Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 April 2020 Revelation 3:19.

Revelation 3:19.    ​As many as I LOVE, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
 

So we’ve rolled into ‘Holy Week’ where we see Jesus go through a rather intense and emotional time, knowing that the occasion He was born for, His essential task, was close at hand. He knew it would all lead to a setta ‘sufferation’ on our behalf, ending with His crucifixion on the old wooden cross on Calvary’s Hill on Good Friday. And it’s struck me as being somewhat symbolic that at the same time Jesus is going through His adversity, this year, we are also going through some of the roughest times we’ve ever experienced in the world, with this Covid-19 virus situation. 

We’re locked down, with our lives in serious jeopardy and essentially in limbo, keeping away from others, no work and no pay, the streets are for the most part empty of both humans and traffic, people are sick and dying, some can’t even get attention for illnesses because the Health System can’t handle it. Panic, anxiety and fear are rampant, and we can’t get any sure and true answers to when and where and how it will all end because no one really knows. It even seems like a more fearful and disastrous time worldwide, than during the two world wars we fought in the early part of the last century. 

At least then we knew our enemy and what weapons it would take to defeat Him, but in this time of ‘germ warfare’ which has hit us so unexpectedly, we have no real knowledge of it, even where it came from, much less a cure for it. And I’ve said all of that, just to ask this question: do we see the mysterious moving of the Father’s hand in it all? I think we should, because I firmly believe that this is a worldwide wake-up call for confession and repentance. And even if it’s not, then the wisest move we can make is still to turn back to God and confess our manifold sins and wickedness, for there’s no doubt that the current state of mankind is possibly at the most evil and sinful level it’s ever been. 

Please friends, let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that the omnipotent God, who still sits on His heavenly throne and still controls the world He created, will allow us to get away indefinitely without some kind of chastisement for our blatant disregard of His rules and regulations and foolish, futile attempts to remove Him from our society? Remember the Lord LOVES all whom He has created with a deep and burning, never-ending LOVE, and He doesn’t want to lose even ONE of His most valuable creations to the enemy. So if we step out of His will for too long, it’s only expected that He will try to correct us, to bring us back into line. 

This scripture tells the story of God’s discipline: ‘For consider him (Jesus) that endured such contradiction (hostility) of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds (become discouraged). Ye have not yet resisted unto blood (bloodshed), striving against sin. And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children (sons), My son, despise not thou the chastening (discipline) of the Lord, nor faint (be discouraged) when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord LOVETH he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?’ (Heb. 12:3-7) 

Unfortunately, in this soft and irresponsible world the answer to that question is too many sons are not chastened, and that’s partly why our world is in such a sinful mess. Remember Cousin Sol’s words of wisdom: ‘He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that LOVETH him chasteneth him betimes (promptly)’ (Prov.13:24) Yes friends, LOVE and discipline go together. And not sparing the rod doesn’t necessarily mean child abuse as so many of us preach today, then wonder why our children have turned out the way they are, and hence the behaviour in our society is less that satisfactory. 

So yes, I do believe it’s a warning, and a serious one at that. It could mean that the Lord is just tired with our sinful shenanigans, or that Christ is coming back sooner than we expect, or even both. Anyway friends, please, I implore us, let’s take this next scripture to heart nuh, these immortal words of Jesus to John in his vision of revelation. ‘As many as I LOVE, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.’ As always, Jesus puts it as plainly and simply as possible. So let’s take His wise advice and do that right now nuh, by coming to God in sincere prayer, declaring our Covid-19 Monday Morning Battle Hymn. 

All together now: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive, and hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. Despite the crucial lockdown, those of us considered essential, still have go to work, and we’re somewhat fearful, because we have no idea, how, when and where the virus might strike. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. 

That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction. Please show us how to successfully handle this scourge that’s plaguing the earth, and help the scientists to find a positive solution, a sure antidote to it as quickly as possible. 

