Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 June 2019 Matthew 5: 13a;14a.

Matthew 5:13a;14a.    ​Ye are the salt of the earth…Ye are the light of the world.
 

Well like another beautiful summer’s day is in the offing friends! Glory to our great God! How many is that eh…like four straight without any serious rain during the day! Mama Mia! 

And with Jesus riding a sure shotgun with us, how can we not make assured and confident declarations (steups!) as these: ‘I am an overcomer through Christ!’ I am above and not beneath. The head and not the tail.’ (Deut.28:13) ‘I am more than a conqueror, through Christ who LOVES me!’ (Rom.8:37) ‘And the God of all grace, who has called me to His eternal glory in Christ, after I have suffered a little while, will Himself restore me and make me strong, firm and steadfast.’ (1 Pet.5:10) 

Glory to God my brethren! And I can speak personally to that last acclamation because that’s exactly what our God is doing in my life right now, making me strong and steadfast after all the medical problems I’ve experienced over the last few years. Yes friends, our God won’t allow us to go through what He’s not prepared to bring us through. 

But please remember, oftimes we need to go through the fire, not escape it, if, like silver and gold we need to be purified, and thus increase our worth and value with greater faith. And to help us believe that, here is this encouraging quote from Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, the pastor, positive thinker, and author of several books, amongst which is the memorable one, ‘The Power of Positive Thinking.’ 

Dr. Peale reputedly said: ‘Hope is the great power that can move you to success. Why? Because when a man expects to win, he does not hold anything back, but gives his project all that he’s got. Most people fail not because they lack ability, intelligence, or opportunity, but they fail because they don’t give it all they’ve got.’ 

Words of absolute truth my people, especially in this lazy, sitting on one’s laurels, expecting someone else to do it society in which we’re currently living! We’ve become so addicted to easy and cheap and right away, that putting out any extra effort is anathema, repellant, repugnant, to us, even when the extra effort will assure us of success. 

But friends, if we’re living and working for Jesus, then we’re required to make that extra effort, to go that extra mile, because that’s what His economy is based on. In fact no economy whatsoever can succeed unless that extra effort becomes a basic part of it. Only when one is diligent and hardworking and pursues excellence, will one be successful! 

No wonder our society is on its way down and out, because those elements are conspicuously lacking from it. But if we supposed believers actually behaved like real believers, and not like worldly people, you’d be surprised to see the difference in our world. But we only talk a good talk, and not walk the good walk we’re supposed to. That’s why the evil element of the world is now holding the upper hand. 

Remember what Jesus declared and expected of us: ‘Ye are the salt of the earth…Ye are the light of the world.’ But somewhere along the way we have lost our salty flavour and have hidden our lights under a bushel? Why? Perhaps through fear of the enemy, or more likely the extra effort it takes to be bright and salty. 

But look at what Jesus said about those situations nuh: ‘but if the salt have lost his savour (flavour), wherewith (by what) shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.’  (Matt.5:13) And also: ‘A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket), but on a candlestick (lamp stand); and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.’ (Matt.5:14-15) 

Oh my fellow believers, as a group, the church, the body of Christ, we have lost our salty flavour and our light is no longer shining forth into this evil world as brightly as it ought to, and thus we are being trodden underfoot by the rulers of darkness. Now that is a most untenable situation in the sight of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who admonished us to: ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt.5:16) And unless we obey that command, then the church, Christianity will be of very li’l or no use to mankind. 

Hear this most interesting explanation from the scholars on all that nuh. ‘5:14-16. Ye are the light of the world describes the essential mission of the Christian to the world. He is the condition (salt) to meet the world’s needs and he has a mission (light) to the world. His light is to clearly shine forth into the darkness of human depravity. He is to set his light upon a candlestick, not hide it under a bushel, that is a basket. Darkness is the absence of light, and darkness alone cannot dispel the light, but the smallest light can dispel the greatest darkness.’ 

