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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wow! What assurance my brethren! That means we can go home today in such good spirits declaring (steups!) our Tuesday Mantra. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world. Amen!’ 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So as one strong voice, with sincere hearts, let’s invoke our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, asking for His mercy, grace and divine guidance in the worldwide problems that we’re now facing. ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive, and hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. And our anxieties have been recently deepened because some restrictions have been lifted in the lockdown, so more of us are going out to work now without any guarantees of safety. 

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

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And besides Jesus being our Saviour, He is also our Prince of Peace, through whom we get the divine peace that passes all understanding. (Phil. 4:7) Not the kind of peace that the world gives, but the one where we can rise above the circumstances that daily confront us. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ (John 14:27) What awesome reassurance! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 July 2020 Matthew 12:25.

Matthew 12:25.     Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.
 

It’s late, it’s late, it’s late! But, with the Lord’s help, it’ll be great, it’ll be great, it’ll be great! (smile) Morning mih bredrin! How goes it this Friday morning in early July eh? I know some people are singing: ‘Summertime, summertime, summertime!’ enjoying the constant warm weather at last. However, many others are more concerned about all the unprecedented problems that have recently raised up their ugly heads in our society. 

But not to worry, our great God is still in control, and He has promised that no weapon formed against His children will prosper. And Jesus’ two most famous words were: ‘FEAR NOT!’ So let’s do just that nuh; don’t be afraid, but work within the parameters of which we are capable and do our li’l part to help remedy the situation, if it’s only being responsible in a positive manner. And the sermon done right there! (smile) 

Now let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Yeah! And the Canada Day holiday broke up the work week nicely! That day of rest in between was wonderful! This is the best I’ve felt after the few weeks that we’ve gone back to work! Glory be! But the sad part is that the same problems we had last weekend, we still have them! Nothing seems to be getting better in either the virus pandemic or the strife and protests! 

And with the 4th of July celebrations this weekend down in the U.S, yuh could imagine the bacchanal that going to happen down there with all the confusion that already taking place! Ah Lord eh! Good thing ah living in Canada yes, where we a li’l more law abiding and responsible. But when will we ever get back to normal eh, and when this systemic racism thing going to get fixed eh? Only God alone seems to know yes! 

But ah certainly hope we see some positive results in either case sometime soon oui. Ah tired with it now. Ah can’t go out as ah want to, and when I do go out, is always somebody marching in the streets or causing some riot somewhere! Steups! Yes, ah know people have problems, and have rights and want rights and all that, but what about my rights eh? Nobody not concerned about them! Nobody concerned that their rights impinging on mine! 

What a world we live in eh Dr. Jack! Ah only hope mih children don’t have to grow up in that sorta mishmash, unruly, divided and irresponsible world nuh! But all I could do right now yes is simply shake mih head and say thank the Lord is Friday, and ah have some time to sit down and contemplate the situation!’ 

Yes friends, we all need to take some time and contemplate the situation; both as individuals, as well as members of the overall society, and see how we can best put our gifts and talents to work to help improve it. It’s our citizenship responsibility. We won’t always agree, but as they say, we can agree to disagree, and thus get rid of the many small, petty and unimportant things that cause the division amongst us. Jesus said it very clearly: ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.’ 

That’s not rocket science my people, but simple common sense. I’m forgetting though, that common sense is in very short supply these days. (smile) And we’re so foolish, that we seem to prefer to destroy our society, rather than come to some workable agreement. Anyway, as saints of Christ, the first thing we ought to do in any given situation is turn to our heavenly Father and pray, ask for wisdom and guidance to handle the prevailing situation. So let’s do that right now nuh; let’s cry out to Him in humble confidence through our Friday Chant, our prayer for mercy and grace, wisdom and understanding. 

