Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 February 2021 1 Thessalonians 5:6.

1 Thessalonians 5:6.     ​Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober (self-controlled).

Well it’s another new day, another Wednesday, with lots of new mercies and compassion for which we are eternally grateful! Therefore we will give the Lord much thanks and praise and enjoy the day as we sincerely, diligently and efficiently do His holy will! And His children’s voices were raised in a loud, grateful and spontaneous ‘Amen!’ 

Today is also Ash Wednesday, the day in our religious calendar that begins our season of Lent. And what is Lent, you ask? Basically it’s a time of fasting and praying, of reflection and thanksgiving, of abstinence and self-denial, of desiring to get more intimate with our God, of giving up some of the things that we enjoy, but which keep us from giving our all to Him. It corresponds to the forty days that Christ spent in the wilderness fasting, being tempted by the devil, while preparing Himself for His upcoming earthly ministry. (Matt. 4:1-11) 

Likewise, every so often, not necessarily in the Lenten season alone, we ought to empty ourselves, get serious and talk as intimately as possible with our great and wonderful God; go to Him with life changing and puzzling questions and await His faithful answers. Oh friends, it’s only as we sincerely seek God that we can ever get answers. For as Jesus said so plainly: ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matt. 6:33). 

That’s why we should always endeavour to keep God in first place in our lives, for without Him in that Number One position, we will not be beneficiaries of all the wonderful and immeasurable benefits that He has prepared for us. And one of those immeasurable benefits is life – both earthly and eternal! 

Ah mih people, it’s so good when you can wake up another day and don’t see your name listed in the obits. (smile) Yes, heaven might be wonderful and all that, but I’m sure that most of us are not quite ready to go there. There’s something about earthly living; could be the enticing promises of sinful living, (smile) or better yet, the desire to do God’s work here on earth. But whatever it is, in most of our hearts and souls, we’re not ready just yet to give up this tempestuous, troubled, evil, dangerous and uncertain earthly life. (smile) 

I pray though, that we’re all ready, just in case the Grim Reaper shows up unexpectedly and calls our name, or Jesus happens to come again to receive His own unto himself. That is all important friends; the preparation, the readiness for heaven whenever it calls. We cannot be found wanting when Christ calls us to come home, whether it be in death or His Second Coming. When either of those times arrive, He must be our Lord and Saviour, or else we will not spend eternity with Him, and that will indeed be a crying shame, with much weeping and gnashing of teeth, but then it will be too late. 

As Jesus clearly stated; when He shall return, and when we shall be called home, no man knows it. ‘But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only…Watch therefore; for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.’ (Matt. 24:36, 42) And since ALL options will be off the board when either of those situations occur, it’s of the utmost importance to always be in a state of readiness for either occasion. 

‘Be prepared; be ready,’ should be our watchwords and motto in this earthly life, for we don’t want to miss out on the eternal and heavenly one with Jesus. The only other option; hell, eternal darkness and the lake of fire with Satan is unthinkable! So let’s just concentrate on being with Jesus nuh, which means putting Him first place in our lives, and doing whatever He requires of us. 

And Bruh Paul spelled it out quite clearly in his first epistle to the Thessalonians. ‘For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night…But ye, brethren are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children (sons) of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober (self-controlled). 

For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and LOVE; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.’ (1 Thess. 5:2, 4-10) 

Yes my brethren, that’s exactly why we do what we do; so that we can live together with Jesus forever! And one of the ways to ensure that in this evil world, comes from Bruh Paul’s last command. ‘Wherefore comfort yourselves together (encourage each other), and edify (build up) one another, even as also ye do (are now doing).’ (1 Thess. 5:11) 

Oh my people, it’s ever so important for the saints of Christ to encourage, teach and build up each other, especially in these times of rampant sickness, evil, loneliness, depression and inhumanity. So like now, when isolation is the norm, let’s try and stay in touch with each other nuh. We have the means and the technology to do it, but we need to dig down deep and find the will, for it’s what Jesus desires of us. 

Now let’s go home declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know of our wonderful 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 let’s not forget that if we endure to the end, that future will be even more glorious than our puny minds can even contemplate. Much LOVE!

…when the roll is called up yonder…will you be there…that’s the most important question… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 16 February 2021 Psalm 107:8.

Psalm 107:8.    ​Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men.

Please note friends, that this is simply an aberration, not a regular occurrence. (smile) I’m talking about receiving the Bit so early on a Tuesday morning. But it has been forced upon me by an early morning appointment for some tests in the hospital, and with the bad weather out there and the confusion in the hospitals, I’m not sure when I’ll be back. 

And believe me, if it was in normal times when tests were fairly easy to come by, I would certainly have cancelled this one after the snowstorm passed by last night and dropped a few inches on us. But things have changed so much during these pandemic times that I am forced to brave the beautiful white, but oh so dangerous stuff this early morning. (smile) And since this Bit will be short and sweet, let’s get going with something Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller) called ‘The Possibility Thinker’s Creed,’ a li’l encouragement for a cold and snowy Tuesday Morning. 

Please read with me. ‘When faced with a mountain, I will not quit! I will keep on striving until I climb over, find a pass through, tunnel underneath, or simply stay and turn the mountain into a gold mine – with God’s help.’ Now that should liven us up this morning, and give us some strength and strong desire to keep keeping on and NEVER to give up, because Christians don’t do that sort of thing. Hn! And I do hope that I find a pass through the mountain of snow when I get out there, because I really don’t feel like climbing over it, tunnelling underneath or staying and turning it into a gold mine. (smile) 

Now here is something else I’d like to share, one of my favourite prayers. It’s titled ‘Lord, Please Accept My HeartfeltThanks!’ It was prepared by the Life -Study Fellowship, Noroton, Connecticut some years ago, and I’ve shared it already, but I think the time’s come to share it again. (smile) So please pray with me. ‘Dear Lord, You are so good to me! And Ithank Yousincerely for the many blessings You send me! I’m very glad to have You in my life day in and day out – whatever I do and wherever I go! 

