Today’s Scrip-Bit   30 January 2023 John 14:6.

John 14:6.        I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh to the Father, but by me.

Oh friends, is it ever great to wake up to some sparkling sunshine, though with a touch of cloud cover! (smile) And are we ever thankful that the weather forecasters were wrong, and so far, we have not gotten the big deluge of snow they had forecasted. Yes, there was a fair amount of wet snow making the place wet and slippery, but there wasn’t that much of the heavy, staying kind. So, this Monday morning’s commute, didn’t have the snow creating havoc as it tends to do. 

And seeing that we are now on the penultimate day of this first month of 2023, I believe it’s as good a time as any to review our new year resolutions and see how we’ve done so far with them…or rather it. And why simply it, you ask? Because remember we only had one resolution for this year, that’s to follow Jesus more closely, to truly try and live for Him, to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world as He desires of us. To put His Great Commission into greater effect, spread His word, His holy gospel to all the world, make disciples of all nations, so that more people would come to know and LOVE Him like we do. 

That’s a big  part our earthly purpose my brethren. And all I want us to do today, is to take a few moments and review our lives this past month based on the terms we’ve laid out above. I think it’s best for us to check on our progress early on to ensure that we are truly moving in the right direction, rather than waiting till later and sadly finding that we haven’t been living up to our resolution. By checking our progress now, we give ourselves sufficient time to correct it, if necessary. 

Oh my fellow believers, please have no doubt that this year of 2023 will be a most important one in both the world and our individual lives. It will be a watershed year, a time to make many new and difficult decisions regarding many aspects of our lives. The buzzword right now is the ‘new normal.’ Our world is at a crossroads, it has changed a lot recently, and is still changing, and this year will see the culmination of many of those changes. And we have to be ready to make the right choices and decisions so that our lives will run smoothly. 

So, it’s obvious that if we don’t have Jesus, our Lord, Saviour, Guide and Leader, truly as the Number One Priority in our lives, we are very liable to make many wrong decisions as the situations in our lives change. That means we have to concentrate a whole lot on Jesus. First of all to sincerely accept that He is indeed as He says: ‘I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh to the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6) And not only that, but also as He so truthfully proclaimed: ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ (John 8:12) 

And my people, it’s absolutely essential that we live in the light of Jesus more than ever this defining year of 2023, when the shadow of darkness, the powers of the evil one are being built up and solidified with each passing day and doing their best to keep us dominated and chained up in the darkness of their sinful, ungodly way of life. Yes, as Peter so seriously and sincerely warns us: ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.’ (1 Pet. 5:8) 

And that’s the indisputable truth! Satan’s efforts to ensnare the brethren have been greatly increased, he has upped the ante for our spiritual capture. That’s why it’s also important to do as Peter says: ‘Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.’ (1 Pet. 5:6-7) Now that’s also the gospel truth. Our God does care deeply for us, else why did He send His sinless and only Son, Jesus Christ to die on the cross to pay for our sins eh? 

Bruh Paul explains it in his letter to the Roman church: ‘But God commendeth his LOVE (demonstrated his own LOVE) toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom. 5:8) Wow, my fellow believers! Why would our God do such a selfless and compassionate thing if He didn’t truly care for us, His most precious creation eh? And if those reasons above don’t give us sufficient reason to believe that we desperately need Jesus in our lives, then let’s add these other most relevant reasons. 

Firstly, that He is the Prince of Peace! The ONLY ONE who can cause us to have satisfying peace and calm in the midst of the storms of life. Just think what He can do for our souls, if He can calm the mighty seas and winds by simply saying: ‘Peace be still:’ (Mark 4:39) Then Jesus is also our High Priest and advocate in heaven, working tirelessly on our behalf, constantly lobbying the Father to turn things around for us.  Hebrews tells us: ‘Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made (he had to be made) like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.’ (Heb. 2:17)  

And John talks of Christ’s advocacy in his epistle. ‘My little children, these things I write unto you, that ye sin not (may not sin). And if any man sin, we have an advocate (an intercessor) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation (redemption, atonement) for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.’ (1 John 2:1-2) Glory be my people! Jesus is indeed our everything! And now that the basic facts are before us, hopefully they will motivate us to get up and do our best to live passionately for Jesus in this pivotal year of our lives. 

Now, for those of us who sincerely believe, let’s go to the throne of grace with prayer for divine help, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn. As one voice: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

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

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

And as always, if we expect to receive positive results from heaven, we must also make positive changes here on earth. Much LOVE!

…JESUS…our Be All…and our End All…We need no one else…

P.S. Please excuse the lateness of the Bit, but life happened to me, as it does to all of us! (smile) Much LOVE!

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   29 January 2023 Romans 8:28.

Romans 8:28.       And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Another day of life, another Sunday on God’s great earth, another opportunity for His people to gather in His sanctuary to fellowship and offer up prayer and praise with thanksgiving. It doesn’t get any better than that. And today’s song offering is one that’s very near and dear to all our hearts, because it shows how our faith can transcend all the negative, unfortunate and heartbreaking circumstances we might experience in this fallen world. The song is most appropriately titled, ‘It is well With My Soul.’ 

And the story goes that the author, Horatio Spafford (1828-1888) was a successful lawyer and businessman in the Windy City of Chicago. His family consisted of his wife, four daughters and a son. But as so happens to even the best and most faithful of us, tragedy struck. He lost his four-year-old son to scarlet fever, then shortly thereafter in 1871, the Great Chicago Fire destroyed all his real estate investments, seriously decreasing his wealth. Then, in 1873, Spafford sent his wife and four daughters to a much need holiday in Europe, with the intentions of joining them later. 

