also said that ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket), but on a candlestick (lampstand); and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:14-16) 

Unfortunately too my brethren, we seem to have also lost our light, so obviously we cannot shine for Christ. How sad it is that so many of Christ’s followers have lost both their salt and their light! What then is to become of Christ’s Great Commission eh? Where we are to go into the world and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them all that Jesus taught us? (Matt. 28:19-20) 

It’s obvious that we can’t do it if we’ve lost both our salty flavour and our bright shining Christian light. Consequently, Christ’s mission to save the world is not doing as well as it ought to, since we, His missionaries and ambassadors, agents and disciples are not doing the job we have signed up to do. That’s why the evil enemy has such vast power on the earth. 

So today friends, I’m asking, pleading with us to get back our salt and light, so that we can do the work we pledged to do when we became Christians. That means replenishing, refreshing, renewing our acquaintance with our heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ, then allowing the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us in all truth. And there’s no better time for this awakening than in this season of Lent, the time our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ spent in the wilderness, fasting and praying, preparing for His earthly ministry. All heaven would be joyful if we sincerely renewed our commitment to Christ. 

And for those of us who have already done that, let’s go home declaring (steups!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. As one voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with my immediate neighbours, as well as with the whole wide world! Glory be!’ 

Now, let’s go out and action those statements, by sharing the LOVE and friendship of Christ with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…without salt and light…we cannot truly live for Christ…  

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   20 March 2023 Psalm 23:1.

Psalm 23:1. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

Oh friends, on this sunny but chilly Monday morning, we want to open with some monumental news! Yes, it is a momentous occasion! One where we hear and understand that The Bible is God’s Word to us. That it is still fresh through all the ages, and if we read it, we will find God’s exceptional wisdom on its pages! Wow! What magnificent news that is my people! Because it means that all of us who are sincerely seeking wisdom just have to read the Bible, God’s Word to find it. 

Yes friends, wisdom is right at our finger tips, no further than the Bible that sits looking pretty on your desk or table, but is truly gathering dust, since you don’t read it. And by the way, here’s this other piece of monumental information: One truth from the Bible is worth more than all the wisdom of man! That’s worth another Wow! Yes mih bredrin! Imagine that nuh. One li’l truth from God’s Word is worth more than all of man’s wisdom! Meaning to say that man’s wisdom is not worth very much, especially when compared to God’s.

 So why then do we all insist on learning and spouting the wisdom of man and not God’s eh? If man’s wisdom is worth so little, we should all be hungry and thirsting for the wisdom found in God’s Word. But to get that means reading God’s Word, the Bible, which so many of us claim to be too busy to do. That’s why so many of us are unwise in an unwise world, because the world doesn’t value God’s Word and His immortal and infinite wisdom. 

And it’s the basic answer to all of the earth’s problems. If you ignore the Word of the Creator of the universe and all therein, and the amazing truths it contains, how can you ever live a successful life, either individually or communally? No way Jose! The fly in the ointment here is that in addition to His Word, God also gave us free will to do as we please, sincerely hoping though that we’d be wise enough to read His Word and then follow His plan for our lives. But unfortunately, too many of us are trying to do it our own way without God’s help, and that is a sure and perfect recipe for disaster. 

Jesus Christ. God’s Son, whom He sent to earth to help us see the light said it quite simply and clearly. ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33) Now that’s one of the essential truths of God’s Word. If we seek His kingdom and His righteousness before anything else, then we will have all our needs fulfilled. How did Bruh David put it in that marvellous psalm that we all know and revere with our mouths but not our hearts: ‘The Lord is my shepherd: I shall not want.’ (Ps. 23:1) 

And what does a shepherd do for his sheep eh? ‘A shepherd is committed to a flock and the one responsible for guiding the sheep, protecting them, and attending to their needs. So, to serve as a shepherd means to demonstrate commitment to the well-being of other people. It involves watching out for them, helping them, and teaching them.’ Therefore, that means if the Lord God Almighty is our shepherd, then He is thoroughly committed to our well-being. And His Son Jesus Christ said it in so many words. ‘I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ (John 10:11) 