Oh friends, the Christian body, the church today is certainly not helping to reduce the world’s depravity, in fact it is contributing greatly to it, because we have become like the world, seeking the things of the world more than the things of God! Just look at the immorality, the scandals, the evil doings that are daily being uncovered in our churches eh! No wonder the unbelievers look at us and laugh and rightly shout out ‘Hypocrites!’ 

But to those of us who sincerely try to be salt and light, let’s go home today declaring (right ho!) our Thursday Blessings that the Lord has generously granted us to help us in our earthly work. As one, with sincere belief now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! 

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

And unfortunately, I have to remind us every week, that those blessings were not granted to us to selfishly hoard, but to share with the less fortunate, as we spread our salty flavour and shine the light of Jesus throughout this dark world! Much LOVE!

…how can we say we LOVE Jesus…and are a part of His body…his church…when we ‘re not doing as He commands eh…

 

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Today​’s Scrip-Bit 17 April 2019 Isaiah 44:6.

Isaiah 44:6.    Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.
 
Well it looks like another dark, cloudy, rainy, windy and stormy day here in Paradise! (smile) Yeh, it rained for much of yesterday, even through the night, and has begun again this morning, just when I have things to go out the street and do! Chuh! First time since I’m here I’ve seen so much rain fall. We’d get the li’l ten seconds drizzle or the two minutes showers, but not continuous stuff like this. 

But the land badly needed it because it was dry and brown everywhere. Can imagine the joy of the golf course owners up the street. You couldn’t use the golf vernacular of ‘greens,’ about it because it looked more like ‘browns.’ (smile) Even the sea is acting up some, as I watch the white capped frothing waves break over the nearby reef, then hurtle onwards, only to dash themselves against the rocky shore! But that’s Mother Nature, and try as we want, I doubt we’ll ever tame her, because she’s of God’s own making! 

That brings us to another important thing we can’t do; create gods for ourselves, or as Isaiah puts it, the folly of idolatry! Yes friends, we’re living in a rather idolatrous world, not so much the worshipping of pagan Gods, but of worldly things, places and people. We’re talking about the cult of celebrity that’s now dominant in our world; people who don’t’ know their A from their E, but we’re flocking to follow their insipid, eccentric lifestyles and ungodly ways. 

And social media is only enhancing the foolishness! We waste so much time on the nonsense, but have no time for the real, One True God, except to try and leverage Him out of our idolatrous society. Yes, these things have some useful purposes, but not when we become addicted to them as we are and place Almighty God on the back burner of our lives, if we even have Him on our stove at all! 

But please listen to the words of the Lord to the idolatrous society of Israel, through the mouth of the prophet Isaiah. ‘Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.’ Oh my people, those are words of absolute truth, as the nation of Israel found out to their utter detriment, when they refused to stop worshipping idols and other pagan gods. 

Listen further to the words of God: ‘They that make a graven image are all of them vanity (useless); and their delectable (precious) things shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed. Who hath formed a god, or molten (molded) image that is profitable for nothing? Behold all his fellows (companions) shall be ashamed: and the workmen they are of men (mere men): let them all be gathered together, let them stand up; yet they shall fear, and they shall be ashamed together.’ (Is.44:9-11) 

Yeh friends, Satan has blinded our eyes and deafened our ears so that we can’t see or hear the nonsense, neither are we ashamed and regretful of the evil and ungodly lifestyle we’re living! And after that passage above, the Lord goes on to vilify the blacksmith, the carpenter and the tree cutter. And as to the tree cutter, the wood he provides, the Lord declares (right ho!): ‘

Then shall it be for man to burn: for he will take thereof, and warm himself; yea, he kindleth it, and baketh bread; yea, he maketh a god, and worshippeth it; he maketh a graven image, and falleth down thereto. He burneth part (half) thereof in the fire; with part (half) thereof he eateth flesh; he roastest roast, and is satisfied: yea, he warmeth himself, and saith, aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire: 

And the residue thereof he maketh a god, even his graven image: he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, deliver me, for thou art my god…And none considereth in his heart, neither is there knowledge nor understanding to say, I have burned part (half) of it in the fire; yea, also I have baked bread upon the coals thereof; I have roasted flesh, and eaten it: and shall I make the residue thereof an abomination? Shall I fall down to the stock of a tree?’ (Is.44:15-17,19) 

Ah my people, that’s the exact same way we are behaving today, not literally, but figuratively! Now listen closely to the scholars take on those verses. ‘44:9-20. This expose of idolatry is the most taunting in all of the Bible. The prophet Isaiah, serving as the spokesman of Yahweh, reveals the utter foolishness of polytheistic pagan idolatry. The graven image (carved idol) is called vanity (nothing). Delectable things refers to the adornment of the idols with gold, silver and precious stones. 