Much to his chagrin though, a few days later he received a telegram from his wife, which apparently read, ‘Saved alone. What shall I do?’ informing him that their ship had been destroyed and his four daughters perished with it. She was the sole surviving member of the family. Can you imagine the sorrow and sadness the poor man must have endured? But he finally sailed to meet his wife and during the crossing, the captain apparently pointed out the spot where his daughters met their watery graves, then Spafford went to his cabin and wrote this beautiful hymn as ‘a testament to the salvation he found in Jesus through the good and bad times in life.’ 

So, as the snow falls from the high heavens this last Sunday in January 2023,  let’s do it justice now by offering up our sacrificial praise in a soulful, heartfelt, mid-tempo version. Singing: ‘When peace like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say It is well, it is well, with my soul (Chorus: It is well (it is well) With my soul (with my soul) It is well, it is well with my soul.) 

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, Let this blest assurance control, That Christ has regarded my helpless estate, And hath shed His own blood for my soul. (Chorus) My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought My sin, not in part but the whole, Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, o my soul (Chorus) For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live: If Jordan above me shall roll, No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul. (Chorus) 

But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait, The sky, not the grave, is our goal; Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord! Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul! (Chorus) And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight, The clouds be rolled back as a scroll; The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, Even so, it is well with my soul. It is well (it is well) With my soul (with my soul) It is well, it is well with my soul.’  

Oh my people, that’s the unwavering truth! It’s never easy, but when we put our sincere trust in Christ Jesus, He does enable us to bear even the most horrible tragedy with some semblance of peace and calm! And I can personally testify to that, for when my adorable mother Molly, died unexpectedly some twelve years ago while I was in California, I experienced that true peace and calm Jesus offers to those who walk with Him in faith. I was writing the Bit one morning when I was told I had a phone call from my mother’s caregiver, and right away I sensed what had happened, and surprisingly I just felt this feeling of peace overcome me. 

Now, it doesn’t mean you don’t feel the pain, but there’s an aura of peace around you that compassionately keeps you together during those rough times. Yes friends, God’s LOVE and grace do help us get through those times when the challenges are coming hard and fast and we feel all alone, without a place to turn to for help and succour, and consequently feel that we’ll never be able to handle them. 

But when you feel helpless and all alone, that’s the very time you ought to turn to Jesus, for remember He is the ONE who strengthens us and acts as place of refuge and solace like the opening verses of Psalm 46 remind us. ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help (an abundantly available help) in trouble. Therefore will we not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst (the heart) of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.   Selah.’ (Ps. 46: 1-3) 

And that’s the gospel truth! But we have to believe it to see it. That’s the basic tenet of our faith. We have to let our faith rise up and accept God’s grace, mercy and compassion when we are hurting. No, it’s never easy, but with God’s help, always possible. Like Bruh David says n Psalm 67:7. ‘In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.’  That reminds of another great man of faith, Job, who suffered a terrible loss of family and business like Spafford did. 

And what was his reaction? He chided his wife who advised him to curse God and die. ‘But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive (accept) good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil (accept calamity)? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.’ (Job 2:10) Unfortunately though, that’s not something too many of us can say when calamity strikes us, and we are believing God for help. Our first reaction is usually anger and vehemence at God. 

But that never helps the situation. We must understand that there’s a reason and purpose for EVERY THING that happens in our lives, though we can’t figure it out. Our Lord doesn’t just bring or allow calamity upon for us for no purpose, but it’s all a part of His overall plan for our lives. And we need to remember that whatever He allows to come against us, He will also allow us a way to get out or through it. That’s why we need to rise up on those calamitous occasions and say like Job of God. ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.’ (Job. 13:15) 

That’s the kind of unquenchable faith we believers need in these ever so important and contrary times. Even when it appears that God has turned against us, we must still trust in Him, for Job eventually received twice as much as he originally had and I’m sure Horatio Spafford received some kind of divine reward for his faithfulness. So please, as we walk in the trials and tribulations of our times, let’s remember this awesome, all-encompassing promise: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom. 8:28) Much LOVE!

…you can’t walk by faith…without showing your faith in your walk… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   28 January 2023 Philippians 4:11.

Philippians 4:11.        Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

So, it’s our lazy day Saturday, but unfortunately I couldn’t stay in bed and be lazy like I desired, because I was just fresh like a daisy, rearing to go. (smile) Imagine that nuh! And what was I so excited to get up and see? Another cold and cloudy day with snow in the forecast. 

Well, if we are expecting more of the white stuff, and we still have plenty left over from the last bout, then apparently winter has finally reached my area. But that’s what we are all about at this time of year anyway, so we just have to grin and bear whatever comes our way. Therefore, let’s get our act together, and, as we do on Saturdays, check out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And this first one is rather interesting. It says: ‘I am letting go of things that don’t bring me happiness or peace.’ Wow! What a novel idea! (smile) And it would be ever so good if many of us in today’s busy and pressure-filled society would do that; just let go of the things that don’t bring us peace or happiness. And some of us might have to let go of a lot of things because we have so many things in our lives that are not bringing peace or happiness to our blighted souls. 

But the truth be known, there is ONLY ONE WAY to get true peace on this sinful and fallen earth, that’s by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. And why is that? Well because He is the Prince of Peace and His peace is far different than what the world offers. Listen to Him tell it: ‘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) 

Glory Hallelujah my faithful brethren! What an awesome promise! And if you still don’t believe that Christ can bring you peace amidst the world’s troubles, then listen to this other affirmation of His. ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) And that ought to sober us up and stop our flagrant, wasteful worrying because it’s the undeniable truth! 

Then there’s this quote: ‘My life isn’t perfect, but I am thankful for what I have.’ Now that’s the declaration (yesss!!!) of a mature believer! One who has peace in Christ and knows that life isn’t perfect, in fact it will never be perfect, but they are nonetheless thankful for whatever they have. 

Like Bruh Paul wrote to the Philippians: ‘Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know how to be abased (live humbly), and I know how to abound (live in prosperity): every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengetheneth me.’ (Phil. 4:11-13) There again friends, it’s our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who strengthens us and allows and helps us to endure whatever circumstance we encounter, and to do so with a thankful spirit. Isn’t He just great! He surely is! 