You are the One who always does what is best for my happiness! How grateful I am to be able to turn to You for guidance and comfort when troubles come my way! If any situation arises that makes me feel discouraged, You let me know I can lean on You for support! And because of YourLOVEfor me, somehow I seem to find the strength to keep going – even through the most difficult of times! I’m grateful, too, for peaceful moments like these when I’m all alone with You in prayer! 

Talking with You never fails to reassure and uplift me! Nothing I say to You goes unheard. You listen with great concern to everything I confide in You! For You truly care about me! As I look to 2021, I pray that You will continue to watch over me – and grant me even more of Your wonderful blessings! And may I serve You well in my every word, my every deed! Be my Guide hour by hour, I pray! Amen.’ 

Oh friends, as far as I am concerned you could not get a much better overall prayer than that! It certainly covers all bases. And it’s based on this wonderful scripture from Psalm 107.‘Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness (LOVING-kindness), and for his wonderful works to the children of men.For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.’ (Ps. 107:8-9) 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my people! If mankind was a li’l more thankful and praiseful and grateful to the Lord God Almighty, I’m sure we would not be in the terrible mess in which we’re now in! But we like to use our free will, be proud of our independence and do our own thing. Hn! Therefore, when we make the wrong decisions, we have to pay the price, But unfortunately, though we doLOVEto be proud and arrogant, we don’t have the concomitant parts to stand our bounce when we do wrong and the tough consequences come a calling. Only then do we know God and cry out to Him for help! 

And the psalmist thought that our Bit was so important that he included it three more times in the one psalm; verses 15, 21 and 31. Now here’s what he says after verse 15; ‘For he hath broken the gates of brass (bronze) and cut the bars of iron in sunder (asunder). Fools, because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted.’ (Ps. 107:16-17) And that’s no lie friends, as we and all our foolish and evil doings, can all attest to. 

And after verse 21, the psalmist declares (yes!) ‘And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing (joyful singing).’ (Ps. 107. 22) Oh how much better off we’d be my people, if we did more joyful singing and thanksgiving than the inordinate amount of complaining we do. And after verse 31, the psalmist makes another profound statement. ‘Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.’ (Ps. 107:32) 

More sound and wise advice my brethren. Let’s try and take some it this Tuesday morning nuh. It would be oh such sweet balm to our tired and wounded souls. And now it’s time to go home declaring (awright!) our Tuesday Mantra, proudly telling the whole world who and whose we are. 

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

So let’s mosey on and do just that nuh.Much LOVE!

…the Lord gave us free will…so that we would use it wisely…not foolishly… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 February 2021 Hebrews 12:6.

Hebrews 12:6.     ​For whom the Lord LOVETH He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

Oh mih people, is J’ouvert morning! So we sing: ‘Mas, mas! Play mas! Mas in yuh mas! Play mas! Ole mas!’ Yes it’s Carnival Monday in T&T, time for plenty fete, much wining and drinking, plenty pretty costume and half-naked women too as Carnival rolls around for 2021. But yuh know what? Unfortunately, because of the Covid-19 virus, there’ll be no official carnival this year. Who would have ‘thunked’ it eh? And the Police are adamant that they will have no nonsense in the streets, no fetes and liming or any such gatherings. 

According to the newspapers, one high ranking Police official said there must be no paint, powder or mud on the streets… What? So how yuh going to play ole mas eh? (smile) No drunken sailor awash in baby powder; no jab-jab, no red-devil all painted up, blowing His whistle ‘pay the devil;’ no pan on the avenue either? The police officer also claimed that some foolish people are planning to come out for J’ouvert, but those who intend to “test the waters”, they will “drown”. 

Tough words from Babylon. I certainly wouldn’t want to test them, but it is a given fact that some brave, or foolish Trinidadian (take yuh pick) going to ‘test them waters.’ Some die hard fanatic going to claim: ‘No mas! Deh crazy?’ And then come out to prove their point. Make no doubt about it, the police will be busy, because Trinbagonians won’t take their lack of mas very easy and polite. When coming to their carnival, T&T has never been known to be the quiet, obedient type, so my bet is that they going to give Babylon a run for their money. (smile) 

And I searched for a while to find a scripture that could be used in this scenario. Finally, the Lord led me to this one about His discipline. From the author of Hebrews, who quotes Cousin Sol from Proverbs 3:11-12. ‘Ye have not yet resisted unto blood (bloodshed), striving against sin. And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children (sons), My son, despise not thou the chastening (discipline) of the Lord, nor faint (be discouraged) when thou art rebuked of him. For whom the Lord LOVETH He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.’ (Heb. 12:4-6) 

Yes precious people, the Lord is a disciplinarian, and there’s nothing wrong with that, as the scholars explain. ‘12:6. Whom the Lord LOVETH, he chasteneth: God’s principle of disciplining His own people is completely congruous (in agreement or harmony) with human practices. This quotation from Proverbs 3:12, stating God’s practice, corresponds to the commands God gave to fathers. “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that LOVETH him chasteneth him betimes (promptly)” (Prov. 13:24; cf.22:15, 23:13). LOVE and corporal punishment are not incongruous (incompatible); they are two complimentary and necessary aspects of training.’ 

