Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 July 2019 Jeremiah 29:11.

Jeremiah 29:11.    ​For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).
 

One more day friends, the Good Lord has generously granted us one more day of life on His great planet earth, so let’s live it the way He intended us to nuh. That’s with forgiveness, mercy, kindness, grace, mercy, LOVE and joy; all to the max, in abundance and overflowing! It’s the reason Christ gave His life selflessly and sacrificially on the cross of Calvary for us. So as His supposed followers, it behooves us to live as He desires, not as the world dictates. 

And to support that doctrine, (smile) here are some meaningful words of John Wesley (1703-1791) one of the founders of the Methodist church. He reputedly said that ‘The world hopes for the best, but the Lord offers the best hope!’ Wow! What words of truth and wisdom my faithful saints of Christ! It was true in Wesley’s day, and it’s even truer in these mystifying, troubled and strife-filled times! 

For as Bruh Paul told the Romans: ‘And hope maketh not ashamed (does not disappoint); because the LOVE of God is shed abroad (has been poured out) in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.’ (Rom.5:5) And is that ever so true! Without a doubt, we, as believers in Christ, have the Holy Spirit abiding within us to lead and guide us in all truth and sincerity. 

On the other hand though, right now the world doesn’t know whether  it’s coming or going; there’s so much despair in it, with so many divisions, dissensions, directions and disappointments that the natural outcome is simply confusion and war-like tendencies. 

The one still strong, solid and sure option left is that of Christ, of hope in Almighty God because He doesn’t change, there’s no sense of darkness in Him, only light and unconditional LOVE! His direction has been the same from day one, and will be the same until eternity! He’s not a wishy-washy God, unlike the rulers of darkness of this woe-be-gone world. With Him there is strength, consistency, and a known path; the straight and narrow one. 

With Him, you know exactly what you’re supposed to do and where you’re going. And I just LOVE how He lays it out through the prophet Jeremiah. ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ 

Yes friends, when you walk with the Lord, you know you’ll be getting the best, because there’s no evil in Him. He created us and He still LOVES us dearly. So much so that He sent His only begotten Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross to pay our sin debt! Hn! Why would He do such a crazy thing eh, if He didn’t hold us in very high regard? 

Bruh Paul puts it in the right perspective in his letter to the church at Rome. ‘For when we were yet without strength, in due time (at the right time) Christ died for the ungodly…But God commendeth his LOVE (demonstrates His own LOVE) toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom.5: 6,8) 

Oh mercy, mercy me! What a validation of the Father’s LOVE that is my brethren! And the great thing about Christ’s death on the cross is that He didn’t die merely for our benefit, but in our place, as a substitutionary sacrifice! Yeh people, the price of sin is death. It can only be atoned for by the shedding of blood. 

And whereas all through the Old Testament the Lord was prepared to accept the sacrifice of animal blood to keep sin death at bay, because that’s all the animals did. They themselves could not truly atone for our sins, just give us a li’l leeway. However, come the New Testament, the Lord decided it was time to get the sin problem over and done with once and for all. 

The problem though was it needed a pure and unblemished, sinless sacrifice, and since all men were the output of sin, no man however holy could accomplish that task. And I’m sure when the Lord looked at His options and saw the only one possible, He shuddered in distaste. How could He not eh? 

Being a living and LOVING Father, He must have felt some trepidation at committing His Son, His ONLY Son to boot, to die for a bunch of ungrateful and disgusting sinners. But that just goes to show how much He really cared for us. How much He wanted to give us another option beside death, hellfire and damnation in the arms of the evil one, that He broke His own heart and sacrificed His Son for us. 

And how are we repaying that awesome LOVE eh? By trying to drive Him out of our society and our lives. Taking His Word, His commandments out of our schools and public places, replacing them with the evil, incestuous, sinful, ungodly acts and attitudes of this fallen world. 