That brings us to this next quote: ‘No matter how good you are, people will judge you according to their mood and needs.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth! Especially in today’s selfish and fraudulent society! It’s sad, but people are so needy and unstable, more so since almost three years of the Covid pandemic, that they are liable to turn on you for no good reason, on a whim and fancy, although you are doing your best to help them. 

So that’s the unfortunate state to which our society has fallen. It’s every man for himself, regardless of what that selfishness and greed causes. And in getting there, through the revered auspices of the social media, we’ve become a rather judgemental society. Yes, it’s now the custom for us to expound on matters that we know absolutely nothing about. And the sad part is that through the social media we can do that anonymously, without being taken to task for our atrocious behaviour and comments. 

But that’s the new world we live in. Jesus’ admonition on the subject has now been completely thrown out the window. Do we even remember that He said: ‘Judge (condemn) not, that ye be not judged (condemned). For with what judgement (condemnation) ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete (use), it shall be measured to you again.’ (Matt. 7:1-2) But too many people are getting away with unfair judgement because of the anonymity provided by social media. 

However, as the old people would say, we all get our comeuppance at some time in some way. The Lord is a just God and He will judge rightly and justly. And because of all the above, we come to this last unwise quote. ‘LOVE yourself first and everything else falls into line.’ Now that’s not what Jesus teaches, but with the sorry state of our world, you really can’t blame people if they behave thus. It takes a strong, confident and mature believer to put others before themselves. 

And how does Jesus desire us to live? He says: ‘Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matt. 22:37-40) That means we ought to LOVE God, ourselves and our neighbours with all of our being. It’s of supreme importance in our faith walk. 

One of the many problems we face though is that too many of us don’t LOVE ourselves, and that’s not meaning in a narcissistic, vain or self-absorbed manner, but just genuinely caring for and liking ourself. When we look in the mirror, we must see someone whom we like, someone whose company we don’t mind being in, someone we’re willing to treat kindly. But until we can do that for ourselves, we’ll never be able to like our neighbours, because you can’t give away what you don’t have. So today, I’m pleading with us to get serious about LOVING God and ourselves, so that we can LOVE our neighbors and bring about the kind of world that Jesus desires. Much LOVE!

…in a world filled with hate and evil…only true LOVE and goodness…can make an appreciable difference… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   27 January 2023 Isaiah 55:6.

Isaiah 55:6.       Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near:

And there’s some sunshine shining on the cold white snow in a cloudy background, which my computer terms as haze. (smile) Yes friends, on this last Friday in January 2023, we declare ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday!‘ in a cold and hazy atmosphere. The important thing though is that our great and wonderful God, Jehovah is still on His heavenly throne, still in control of all earthly movements, although we might not think so. 

And yes, He does give us a lot of leeway to do as we please, but let’s never forget His sage, incisive and sharp-edged words, spoken through His prophet Isaiah. ‘Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.’ (Is. 55:6-7) 

And in these evil and ungodly times, do we ever need to return to Almighty God and be pardoned, for the sinful attributes in our world are overwhelming, reaching up to high heaven with a frightful stench that totally boggles the imagination. And those sage and rather incisive words of God continue: ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.’ (Is. 55:8-9) 

Oh my fellow believers, the Lord might give us free will to do and act as we please, but we are never out of His sight nor His thoughts because He is omniscient and omnipresent and will only allow us to get away with so much wrongdoing, while constantly calling us to righteousness. And I don’t understand why we so adamantly refuse His call to godliness and righteousness, especially when He’s made such great provision for us. 

Listen to his words again nuh. ‘For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it to bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void (empty, without fruit), but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.’  (Is. 55:10-11) 

Yuh hear that friends? Our God is purposely telling us that whatever He sends out His word to accomplish, will be accomplished, and in the exact manner that He desires. Now doesn’t that make us concerned about our culture and lifestyle, our disobedience and ungodliness? It ought to, because His word contains so many promises of the wicked and sinful being destroyed, of being punished in the fires of hell. That ought to make us sit up and take serious notice of His holy and truthful word, and turn to Him, though somewhat belatedly, for the abundant pardon that He holds out to all who come to Him in sincere repentance. 

And listen to this magnificent promise of our great and ever-faithful God to those who avidly and sincerely Him. ‘For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir (cypress) tree, and instead of the brier (plant with a thorny and prickly stem) shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.’ (Is. 55:12-13) 

Wow mih bredrin! What a magnificent promise! Our God includes us in the everlasting covenant He’s given to his chosen people, Israel. And are we going to refuse it for foolish and prideful self-interest? The scholars tell us that God’s ‘invitation to all men is clearly stated in the appeal, Seek ye the Lord and call ye upon him.’ 

They also inform us that ‘God’s sovereignty and omniscience are extolled by the statements that His thoughts (i.e. purposes or intentions) and ways (directions)  are higher than ours. While God may certainly be known by men, He is still incomprehensible in the totality of His person and purposes. Therefore He reveals Himself to men by His word, which shall not return to Him void (empty, in vain). The Word of God, therefore accomplishes His purpose in announcing salvation to all mankind.’ 

And He’s kept His word by sending His sinless Son, Jesus Christ to die for us on Calvary’s cross, so that our sins can be forgiven, and we be made the righteousness of Christ, be reconciled to our Creator and no longer bear the mark of Satan, but of Christ, and no longer bound for hell fire and damnation, but for the beautiful and peaceful halls of heaven. Now, we would be everlastingly foolish to reject such a marvellous solution to our sinful souls. 

