Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 September 2018 Psalm 34:4.

Psalm 34:4.    ​I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

 

Oh mercy, mercy me! Another medical journey into that confused, misguided and badly governed city of Toronto! Hence the early publication of the Bit. But it’s all to my benefit, so cheers! Let’s have a shot of caffeine to celebrate the occasion. (smile) 

Oh, this great adventure in sickness is drawing to a close…at least I think so, so hopefully it won’t be much longer before I stop having all these medical appointments. At least they will be much fewer and further between. That’s my prophetic declaration! (smile) 

But here is something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, that we all could use this fall morning. It’s titled ‘Fear Not.’ Please pray with me. ‘Again and again, dear Lord I read Your words, “Fear not.” Surely You would not say it so often If there were any reason to fear. Nor would You command it so explicitly If You could not keep me from fearing. 

God, You have given me a Fear Not For every puzzling circumstance For every possible emergency For every trial and testing Real or imagined. Yet I confess wasted hours – Even days, dear Lord When fear clutches and clobbers me Until I am physically and emotionally spent. Lord, when David cried to You, You delivered him from all his fears. On this gray-sky morning I kneel before You with David’s cry. O my Father, I cannot believe You would be less kind to me Than you were to David.’ 

And NO, God will NEVER turn away or be less kind to one of His very own children! That’s His ever-faithful promise! So we can be assured that whatever fear that’s troubling us, if we take it to God in prayer, we will receive relief and succour from it. 

But isn’t it somewhat troubling that despite all the assurances and commands of our heavenly Father, re not to fear, we’re still such a fearful people? ‘Fear not!’ was one of the most used phrases by Jesus in His earthly sojourn. And when He said, ‘O ye of little faith,’ meant that we were also fearful, because faith dispels fear. 

And the Bible promise for that poem is also our Bit for today; the immortal words of Bruh David from Psalm 34: ‘I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.’ Yeh friends, simple, but ever so life changing words! And those from a great man of God! 

That means, although we should not be always afraid, when those times arise, we should NEVER be afraid to call on our helpful and ever-faithful God for help. Note, Bruh David said, he called out in desperation, and the Lord heard and helped him. And He WILL do the same for each and every one who calls out to Him in all sincerity and truth! 

And this is how Bruh David continues after our Bit: ‘They looked unto him, and were lightened (radiant): and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. 

O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want (lack) to them that fear him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want (lack) any good thing.’ (Ps.34:4-10) 

And all God’s children declared a loud, proud and ever grateful: ‘Praise the Lord for his everlasting goodness to the children of men!’ Yes friends, we know it’s the truth, even though we don’t always follow it! 

And that ‘fear’ we’re talking about is not ‘fear’ in the sense of being physically afraid of God, though we should have a touch of that because of the awesome things He can do, but it’s a sense of reverence, of acknowledgement of His strength and power and goodness and LOVE towards us. 

And the scholars offer this interesting comment on ‘Psalm 34. The historical background of this acrostic psalm (Hebrew poem of which the lines begin with the successive letters of the alphabet) is related in 1 Samuel 21:10-15. (Bruh David flees to Gath from Saul’s many attempts to kill him.) It bears all the marks of the testimony of one who narrowly escaped death, just as the passage in Samuel describes. As such, it contains the praise and testimony of the one who was redeemed  (vs.1-10) and the seasoned instruction that can stem from such deliverance (vs.11-22).’ 

Now let’s hear some of that seasoned instruction: ‘Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord. What man is he that desireth life, and LOVETH many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile (deceit). Depart from evil, and do good: seek peace and pursue it.’ (Ps.34:11-14) 

That’s wise advice indeed from someone who experienced it! So let’s remember that today nuh, as we go home now declaring our Tuesday Mantra, letting the world know who and whose we are. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘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 if we’re truly sincere, we’ll go out and share it all with others, as Jesus desires of us. Much LOVE!

…between fear and faith…there’s Jesus…Glory be…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 September 2018 Psalm 8:1.

Psalm 8:1.    O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.
 

‘Monday, Monday! Oh how I LOVE thee! Let me count the ways!’ Ah friends, the ole fella’s not crazy, just somewhat eccentric. (smile) There’s just something I like about Mondays – it hints at new beginnings, new possibilities. Like you’ve wrapped up one section over the weekend, and another is about to start on Monday’s. 