Ah friends, all of that is oh so true! But unfortunately, our world has gotten so soft and fearful that many of us refused to discipline our children, consequently we have ended up with a lot of undisciplined, entitled, rowdy, selfish, unmannerly children in this generation. And please remember that chastening doesn’t mean abuse, or even necessarily corporal punishment, but it certainly means holding children accountable and finding some useful punishment in cases of gross disobedience. 

Hear how the author of Hebrews continues. ‘If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then ye are bastards (illegitimate) and not sons.’ (Heb. 12:7-8) Oh, we have certainly bastardized a lot of our children by not chastening them for whatever mistaken reasons. 

‘Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence (respect): shall we not much rather be into subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure (what seemed best to them); but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.’ (Heb. 12:9-10) 

Yes my brethren, we respected those earthly fathers who disciplined us according to their timetable, so why won’t we accept God’s discipline eh, which is meant for our betterment, so that we can be partakers of his holiness? That’s a very good question? And the answer might just be that we are naturally rebellious and don’t like to be disciplined. But hear this last verse which sets the table right. ‘Now no chastening (discipline) for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised (trained) thereby.’ (Heb. 12:11) 

And that does bring the matter to a head: chastening never seems good when it happens, but it’s always useful in the future. In hindsight, many of us parents would now admit that the chastening we received in our youth was indeed beneficial in our older years, so why did we spare the rod and spoil our own children eh? And why are we also disobedient to God eh when He only has good things planned for us? I don’t have answers to those questions, but I do know that the first requirement to fix any of them is going to God in prayer and baring our souls before Him. 

So let’s do that right now nuh, 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 that this Monday morning we’re alive and standing in faith despite the mass confusion that’s currently prevailing in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems; the pandemic of Covid -19, the racial, political, and religious strife that’s ignited worldwide, plus the many natural disasters that now seem more prevalent than ever. 

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

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

Now we just have to wait and see the Lord’s response, while being obedient and patient. Much LOVE!

…disobedience…ALWAYS has…negative consequences… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 14 February 2021 2 Corinthians 5:21.

2 Corinthians 5:21.     ​For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Snow, snow, go away, and come back some other day! (smile) That’s what we would all like this Sunday morning my brethren, but let’s be thankful for small mercies, namely that we don’t have to journey out in it to get to church to sing praises and worship our wonderful God. Yes, this virtual and technological worshipping is a pain in the neck, but it’s certainly better than no worship at all. 

So to show our thanks let’s begin by belting out this marvelous old hymn with lyrics by Isaac Watts (1674 – 1748) and the chorus by Ralph E. Hudson (1843-1901) Yes friends, we talking about ‘At the Cross.’ What a wonderful hymn, for it speaks to our most wonderful gift; SALVATION! Glory be! 

Let’s celebrate in song, our two blessed occasions nuh; when Christ was crucified for our sake and when we found Him and made Him our Lord and Saviour. Now, in an easy rocking tempo, with joy resounding from every note and word, let’s allow our sincere sacrifice of praise to be heard all over the world, and also in high heaven.

(Refrain: At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day!) ‘Alas! and did my Savior bleed And did my Sovereign die? Would He devote that sacred head For sinners such as I? (Refrain: At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day!) 

Thy body slain, sweet Jesus, Thine— And bathed in its own blood— While the firm mark of wrath divine, His Soul in anguish stood. (Refrain) Was it for crimes that I had done He groaned upon the tree? Amazing pity! grace unknown! And love beyond degree! (Refrain) Well might the sun in darkness hide And shut his glories in, When Christ, the mighty Maker died, For man the creature’s sin. 

(Refrain) Thus might I hide my blushing face While His dear cross appears, Dissolve my heart in thankfulness, And melt my eyes to tears. (Refrain) But drops of grief can ne’er repay The debt of LOVE I owe: Here, Lord, I give my self away ’Tis all that I can do. At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day! Now I am happy all the day…happy all the day…happy all the day…’ 

Oh my people, if you’re not happy all the day, then you don’t truly believe! Why you ask? Simply becauseour salvation was certainly earned at the Cross, for as the Good Book says: ‘For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God’ (Rom. 3:23) And what’s the consequence of sin? The Good Book also spells it out quite clearly. ‘For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (Rom. 6:23) 

And how is death changed into life? The Good Book also has the answer for that. ‘And almost all things are by the law purged (cleansed) with blood; and without (the) shedding of blood (there) is no remission (forgiveness). (Heb. 9:22) That means friends, that all sinners were condemned to death from the very beginning of their lives because no animal or human blood was able to pay for us to have life anew. That could only be attained by the shedding of the blood of a sinless soul, and Jesus was the ONLY One around who could lay claim to that characteristic. 

So what did Almighty God in His divine wisdom and incalculable LOVE do? ‘For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.’ (2 Cor. 5:21) Yes my people, God placed ALL of our sin on Jesus, so that He could pay the price for ALL sin for ALL time! Christ was guiltless and sinless, but the Father LOVED us so much that He was willing to sacrifice His only Son for us. Oh my bredrin, which one of us would have given up our only son to be a sacrifice for a bunch of ingrates eh? None of us would have willingly done it, like the Father did! 

So we should just be thankful and jump for joy and just fall all over ourselves to do Jesus’ bidding! Can you imagine the ‘sufferation’ He underwent on our behalf; the flogging, the crown of thorns on his head, the nails in His hands and feet, the spear in His side, crucified naked, the mocking, the shame, the resentment and hate that was thrown His way…all on our behalf? As the hymn says about Jesus bruised and battered body ‘bathed in its own blood…His soul in anguish stood…for crimes that I had done…’ Steups! Then we get up and spout a whole lot of foolishness and don’t take the whole thing as seriously as we ought. 