So please, I implore us to day to get serious about Jesus and His amazing way of life. Though it’s not easy and ofttimes sacrificial, it is ALWAYS interesting and adventurous and leads to untold treasures and rewards in heaven that last forever, unlike the earthly treasures we run down, that soon decay and are of no further use. Therefore, in faith, hope and wisdom, through our Friday Chant, let’s go to the throne of God in sincere prayer and ask for His divine help. 

As one confident but humble voice: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the confusion and anxiety caused by the pandemic and our many other serious problems. We can’t fix them on our own Lord, so we desperately need your help. 

Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat the simmering unrest in our land. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, without further serious setbacks. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe. 

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

And as always, if we sincerely desire to receive positive answers from our omnipotent God, we need to keep our promises and be obedient to His holy will. Much LOVE!

…God’s provided the way to salvation…it’s up to us…to accept or reject it… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   26 January 2023 Philippians 4:6.

Philippians 4:6.       Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in EVERY THING by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Well, it’s another cold and cloudy day, but one with a peculiar difference; the earth, the trees and the rooftops are covered in that white fluffy stuff called snow. (smile) Yes, we finally got a fair amount of the beautiful but ever so dangerous stuff yesterday and it just made a mess of the Greater Toronto Area. Accidents galore, and endless time to get around, that is when you could. Saw a picture of a bus having problems moving in the thick snow. And if a bus could have problems, think about how the smaller and less powerful vehicles managed nuh. 

Oh, and I just heard the snowplough outside finally cleaning my small and insignificant lane. (smile) But we can’t complain too much because it’s the first real snowstorm we’ve had for the year, and it’s definitely not as bad as what some areas have had to suffer through. Our storm probably deposited a few inches, while other areas have had a foot or more. So, we can still say ‘Thanks be to God!’ And if we’re talking about giving thanks, then this scripture from Bruh Paul’s epistle to the church at Philippi, written while he was imprisoned, is one we should certainly review. 

He’s talking about the people who helped him lay and build the church, how their names are being written in the Book of Life. Therefore, he advises the church to: ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation (gentleness, graciousness) be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in EVERY THING by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.’ (Phil. 4:4-6)  

Oh my fellow believers, I hope you noticed that most significant admonition: ‘in EVERY THING’ we should prayerfully give thanks as we lift up our desires to Almighty God! Yes, whatever it is, however serious or insignificant the problem, our God wants to hear about it, because He desires to work with and help us through whatever difficulties we encounter in this life. But we must endeavour to have a prayerful and grateful attitude regardless of our circumstances. Why? 

Bruh Paul explains: ‘And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:7) And that’s the gospel truth! When we keep our minds stayed and steadfast on God, He grants us divine peace from worry and anxiety through His wonderful Son Jesus Christ. It’s like Bruh David writes in Psalm 22 – The Plea of the Fearful: ‘Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer (permit) the righteous to be moved (shaken).’ (Ps. 55:22) 

But it won’t happen unless we believe it and subsequently place all our trust in Almighty God. And that’s also why Jesus taught on the importance of not worrying in His Sermon on the Mount. (Matt: 6:25-32) He explained that we should not worry about food and drink and clothes, how the birds and other animals, plus all the beautiful flowers in nature are looked after by the Father, and since we are more important to Him than them, why wouldn’t He also look after us? No reason whatsoever! 

And anyway, we can’t change anything by worrying about it, so worrying is useless. Like Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say. Worry is like sitting in a rocking chair. You can sit there and rock all day and still get nowhere. You can worry about your problems all day and still don’t have a solution. It’s best to spend your energy on talking to God about your problem, than trying to fix it yourself. 

Hence Jesus’ admonition: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow (don’t worry about tomorrow): for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil (trouble) thereof.’ (Matt. 6:33-34) Yes friends, each day has its own problems that we need to handle responsibly, instead of wasting our valuable time looking forward to hypothetical problems that might arise on the morrow. 

That takes us back to Bruh Paul’s admonition to the Philippians, where he continues: ‘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. Those things which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.’ (Phil. 4:8-9) 

That’s it in a nutshell my fellow saints: how to get God’s peace and how to keep it. Seek God first, don’t worry about your life, but take everything to God in prayer with thanksgiving, and think on good things, things that encourage, rather than discourage, and the God of peace will provide peace and a good, worthwhile life for us. Obviously it won’t be easy to do, what with the natural ups and downs of life, but with God’s most able assistance, through His Holy Spirit that indwells us, we can have a good and fruitful life, producing even up to a hundred-fold. (smile) 

And our God is so wonderful that He never asks us to do anything without giving us the wherewithal, or the tools to do them. Consequently, He has generously bestowed on us what we call our Thursday Blessings, so that we can do His earthly work. But we need to declare them out loud so that they can be activated. So, let’s do that right now nuh. Altogether: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! 

I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to, will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’ 

Now, with those blessings activated in our lives, we are expected to go out and generously use them to bring others to Christ. Much LOVE!

…you can ride out any storm of life…in peace…with Jesus as your pilot…  

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   25 January 2023 Psalm 30:11.

Psalm 30:11.       Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth (the sackcloth of my mourning), and girded me with gladness.

Ah friends, please excuse the lateness of the Bit, but the ole fella was somewhat under the weather this morning and didn’t have the parts to get up and write earlier. (smile) So, we will endeavour to keep it short and sweet. Hn! Hn! Please remember though, I’m not God, only a frail and finite man, so sometimes I might renege on my promises. 

Anyway, let’s check out this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, that’s most appropriate for this new year of 2023. It’s titled” ‘Renewed Commitment,’ that’s to Jehovah God, something all of us need to seriously look into, because as the body or church of Christ, we are not putting our best foot forward on His behalf. 

So please read with me: ‘Forgive me, dear Lord For too often Letting the painful memories Of my yesterdays Crowd out the glad tomorrows You graciously offer me. I know I cannot rekindle The charred embers Of the past year. I cannot erase the blunders Made so impulsively Nor can I regain the opportunities That are forever lost. I cannot retract the impetuous words I wish I had not spoken Or replace the shallow choices I should not have made. But I Can open my wayward heart To Your cleansing power. With honest determination I Can renew my broken vows. And I Can begin to praise You This very day For the joy of beginning again.’ 