The prophet announces that the idols themselves are their own witnesses. They see not, nor know. Therefore these inanimate objects are profitable for nothing. Isaiah then berates the workmen (artisans) for designing and constructing their idols in the figure of a man. He exposes the basic fallacy of idolatry, a god made in the image of man. Thus the prophet’s criticism of one who would worship and idol carved from the same tree that he would use for firewood is that he feedeth on ashes.’ 

Ah mih breddren, I can’t add a whole lot more to that nuh, except to remind us that we are spending too much time involved with the artifacts of man, and not enough with our Creator, our God, and that can only bring serious repercussions in the end. Now let’s go home telling the world about our safe and secure position in Christ by declaring (right ho!) our Wednesday Wail. 

With sincere hearts and a strong sense of purpose: ‘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, that future sure will be glorious! Much LOVE!

…only through the acceptance of Jesus…will blind eyes be opened…and deaf ears made to hear…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 December 2018 Psalm 139:13.

Psalm 139:13.    For thou hast possessed my reins (formed my inward parts): thou hast covered me (weaved me) in my mother’s womb.
 

Aye friends and Scrip-Bit family… is Wednesday…and all is well! The ole fella’s somewhat tired though after a long day yesterday in the city, then going to bed fairly early, but not being able to rest properly, and wanting to sleep when I should be getting up. Hn! Yuh think it easy! Then not knowing what to say to you this cold morning doesn’t help matters either. (smile) 

But as always, our ever-faithful God just put this in my spirit to share with you. It’s a prayer I first discovered in the flyleaves of my mother’s Bible after her death. And though I’ve shared it before, these kinds of prayers are always useful, especially in the rough times, and it’s ever so appropriate for a morning like this. 

Please pray with me: ‘The light of God surrounds me. The LOVE of God enfolds me. The power of God protects me. The presence of God watches over me. Wherever I am…God IS…And ALL IS WELL! Amen!’  

And that is the gospel truth my fellow believers! Whatever we’re going through, and wherever we are, our great and faithful God is right there walking with us, before and behind, beside, and in us! Glory Hallelujah! No other faith can make that statement with the absolute truth that we can! Give God some of the much praise He deserves nuh my brethren! 

Yuh know for all that our heavenly Father does for us, we certainly don’t give Him enough thanks and praise nuh. Sometimes we get so accustomed to His mercy and LOVING-kindness that we just take it all for granted and forget to say ‘Thank You Father! Thank You for all You’re doing for me, even though I don’t deserve most of it!’ 

Yuh know friends, one of the things our God likes to hear from us is thanks and praise and exaltation. In fact that’s one of the reasons why He made us; so we could glorify His Holy Name, lift up His wonderful and awesome attributes, and let the evil heathen world know who is the real BOSS! 

Not Beelzebub, who the Lord just allows to run this sinful earth; but the Lord God of Hosts, the Holy One of Israel, Yahweh, Jehovah God! Now He is the real sahib: the Conquering Lion of Judah, Lord of Lords and King of Kings, Creator and Controller of this amazing universe! 

That’s whom our knees should bow to and our voices declare as our Alpha and Omega; our First and our Last, our EVERYTHING! For He made us… and controls our very destiny from the moment of our conception to the time we return to the dust from which we were created! 

And trust Bruh David to have the right words for us this morning: ‘Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. For thou hast possessed my reins (formed my inward parts): thou hast covered me (weaved me) in my mother’s womb.’ (Ps.139:12-13) Ah friends, how can we not glorify such a wonderful Maker and Creator eh? 