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

Now let’s hold true to that promise, for remember Cousin Sol says the worst thing we can ever do is to make a vow to God and not keep it. Better not to have made it at all. (Eccl. 5:4-5) Much LOVE!

…Jesus is standing at the door of our hearts knocking…please, please…let’s open them and let him in nuh…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 April 2020 Isaiah 40:1.

Isaiah 40:1.    ​Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.
 
Well Friday’s rolled around again friends. What’s happening eh? I guess it’s the same old, same old. No work for most, too much for a few, and very little play for anybody. But for the foreseeable future, that seems to be the new state of affairs, so we’d better get accustomed to it. And since it’s Friday, let’s get straight to the workingman’s song, because he’s just dying to get a word in sideways. (smile)

 ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday and the weekend here! But is not the same nuh, because there’s no work to go to, or come home from, and every day is just the same. So the weekend doh really mean nothing. Steups! It really playing havoc with mih mind yes. I can’t handle this every day is the same thing business. You can only do so much when yuh lockdown in a small house with small children and a tired wife. Never thought I’d miss going to the slave master work, but I do. 

At least it use to give me a sense of purpose, like I was doing something useful. But now, what ah doing eh…with this Corona virus thing that shut down almost everything? Not a blooming thing! Ah tired watching tv…and besides all yuh see on the so and so television is more bad news about the virus, so why watch that and drive mihself more crazy than I already am eh? Steups! And ah can’t drink mihself stupid every day either. The children tired too playing with the same ole toys and driving deh mother mard. 

And though the weather been nice this past week, you could only spend so much time outside because it still fairly cold, and yuh can’t go the park or anything so. Ah Lord eh! What we going to do? Ah guess we just have to grin and bear it and hope they find some cure for this bloody thing soon oui! Else we going to have a whole world of even madder people than before…for those who manage to survive it.’ 

And isn’t there a lot of truth in the workingman’s statements. Boredom and aggravation have begun setting in for many people. And being continuously locked up together is certainly going to cause problems in some families, especially the larger ones living in smaller homes. Being constantly underfoot is not something we humans handle very well. But we’d better learn to handle it, because this virus doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. 

And yuh know what? We believers in, and followers of Jesus Christ are the ones expected to be in the forefront of the battle, leading the way through our good and faithful example! Being fruitful examples of salt and light to a hopeless and disbelieving world! Yes friends, that’s what Jesus expects of us. And the first step in our battle is to talk to our great and merciful God, give Him thanks and ask for guidance and direction and divine relief from our misery. So let’s do so now by chanting our rejigged Friday Chant, in strong and confident, but humble voice. 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. It’s been pretty rough…though not from work, but from all the confusion and havoc that the Covid -19 virus causing. We not accustomed to that Lord, and it really telling on us. But with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat this virus. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the  least amount of loss to life and property as possible. 

And please use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, and also introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Yes mih people, it’s up to us Christians to stand up strong and steadfast, leading the way, so that the world can see what true faith looks like, and realize that it’s ONLY through Jehovah God that hope and life exist. And hear these words from our comforting Deity that speak to the bleak situation at hand: ‘Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably (comfort) to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished (ended), that her iniquity is pardoned; for she hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.’ (Is.40:1-2) 

Oh friends, ONLY through sincere trust in the Lord can we receive true comfort. Remember Christ’s 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 precious people of God, who else has ever had the parts to make such an offer eh? NO ONE BUT JESUS! Because He is the ONLY ONE who can make that offer come true! And that offer is still open, and is even more relevant in these disastrous times than ever. So please be wise and accept it. 

And we’ll end with this interesting message I got through social media yesterday. A lot of it floating through the airways is nonsense, but I thought this was interesting enough to share. It reads: ‘I don’t know who wrote this, but it’s beautiful. We fell asleep in one world, and woke up in another. Suddenly Disney is out of magic. Paris is no longer romantic, New York doesn’t stand up anymore, the Chinese wall is no longer a fortress, and Mecca is empty. 