Ah friends, unfortunately there are consequences for all of our actions, be they godly or ungodly, and believe me, the chickens will soon come home to roost for our current ungodly behaviour. The Lord is getting tired of our sinful attitudes. Just look around and you’ll see it emblazoned in the natural and man-made disasters and changes that are destroying the world as we know it. 

The end might be nigh friends, but we still can’t afford to give up, we have to keep on fighting valiantly until our Lord and Saviour comes back for us. Therefore, in the fighting spirit we possess as followers of Jesus Christ, let’s vociferously and sincerely declare (yeh!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the evil world know our certain position in Christ. 

As one now: ‘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 believe me friends, it will indeed be a glorious future if we just hold on in faith, hope and LOVE! Much LOVE!

…only in Christ…can you find the answers…to the world’s problems…

P.S. For those of you who noticed (smile) I apologize for the discrepancy in the dates on the headings of yesterday’s Bit. . One said 9 July and the other said 8 July. The first one was the right one. Just goes to show my human frailty. (smile) Much LOVE! 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 12 June 2019 Acts 12:5.

Acts 12:5.    ​Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.
 

Oh friends, 11 of them down, ONLY 22 more to go! Wow! And I’m not talking about friends passing on, (smile) I’m talking about visits to the hospital for them to zap some cancer cells they claim are existing and thriving where my prostate once lay. You could have knocked me over with a feather when the doctor told me I needed 33 sessions! 

And no, it’s not a difficult situation, because the radiation only takes about 15 minutes per session, but is it ever inconvenient; five days a week, Monday to Friday, with a full bladder and empty bowels. That is where the difficulty comes in. And the cut-tail part for me is that the heart people don’t want me to have too much fluid in my body, so they give me stuff to get it out, but these radiation people want me to full up my poor soul and body with water. 

I’ve already begun drinking water for today’s session. (smile) So for one part of the day I’m piling in the water, then the next part I’m letting it back out. Brother, can it ever be a pain…in the you know where! (smile) It even interferes with my sleep! But if they say it’s all for my good, then I can’t really complain. And I was able to get the treatments transferred to a cancer hospital close to me, because no way was I going into the big city five days a week for almost 7 weeks. 

And now you’re up to date on all the renovations the Lord’s putting me through… And to be truthful, I wasn’t really expecting this one nuh. I thought we were all done with renovations. It’s going on two and half years of steady renovations now. And the medical people were so aggressive! I was willing to put it off for a while, but they wanted it done now! Ah Lord eh! Sometimes I think they just take pleasure in zapping people. (smile) And are there ever a lot of people coming to get zapped! 

But let’s hope it’s all because the Lord intends for me to live a much longer life than I would have without those renovations …otherwise it doesn’t make sense. (smile) So what else is new eh? Not much nuh… Oh you know that Alyssa has come home from the hospital and is recuperating slowly but surely. She still needs our prayers though to help her stand strong and face the unpalatable situation. So please keep praying for her. 

And for your info, she’s a lay-reader in her church, and right now we’re pretty short on lay-readers, so we need her back as quickly as possible to help do the Lord’s work on a Sunday. (smile)  And today I’m being led to highlight the importance of prayer for our fellow believers by individuals, as well as the church community as a whole. 

And this was shown so clearly and powerfully in the early church after Herod killed James and imprisoned Peter. The Good Book states it thus: ‘Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.’  

Oh friends, that is something we don’t do nearly as much as we ought to, especially in these very evil and ungodly times. That’s a big part of what the church is supposed to be about. But unfortunately in this ‘I, me and myself ‘ society, we don’t have much time for others, even fellow saints in Christ. That’s because we supposed saints are behaving too much like the world, being of it, and not merely in it, like Jesus commanded. 

And we all know what happened when the church prayed for Peter, at least I hope so (smile). The angel of the Lord came and helped him escape from prison. (Acts 12:6-10) Poor Peter never even knew what was really happening, it happened so quickly and so miraculously. Please read it if you don’t know it. 