Listen further to Bruh David: ‘I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well (very well).’ (Ps.139:14) Ah mih people, I have to pause here and ask this very important question: do our souls truly know the extent of God’s marvellous works and how masterfully we were made? I doubt it yes, else we wouldn’t have to be harangued and chided and often forced to give God great thanks and praise. 

But hear Bruh David as he continues to praise God’s mighty work in creating human beings. ‘My substance (frame, bones) was not hid from thee when I was made in secret, and curiously (skillfully) wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect (unformed); and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned (the days fashioned for me), when as yet there was none of them.’ (Ps.139:15-16) 

Oh my people, how could we not praise and worship our God after reading that kind of truth eh? Our days were numbered in His book even before we were formed in our mother’s womb! Glory to God! And if you don’t believe me, or Bruh David, then listen to Jesus nuh, hopefully you’ll believe Him. (smile) 

‘And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him (God) which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.’ (Matt.10:28-31) 

Chuh mih people! How reassuring is that eh; to know that the Lord knows the number of hairs on our heads and we are more valuable than many sparrows, who don’t fall down without His knowledge, much less the care and concern He has for us, His most precious creation! 

 Believe friends…please believe in His goodness and mercy; believe that His presence is always watching over us, as His power protects us, and His brilliant light shines over us, while His wonderful, unconditional LOVE enfolds us in His strong embrace! 

Now let’s go home wailing our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. In unison and full sincerity: ‘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!’ 

Now let’s keep that wise position friends! Much LOVE!

…what a marvellous creation…is the human being…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 July 2015 Psalm 103:8‏‏‏

Psalm 103:8.   The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous (abounding) in mercy (LOVING-kindness).

HAPPY  CANADA  DAY!

Happy Birthday Canada! On this 1st of July 2015, we’re a bright and sparkling one hundred and forty eight years old today! Wow! And the celebrations will be enormous! I began mine last night as you can see from the lateness of the Bit. (smile)

And why not eh? Canada has been good to me. It’s where I’ve spent the last forty two years and counting of my life. It hasn’t been easy, but it has certainly been interesting and rewarding. Like most other countries we’re on somewhat of a downward slide now, but by golly, it is still the best big country in the world! Glory Hallelujah!

In 1867 the British North America Act conferred some self-governing powers on Canada and she became a Dominion of Britain. Since then she has not looked back and has gone on to take her place as one of the leaders of the free world. Let’s hope that continues as time goes by.

Ohhh! Lest I forget later on, let me remind us right now about Granny’s wise words. ‘Sonny boy… remember that drunk or sober, please mind yuh business.’

Words of absolute wisdom my brethren! For we all know that when we get into celebrating, we tend to get a tad loose and that only gives the wily old fox Lucifer a chance to invade our souls. And we definitely don’t want to do that. So let’s just keep our wits about us in the celebrations today.

And since it’s Wednesday, let’s do some wailing nuh. On the count of three: one, two, three. ‘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!’

Yes my people, is it ever so good to be alive on this first day in July, although the temperature is only supposed to go up to something like 21, and it is a tad chilly and cloudy outside. The summer doesn’t look to be shaping up too good nuh. But why to worry eh? Our great God is in control and He knows our wants and needs.

Plus He has faithfully promised never to leave nor forsake us, so if the true summer weather is a bit tardy in coming, we just have to take it in stride and rely on His wonderful promise to bring us safely through our dark times in the valley of the shadow of death.

Therefore we can now unconditionally declare: ‘The Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is a mighty and magnanimous God! We will rest in peace, safety and joy in His holy and everlasting, LOVE, mercy and grace! Amen!’

And now let’s turn to our Bit which so wonderfully proclaims all that we’ve said so far. ‘The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous (abounding) in mercy (LOVING-kindness).’

Ah Friends, if our God didn’t possess all those glorious attributes, I don’t know, and fear to think what might have already become of us, with our truly disobedient and ungodly behaviour.