And simple eyes-water is not good enough. Why? ‘But drops of grief can ne’er repay The debt of LOVE I owe. Here, Lord, I give myself away ‘Tis all that I can do.’ Yes friends, we can never repay Jesus’ sacrifice, the best that we can do is surrender our lives to Him and worship Him as our Lord and Saviour, LOVE Him with all our hearts, souls, bodies and minds, being ever so thankful for His saving grace. And John puts it thus in his first epistle. ‘And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.’ (1 John 2:2) 

That means Christ’s sacrificial death satisfied the Father’s requirement, the justice needed to pay for sin, now and for all time. What more can we ask eh? And some of us might be wondering why the Lord did all of that? Bruh Paul explained it to Timothy. ‘Who will (desires to) have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.’ (1 Tim. 2:4-6) 

Yes my fellow saints in Christ, Jesus’ sacrifice was proof that the Father wanted ALL to be converted. So he’s done His part, the rest is now up to us. Much LOVE!

…the foot of the cross…the best place to find Jesus…and lay your burdens down…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 February 2021 Matthew 5:12.

Matthew 5:12.     ​Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Oh friends, this lazy, hazy, bleak looking Saturday morning in the winter of 2021 has begun a tad rough on the ole fella. (smile) Ah the pleasures of a late night…but the travesty of an early morning. But as the ole people would say, when you do not listen you will feel, and believe me, I am feeling now. (smile) But that’s neither here nor there, God’s work needs to be done, and I know that He will give me the strength and wisdom to do it in a good and sound manner. Why? Because He has faithfully promised: ‘My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.’ (2 Cor. 12:9a) 

Yes friends, that’s what the Lord told Bruh Paul after he had complained for the third time about a nagging and uncomfortable body problem. And that’s the promise He makes to all of us who are weak and pained; in our pain and weakness His strength and glory are shown forth. Please remember that in those times when you feel weak and in pain; the Lord’s grace will show out in you if you turn to Him in all sincerity. Enough preaching now though. And I know you’re thankful for that. (smile) 

Let’s see what our friend Anselm had to say in his quotes this past week. And the first one, makes this dramatic statement. ‘Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth.’ Now that statement does have a lot of truth in it, but whether it’s the greatest enemy of truth, I don’t know. And we do have an exceptionally good recent example of it; the crowds of Americans who listened to the lying and deceitful rhetoric of Donald Trump and the other high up, powerful but oh so deceitful crooks around him, and blindly believed in the lies and deceits they so blatantly spouted. That is what has caused the wide, unamicable split, the hateful and resentful division we now have in the U.S. of A. 

So blind belief in authority does carry serious negative problems to overall truth. And the second quote proudly proclaims: ‘Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.’ And you really can’t find any problems with that statement nuh my people, for it’s totally true. All those characteristics are choices that one must make if you want to embrace them. 

And furthermore, they are all characteristics that the believer in Jesus Christ ought to espouse, because they are all a part of his philosophy, a part of His wonderful gospel! That means choices are an invaluable part of our life, we can’t get away from them, but the essence of the whole thing is that we must be sure to choose wisely, for unwise decisions usually cause, or bring dire consequences, even life-changing, lifetime ones. And having said that, I would be amiss not to tell us that the best choice we can ever make in this life is to believe in Jesus Christ, make him our Lord and Saviour and follow him from now until eternity! 

And interestingly enough, that last quote segues nicely into this next one. ‘When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth my fellow saints in Christ! Although we know that when the Lord closes one door He usually opens another, we get so caught up in what we might have lost, that we fail to realize and recognize the better things that the Lord is offering in the new situation. 

I guess that’s just a normal human reflex action. We miss the good things we lose, more than we look forward to the better things that are ahead. But let’s not beat up ourselves over that fact nuh because mourning and grief over the lost all takes time. But we do have to make sure that we don’t make that sad time too long since it would just break us up even further. Remember the Lord doesn’t close doors on us, unless he has better ones to open. And when those doors close in future, let’s contemplate the promise He made to His people, Israel, through the prophet Isaiah so long ago; ‘to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.’ (Is: 61:3) 

But as sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say, ‘You can’t get the beauty until you give up the ashes.’ And that’s oh so true. We have to turn away from the closed door, though it may be sad and hard, else we’ll never see the newly opened one. It’s all a matter of maturity, of growing in God’s Spirit, of being lifted up from glory to glory! 

And the last quote trumpets this eternal truth: ‘Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world…would do this, it would change the earth.’ And yes, that’s an indisputable fact! If mankind would only change its evil, wicked, inhumane and unjust ways, this world would be such a wonderful place! But I guess that’s never going to happen, at least until Jesus sets up His kingdom here on earth. 

In the meanwhile though, He expects his faithful and sincere followers to exhibit those magnificent tendencies of truth, compassion, honesty and justice, and to stand up forcefully against the powers of greed, inhumanity, injustice and all the other negative things that make life so difficult for so much of mankind. And I believe the best way to close today is with some memorable words of Jesus taken from His Sermon on the Mount., the opening of His earthly ministry. 

And it’s worthwhile to note that He began with the Beatitudes, statements that the scholars explain ‘deal with the inner state of mind and heart that is the indispensable absolute truth of true Christian discipleship. It delineates the outward manifestations of character and conduct of true believers and genuine disciples… It’s a life of grace and glory, which comes from God alone.’ 

So let’s listen to these last few Beatitudes. ‘Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.’ (Matt. 5:9-12) 

Oh friends, it is tough living for Jesus, but oh so rewarding. Hear the scholars as they explain just why living for Jesus is the most glorious thing we can do in this life. ‘5:12. Rejoice is the command that grows out of the blessedness of the believer. The phrase “Rejoice and be exceeding glad,” means even more, exult (triumph, jubilation)! Great is your reward in heaven focusses attention on the eternal destiny of all things. If God is as real as He claims, if the Bible is true, if heaven is to be gained, then no temporary earthly trouble or persecution can dispossess the child of God of joy in the prospect of the eternal glory that lies ahead.’ 