Hugs and kisses suddenly become weapons, and not visiting parents and friends becomes an act of LOVE. Suddenly you realize that power, beauty and money are worthless, and can’t get you the oxygen you’re fighting for. The world continues its life and it is beautiful. It only puts humans in cages. I think it’s sending us a message: “You are not necessary. The air, earth, water and sky without you are fine. When you come back, remember that you are my guests. Not my masters.” 

Yes friends, the world was fine until God made man and woman, and they in their stupidity chose to move away from their Creator. And it will be fine again if He removes us from it through this current pandemic. Throughout the ages, it’s always mankind who has been the fly in the ointment. Everything else unfurls as God planned it. And here’s how He’s planned it; thankfully with our benefit in mind: 

‘Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand (strength), and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work (wage) before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.’ (Is. 40:10-11) 

Oh, how beautiful are all the promises of our wonderful God! So today, please, please, let’s be wise and take them sincerely and seriously to heart nuh, and thus move forward strong and steadfast, as He desires of us! Much LOVE!

…God is ALL we need…especially in the times of calamity…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 April 2020 Deuteronomy 30:19.

Deuteronomy 30:19.    I call heaven and earth to record this day (stand as witnesses) against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.
 
Oh friends, oh friends, before beginning to write the Bit this Thursday morning in these very concerned Covod-19 times, I needed a touch of divine inspiration and so I turned to some praise and worship, music that truly moves me, Psalm 34 sung by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. And as always, it certainly did the job! There’s something about that version of that song that just gets me going! Thus, I invite you now to bless the Lord with me! Let’s magnify His name together! Let’s  exalt it together! 

There’s no better form of praise than to glorify His most holy name for ever and ever! For He surrounds His saints with divine protection and no one who calls on Him in sincerity and truth will ever be ashamed. He will hear their pleas and protect them from their enemies! Wow! What other faith can say that about their God eh? NONE! That’s why it’s ever so important to stay true to the God of our forefathers if we want to be delivered from the enemy and receive redemption and forgiveness and eventual salvation. 

But I know that’s not easy to do, even in normal times, much less in these very trying and uncertain ones. And the only way to do it is by keeping hope and faith alive through prayer and meditation and strong action. That’s why today I was guided to share a couple of passages from the Hour Of Power Devotional with writings by our dear, departed Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller). Long time we haven’t turned to him for some wise advice, (smile)  but he does give some that’s very pertinent to our faith in these Covid-19 times. 

So please read with me, this first devotional he so wisely titles ‘Choose Hope.’ ‘Yes, I believe God is still alive. He knows where I am and how I got here. He’s way ahead of me, manoeuvring in the silence and the shadows. He really cares. I trust Him. The alternative is an unthinkable, unacceptable mental attitude that’s certain to lead me down a path of hopeless despair. Yes I am addicted to hope. That’s my decision. My hopes may not be completely fulfilled, but at least they’re keeping me alive and alert and pragmatic. 

Hope promises to generate and sustain life (and then does). Despair promises to generate and deliver depression and death (and then does). I’d rather choose HOPE (an emotional reaction that promises life but can’t guarantee that all of its promises will be fulfilled) than choose despair (an emotional reaction that guarantees that its promises of failure and death will surely be kept).’ 

Oh my people, all of that is oh so true and wise! Hope might not be able to guarantee everything it says, but at least it gives you a fighting chance. Despair and hopelessness on the other hand, does guarantee and provide death and failure. So as the Good Book says, ‘I call heaven and earth to record this day (stand as witnesses) against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may life.’  

Precious people of God, that’s wisdom from heaven itself, straight from the mouth of our great God and Creator! And He offers that wise advice because He knows what’s best for us. So please, I implore us to take that divine advice and choose life and not death in these scary times; a life that is only provided through hope, faith, trust and true surrender to Almighty God! And to help us do that, here’s the second passage from Gramps Schuller’s Hour of Power Devotional: ‘A Prayer for Hope.’ 