And as we’ve been doing for the last few days, let’s look at some scripture that shore up our Bit, beginning with Moses interceding with God for the people of Israel after they had foolishly rebelled against Him.

‘And now I beseech thee, let the power of my Lord be great, according as thou hast spoken, saying, The Lord is long-suffering and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.

Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of thy mercy, and as thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.’(Num.14:17-19)

Oh Friends, Moses wasn’t as stupid as he claimed to be nuh. The Lord was about to destroy the Israelites for their rebellion, but Moses used God’s own words back at Him, those He had used to Moses when He passed before Him on Mt. Sinai, while getting the second version of the Ten Commandments.

And I like the logic he used on God: If He destroyed the Israelites, then the other nations would say it was because He was unable to bring them safely through the wilderness. And we all know that our God LOVES a challenge! (smile) Tell Him He can’t do something, and you know He’ll prove that He can.

And though the Lord pardoned the Israelites, He promised, ‘But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord.’ (Num.14:21) He rose to Moses’ challenge, and also declared that none of those who came out of Egypt and saw all His signs and wonders would step foot in the Promised Land. And so it was.

So my brethren, though our God is wonderful and merciful and kind, He won’t allow us to take advantage of His goodness and mercy, so please remember that there are consequences for continual disobedience.

Now hear Moses again, this time warning the Israelites that they were a holy people to the Lord and thus had great responsibilities. ‘Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that LOVE him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;

And repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to him that hateth him (delay with those who hate Him), he will repay him to his face. Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments and the statutes, and the judgements, which I command thee this day, to do them.’ (Deut.7:9-11)

Oh Friends, we have it right there in black and white! We have also seen it in action down through the ages. So why do we in these unfaithful, ungodly and rather sinful times believe, or simply ignore the fact that we will not suffer God’s punishment for our boldfaced disobedience eh?

I assure us that we will, in God’s own time. He is indeed long-suffering and will give us plenty of rope, in the hope that we will wake up and smell the roses, or on the other hand, to hang ourselves.

Now let’s end with these words of absolute truth, as spoken by the great prophet Daniel in his prayer for his people, Israel. ‘To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against him.’ (Dan.9:9)

And that’s no lie Friends! But we can’t keep on rebelling and keep expecting mercy and forgiveness forever. It’s not realistic from a holy, righteous and just God, and it will not happen.

So please let’s take the necessary precautions and turn once more in confession and repentance to the One who created us, the universe and all therein. That is the zenith and epitome of wisdom. Much LOVE!

…disobedience and rebellion NEVER pays…regardless of who or what we think we are…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 May 2015 2 Chronicles 7:14‏‏

2 Chronicles 7:14.  If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn away from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Well a wonderful Wednesday morning to you readers out there in Scrip-Bit Land! It’s a tad on the chilly side today, as it was yesterday. Ah Lord eh! What is the weather coming to eh? We had a beautiful Victoria Day weekend, then yesterday it suddenly turned cold and windy.

As one Friend told me yesterday evening, ‘you were boasting in the Bit about sitting on your porch last night communing with nature. Let me see if you will do it tonight too.’ (smile)

And Friends, sad to say I didn’t. It was just too so and so cold. But them’s the breaks! And furthermore, the sun is shining, we are alive and kicking and all is right in God’s world! Bless His Holy Name. That’s why we can say, as the psalmist did eons ago: ‘This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps.118:24)

We might as well my brethren, because the only other alternative is to be sad and miserable, and God gave us the day to be fruitful and multiply, both in terms of children and in His work here on earth. Anyway, we’ve reached the halfway point of the workweek – rather quickly and easily I must say –  (smile) so there’s no turning or looking back now, just straight ahead to the finish line.

And to help us do that, here’s something from Gramps Schuller (Robert H. Schuller) from his Hour of Power Devotional, on the subject of courage, which we can never get enough of. He claims that courage isn’t a gift, but a decision. And ‘Courage is not the absence of fear, it is the presence of a calling – a dream that pulls you beyond yourself. Hence it is something you can never lose. It is always something that you can choose. So, choose it today!’