Let’s think on that nuh this Saturday my precious people. Much LOVE!

…blessed are those who believe in Jesus…and follow His example… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 February 2021 Romans 8:37.

Romans 8:37.     ​Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors, through him that LOVED us.

Welcome to Friday; somewhat snowy and blustery, but all a part of the winter system. Hope I think so when I have to go out the street later. (smile) So how’s your day going so far eh? I hope for those of you in my time zone it’s begun on a good note, and for those of you whose day is almost ending, hoping that you had a good one, despite whatever difficulties you encountered, as you walked with Christ beside you all the way. 

Oh my people, I shouldn’t have to remind us, but I will, (smile) that walking with Christ is the ONLY way to handle, to mitigate some of the troubles and difficulties we’ll experience in this evil and dangerous world. Remember Jesus promised that we’d have problems, but once we’re walking with him, things would be all right. Here’s what He said: ‘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) 

Yes friends, we all know that scripture, but do we really consider it when hard times come against us? That is the question. Do we remember promises like that when we’re facing uphill battles and need reassurance? I hope so, because that’s what those scriptures are for; to reassure us of the goodness of God and His promise to work things out eventually for the good of all those who LOVE Him, and sincerely try to do His will. 

So please, I implore us, in these rough and uncertain times, to keep the promises of our God front and centre in our lives, so we can use them to raise our faith and keep walking in His awesome and amazing LOVE! Otherwise, our supposed faith is just a waste of time. It doesn’t make sense having faith if you don’t use it positively. End of sermon! (smile) 

Now let’s see what the ordinary workingman has to say today nuh. And he is somewhat crochety. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday yes, and I’m still alive, though just barely. And I don’t know what you all expect me to say nuh. Nothing has changed in the last little while; we still on lockdown, I still don’t have no job, money in short supply, the virus an’ them still running rampant all over the world…So what new thing all yuh expect me to say eh? 

Oh, they thinking about sending some of the children back to school…when? I don’t know, and don’t really understand why everybody want them to go back to school. If big people can’t handle the situation, how yuh expect children to handle it in such crowed schools like we have eh? 

Steups! I just give up yes! Things too conflicting, yuh getting all sorts of different information from different people, and everybody claiming that theirs is the truth. So what’s an ordinary body to do eh? I don’t know about nobody else nuh, but me, I’m just going to keep me peace, and do the best I can with what I have. That is provided this lock up home situation don’t drive me crazy before we get the situation under control. Until then, I’ll just have to thank God and ask Him to keep me and mine safe oui.’ 

Ah mih bredrin, I think that’s the best advice for all of us yes; don’t give up, obey the rules as best we can, don’t put ourselves in any untenable situations, and talk to the Lord in all sincerity about the situation. It’s all in His hands friends, and He’s promised that this too shall pass, and also that no weapon formed against us will prosper, and every tongue that speaks ill of us will be condemned. (Is. 54:17) 

And Bruh Paul has also reminded us of our divine heritage with these words. ‘Who shall separate us from the LOVE of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?…Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors, through him that LOVED us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Rom. 8:35, 37-39) And all of God’s children said a loud and grateful ‘Amen!’ 

Yes friends, I do hope that we are all truly persuaded that NOTHING will separate us from God’s LOVE, because if we don’t, then our faith is again a waste of time and crapaud will smoke we pipe. And having said all that, let’s do the first thing we ought to do each and every day, and when we are in troubled times, turn to God in sincere prayer. And some of you might be wondering why I keep talking about sincerity, but that’s simply because the Lord doesn’t just hear our words, but checks the motives, the sincerity of our hearts before He considers our requests. 

So with sincere hearts (smile) let’s lift up our Friday Chant to heaven. As one voice now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. Yuh know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and the racial strife causing. We not accustomed to that kind of life Lord, and it really telling on us. And we know we can’t handle it on our own, that 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 both the virus and the unrest in our streets. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, so that we can avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. 

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

And now that we’ve shown our hearts to be sincere, let’s show the world that we are truly faithful believers in Christ Jesus and handle the situation as we ought to! Much LOVE!

…faith is belief in action…so let’s get some serious action going nuh…to show some serious faith…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 February 2021 Hebrews 12:1b.

Hebrews 12:1b.     …​let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.

It’s a new day people, so graciously granted to us by our heavenly Father, so let’s give Him some thanks and praise for it nuh, and promise to enjoy it to the fullest, while doing His awesome will! Yes friends, it feels so good to be alive on this Thursday morning, that despite all my difficulties, I still want to jump and shout for joy and sing praises to my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Wow! Hope you are also experiencing the same extraordinary feeling, because it is not a normal emotion that the world, that unbelievers can experience. 

That feeling of peace and calm, of LOVE and goodwill to our fellow beings, even when we are in the midst of a dreadful storm ourselves! And that feeling of euphoria, even in the darkest times is only possible when Jesus has first place in our lives. When we focus on Him, our lives take on a different quality, we rise to a higher level of humanity, we gain a strength and sense of purpose that enables us to run the race that our Creator has set out for us. 

Yes friends, when we embrace all the promises that our God has made down through the ages, we are then able to rise to the occasion, and allow Him to lift us from glory to glory, ever becoming more faithful and Christlike as we live this earthly life. And these awesome words from the Good Book epitomize all that I’m saying. The author of Hebrews, which resonate like the words of Bruh Paul, but which some scholars doubt, gives us this news of great assurance about running our race. 