Hn! The problem with some of us is that we don’t like new beginnings or possibilities, because they upset the status quo, and the human animal dislikes change, doesn’t want his or her life to be uprooted or turned topsy-turvy too often. 

On the other hand, Monday reminds some of us of the same old, same old; the same old work drudgery, endless traffic jams, crowded sidewalks and elevators, and slaving for never enough money to make ends meet, with little or no job security, and sometimes at more than one job too.

That obviously will not make you a happy camper, but you don’t have much choice, so you’ll just have to grin and bear it and hope that with time, and God’s help, it will improve…and substantially too.  

And that brings us to our mother, or father’s li’l helper (smile) our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. Ah friends, it’s only simple prayer; but remember that prayer is the most powerful force in the universe, and it’s also our main method of communicating with the Creator of that universe. So if we pray the right way, for the right things, under the right circumstances, we’re guaranteed that our prayers will be answered. 

And our Monday Morning Battle Hymn meets all of those conditions, that’s why it works…every time! So let’s get down to brass tacks here now nuh, and declare it in unison, with heartfelt sincerity. ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together. 

We also thank you Father for the renewed vitality and enthusiasm you’ve wrought in our weary souls over the last two days. It’s that rejuvenation of Spirit which allows us now to sally forth with confidence into the evil, ungodly world that surrounds us, to begin a new week of work, constantly buffeted and bombarded by the enemy’s wicked taunts, wiles and lies. 

But heavenly Father, we’re not afraid, for we know we’re invincible, sure conquerors, once we’re wearing your powerful, protective spiritual armour. We surrender our all to you, and humbly ask that you let your incredible aura of LOVE, the Holy Spirit, lead and guide all your servants as we go out to meet the enemy in battle.

Fill us with steadfast faith, so that we can make worthwhile inroads into the enemy’s ranks, and thereby further your glorious kingdom. We pray this in the Holy Name of your Son, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ. AMEN!’ 

And I can see by the brightening of your countenance and the new spring in your step that our antidote for all Monday ills worked! Glory to our great God! That’s why Bruh David could shout out our Bit from Psalm 8: ‘O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who has set thy glory above the heavens.’ 

Ah friends, the Creator of our universe is indeed a mighty Deity, but also one overflowing with  tender LOVE! Listen to Bruh David later on in Psalm 8: ‘When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest (pay attention to, or care for) him?

For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet.’ (Ps.8:3-6) 

And right in those few words my brethren, we have the basic essence of our universe: the great spiritual Being we call God created it for His pleasure, spoke it into being through the power of His words. Then He created us from the dust of the ground and His breath of life so that we could have sincere communion with Him. 

Note how important we are to Him, that He made us just a little lower than His heavenly host, but way above and in charge of all His other creations. And all He has done, is doing, and will do on our behalf stems from His great and wonderful, unconditional and never-ending LOVE for us! 

Consequently, the psalmist could declare that all creation ought to praise the Lord. ‘Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons (sea creatures), and all deeps: Fire, and hail; snow, and vapour; stormy wind fulfilling his word. Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars: Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl: Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth:

Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children: Let them praise the name of the Lord: for his name alone is excellent (exalted); his glory is above the earth and heaven. He also exalteth the horn (strength or dominion) of his people, the praise of all his saints; even the children of Israel, a people near unto him. Praise ye the Lord (shout Hallelujah!)’ (Ps.148:7-14) 

Yes friends, the entire universe ought to praise and exalt our gracious, merciful, mighty and LOVING God! Unfortunately my brethren, that’s not the way it is in our depraved world, so let’s go out and do our best to make it so nuh, because if we don’t, who else will eh? Much LOVE!

…O Lord our Lord…how excellent is thy name…in all the earth… (Ps.8:9)

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 23 September 2018 Matthew 10:29.

Matthew 10:29.    Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall to the ground without your Father.  

 

I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.’ (Ps.122:1) Oh what a wonderful idea that is this Sunday morning my brethren, the first day of autumn in the abnormal year of 2018! Bruh David was ever so glad for that invitation to go to the Lord’s sanctuary because he knew the amazing benefits it produced. 