And that’s exactly what He did; gave His sinless life on the cross of Calvary so that we, His sheep could be saved, could have victory, salvation and eternal life. So why is it so difficult to follow him eh? So hard to read God’s Word, believe it and then live it, despite all the marvellous examples of great men of God laid out in that Good Library, we call the Bible? I truly don’t know. Instead, we’re all going crazy for the things of the world and its evil doings, which don’t truly satisfy, and therefore we have to continually run them down, regardless of how much we have already accumulated. 

But friends, here is another word of wisdom for us. When you live for Christ, you don’t have to run down anything because God’s favour, grace and blessings run you down! But I guess we all have to find out the uselessness in running down the things of the world for ourselves before we believe. Meanwhile, here are the words of Bruh David, who as we all know personally lived them, and consequently experienced the joy of God’s favour. Hopefully, hearing them again will light a spark in our own souls and lives and wake us up to the reality that God, through Jesus Christ is the ONLY WAY to go. 

Please read with me: ‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me: thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil: my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.’ (Ps. 23: 1-6) 

Oh friends, if we look at all the things Bruh David wrote there, we will see that he experienced it all. His life wasn’t easy, but God never promised us an easy life. He promised us a full, abundant and interesting one. And that’s a big part of our problem as believers. We think that because we’re following Jesus, life should be easy. But that’s the furthest thing from the truth, because Jesus said it quite clearly. ‘If any man will come after (follow) me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me.’ (Luke 9:23) That doesn’t mean easy living my brethren, but rather a sacrificial sense of purpose, because Christianity was not made for cowards. 

So now that we’ve acquired some godly wisdom, (smile) let’s go to God, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn and place all our problems before Him, as He’s said in His Word that we ought to do. Altogether now: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

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

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

And having said all of that, it now behooves us to turn our words into sincere action, so that the Lord can do His part. Much LOVE!

…if you’re seeking wisdom…why go anywhere else than to the fountainhead…Almighty God…

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   19 March 2023 Hebrews 13:5.

Hebrews 13:5.           Let your conversation (conduct) be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. 

Well, a good mildly snowy Sunday morning to you, my fellow believers in Christ Jesus! It’s oh so wonderful that we could gather in the Lord’s sanctuary to praise, worship and give thanks to our magnificent and ever-LOVING Creator! We are indeed blessed to have such a marvellous God in whom we can put our utmost trust and faith, knowing that He LOVES us unconditionally and will never leave us, nor let us down. He’s said that several times in His word. 

Moses said it on the Lord’s behalf to the children of Israel. ‘And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.’ (Deut.31:8) Then the Lord said it Himself to Joshua when He made him leader of the Israelites after the death of Moses. ‘Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.’ (Josh. 1:9) 

Now it couldn’t be any more explicit or reassuring than that, coming from the Lord Himself! It’s one of my favourite scriptures. I like how the Lord spoke to Joshua man to man, with no beating about the bush. (smile) And that’s how He usually speaks to all of His people.  And for good measure, the author of Hebrews wisely advises us: ‘Let your conversation (conduct) be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Heb. 13:5) 

And if that doesn’t satisfy your fearful spirit, then I don’t know what will. (smile) But now we’re moving on to our song of worship for today, one that’s not so old, less than a century, written somewhere in the second half of the 20th century by two hit-making songwriters, Jimmy Duncan (1927-2011) and Johnny Lange (1905-2006). Amongst Duncan’s hits was the country and Western tune, ‘My Special Angel,’ sung by Bobby Helms. And Lange (actress Hope Lange’s father)  gave us that rollick song, ‘Mule Train,’ sung in that big voice of Frankie Lane. But only the old folks will remember those seminal tunes. 