Oh my people, doesn’t that sound like so many of us this past year? Of course!. But as the poem says, we CAN renew our broken vows to God and begin worshipping and praising Him this very day, for the joy of beginning again. And isn’t that one of the majestic mercies of our great God; the ability to extend second chances…even third fourth and fifth ones! That’s what is so amazing about Him; despite our rebellious nature and wayward ways, He always takes us back, whenever we come running back to Him. 

Forgiveness, based on His unconditional and everlasting LOVE for us, His most important creation is just a natural aspect of His Being. Once He judges us to be sincere, He will forgive. But we must not attempt to take advantage of His wonderful grace and mercies by overdoing our rebelliousness, for though He is patient and longsuffering, He will not put up with our foolishness for ever. You just have to look at what He made His chosen people, Israel go through for their stubborn and continuous disobedience. 

So, let’s remember that our God is a most wonderful and forgiving Deity, but He’s no pushover, as He’s always promised, in His time, He will destroy the wicked, but save the righteous. That means we’ve got to concentrate on righteousness this new year of 2023. And we don’t have a lot of time to do it, because the first month of January is almost over. 

But enough with the conviction (smile) let’s turn to the Bible Promise on which our poem was based. It comes from Psalm 30, and says: ‘Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth (the sackcloth of my mourning), and girded me with gladness.’ (Ps. 30:11) 

That brings to mind a couple of other scriptures on the subject of mourning and dancing. First up are these true words of Cousin Sol writing as the Preacher in Ecclesiastes, where he reasons that there’s a season for every thing, including: ‘a time to weep, and a time to laugh, a time to mourn, and a time to dance.’ (Eccl. 3:4) 

Then the prophet Isaiah, in declaring (yesss!!!) the acceptable year of the Lord to his people Israel said: ‘To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto (console) them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.’ (Is. 61:2-3) 

Now that’s the main reason the Lord made us: to glorify Him! And those are the things He desires to give to us, ‘beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness:’ things that so many of us are not enjoying because of our rebellious and unrighteous ways. We cannot be the ‘trees of righteousness’ the Lord desires us to be called if we are not in sync and harmony with Him. 

And this is the reason the psalmist gives for the Lord turning his mourning into dancing and girding him with gladness instead of sackcloth: ‘To the end that my glory (soul) may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.’ (Ps. 30:12) 

And that’s exactly what Christ desires of us, His supposed followers; to not be silent, as so many of us are, for whatever reasons. And also to sing His praises to ALL the world for as long as we live! And I’m sincerely pleading with us that this is the year we must turn things around in Christ’s favour; let His name, His LOVE, mercy, grace and forgiveness explode all over the planet and cause a magnificent revival of His LOVE Revolution! 

Wow! That’s our goal for this year, couldn’t have a better one. And so, for all of us in agreement with that, let’s go home now declaring (chuh!!!) our Wednesday Wail, informing all and sundry of our marvellous position in Christ Jesus. As one strong and sincere 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 for added encouragement, let’s remember that if we endure to the end with Jesus, that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine. So please allow that to boost our faith, enthusiasm and witness for Christ!  Much LOVE!

…to be in successful partnership with God…we must also do our part…it’s not a one way street… 

P.S. Glory be! I did keep my promise and made it shorter…a li’l bit. (smile) Much LOVE! 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   24 January 2023 Psalm 127:1a.

Psalm 127:1a.       Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it:

And after a somewhat wet and slippery Monday, Tuesday has turned out be of a somewhat indeterminate character; a weak sunshine with cloud cover. My computer terms it haze. (smile) But however it finally turns out, it will be okay once we have Jesus first and foremost in our hearts, minds, souls and bodies. All praise and glory to our wonderful Redeemer! 

Hope we have all been in touch with Him already for the day, asking for His faithful help and guidance through the rough waters of our lives. Please remember my fellow believers that it’s essential, of the utmost importance to begin each and every day with a word of thanks, praise and gratitude to our most worthy Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, if we expect to receive His awesome help on our daily journey. The length of time we spend with Him is not as important as the fact that we do spend time with Him every morning we open our eyes to a new day. 

And as I was just skimming through the Good Library, I came upon this critical verse of scripture re labouring in vain, which I believe is ever so appropriate for these evil and ungodly times on the earth. We all know it, but don’t pay much, or sufficient attention to it. It comes from Psalm 127, A song of degrees for (of) Solomon. And it so rightly says: ‘Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep (guards) the city, the watchman waketh but in vain (stays awake in vain). It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.’ (Ps. 127:1-2) 

And that’s the gospel truth my people! Unless we have God in our plans, they will not work the way we want them to. That’s further borne out by these apt words from Psalm 121: ‘I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved (to slip): he that keepeth thee will not slumber. 

Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is thy keeper (protector): the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve (keep) thee from all evil: he shall preserve (keep) thy soul. The Lord shall preserve (keep safe) thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.’ (Ps. 121: 1-8) 

Yes friends, that’s the kind of overall protection we get when we involve the Lord God Jehovah in our affairs! But turning back to Psalm 127, the psalmist continues to speak of our futility without God in our daily lives. He says: ‘Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.’ (Ps. 127:3) 

Oh, they certainly are! As Jacob said to his estranged brother Esau when they finally ended their estrangement. ‘And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept. And he (Esau) lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children; and said, Who are those with thee? And he (Jacob) said, The children which God hath graciously given thy servant.’ (Gen. 33: 4-5) 

Now, that’s how we ought to appreciate the children we are granted by God, because there are so many people, right now, and also down through the ages who desperately desired children but could not have any. However, we see how the Lord blessed barren women like, Sarah -Isaac’s mother in her old age (90), (Gen. 21) likewise Hannah – Samuel’s mother when she prayed fervently for a child, (1 Sam.1) and Elizabeth – the mother of John the Baptist, who had been barren for many years. (Luke 1:36) As Psalm 113 tells us: ‘He maketh (causes) the barren (childless) woman to keep house (dwell in a home), and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord.’ (Ps. 113:9) 

Oh, isn’t our God wonderful! He certainly is! Then the psalmist goes on to explain God’s reward through children. ‘As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man (a warrior); so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.’ (Ps. 127:4-5) Mama Mia! That’s the blessedness of having children my fellow believers! 