‘Wherefore seeing (since) we also are compassed about with (surrounded by) so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us run with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.’ (Heb. 12:1) And I guess it’s only appropriate that I enclose the lengthy, but excellent explanation the scholars provide on that verse, so that we will get the real meaning and understand it perfectly. (smile) 

‘12:1. The present exhortation to run finds its basis in the examples of the champions mentioned in chapter eleven. These heroes of the faith are like a cloud of witnesses. As “witnesses” (Gr. marturon) they are sometimes regarded as spectators (Gr. theatai) or as martyrs; yet the Greek word should be understood as referring simply to those who testify or witness. The emphasis is on the witness provided by their living by faith. 

This race of faith is described by three modifying statements. First, it is to be run by laying aside every weight. This refers to impediments that weigh one down, whether clothing or excessive body weight. These things are not inherently wrong, but for the diligent runner, or the faithful Christian they must be removed.

 Second, it is to be run by putting off the entangling sin. This seems to refer to the one sin above all others that defeats a Christian. This may be a different sin for each individual. Third, it is to be run with patience (Gr. hypomones). Since patience is not an attribute commonly associated with running, this word would be better translated as endurance. Endurance and persistence have been on the author’s mind since the end of chapter 10 (cf. 10:32, 36-38, 11:13).’  

There you have it friends, our race is all about faith, learning from the faithful exploits of those who have gone before us and setting glorious examples, glorious witness and testimony for those who are coming after us. And remember our race is not a sprint, but a marathon, and those require much endurance and strength, both physical and spiritual, that’s why we need to practice, and practice seriously if we truly desire to win our individual races. And friends, the ability to do that is certainly enhanced when Jesus is our focus, cause remember we can do all things through Him, who strengthens us. 

Thus, the second verse of Hebrews 12 boldly continues: ‘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) Oh my people, that verse is key, for it is Jesus who began our faith and completed the first race in it. 

And the scholars declare it thus: ‘12:2. Just as verse 1 establishes some qualities for the entrance into and the actual running of life’s race, so verse 2 directs one’s eyes to the finish line. Jesus is the author and finisher in that He has already blazed the trail and finished the course.’ 

That makes Him the best example to follow in running our race. ‘For consider him that endured such contradiction (hostility) of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint (discouraged) in your minds (souls). Ye have not yet resisted unto blood (bloodshed), striving against sin.’ (Heb. 12:3-4) 

And the scholars explain: ‘12:3-4. Though chapter 11 provides many champions for believers to emulate, the supreme example of endurance is Jesus Himself.’ Make no doubt about that my brethren! Jesus is the example that our heavenly Father wants us to emulate. Yes, He knows that it won’t be easy, but that’s why He has blessed us so profusely with all the parts and trappings to be successful. 

And let’s thank our lucky stars, or should I say, our heavenly Father, (smile) that very few of us will have to undergo and endure the sad and brutal punishment that Jesus endured for our sinful sakes. That means we need to show gratitude by putting our best foot forward in supporting and promoting His wonderful cause. And He’s so magnificent and magnanimous that He’s even given us the tools to help us do His work. We call them our Thursday Blessings. Wow! So let’s remind ourselves of them as we go home this bright but cold Thursday morning nuh. 

As one strong, confident but humble voice. ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

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

And having declared them, let’s now go out, or stay in, or whatever, and share them with others, use them to benefit others, just as magnanimously as Christ has done with and for us. Much LOVE!

…the Lord knew we needed help in witnessing…that’s why He provided so many good examples…the best being Jesus…  

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 February 2021 John 14:27.

John 14:27.     ​Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither be afraid.

And then it was Wednesday, that invaluable mid-week day, that gives us our second wind, that is, when many of us had jobs to go to. But sadly, nowadays, jobs are few and far between compared to what they were a year ago. And many of us are struggling in all categories of life; financial, emotional, mental…and what have you. 

But what’s truly worrisome is not knowing, having no idea whatsoever when the situation will end and return to some sort of normal. It’s not so bad when we have something, a defined timeline to look forward to, but with the ensuing confusion of continuing infections, new variants of the virus, plus shortages of vaccines and all kinds of conflicting information it’s hard to develop any confidence in the eventual outcome. 

So what are we to do eh? The best thing seems to be to follow the rules laid out by the government, remember they are for our safety and protection, ignoring them isn’t going to help, regardless of what the naysayers say. It’s only going to make you more vulnerable to whatever illness is out there. Please look at the many people who didn’t believe the virus was real then caught it. Many died, but the blessed ones that survived, now have a different, more sensible, perspective on the whole situation. Please don’t wait to contract the virus before you get sensible. 

And while taking the necessary precautions, put your faith in Christ Jesus, or try and raise it to a higher level, and then stand! Stand strong by putting on the armour of Christ found in Ephesians 6:13-18; namely the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, with sandals of peace on your feet, the helmet of salvation on your head, the shield of faith in one hand to deflect the fiery darts of the enemy, and the sword of the Spirit, the mighty word of God, more powerful than a two-edged sword, in the other hand, then praying sincerely for all the saints. 

Yes mih bredrin, you need to stand firm in your belief and faith in these dangerous and trying times, because whatever happens, Jesus will still be there when the world finds some kind of relief from our present adversity. Glory be my people! That’s the ONE constant we have in this world my friends: JESUS! YAHEWEH! IMMANUEL! The PRINCE of PEACE! And if you don’t have Him in your life, then you are missing out on the most amazing situation possible in this life. 

Oh friends, if you don’t know Jesus as the Number One Mover and Shaker in your life then you are missing out big time! Why is that you ask? Simply because we were not made for this earth but for heaven, and you can only get to heaven through Jesus. As He so truthfully proclaimed to His disciples: ‘I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.’ (John 14:6) And you better had believe that, for regardless of your wealth and accomplishments in this world, there will always be an unsatisfied part of you until you receive Jesus as the Lord and Saviour of your life. 