And I like how the Good Book says: ‘And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety (for certain), that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.’ (Acts 12:11) Yes my people, our great God still does those things on behalf of His people. 

But what happened after Peter was left on the sidewalk outside the prison by the angel, is cause for some concern. He ended up at ‘the house of Mary, the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying. And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken (answer) named Rhoda. 

And when she knew Peter’s voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate. And they said unto her, Thou art mad (out of your mind). But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel. But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished.’ (Acts 12:12-16) 

No wonder Jesus continually derided His people with the words, ‘O ye of little faith!’ Just imagine nuh, that group of believers were praying intently and fervently for Peter’s safety, but when the Lord answered their prayers, they found it difficult to believe. As the scholars so aptly put it. ‘12:12-16. Though the prayer of the church was fervent due to Peter’s situation (v.5), there was a deficiency in faith (vs.15-16) Evidently they did not believe God would answer in this miraculous way, or so soon.’ 

And unfortunately that deficiency in faith still exists even today when we have so much more reason to be strong in faith than the early church had. It all depends on ‘belief’ friends. Listen to Jesus tell it like it is nuh. ‘Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.’ (Mark 11:24) 

What’s the point of praying if you don’t think you’ll receive what you pray for eh? You won’t get all you pray for, especially if it’s outside the Lord’s will, but you won’t get it either if you don’t have strong belief. That’s what faith is all about my people. So let’s try and get a li’l stronger in the belief and faith department nuh my people. With God’s help obviously, since we can’t do it on our own. 

And having sifted and settled all of that in our souls and spirits (smile) let’s go home declaring (right ho!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know of our safe and steadfast position in Christ Jesus. All together now: ‘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 believe you me my faithful brethren, that future will be so awesome and magnificent, that our small, simple minds can’t even contemplate it! Much LOVE!

…it’s a smiley kind of day…and why not…the sun’s shining brightly…and the Good Lord is in His heaven running things…Glory be…

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 March 2019 Matthew 4:1.

Matthew 4:1.   ​Then Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
 

Well friends, the ole fella is up much earlier than he would have liked, but that’s because I have to go into the city to check on this ole heart of mine, to keep the appointment I missed during the big snow storm last week. And since I don’t want leave you all bereft of spiritual succour for too long, (smile) I had to get up earlier to write the Bit and get out on time. Last week it was an afternoon appointment, so I had time to palaver, but this week it’s in the morning. That’s how much the ole fella cares about you! Glory to God! 

So what shall we talk about this Wednesday morning, this Ash Wednesday morning, when all the frivolities and sinfulness of Carnival finish eh? I don’t have a clue! (smile) Hope those of you who participated in the festivities, wherever in the world, had a good time and didn’t go too much overboard and thus give the enemy some ungodly purchase in your souls, because it’s very easy to do that when you let your hair down, as so many of us do, at Carnival time. 

But now it’s the season of Lent in the Christian calendar; forty days and forty nights, a reflection of Jesus forty days and nights in the wilderness before He began His ministry and was tempted by Satan, but stood strong in His resolve to do the Father’s work. It’s a time where we hopefully get more spiritual, contemplate the things of God more, get into Bible Studies and spend more serious time with God. 

It’s when fasting and praying and self-examination become a larger part of our lives. The popular action is to give up things we enjoy for Lent. I don’t know if it really makes a difference to most of us, who just do it because it’s the norm, but if it helps to bring us closer to God, then so be it. Now let’s look at what happened to Jesus in the wilderness and how He handled it all. 

The Good Book says: ‘Then Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.’ 

And the scholars have a long, involved explanation which I’ll share. ‘4:1. Following His public baptism, Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness referring to the elevation of the Judean wilderness. The historical setting of the temptation, which was directed against Jesus’ human nature, indicates that this was a literal experience, which He really conquered, not merely a mental victory over His own thoughts. 