And going to God’s house still produces wonderful benefits to this day my people! Where else can you get the peace and joy, confidence and reassurance that come from a session of praise and thanksgiving, and hearing the Lord’s word being read and feeling it seeping into the deepest recesses of your hurting heart? Nowhere else friends, but in a place where the Lord reigns supreme! 
And today we’re going to open with a Gospel Hymn written in 1905 by Civilla D. Martin and composer Charles H. Gabriel. ‘It is most associated with actress singer Ethel Waters who used the title for her autobiography. Mahalia Jackson’s recording of the song was honoured with the Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 2010.’ Most of us though, might be more familiar with the Kirk Franklin version of a few years ago. And the name of that revered and moving song is ‘His Eye is on the Sparrow.’ 

So without further ado, let’s reach deep down into our souls and produce a real soulful version that will bring tears to the eyes of heaven. As one now: ‘Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come, Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heav’n and home, When Jesus is my portion? My constant Friend is He: His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me. His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me 

(Refrain: I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free, for His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.) “Let not your heart be troubled,”  His tender word I hear, and resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears; Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me. (Refrain: I sing…) 

Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise, When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies, I draw closer to Him, from care he sets me free; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me. (Refrain: I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free, For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.’ (Repeat). 

What a marvellous song my fellow believers! And it’s also filled with God-awesome truth! Everything it says is true! Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is constantly looking out for us, just like He’s doing for the sparrows of this world. And when life gets rough and tough we can simply go to Him and ask for comfort and reassurance…and we’ll get it. Glory to God! 

 

The song was obviously inspired by words from the scriptures. Hear these reassuring words of Jesus in our Bit: ‘Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall to the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.’ (Matt.10:29-31) That’s the gospel truth friends! 

We are indeed more important than the birds of the air, as Jesus says earlier on: ‘Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?’ (Matt.6:26) Ah mih people, we are indeed higher up the totem pole that the birds and other animals, which the Lord looks after so faithfully, so why won’t He look after us in the same, or even better manner eh? No reason whatsoever! We just have to have faith, trust in and surrender our lives to Him. 

 

Now listen to this testimony and let it uplift our lives, because only a few of us can, or will ever personally know this level of suffering. Civilla Martin, who wrote the lyrics, claimed this story as her inspiration. ‘Early in the spring of 1905, my husband and I were sojourning in Elmira, New York. We contracted a deep friendship for a couple by the name of Mr. and Mrs. Doolittle – true saints of God. 

Mrs. Doolittle had been bedridden for night twenty years. Her husband was an incurable cripple who had to propel himself to and from his business in a wheel chair. Despite their afflictions, they lived happy Christian lives, bringing inspiration and comfort to all who knew them. One day while we were visiting with the Doolittle’s, my husband commented on their bright hopefulness and asked them for the secret of it. 

 

Mrs. Doolittle’s reply was simple: “His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.” The beauty of this simple expression of boundless faith gripped the hearts of Dr. Martin and me. The hymn “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” was the outcome of that experience.’ 

And all God’s people declared a loud and proud and grateful: ‘Praise the Lord!’ Yes friends, that is indeed what you call boundless faith! Not too many of us would go through such difficulties today with such aplomb, even though we now have many more amenities to alleviate that kind of suffering.  

 

And Bruh David adds his two cents worth (smile) Of the Lord he says: ‘I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way in which thou shalt go: I will guide the with mine eye… Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.’ (Ps.32:8, 11)Yes friends, we couldn’t get any better advice on this the Lord’s Day, so let’s be wise and take it nuh. Much LOVE!

…man is God’s greatest creation…and He certainly treats us like such…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 September 2018 Hebrews 12:2.

Hebrews 12:2.​     …who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame…

I don’t understand it nuh people. I went to bed around one this morning feeling fairly decent, but got up at seven with pains raging through the ole bod. Steups! I thought sleep and rest were the panacea for such ills, not the ‘bringer on’ of them. (smile) But what can you do eh, but grin and bear it? I guess it’s all a part of our earthly faith walk. The Lord doesn’t want us to get too relaxed and contented, so He tests us as soon as we get up. 