As St. Augustine reputedly said: ‘No human being is really at peace until he has come to God by faith.’ And that’s the indisputable truth my brethren. Until Christ fills up that li’l space in your soul that the Lord, your Creator made especially for His presence, you will never know true peace. And what’s true peace you ask? Well it’s the peace of Jesus obviously. Hear how Jesus states it nuh: ‘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 be afraid.’ (John 14:27) 

Wow mih people! Yuh see that’s an entirely different kind of peace than what this crazy, evil and disaster filled world gives! And Bruh Paul said it this way to the church at Philippi: ‘Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 4:6-7) And though it’s not always easy to do, do it we must, if we are to achieve godly success. 

Now here are some important explanations from the scholars on those two verses. ‘4:6. Be careful for nothing means “don’t worry about anything.’ The Lord’s nearness (vs. 5b) leads Paul to forbid his readers from worrying. This is no summons to irresponsibility or an invitation to dismiss legitimate concern. The solution to undue anxiety is prayer in every thing, “in any matter of life.” The way to be free of anxiety is to be prayerful about everything. While God is eager to hear our requests, they are to be accompanied with thanksgiving.’ And so they should be my fellow saints in Christ. 

‘4:7. The peace of God is that tranquility of mind freeing the believer from fear and worry. “Peace” which passeth all understanding means (1) peace divinely bestowed in times of anxiety, so wonderful that it exceeds one’s ability to understand it; and (2) God’s peace far surpassing one’s own understanding of the problem, and His ability to cope with and solve it. Shall keep means “shall guard.” This is a military term for a sentinel standing guard duty. As Philippi was guarded by a Roman garrison, and its citizens were accustomed to seeing soldiers protecting the city, this word would be especially appreciated by the readers.’ 

And it should also be greatly appreciated by us too my people, because in these dark and dreadful times we do need to have a higher power guarding us. So friends, I sincerely hope that I have given us some good food for thought with these few words (smile). Now let’s sit down and ponder the ramifications of them all nuh, and hopefully we’ll all get sensible, see the wisdom in them and wisely and enthusiastically reach out for Jesus and all the wonderful things He brings to a soul that accepts Him as its Lord and Saviour. 

And for those of us who have already decided on that line of action, let’s go home now declaring (yeahhh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the whole world know our wonderful position in Christ Jesus! Wow! What a position! 

So 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 we all know that if we endure to the end, that future will be even more glorious than we can ask or even imagine! Much LOVE!

…if it’s true peace you’re seeking…then Jesus Christ is the ONLY place you’ll find it… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 9 February 2021 2 Timothy 1:12a.

2 Timothy 1:12a.     ​for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against (until) that day.

Well a good Tuesday morning to you my Scrip-Bit friends and family. It’s a tad snowy, but not too bad. And we need to remember that it’s winter in my neighbourhood and that’s what happens in winter; it gets cold and it snows. (smile) And I’m happy to say that after a couple of weeks and much dinero, I’m back on my desktop in my basement office again. But chuh! It’s taken a long while to set it back up. Ah, this technological society eh? It will be the ruin of us, in more ways than one, especially when our A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) gets so good that our robot friends start manipulating us, instead of the other way around. 

Yes friends, at some stage of the game, we’re going to get so lazy and pampered by all the stuff that A.I does for us that we’ll completely lose our minds, bodies and souls to it. It’s already happening. I see it when I send messages on What’s App, I don’t have to type in everything, like they read my mind, and on some things they are even more accurate than me. (smile) 

Now there is a comparative scenario, our relationship with our God, our Creator. The big difference here is that God is very vigilant and protective of His realm and won’t allow any interlopers whatsoever. So though we try, like Satan did, to use Him for our own ends, it won’t work. He might allow us some leeway, but take over, NO WAY Jose! 

We, on the other hand, want to just relax and enjoy life as easily as possible, so every day we are turning over some of our power to other sources. This in no way augurs good for the future, for as the ole people would say, when you don’t use it, you lose it. And that’s gospel truth my people. When we don’t use our faculties we lose them, they keep diminishing until they atrophy completely. 

But that’s the history of mankind, of the many powerful and wise societies that have inhabited our planet. Once they get prosperous and successful, they become lazy and their standards fall…and keep falling until the society is no longer a powerhouse or of any international importance. And we are in that critical stage right now, the only difference being that we are inventing machines, not people, to take over. And with the pandemic difficulties and the host of other problems in our world, I don’t know what the eventual outcome will be. 

But friends, there is some stuff ‘I Do Know.’ And that’s the title of the poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. I know that you also know these things, so please declare them with me. ‘There is much I cannot begin to fathom concerning the vast, indescribable universe created by our majestic God. There is much I will never comprehend. I want to sing and shout, so utterly overwhelmed I am with the magnitude of God. 

But I do know with confident certainty that I belong to the God of the universe – the Creator of all that exists. I know that I, a mere mortal, am forever linked to divine destiny. I know that my life has purpose and dignity. I know that God has chosen me as the object of His lavish LOVE; that His thoughts toward me are thoughts of kindness and mercy; that He has inscribed me in the palms of His hands. I know that all the LOVE of the Father, and the life of the Son, and the power of the Holy Spirit are freely, inseparably mine – now and throughout all eternity. This I do know.’ 

Oh my people, I do hope that we know that we know those things yes, else we’re completely lost, now and forever! If we don’t know the Father’s wonderful and unconditional LOVE, not confidently or consistently steeped in it, then we can’t be a part of the Son’s awesome life, or experience the amazing power of the Holy Spirit. Yes friends, it all begins with the LOVE of the Father, Him wanting to justly reclaim and reconcile us to Himself,  then flows through to the other two aspects of our triune Deity. 