And just for our background knowledge, it seems that the Mule Train was an important part of American History. ‘The Mule Train, a protest caravan as part of Martin Luther King and Ralph Abernathy’s Poor People’s Campaign, where protestors rode in covered wagons pulled by mules leaving Marks, Mississippi on 13 May 1968 to converge on Washington, D.C. It was part of Martin Luther King Jr.’s last major effort to mobilize impoverished Americans of different races and ethnic backgrounds.’ 

But enough background now. Let’s get to our today song, simply titled, ‘I asked the Lord.’  And likewise, the words are few and simple, but the sentiment is monumental. So let’s offer up today’s sacrificial praise in a soulful, mid-tempo, joyful version, for it is a song of joy. A lot of people sing it slow and dirge-like, but I like the Carroll Roberson version, which is more up-tempo, with some life in it. 

So, finally, let’s sing. ‘I asked the Lord to comfort me When things weren’t going my way; And He said to me, “I will comfort you And I’ll lift your cares away.” I asked the Lord to walk with me, when darkness was all that I knew; And He said to me “Never be afraid, and I will see you through.” 

I didn’t ask for riches, but he gave me wealth untold, The moon and the stars, the sun in the sky, and he gave me eyes to behold. I thank the Lord for everything, and I count all my blessings each day; For He came to me when I needed Him, I only had to pray. And He will come to you, if you ask Him to, For He’s only a prayer away. And He will come to you, if you ask Him to, For He’s only a prayer away. Yes, He’s only a prayer away.’ 

And isn’t that the living truth my fellow saints! Our God is only a prayer away! All we need to do to contact Him is pray. Wow! It’s instant communication! Not even the faster computer or internet service has instant response. They all take some time to deliver their message, but with our God, He receives it right away. Sometimes we don’t even have to speak it, just think it and away it goes to heaven! Ah friends, I don’t know how to truly bring home to us the great importance of prayer and trusting our wonderful God. But the song says it all. 

When He’s asked for comfort He provides it. Bruh Paul states it thus in his second letter to the church at Corinth. ‘Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble (tribulation), by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.’ (2 Cor. 1:3-4) Mama oh Mama! How wise and beautiful is that eh? Our God comforts us so that we can turn around and comfort others with that same comfort He proffered to us. 

And as per walking with us when we’re alone and or afraid, we’ve already seen at the beginning, scriptures where the Lord promised to be with His people, all the time, so they need not be afraid or fear to be forsaken. And I truly LOVE the awesome generosity of our God. The person in the song says that they didn’t ask for riches, but He gave them wealth untold. This time in the form of eyes to see the moon and stars and the sun in the sky. But remember what the Lord did for Cousin Sol when he became king after Bruh David? 

In 1 Kings 3, The Lord appeared to him and asked him what he wanted. With a wisdom far greater than his 12 years, Cousin Sol asked for wisdom and guidance, an understanding heart to rule the people. And it so pleased the Lord that Cousin Sol had asked for wisdom and understanding, rather than riches and long life and the life of his enemies, He gave Him what he’d asked for: ‘a wise and understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.’ (1 Kin. 3:12) 

He also gave him what he didn’t ask for; ‘riches and honour: so that there shall not be any (one) among the kings like unto thee all thy days. And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen (prolong) thy days.’ (1 Kin. 3:13-14) That’s why Cousin Sol is known as the wisest and richest man ever! And that’s how generous our God can be when we please Him, when we walk in His ways. 

Now there are a couple of things I’d like us to note before we close. The person in the song states that he counts his blessings each and every day. And that’s a habit we should all acquire asap, because it pleases God to see that we’re thankful, and it also reminds us of God’s generosity while encouraging us to put our faith and trust in Him. The second point is that all it took to get those excellent results was prayer. Yes, God answers sincere prayer. And whatever your situation today, He’s only a prayer away. And if you don’t remember anything else, please remember that! It will serve you in very good stead. Much LOVE!

you want to move God…then open up your heart…and pray…

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