So please pray with me: ‘I have a strong, serene feeling that God is planning something good for me today. I cannot explain it, but I have a deep feeling that wonderful things are in store for me. I am expecting God to surprise me with His tender mercy. He will turn my hurts into halos. He is guiding my life in such a way that whatever happens to me will prove to be a beautiful blessing. Thank You Lord. Amen!’  

And I do hope that as we prayed that prayer a new and higher layer and level of hope, faith and trust rose up in us. Yes friends, we do need abundant and divine hope in these rough times. And the only way to get it is to believe that God is truly for us and will do all that He’s promised, and will work everything out for our good eventually. 

That’s why Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say: ‘Something good is going to happen to me today. And something good is going to happen through me today!’ And isn’t that the gospel truth! Remember, there is awesome power in the Word of God my people, for with it He created the world and all therein. So let’s use it to our advantage nuh. That’s why He gave it to us…to use – day and night! 

And who says good things aren’t happening to us today, right now eh? Lots of wonderful things are happening; we’re being showered with our Thursday Blessings! So let’s declare (yeahh!) them in strong voice and sincere hearts nuh, as we lift up our great and wonderful God, who’s provided us with such awesome blessings. 

‘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!’ 

Wowee, Wowee! How can we not LOVE and worship and reverence such an amazing and faithful God eh! But one word of reminder; those blessings are not to be selfishly hoarded, but to be generously shared with the less fortunate, just as the Lord generously shared them with us! Much LOVE!

…addiction to HOPE…is what we need right now…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 April 2020 Psalm 130:5.

Psalm 130:5.    ​I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.
 
Moving right along…It’s April 1, 2020 – April Fools Day, or as we know it down South- All Fools Day! A day for jokes and hijinks. But not today. No! Please, not this day in the year of 2020! This is a time for very serious behaviour, although we do need some levity in our spirits and souls if we don’t want to go crazy. However, we already have so much false info and misdirection and outright lies in our society, mostly funneled through social media, we definitely don’t want to introduce anymore today, when half the world is locked down and in a state of panic because of the Coronavirus. 

And on a point of interest, in Canada it seems that people are still drinking Corona beer, whilst it’s unavailable in some other places. That just shows how ignorant and/or superstitious we humans are. Just because the brand of beer happens to have the same name as a deadly virus doesn’t mean that it’s undrinkable or in any way connected to it. But that’s the nature of the human animal. (smile) And as always friends, we here at Scrip-Bits believe in acting as catalysts, to help us stay strong in the Word of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to give us hope, help us stay imprisoned by it, because without hope, we might as well be dead; in fact without hope, spiritually, we are indeed dead. 

So today, let’s latch on tightly to the hope infusing words of Psalm 130 – My soul waiteth for the Lord. Yes my brethren, the Lord and His awesome and everlasting Word, which never changes or dies, is indeed the fountainhead of hope! And right now in these scary and frightening times, we need divine hope and help more than ever. So let’s pray with the psalmist nuh: ‘Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord. Lord hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. If thou, Lord, shouldest mark (take note of) iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?’ (Ps. 130:1-3) 

Now that’s a very good question my people. If the Lord should take note of all our iniquities and punish us for them, who shall stand afterwards eh? None of us! ‘For all have sinned and come (fallen) short of the glory of God.’ (Rom. 3:23) Oh yes, we’ve fallen far short of God’s righteousness, as the scholars explain: ‘3:23. For all have sinned: The human need and the divine provision are alike applied universally. Come short of the glory of God: man can exceed his own standards, but never, left to himself, can he attain to God’s standard of righteousness.’ 

And nobody knows this better than our Creator, who made us with all our faults and frailties, and that’s why in His eternal wisdom and divine mercy and LOVING-kindness, He’s made ample provision for our iniquities. As the psalmist continues: ‘But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared (held in reverential awe).’ (Ps. 130:4) Oh friends, how mighty and wonderful is the word ‘forgiveness’ and all that it implies! For without it, we would have no hope at all. That’s the divine option that gives us hope! All the other things like LOVE, mercy, and grace are indeed important, but without forgiveness we’d still be in the same khaki pants; lost and doomed to damnation and hell-fire! 