That Jesus was tempted of the devil is clearly presented as a fact. The attack against Christ’s humanity was a genuine temptation that would have overcome any ordinary man. However, Jesus was no mere man. As the virgin-born God-man, His divine nature could not sin (cf. 1 Sam.15:29), and this held His human nature in check. Some have objected that the impeccability of Christ (that He was not able to sin) denies the reality of Satan’s temptation. 

Such an objection is meaningless when one remembers that Satan’s rebellion against God has already been defeated in Christ’s atonement, but his rebellion is nevertheless real, even though the outcome of God’s victory is certain. The same is true of the temptation of Christ. One may attack a battleship with a canoe. The outcome of the attack will be certain defeat for the canoe, but the attack is nonetheless real.’ 

Yes my fellow believers, Jesus was indeed tempted of the devil, but did not succumb to that temptation, as the Good Book tells us. ‘And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterwards an hungered (hungry). And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.’ (Matt.4:2-4) 

Yes my people, that temptation was real, and Jesus was there quoting Moses’ words of Deut.8:3, where he reminded the Israelites how the Lord humbled them in the wilderness and made them eat manna so that they could know that He was God, and that bread was not the most important thing in their lives, but His Word. As the scholars put it: ‘The source of bread, is more important than the bread itself.’ Oh so true my fellow believers! 

Before we close today though, I want to share some more of the scholars’ insight into Jesus fasting. ‘4:2-3. Jesus had fasted forty days and forty nights, a remarkable feat of human endurance, indicating the physical strength of the former carpenter. While the three major tests followed this period, other tests evidently had occurred throughout the 40 days (Luke 4:2). 

His real physical hunger serves as the setting for the first temptation by the tempter (Satan). The conditional clause, If thou be the Son of God, indicates Matthew’s purpose for including this record of Jesus’ victory: it proves that He is, in fact, the Son of God.’ 

Yes friends, He was indeed the Son of God, and Satan knew this to be a fact, that’s why He tried to break down His hungry human nature with the temptation of bread, knowing that a great victory would be his if Jesus succumbed. But instead Jesus stood strong and steadfast and rebuked the enemy and won the victory! All praise and honour to our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

Now friends, it’s our turn to stand strong and steadfast against the evil enemy! We don’t naturally have all the parts and power that Jesus had, but He’s faithfully promised that through His Holy Spirit, He will empower us to rebuke the tempter when He comes a calling in our earthly lives. And He’ll do just that if we sincerely turn to Him for help! 

Now let’s go home declaring (steups – wrong again) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know our wonderful position in Christ Jesus! Wailing as one now: ‘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!’ 

Ah mih people, it will indeed be so very wonderful in those future times, that our finite minds can’t even begin to comprehend it! Think on it, and let Jesus warm the cockles of our hearts this Ash Wednesday morning! Much LOVE!

…Lent…a time of personal introspection…and a closer look at the kingdom of God…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 January 2019 Lamentations 3:23.

Lamentations 3:23.   ​They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
 

Looks like it’s another day in the deep freeze…but not to worry, it’s the end of January, so we’ve only got another couple months of winter to go through. (smile) Ah friends, there’s not much we can do about the weather in these parts nuh but grin and bear it. And as believers in Jesus Christ we have even more ammunition than most to handle it in our stride. Glory be! It’s not easy, no, it isn’t, but with Jesus beside and in us, we can do ALL things through Him who strengthens us! 

Give Him some thanks and praise for that awesome promise my people! For without that beautiful scripture strengthening us, many more would have already fallen prey to the enemy and his deceitful wiles and ways. And I’m laughing here because I don’t know how to continue after that wonderful and encouraging opening? I know that I asked Him to ‘Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. (Ps.141:3) But I only wanted Him to hinder my talking, not my writing too. (smile) 

Yeh friends, as strange as it might seem, the ole fella is at a loss for words, but I’m not worried because I know the Lord will pick up the slack and eventually have me writing even more than I anticipated. That’s how much I value His faithfulness! Over the last what…twelve years now that I’ve been writing the Bit, He hasn’t failed me one time, so why would He now eh? Especially since it’s His Word I’m trying to propagate. 