And I like how the scholars explain Psalm 127. They say: ‘The principle of this psalm is that all human efforts are in vain unless they have God’s blessing. This principle is applied to 4 areas: building a house (vs. 1a), guarding a city (vs. 1b), working long hours (vs. 2), and having children (vs 3-5). It is possible to accomplish all of these things without God’s blessing, but it is not possible to accomplish them purposefully and with eternal value without God’s blessing. The psalm includes, incidentally, two practical reasons for having children: they bring you joy, and they protect you (vs. 5).’ 

Ah friends, it’s so foolish to try and live this earthly, unknown, anything can happen at any time life without God’s grace and mercy surrounding us. That’s the wisdom of living life; doing it with God, and according to James that’s entirely possible: ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not (without reproach); and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (not doubting). For he that wavereth (doubts) is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.’ (James 1:5-6) 

Unfortunately though, in this ungodly society, many of us are seeking wisdom in the wrong places, and are also big doubters, jumping from one newfangled idea to another, like a bee flits from one flower to the other. There is absolutely no stability in our society right now, as everything seems to be in a state of flux, that’s constant change and drifting without real purpose. And the only antidote for that kind of life, the only stable foundation in this world is Jehovah God, through His Son Jesus Christ. 

Please let’s remember that my fellow saints, as we go about our daily lives, and please let’s make sure that we build those lives on the rock that’s Christ Jesus, so that we can have true stability regardless of what happens in our lives and the world. Now, for those of us trying to do just that, let’s go home declaring (steups!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting the whole world know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. 

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

That means we must now go out and share the amazing LOVE and friendship of Christ with those we meet, so that they can come to truly know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…in Christ…the solid rock we stand…all other ground…is simply sinking sand… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   24 January 2023   Psalm 127:1a.

Today’s Scrip-Bit   23 January 2023 Psalm 145:20.

Psalm 145:20.       The Lord preseveth all them that LOVE him: but all the wicked will he destroy.

Well, a fine Monday morning to all you my Scrip-Bit friends and family! I do hope that all is well with you on this the first day of the new work week, and you’re bright eyed and bushy tailed, excited to get out into the evil and ungodly world and do your thing for Christ; be full of salt and shine like a blazing fire, so much so that those who come into contact with you, simply cannot refuse your witness! 

Wow! Yes that’s the way we ought to be my fellow believers, especially in these rather disturbing and turbulent times, where Christ’s church and His LOVE Revolution are falling behind the eight ball. But we’re not here today to cast aspersions, or render judgement, rather to offer encouragement and enlightenment. 

And I had to chuckle a short while ago when I came to write the Bit and had no inkling what to write about. So in my mind I asked, ‘What should I write about today Lord?’ And in a few seconds the answer came: ‘Go back to Psalm 145!’ So, since He’s the Boss and I’m just an obedient servant, then we will go back to Psalm 145, Bruh David’s Psalm of Praise to God’s Unsearchable Greatness. And beginning in verse 14, where we had stopped the last time, we read with great encouragement. 

‘The Lord upholdeth  all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down. The eyes of all wait upon thee (look expectantly to you); and thou givest them their meat  (food) in due season. Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy (gracious) in all his works. The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of them that fear (reverence) him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them. The Lord preseveth all them that LOVE him: but all the wicked will he destroy.’ (Ps. 145: 14-20) 

Yes my fellow saints that’s the greatness and everlasting faithfulness of our Lord God Jehovah! He NEVER turns away those who sincerely put their trust in Him in all sincerity and truth. And He’s great and loyal enough to stand up for all who cry out to Him, to come to their rescue! Now that’s the wonderful, merciful, gracious and LOVING God we serve! There’s no other like Him in all creation! 

And I like how the scholars spell out the specifics for us. They say: ‘After the characteristic call to praise (vs. 1-2), David offers four key reasons to praise the Lord in the section called the cause for praise vs: 3-20): the Lord is great (vs. 3), He is gracious and merciful (vs. 8-9), He sustains all who fall (vs. 14), and He is righteous in His ways and kind are His deeds (vs. 17)’  And what’s the welcome conclusion of all that? A renewal of the call to praise in (vs.21), which we haven’t look at as yet. 

So let’s do that right now nuh. In conclusion, Bruh David solemnly proclaims: ‘My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever. Amen!’ (Ps. 145: 21) Oh my people, if we could only do those two things – praise the Lord and bless His holy name – a li’l more often that we do, life would improve so much, that we wouldn’t even recognize it. (smile) 

And that’s a major problem we have amongst believers today. For whatever reason, too many of us refuse to praise the Lord and bless His holy name, refuse to pay Him the homage He so rightly deserves for all the wonderful things He’s done, is doing, and has promised to do for us. Please remember that second to last verse: ‘The Lord preserveth all them that LOVE Him; but all the wicked will He destroy.’ 

And believe me that’s no idle promise as so many of us believe today in this era of false gospel and false teachers. Our God never makes promises He doesn’t intend to keep, which you can discover by looking through the Old Testament. So please, let’s not get caught up in all the lovey-dovey and feel-good stuff that some are preaching and wake up and understand that if we don’t truly LOVE God and act accordingly, we will end up amongst the wicked and be sentenced to eternal separation from Him, the worst sentence we can ever get. End of Sermon! 