As one loud and sincere voice: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. It’s been pretty rough…some of it from work, as many of us are now back to work in varied ways, but most of our anxiety still comes from all the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus still causing. We not accustomed to that Lord, and it really telling on us. And now, on top of all that, we have racial riots and protests to put up with. Oh Lord, yuh know we can’t handle it on our own and desperately need Your help. 

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

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

Yes friends, the Lord heard our prayer, and as we spoke, He was already putting His plans into action to help us. Now it’s our turn to satisfy our part of the covenant, the partnership we have with Him, time to be responsible and show the true colours of Christianity with which we will conquer this evil world! The Lord is counting on us friends, so please, let’s not disappoint Him nuh! Much LOVE!

…as true salt of the earth…and lights of the world…we can win this thing for Jesus…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 July 2020 1 Corinthians 1:3.

1 Corinthians 1:3.     ​Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 
 

Yes friends, it was indeed a late one, after five, and you know it’s not easy getting up with a mature body like mine, (smile) and then I had to do a couple of things before I got started, so we’re way behind the eight ball this morning. But not to worry, the Lord’s Word is NEVER late, it might be a bit tardy in our estimation, but in reality, it’s NEVER late! And now that we’ve made that crystal clear, (smile) let’s get right into the heart of the matter; prayer, the  refreshing and encouraging words of Bruh Paul to the church at Corinth, words that have stood the test of time and are ever so valuable to us in our current time of desperate need.

 So Lord, I pray that ‘Unto the church of God, in all parts of the universe, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:’ (1 Cor. 1:2) That applies to us my people! We are numbered amongst the saints of Christ, and corporate prayer, prayer for the entire church, ought to be a most important aspect of our prayer lives. 

And the scholars offer this explanation. ‘1:2. Sanctified in Christ Jesus could be rendered “made holy by virtue of your relationship with Christ Jesus.” Here Paul has special reference to the Corinthians’ right relationship with God. They are set apart for God’s special use. His aim in the epistle is to bring the Corinthians’ actions and lifestyle into closer harmony with God’s expectations for those He has made His own.’ 

Ah my people, ALL of that applies to us today too! Through our belief in Christ Jesus, we’ve also been made holy and set aside for God’s personal purpose, but our relationship with him needs to be improved a whole lot. Our actions and lifestyle definitely need to be brought into closer harmony with His high expectations of us. We’re way below what’s expected of us, and that’s not a good sign. 

However, as Bruh Paul continues: ‘Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God always on your behalf (concerning you), for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; That in everything ye are enriched by him, in all utterance and in all knowledge; Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: So that ye come behind (short) in no gift; waiting for the coming (revelation) of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (1 Cor. 1:3-8) 

Please note my brethren that Bruh Paul doesn’t just pray for the people of Corinth to have wealth etc. but more to be filled with the grace and knowledge of God so that they can live up to the principles of the gospel that they have received. And believe me in these trying and ungodly times it’s grace and knowledge that we need more than ever to stand up for the gospel and promulgate it all over the world, which is our bounden duty! 

Hear the explanation the scholars offer on the verses above. ‘1:3. Grace…and peace: In the former, Paul contemplates all that is understood by God’s gracious unmerited favour as it is extended to sinners. The latter has in mind benefits that fall from the exercise of God’s LOVE.’ Oh my people, those two things, grace and peace and are ever so much more important than wealth and power, and in several of the epistles that’s what Bruh Paul prays for his readers to have. And I believe that should also be a big part of our prayers too. 

‘1:7. While gift has a wide variety of meanings, here it probably has reference to spiritual gifts, a theme developed later in the epistle.’ ‘1:8. Confirm (strengthen, establish, make firm): Historically, the gospel has been confirmed on them. Now they anticipate the prospect of that blessed event when Jesus Christ shall also confirm them blameless before the throne of God.’ Ah faithful saints in Christ, that is the exact position in which we find ourselves. The gospel has been confirmed in us, as indisputable truth, and now we too are waiting for the final revelation of Jesus when He brings it all into reality! 