Now that’s a place where many of us either have a hard time or just simply fail! I’m talking about remembering God’s earlier faithfulness in our lives and holding on to His promises of I’ll never leave you nor forsake you in times of trials and tribulations. That’s exactly what killed the Israelites when they came out of Egypt: they forgot the wonderful works that God had worked on their behalf when trials struck them in the wilderness. 

Look at some of those things nuh. He had Moses part the Red Sea so they could cross on dry land, then drowned the Egyptian army behind them. He had Moses strike a tree in Marah when all they could find was bitter water, making it sweet and drinkable, even getting Moses angry and disobeying God, so that he never entered the Promised Land, only saw it from afar. 

Who led them by a cloud during the day and a burst of fire during the night eh? It was the God of their fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! But they forgot His goodness and mercy, even to the point of making a golden image when Moses was up the mountain getting the Ten Commandments. And then they got tired of the manna the Lord was feeding them and even contemplated a return to slavery in Egypt so they could get their old food. 

That’s why they wandered around in the wilderness for forty years, until all the people who came out of Egypt beside Joshua and Caleb died. And they didn’t even notice that in those forty years their clothes didn’t get old or their sandals worn out. Why eh? Because even in their disobedience and lack of faithfulness the Lord their God was still looking after them! Glory be to the Most High God Jehovah! 

Unfortunately though, too many of us in these trying times are forgetting the good and merciful works of God earlier on in our lives and thus suffering more than is necessary. But Jeremiah says it very clearly in his Lamentations when the Lord seemed to have come up against him. 

He opens Chapter 3 by declaring (wrong): ‘I am the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of his wrath…I was a derision (laughingstock) to all my people; and their (taunting) song all the day. He hath filled me with bitterness, he hath made me drunken with wormwood. He hath also broken my teeth with gravel stones, he hath covered me (beat me down) with ashes). 

And thou hast removed my soul far off from peace: I forgat prosperity (good). And I said, My strength and my hope is perished from the Lord: Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall (bitterness). My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled (bowed down) in me.’ (Lam.3: 1,14-20) 

Ah friends, though most of what Jeremiah is lamenting refers to the trials of the disobedient Israelites, he himself suffered much on the Lord’s behalf. But then he continues: ‘This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.’ (Lam.3:21-23) 

Yes my people, we desperately need to remember the goodness and faithfulness of our God, especially in times of trial. We can never truly deserve whatever He offers, and it’s only because of His LOVING-kindness that we’re not utterly destroyed. So for those of us who have seen and personally felt that LOVING-kindness, please let’s not forget it at a future date nuh, when it seems that the Lord is dragging His feet or just not answering our pleas. Who knows, He might just be testing our faithfulness. 

Friends, please, please, let’s not fall into the category where Jesus rebuked the disciples for their unbelief when they couldn’t heal a mentally disturbed man. ‘O faithless (unbelieving) and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer (bear with) you? bring him hither to me.’ (Matt.17:17) 

Neither let us have to be rebuked like Jesus did to Thomas for his doubting. ‘Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless (unbelieving), but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.’ (John 20:27-29) 

Yes friends, Jesus was there talking about people like us, who never saw Him in person, yet have believed in Him. Please, I implore us not to stop believing even though circumstances might be driving us to do so. Remember, His compassions, His mercies are new every morning, and His faithfulness is everlastingly great! Now let us go home declaring (right ho) our Wednesday Wail, restoring our unstoppable faith, by letting the world know our remarkable position in Christ Jesus! 

All together now: ‘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 it will indeed be a most glorious future in Christ’s heavenly realm! Much LOVE!

…Job’s motto of faithfulness…though he slay me…yet will I trust in him… (Job 13:15a)  

P.S. Yuh see friends, I wasn’t lying about the Lord’s faithfulness. He certainly led me to write more than I intended! (smile) Much LOVE!