And yuh know what mih breddren? We going to pass that test; pass it with flying colours to boot! And with the Lord’s help too! Because that’s the wonderful kind of God He is: He not only gives us the tests, but also gives us the wherewithal to pass them! Glory to our Most High God! There’s none other like Him! And it looks like the wicked windstorm that rampaged through Southern Ontario yesterday has now quietened down. 

Oh friends, all day yesterday, into the late hours of the night, the wind just raced through the place, causing damage and power outages in several areas. Up around the capital city of Ottawa, they even had a tornado. Hn! I sat down on my bed and watched the wind just tear through the poor trees all day long. Had them dancing a merry, tiresome jig. But the trees were strong. Many times I thought they would fall, but they stood up strong, and this morning they seem none the worse for wear. 

Now that’s the way we Christians ought to be my brethren; stand up strong and steadfast to all the adversity that comes against us, especially when we have the Creator’s faithful promise to stand with us through thick and thin! 

And since it’s Saturday, it means we have to look at the quotes sent to us this week by our friend Anselm, who sincerely aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. I don’t know what’s happening with him, but this week, we only got one quote from him again. However, it is an interesting quote, which says: ‘Shame hates to have words wrapped around it. If we talk about it, it loses its grip on us.’ And that’s generally true. 

But friends, shame is possibly the second biggest problem we believers face, except for fear. The enemy uses fear and shame to quench our brightly burning lights that are supposed to shine in God’s favour. And way too many Christians fall prey to the falsehood of shame. 

And here is a perfect example of it. I know a Christian family that is going through some relational problems. One member of the family is acting up, his addiction causing him to behave very wild and irrational. I went to visit them earlier this week, but unfortunately what I took away from the talk and the visit is that shame over the family member’s behaviour is overwhelming. 

And though they talk about praying and all the other believer’s tools, they are still in too much of a feeling sorry for themselves mood, thinking too much about what will happen to them. Their faith hasn’t risen to the top like it should. Oh I know you must consider those things, but your faith is supposed to help you come up over them. And yes, your family member is making a fool of himself, and you deeply regret it, and are concerned, but you didn’t do anything to be ashamed of. 

What others think seems to be of paramount importance. But who really cares what others think eh? They have the same problems and sometimes worse! I have always been somewhat irked at that behaviour. If I didn’t do something, why should I clothe myself in shame eh? It’s just the devil’s work! But hear the worst part of the story, in my opinion. 

Now I know they are short on money, and they know that I know that, but yet when I offered some to help tide them over, the mother refused it. And when I asked why, she claimed that it made her ashamed. And that with a disabled child to look after and only one family member working. Chuh! It hurt my heart. And though I argued some about it, with words like you can’t eat shame or pay your bills with it, I quickly realized that it was a matter best left alone. 

Oh my people, how can you turn down a few dollars from a close friend when you are in dire straits because of that foolish and senseless word called shame eh? I know what it is to be hungry and in need, and sometimes it’s an affront to refuse a friend’s help in those situations. But you can’t legislate the behaviour of other folks. 

And to end we’ll just highlight two instances where shame played a great role in the Good Book. The first is the first instance of it in the world, with Adam and Eve after they ate the forbidden fruit. ‘And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked, and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons (girding coverings).’ (Gen.3:7) Then when the Lord came looking for them later on, they were afraid and hid. Why? ‘…because I was naked…’ (Gen.3:10) 

Yuh see friends, before their eyes were opened, there was no shame, no reason to hide from God, but once the enemy intervened, they became ashamed of their nakedness. And then there is this magnificent verse from Hebrews containing our Bit: ‘Looking unto Jesus the author (originator) and finisher (perfector) of our faith: who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb.12:2) 

Yes friends, there couldn’t be anything more shameful to a Jewish man than being crucified butt naked in front of the whole world! If he had seriously considered the shame involved in His crucifixion, He wouldn’t have done it. But for our sake, and the wonderful rewards that awaited Him, Jesus threw out the thing called shame and went to the cross like it was nothing. 

Likewise friends, we ought to get rid of, overcome the twin deaths of fear and shame and take up our crosses as positively as Jesus did, and march on to victory in His awesome and holy name! That’s what being a true believer in, and follower of Christ means! Much LOVE!