Now, let’s go to Him, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, asking for divine guidance and protection. As one strong and confident voice: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

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

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

So, if we desire to see positive, God-given changes in our lives and our world, then we have to do our part; that’s turn from our evil ways and adopt His righteous ones. As simple as that my fellow saints. Much LOVE!

…sincere LOVE for God…ought to be our number One priority…that’s what Jesus said…and He doesn’t lie… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   22 January 2023 Hebrews 6:19a.

Hebrews 6:19a.       Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast,

And the days of this new year are moving swiftly by. Can you believe we’re already moving into the last full work week of January? Yuh better believe it! January will soon be over and we’ll be looking to Valentine’s Day, another big money spinner. But we’ll take it all in stride once we stay strong and steadfast in Christ and fellowship on the Sabbath, which is today. That means thanks, praise, worship and togetherness in the Lord’s sanctuary. Wow! That’s what the Lord’s Day is all about! 

And today we’ll open with an old but beautiful and favourite hymn, recorded by numerous artistes down through the years, aptly titled ‘Whispering Hope,’ written in 1868 by American musician and poet Septimus Winner (1827-1902). The text of the song refers to the anchor that keeps the soul unwavering – the ‘Whispering Hope’ for all Christians.’ So let’s lift our voice in sacrificial praise to heaven in a mid-tempo soulful, harmonious, heartfelt version of the song, letting them know that our souls are unwaveringly anchored in the biggest and best anchor, Jesus Christ. 

Singing: ‘Soft as the voice of an angel, Breathing a lesson unheard, Hope with a gentle persuasion Whispers her comforting word: Wait till the darkness is over, Wait till the tempest is done, Hope for the sunshine tomorrow, After the shower is gone. (Refrain: Whispering hope, whispering hope, oh, how welcome thy voice, oh how welcome thy voice, Making my heart, making my heart, in its sorrow rejoice.) If, in the dusk of the twilight, Dim be the region afar, Will not the deepening darkness Brighten the glimmering star? Then when the night is upon us, Why should the heart sink away? When the dark midnight is over, Watch for the breaking of day. [Refrain] 

Hope, as an anchor so steadfast, Rends the dark veil for the soul, Whither the Master has entered, Robbing the grave of its goal; Come then, oh, come, glad fruition, Come to my sad weary heart; Come, O Thou blest hope of glory, Never, oh, never depart. [Refrain: Whispering hope, whispering hope, oh, how welcome thy voice, oh how welcome thy voice, Making my heart, making my heart, in its sorrow rejoice.) 

Now wasn’t that just beautiful friends! And I do hope that those encouraging words lifted our spirits, giving us confidence to face the upcoming work week, for that’s one of the purposes of our Sunday fellowship. Now it’s widely acknowledged that the basis for this song comes from Chapter 6 of Hebrews, where the author talks about God’s covenant with Abraham which involves salvation among other things, (Gal. 3:15-24) which he received after he patiently endured. (Heb. 6:13-16) 

However God had more security on His mind, as the author writes. ‘Wherein God, willing (determining) more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability (unchangeableness) of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath. That by two immutable (unchangeable) things in which it was impossible to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered even Jesus, made (having become) a high priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.’ (Heb. 6:17-20) 

And the scholars tell us that ‘God’s covenant with Abraham, which involves salvation (Gal. 3:15-25), is secure, being based upon two immutable things, that is. elements that cannot change. First, God’s promise is based on His own unchanging Word, He cannot lie, nor will He allow His Word to fail (Matt. 5:18; John 10:35; 17:17). Further, His word was confirmed by an oath. And since He can swear by none greater, He swears by Himself. He rests His Word on His holy character.’ 

Meanwhile, they further explain that in the last three verses ‘the author uses three pictures to demonstrate the security of being in Christ. First, it is described as a safe retreat for the believer, as were the six cities of refuge in the Old Testament to those allowed their protection (Num. 35:6-32).Second, our hope is sure and steadfast as is a well-placed, unbending anchor. Our anchor is not located in the deepest sea but in the highest heaven. The third figure is that of a forerunner. Though the figure changes, the location does not. Our forerunner is likewise positioned in the sanctuary of the heaven. 

As our forerunner, Jesus is different from the Old Testament priests. In the sanctuary they could intercede for the people, but they could not lead the people in themselves. As our forerunner, Jesus has opened the way before us, that eventually (and certainly) we might enter in with Him.’ Oh, I know that might sound somewhat confusing, but just take your time and read it. Now here is some other info on the song, in particular ‘As an anchor so steadfast.’ Now please don’t ask me where I got it from, because there’s no note to it. (smile) But it might just help us understand the anchor scene better. 

So please read with me: ‘It is a striking likeness when he compares faith leaning on God’s word to an anchor; for doubtless, as long as we sojourn in this world, we stand not on firm ground, but are tossed here and there as it were in the midst of the sea, and that indeed very turbulent; for Satan is incessantly stirring up innumerable storms, which would immediately upset and sink our vessel, were we not to cast our anchor fast in the deep. 

For nowhere a haven appears to our eyes, but wherever we look water alone is in view; yea, waves also arise and threaten us; but as the anchor is cast through the waters into a dark and unseen place, and while it lies hid there, keeps the vessel beaten by the waves from being overwhelmed; so must our hope be fixed on the invisible God. There is this difference, — the anchor is cast downwards into the sea, for it has the earth as its bottom; but our hope rises upwards and soars aloft, for in the world it finds nothing on which it can stand, nor ought it to cleave to created things, but to rest on God alone. 