And how do we access these essential things called  hope and forgiveness. It begins, like the psalmist says: ‘I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.’ Now that’s the first movement in the divine symphony; patience (perseverance) and trust in His Word. But how do we get patience and trust in God’s word eh? By knowing it; hearing it, reading and studying it. Remember the immortal words of God to Joshua when He appointed him leader of the Israelites after the death of Moses. 

‘This book of the law shall not depart out of (be constantly in) thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’ (Josh. 1:8) The Lord couldn’t have been any plainer or more explicit than that my people. It’s by reading and studying His Word and doing what’s written in there that we can achieve prosperous and successful lives! So in these uncertain and disastrous times, it’s plain to see that we have to get into God’s Word more than ever, and do what it says we ought to. 

As the psalmist continues: ‘My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.’ (Ps. 130:6) Yes friends, he is hungry for the Lord! And that’s how we have to be also, especially in these calamitous times, for the Lord God Almighty, the One who created us, is the ONLY One who can truly save us! Thus the psalmist concludes: ‘Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy (LOVING-kindness), and with him is plenteous (abundant) redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.’ (Ps. 130:7-8) 

Oh my fellow believers, it is imperative that we turn to the Lord God Jehovah and cry out to Him for deliverance if we truly want to get rid of this Covid-19 scourge that’s currently plaguing the earth. Remember, as the scholars said above, in his own strength, man can never achieve the righteousness of God, and that also extends to his wisdom and ingenuity. Therefore, since we can’t find the answer to our problem, we need to go to a Higher Power; the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! That’s where we will find ALL the answers! 

And now, for those of us who truly believe that and sincerely try to adhere God’s Word, let’s go home joyfully declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our enviable position in Christ Jesus. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And yes, my faithful brethren, regardless of what’s happening in our world today, we who sincerely believe and try to do God’s Will, will indeed have a glorious future with Jesus; one, more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…prayer and supplication…perseverance and thanksgiving…our most urgent needs at this time…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 March 2020 John 14:27.

John 14:27.    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.
 

And another day has bitten the dust…But our world is still alive, though somewhat discombobulated; scarred and scared by the ole Coronavirus, since not enough good, but still too much bad and ugly is happening. And is it ever a good thing that we believers know the Truth, and that the Truth will set us free! Glory to God! A few places are holding their own, but many, like the U. S. are now exploding because of too late precautions. And I understand that mih people in J.A will be under lock and key from tomorrow… 

Hn! Ah talking about a curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. And believe me, I know what that is like, having experienced it way back in 1970 with the Black Power Riots in T&T. The voluntary stay at home now is bad enough, but when you can’t be seen in the streets at all during certain hours, that’s a horse of a different colour, especially if the military and the police are out looking for curfew breakers. But not to worry mih bredrin, our good God has it all under control. We just have to obey our leaders, stay home and practice safe routines, and come to Him in sincere prayer with heartfelt repentance for our myriad number of ghastly sins. 

And as He has promised, eventually, everything will be worked out for our benefit. Remember though, that it will all happen in His time, not ours, and that’s the cut-tail part of it all. We hate to wait, and the Lord doesn’t hurry! And if yuh doh believe me, then just try it and see nuh! (smile) Oh my people, this virus business is indeed a serious matter, but too many of us are letting it get us too afraid, depressed and daily losing hope. But now is the time when we believers ought to be on the ascendance with our strong and wonderful faith! 

It’s not the time for us to wilt like faded and dying roses, as so many of us are doing, because the world needs that awesome faith we have more than ever now! Now is the time for us to stand up and really show our true colours; be the amazing salt and light of the world that Jesus desires of us! And yuh know what? If, we believers, with all of our supposed faith in, and awesome promises of God, become fearful and lose hope, what will be the response of the unbeliever be eh, of the rest of the world, who don’t have what we have? Utter chaos and confusion! 