…shame is just fear in disguise…

 

    

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 21 September 2018 1 Peter 5:8.

1 Peter 5:8.   Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.
 

And then it was Friday…And I have to chuckle because yesterday, Thursday, I wanted to go and visit my mother’s grave site, but because it looked cloudy and rain was forecasted for the afternoon, and it’s a long drive, I didn’t do it. But lo and behold, while having an afternoon nap and going through some dream in my home, my mother suddenly appeared beside me. 

In astonishment, I looked at her and said, ‘Aye Mols, I didn’t know that you were here.’ She never replied, but just gave me a bad eye, or as the Jamaicans would say, cut her eyes at me, a look that spoke volumes, one that said something like: ‘Yes, I’m here. I’ve been here all the time. You’ve just been too busy to notice me!’ 

Ah friends, the mysterious ways in which the Lord rebukes us eh! And the interesting part is that though it was cloudy all day, not a drop of rain fell. Chuh! So it’s not cloudy today, and I don’t think they are calling for rain, so hopefully, after writing the Bit, I’ll get up off my fat fanny and make the long drive to look for the lady. That’s the least I can do for her under the prevailing circumstances. 

And since it’s Friday, yuh better believe the workingman is already singing his weekend song: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! Hurray for the weekend! We time! We time to do as we please, without any interference from any bosses. Steups! The boss and them so full of foolishness it ain’t funny. Deh so prejudice! The things they ask we to do, they’d never ask any of deh family or friends to do nuh! But because we work for them, they pay we a li’l pittance, they think they could pile all the nasty work on us. 

But they have another think coming yes! Because one day when we get really fed up of all the abuse and indignity, the persecution and inhumanity, we simply going to rebel! But until then, we just going to keep we cool and enjoy we weekends; letting out we frustrations then. So let the partying begin! As they say: ‘Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes! Don’t know what we’d do without them!’ 

 Ah mih people, our world is getting rougher, more cruel and more inhumane everyday. Man’s inhumanity to man is certainly increasing as life plummets downwards. But as believers in and followers of Jesus Christ, we’ve been given the unenviable task of trying to stop it from falling further and raise it back up again to a godly level. 

Hn! I know some of you are sighing and saying that’s an impossible job, but please remember that NOTHING is impossible where our Lord and Saviour is involved. Yes, it might be difficult, but we have all the tools to fix it…and Jesus by our side to help, so we just have to get serious, buckle down and fight the good fight. 

And I know that many of us believers feel the way the workingman feels about our society, but as Christians we’re not allowed to go out on the limb like he does. We have boundaries in place to keep the enemy out, that’s why our weekend song is different from his. So let’s sing ours nuh, our Friday Chant, with the same verve and enthusiasm with which he sang his song. 

As one now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, we need fun and fellowship and relaxation too, but we also need to control our natural sinful nature and not give Beelzebub any chance of invading our space. And yes, I know we recently had this passage of scripture as our Bit, but it’s one of those commands we need to hear over and over and over again, because with the constant demands and busy pace of the world we’re very liable to forget it. 

So here goes: ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.’ And that is the indisputable truth my brethren! Lucifer and his evil henchmen are always on the prowl, seeking victims they can take advantage of. And we can’t let our guard down because they’ll jump in at even the least invitation. 

So Peter continues his warning. ‘Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world.’ (1 Pet.5:9) Yeh friends, we have to stand strong and resist the enemy and all his evil machinations. 

It’s not easy, and we all are afflicted in some manner or the other, but Peter guarantees us that if we stand strong: ‘But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish (confirm), strengthen, settle you.’ (1 Pet.5:10) 

What a wonderful God we serve and worship my faithful brethren! That’s why we can sincerely say like Peter did: ‘To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.’ (1 Pet.5:11)

So please hang in there my people, even though there seems to be no hope, for once you’re alive…and working with Jesus…there is always hope! Much LOVE!

…the Lord will make a way for us…where there seems to be no way…that’s His faithful promise…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 September 2018 Matthew 6:12.

Matthew 6:12.      Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Well it’s cloudy, and the forecasters have promised rain for this afternoon, which the ground badly needs, but I also want to go and visit my mother out in the North East end, and it doesn’t make sense to go in the rain. Been putting it off for a couple weeks, finding one excuse after another.