And I like how Bruh Paul ends his greeting with words of assurance: ‘God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (1 Cor. 1:9) Now that’s something we can also hold on to in these disturbing and dangerous times… ‘God is faithful!’ And plenty of us can testify to that from personal experience, so why don’t we exhibit it more in our daily lives eh? 

Anyway, listen to this explanation from the scholars. ‘1:9. Unto the fellowship of his Son: The term “fellowship” includes both union and communion. The Corinthian believers had been brought into union with the Lord Jesus Christ. Accordingly, this great truth implies that they had been brought into communion with one another. Here in a nutshell is the theme of this this epistle.’ 

And believe my brethren, just like the church at Corinth, today’s church is too divided and dysfunctional over too many petty and ungodly matters. And we desperately need to come into much better communion with each other if we’re going to serve our earthly purpose(s) with diligence and excellence. I don’t think any of us can doubt that fact with a sincere heart. But nonetheless, for those of us who are truly trying, let’s go home declaring (oh no!) our Thursday Blessings; the magnificent and magnanimous gifts the Lord has so generously bestowed on us, so that we can do His work down here. 

All together now: ‘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!’ 

Now let’s go out and share them generously but safely! Much LOVE!

…he who sows in peace…shall reap an abundant harvest of grace…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 July 2020 Psalm 145:3.

Psalm 145:3.     ​Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable (beyond our understanding).
 

Happy Canada Day my Scrip-Bit friends and family! Yes, today we’re celebrating the great day of 1 July 1867 when the separate colonies of Canada (Ontario, Quebec), Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were brought into a Confederation within the British Empire known as the Dominion of Canada. And since then baby, have we ever been going strong! And I don’t care what anybody says, Canada is still the best big country in the world! And do I hear an Amen? 

For sure, as a loud and grateful shout of ‘Amen’ does emanate from God’s people! (smile) But please remember my people, the pandemic is still upon us, and though the lockdown has been eased a fair amount, we’re nowhere near out of the woods yet, so we still have to be very careful and protect ourselves and those around us. So please, no rash and foolish gatherings and celebrations today. 

And I know that some people are pleased as punch with a holiday in the middle of the week, while others are displeased, preferring to have their public holidays on the weekend, but let’s just be thankful that we do have an extra day off – with pay to boot– and less likelihood of catching the virus, as most of us spend a quiet day at home, doing some of what Bruh David so proudly declared in Psalm 145, his psalm of praise. 

‘I will extol (praise) thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever. Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable (beyond our understanding).’ (Ps. 145:1-3) And is that last verse ever so true my people! Our God is the greatest! His people have been saying that from the beginning of time, and we, in our time, have also discovered that it’s the awesome truth! There’s none other like him! 

That’s why Bruh David continues: ‘One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. I will speak of the glorious honour (splendour) of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works. And men shall speak of thy terrible (awesome) acts: and I will declare thy greatness. They shall abundantly (eagerly) utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness.’ (Ps. 145: 4-7) 

Oh my people are we following in Bruh David’s footsteps, praising our great God, telling of His glorious majesty, His marvellous works, His wonderful goodness to the children of men, and singing of His amazing righteousness? If we are not, then we are doing Him a great injustice! How can we not sing the praises of a God, who as Bruh David says: ‘The Lord is generous, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.’ (Ps. 145:8-9) 

Mama Yo! What a magnanimous and magnificent God we serve my brethren! He’s so wonderful that ‘All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord; and thy saints shall bless thee. They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power; To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom.’ (Ps. 145:10-12) Yes friends, that’s our number one purpose here on this earth, to make known to all and sundry the great power and might, mercy and grace of our wonderful God; He of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! 

And if we’re not doing that in some form and fashion, we’re therefore not fulfilling our earthly purpose. And we can’t give the excuse that we don’t have the means to do so, because there’s never been a time in man’s history when the gospel of Christ can be more easily spread, for technology has given us numerous ways to do so. That means we must have a serious conversation with ourselves and see how we can improve, and with God’s help do so, because the good news of the gospel is desperately needed in these dangerous and uncertain times. 