That’s why, as a group, Christians need to stand strong and steadfast, take the matter seriously, but don’t panic and give assurances to the unbelievers. It’s at times like these when we can do our best evangelical work, bringing others to Christ, by the staunch and steadfast examples we set. Jesus knew that we’d face trials and tribulations, thus His encouraging and reassuring words. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In this world ye shall have tribulations: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

And a lot of us quick to quote those words, but when the time comes to put them into actual action, like now, too many of us falter and fail. If we falter now friends, it means that we don’t have sufficient faith and trust in our God, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit that’s supposed to dwell in us and lead and guide us in godly righteousness. We obviously don’t hold Jesus’ many assurances of ‘FEAR NOT!’ in high regard. Remember, courage is not the absence of fear, but of doing stuff while afraid, with the power of the Holy Spirit assisting us. 

And what about these words of Jesus eh? ‘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) It doesn’t seem as though we are taking those words seriously either. And what if some of us die? We all have to go sometime. As the Good Book says: ‘And it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement.’ (Heb. 9:27) Now don’t get me wrong, very few of us are ready to, or want to die right now, including me, but the truth is that  none of us have the power or authority to prolong our lives, so when the Grim Reaper comes a calling, we just have to go, whether we want to or not. 

The one proviso necessary though before that time comes, is that we go with Christ as our Lord and Saviour tucked away safely and deeply in our hearts. So once you truly have Jesus as the Light of your life, there’s no need to fear death, for what we call death, the physical aspect, is merely a leaving of our physical body behind, with a glorious continuation of life on the other side, in the spiritual plane, with Jesus. Oh friends, just like Christ died once, on our behalf, we can only die once, but with Him in our hearts, we are assured of a resurrection just like Him. 

And thus let’s hold on tight to this somewhat obscure and unknown verse of scripture: ‘So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look (eagerly wait) for him shall he reappear the second time without (apart from) sin unto salvation.’ (Heb. 9:28) So my faithful brethren, instead of dwelling on the worst case scenario in these trying times, let’s instead focus on the big picture nuh; the Second Coming of Christ with the beautiful promise of salvation in His wings! That’s the wise way to handle this current situation, and it will help us to stand strong and steadfast as prisoners of divine hope. 

Now let’s go home showing our mettle nuh, by declaring (yeahhh!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know who and whose we are. In strong, fearless voices, 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!’ 

And now, the natural consequence of that declaration (steups!) is to action it in whatever safe way we can. Much LOVE!

…sincere HOPE in Christ…is the ONLY antidote for fear… 

P.S. Yeh, it’s somewhat late, due as usual to my penchant for late nights, (smile) but I like it…and I hope you do too. Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 March 2020 Proverbs 13:12.

Proverbs 13:12.    ​Hope deferred maketh the heart sick; but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.
 
Arise people, it’s Monday, the start of another week of work, even for those of us who are working from home. Let’s not abuse the privilege and try to be just as diligent and excellent in our work habits as when we had to physically venture out into the evil world. Nothing much has changed; confusion, uncertainty and panic still abound, but more importantly, our great and wonderful God is still on His heavenly throne overseeing things! And in that everlasting fact, we can put our sincere hope, faith and trust, knowing that He will keep His promise and work everything out for our good eventually. But we still have to do our part in the partnership, and at this moment, that’s prayer. 

So right now, in this turbulent time, let’s come before the Lord and ask for His help, as we pray our Covid-19 Monday Morning Battle Hymn, in strong voice, with sincere hearts. ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive, and hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. Despite the crucial lockdown, those of us considered essential, still have go to work, and we’re somewhat fearful, because we have no idea, how, when and where the virus might strike. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction. Please show us how to successfully handle this scourge that’s plaguing the earth, and help the scientists to find a positive solution, a sure antidote to it as quickly as possible. 