 

Hn! Haven’t seen her for about a year now, if not more, and that’s not a good son’s behaviour. But I know she will forgive my lack of attention, because that’s the kind of person she was. 

Ah friends, forgiveness! One of the most powerful tools in our toolbox. And the greatest words of forgiveness ever spoken are those of Jesus, as He hung, bruised and battered on the old wooden cross, about to breathe His last breath. ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’ (Luke 23:34) 

Yeh friends, can you believe it? After the harsh and unjust punishment Jesus received at the hands of wicked and sinful men, He still could ask the Father to forgive us, because we didn’t know what we were doing! What magnanimity of soul and spirit He exuded there.

The same goes for us in these evil times. Only a person with a large heart and spirit can genuinely forgive another. It’s seldom easy, but yuh know what my people? Forgiveness is the very basis of our faith!  

Our most generous and magnanimous God forgave us our sins because it was in His heart to do so. He didn’t have to do it, but because of His LOVE for us, He chose to do it. And He requires us to do the same; to forgive others as He has forgiven us. And if you don’t, then you’re not a true child of His. 

And that principle of our faith was, and is so important that Jesus made it a part of the basic prayer He taught His disciples: ‘Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’ 

And the scholars explain the verse of our Bit as follows: ‘6:12. Forgive us our debts refers to sins, which are our moral and spiritual debts to God’s righteousness. The request for forgiveness of sin is made here by the believer. In order to be saved one need not necessarily name all of his sins, but he must confess that he is a sinner.’ 

And that’s a good thing, because so many of us have so many, even some we don’t know about, that it would take us till everlasting to name them all! (smile) As the li’l quote from the Daily Bread Devotional reminds us: ‘The first step to receiving God’s forgiveness is to admit that we need it.’ And do we ever! 

And Jesus didn’t just leave it there in our Bit, but followed up with this most important corollary: ‘For if ye forgive men their trespasses (sins, debts), your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matt.6:14-15) 

Oh my brethren, Jesus could not make it any simpler or clearer than that! If we don’t forgive our fellow man his trespass, then the Lord won’t forgive ours. It’s as simple as that! But we’re such hypocrites and deceivers in this current world that we don’t forgive others but keep on pleading to the Lord for His forgiveness on our behalf. Hn! It won’t work my people. 

The Lord forgave us once on the big stage, through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, but now He expects us, as individuals, to live up to our covenant and do unto others as we expect Him and others to do unto us. So we shouldn’t expect someone to give us something that we’re not prepared to give in the first place, or to give back, having received it. That’s not Christ-like. 

But unfortunately that’s not what our current world is all about. Instead, we’re mightily focused on getting something for nothing, not sharing, being greedy and hoarding, simply looking out for number one, me, myself and I! And even more unfortunately, too many of us Christians are falling into the selfish trap that the world is advocating. 

And it doesn’t help us either as individuals or as Christ’s body, the church. It just makes the unbeliever look at us askance and lose interest in God, because that behaviour does not gel with what we preach as believers. So we’re definitely doing ourselves and Christ’s church irreparable harm when we behave in that hypocritical and ungodly manner. 

Oh my people, I guess we’ll need to hear about forgiveness until the very day, or moment that we die, since it’s not always easy to do, and it goes against the very grain of our naturally sinful soul. But forgive we must, if we want to be forgiven!

And like with every other aspect in our walk of faith, God will help us with forgiveness if we come to Him in all humility and sincerity and ask for His help. He’s promised never to turn us away…and He won’t. 

So let’s wisely get on the forgiveness train nuh, because it’s the only one going to heaven. And simple logic dictates that if you’re not on it, then you’re not going to heaven! (smile) But our God is so magnanimous and wonderful, that for those who try to practice what they preach, He’s ordained numerous blessings, as found in our Thursday Blessings. So let’s go home now sincerely declaring them nuh. 

In unison: ‘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!’ 

Oh what a wonderful God we serve and worship my people! Now let’s go out with a strong sense of purpose and share those blessings with the less fortunate, as Jesus intends for us to do. Much LOVE!

…if you’re blessed…then you were meant to share the blessing…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 19 September 2018 1 Timothy 6:12.