And then, in a little poem, he declares: ‘I have it! My fears are going, going, gone! I feel a mysterious, calm, quiet, tranquil assurance rising deep within my being. This remarkable spirit of courage is overpowering me. It is the very presence of God working peace at the core of my invisible soul. Thank You Lord. All my fears are gone. What a relief! Amen.’

Yes my people, courage, like all other good things, comes from Almighty God! It is He who gives us the wherewithal to bear our burdens with chutzpah, and not give up to the fear the enemy tries to instill in us. So please, today, let’s be filled with courage, as we endeavour to do God’s work and be fruitful.

And we will need plenty of courage if we are to fulfill the words of our Bit, especially with the power of the unbeliever in today’s world, and his determined purpose to remove all aspects of God from our society. ‘If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn away from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.’

Ah mih breddren, what a most worthy promise! One that should allay all our fears. But even if we’re still fearful, we can do like Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say: ‘Do it afraid.’  We just can’t afford to let fear hold us back in these very difficult and trying times.

And we can punctuate that with these encouraging and uplifting words of Bruh Paul to Timothy. ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ (2 Tim.1:7) And that’s the absolute truth Friends, so please let’s not give into the fear mongering of this evil world, for the power that’s within us, the Holy Spirit, is greater than that which is in the world.

And all of God’s people gave out a loud shout of, ‘Praise the Lord! Amen.’

Now let’s turn to some scripture that pertains to the first of the four things in our Bit, that we need to do to turn back to God, so that He can heal us and our land. That’s ‘humble themselves.’

Oh Friends, one of the things our God thoroughly dislikes is pride. As Cousin Sol says in Proverbs 8: ‘The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the forward (perverse) mouth do I hate.’ (Prov.8:13)  And in Proverbs 1.17, he mentions ‘a proud look (haughty eyes)’ as one of the seven things that are an abomination to our God.

So Friends, it’s obvious that we can’t come before our heavenly father in pride and arrogance, for He will just ignore us, possibly just have us thrown out from His presence. (smile) Now hear how He rewards humility.

Way back when, in the days of the apostasy of Rehoboam, king of Judah, Shishak, the king of Egypt, came to fight against Jerusalem with a mighty army. And he captured several cities of Judah before he came to Jerusalem.

‘Then came Shemaiah the prophet to Rehoboam, and to the princes of Judah, that were gathered together at Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said unto them, Thus saith the Lord, Ye have forsaken me, and therefore I also left you in the hand of Shishak. Whereupon the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves; and they said, The Lord is righteous.

And when the Lord saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah, saying, They have humbled themselves; therefore I will not destroy them, but will grant them some deliverance; and my wrath shall not be poured out upon Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak. Nevertheless, they shall be his servants; that they may know my service (distinguish my service from) the service of the kingdoms of the countries.’ (2 Chr.12:5-8)

Yuh see Friends, even though God provided them with some relief for their humility, they still had to pay a price for their earlier pride and arrogance. And I wonder why our world is in so much turmoil eh? Could it be partly because of our pride and arrogance and turning away from the ways of God?

You can bet your bottom dollar that our intransigence plays a big part in the disastrous state of our world my people!

And we shall close with one of the most notable scriptures on the subject. This from James: ‘Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.’ (James 4:10)

Oh my people, my people, there is no better advice to be had than that! So please, let’s just grab it and run with it nuh, so that our world, our children, will stand a much better chance of life and prosperity than we now do. That’s wisdom and common sense at the zenith! Much LOVE!

…humility…it is the first…and most important requirement…for gaining entrance to the Lord’s presence…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 May 2015 Psalm 46:1

 Psalm 46:1.  God is our refuge and strength, a very present help (an abundantly available help) in time of trouble.

Well Friends, Monday morning is here, time to get up and get rolling! Let’s hope that yesterday’s celebration of Mother’s Day wasn’t too incapacitating, and consequently you’re shaking it somewhat rough this morning. (smile)

I sincerely hope that Mothers all around the world were suitably revered and appreciated, but please, please, let’s keep up that adoration, respect and affection all the year round nuh. It doesn’t have to be with physical gifts, but simply spending more time than usual with them, more phone calls or visits and nicer words when they tell us something we don’t like.