And we see that so plainly in the words of Bruh Paul to the church at Rome. ‘But God commendeth (demonstrates) his LOVE toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom. 5:8) That’s oh so important to know and believe my friends, for it truly shows the extent of God’s LOVE for His disobedient creation. And I don’t know why it’s so hard for some of us to believe in God’s mighty LOVE nuh, for why else would He send His Son to die on the cross for a bunch of disobedient degenerates eh? It had to be LOVE, the greatest emotion in His arsenal. 

How did Bruh Paul put it to the church at Corinth? ‘And now abideth faith, hope, LOVE, these three; but the greatest of these is LOVE.’ (1 Cor. 13:13) And so it is my brethren. That’s why Jesus said the two greatest commandments are to LOVE your God with all you have, and to LOVE your neighbour as yourself. (Matt. 22:37-40) 

But coming back to the poem above and what we do know, Bruh Paul says it quite assuredly in the Bible Promise that’s associated with the poem. This is his assurance to Timothy. ‘Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against (until) that day.’ (2 Tim. 1:11-12) 

Oh my fellow believers, we too need to be that assured, not ashamed and very persuaded (smile) that whatever we’ve committed to Jesus, our earthly life, as well as our eternal salvation, that He can keep and guard them to the day when we stand before Him in judgment. That’s the great difference between believers and unbelievers; we are assured that Christ can do all that He says! 

And Peter tells us thus: ‘Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.’ (1 Pet. 4:19) Wow, mih bredrin! If our Creator isn’t LOVING and faithful, who is then eh? And because we know whom we have believed and are not ashamed of, we can go home declaring (aw shucks) who and whose we are through our Tuesday Mantra. 

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

So let’s go and do just that nuh!  Much LOVE!

…if you are ashamed…and not assured…then you don’t truly believe…  

P.S. Not all my fault that it’s late. I also had a doctor’s telephone consultation thrown into the mix. And as wonderful believers, I know you all understand. (smile) Much LOVE! 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 February 2021 Joshua 1:5.

Joshua 1:5.     ​As I was with Moses, so will I be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

And the weekly work cycle begins again…for those who have jobs that is, and are not sick from the Covid-19 virus. What a way Monday has changed in the last year eh? Back then we would wake up grouchy and miserable, annoyed that we had to go to work in the cold, winter morning. But today, although we are still waking up miserable and grouchy on a Monday morning, (smile) it’s for very different reasons. 

Now we’re wondering when the pandemic will end, do we still have a job, will we be able to work from home so we can escape the virus? On top of all that, money, food, clothing and the basic necessities are in short supply, so many of us are also very anxious about how we will get through this day. Yeh friends, what a difference a year makes! The pandemic has turned everything topsy-turvy, upside down, and many of us don’t know if we’re coming or going. 

But we believers in Christ Jesus ought to know that, for from way back when, our wonderful and omnipotent God has promised never to leave nor forsake us. And if you don’t believe me, then listen to His word. When Moses was about to die, he spoke these encouraging and reassuring words to the people of Israel. ‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them (your enemies): for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Deut. 31:6) 

And Moses commissioned Joshua to be the new leader, calling him in front of all the people, and saying unto him. ‘Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the Lord hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit. And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.’ (Deut. 31:7-8) 

Yes friends, Joshua and the people were encouraged by Moses of the Lord’s faithfulness towards His chosen people. And so should we be also encouraged in the Lord, because we are His children through adoption because we believe in His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. What amuses me though, but also encourages me, is how the Lord also spoke to Joshua after Moses died, promising that He would be with him just like he was with Moses, and nobody would stand up against him all his life. ‘As I was with Moses, so will I be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’ (Josh. 1:5) 

That just shows how important the situation was to the Lord. But then He issued some direct warnings to Joshua, amongst them this reiterated one: ‘Be strong and of a good courage…Only be thou strong and very courageous to do according to all the law…turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of (be constantly in) thy mouth: but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written there: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.’ (Josh. 1:6-8) 

Oh my people, that is the basic foundation of our faith: meditating on God’s word and obeying it! That’s how we become successful and prosperous. But just like the Israelites back then, we’re not obeying God’s command, so no wonder we’re not prosperous and successful. And just for good measure, the Lord pounded it Joshua’s head one more time. ‘Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest.’ (Josh. 1:9) 

Oh friends, oh friends, how often must the Lord pound it into our heads too, before we begin to follow His commands eh? Look at the state of Christianity nuh! We’re more evil than the evil one, if that’s possible, more divided, resentful and hateful than the unbelievers. Not reading and meditating on the Good Book sufficiently, more interested in the things of the world than the things of God! Yet we expect to be successful. Steups! Now here’s this scripture that puts it in a nutshell. The words of Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) 

Yes my fellow saints, that’s what our wonderful God has given us; power, LOVE, and discipline, the basic things we need to be victorious, along with knowing and keeping His word. So let’s wise up nuh, bring our ways and lives into agreement with His word and will, so that we can be successful and prosperous. And the first step in doing that is turning to God in sincere prayer, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, sincerely pouring out our hearts, seeking grace and mercy. 

So altogether, in confident voice: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You that this Monday morning we’re alive and standing in faith despite the mass confusion that’s currently prevailing in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems; the pandemic of Covid -19, the racial, political, and religious strife that’s ignited worldwide, plus the many natural disasters that now seem more prevalent than ever. 

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

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

Now we have to seriously read, meditate and live according to God’s word, if we want to be successful and prosperous. Much LOVE!

…real success and prosperity…only come from sincerely living for God… 

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