1 Timothy 6:12. ​   Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast pro​fessed (confessed) a good profession (confession) before many witnesses.

 

One more time unto the breach, dear friends, one more time! Yeh, I’ve got another medical appointment this morning, that’s why the Bit is so early again. The good thing though is that I don’t have to go into Toronto, it’s just some diagnostic testing not too far down the street from me. 

But I do have to fast for it, and fasting, or rather forced fasting and I are not the best of friends. The ole stomach is here growling away on me, calling for food, but I still have a few hours to go until I can grant it its request. (smile) But as they say, it’s all for my benefit. So just suck it up, grin and bear it! 

That brings us to this bit of good advice attributed to James J Corbett (1866-1933), the American Heavyweight fighter, better known as ‘Gentleman Jim.’ He advises: ‘Fight one more round. When your feet are so tired you have to shuffle back to the centre of the ring, fight one more round.’ And that from someone who knows what He’s talking about through personal experience! 

Yes my brethren, that’s what we Christians are called to do; fight one more round, even though we feel at the point of exertion, be it physical, mental or emotional. Oh, I know many of us are tired, what with all our personal problems, including health, wealth and friendship matters, but as believers, we’re not supposed to give up. Giving up doesn’t exist in Jesus’ vocabulary. 

And further still, they say that the darkest hour is the one just before the dawn, so if you’re seeing what you consider a very dark hour, please believe that relief is right around the corner. Remember the mind is the most powerful tool in the world, and what we believe we can achieve. We have to use what resources we possess to our best advantage and keep on keeping on. 

As Bruh Paul cautioned Timothy in his first missive: ‘But thou, O man of God, flee these things (LOVE of money, hurtful lusts, material wealth.); and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, LOVE, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast pro​fessed (confessed) a good profession (confession) before many witnesses.’ 

And as the scholars say of our Bit: ‘6:12. The good fight concerns the daily struggle with sin in the Christian life, and the hardships and adversities in the ministry. A genuine believer demonstrates the reality of his faith by being engaged in this warfare. Lay hold on eternal life does not negate the fact that a believer now possess spiritual life (John 3:36); rather, it speaks of fully realizing or appropriating salvation as the believer matures.’ 

Ah mih breddren being a true believer in Jesus Christ is not easy, but since we have declared ourselves to be true believers, we have to just keep on keeping on. And it’s not like we don’t have ample resources and encouragement, assurance and help to fight our earthly battle. We do! Namely all the resources granted to us as believers in Jesus Christ; the biggest and most important ones being salvation and eternal life. 

As the Good Book declares: ‘He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth (remains) on him.’ (John 3:36) Oh friends, that provision alone ought to be enough to encourage us to stand strong and live and defend our faith. Which other faith has that sure promise eh…with the sacrifice, and resurrection of Christ to back it up eh? NONE! 

And then we have so many other promises of God, who has a good plan for every life, with a hope and good future. He’s also promised never to leave nor forsake us; to hear our prayers and pleas when we diligently and sincerely seek Him; to bring us out of the fire unscorched; to take us safely through the flood, and most of all grant us a Deliverer, a Messiah, one to sacrifice and atone for our sins, which He did through His only Son Jesus Christ becoming flesh and offering His sinless life upon the cross at Calvary so that our sins could be washed white as snow. 

Glory to God my people! For He has done all that He’s promised, and if we do what we’re supposed to do, then He will do the rest. The Lord will not do it all for us. He requires us to put in an effort on His behalf, since we’re partners in this New Covenant. So though life might be dark, dreary and difficult, we do have all the tools necessary to fight the good fight. 

And hopefully, at the end of our days, we’ll all be able to proudly say like Bruh Paul did to Timothy: ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (race), I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that LOVE his appearing.’ (2 Tim.4:7-8) 

Yes mih breddren, what a joyful day that will be! But until then, let’s keep fighting the good fight nuh, and as a promise of our faithful intentions, go home declaring our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know our current position in Christ. All together now, let’s wail: ‘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 the future will be even more glorious than our puny minds can imagine. So think on that nuh! Much LOVE!

…when life gets difficult…consider our rewards in heaven…and the glorious future promised us there…

 

 

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