Most mothers don’t want anything from their children but simple appreciation, in whatever form they can manifest it. So let’s try and do that nuh, for then we’ll be keeping one of God’s major commandments and also buoying the spirits of our mothers throughout the year, rather than one day in the month of May. We would all be much happier too, for the LOVE of Christ would then be truly spread abroad.

However, it’s now time to face the outside world once again, so let’s get the show on the road by singing our Monday Morning Battle Hymn with as much verve and gusto as we can manage.

Altogether now: ‘Oh Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and all therein! We, your humble servants, praise your Holy Name and thank you that this Monday morning we have jobs to go to; jobs we don’t like, jobs that are unfair, difficult and even dangerous, but which serve a useful purpose here on earth; keeping lives and families together.

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

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

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

Ah Friends, that rendition wasn’t so hot this morning nuh. You could hear the crustiness and hoarseness in the voices as a result of too much partying yesterday. (smile) But we won’t let that stop us from going out and facing the music, the ungodly clamour of the unruly heathen, for Jesus is our most able Field General and goes before us.  

And furthermore, in the encouraging and uplifting words of our Bit, the Sons of Korah truthfully proclaim: ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help (an abundantly available help) in time of trouble.’

Oh my people, my people, those awesome words of wisdom and absolute truth ought to just lift our spirits and have us walking around like Superman; being able to do every and anything in the strength, power and majesty of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! (smile)

And somebody says, ‘Hold down brother, hold down. Don’t get carried away now.’ But Friends, that’s not getting carried away, but simply acknowledging the facts of this life. We can indeed do any and everything though Christ Jesus who strengthens us. The Good Book says that, (Phl.4:13) and the Good Book doesn’t lie.

So please let’s get excited and stirred up by the Holy Spirit which indwells us, as we go out there to face the traffic jams, the bad weather, the rude and ungodly co-workers, or whatever comes against us today! That’s the ardent desire of our Leader, Jesus Christ.

And since God is our refuge and strength, then like the Sons of Korah continue: ‘Therefore will we not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst (the heart) of the sea. Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.   Selah.’ (Ps.46:2-3)

Oh my brethren, those positive words just raise the level of faith and belief in my soul, and I hope they do in yours too. For you know our major problem in this life is the thing we call fear; technically speaking, the opposite of faith. But as Bruh Paul so wisely and truthfully told Timothy; ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.’ (2 Tim.1:7)  

Oh what inspirational words of gospel truth!  And shouldn’t that just have us fighting fit and ready to have a go at the enemy, anytime? It surely should my brethren. With the omnipotent Creator of the universe on our side, we shouldn’t be afraid of anything or anybody! 

And we’ll end with this uplifting warning from Jesus. ‘And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.’ (Matt.10:28)

And my people, the good news is that only Almighty God, our heavenly Father has the power to kill our souls and send us to Hades. So if we obey Him, we won’t have to be worried about that. Now let’s go out there and do brave battle for and with Jesus, because that’s what He expects of His loyal followers. Much LOVE!

…there’s no need to fear anything at all…because you and all-powerful God are a majority…

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 30 April 2015 Psalm 22:9 ‏‏‏‏‏‏‏‏‏

Psalm 22:9.      But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me HOPE (caused me to trust) when I was upon my mother’s breast.

Aye Friends welcome to this turbulent, tempestuous Thursday morning, the last day of April! It was just one of those nights. I don’t understand it myself. I went to bed a few minutes later than usual, but also got up several times during the night and couldn’t go back to sleep, couldn’t find a comfortable spot to set my aching body so that that beautiful elixir sleep could overtake it.

I guess many of you old-timers experience that at one time or the other. But it’s definitely frustrating, especially when you fall asleep at the time to get up. But you know what Friends?