As the cable also by which the anchor is suspended joins the vessel with the earth through a long and dark intermediate space, so the truth of God is a bond to connect us with himself, so that no distance of place and no darkness can prevent us from cleaving to him. Thus when united to God, though we must struggle with continual storms, we are yet beyond the peril of shipwreck. Hence he says, that this anchor is sure and steadfast, or safe and firm. It may indeed be that by the violence of the waves the anchor may be plucked off, or the cable be broken, or the beaten ship be torn to pieces. This happens on the sea; but the power of God to sustain us is wholly different, and so also is the strength of hope and the firmness of his word.’ 

Now that ought to clear up a few things. (smile) So let’s go home filled with heavenly hope that’s solidly, safely and securely anchored as it ought to in Christ our Lord and Saviour, our High Priest and forerunner or precursor in the heavens. Much LOVE!

…hope is what leads to faith…without hope, you can’t have faith… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit   21 January 2023 Romans 12:17a.

Romans 12:17a.       Recompense to (repay) no man evil for evil…

‘Sunshine, lollipops and roses!’ Well, a half out of three isn’t bad. (smile) We’ve got a touch of sunshine. And the truth is, it’s not even true sunshine, but less cloud cover. But we’ll take it over some sort of precipitation and thoroughly dark clouds. And having lazed away my part of this lazy-Saturday morning, I’ll reluctantly turn my attention to the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this past week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And we’ll jump right into this first and ever so important one: ‘Forgive people in your life, even those who are not sorry for their actions. Holding on to anger only hurts you, not them.’ And sadly, that’s the bane of so many of us in this weak, fearful and ungodly world. We refuse to forgive those who have hurt us, thinking that we can do them something by withholding our forgiveness. 

But friends, the last laugh will always be on us. Why? Firstly, because those whom we refuse to forgive will most likely go about their business unconcerned, while we will be stewing in our hate, anger and resentment, making ourselves physically, emotionally and mentally sick. We must realize that basically, forgiveness is not for others, it’s for us, for our well-being. 

And the second foolish aspect of unforgiveness is what happens with God, when we don’t forgive. How did Jesus put it in His sample prayer: ‘Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’ (Matt.6:11-12) Yes friends, that’s what we’re praying, for God to forgive us as we forgive others. 

So what does that mean eh? Jesus explains: ‘For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your heavenly Father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matt. 6:14-15) That says it all right there my brethren. So please let’s forget this worldly nonsense about holding grudges and not forgiving, because we are only afflicting ourselves. 

Then there’s this quote: ‘Sometimes Those Trying To Bring You Down Don’t Know You’re Part Of The Reason They’re Still Standing.’ And isn’t that sometimes the awesome truth! So often our associates want to drag us down, or usurp our positions, but don’t realize that it’s because of us they are where they are, and without us they’d be nothing. 

And I guess the greatest example of that is the religious leaders of Israel who refused to accept Jesus and tried to railroad Him to His death, because they figured He would spoil the good thing they had going in the bowels of the Roman Empire. They didn’t realize that He was really the good thing that they needed, and He had come to save them. 

And unfortunately, it’s the same way with many of us; we resent and reject Jesus, but He’s the ONLY thing standing between us and eternal death and damnation. Please remember these ever so important words of Jesus: ‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:17) And Jesus is indeed the ONLY reason why we are still standing! Please, let’s acknowledge that hard and true fact and behave accordingly. 

That leads us to the following quote: ‘A wise man once said, “Be careful who you let on your ship, because some people will sink the whole ship just because they can’t be the captain.’ Now isn’t that a glorious truth! And I can attest to that through personal experience over the years. The things some people would do for a li’l power is ofttimes surprising and unbelievable. They’d even torpedo their own livelihood just to be the boss. How foolish. But that’s the chain of foolishness and ignorance that Satan has some of us tied up in. 

Therefore,re we have to be very careful who we let into our lives, especially in these days of so many lies, deceit and fraud. Fraud is possibly the biggest crime going right now. And I just had one of those phone calls from one of the many current schemes that try to defraud you. And when you look at the missed calls, they are the same fraudulent schemers every day. They don’t seem to give up. Now, if they would just use that same persistence and perseverance in a legitimate job, they could do ever so much better. But for some reason or other, they choose the life of crime. 

However, having said that, this next quote shows us a better way. It says: ‘If you ever get the chance to treat them the way they treated you, I hope you choose to walk away and do better.’ Yes, that’s the right way, if you are a follower of Jesus, who expressed these sentiments. ‘Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, LOVE your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully (spitefully) use you, and persecute you; 

That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and unjust. For if ye LOVE them which LOVE you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans (tax collectors) the same? And if ye salute (greet) your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans (tax collectors) so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.’ (Matt. 5:43-48) 

The long and short of the story my fellow saints is that as followers of Jesus we are supposed to rise above the norm, not just do what others do but more and better. That’s the philosophy Jesus desires to espouse in His kingdom. And Bruh Paul encapsulates it so nicely in his letter to the church at Rome, by saying: ‘Recompense to (repay) no man evil for evil… Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.’ (Rom. 12:17a, 21) 

And this last quote is self-explanatory. ‘When a flashlight grows dim or quits working, do you just throw it away? Of course not. You change the batteries. When a person messes up or finds themselves in a dark place, do you cast them aside? Of course not! You help them change their batteries. Some need AA…attention and affection; some need AAA…attention, affection, and acceptance; some need C….compassion; some need D…direction. And if they still don’t seem to shine…simply sit with them quietly and share your light.’ 

Oh my people, in this sad, confused, evil and ungodly world there are way too many of us who are suffering from a dim bulb or weak battery. Too many of us are flailing around in the darkness, and it needs us believers to attend to them with the LOVE of Jesus, so that they can be set free, to walk out of their darkness into the marvellous and miraculous light of Jesus! 

And the only way that can happen is if we shine our light in their darkness. Like our Saviour so wisely recommended: ‘Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid… Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt. 5:14, 16) Now, as true believers, let’s go out and do just that, today and every day nuh. Much LOVE!

…the goodness of God…is the only thing that will overcome…the evil of this world… 

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