And in these deadly days, we need to remember more than ever that ‘The Lord upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down. The eyes of all wait (look expectantly) upon thee; and thou givest them their meat (food) in due season. Thou openest thine hand, and satisfieth the desire of every living thing.’ (Ps. 145: 14-16) That means friends that the Lord will look after us in these dreadful times, if we fix our minds and actions on Him. We will not suffer harm or lack any good and necessary thing! And all God’s children gave a loud and grateful shout of ‘ Praise the Lord! Praise his holy Name! Praise Him for His goodness to those who call upon Him!’ 

Thus we can say with the utmost certainty: ‘The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy (gracious) in all his works. The Lord is nigh (near) unto all them that call upon him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of them that fear (reverence) him: he will also hear their cry, and will save them. The Lord preserveth all them that LOVE him: but all the wicked will he destroy. My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.’ (Ps. 145: 17-21) Wow mih bredrin! Is there any other supposed Deity like our great God? Absolutely not! There couldn’t be, because He is the ONE and ONLY TRUE and LIVING GOD! 

And if you sincerely believe that, then let’s go home with our mouths singing His awesome praise through our Wednesday Wail. All together now in strong voice: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And if we are wise, we will keep looking steadfastly to that future and will also keep telling the rest of the world about it! Much LOVE!

…praise Him, praise him…Glory Hallelujah…He is LOVE…He is LOVE…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 June 2020 Isaiah 58:11.

Isaiah 58:11.     And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought (times of need), and make fat (strengthen) thy bones: and thou shalt be like a well-watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
 

Oh my people, my people, finally, after about three or four months, the ole fella actually visited one of the Lord’s sanctuaries yesterday! Glory be! And was it ever good to put foot in a church again, although it was for a sad occasion, the funeral of one of our long-time friends, Herman George Gabay. And it was a fairly new Catholic church, so you know it was fine, (smile) but with all the new regulations, we could only sit in every other pew and not too close to anybody not family. 

And it was indeed strange to see the fifty people now allowed for public gatherings all spread out over the large church and all the tape and ribbon and signs to keep us safely separated from each other, plus everybody, even the priest and his helpers in masks. But I guess that’s the new normal now. So, hopefully, we’ll do it responsibly and thus not have to lockdown the society again. 

Anyway, my condolences go out to the Gabay Family. Herman was indeed a kind, friendly, quiet and generous man, and led a long and interesting life. And did he ever look beautiful and at peace lying there in his coffin yesterday in his off-white suit! (smile) He will be missed by all of us though. 

And I have one more set of condolences to send out to the Wilson family in Tobago, as I understand that the neighbour of my youth and big brother Neil also passed away recently. He was much older than me, but I can remember growing up and seeing him dressed in his B.W.I.A (British West Indian Airlines) uniform.

In my time that was a position to which many aspired. We were never bosom chums or anything like that, but whenever we met each other, he was always friendly. I haven’t seen him in many a year, and never knew that over the years, he had become such a stalwart in Tobago politics; Chairman of the PNM party Council in Tobago, as well as ‘the heartbeat of Tobago tourism.’ 

May you both Herman and Neil rest in peace in the arms of the Lord, because that’s where eternal rest and comfort are to be found. And that’s not only for the dear departed my friends, but even more so for the living, as the prophet Isaiah long ago declared: ‘Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.’ (Is. 40:1) The prophet saw salvation and comfort in Israel’s future, and that has become even more firmly entrenched for us under the New Covenant with Jesus. 

And do we ever need comfort and consolation and assurance in these uncertain and trying times my brethren. We need all consuming faith so that we can stand strong and steadfast in the mighty purpose of God! And the minster at the funeral yesterday said he teaches the children that faith is the ability of our spiritual eyes to see beyond the short distance that our physical eyes can see. 