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

Now we just have to do like Bruh David says: ‘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. 27:14) And when we have faithfully waited on the Lord, you know what will eventually happen? We will sing the song of praise of the redeemed, like Isaiah writes: ‘And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.’ (Is. 25:9) 

Oh friends, there is no better feeling than having waited faithfully, eagerly and expectantly for God’s promise, to be fulfilled in His time, and then having it come to pass. And all God’s children declared a loud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord! Bless His holy name; now and forever!’ And do we ever need to do that as often as possible, since He is indeed very worthy to be praised! Now hear these words of further encouragement from Cousin Sol: ‘Hope deferred maketh the heart sick; but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.’ 

And isn’t that the gospel truth friends! For as the scholars explain: ‘13:12. Hope deferred depresses, but its fulfillment revitalizes.’ That’s an indisputable fact! When our dreams and hopes don’t come true, we tend to fall into bouts  of depression. But when they come to pass…oh boy…the joy that they bring is overwhelming. That’s why friends, we need to do like Zechariah advises: ‘Turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render (restore) double unto thee.’ (Zech. 9:12) And you know who is the stronghold He speaks of? Zion’s future King; Jesus Christ! 

Oh my people, our ONLY true help in this time of crisis is the Creator and Controller of our Universe, the Lord God Almighty, in conjunction with His Son, Jesus Christ, the name above all names, who redeemed us by His sacrificial death on the cross at Calvary, and His Holy Spirit, who works His miracles in our souls and spirits! So please, this Monday morning, in this time of pandemic, let’s not lose hope in our great God and His faithful promises. Instead, let’s ramp up our hope, and do like Bruh Paul wrote to the church at Rome: 

‘Let LOVE be without dissimulation (hypocrisy). Abhor that which is evil; cleave (cling) to that which is good. Be ye kindly affectioned (affectionate) one to another with brotherly LOVE; in honour preferring (giving preference to) one another; Not slothful in business (lagging in diligence); fervent (boiling over) in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient (persevering) in tribulation; continuing instant (steadfastly) in prayer; Distributing to the necessity (needs) of saints; given to hospitality. Bless (speak well of) them which persecute you: bless and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.’ (Rom. 12:9-15) 

And don’t tell me we can’t do those things friends, because they are all a part of basic Christianity, a part of the foundation, the example Jesus laid down for His church to follow! And believe me, we, the church of Christ, need to do them more than ever in these cruel and trying times, if we desire and expect to have any hope of survival. Much LOVE!

…and now abideth faith, hope, LOVE…but the greatest of these three is…LOVE… (1 Cor. 13:13)

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 March 2020 Philippians 2:9.

Philippians 2:9.    ​Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name.
 
One more Sunday without corporate worship my fellow believers… But that’s okay, just like our overwhelming technological society has driven us away from God, that same technology will now help us come back to Him! Glory to God and the mysterious ways in which He works! So we will worship by radio, TV, internet, telephone, whatever it takes. Believers can be very astute innovators when the time calls for it. (smile) So let’s have church nuh; with praise and worship and thanksgiving and the Word of God to keep us bright and fresh, assured and energized and courageous in these turbulent and unsure times.  And all God’s people said a loud and proud: ‘Praise the Lord!’ 

And that’s exactly what we’re going to do by opening today’s proceedings with a marvellous song. Oh my people, my people, it’s going to be a wonderful day of worship, so let’s get to singing this most appropriate contemporary song written by Brooke Ligertwood and Ben Fielding down under (Australia) back in 2015. It’s elegantly titled: ‘What A Beautiful Name!’ And it’s obvious that they are referring Jesus, for there’s no other name in all the universe as beautiful as His. And if you don’t know the song you can check it out on YouTube, The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir or the Times Square Church Choir versions. 