It’s all a part of living this earthly life. And when you have that marvelous Saviour of ours, Jesus, walking with you, you can afford to grin and bear it, because you know that He knows what you’re going through, since He went through some serious pain and torment Himself, and that eventually He will work everything out for your good.

Glory to God, my people!

And as an adjunct to that, listen to this quote attributed to Ethel Barrymore (1879-1959), the screen and theatre actress, member of the prominent American Barrymore family of actors, whose distinctive style made her the ‘first lady’ of the American theatre. Ethel is reputed to have said: ‘You grow up the day you have the first real laugh – at yourself.’

And isn’t that the truth my brethren! Until we learn to laugh at ourselves, our mistakes, our troubles and our good times, we’ll never conquer the internal muse that tends to lead us to sadness and heartache and complaining whenever things don’t go our way.

As my One Day Devotional for People with Chronic Illness reminds us: ‘It takes fewer muscles to laugh than to cry. We’ll breathe easier and deeper, and we’ll be much more content when we laugh… for laughter helps us to put things into perspective. It lends HOPE and meaning to life.’ 

And that’s the absolute truth Friends! But there are some things that we just can’t laugh at, like the destructive and disastrous state of our world. In the past couple weeks we’ve had hundreds of migrants drowning in the Mediterranean ocean, heading for the perceived balmy shores of Europe, in search of a better life than the calamitous one they had left behind.

Then there was the sudden eruption of a dormant volcano in Chile, combined with riots in Baltimore and a devastating earthquake in Nepal. Hn! And that doesn’t take into account the numerous wars and rumours of war, the seemingly never-ending strife that’s going on all over God’s beautiful planet.

Ah Lord eh! What a mess we’ve made of this wonderful Earth! But Friends, as we keep saying, while there is life, there is always HOPE!

That’s because our Creator has instilled that wonderful emotion in us from day one, as declared by Bruh David in our Bit. ‘But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me HOPE (caused me to trust) when I was upon my mother’s breast.’

Yes my people, our great God knew the plans, the good future He had in store for us, so He made us with that little something termed HOPE, which causes us never to give up, never to simply lie down and die when times get rough, but to always have a spark of fire, like a pilot light going in our souls.

Now that’s a very good description of HOPE there my Friends, never thought of it before. But a pilot light never goes out, it just keeps burning quietly in the background; always ready to burst into flame when it’s needed. That’s the way HOPE operates in our souls; always there ready to burst into positive action, even though the surrounding circumstances might indicate differently.

So Friends, I’m here grinning like a Cheshire cat, because to muddy the waters even more, my allergies seem to have chosen this particular time to act up. There’s been a steady stream of sneezing and blowing for the last few minutes. But I’m practicing what I preach; I’m just grinning and bearing it all, because I know that all those things will eventually pass, fade away! All praise and glory to God!

Now let’s see what the scriptures have in store for us today, re that invigorating and renewing feeling called HOPE. And what better way to start than with these encouraging words of the psalmist, as he prays for help in old age.

‘But I will HOPE continually, and will yet praise thee more and more. My mouth shall show forth (proclaim) thy righteousness and thy salvation all the day; for I know not the numbers (limits) thereof.’ (Ps.71:14-15)

Yes Friends, that’s exactly how believers are expected to behave; always HOPING, and always proclaiming God’s righteousness!

Now listen to Peter, the rock, in his call to Christian dedication. ‘Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind (prepare your mind for action), be sober, and HOPE to the end for the grace (rest your HOPE fully upon the grace) that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.’ (1 Pet.1:13)

What marvellous advice my people!

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘1:13. The exhortation to set one’s HOPE involves an inward resolution. Gird up the loins of your mind: The imagery is that of personal discipline and outward conduct. Be sober (Gr. nephontes): Be free of every sort of mental and spiritual intoxication. The revelation of Jesus Christ is the Second Advent when Jesus returns to earth to set up his kingdom.’

Now Friends, it’s time for us to ponder all that we’ve heard this morning, to digest it, then act wisely on it all. That’s the wisdom of heaven. Much LOVE!

…gird up the loins of your mind…then spring into action…it’s the Jesus way…

 

 

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