And that’s oh so true friends. If we can’t see figuratively far beyond the literal distance of our physical eyes, then there’s li’l or no chance for us. If we can’t see, feel and understand that our great God is ‘Always There’ for us, as described by this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, then we’re in sad trouble. 

Please pray with me: ‘So often, Lord I reach the bottom of the abyss. So often, I taste the dregs Of my own helplessness. Yet it is there, exactly there That You come to my immediate rescue. When I feel totally impoverished Of all self-sufficiency When I want to vanish into nowhere From the depths of despair I call Your name And You are always there for me!’ 

Now that’s the gospel truth friends! Our God is ALWAYS THERE for us – especially in the darkest times of our lives! All we have to do is call out to Him in true sincerity! And I know that these current times of worldwide sickness and strife are amongst the worst ever for many of us, that’s why I’m encouraging us, pleading with us, to call on the name of the Lord through our Saviour Jesus Christ, for He is the ONLY ONE, who can provide care, comfort, true wisdom and guidance and release from our earthly troubles! 

And when we read His Word, we see that He constantly and faithfully promises to look after us if we come to Him, like in this passage from Isaiah, that’s used as the Bible verse for today’s poem. ‘And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought (times of need), and make fat (strengthen) thy bones: and thou shalt be like a well-watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.’ (Is. 58:11) And the Lord does keep His promises, but He can’t help us until we come a calling on Him. That’s why faith, strong faith is absolutely necessary in these troubled times! 

And just in case you didn’t believe what Isaiah says above there, listen to him again with more substantial and faithful promises of our magnanimous and merciful God. (smile) ‘Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.’ (Is. 55:1) 

And the scholars explain thus: ‘55:1-7. God’s free gift of salvation is offered to all who will receive it. Those who are spiritually hungry and thirsty may come to eat and drink without money (or freely). He promises an everlasting covenant to the Gentiles like the one He established with Israel. His invitation to all men is clearly stated by the appeal, Seek ye the Lord and call ye upon him.’ 

Oh my people, the Lord has done all He can, right down to giving us the New Covenant though the sacrifice of His only begotten Son Jesus! Now it’s up to us to make use of all that He’s provided. And if we don’t, we can’t blame anyone else but ourselves, although nowadays we take great pleasure in playing the blame game! As they say, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. I can only lead you to Jesus, I can’t make you accept Him. But for those of us who have wisely done so, let’s go home now declaring {steups! – and I thought I was spelling it right oui – smile} our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. 

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

Now it’s time to seriously action those statements! Much LOVE!

…blessed…are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness…for they shall be filled…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 29 June 2020 Psalm 9:10.

Psalm 9:10.     ​And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.
 

Oh my people, I’m sorry, but I must let you know that today is Monday! Yes, unfortunately that much disliked day has come around again, as it does every seven days. (smile) And we know what that means for many of us, getting up from our warm and comfortable beds and going out to labour, so we can make a penny to keep a roof over our heads and food on our tables.  For remember what Bruh Paul said to the Thessalonians; he who doesn’t work shouldn’t eat.  ( 2 Thess. 3:10) And since we all like to eat, I think we should get a move on so we can further the process. (smile)  

Sadly though, not much has changed for the better over the weekend. The pandemic is getting worse in several places. Some of them were never locked down, or did so, but opened too soon without enough safety precautions. And much to our chagrin, we still can’t agree on how best to handle it. Ah Lord eh! And who says mankind is the smartest animal on the planet eh? I beg to differ. 

As for the racial protests, that’s still going strong, though some people are ignoring it and still doing their racially provoked thing. That’s something else that boggles the imagination. Yuh see certain actions stirring up the populace, and not only one set, but everybody, and yuh still going to do the same nonsense that stirred it up in the first place? Steups! Is either you don’t care, or you believe the racially biased system will take care of you. But either belief is foolish in these troubled times where accountability is uppermost in many minds. 