So let’s belt out a harmonious, soulful, rocking version a la Times Square Church Choir, beginning with (Chorus 1: ‘What a beautiful Name it is What a beautiful Name it is The Name of Jesus Christ my King What a beautiful Name it is Nothing compares to this What a beautiful Name it is The Name of Jesus.) You were the Word at the beginning One with God the Lord Most High Your hidden glory in creation Now revealed in You our Christ. (Chorus 1: What a beautiful name it is…. The Name of Jesus.) You didn’t want heaven without us So Jesus You brought heaven down My sin was great Your LOVE was greater What could separate us now. 

(Chorus 2: What a wonderful Name it is What a wonderful Name it is The Name of Jesus Christ my King What a wonderful Name it is Nothing compares to this What a wonderful Name it is The Name of Jesus What a wonderful Name it is The Name of Jesus.) (Bridge: Death could not hold You The veil tore before You, You silence the boast of sin and grave The heavens are roaring The praise of Your glory For You are raised to life again You have no rival You have no equal Now and forever God You reign Yours is the kingdom Yours is the glory Yours is the Name above all names. 

(Chorus 3: What a powerful Name it is What a powerful Name it is The Name of Jesus Christ my King What a powerful Name it is Nothing can stand against it What a powerful Name it is The Name of Jesus. What a beautiful Name it is What a beautiful Name it is. What a wonderful Name it is What a wonderful Name it is. What a powerful Name it is What a powerful Name it is… The Name of Jesus Christ my King… The Name of Jesus Christ my King…’ 

Mama, Mama! Was that ever moving my brethren! You could hear the sincerity in our voices, rising from the depths of our hearts! And the harmony was truly awesome! Wow! And as usual, Jesus sits at the Father’s side with a shy, boyish smile, acknowledging our praise and gratitude, but not really wanting to be in the limelight. And you know what? I found something written by the composers on the Hillsong Worship site explaining some of their thoughts about the song, and it sounds much better than anything I could write, so I’ll just share it. 

The core scriptures for the song were Hebrews 1:1-4 and Colossians 1:15-20, 26-27. And they go on to say: “To know God and to worship Him (“to enjoy Him forever) is the most fundamental reason for our existence. As Jesus reveals the great mysteries of God, we come to know more of who God is, glimpsing new facets of His beauty, wonder and power. “Beauty” evokes the tenderness of His LOVE and the sweetness of His presence. “Wonder” speaks to our gratitude for salvation, awe at the length of His sacrifice. “Power” affirms His supremacy and Sovereignty – an exhortation to remember our access to the power of God in every situation, as we call upon and declare the Name of Jesus. 

‘What a beautiful name it is What a wonderful name it is What a powerful name it is The Name of Jesus.’ Jesus has the Name above all others. Anything that we can name – from our greatest triumphs to our greatest challenges – comes under the authority of His Name. This song confesses that no greater beauty or source of wonder exists outside of Jesus, “the radiance of God’s glory” (Heb.1:3). The song is also a statement that Jesus has no rival or equal. His power is unmatched and absolute. Perhaps some of us understand God LOVES us through the death and resurrection of Jesus, but haven’t grasped His power, ability and will to move strongly in our present circumstances. 

Or perhaps, we understand God as the supreme, omnipotent Deity He is, but have never known Him close and tender, as a friend acquainted with the depths of our humanity, knowing our flaws cannot perturb His LOVE. Our prayer for this song is that we can all enter into a deeper, more lateral, revelation of the person of Jesus Christ – the epitome of beauty!” 

Wow! How is that for a sermon in these troubled times eh? I couldn’t agree more with the sentiments of the writers. This is the time for ALL of us to come to a strong understanding and appreciation of the wonderful, powerful and beautiful Lord and Saviour that we have dwelling in us, with us, and around us! Whose abounding and everlasting LOVE caused Him to selflessly sacrifice His holy life for us on the cross at Calvary, so that we could be redeemed! 

No wonder the Good Book excitedly declares: ‘Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name. That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of (those) things in heaven, and (those) things in earth, and (those) things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil. 2:9-11) That seals the case friends! Matter fix! Put that in yuh pipe and smoke it! (smile) Much LOVE!

…Jesus is…El Numero Uno…no ifs, ands or buts about it…

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