And having said that, I guess you all are asking what’s next eh? Well my only suggestion, my best advice is for us to turn to the Creator and Controller of our great universe; the Supreme Being who created us from the dust of the earth, then breathed His Spirit of life into us. He has said that when problems overwhelm our finite minds, we should turn to Him to get His supreme wisdom and guidance. So let’s do that nuh; as one strong voice, with sincere hearts, let’s call out to Him right now, invoking our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, asking for His mercy, grace and divine guidance in the worldwide problems that we’re now facing. 

‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive, and hopefully haven’t contracted the virus that’s causing havoc around our world. And our anxieties have been recently deepened because some restrictions have been lifted in the lockdown, so more of us are going out to work now without any guarantees of safety. Then to complicate matters Father, suddenly, and unexpectedly, just like the virus, worldwide strife and protests have also struck us in this sad time of pandemic, and we don’t have a clue how to handle either situation properly. 

Mass confusion is currently prevailing in our world, and we desperately need your help to solve both problems, as You are the ONLY One with the power and insight to successfully handle them. Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously come short in obedience and compliance to Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, and You have faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. 

That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us, ordinary folks, as well as our leaders, employers and medical personnel, wise guidance and direction. Please show us how to successfully handle these scourges that are currently plaguing Your beautiful earth. Please help our leaders to wisely quell the strife and protests, thus bringing unity and peaceful consensus, and the scientists to find a positive solution, a sure antidote to the virus as quickly as possible. 

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

Ah friends, we’ve prayed a humble but confident prayer, now we have to wait for the Lord’s answer. That includes releasing our faith, truly surrendering our lives to Him, and sincerely trusting in His goodness. Yes we know that all the current happenings don’t seem to make sense and are causing untold anxiety, but it’s in those uncertain and perilous times that we really need to buckle down and believe, and say ‘Your will be done Lord, not mine.’ Whatever the circumstances, we are called to trust in God’s LOVING-kindness! Remember, He who promised is faithful! (Heb. 10:23) 

That brings us to these awesome words of Bruh David – In Praise of God’s Justice. ‘O thou enemy, destructions are come to a perpetual end (finished forever): and thou hast destroyed cities; their memorial is perished with them. But the Lord shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgement. And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgement to the people in uprightness. The Lord will also be a refuge (stronghold) for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.’ (Ps. 9:6-10) 

Now that is the indisputable truth my brethren! The problem is for us to sincerely put our trust in the great God Jehovah! And if by chance, you didn’t believe Bruh David, then listen to his son, Cousin Sol (smile). ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct (make smooth or straight) thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel (body), and marrow (strength) to thy bones.’ (Prov. 3:5-8) 

Oh friends, if Cousin Sol had never written anything else, those verses would have been enough to set him up for posterity, because they are possibly the best verses in the Good Book, verses that lay bare the Christian principles, short and sweet! So let’s take them all to heart nuh, and do what we know we ought to do to glorify our heavenly Father. Much LOVE!

…trust and obey…for there’s no other way…to be happy in Jesus…than to trust and obey…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 June 2020 Hebrews 4:16.

Hebrews 4:16.     ​Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
 

‘And God spake all these words saying… Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.’ (Ex. 20:8-11) 

As always friends, our God never minces words, He comes straight out and tells it like it is. And by the way, for those of you who don’t know, that is one of the original Ten Commandments! (smile) Thus we have been told that we have to keep the sabbath day, which we celebrate on a Sunday, holy and in remembrance of God, with rest and praise and worship. 

Unfortunately, though churches have recently been given the green light to open for a specific percentage of people, with numerous safe conditions, most of them are not quite ready to do so. That means we still have to worship and sing and praise through technological methods. But it has never stopped us before, and neither is it going to stop us now. (smile) So without further ado, let’s get started with today’s song of praise nuh, a hymn appropriately titled for these rough and dangerous times: ‘Come Boldly to the Throne of Grace!’ 

Yes friends, that’s how our wonderful Lord expects us to come to Him – boldly, with confidence and faith in His undying LOVE, grace and mercy, but also humbly. Boldly, doesn’t mean arrogant and bold-faced. (smile) And now, with soulful voices, sincere hearts, and perfect harmony, let’s offer up our sacrifice of praise, boldly to the throne of God. 

‘Come boldly to the throne of grace, Ye wretched sinners come, and lay your load at Jesus feet, And plead what He has done. How can I come? Some soul may say, I’m lame and cannot walk; My guilt and sin have stopped my mouth, I sigh, but dare not talk. Come boldly to the throne of grace, Though lost, and blind, and lame; Jehovah is the sinner’s friend, And ever was the same. He makes the dead to hear His voice; He makes the blind to see, The sinner lost, He came to save, And set the prisoner free. 

Come boldly to the throne of grace, For Jesus fills the throne; and those He kills, He makes alive; He hears the sigh or groan; Poor bankrupt souls, Who feel and know, the hell of sin within; Come Boldly to the throne of grace; The Lord will take you in. Come Boldly to the throne of grace; The Lord will take you in…the Lord will take you in…Yes the Lord will take you in…take you in’ 

And He certainly will! The Lord will NEVER refuse anyone, despite their terrible sins, who comes to Him with a sincere heart of repentance. Because that’s exactly whom He came to earth to save; the lost, the sick, the weary, the tired and downtrodden! Jesus said so Himself: ‘For the Son man is come to save that which was lost.’ (Matt.18:11) If He says so, then it must be so! (smile) 

But here are the passages of scripture that our song was most likely based on, those to do with the sympathetic Christ, as recorded by the author of Hebrews. ‘Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into (through) the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession (conviction, faith). For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched (sympathize) with the feeling of our infirmities (our weaknesses); but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.’ (Heb. 4:14-15) 

And that’s where Jesus wins them my brethren; He is able to sympathize, to empathize with our predicaments, our ‘sufferation’ because He also suffered them as a man here on earth and knows exactly how they hurt and can be detrimental to our very beings! The only difference is that because He was also God, He did not fall to the temptations like we do. Glory be mih people! And that’s why the author of Hebrews could continue in strong proclamation: ‘Let us therefore come boldly (confidently) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ (Heb. 4:16) 

Mama Yo! What a glorious proclamation and scripture of assurance! How can we not turn to Jesus eh, since NO ONE else offers such a wonderful opportunity? We’d be truly foolish not to accept such a magnanimous gesture! And, furthermore, if this isn’t a time of rather acute need my friends, I don’t know what it will take to call it such nuh. With sickness and protests simultaneously enveloping our entire world, that certainly sounds like a time of need to me. 

And here’s why it’s oh so necessary to turn to Jesus and to hold on tightly to our faith. The scholars explain: ‘4:16. Only Christianity provides such boldness for sinful men before a holy God, and that boldness is possible only because of our High Priest (Jesus Christ). The figure of a throne suggests a place of authority and provision. It is the place to obtain God’s grace when it is especially needed.’ 

Yes mih people, NO other faith allows it’s members such reassurance! They have to go and beg and plead and try to browbeat their supposed deity. But as Christians, true believers in and followers of Christ, we are gifted with the provision to come boldly to the throne of God and ask for His amazing grace, His powerful favour, all because of Christ’s work on the cross at Calvary! 

That’s why Bruh Paul could confidently write to the Ephesians: ‘In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.’ (Eph. 3:12) In other words, in Christ and through faith in Him we may enter God’s presence with boldness and confidence. It can’t get any better than that friends! That’s why I encourage us today to put our whole trust, surrender our entire beings, hearts, souls and bodies to Christ Jesus, for only in Him is there any hope for the lost, the sick and the weary! Much LOVE!

…faith doesn’t make it easy…faith makes it possible…

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